Arrow Season 3 Ep 6 (TV Show Review)

In “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” last week we got to see some really great things with all the characters as Felicity’s mom strolled into Starling City for some quality time with her daughter and we got to see how Felicity became the person that she was when she first met Oliver back in season 1. Pretty interesting stuff all around, and the larger mysteries of the season were also addressed, including a possible reveal of who might have killed Sara, though the why was/is still a mystery.

This week’s “Guilty” goes in a slightly different direction as it explores Ted Grant aka Wildcat’s past and what kind of an effect that his past has had on him, and what it might bode for the future of the show, specifically in relation to how Laurel sees him as a mentor and a friend. The episode does a fair bit to set up the debut of another villain, Cupid, while also dealing with the villain of the week, and the most important thing here is how Oliver has to make some really tough choices and how he is the only one, ultimately, who has to make them.

The crux of this episode is that some vigilante is taking out the city’s various gang members, killing them rather brutally and then stringing many of them up to bleed out in case the fists and brass knuckles are not enough of a lesson. Things take a turn for the worse when the body of one of the gang members ends up strung up in Ted Grant’s gym, finally bringing Wildcat to Oliver’s notice and also letting loose the secret that Laurel has taken up boxing training with Ted and they’ve developed a great dynamic with each other with regards to her training. Of course, this is an episode about the past coming back to haunt and the reveal of who the real killer is is a good one, as is the lesson that this reveal and plot twist has for the main characters, Oliver and Roy and Ted and Laurel. Can’t beat that.

I really liked this episode since it finally gave us some background on Ted and also revealed that when he was in the heyday of his boxing career, he was known as Wildcat. Ever since he popped up a few episodes back I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen and writers Erik Oleson and Keto Shimizu did not disappoint me on that front. They seem to have cut to the heart of who Ted is and what kind of a relationship he is going to have with Laurel going forward, so I’m pretty excited to see more of all this. Plus Laurel firmly established herself in this episode, more so given her recent decisive streak, and I’m very happy with where her character is going.

Not to mention that just yesterday (or maybe this morning, not sure), CW finally released Laurel’s vigilante look, dressed in black as a nod to her eventual superhero name: Black Canary. The explanation of why she is going to choose that name for herself is neat and also cliched, but I don’t really mind the latter, more that there is a decisive reason for it, which is all that matters.

The biggest bomb in this episode though is the cliffhanger from last week, when we saw that Roy has been having nightmares where he is Sara’s killer. Back against the wall here, he gets Felicity to run a blood test on him, to identify whether he is still carrying the mirakuru serum in his body. Where the story goes on from there would be too spoilery to mention, but suffice to say that I liked the callbacks to the previous season, to when Roy was all dosed up on mirakuru and not in control of his actions at all since the drug was affecting the rational part of his brain.

Much as with this week’s Agents of SHIELD, which closed out an arc of the season, this week’s Arrow too closes out an arc with respect to what is happening with Roy, his struggle to master what he has become, and where Laurel’s path on the way to becoming a vigilante herself is going to go. Perhaps the best thing about this episode was that there was a nice reference to Roy’s possible vigilante name. Oliver bears the name The Arrow, as given to him by most of the people in the city, and this week we get to hear what Roy’s name might be: Arsenal. Roy Harper, once known as Speedy, became Arsenal when he “grew up”, much as Dick Grayson became Nightwing after dropping his Robin moniker.

Till now, the show has teased us with Roy being Speedy, but I think that this week’s episode makes a strong case for him being Arsenal after all, with Speedy being left to Thea, who has been training quite successfully with weapons of all types with her not-so-dead blood father, Malcolm Merlyn. No Thea or Malcolm this week, unfortunately, but what all we do get, is pretty incredible in itself. Particularly when you consider that we see Cupid make her debut on the show.

Arrow Season 3 Poster 0001

The flashbacks this week dealt with Oliver in Honk Kong, helping Maseo with his missions for Amanda Waller. The flashbacks often are used as a way to hammer home a certain “lesson” for the characters that the writers then use towards the climax, either during or post and this time it was all the post-climax. When a mission goes wrong, Maseo asks his wife Tatsu for some help and she begins her own tenure as Oliver’s mentor.

Rila Fukushima finally got more than a handful of lines on the show this week and I was pretty excited. She is one of my favourite Japanese actresses and I was ecstatic when she was announced as Devon Aoki’s replacement as Tatsu on the show. Tatsu goes on to become Katana in the comics, and I can’t wait to see what the flashbacks do with her on that front. Since she is one of Oliver’s mentors, I trust that she is going to eventually instruct him in sword-play and that Maseo’s eventual death will, in some way, fuel all of that. Going to be a great season for sure, especially once you take into consideration that the League of Assassins, Nyssa al Ghul and Ra’s al Ghul are going to be undoubtedly coming back for a crack at Oliver himself since he’s pretty much declared war on them by defying them.

So much stuff and its never been a better time for an Arrow fan I dare say!

More Arrow (Season 3): Ep 1, Ep 2, Ep 3, Ep 4, Ep 5.

More Arrow (Season 2): Link.

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Posted on November 13, 2014, in Arrow, Review Central, TV Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I really wish Thea would learn her brother Oliver is the Arrow, I think the writers have kept that from her long enough. They make certain things play out longer then it needs to be.

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