Arrow Season 3 Episode 2 – TV Review
Is Arrow competing with Once Upon a Time for the most redundant flashback award?
Because that race is tight.
TL;DR The flashback reveals nothing; in the present, the gang is rocked by Sarah’s death; a hunt for her killer turns up another, unrelated bowhunter; Ray is putting his plan for Star City into motion, and recruits Felicity; wouldn’t it be nice if Laurel became the new Black Canary?
Also, apparently I’ve been spelling “Sara” incorrectly this whole time. And I’m too old and ugly to change now.
Things kick off this episode when the Super Friends come to the base and find Laurel there with Sarah’s body. Oliver keeps his grief in check because he has to be the stoic leader, but Felicity and Laurel pretty much go bonkers. Diggle recommits himself to the team, despite his baby, and the Super Friends do their best to apprehend Sarah’s killer. They end up targeting a bowhunter named Komodo, who is a mercenary assassin type dude, and has been committing other hits throughout the city. Oliver eventually pins him down, but Komodo says he didn’t kill Sarah. Laurel tries to go vigilante style and execute Komodo, but Oliver prevents her from doing it. Which is fortunate, because Komodo’s alibi checks out. Meanwhile, Felicity cracks the shits at Oliver because he isn’t showing enough grief over Sarah’s death, and decides to go work for Ray at Queen Consolidated (I assume he won the bid?), who himself is raising funds to realise his Star City plan. And in the Hong Kong flashback, Amanda sets Oliver an assassination assignment to kill Tommy Merlyn, who has come to Hong Kong after Oliver’s logging in to his email last episode gave him hope that Oliver was still alive. Japanese guy protests Oliver’s reluctance, and they settle for a plan to fake kidnap Tommy posing as ransom hounds, and then fake free him after telling him Oliver isn’t alive and to stop looking.
Oh, and predictably, Thea is training over in some foreign country with daddy Malcolm. At least her new haircut seems fierce.
Most of the episode is a wild goose chase. And, like, what are the odds that another bowhunter assassin would be operating in the city in the same time period as Sarah is killed by one?
Starling City’s villains seriously need to pick up a gun or something. I get the show’s called Arrow, but how many characters need to use a bow as their weapon?
It was cute when it was Malcolm because he was an explicit parallel to Oliver, but this is getting ridiculous.
Why I hate this episode:
I feel a little bad for Roy, who clearly has nothing to do and nobody to talk to now that Thea’s not around. He awkwardly fills space in a couple of scenes as an object for a grief-stricken Felicity to lean against, but his contribution to the episode is minimal. All he does is show Felicity, and then Oliver, the note Thea left him when she fucked off outta Starling City at the end of last season. Which is vague, and doesn’t change much anyway.
Other than Roy, the most pointless part of the episode is the flashback with Tommy. It achieves absolutely nothing. It’s simply treading water.
Felicity’s being a bit of a prissy princess. Sarah was her friend, but she was Oliver’s friend and girlfriend for a much longer time. Yet Felicity considers herself the moral authority on the grieving process, and actually quits the Super Friends to go work for Ray because Oliver isn’t showing emotion in a way she approves of. Even after Oliver explains to her that he’s trying to be strong because he’s burdened with leadership, and he’s paralysed by worry over his own mortality. Chill the fuck out, Felicity. Sheesh.
Diggle has already gone back on his pledge to be less active in the Super Friends to ensure he’ll be around for his baby. Oh, well. You made it almost a whole episode, John. Not a bad effort.
Oh, and I don’t know how seriously I’ll be able to take Thea as a buttkicking Malcolm apprentice.
But it’s not all bad:
That new haircut, though.
The most promising thing to come out of the episode is Laurel’s evolution into proactive risk-taker. After a target of Komodo’s gets away and is taken to the hospital (thanks to intervention from the Super Friends), she lies her way through his police guard detail and gets into his room to torture him for information. Work it, girl.
When the Super Friends decide to take Komodo down at Ray’s fundraiser (Komodo is after another target there), she insists on coming along with a gun. Oliver vetoes it for her safety, but she turns up anyway, and is trigger happy. Oliver tells her not to shoot a restrained Komodo, but Laurel pulls the shit out of that trigger. Oliver had anticipated this, and made sure it had no bullets in it. But I applaud Laurel’s enthusiasm.
There’s also the definite confirmation that Sarah is dead. We see her on the slab. And the Super Friends even bury her (in her old grave from when she was lost at sea). I don’t think even the combined power of the CW and a superhero premised show could retcon this one. So, you know, it’s time to move on in on her man, Laurel.
Felicity may have lost all her steam with Oliver, but her new arrangement with Ray could yield some sexy results. He’s fond enough of her to have spent a fortune obtusely buying the company that owns the store she was working for. But then again, he is the kind of person who’s fickle enough with money that he’ll donate half of his entire net worth to his Star City pet project. In any case, he should be able to organise some spectacular dates.
Diggle and Lyla name their baby “Sara” in tribute to their fallen ally. Aww.
Oliver mentions that the League of Assassins wouldn’t have killed Sarah as she was one of their own. So I suppose we can rule out Nyssa as the killer. And Ra’s? Or is he above mere codes of honour?
Tommy’s despair when Oliver tells him the story about how the email login was a ruse to lure a ransom mark made me sad for both of them.
Oliver faces Komodo in a motorbike archery jousting battle. There isn’t anything about that not to love.
In their final showdown later, they both shoot arrows at each other simultaneously, which hit each other mid-flight. It’s cute.
Oh, and it’s hard to tell the difference between Laurel’s “I want to become a superhero” face and her “damn, this jacket is tight, son” face. Oh, the suspense.