Arrow: Sara

"I don't want to die down here."

Well, if she wasn't dead before, she certainly is now.

There is absolutely no ambiguity about Sara's death at this point. Her corpse was on full display multiple times. They had the eye closing scene, and the funeral. She's dead. How sad.

It occurred to me there are two types of character deaths in this kind of show; the death that drives character arc (i.e. Tommy and Moira both affected the other characters and pushed them in specific directions), or the death that drives plot. Sara does serve the former to a degree, since it's clear Laurel is already being pushed in a specific direction. But Sara's death also serves plot in a far greater capacity.

Who killed Sara? That's the question of the hour. It wasn't LaCroix. He was clearly an episodic diversion for the characters, a real, albeit temporary antagonist for the team to go after, which distracted them from their overwhelming grief. Oliver said quite simply that he couldn't grieve because he had to lead so that the rest of them could fall apart. Of course he was also trying to push Felicity away. The sad part is that other than Laurel, he had the greatest need to grieve.

Felicity calling Oliver out and throwing the truth of his choices back at him was perfect. He attacked her for grieving, and she attacked him for basically choosing to have no life. I totally agree with her choice to get some distance from Oliver. He is being too much of a martyr, the self sacrificing hero who can't have love because his work is too important and he can't risk the vulnerability. Which is a trope I absolutely despise. Yet for some reason Felicity's reaction to his choice made me like this particular situation.

As for the rest of the group, their version of grieving was all rather telling. Diggle showed up, he offered his support without discussion and refused to be pushed away. He made a huge gesture of love to the group by naming his daughter after Sara, and even returned to work for Team Arrow despite the risk to himself and his family. Because as he put it, they are a part of his family too. Great Diggle stuff, I haven't liked the character this much in a while.

Roy isn't grieving like the rest of them, but he was clearly affected by their emotions. It's hard to cope with the pain of others when that pain isn't entirely your own. I thought Colton did a good job portraying that subtle conflict. He worked with Sara, and probably liked her to an extent, but this wasn't his hour of grief. I also really liked how well Oliver took the note Roy was concealing. It showed how much respect he has for Roy now, that he didn't treat him like a child.

Laurel, wow. Talk about a turn around. First off, she had the presence of mind to bring Sara to the Arrow cave. She had to be out of her mind with grief, and yet she didn't just call 911, or her father. She must've dragged Sara out of that alleyway, into her own car and drove her to the Verdant. I kinda wish we had seen that, it would've been heart-wrenching.

The rest of Laurel's actions were also pretty awesome. She refused to stop, even at the cost of her own safety. She interrogated the very shady witness, even though she was a bit stupid when LaCroix killed him. She had the strength not to tell her father, because it could quite literally kill him. She also had the strength not to crawl back into the bottle when the impulse to drink must have been overwhelming. The only moment I didn't really care for was her threatening LaCroix with the gun. Emotionally speaking, she chose to commit murder, even if Oliver did take out those bullets. She pulled the trigger. That act should have lasting repercussions.


The action centered around Waller trying to force Oliver to cover up his survival by killing Tommy. Although it was fun seeing Tommy again, and I loved the fake interrogation scene where Oliver tricked Tommy into believing he was dead, it did feel a bit too on the nose. Just as current Oliver is dealing with the loss of a friend, we get to see him deal with the possibility of killing another. Still, I liked most of this flashback, and especially the rapport growing between Oliver and Maseo.


The rooftop where Sara died looked a lot like the rooftop where Oliver was supposed to take out Tommy. Speaking of which, how do you do anything concealed on a rooftop that exposed?

Oliver made it pretty clear the League doesn't target their own. So I bet someone from the League was the culprit.

Thea was kicking some major ass in that sparing match at the end of the episode. That's quite a bit a progress for just a few months.

Even though Ray Palmer has an agenda, he seems genuine. I know he has comic book origins, but that doesn't mean he is a good guy now. What if he's dark or bad, and something changes him? So I'm not counting on anything yet. That being said, his interaction with Felicity made him seem like a pretty good guy.

Oliver and Laurel's argument in front of LaCroix was pretty odd. They were saying names, not last names, but still, that was pretty cavalier. Plus Oliver mentioned Diggle's name in public. Is this carelessness intentional? Is it going to come back to haunt them? Or is it just a production choice instead of having the actors whisper?

I wonder if Felicity joining team Ray will have romantic implications?

Burying Sara in her own grave was perfect and like Laurel said, so perverse.

Not a very quote heavy episode, but this one from Ray stood out to me.
Ray: "Money won't solve most problems. Not the ones that matter."

This one got to me a few times, and I thought all the reactions were spot on. Unfortunately it was also a bit uneven in places, so while I thought it was definitely one of the better episodes we've gotten, it wasn't the best.

3 1/2 out of 4 Convenient suspects

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.


Patrick said...

JD, I've been having a different reaction to Ray Palmer than you seem to be thus far, a much more negative one. And it's all to do with how he's been "wooing" Felicity(whether it's professionally, personally or some combination of the two remains to be seen at this point). The whole deal with getting her to sell him a device to let him break into QC's computers, buying up the entire chain of stores she works for, I'm sorry he's earning more and more sleazeball points for me. Mostly because Felicity made it quite clear from the start that she did NOT like his antics one bit, yet that didn't deter him at all. Handsome billionaire who won't take no for an answer from a pretty girl, hacks her first employer then buys out her second one just so he can be her boss? No, not creepy AT ALL. Dude, take the freaking hint. Or at least stop it with the over-the-top grand gestures, and just try TALKING to the lady. Notice that once he actually DID so, her reaction to him became decidedly less frosty. I'm not blaming any of this on Brandon Routh. He's doing a fine job with the material he's given, I just don't like the way the writers have chosen to portray Ray Palmer thus far.

I'm very interested to see where this "Who killed Sara?" mystery takes them. It seems clear that the killer was someone Sara knew, at least in passing. My gut says it wasn't Malcom, she would've expressed more surprise that he was still alive. Her reaction doesn't fit with it being Nyssa, unless they had a falling out offscreen, and even then I don't really see it. In fact, I expect Nyssa to show up in Starling before too long, looking for Sara. I'm looking forward to seeing Katrina Law again. :)

J.D. Balthazar said...

Patrick, actually I have exactly the same impression of Ray Palmer as you do, but I'm willing to give him a bit of space to develop. You're right his gestures have been borderline creepy, and once he opened up and spoke to her like a human being she immediately softened towards him. I don't know what to make of him, is he a villain that might be redeemed later on? Or is he a good guy with some annoying quirks?

Michal Dvorak said...

Before they showed her far away in Corto Maltese, did anyone else think that it was Thea who had gone dark and killed Sara?

JRS said...

In the comics Palmer's girlfriend goes flagooey and starts killing people; am hoping this doesn't bode anything for Felicity. I'm actually sort of sorry Oliver and she aren't getting a longer chance at it. Am pretty sure this episode is going to send Oliver and Laurel careening towards each other. Thanks for the review!

Patrick said...

JRS, that girlfriend you're referring to is Jean Loring. We've already met a Jean Loring, she was Moira Queen's lawyer in Season 2. I'm pretty sure the producers have said that they will address the connection in some way, even if it's not exactly like it was in the comics.

Anonymous said...

If I've learned anything from TV, it's that you don't trust Agent Shaw.

Mark Greig said...

I'm still holding out hope Nyssa has access to a Lazarus Pit.

sunbunny said...

What kind of medical condition allows someone to work a high stress, full time job but requires them to take medication every hour?


sunbunny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick said...

Mark, even if Nyssa can get Sara's body to a Lazarus Pit, you probably wouldn't like the outcome. I'm pretty sure that in the comics they're only supposed to be used to restore youth, any time they were used to bring the dead back to life, they came back wrong. Like, Pet Sematary wrong. :)

Mark Greig said...

I don't care, I just want her back. Plus, that would actually be a great story to explore in a potential Sara-centric spin-off that we should totally get now the CW isn't making a Wonder Woman show.

Marianna said...

Oliver's behavior reminded me of Buffy in

I loved that all of the characters seemed to grieve in the way I would think. One thing that bothered me is Laurel never told her dad, or her mom for that matter. Them not being at the funeral because they didn't know she was dead felt wrong. They are going to have to find out eventually, and it won't be any easier when they do.

sunbunny, I think Quentin said that the alarm goes off every hour if he doesn't take his medicine. So if he takes it on time it would just go off the one time and not every hour.