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.
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.