TV Show Review

TV Review: ARROW: Season 3, Episode 2: Sara [The CW]

Caity Lotz Katie Cassidy Arrow Sara

The CW‘s Arrow Sara TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 3, Episode 2: ‘Sara,’ wasn’t so much about Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) as it was because of her. Death – because of her death; I might as well just get that out of the way. It was up to Team Arrow to dwell on the matter. Dwelling, in this case, meant payback, the hero way, versus payback, the vigilante way, whilst figuring out the time & place for sharing painful knowledge.

‘Sara’ was an exercise in scattering the rocker dolls, and seeing which ones wind up standing upright. Oliver (Stephen Amell) made it clear that he didn’t have the luxury of falling to pieces; which was good, since it gave Amell a pass from actually trying to emote. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) opted to fill that emo gap, herself; but neither she, nor Oliver could bring themselves to telling Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) about his youngest daughter. Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) had a secret to share, about Thea (Willa Holland), that could have been a bit much for Oliver, under the circumstances; but he got a pass, since Oliver can only suppress so many emotional moments at a time, I’m guessing. Diggs (David Ramsey), still trying to find his place in the new scheme of things, settled into the role of male bonding support. That left Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), as the both the brains & conscience of Team Arrow, out of sorts, with only Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) paying her any mind.

Props to Emily Bett Rickards & Brandon Routh, for breathing some life into what could have been some petrified dialogue. No rush on building romantic tension, please; the current dynamic actually works.

Arrow themed assassinations provided a possible lead on Sara’s killer, in the form of Komodo (Matt Ward), complete with a possible witness. With no satisfaction coming from Ollie’s stoic processing of events, Laurel decided to use the weight of her office to bend the rules, and lean on the witness. The officers on witness protection detail were understandably intimidated into giving her access; but it wasn’t Laurel that blew this lead. Protective custody usually means controlling all points of access. Windows should count. Laying eyes on Komodo, however, made the case that much more personal for Laurel. Luckily, Felicity had an app for some payback.

High priced mercs/ assassins that make calls to mama, from non-disposable cell phones, need to have their memberships revoked. Still, it was an excuse for a decent round of motorcycle arrow jousting. The result, however, left Laurel with that “someone needs to be second chair, on this, dammit! Wait – I’m someone!” look. Add a gun, seemingly left carelessly within her reach, and another Laurel moment was bound to complicate the rematch.

Are kids still doing the whole vengeance-won’t-bring-the-loved-one-back thing? I guess Laurel was as sick of that cliche as the next guy – she pulled the trigger. Turned out that Komodo wasn’t the culprit; but no matter, since Oliver had apparently accounted for further acts of Laurel. As far as he was concerned, all that matters, regarding Laurel letting the hammer drop on an ‘innocent’ man, was that she didn’t wind up killing him. She couldn’t, despite her best effort, because of Oliver; but under the circumstances, I suppose a degree of build-your-own-reality can be expected. As things stand, attempted murder did actually occur, but Komodo was a dead end, so Laurel no longer had an excuse to put off telling her father about Sara. She did anyway.

One high profile death deserves a high profile ghost. Welcome back (in time) Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). Whatever it was, that Amanda Waller wanted to make of Flashback Ollie, being willing & able to kill interloping loved ones was part of the curriculum. It seems Ollie managed to access his own e-mail account, during his last Hong Kong freedom run, setting off flags, that brought his best friend running to investigate. Amanda needed Ollie to remain dead to the World, so Tommy had to be dead, period, in order for that to happen. She also expected Ollie to be the trigger man, and Maseo (Karl Yune) was to make sure he went through with it.

Maseo had the threat to his family behind his being behind Oliver, for this mission; but he was still a good guy. He granted Oliver enough leeway to meet everyone’s requirements. Ollie’s non-fatal solution was pretty good, utilizing his understanding of the target; i.e. the pampered, invincible he used to be – too naive to question the circumstances of his deliverance. It was also a good foreshadow of the testy current relationship, between Oliver & Waller. To someone like Waller, the only thing worse than compliant failure, is success by way of outright defiance.

Speaking of Merlyn ghosts: Malcolm (John Barrowman) was the picture of the proud papa. Thea seems to have taken to the deep end of her Sith apprentice training; the pair now poised to deliver the next body blow to the hearts & minds of certain Team Arrow members.

I had hoped that Komodo’s role would have been one more integral to the season (if not series), given his place in the New 52 source mythology; but his appearance made for some great (albeit brief) action, and a useful (albeit relatively obvious) decoy. Laurel fell off the wagon, again, just not in terms of sobriety. Here’s to hoping that we won’t have too many Laurel moments before she finds her mentor – the guy (you know who he is) that sets her on the same transformative path that Oliver still treads. Roy’s evolution, as a team player, remains encouraging; but may still be subject to developments around Thea’s own evolution. Here’s to hoping those two are kept separated long enough to make something of themselves. Here’s to hoping that Felicity & Ray are kept separated, for the sake of their current interactive magic.

Mostly, here’s to hoping that the early sacrificing of Sara & Komodo is justified, by serving as the set up for a truly epic season/ series mythology. One worthy of Malcom Merlyn’s resurrection, an upgrade for Thea & Laurel, and the (arguably) greatest street level villain of the DCU stepping into the fray (you know who he is, too).

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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