The CW‘s Arrow Guilty TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 3, Episode 6: ‘Guilty,’ took its titular premise through two red herrings, in order to cover for an outcome made somewhat obvious by those very red herrings.
When someone started doling out Predator 2 styled justice, to Starling city’s gang population, the “guilty” signing blood trail led to Ted Grant (J.R. Ramirez). This proved convenient. First, it gave Oliver (Stephen Amell) an outlet for his disapproval of Grant’s trainer relationship with Laurel (Katie Cassidy); second, it forced Grant’s past, as a costumed vigilante, into light. There is a thin line, between convenience & contrivance, when you consider something like Starling city’s first costumed vigilante coming as news, to an outfit like Team Arrow.
It’s also the kind of detail that gets lost in all the Laurel drama. This week’s was brought to you by a “you won’t train me; you can’t stop me from going vigilante; I found someone who would train me; you just mad” sort of deal. Kind of left me feeling bad for Grant, as something of a rebound guy.
The other ‘red’ of the episode was Roy (Colton Haynes) taking the murder spree to heart. His guilt, over what seemed like the Mirakuru black out murder of Sara, at his hands, forced him to open up to Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). A matter made all the more serious, because that scenario synced with her forensic findings, about the nature of Sara’s wounds. Without evidence of Mirakuru, however, Felicity wanted to delay his confession going wide. Didn’t happen. He recused himself before the whole Team – including Laurel.
Never mind that the whole scene seemed off – the kind of queasy-in-the-gut off, that’s hard to put a finger on – if there is a possible sleep murderer, in your ranks, unable to fully account for his whereabouts, you don’t just let him go off on his own, while you stand around, processing. As the city’s ranking prosecutor, I would’ve expected Laurel to at least call for putting him under some kind of custody. I’m really not seeing her as ready to fight prime time crime.
In Oliver’s defense, I suppose he might’ve been keeping a withheld detail, about Roy’s black out period, in mind; so he may have already figured out where the truth, between dream & memory, actually resided. He just needed to resort to a specific meditation method, in order to be sure. This was the point of the Hong Kong flashback.
As I had stated before, barbarian sized Oliver Queen was totally unsuitable for any task requiring him to blend into a Hong Kong crowd. For some reason, he kept getting shadowing gigs, anyway. When the predictable outcome, of one such task, left Oliver & Maseo (Karl Yune) without the message they were meant to intercept, Maseo’s family was once again under the gun.
Hong Kong Ollie never seemed to get the hint from Maseo’s wife, Tatsu (Rila Fukushima): she really didn’t like him. His every response, to her attempts at being diplomatic about it, just fed a more confrontational rebuking. Hopefully, Oliver got the why behind the method she taught him, which allowed him to recall his subconscious noting of where the message went. I had already guessed what had happened, by the end of the original chase; so I thought it odd that neither men seemed to even consider it. That, and no one else – in a place like Hong Kong – having found & made off with it.
In any case, the method came in handy, getting Roy off the bench; even if the truth it revealed gave him one more moment of pause, regarding his relationship with Oliver. That would be someone else’s point to needle at. Of course, Roy getting off the hook did leave Felicity’s forensic corroboration up in the air, a bit.
I couldn’t say whether it was Oliver being a soft touch, or a little touched in the head, but if he really had reservations about Grant, having Laurel drop the “we used to date” bomb would’ve been a serious case of loose lips. Not hard for someone like Grant to get Oliver’s identity, from that. Again, Laurel not ready for prime time crime.
Likewise, it wasn’t hard to figure out Grant’s connection to his tormentor. Once the red herring element was out of the way, that relation may have been a window to the future of Oliver & Roy. Not that the showrunners were being overly subtle about it, or anything.
After a forced drive, at gun point, put Grant & Laurel in harm’s way (because airbags aren’t standard, after all), the final sidekick round turned into a union meeting gone bad. We did get an ‘arsenal’ mention out of it, at least; and even if you missed it, Oliver was sure to bring it up again, later on. Ultimately, the subject of better working conditions, for sidekicks, got the attention it deserved.
The problem is that by making the case about Grant’s run, as the forerunner to The Arrow, and the constantly straining state of Oliver & Roy’s relationship, ‘Guilty’ needlessly forced a correlation between the two elements. A correlation that gave away the nature of the true killer’s beef with Grant.
Beyond the whole ‘sidekicks need love too’ angle, ‘Guilty’ offered little more than an incremental step, in the evolution of not-ready-for-prime-time-crime Laurel, by way of establishing Ted Grant. For anyone not completely psyched, over this process, it was yet another forgettable filler with a killer ending. In this case, it was a Dime with a rhyme. I felt the need to focus on that detail, in order to not dwell on this being the second show closer, this shallow into the season, to feature a worked up woman archer, drawing a bow.
Sometimes, I think they actually want us playing drinking games….
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