Reviews

‘Arrow’ Review: Saying Goodbye to ‘Sara’

After last week’s shocking ending, Arrow started off with Oliver, Felicity and Roy walking into the Arrow Cave to find Sara’s dead body on the table and Laurel telling them that she didn’t know where else to take her. Felicity broke down in Roy’s arms and Laurel told Oliver what happened before she fell apart as well. He closed Sara’s eyes and then put his own grief aside to help his friends with theirs while they banded together to track down a killer.

Sara” was an emotional episode filled with major character moments, but overall, it ended up falling flat for me. Maybe it’s because I’m dead inside or just emotionally hardened after watching my favorite characters mourn for six seasons on The Vampire Diaries, but none of the grieving scenes moved me – and I liked Sara. It just felt a little hollow and detached with everything else going on during the hour. Not to mention I found it rather disrespectful that they ended up putting Sara back in her original grave like she’d been dead all along (and seriously no one at the cemetery is going to notice a fresh grave? And why was her headstone still there after she publicly came back from the dead?) The fact that this is what I was thinking during the scenes shows how little impact they had one me.

The one scene that did spark an emotional reaction was when Laurel went to tell her father the truth, only to change her mind when his alert went off to remind him to take his medicine. I feel for Laurel and the position she’s in – she wants to protect him and he’s pretty much all she has left at this point (I completely forgot where her mother went), but Quentin deserves to know the truth. Laurel shouldn’t be carrying this burden on her own, especially when her emotional state is nowhere near stable. But at the same time, I understand wanting to protect her dad. I do think this is going to cause them both more pain in the end.

While we’re on the subject of Laurel, I’m all for her wanting vengeance and to take a more active role in Team Arrow. At the same time, I think Oliver is right to want to stop her (mark it down – it’s not often I side with Oliver). I like that Laurel is choosing to be proactive and help chase down the bad guys instead of stewing in her anger or falling back on her substance abuse habits. However, she’s not in her right frame of mind and it’s a good thing Oliver took the bullets out of that gun before she shot the archer (not that he wasn’t a bad guy, but heroes are not supposed to kill). I think the dynamic going forward is going to be interesting to watch and I hope that Laurel’s training will help her find her moral center once more and make her want to take down bad guys for the greater good, not just for revenge.

Felicity also had a strong reaction to Sara’s death – she admired her and she considered her family and she tried to make Oliver see that he couldn’t just turn off his emotions and bury his head in work. He felt like he didn’t have a choice, but Felicity knew she did and she made it clear that she was not going to spend the rest of her life living for the Arrow Cave. This is the second episode in a row that I’ve been so proud of her (and of the writers for finally giving her a purpose outside of Oliver and the team). Felicity decided to accept Ray’s aggressive job offer.

Seriously, can we talk about Ray for a moment (or forever)? I fell even more in love with the character this week. First because he was so determined to get Felicity to work for him that he bought the chain of stores she worked at (loved her leaving the cave because she had someone to kill). Their banter makes me smile and I want more of it. But what really sold me on Ray was the fact that he noticed something else was bothering Felicity and he didn’t pry because they’re basically strangers, but he said kind things and told her it would get better. I like that there’s more than one side to Ray and he’s not just the arrogant guy with a quip for everything (I’m totally drawing hearts around his name in my notebook).

While we’re on the subject of guys I love, Tommy was back in this episode! Sadly, it was only a flashback and too short of one if you ask me (oh the irony of me complaining a flashback was too short). After Oliver logged into his email last week, Tommy jumped on the family jet to Hong Kong to search for any sign that his friend was alive and therefore Amanda Waller decided Oliver needed to kill him (ugh). Oliver didn’t like that plan and came up with a different one that included fake kidnapping Tommy to pretend the whole thing was just a scheme to get money out of Oliver’s loved ones.

I like anything that brings Colin Donnell back to my screen and this was no exception. I loved the bromance moment when Tommy realized his lead was false hope and Oliver was so close to his friend and a way home and he couldn’t say anything or Tommy would die. This actually hurt my heart more than the grief scenes (bromances own my soul, okay?). But the other reason I loved this scene? The way Tommy fell apart when the police came to rescue him – that was extremely believable for the person Tommy was back then before he grew into the man we all loved until the show viciously stole him away from us (forever bitter).

Back in present day, Oliver shared a bromance moment with Dig when he admitted to his friend that he didn’t want to die in the cave (you know it was major because he called him ‘John’) and Dig told him, ‘then don’t.’ Dig is so wise. Seriously, what I love about Dig is that he is the only true adult in this group (along with Captain Lance) and he’s better at seeing the big picture than anyone else is and that always makes what he has to say more powerful, even when it’s only a few short words.

As all of this was happening, Oliver repeatedly tried and failed to get in contact with Thea. Roy confided in Felicity that there was more to Thea’s leaving than they knew and she insisted he tell Oliver. Finally, the action shifted to Corto Maltese where Malcolm proudly watched Thea take on and defeat a group of ninjas. I didn’t think these two would be back until next week’s episode so I was pleasantly surprised by the tiny scene. While I still do not approve of Malcolm being alive (sorry guys, I just don’t like him), I am super excited that Thea is getting a storyline after two seasons on the sidelines – even if she is potentially training to be the next Dark Archer.

Overall, I didn’t love or hate this episode. It was just kind of there and a bit of a disappointment after last week’s premiere. What did you guys think? Did the mourning hit the mark (see what I did there?) for you or were you distracted by old graves too? Do you love Ray Palmer yet or are you ready for him to exit stage left? What do you think will happen next week when the boys go searching for Thea? Hit the comments below and share your thoughts, theories and feelings with us.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.