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Arrow: Sara Review

Kalem Lalonde's picture

After last episode’s devastating and shocking end, Arrow returns with the direct aftermath of Sarah Lance’s death.

Last week’s premiere was a solid, yet slow debut to the third season of Arrow. The characters we’ve gotten to love all had great moments and we finally got Olicity. It had a fresh optimistic tone throughout the episode breathing a different kind of life into the series. That ambiance of joy and happiness, however is blown to pieces in this week’s episode which is a contender for the saddest episode of the series. Lasting smiles don’t exist on Arrow and I was foolish to think this season would be lively. A lot of this episode is dedicated to mourning the death of Sarah and some of the material here is poignant and extremely woeful. It’s a powerful episode but it doesn't lack sufficient action and plot progression. It may also be one of Arrow’s strongest episodes yet!

My only problem with this episode isn’t an original one. It actually has been a recurring flaw for Arrow since the first season. The villain is extremely one-note and underdeveloped. Most of Arrow’s weekly villains are plot-devices to stir up more interesting conflict between the characters on team Arrow. At this point, this is such a minor complaint because it’s anticipated. I’m eager to meet Ra’s Al Ghul so we can get into the strong lingering villain developments that Arrow has done so well in the past.

Now, on to what I completely loved about this episode! The new location for the flashbacks scenes is amazing. The Island was becoming insipid near the end of season 2 and Hong Kong reinvigorates my interest in the flashbacks. We also have the inclusion of a character that hasn’t appeared on Arrow in a long time in extremely clever fashion. I was delighted to see this character and hope that the flashbacks continue to utilize this formula.

Arrow is evidently about Oliver Queen the Arrow, however his supporting cast is a great attraction as well. Diggle, Felicty and Roy have all been very well received characters. Laurel, on the other hand has been a controversial one. Her drug addiction and alcoholism in season 2 was generally considered to be a dull and dumb arc by fans. I never loved it but I never loathed Laurel or thought that Katie Cassidy was a terrible actress. To be candid, I didn’t think much of her at all, I was more concerned with the likes of Slade Wilson or Malcolm Merlin. However, Laurel is beginning what will likely be a great character arc this season. From the outset, you could predict that Laurel would become Black Canary and her psychological transformation has reached its dawn. She’s inaugurating herself into team Arrow and is independently investigating the circumstances of her sister’s murder. She has many great moments in this episode which will hopefully release the pressure of negativity the character has been receiving.

Felicity as well has some pretty strong moments in this episode with Ray Palmer who continues to be a charming and charismatic addition to the cast. Oliver seems to have pushed her back with their recent affairs. At first I thought back on the episode and noticed the fallout from last week’s Olicity wasn’t explored. If you view this episode superficially then that statement is true, however Felicity seems to be dealing with her issues in indirect fashion. I’m glad that this show is including subtle skirmishes between the characters.

Overall, this is a fantastic sophomore episode for Arrow’s third season. The emotions are powerful, the characters compelling and the plot is proving to be enigmatic and fast-paced. If you have invested yourself in this story and these characters, I need not convince you of this show’s greatness. Season 3 is shaping up to be an amazing story about identity, loss, fortitude and heroism. I already can’t wait for next Wednesday!