VOD TV recap: Arrow Season 3, Episode 2 (Sara)
Oliver's jumping-out-of-the-window skills8
Sobering yes-she's-really-dead moment6
Matthew Turner | On 07, Nov 2014
First of all, it’s going to be impossible to talk about this week’s episode of Arrow without revealing a pretty major SPOILER, so please don’t read this if you’re not completely up to date, Arrow-wise.
Still here? Right then. Last week’s shock cliffhanger ending (something that Arrow is really good at) involved Sara Lance / The Canary (Caity Lotz) reappearing out of nowhere and helping Oliver out in a fight, only for her to get several arrows in the chest from an unseen assailant, fall off a building and die in her sister’s arms. For anyone clinging to the belief that she might have pulled through, this episode dashes those hopes straight away, laying Sara’s body out on a slab at Team Arrow HQ and having everyone react accordingly.
With Sara dead, this sets a pretty clear direction for at least the first half of Season 3, in that Oliver and company immediately dedicate themselves to finding Sara’s killer. Oliver even goes up to the rooftop to recreate her death in his mind or something. Sara’s death also has two other important functions. First, it sets up an intriguing season arc for Laurel, who, as comic book fans know, is destined to become The Black Canary. We get our first hints of that, with Laurel casting meaningful looks at Sara’s costume and then pulling some bad-ass moves on a witness in a hospital bed. However, her grief makes her something of a loose cannon, which Oliver recognises and successfully defuses in the episode’s climactic confrontation.
The second function of Sara’s death is to set up some unbearable tension regarding Detective Lance. Laurel is desperate to tell her father about Sara, but she knows that doing so could place a serious strain on his heart condition, so she opts to keep him in the dark for now. Of course, he’ll find out eventually, but it looks like the show is going to keep a tight hold on that card for the time being.
It’s not all doom and gloom this week, though. The Villain of the Week is a new Dark Archer, a masked assassin using a bow and arrow, who may or may not be Sara’s killer. Naturally, Team Arrow work on the assumption that he is, which leads to a pair of great action sequences: a motorcycle-slash-archery joust and an exciting fight scene where Arrow and Roy / Red Arrow take on the Dark Archer at Ray Palmer’s Starling City benefit event. One enjoyable highlight: Oliver showcasing his leap-out-of-the-window, twist-in-the-air, fire-a-rope-arrow-at-the-ledge, abseil-down-the-building-and-crash-through-a-window move, a stunt that Roy wisely chooses not to follow. (Shame they couldn’t have given him a line along the lines of “Yeah, I think I’ll take the stairs…”)
Speaking of Ray Palmer, we get more development between him and Felicity this week, as he tries to persuade her to come to work for him at Queen Consolidated, while making it pretty clear he’s also romantically interested in her. Felicity’s playing her cards close to her chest on what she thinks of Palmer, romance-wise, for the moment, but she ends the episode by taking the job, declaring: “I just decided I want more out of life.” (The way she delivers that line suggests she could be thinking what he’s thinking.) It’s too early to speculate on where this season is going with Ray Palmer – and let’s not forget that, to fans, he’s the alter-ego of shrinking superhero The Atom – but he’s an interesting character and the pairing of Palmer and Felicity is promising.
Over in Flashback City (as opposed to last season’s Flashback Island), we get the welcome return of Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell), as Oliver’s best friend shows up in Hong Kong looking for him, having been alerted by activity on his email account. Oliver is horrified when he’s tasked with killing Tommy, but obviously we know that doesn’t happen, so the flashback conclusion finds a suitable solution that also marks the first time Oliver uses a voice disguiser. To be fair, this was maybe the wrong episode for Tommy’s return, as it doesn’t really gel with anything going on in the present day. It does, at least, send the message that Colin Donnell is available for flashback appearances, though, so we may well see him pop up again.
And speaking of people popping up again, after several mentions of Thea throughout the episode (Oliver trying to call her, Roy stating that he doesn’t think she is where she says she is and giving Oliver her note), the episode’s closing moments (setting up a presumably Thea-heavy episode in the very near future) reveal her to be in Corto Maltese, doing some heavy-duty fight training under the tutelage of Malcolm Merlyn and rocking a new short haircut to boot. Oh, and she’s also calling Malcolm “Dad”, which sets up a potentially intriguing alliance and direction for Thea on her inevitable return to Starling City.
Ultimately, despite the title’s promise of a focus on Sara (RIP), Episode 2 of Arrow Season 3 ends up being very much a moving-pieces-into-position episode, with a number of promising developments for the rest of the season. Here’s hoping Sara shows up in Flashback City at some point, though, as they’ve left quite a bit of her back-story unexplained.
Season 1, 2 and 3 of Arrow are available on Amazon Prime, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription – or, for free next day UK delivery on Amazon items, as part of a £79 annual Prime membership.
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Photo: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.