Dee Discusses: Arrow 3×14

Posted: February 21, 2015 by Dee in Arrow, DC, Dee, General Media, Recaps, Television
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There are spoilers for the episode in this review. Duh.

If there’s one overall flaw I can note for this season, it’s that the flashbacks are really unnecessary. They don’t add too much to the overall arc or feeling of the show. It feels more like exposition than anything I’m ultimately interested in. This week’s flashback was the closest to actually engaging me, and that’s because we got to see the rest of the cast from the past. Every time they come up with a reason to have Tommy back on the show, I accept. It hurts to see him, and it’s an immediate emotional connection for the audience. Previously on Arrow, Ollie revealed his identity to Thea, and she wasn’t angry. Instead she hugged him and she was glad to get that connection back. The two of them decided to go to the island to train, but she still doesn’t know about what happened with Sara. Ollie accepted Laurel as Black Canary, and she told her father the truth about Sara’s death. Also Slade was trapped on the island after Ollie chose to stop him but not kill him last season. This obviously becomes important.

First I’m just going to address the flashbacks. Five years ago Ollie did return to Starling City, although he was forced to go incognito since they thought he was dead. He got to see that Thea grew up to be a druggie, and he kills the drug dealer after the dealer recognizes him. Tommy was trying to keep Thea on the right path, but it wasn’t working, and he also reconnected with Laurel when she visited home. She took a cushy job in another city, but her father was unraveling after Sara’s death and her mother leaving him. His alcoholism was making him mean and terrible at his job, and he raged into her for leaving and becoming a corporate lawyer instead of helping people. She decided to stay and go out to dinner with Tommy. Man, I miss Tommy. We saw a glimpse of Diggle too, and his brother for the first time. Felicity saw Oliver’s picture and commented on how cute he was. Cute and dead. So he always thought she was adorable, basically. Oliver tells Maseo he’s coming back regardless and that his family is already disappointed in him, so he doesn’t care if he’s turning his back on innocent people. But he finds a file his father left to him reminding him that he needed to right the wrongs his father did. This is a good lead toward Oliver picking the Hood and continuing to change over the next few years. These flashbacks weren’t really necessary, but it’s interesting to see how much everyone’s changed.


Most of this episode takes place on the island, and it’s a great idea, because this is where the strength comes from. The Queen family drama has been the most successful part of the show this season, I think. Thea and Oliver’s close relationship and the sense of family being the most important keeps a really emotional grip on the storyline. She gets to experience the island with him, and she confesses that she’s glad they’re being so open and honest with each other. Of course he’s still holding onto Sara’s death. Malcolm does yet another crazy thing where he lets Slade out of his cell specifically to attack the two of them. He believes it’ll force Oliver to be a killer again in order to protect Thea. Slade does grab the two of them and leave them to rot in the cell, but Thea turns out to be the key out since it was built for big men. Oliver finally tells her the truth about Sara, and she understandably is heartbroken. It’s great to see how far Thea in particular has come over the course of the show. Between the two of them, they manage to take down Slade, and Oliver convinces her not to murder him. But Thea’s definitely suffering and in a dark place, which Slade points out. He also taunts Oliver that he’s losing everyone, and eventually he’s going to lose himself too. It’s always great to have Slade around; I love the reminder of how much he knows Oliver. They were friends once, so their war is very personal. Finding out about Sara has put the nail in the coffin for Malcolm and Thea, and she says they can work together, but she’s no longer his daughter.

Also I’m glad they pointed out that Laurel does not know who killed Sara at this point. I was wondering that since she hadn’t said anything about it on screen, and I thought it unlikely she would work with Malcolm if she knew. That only means they’re building up to the reveal though, and Thea might confess out of guilt and heartbreak. Oliver should know by now that secrets always come out, and when he’s been direct and honest with people, it’s actually led to much better relationships. Keeping secrets is what leads to betrayal. As Laurel finds out when she sees her father at Sara’s grave. He has a bottle of liquor and emotionally tears her apart for what happened. Not Sara, of course, he’s grieving her, but he thinks he’ll get past it because he has to. He’s more angry that Laurel lied to him and broke the special bond the two of them had. I’ve been saying for weeks that she should have told him, so seeing that there are consequences to the choice not to pleases me. He’s grieving right now so it’s possible that peace could come back between them, but it’s not going to be easy. I’m wondering where the show is going from now, since it still has several episodes to go before leading back to Ra’s al Ghul. It was a good strong episode, and it always does well when it relies on the emotional connections between the characters. There wasn’t a lot of action, and that was fine. It resonated with the audience because of the Queen family relationship.


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