Alysha Boynton ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Not all shows give their characters appropriate time to grieve when they lose a loved one, and Arrow has been, in the past, no exception. However, this week’s episode, aptly named “Sara,” was a brilliant example of how to honor a fallen character and keep the mood somber while still delivering an exciting and well-written episode. Pretty much nothing positive happened to the characters, but some serious groundwork was being laid for the upcoming episodes, especially in the last minute or so when we got to see a brief glimpse of what Thea (Willa Holland) has been up to with her father (becoming a badass, essentially).
Something else that made the episode special was the chance to see Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) currently-dead-but-not-in-flashbacks best friend Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) for the first time since the end of season 1. The flashback timeline, which runs parallel to the current timeline, is now starting to explore Oliver’s time off the island, where he is being aggressively courted by A.R.G.U.S. to become a mercenary for them in Hong Kong. Courted isn’t exactly the right word for it, since he’s being held against his will and his first assignment is to kill said best friend, who’s in Hong Kong searching for him on the faint chance he might still be alive. It’s a heartbreaking plotline, which culminates with Oliver interacting with Tommy through a mask and voice modifier to convince him to stop looking for Oliver Queen, so there’s no longer any need to kill him.
In other, equally upsetting news, Team Arrow tried to solve the mystery of who shot Sara, while simultaneously dealing with their intense grief, and it led to Oliver and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) having a confrontation where they essentially decided that their relationship would never be able to work. It’s a smart move by the writers to draw out the will they or won’t they aspect of “Olicity,” but at the same time, Oliver has already admitted that he loves her, and waiting for them to finally get together when their feelings are already out in the open is just shy of excruciating. They’re perfect for each other but they can never be together! The world is a dark and cruel place! It looks like Felicity might be primed for a romance with dashing new character Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) who is also probably the season’s main villain! Everything is terrible!
Among the terribleness was Sara’s sister Laurel (Katie Cassidy) struggling with whether or not to tell her father Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) that Sara is dead. They’ve already lost her once, and seeing the look on Quentin’s face in the moment where it seems like Laurel will tell him is definitely enough to bring a tear to even the most dry of eyes (she doesn’t end up telling him because Laurel is allergic to the truth). Probably the only happy note of the episode came when John Diggle’s (David Ramsey) baby girl was born, but that was also made bittersweet when he told the group that he and his girlfriend decided to name her Sara.
Despite making people want to throw their laptops across the room in anguish, it was still a good episode, and left fans more than eager for next week’s installment.
Overall Episode Grade: B