By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
This weeks brand-new Arrow episode drastically changed the world of the show forever. When Arrow left off two weeks ago, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) turned himself into the SCPD for being The Arrow. After taking the fall for Oliver (Stephen Amell), this weeks Arrow episode entitled “Broken Arrow” picked up seconds after the last one ended.
Colton Haynes has always been a star player on Arrow. When he entered the series in season one, he was simply a love interest for Thea (Willa Holland). Three years later, he transformed himself and his character into a physically-fit superhero, Arsenal. Haynes has the ability to upstage Amell in some scenes and that is no easy task. In this weeks episode, Haynes delivered one of his most vulnerable performances to date. His scenes with every cast member on Arrow further exemplify his impressive acting skills and his ability to take Roy from a streetwise teenager to a full-blown superhero.
With Roy taking the fall for Oliver, fans were anxiously waiting for the consequences. Upon arriving at the SCPD precinct, Oliver and Roy have a chat about these actions. Oliver tells Roy, “You told me I saved your life” to which Roy replies, “And now I get to save yours.” Amell and Haynes have had an almost father-son relationship on Arrow and their scenes together exemplified this dynamic. Throughout the episode, Roy fights to save Oliver while Oliver fights to keep Roy alive. Amell and Haynes are two actors who work effortlessly with each other. Oliver is not a happy person in this weeks episode when he later finds out that Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) helped plant fingerprints in The Foundry to help the police truly believe Roy is The Arrow. Haynes acting in this episode was simply amazing. His ability to make audiences hang on every single word and truly make them believe he is this character continues to astound.
If fans thought Oliver and Roy’s scenes were heartbreaking, nothing prepared them for the emotional but short sequence between Roy and Thea. During the course of Arrow, Thea and Roy’s relationship has blossomed. They went from complete strangers, to friends, to a fan-favorite romantic relationship. This week, Thea visits Roy in prison and what ensues is one of Haynes best acting scenes on Arrow thus far. With a thick layer of glass between them, Roy confesses to Thea that he didn’t want to see her because he promised he wouldn’t lie to her again. With tears in his eyes, Roy tells Thea “Just know that I’m going to be fine.” He silently hangs up the phone and walks away leaving Thea and the entire fan-base of Arrow in utter silence. Holland and Haynes have unmatchable chemistry and this short scene exemplified it. Haynes has transformed as an actor and his ability to make an impact in such a short scene shows this.
After a slashing in prison, things aren’t looking good for Roy in this episode. Oliver Queen sums it up best when he tells Diggle, “I’ve already lost everything. I’m not going to lose Roy.” Roy has become an essential member of Team Arrow and Haynes has become an essential member of the Arrow cast, so fans waited on the edge of their seats for Roy’s fate to be dealt to him and it finally is. In one swift motion, Roy is stabbed by a security guard in prison and has died. Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) delivers the devastating news to Thea, who in turn tells Oliver. Amell rarely shows emotion on Arrow but, Roy’s death hits everyone’s favorite vigilante hard. Fans weren’t devastated for long because in a twist it’s revealed that Roy is alive and Felicity and Diggle helped fake his death, much to Olivier’s surprise. Roy tells Oliver, “How many times have you saved one of us without asking? This time we had to save you.” Unfortunately with Roy Harper supposedly dead, Roy must leave town and thus fans had to say a heavy-hearted goodbye to Arsenal and Haynes. Haynes changed the course of Arrow and his character affected every major character on the show. Haynes will no longer be a series regular on Arrow however, this isn’t the end of his character. If Arrow has taught fans anything, it’s that characters are never really gone forever.
Arrow also delivered something new this week when a metahuman, from Central City, shows up in Starling and Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle must team up with Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) to stop him. Amell and Routh have not had many scenes together so it was refreshing to see the two superheros work together. Between Oliver’s natural fighting instinct and Ray’s intuition for the science aspect, they make an unbeatable team. At one point in the episode, they actually work together to take down the metahuman named Deathbolt (Doug Jones). Here’s hoping Amell and Routh team up together more often and have scenes that don’t solely revolve around Felicity.
Inevitably, this all-star team up brings up some tension in the love-triangle between Oliver, Ray and Felicity. Rickards and Routh continue to play the adorable couple that fans can’t help but root for while Amell continues to play the vulnerable man who wants to be with the woman he loves. This week more than ever, Felicity got close to uttering “I love you” to…. Oliver! In an amazing scene Felicity tells Oliver, “I know who you are, whether you are in a suit or in a hood, you’re the man I…. you’re the man that I believe in.” Rickards and Amell continues to play off of their sexual chemistry and fans cannot help but swoon whenever they’re on screen together.
This weeks Arrow also saw Felicity get back to the crime fighting badass fans originally fell in love with. In past episodes, her storylines mainly revolved around Ray and Oliver and her torn love for the two of them. Felicity has always been a strong female character on the show and something that’s loved about her is her ability not to have conversations solely centered around men. This week she finally got to show off her skills when she had to take on Deathbolt all alone. Rickards continues to do an incredible job at making Felicity a strong, vulnerable, and realistic female character, which is refreshing to see on television.
By episode’s end, Roy has left Starling City, Ray and Oliver are kind of friends and Felicity can still kick butt however, the last crushing blow of the episode is deliver in the last five minutes. Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) shows up at Thea’s house and decides it’s time for Oliver to have a little more incentive to take his place. In the last minutes, Thea is stabbed to death by Ra’s al Ghul! Insanity continues to run rampant on Arrow and next week will be no exception. Is Thea actually dead? Will the Lazarus Pit finally come into play? Next week is sure to be another emotional rollercoaster as Arrow closes in on it’s finally batch of episodes for the season.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/9c on The CW
Overall Grade: A