Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
After a flawless, backstory filled episode last week, Arrow returned to its traditional format with the latest episode entitled “Guilty.”
At the end of last week’s episode, fans were left on the edge of their seats when Roy (Colton Haynes) had a dream about killing Sara (Caity Lotz). This episode saw Roy confiding in Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) about his possible involvement in that night. After testing his blood and hearing more about his dream, Felicity tells Roy that Sara’s fatal injuries are consistent with someone who had mirakuru in their system. A distraught Roy, breaks down to Oliver (Stephen Amell), Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Diggle (David Ramsey) saying he killed Sara. Diggle brings up a valuable point when he tells Oliver to let Roy go because he is the same as the people they fight against. Fans normally agree with Diggle, but, not in this case. Roy is a member of Team Arrow and deserves to be saved.
In a truly heartbreaking scene, Roy pleads with Oliver saying “Don’t abandon me,” to which Oliver replies with a confident “Never.” These characters have grown tremendously over the past two seasons and viewers finally saw their friendship blossom. Oliver also gave Roy his official superhero name: Arsenal. In the end, everyone’s favorite bad-boy remembers that it was not Sara whom he remembered killing, it was a police officer during Slade’s (Manu Bennett) attack last season. Although this was good news for Oliver, and viewers, Roy storms out grief-stricken because he is still a murderer. Haynes heartfelt scenes with Rickards finally showed the hardened character breaking down. He has shown colossal development as an actor with his ability to take Roy from a misunderstood teenager to a full-blown superhero.
The episode also revealed that Ted Grant (J.R. Ramirez), Laurel’s trainer, was indeed the infamous Ted “Wildcat” Grant from the DC Comic Book universe. In the comic books, Wildcat is a staple character. Like The Green Arrow, he is a masked vigilante trying to stop the criminal undertaking of the city. Arrow’s take on the character seems to be similar. In this episode, Ted is framed for a string of murders involving a Heroin drug-ring. He reveals to Laurel that six years ago, he became a vigilante in The Glades in order to protect families. When a drug bust went horribly wrong, Ted has been avoiding the law by laying low at his boxing gym. This episode was a great introduction to such a beloved and notable DC character. Ramirez has perfectly encompassed such a timeless character in a new and inventive way. Fans can’t wait to see where Ted’s involvement with Laurel and The Arrow goes from here.
Another character that has grown significantly in recent weeks is Laurel. Since the tragic death of her sister, Laurel has taken steps to becoming a full-fledged superhero herself. Her training alongside Ted has shown the character evolving from a damsel in distress to a strong female character. This is a positive change from the drug-addict version of Laurel fans saw last season. Similar to Haynes evolution of Roy, Cassidy has seemingly transformed Laurel into a powerful individual. She has changed from Oliver’s girlfriend to a member of Team Arrow. This episode also saw Cassidy taking Laurel closer to her transformation into The Black Canary in a future episode.
Since leaving the island last season, the flashback sequences to Oliver’s time spent in Hong Kong have been slow and very disinteresting. This episode sadly continued that pattern. In this weeks flashback sequences, Oliver and Maseo Yamashiro (Karl Yune) search for a clue that will help free Yamashiro’s family. The scenes seemed like filler to the overall episode. They were very slow and did not prove to hold much importance. Knowing the Arrow writing team, these flashbacks hold small pieces of information that will become important in future episode, however at this moment the sequences are boring and detract from the action happening in present day.
Arrow continues to take the genre of “superhero TV shows” to a whole new level. Each episode, characters develop from secondary characters to full-blown, fan favorites. It’s hard to imagine an episode without Felicity’s wit, Laurel’s feisty spirit and Roy’s determination to make this world a better place. With only a few episodes left until the mid-season finale the heat is turning up on everyone’s favorite masked vigilante.
Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8/9c on the CW.
Overall Episode Grade: B+