TV SHOW: Arrow
SEASON/EPISODE: 2.02 ‘Sara’
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Jake Coburn, Keto Shimizu/Wendy Stanzler
With Sara dead with three arrows in her chest, Team Arrow investigates a new bow-welding Assassin who is making his mark in Starling City, but is he their friend’s killer or has grief and a need to avenge her death blinded them from the truth.
So this episode follows through from the shock ending of the previous instalment, which was Sara’s death by an unknown archer. So this episode is all about Team Arrow trying to find her killer while also grieving over the loss of their friend.
This immediately brings me to Laurel, for this episode was mainly about her and for once I think that was a good thing. Because for a long time on Arrow, I have felt that her character has been this show’s version of a fifth wheel. In the sense that she did not really bring anything to the table that the other main characters all did. To me it looked like the writers did not know what to do with her and nothing showed that more than what happened in the last season, when she became an alcoholic (that seems to be a writer’s get out jail card, when it comes to finding something for a character to do).
So now with her sister’s death, this has finally brought something tangible to Laurel’s character and we see just how tough she can actually be. From the way her hospital interrogation went down to her attempted killing of this episode’s bad guy. It was just a refreshing change to see the eldest Lance daughter finally doing something of interest, and I did like what she said at the beginning about how a bar was not the best place for her to be at that moment, as anyone with a drinking problem could easily fall back into that routine after suffering a tragedy like she had, so bravo for Laurel for showing that she was now stronger than that. Also her relationship with her Father took an interesting turn, with her not telling him about his youngest Daughter’s death for fear that it would be too much for the police Captain to take, both emotionally and physically because of his current health (compared to last season where he was keeping Sara’s being alive from her).
But the other members of Team Arrow were also grieving for their friend and though Diggle basically appeared in less than a handful of scenes (though his and Lyla‘s naming their daughter Sara was a nice touch), it was Oliver and Felicity who through Sara’s death began to question the lives they were leading. Ultimately coming to the conclusion that they both wanted more from life, though they both took different routes to that answer. Also Felicity had some interesting scenes with Ray Palmer once more, with the latter showing that he was a good person despite how he generally portrays himself to be in public (credit once more goes to Brandon Routh with his performance).
Now on to the adversary for the episode, Komodo (a new addition to Green Arrow‘s mythos, having only been around for the last year in the comics). He was generally a faceless enemy here, one to help propel the plot with the fact that he was a killer with a bow (so had to be Sara’s killer in the grieving minds of our heroes). He did have a good action sequence with both Oliver and Roy at the episode’s end, but his first run-in with the former was a disappointment. I mean how many times can you have two archers playing joust with motorbikes before it gets old. They charged at each other three times…three times (I’m sorry but I got bored after the first two). We have seen this show do better before, much better.
Now I know I yet to mention the flashbacks in my reviews yet and that is because I can’t say that I am feeling their relevance to what is happening in the present. I mean in season one and two, the scenes on the island played well alongside what was going on for Oliver, especially once Slade came into the picture (both on the island and in Starling City). But so far the flashbacks to Hong Kong (despite the nice change in scenery and the fact that Tommy makes a welcome cameo), have had nothing to do with the current events of the main plot, which itself is still unknown to us as viewers (usually we get a gist of what the story of the season or at least it’s first half will be by this point).
Overall this episode was better than the opening episode of the season, showing good potential for one the show’s lesser developed main characters, but hindering itself with flashbacks that (for the first real time in Arrow’s two and a bit seasons run) doesn’t help develop the overall story.