Arrow – S3E2 “Sara” Review

Full spoilers for Arrow follow.


Last week’s episode of Arrow left fans shocked with the death of Sara Lance after being assassinated by an unseen archer. The second episode of season 3, aptly titled “Sara,” deals with the emotional fallout of her death by delivering one of the most emotionally resonant episodes of Arrow in recent memory.

A bit overkill, but at least they were thorough.

The primary conflict of the episode centers on Team Arrow dealing with Sara’s death by attempting to find the mysterious archer that murdered her. While this was at the forefront of the episode, the aspect of this week’s episode that truly shined was the quieter character moments. Everything from Oliver barely holding back tears the entire episode to Felicity being unable to cope with the morbidity of the situation was extremely emotional impactful, do in no small part to some very powerful performances from the entire cast. The conversation in the Arrow Cave between Oliver and Felicity where Felicity says that she refuses to die in the cave was especially heart-wrenching.

On the flashback side of things, fans were treated to another twist that saw Oliver being forced to assassinate his best friend, Tommy Merlin. It was a nice surprise to see Colin Donnell step back into the shoes of Tommy after his untimely death at the end of the first season, and served as a reminder that even when a character dies on Arrow, that in no way means that we won’t see that actor again.

As is to be expected from Arrow, the choreography of the fight scenes remains excellent. This has been one of Arrow’s strongest aspects since the beginning, and remains so even into its third year.

One of my few complaints from an otherwise very good episode is, again, the typical Arrow “Villain of the Week” problem. Just as the action scenes have remained excellent since the beginning of the show, the villains have remained very poor. Why the show’s writers cannot write villains that are not one-off, throwaway villains is beyond me, and remains one of Arrow’s (very few) weaknesses.

Remember this guy? No? This is William Tockman, the villain from an episode in season 2. Seriously? 50 years of comic book history and you give an episode to the Clock King? Fuck you.

Other than yet another pointless, disappointing villain, “Sara” proved to be an extremely emotionally impactful, powerful episode, something most superhero movies and shows do not typically venture into the territory of. Sara’s death has had a profound effect on Team Arrow, and, by extension, the viewers. It will be interesting to see how Ollie and the gang move forward from such a tragedy.

Oh, and that motorcycle scene? So. Stupid.

Jordan Barbeau

A simple man with simple tastes. Games, comics and movies are all I need to be happy.

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