Arrow S2 Ep20 – Seeing Red

Arrow S2 Ep20 - Seeing Red

The title and advertisements for “Seeing Red” may imply that this episode is focused solely on Roy Harper, but a whole lot of attention is aimed at Moira Queen as well. In one of the best episodes in a long time, “Seeing Red” contains three very well told subplots and kept me on edge the whole time I watched.

Arrow S2 Ep20 - Seeing Red

Canary wants to take Roy down permanently

The weaker of the three arcs showed the Mirakuru-induced Roy wreaking havoc on Starling City. He goes on a rampage, first meeting up with Sin, who hasn’t been seen on Arrow in a while. Sin informs Team Arrow of Roy’s random attacks and they eventually find him in Sara’s clock tower hangout. Unfortunately, they are unable to stop him and Ollie only gets a sprained leg out of the battle.

Later Thea is able to lure Roy to her nightclub where Moira is holding a campaign rally. Before this we are able to get into Roy’s head a little. Much like Slade who sees hallucinations of Shado, Roy sees hallucinations of Thea telling him to kill her. He makes his way to the club and attacks. Diggle takes a whopping blow to the head before Roy grabs Thea by the neck. Sara, who has been butting heads with Ollie over the decision to kill Roy, aims a gun at Roy telling him to put her down. Ollie, being the anti-killing hero that he is, is able to finally take the insane Roy down with some venom-infused arrows. Afterwards Sara breaks up with Ollie in a very similar way to which he broke up with Laurel in season one. She talks about how she is a killer, and being that this is the second time she and Ollie have had issues concerning this topic she decides to leave. She basically tells him that he deserves someone better, which is essentially what he told Laurel in the past. I didn’t like that Sara broke it off with Ollie and left Starling City, but it is interesting to see Ollie on the other end of that discussion this time around.

While I enjoyed Roy’s arc it did seem a little redundant. This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen him get out of control. On the other hand, the flashback scenes in “Seeing Red” were very interesting and took us somewhere we had never been before. The flashback scenes took place seven years ago, two years before Ollie set foot on the island. A young Ollie confides in his mother about how he got a girl pregnant, and like any young man not ready to be a father he freaks out. Without informing Ollie of her plans, Moira invites the girl to their home and bribes her with 2 million dollars to tell Ollie she lost the baby, and to leave to Central City and never return. No matter how wrong this may seem in our eyes, it reinforces the idea that Moira is willing to do anything to protect her children, no matter how immoral her acts may seem at times. Also, I have no doubt Ollie’s child will come into play in future episodes. I’m thinking the writers are planting seeds for season three.

Arrow S2 Ep20 - Seeing Red

Thea at her mother’s campaign rally

The majority of the episode focused on Moira Queen. Considering the family issues she has with Thea, she decides to drop out of the running for Starling City Mayor to focus more attention on her family. Ollie is able to talk her out of it by convincing her that running for mayor would show Thea how good of a person Moira actually is. It’s here Moira reveals something huge. She knows Ollie is the Arrow and she couldn’t be prouder. This scene was very well done and a lot of credit has to go to actors Stephen Amell and Susanna Thompson. We can see a sense of relief in Ollie once he realizes his mother knows the truth. She becomes one less person he has to lie to.

After the Roy debacle is finished, Moira, Ollie, and a constantly upset Thea drive away in their limo. We think the episode is just about over and Moira is about to clear the air about the lies concerning Malcolm Merlyn in order to hopefully get Thea back on her good side. Before she can say anything their limo shockingly collides with another vehicle. Ollie gets knocked out and wakes up to find himself tied up staring at Moira and Thea on their knees with their hands tied. Behind them stands Slade Wilson, and he’s giving Ollie a choice similar to the choice Doctor Ivo gave Ollie back on the island. The tension mounts as Ollie pleads with Slade to shoot him instead. Moira heroically stands up and attempts to sacrifice herself for her children. As Slade pulls his gun away from her head we get short sense of relief that maybe he won’t kill her, but it’s short lived as he suddenly whips out his sword and stabs Moira through the heart. He then leaves Ollie and Thea with their deceased mother, stating there is still one more person who must die.

Arrow S2 Ep20 - Seeing Red

R.I.P. Moira Queen

Moira’s death is without a doubt the most tragic death to occur on Arrow yet. Even more than when Tommy tragically died in the finale of season one. Unlike Tommy, or even Shado, Moira has been one of the strongest, if not the strongest character on Arrow. She has gone through so much, and the flashbacks in “Seeing Red” showed that no matter how much wrong she does she always has the safety of her children in mind. It’s sad seeing her go, as well as shocking. The episode plays out like a very Roy-centric episode, so when they finally put Roy down it’s safe to imagine that the characters are out of harm’s way, but then Slade shows up. Moira remains an amazing character until her bitter end sacrificing herself for her children. “Seeing Red” definitely spent a lot of time building up how much of an amazing character Moira was and while I’m saddened by her death, at least we got to see her go out with a very strong episode.

Afterwards we get one last glimpse of Moira at her finest. In one last flashback scene she has a heart to heart with young Ollie concerning the child he “lost”. I really enjoyed Stephen Amell’s acting in this scene. In just a few seconds he shows relief that he doesn’t have to deal with the responsibility of being a father and then a bit of sadness. It was very touching and nice to see the two of them embrace afterwards.

Overall, “Seeing Red” was an amazing episode. It was definitely one of the best in a while and one of the best of the season. A character death has not hit me that hard emotionally in a long time. I’m glad it didn’t only focus on Roy and spent a lot of time focusing on Moira. The only real complaint I have is that Thea got a little annoying at times. With only three episodes left how will the show top this? I’m expecting an epic season finale.

Arrow returns next week with the episode “City of Blood”. Check out the extended promo for “City of Blood” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Seeing Red” in the comments.

 

Watch “Seeing Red” on Amazon Instant Video.

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