Arrow, S3 Ep02 – Sara

Sometimes Arrow can get a bit depressing. This is no surprise to those who have been watching, but usually the more somber episodes are saved for the second half of the season. Season one concluded with the death of Ollie’s best friend Tommy Merlyn and season two contained the tragic deaths of Shado and Moira Queen during its second half. Season three wastes no time in bringing back that feeling of sadness as Sara Lance was killed off in the conclusion of last week’s episode, “The Calm.” Following this “death in the family” (nice Batman reference there, Felicity) we are given a very bleak episode in which Team Arrow mourns the loss of their fallen comrade and also tries to find the one responsible for her death.

Arrow, S3 Ep02 - Sara [2]

Felicity tries to get Ollie to open up

Each character on Team Arrow deals with the death of Sara in a different way. Felicity feels no shame in opening up about her feelings and calling out Ollie on him bottling up his own. Ollie would much rather get right into finding out who the killer is and immediately investigates the crime scene where Sara was murdered. Actor Stephen Amell does a good job portraying a character who is obviously hurting on the inside, but is trying to stay strong on the outside. Diggle goes the same route as Felicity and also tries to convince Ollie to take it easy. Roy on the other hand seems to be distracted with finding the whereabouts of Thea, a subplot that feels out of place in this episode.

The death of Sara affects her sister Laurel the most in comparison to the other characters on the show. Not only do we see Laurel desperately seek revenge, but by the end of the episode she even opts out of telling her father the news, worrying about his recent illness. Laurel’s story does step into some cliché territory as she finally points a gun at the man she assumes is responsible. Ollie gives us the typical “revenge won’t bring your sister back” line, which has been used over and over again, especially in comic book properties. Still, actor Katie Cassidy played the role of the sad and tortured sister well, and there’s some room for more character progression as the episode concludes with her staring at Sara’s Canary jacket as if she wants to put it on. This episode plants the seeds of Laurel becoming a superhero in her own right, which is something DC readers have been patiently waiting for.

The villain thought to have been Sara’s killer is Simon Lacroix, a.k.a. Komodo, played by Matt Ward. Komodo was a decent villain-of-the-week who was fun to watch face off against Ollie. We are treated to a weird, but innovative scene where Komodo and Ollie fire arrows at each other from motorcycles, and an entertaining fight scene later on between Komodo, Ollie, and Roy. Komodo is certainly a match for Ollie, but Ollie does something we’ve never seen him do before in order to beat him in the end. He catches one of Komodo’s arrows and immediately fires it right back at him. Although, Komodo was captured and isn’t actually the one who killed Sara, hopefully he will return in more episodes this season. The mystery of who killed Sara remains.

Arrow, S3 Ep02 - Sara [3]

Ollie kidnaps Tommy in Hong Kong

The flashback scenes in “Sara” were intriguing as we find out Ollie’s friend Tommy had visited Hong Kong in search of Ollie. Fortunately, Ollie finds a suitable and efficient way of getting Tommy out of Hong Kong, without having to follow Amanda Waller’s orders which involved assassinating him. I enjoyed seeing actor Colin Donnell reprise his role as Tommy and thought the flashback scenes were good, but they felt out of place in an episode that should’ve focused solely on the fallout of Sara’s death. Perhaps the episode could have shown a flashback involving Sara in order to hit the audience right in the feels even more.

Overall, “Sara” was a very solemn episode that might make some tear up a bit. I don’t usually talk about the music in Arrow as the show relies heavily on score, but the song “The Courage or the Fall” by Civil Twilight was used very effectively in the concluding scenes conveying the various degrees of sadness laid out in the episode. And while I’m still upset with the decision to kill off Sara Lance, this episode worked well as a sendoff to that character as she receives a proper burial and even inspires the name of Diggle’s newborn daughter. Also, it was very heartbreaking seeing Ollie come face-to-face with his mortality and confessing the words “I don’t want to die down here” to Diggle.

Next week’s episode will see Ollie and what remains of his team (since it seems Felicity left to work with Ray Palmer full time) visit Corto Maltese to find his sister, Thea. Check out the promo for “Corto Maltese” below and feel free to let us know your thoughts on “Sara” in the comments.

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