Arrow 3.02 Review: “Sara”

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After having seen the season premiere of Arrow last week, we had to get our tissues ready as this became one of the show’s most emotionally charged episodes of all time.

We pick up right where we left off with Laurel bringing Sara’s body to the Arrow Cave as the team learns the horrific news about her death. Each member has a different reaction with Felicity being totally devastated about it while Oliver tries to not get emotional about it so that he can find who did this. I will say that there several times in this episode where I wanted Oliver to just break down and cry at least a little bit, but there was also a part of me that understood why it couldn’t happen.

Despite the fact that the episode focused on several characters, at the end of the day, this was really a Laurel episode and aside from the circumstances, it was a really good one. Katie Cassidy gave one of her strongest performances and it was interesting to be able to follow the episode through her eyes a lot. One of my favorite moments in the episode was in the beginning when she was mourning and said that the last thing she needed was a bar. As someone who has been a huge fan of Cassidy for a long time, it’s great to see the character having learned from her previous mistakes so that piece of dialogue was very meaningful.

We get introduced to the DC villain archer, Komodo (played by Matt Ward) and even though his costume was pretty good looking, I was quite underwhelmed by the portrayal of the character. He had some cool fight scenes against Oliver when they were both riding their motorbikes and shooting arrows at each other, but that was pretty much the only thing I cared about Komodo. We didn’t learn much about his backstory and even his motives were a bit tough to follow, but that may have been because this episode was about the death of Sara. It’s also revealed that Komodo wasn’t even there the night Sara was killed so the mystery of who killed her remains.

I did enjoy the flashbacks as we saw the return of fan favorite Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn who came to Hong Kong to find Oliver. When they first announced that Donnell was going to be back for a flashback this season, I wasn’t sure why he would be in Hong Kong, my first guess was that he was perhaps on vacation of some sort. But learning that he was looking for Oliver made this flashback very memorable. As Oliver finds out that he has to take Tommy out, he starts to come up with a plan that doesn’t include killing his best friend and he succeeds with it.

The burial scene was really when it hit me that Sara was dead as the characters say good bye to their ally and we learn that to honor her memory, Diggle and Lyla named their daughter Sara. It was mostly difficult to see Laurel’s emotions because if you think about it, this is the second time when she has lost her sister and that is just horrible. But the pain didn’t end there as Laurel doesn’t tell Quentin that Sara is dead because of how it might affect his health. We all know that he will learn the truth sooner or later, but when he does, we will be sitting with at least 50 tissues. Oliver’s scene in the Arrow Cave with Diggle was one of Amell’s most moving performances as he finally did let some emotions out. It will be interesting to see how this death affects for the course of the season.

There is some Roy focus this week as he finally opens up what happened between him and Thea in the season finale. As Oliver is trying to reach Thea multiple times, Roy confesses what had happened and showed him the letter that Thea left for Roy. I was expecting Oliver to freak out a little bit, but all we got from was an “OK”, but once again, that was because he needed to stay on focus regarding Sara’s killer. This was pretty much a great setup for next week’s episode as the episode ends with us seeing Thea training in Corto Maltese and a very proud Malcolm enjoying what his daughter is becoming.

Overall, “Sara” was one of the toughest Arrow episodes to watch, from an emotional standpoint. Seeing how the characters dealt with the death, was powerful and even though there was a villain, actions scenes and all that: I didn’t really care much for it this week, not because it wasn’t good. Even though there are going to be a lot of dark moments this season, I’m hoping for some bright ones too, especially now that we have a character like Ray Palmer.

Arrow airs on Wednesday nights, 8/7c on The CW.

[Photo via The CW]

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