Arrow Season 3 Review “Sara”

It’s really hard to deal sometimes when someone you care about is suddenly and violently taken away from you. There is usually a lot of anger mixed in with the sense of loss and it can be hard to get through the anger to allow yourself to go through the rest of the grieving process. This week’s Arrow centered on Team Arrow dealing with the fallout of Sara’s death.

Oliver, Roy, and Felicity returned to Arrow HQ to find a blood-covered and distraught Laurel standing by Sara’s body. Needless to say everyone was heartbroken because Sara was their family. They immediately started searching for the person who killed her and in the course of their investigation it looked like a hired assassin named Lacroix was responsible. The mercenary had killed several other people in connection with some shady oil pipeline deal, but after Oliver finally captured Lacroix, he admitted he had nothing to do with Sara’s death. That kind of put Team Arrow back at square one as far as determining who murdered Sara, but it provided the characters with a lot of dramatic material to work with.

Everyone grieves differently, but the important thing is to let yourself grieve. You not only need to let yourself work through all of those emotions, but you also need to realize when you have people in your life who want to help you work through them. You would think this is a lesson Oliver would’ve learned by now. After the whole ordeal with Slade last year, you would think Oliver would have learned that he doesn’t have to shoulder everything alone. At one point he even says to Felicity that he can’t grieve so that everyone else can. That’s a load of crap. I’m not saying that Oliver should have spent the episode curled into the fetal position sobbing uncontrollably. But Felicity is right. Oliver is human and he needs to act like it. Yes, his team looks to him for leadership. But they aren’t just his team. They are his family and they care about him. They have shown time and time again that he doesn’t have to carry life’s burdens alone. It wasn’t until after everything had calmed down that Oliver let himself feel. He quietly admitted to Dig that he didn’t want to end up like Sara. He wanted more out of his life. Felicity came to the same conclusion.

One thing that death does is force us to re-evaluate our own lives. In some cases it inspires us to stop being afraid of what might happen and take a leap of faith to make our lives into what we want them to be. Sometimes we don’t even realize we want more out of life until that moment. Felicity takes her work with Oliver very seriously because she can see how important it is. It has allowed her to make a difference in the world and she relishes that fact. However, Sara’s death showed Felicity that she wants more out of her life. She loves Oliver and wants to be with him, but Oliver keeps pushing her away. She made it clear that she’s willing to take the leap, but she’s not going to beg Oliver and I don’t blame her. She decided that she’s not going to spend her life waiting on Oliver to remove his head from his rear end, so she’s moving forward. It really kind of sucks that she and Oliver can’t move forward together, but Felicity made the right choice. You can only put yourself out there for someone so many times. The thing is, Oliver is probably going to realize too late how he screwed up with Felicity. My fingers are crossed that Ollicity can become a real thing for more than half an episode, but Oliver seems to have bricks for brains sometimes so I’m not holding out too much hope.

Laurel took Sara’s death the hardest. I can’t say I blame her. Not only did she cradle her little sister in her arms right after she died, but this is the second time that Laurel has had to grieve the loss of her sister. Going through it once is hard enough, but having to do it twice is almost too much to bear. Laurel was understandably angry and her anger led her to make some choices she probably otherwise wouldn’t have made. It’s no secret that I’m not a Laurel fan. Her character was pretty much superfluous to the story last season, and she was grating to say the least. I’m not entirely convinced this season is going to be any different. Laurel spent a great deal of the episode crying that it wasn’t fair that Sara died. It wasn’t fair that she didn’t get a proper funeral. It wasn’t fair that she only just got Sara back only to lose her again. I imagine all of that was a part of Laurel’s grieving process, but I found it more annoying than sympathetic. All of that seemed to be a set up to push Laurel down the road toward becoming Canary. I know it needed to happen, but they could’ve been a little more subtle about it.

This was a pretty heavy episode, and it doesn’t look like the angst is about to let up any time soon. Oliver now knows that Thea isn’t where she said she was, so he’s going to get her and attempt to bring her home. I don’t foresee that going so well, but I guess we’ll see. I don’t think Capt. Lance is going to take it too well when he finds out that Laurel didn’t tell him about Sara’s death. I get that she thinks she’s protecting him, but I don’t think he’s going to see it quite that way. I still don’t like or trust Ray Palmer. I can’t really put my finger on it yet, but he’s got some work to do before he becomes tolerable. Next week John Barrowman returns as Malcolm Merlyn and I think an Oliver/Malcolm showdown is in order.