Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arrow S03 E06: "Guilty"

At first glance there seems to be a bit of a bait and switch here with this episode titled "Guilty." Our cliffhanger last time had Roy remembering a very realistic dream in which he killed Sara by physically throwing arrows at her. It's either some mental and physical residue from the Mirakuru, or some sort of induced dream. Based on the 'previously on "Arrow"' opening, I'm going to guess the former, but still it seems like the title implies a completely different storyline.

At least Roy is aware that the Mirakuru might be back and behind this. At least he's getting smarter as time goes by, unlike certain archers we could mention. Roy and Felicity have some good moments this episode as He comes clean with her about his fears and his dreams, highlights for both actors. Emily Bett Rickards is always good, but this time Colton Haynes matches her. Calm shock follows when Roy tells the rest of Team Arrow he thinks he killed Sara.

In Flashback Hong Kong, the mystery origins of China White, and Katana for that matter, continue. I had to laugh out loud when Maseo tells Oliver he has to work on his patience, something he's obviously made zero progress on in the intervening seven years. Katana does not like Oliver one bit, but tries to help him with his patience and memory. I have to wonder if this animosity will continue when and if she encounters Arrow in the present.

I have always loved the character of Wildcat from my first exposure in the old JLA/JSA team-ups to his Brave and the Bold appearances to finally reading his Golden Age stories in Sensation Comics. Despite the younger age of our Wildcat here, I am digging J.R. Ramirez as Ted Grant. I like his performance, his almost sensei like down to earth advice and training, and just the idea of a young Ted Grant in the present day. Hey DC Comics, this is the kind of refreshing new spin you should be shooting for if you bring Wildcat into the New 52. I also loved to shout out early in the episode to Irwin Hasen, the creator of Wildcat.

Laurel is training with Ted, they go to dinner and when they return, there's a dead guy strung up in the gym just like the guys in Arrow's latest case. It doesn't look good, but Ted has Laurel as an alibi. Oliver is neither pleased with Laurel's involvement here nor her being trained by Grant. She's becoming Black Canary whether he wants her to or not - we've all seen the costume online with the bad wig and no fishnets. Why can't she just wear Sara's outfit?

Ted and Arrow's first combat is awesome, his revelation that he was once a vigilante is even cooler, but the unintended accidental invention of the boxing glove arrow is the best. The idea that Ted was a vigilante six years ago until an accident retired him is intriguing. Sara was only active a short time as well. Over in "The Flash," a possible future indicates a ten-year career. In the Arrowverse is the turnover in heroes that short? Is a decade maybe a long term career? This could be an interesting precedent, how long does Arrow have with his dangerous lifestyle?

Speaking of dangerous, the current case and main story of the episode brings home the theme of the subplot. It was Ted's vigilante sidekick who's framing him now, vultures coming home to roost. If Oliver cuts Roy loose for killing Sara, will it come back to haunt him years later like it did for Ted? That said, the sidekick vs. sidekick fight was pretty cool. And I liked that the Arsenal name is finally out on the table.

Rather than actually tying up the loose ends of this episode in a nice tidy bundle, it ties them up into a knot of confusion. Did Roy kill Sara, or was it just a flashback to the murder he actually did commit? My bet is the latter, but if so, why does it seem the arrows were thrown? And what does Cupid want with Ted's ex-sidekick? And did she kill him?

Next: Cupid!

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