This review might be a bit shorter than usual. The episode was quite flashback-heavy, which I found uninteresting and made it hard to pay attention. It had some decent moments but overall this episode didn’t do it for me. So Thea and Oliver are on the island for training, which is Merlyn’s brilliant idea; it’s pretty uneventful until Oliver decides to drop by Slade’s cell and see how prison is treating his old friend. He finds Slade missing and the guard recently murdered, and Oliver quickly realizes that Merlyn is behind this. It’s part of their training apparently, as Merlyn feels Oliver has gone soft with his “no killing” policy.
There’s some family bonding time between the siblings, and Thea eventually gets another secret out of Oliver- that she unknowingly killed Sara, that Malcolm Merlyn used her to kill Sara. At the end of the episode Thea declares that she’s no longer Merlyn’s daughter, which might have had some impact if they hadn’t only been doing the father-daughter thing for, what, a season?
In the flashbacks, Oliver and Maseo are in Starling, so obviously Ollie uses that time to stalk Thea. He sees her buying drugs, because that’s what you do when you’re a rich teenager, and ends up killing her dealer. Oliver is truly terrible at blending in; he lurks behind pillars wearing a hood pulled up over his face, and he’s in no way inconspicuous. The drug dealer recognizes him instantly, which is kind of hilarious.
The flashbacks also show a bit of Laurel and her father, and how they’re dealing with Sara death (the first one, of course). It’s paralleled with a scene in present time, which finds Lance at Sara’s grave clutching a wrapped bottle but leaving it unopened. He’s not happy with Laurel and her decision to keep this secret from him, but years of AA seem to have helped him.
This episode had far too many flashbacks to keep me engaged. I’d skip it, honestly. All you need to know for future episodes: Thea now knows the truth about Sara’s death, and Slade is still alive but imprisoned.
Watch Arrow on the CW, Wednesdays at 8/7c.