Wowza what an episode. Where do I start with this one? This episode was incredibly Roy-centric, which I loved since Roy happens to be one of my DC faves (sorry, Ollie). Roy’s definitely been taking a back seat lately so it was nice to see him get so much action in this one. Of course, that came at a price, and we had to say goodbye to him in the end. I’m personally bummed, but at least he’s still alive, right?
So when we left last episode, Roy had just turned himself over as the Arrow. I expressed doubts as to whether this would actually play out, but it worked. It helped that Roy one-upped Oliver’s own confession by turning himself over in the actual Arrow garb. Remember that for next time, Ollie.
Ray also gets some action in this episode. He’s pretty terrible at it, but he’ll get there, and it’s endearing, at least. There’s a metahuman in Starling and it’s down to Ray to deal with the guy, since Arrow’s supposed to be out of commission. Ray’s bright personality brings a nice balance to the general seriousness of Team Arrow, but I still feel that love triangle at play. It’s being dragged out so much that it’s beyond stale.
In jail, Roy gets attacked twice. First in an ambush that he fights off with only minor damage. I really enjoyed that quick fight scene- weaponless and handcuffed, Roy still manages to take out three big dudes. The second time, it’s a quick and simple stabbing, and he collapses immediately. In the next scene, Ollie finds Lance talking to a teary Thea; Roy’s been killed, and it’s all Oliver’s fault. Yikes. Oliver is allowed some time to be angsty before Felicity and Diggle reveal that Roy’s death was actually faked, though the stabbing was very much real- ouch.
“You need to learn to let people help you,” is the mantra of the episode, but Oliver’s never been good at that, and I doubt he will be after what Roy just went through and what later happens to Thea. And of course, let’s not forget Sara. That self-sacrifice Roy displayed in this episode was absolutely learned from his mentor. It’d be great to see Oliver let people in more and allow himself to lean on others, but as long as people get hurt for it, that won’t happen.
So the episode wraps up with Roy, who’s supposed to be dead, forced to leave town and start a new life elsewhere. Again, I’m sad to see him go, but at least there’s some space to bring him back. Cut to Thea drinking her sorrows away when she’s interrupted and rudely stabbed by Ra’s. It’s to motivate your brother, Thea. Take one for the team.
I loved seeing Thea try to fight Ra’s mostly because I love watching Thea fight. She’s great at it- except against Ra’s, of course- and I wish we’d seen more of it. What was the point of running off to train with Malcolm only to just occasionally see her show off her moves? Thea and Roy both fall under the “under-utilized characters” category; they had the potential to be much more dynamic, Thea especially.
So at this point I think it’s safe to say that Ollie will take the place of the Demon’s Head. I mean, he’s running out of options here. Whether it will stick is another matter. We’ve got four episodes left of the season, so really anything can happen.
Overall, I loved this episode, largely because of the focus on Roy, but also because Oliver was forced to step back for a bit and let the others take over. It was a nice change of pace, and I’m going to treasure it since Oliver’s undoubtedly going to be large and in charge from here on out. I love Ollie, don’t get me wrong, but I do enjoy when they put the ‘team’ in Team Arrow.