Arrow Review: Closer to Rock Bottom

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I have to admit that I found Arrow Season 2 Episode 11 a bit upsetting, both on an emotional level and a logical level.

Logistically, it's easier to understand – but emotionally I'm having a difficult time with Oliver choosing Sebastian Blood's newly born bond of friendship over Laurel's long-standing place in his life.

I realize most of you are going to disagree with this on a completely different emotional level, but we're still going to examine it a bit.

Because it was part of the hour and sets up what's coming next week, let's first touch lightly on Roy thinking it's as easy as gaining brute strength, and you're on your way to becoming a superhero. Who in the hell told him that? If anything, after growing up around thugs who reigned with their strength alone, he should have known it would have the opposite effect. 

Putting Sin in harms way just because he's fast and can pull a car door off in a pinch was also incredibly stupid. So much for all the growing up he's done since he met Thea. At least he impishly asked the Arrow to put one through his heart instead of his leg this time. While a tad dramatic, it lead us to believe he might have learned a little something.

The main focus of the hour was, of course, your very favorite character's downward spiral. Laurel took another tumble down the hill on her way to rock bottom, but it's all a very much centered around her poor choices and her proximity to Oliver as someone he once loved.

We do know to what end she has created her own hell by doubting herself and blaming herself for Tommy's death and drowning her sorrows in booze and pills. Because of her family history with it, she has no leeway to make those mistakes. Really, trying to become an alcoholic around an alcoholic is just idiocy. They can spot the signs, even when they're not there. They'll make those suckers up if you're not careful. Laurel was not careful.

But it is what it is, and now she's pretty much lost everything – most recently her job, but most importantly the faith of her father and Oliver. 

I was kind of shocked when Oliver announced he was going to give a friend the benefit of the doubt and it was Sebastian Blood, and that his idea of doing that was to tattle on Laurel and ask Blood if they had broken up or something. Laurel confided in Oliver that she thought Blood killed his own mother (he did) and was a criminal mastermind (he is) and Oliver went against his gut and took her comments (as if she was a child) to the person about whom she was complaining. He almost got her killed.

She nearly had me believing that Sebastian was a criminal mastermind and the only reason that I believed her was because it was Laurel. I do have a blind spot where she's concerned. Not anymore.


The thing is, it wasn't just because it as Laurel. She had valid points, and they never followed up on what happened to his father. The files were missing, so they just dropped the subject all together. Yet even Felicity had to admit with a name like Blood, it can't be a good sign. How long have you been waiting for somebody to make that connection?!

It was too easy to pin it all on Officer Daily. Officer Lance and The Arrow have much more experience in the area and should know that. They just wanted it to go away and for Blood to be the good guy they think he is and to blame it all on Laurel and the pills and booze because in their experience pills and booze always means bad judgment. Not in this case!

I wasn't sure what the flashback scenes were meant to imply regarding Laurel. Sara had a crush on Oliver first, snuck out of the house and went to a keg party and spilled beer on a very drunk Ollie – and then Laurel called the cops and had the party shut down. Since Laurel and Oliver were a couple shortly thereafter, Sara thought it was a setup? I'm not sure how that worked out. Then Sara went on the boat to pay her back? 

They lost me. So what? Sisters do that stuff to each other all the time. It's hardly life shattering. Just because Moira happened to sabotage her husband's boat and Sara was on it didn't mean that they were all caught up in a giant soap opera. Well, they are now.

We know for certain that Slade is using Laurel as part of his plan to hurt the vigilante. Slade likely doesn't know that Sara is alive, and when he does, his plans will probably need to be altered a bit. He's going off of all the information he has available to him. Then again, Sara was chummy with Ivo when I wouldn't have expected it on the island – maybe Slade knows about Sara through the League of Assassins.

The problem with the Laurel-centric episodes is that they always seem to focus on the same stuff over and over and never seem to take a forward step. She's been locked in a single storyline all season while everyone else has been dashing forward. Then she's gone for episodes at a time. When she's back... nothing has changed.

It's no wonder people find it so difficult to wish good things for her in the Arrowverse. Laurel is a slow-moving ship on a sea of speedboats. It's rather unfair.

The real kicker is how everyone is going to feel when the truth comes out. Only Felicity is going to be able to stand up and say "I told you with a name like Blood he would be up to no good!"

Do you think Oliver put his friendship with Sebastian Blood before his with Laurel?

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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Arrow Season 2 Episode 11 Quotes

Now I don't need his help to protect this city. Let's find us a bad guy.


His last name is Blood, that can't be a good sign.