Welcome to a new edition of the Arrow Round Table!
The Arrow Season 2 Episode 11 table brings you all the goodies you've been waiting to banter about: Roy and his Mirakuru heroism, Laurel's battle against Blood, Slade's plans to hurt Oliver and learning about Sara on the island.
Hang out with staff writers Kate Brooks, Hank Otero, Nick McHatton, Carla Day and Carissa Pavlica and let the verbal battles begin! Be opinionated, be respectful and most importantly -- have fun!
What were your thoughts on Roy's first attempt at being heroic with the Mirakuru flowing?
Kate: Weak! I mean, we all know Roy isn't the sharpest tool in the shed and poor Sin just follows him around like a puppy dog. I did, however, enjoy the fact that he was willing to work with the arrow to get it under control.
Hank: I think Roy meant well, but doesn't realize exactly how the Mirakuru changed him. He's also clueless about what it takes to be a hero, putting poor Sin in danger like that. I'm glad he showed some regret when talking to the Arrow. As I mentioned before, Roy's storyline had stalled for me a bit. Glad to see he will finally begin training with the Arrow. Knowing our stubborn young hothead, it's not going to go smoothly at all.
Nick: Definite growing pains. It's close to Oliver last season, when he didn't give much thought about killing everyone in his way until Tommy goes, with Sin taking Tommy's role (minus the death). I love that Oliver is reaching out before to Roy before he does something he will really regret.
Carla: It was a noble attempt. He tried to take a killer off the street and he succeeded in doing that at least in the short term. I'm guessing the guy won't be picking up any hookers to kill in Starling City again. He lost control, but the fact that he hit Sin was probably a good thing in the long term. She wasn't hurt and it was a wake up call that he needed help. Without this experience, I doubt he would have been so quick to take Arrow's help.
Carissa: I was surprised he just went at it like that. I guess the Mirakuru did do a job on his mind because he was more in control before he met Thea. He still went out on patrol and did wild things, but he wasn't so reckless. I wonder if he'll be able to control himself easily, even with Oliver's help (as Arrow).
Do you think Laurel was right to open an investigation into Sebastian Blood?
Kate: Of course, I said this last week, if your gut tells you something is off, listen to it. I feel bad for Laurel, everyone is thinking she is crazy or messed up because of her addiction problem. I look forward to Blood being exposed and proving Laurel was right.
Hank: Absolutely! Sometimes you just have to go with your gut, you know? What surprised me, was how easily Ollie and Lance took Blood's side. Oliver knows something's off but keeps allowing clues to slip through the cracks. He's not on his "A" game lately. Honestly, I'm ready for Deathstroke to come front and center!
Nick: Yes, her instincts are good; it's her actions and behavior that's causing everyone to think she's wrong. If this was Laurel of last season everyone would be tripping over themselves to help her and bring down Blood. However, they're focused on her pill popping, and, ironically, it's clouding their own judgment of her.
Carla: Definitely. His actions were suspicious and he did kill his mother. She was spot on. And, she'll end up being redeemed for her accusations against Blood, though it may be too late to salvage her career.
Carissa: Yes. She's the only one who sees him clearly, which is unsettling. Perhaps you need some chemical enhancements to see what's really going down in Starling City. Accepting the masked man as a done deal so easily was ironic, given how easily Diggle passed himself off as Arrow in the past, for example (thanks Dreamrose!). Too many loose ends for me to be happy with how the investigation ended on the episode, even if it's picked up again later.
What are your thoughts on Oliver calling Laurel his blind spot?
Kate: The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. I am definitely not feeling any Laurel/Oliver romantic feelings this season.
Hank: I think while there's definitely some truth to that, it doesn't mean he should disregard her completely. They've worked together well in the past. It's possible he hasn't fully forgiven her for coming after the Arrow so aggressively at the start of the season.
Nick: He's right on some level, and I really like Hank's answer. They work very well together, and she shouldn't be disregarded just because she's going through a tough time with addiction.
Carla: He believed in Laurel's accusations and followed them through to the end. He was there for her when even her father had left her behind. Oliver did have a blind spot where Laurel was concerned, though this time she was right. Officer Daily was the perfect patsy for Blood. I can't blame Oliver for believing Daily was the masked man. The evidence fits too perfectly. I'm not convinced it's the end of the story though. Oliver may believe it in that moment, but the other outstanding evidence will pull at him and he'll follow up. The missing file, the dead Aunt/Mother, etc. Though, it may be too late to help Laurel.
Carissa: Nick's thinking along the same lines I have been in the above answer -- everyone's judgment is clouded, but it's by their idea of alcohol and drug abuse. Their blind spot is focused on other people's past behavioral problems. I'm not saying that Laurel's coping mechanism is right, but it doesn't seem to be affecting her in the same way it does others. Not yet anyway. But the more people look past her and at her problem, the more the problem manifests and the less likely everyone is to see the person who has the problem or why. It's like Lance and Oliver have forgotten there is a girl in there. Not that she makes it easy, always pushing them away -- but they are masters at that behavior.
Slade admitted that Laurel is part of his plan to hurt Oliver. What do you think other pieces of the plan might be?
Kate: I think Slade will discover his team and use them against him. Obviously his family members are going to play a role in this as well. Felicity will be a HUGE tool against Oliver, especially if they keep moving forward with these two as they have been this season. It makes me incredibly nervous! They weren't afraid to kill Tommy so who knows what will happen.
Hank: Ya got me there... I'm not sure where the writers are going with Slade's revenge plans. I do think he will ultimately learn Sara is alive and kill her. Leading to Laurel taking her place as Canary. It would surprise me, if things go down differently. Still, the writers might surprise us, who knows?
Nick: Aside from Oliver's immediate friends and family being more pieces I haven't got a clue.
Carla: Not really sure. I'm glad that Slade's plans for Oliver have remained a mystery. He wanted to build an army of super humans and he wants to make Oliver pay for what happened in the past, yet he called Oliver a "friend." At this point, I'm not even sure that Slade has entirely ill-will towards Oliver. I can't wait to see what happens next. Maybe Slade will seduce Laurel!
Carissa: I just want to give a shout out to our incredible readers for tossing out so many great ideas. I'd love for Sara and Laurel to have scenes together. Somehow I think they'll be limited, but some readers have thought about Slade making Laurel go dark.
My idea would be for Sara to stay as Canary and Laurel to be taken under the tutelage of Slade and maybe become some combination of DC characters Rose (his daughter) and Raven (I like the bird connection with Canary). A permanent group of bad guys to always be scraping away at the Arrowverse would be so cool with all of the personal ties. Laurel would also be perfect payback for Shado because Slade would be taking away someone both Sara and Oliver loves, but he'd be taking her life in a different way than killing her.
What did you think about the island scenes with Sara? Did anything stand out?
Kate: There is so much tension, to me, between Oliver and Sara. I love these two together and the fact that we know that Sara turns into Black Canary has me more into their story on the island. As for standing out, nothing yet but I know that we're building up to a huge climax, you can feel the stakes get raised each epsiode.
Hank: If anything, that one scene made me sympathize with Sara even more. It's interesting how much I've enjoyed Sara as a character versus Laurel. It seems that's the plan though, for us to fall for Sara so when she's killed it makes an impact. Laurel seeking vengeance as Canary for Sara's death, gives her purpose. Not to mention, another hero for Arrow to train in Season 3!
Nick: I originally thought a double cross might happen, but it's great to see Sara really stick it out. Life probably would have been slightly better on the boat than on the island, but she followed her gut and knew to trust Oliver (funny how the Lance's all follow their guts, but can never quite get on the same page with the Queens or each other).
Carla: The island scenes are definitely painting Sara in a much better light than we've seen her in before. She went with her sister's boyfriend on the ship, but there was much more to that story. And she could have sided with Ivo, but she didn't. She's strong-willed and has a keen sense of right and wrong. She's made mistakes, but she recognizes them and wants to be a better person.
Carissa: I don't know what my answer is to this anymore. After I made the comment that sisters do silly things like go after each other's boyfriends, all hell broke loose. LOL I just find it fascinating that people dislike Laurel so much that it seems worse to call the police on a teen booze party and then later start dating the guy your sister was crushing on (we don't know Laurel wasn't as well), than it is to sleep with him after the other sister is legitimately dating him. The dislike for Laurel is so deep that my plan for her to be a Slade sidekick fits beautifully.
NOTE: Thank you for reading and remember to watch Arrow online at TV Fanatic if you need to catch up.
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.