The Arrow Season 2 Episode 13 Round Table tackles Sara's homecoming, our tiny glimpse into Felicity's past and what impact Oliver's knowledge of Moira's secret might have on the mayoral race.
Join staff writers Kate Brooks, Nick McHatton, Hank Otero, Carla Day and Carissa Pavlica as they toss around their ideas at the table, and join in by sharing your own thoughts in the comments!
When Felicity told Oliver the secret, she shared the briefest summary of her past: Single mother, her father left. Who is Felicity Smoak? Give it your best guess.
Kate: She is fiercely independent, she's self-motivated but she comes from this, assumed to be, broken household. Even though this reveal was brief it has made me love Felicity even more. Through her adversities she's been able to become who she is, which is the brains to the hero of Starling City.
Nick: Felicity Smoak is a woman looking for a place to call her own. I don't know how rough her past is, but she's clearly looking to belong somewhere. Being a partner to Oliver and Diggle, helping them save and clean up the city helps give her that outlet: she's found her place. Before being part of the team, I don't think she would have been able to go toe to toe with Moira like that. Willing to invoke Moira's wrath and cunning words to keep her bond and trust with Oliver.
Hank: Let me start by saying I'm psyched to learn more about Felicity's family. Being raised by a single mom has shaped her into an independent and self-motivated woman, as Kate mentioned. She's loyal but doesn't take any of Oliver's nonsense. Nick's 100% correct, Felicity's grown much more confident since joining team Arrow. Though she's the brains of the operation, she's now much more comfortable away from the tech stuff. I was proud of the way she handled Moira. It's about time someone ignored that woman's petty threats.
Carla: She's someone who was lost and now is found. Team Arrow has given her a purpose in her life that she was missing. She has a new family and mission. We've never seen or even heard about her family or friends before this conversation. I took that to mean she was basically alone in Starling City. I'd love to meet some of her family.
Carissa: Nobody took the bait! I was hoping somebody would jump up and grab the missing father story and run with it. I'm trying to tie Felicity into the Arrowverse through mythology. Commissioner Gordon, Oracle's father, married someone and left her before going on to Barbara Gordon's mother. Yes, I'm going there. Wouldn't that be cool? Sarah Essen even helped raise Barbara Gordon in the comics, so some wild way to twist them all around for Arrow would totally work. Just tossing it out there!
How does Oliver knowing about Thea change things with the mayoral race?
Kate: Like he said, he will keep up appearances for Thea's sake but Thea isn't as naive as she used to be. I think this could ultimately be the thing that crushes Moira and her chances at winning.
Nick: I think Oliver explains it best when he tells Moira he's only going to keep up appearances for her in public. He might support Moira publicly, but it keeps his connection to Blood a little stronger. He probably won't mind that Blood will go on the offensive against Moira, and that keeps Blood's misgivings and alliance with Slade in the shadows. This digresses from the question a bit, but what I like most about Oliver's confrontation with Moira is how much love he has for Thea.
Hank: I understand from a story/character point of view, running for Mayor is an interesting twist. However, I just can't imagine Moira running the city. Sure politics is corrupt and there's no one more shifty on Arrow than momma Queen, but she's another level of liar altogether. I'm with Kate, the tension with Oliver will probably mean the end of her political career.
Carla: I doubt it will change the mayoral race itself. Oliver said he'll publicly support his mother and I believe him. If it's going to be an issue, it will be because someone else finds out and the truth becomes and election issue. This isn't the question, but I was shocked that it was Felicity that uncovered the truth and that she confronted Moira about it. That's not how I would have liked to see it go down. Moira's treatment of Felicity showed a formidable side to Oliver's mother which made her much less sympathetic.
Carissa: I like Nick's take on it. Oliver might not mind his mom being taken to task as much as he would have before knowing her secret, and he might like to see her defend herself to see how well she acts under pressure. So far she hasn't held up so well. Can he really back his mother knowing the type of person she is? Does he want her running Starling City? Other than the fact he can tell her what to do, I'd think not.
Sara is home. What is most intriguing about this to you?
Kate: I love it. Its more than intriguing to me, it's a great way to keep the plot not only moving forward but to also help our main characters grow. A lot of viewers are upset that Oliver and Sara got together last night and I feel quite the contrary. It's a way to help progress the plot and ultimately (hopefully) make the bond between Oliver and Felicity that much stronger.
Nick: How she reintegrates herself with her family. Everything about the night the Gambit went down, and what came to light about her and Oliver absolutely tore apart the Lance family. They will never be able to get back to that corny, but happy, flashback, so it's a matter of how they might be able to pick up the pieces of their shattered family and arrange them in a way that at least resembles what they once had. Additionally, I don't buy for a second that Sara is released from Ra's al Ghul, so her being home is a giant farce. Something is going to happen to her, and it's only going to tear the Lance family apart for a second time.
Hank: It's crazy how packed the Arrow lair is at this point. While I agree that so many different personalities will keep things fresh, it means characters like Diggle are being used less all the time. Nick's right, there's no way Ra's al Ghul will let Sara go that easily. Though I like Carissa's theory that Laurel will go bad and Sara will stick around, all signs point to Sara's demise by season's end. By the way, Sara and Ollie hooking up didn't bother me one bit.
Carla: Sara's going to shake things up for her family, Team Arrow, and in Starling City. Her presence is going to create ripples and that's going to be fun to watch. For me, it's a toss up between her relationship with Oliver and with Laurel for most intriguing. And they will likely be intertwined. Oliver's history with Sara is much deeper than he had with Laurel, which is the opposite of what it originally appeared when the series began. Plus, of course, Sara's presence in the Arrow Lair will not make Felicity happy. Sara's presence is an incredible shake up for the show and I can't wait to see where it goes.
Carissa: I wonder if Ollie and Sara will intertwine and take each other up the salmon ladder... Anyway, I agree on most of what's been said, and realize that we're probably all going to look back and this and laugh. They're going to have to expand the lair a bit, move some boxes at least, and be careful going down there. It's like a three ring circus. How can Thea not notice them coming and going? Watching the Lance family try to get back to normal should be interesting, because I don't see how it can be done. They're so broken. From the top to the bottom. Sara's not really free and danger is coming, so it's only a matter of time before the next body drops. Guessing is futile!
Was Laurel's reaction to Sara's return natural or out of line?
Kate: In a sense, it's natural, whatever. I don't like Laurel right now, she's nothing but a burden to the show at this point. Her reaction didn't seen natural, instead it seemed jealous that her problems don't matter now that Sara is alive. I'm Team Sara, sorry Laurel.
Nick: Completely natural, Laurel mentions last season that she couldn't be angry because Sara was dead. But she was angry at Sara, so she couldn't properly grieve. It's unfortunate that Laurel had to be prepping her speech with a glass in her hand, but it speaks to how much of a crutch Laurel has placed on addiction.
Hank: It certainly was natural for the character, making it all about Laurel. I'll be completely honest, when Laurel talks I tend to tune out.
Carla: Natural for Laurel. Laurel's shown time and time again that she's selfish and that didn't stop here. I'll cut her some slack for her initial reaction, but if she doesn't take a step back and ask what happened to Sara then I will have no respect for her at all. Laurel saw Oliver's scars, if Sara returned over 5 years after the ship sunk then Laurel should show concern about what happened to her sister.
Carissa: I think Sara returning to Oliver will only make things worse, but the initial reaction was spot on. If she had been there when Laurel woke up in the hospital room with her mother and Lance, it would have been different. The poison, the kidnapping... it was too much. She was already angry and to bring imminent danger back that almost lost two lives in one day? I'd be pissed too.
Talk about what you'd like to see next on Arrow Season 2.
Kate: I'd like to see Barry return and we explore his new abilities. I'd really love to see more Olicity (platonic) scenes. I'm way over anticipating this Slade and Oliver reunion in present day. I'd also like to note, the recent trailer (the one with the creeper VoiceOver) was fantastic! It's like a trailer for a movie. The CW is really pulling out all of the stops for them and it's working!!
Nick: Arrow has dropped a line about Felicity's parents, so it's time for at least one of them to make an appearance soon!
Hank: I'd love to see Barry again, but the way The Flash pilot is coming together I doubt we will. Unless Felicity visits her mother in Central City and drops in on Barry in the hospital. He wouldn't be much fun in a coma though, would he? Imagine Wednesday night's this fall, Arrow followed by The Flash! Major Nerdgasm!!!
Carla: I'm looking forward to finding out what happened on the island. Why did Oliver believe both Slade and Sara were dead? We'll have to wait until March to find out, but at least we'll have the "Birds of Prey" showdown before that.
Carissa: I want Slade to provoke something in Oliver. Preferably by his own hands and leaving Blood out of it for now. He needs to man up and do his own dirty work. I'll lose respect for him if he only sends minions to do his evil deeds. I'm also very interested to see Sara, Laurel and Felicity all in a room together. Brunch, perhaps? A welcome home party? Just to see how they all operate. Laurel needs to keep her hand off the bottle for it to be worth it, however, and that likely won't happen. Sigh.
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.