Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Arrow: Season 3, Episode 6

Episode Title: “Guilty”
Channel: CW
Director: Peter Leto
Writers: Erik Oleson and Keto Shimizu
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Runtime: 42 min
Rated: TV-14
Original Air Date: November 12, 2014

I have wondered since they began this show whether or not we'd ever see something as ridiculous as the boxing glove arrow. That question is answered, and it didn't even seem as absurd as it might have been. With that out of the way, on to the rest of the episode!

Every character had their moment to shine in “Guilty,” perhaps Felicity was underutilized, but that is not that big of a surprise one week after having an entire episode devoted to her. Roy was unexpectedly good this week, after seeming like an afterthought for the majority of the season. They did seem to resolve is involvement, or lack thereof, in the death of Sara rather quickly, but this was probably a good decision. There was so much uncertainty surrounding Roy's character last season that having the entire Arrow gang acting nervous and untrusting around him wasn't really feasible. I'm actually glad for the quick resolution of that plot line. It does leave us with very little to go on regarding Sara's killer, but there's plenty of season left to go.

Aside from clarifying Roy's position in the grand scheme of things “Guilty” served mainly to further acquaint the viewers with Ted Grant. Besides being a boxing trainer, and apparently the person to turn Laurel into the Black Canary, he was at one time a vigilante himself. His past life, and a partner he left behind, are the driving force behind this week's episode. It was a good choice to explain his backstory to the audience relatively early in his character's time on the show, it adds a little bit of legitimacy to the notion that Laurel will so quickly become the Canary, and it avoids using the flashbacks in a future episode explaining his backstory. With so much plot happening the villain really took a backseat this week, serving only to get Oliver and Ted face to face, and plant some sidekick seeds of doubt in Roy's mind. Every episode doesn't need a great bad guy, but this guy felt decidedly mundane.

Speaking of flashbacks, I'm still on the fence regarding the Hong Kong flashbacks. Right now it just doesn't seem like enough is happening to justify them. There's only one reason I can see right now that they be included. China White (Chien Na Wei) is one of the villains we know of that hasn't popped up in a while. Perhaps she is responsible for Sara's death in some way, directly or indirectly, motivated by something that will occur in the Hong Kong scenes. It's probably a long shot, but it's one of the only ways I can imagine her character being mentioned so prominently in the flashbacks.

Conclusion: A weak villain doesn't bring “Guilty” down too much. The purpose of this episode was to drive the stories of Laurel and Roy forward. I was a little shocked the writers decided to clear Roy so quickly of any wrong doing, but it was the right decision. I'm far from all in on Laurel's future, but at least now it's been established that she's learning from a guy that was a vigilante before it was cool. Something needs to give in the flashbacks because everything in Hong Kong has been on the boring side.

Rating: 7.75/10

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