Last week’s shocking season premiere was entitled “The Calm” and while tonight’s episode could have easily been called “The Storm,” we get the simpler and much more fittingly dubbed “Sara.”
Oliver, Roy and Felicity are making their way through Verdant to HQ, but their pleasant day gets shattered as they see Sara on the table and Laurel covered in her blood. The audience got their shock out last week, but now we get our real punch to the gut as we watch our beloved Team Arrow react at the loss of one of their own and the second tears start falling from Felicity it’s obvious this is going to be an emotional 60-minutes for all of us.
Laurel is a wreck, but she has has it together enough that she doesn’t want to tell Capt. Lance yet. While it’s hard to argue her logic considering Lance’s physical condition, you know there’s going to be some serious repercussions from this soon enough.
While he tries to be composed, it’s obvious Oliver is deeply affected by Sara’s death and watching Laurel grieving over her sister makes him more concerned with his own sister, Thea, and her whereabouts. While he waits to hear back from her, Oliver goes to the crime scene searching for any possible clues. Diggle finds him there and assures Oliver he’s not alone and he’s here to help.
The nice understated aspect of Daddy Diggle is that he’s torn now between what had been his life in helping to protect Starling/Star City from murders who could potentially kill parents and children to just wanting to stay home and be around to watch his daughter grow up. But his first instinct when trouble hits is to revert to John Diggle, crimefighter. This will be an intriguing storyline to watch play out this season.
Lance calls for the Arrow. The police have a lead on an archer in town who’s already killed a local businessman. We cut to said Dark Archer taking out a victim in impressive fashion by shooting through several glass panels.
Felicity and Roy are starting an autopsy and she admits to being a little jealous over Sara and how capable she was in every situation. Oliver and Diggle return in time to hear the news of the latest victim. Roy shares with Felicity that he doesn’t think Thea is where she’s claiming to be and reveals Thea’s “Dear Roy” letter. Felicity gets a text alerting her that Ray Palmer has now bought her Radio Shack-stand-in company and she rushes off to chew out her stalker.
In his first appearance, Brandon Routh made Palmer a lot more like obnoxious carefree billionaire – a very different take on the norm for the character. Initially, he’s being oblivious rich guy as he tries to woo Felicity to work for him, but he drops the semi-jerk persona when he realizes something else has her visibly upset.
Arrow hits the past murder scene and finds a witness who tells him the archer had a dark outfit with a hockey-style mask concealing his face. Felicity positively identifies the archer as Simon Lacroix aka Komodo before he targets another victim, leading to a crazy game of archer motorcyle chicken. In a nice bit, Komodo grinds his bike and takes down Arrow with …an arrow long enough to escape. Laurel is pissed Komodo got away.
Back at base, Oliver is impatient and wants Felicity to find Komodo again pronto. She says she’s not on her A-game because she lost her friend and questions how Oliver can be so cold. “I don’t have the luxury of falling to pieces. If I grieve nobody else gets to.” Felicity doesn’t want to deal with Arrow Oliver now and says life is too precious and she realizes she wants way more out of it than this. Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards are just killing it with their scenes together so far this season.
Laurel visits the targeted victim and starts grilling him abandoning her lawyer prosecution skills for straight up vigilante interrogation techniques. Before she can get much more, Komodo takes him out, but Laurel is more ticked off than frightened.
Felicity thinks Komodo’s next target will be at a Star City benefit Palmer is hosting. Laurel wants to go, but Oliver wants her to stay safe and she throws it back in his face that he didn’t bring Komodo in last time. Ouch.
At the Star City pledge drive, Ray is giving away half his net worth to rebuild Star City, but Komodo interrupts the pledges to take out his target, but Arrow and Arsenal stop him. Ray clearly seems fascinated with the showdown. Komodo dives out the window, but Arrow flies out after him. I love how Arsenal was like “yeah, my training only goes but so far” and lets Arrow handle Komodo. In Archer Showdown: Round 3, Arrow is focused and warns Komodo to lower his bow and live. Arrow gets to show off his bad-a$$ archer skills by shooting Komodo’s first arrow and catching his second in midair and using it to pin him against a wall.
Laurel’s arrived with a gun and while Komodo claims he was drunk in Bludhaven the night of Sara’s murder and Oliver pleads with her not to, she pulls the trigger. Good thing Oliver took the bullets out. You have failed this vigilante test, Laurel.
Later, Oliver tells Laurel that Komodo’s alibi checked out and he promises to take down Sara’s real killer, but he thinks Laurel should tell her father Sara is dead. She heads to Lance’s office, but just before she gets it out, tries to tell him, his medical alert goes off. Yep, definitely not the time.
Team Arrow and Laurel are at a gravesite to have a funeral for Sara by midnight. Laurel is devastated that no one will know who Sara was and Diggle announces that they won’t forget as he and Lyla have named their baby Sara.
This week’s Hong Kong flashback revolves around Maseo Yamashiro (Karl Yune) trying to get Oliver to carry out Amanda Waller’s latest order — assassinating someone who is on to Oliver’s trail after his failed attempt to email his mother. The target? None other than our old pal Tommy Merlyn. Waller doesn’t want Tommy asking “Where’s Ollie?” to greater Hong Kong so she wants him killed. Oliver insists there must be another way and he convinces Maseo to stage a kidnapping where a masked Oliver tells a bound Tommy that Oliver is dead — and Tommy will join him if his dad doesn’t pay up. Maseo busts in dressed like a cop to “rescue” Tommy. While I’m game for any Tommy flashbacks we get, the Hong Kong segments thus far have gone all of nowhere.
Back at Verdant, Oliver tells Diggle he’s gotta get Thea now and he confesses to his oldest ally that he doesn’t want to die down here. This lesson is emotionally gripping hero vulnerability is brought to you by one S.Amell. Laurel finds Sara’s old stuffed toy, but sets it down to hold her Canary jacket and you can see an idea is forming. Diggle is checking in on baby Sara while Roy is looking at a picture of Thea and Felicity comes to Ray saying she wants more out of life.
Meanwhile in Corto Maltese, an impressive training exercise is underway as someone watches. The winning combatant removes her helmet and we see Thea is well on her way to giving both her father and brother a run for the money as Malcolm congratulates her. Next week: Oliver vs Merlyn!