ARROW Recap: “Seeing Red”

     April 23, 2014


This week’s Arrow took a bit of a detour from what we’re used to, as the gang went out in search of one of their own rather than spending the hour tracking down a typical baddie.  It seems that Roy (Colton Haynes) is not handling his injection of mirakuru well (or subsequent hook-up to a blood transfusion machine), and that has him tripping out on a mindless rage-filled bender.  Not good for the citizens of Starling City, and much worse for Arrow & Co.  Despite Roy’s behavior forming the bulk of this episode’s conflict, it was a real blindside of an ending that took viewers by surprise.  Hit the jump for my recap.

arrow-seeing-red-colton-haynesNo “Island Time” this week, but we do get to spend a bit of time with mopey, dopey, pre-island Oliver.  We’ll save that sequence until the recap’s end since it ties in well with the episode’s final shocker.

When first we see the team this week, they’re tending to Roy in the Foundry.  You’ll remember that Slade had previously used Roy (and the powerful serum that flowed within his veins) to make his mini army of Mirakuru soldiers.  While the gang is trying to cure Roy, he reacts rather poorly to their attempts, tossing a surgical table and shoving Diggle out of the way before escaping. This necessitates the entire team going out to find and subdue him before he can get into trouble.  Unfortunately for Oliver and Sara, it interrupts a rare moment of sweet silence they get to share together, where it seems as if they’re both ready to take things to the next level in their relationship.

Meanwhile, Moira (Susanna Thompson) has pulled ahead of Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro) in the polls, but is considering dropping out of the race to focus on patching up the crumbling bonds with her remaining family members.  Oliver talks her out of it, saying that it will go a long way toward showing that she’s changed if she does good for the city as Mayor.  Even though Thea is still pissed off at basically anyone and everyone that comes across her path in this episode, she still has a soft spot for Roy.

Roy. The poor devil.  Haynes doesn’t have much to do in the way of dialogue in this episode as he’s been reduced to a rage monster.  He’s beaten up a bunch of random guys, given Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus) a black eye, broken Oliver’s leg in a one-sided fight against Arrow and Canary, and nearly choked Thea to death by episode’s end.  I wish they would have done a bit more with Roy’s arc in this episode, something more along the lines of a Jekyll and Hyde (or a Banner and Hulk) than simple rage tantrums.  He’s flipping out, and seeing “Kill, kill, kill!” visions; I get it. There’s just a more interesting way of doing it.  I will say, however, that the repercussions Roy will have to face in the future should be an interesting exploration and opportunity to deepen his character.

arrow-seeing-red-stephen-amell-caity-lotzSpeaking of character depth, the relationship between Oliver and Sara took a major dive this week.  Things started off all nice and sweet, but as we’ve seen before, the two team leaders have very different ideas about how they should go about things: Sara tends to jump to the extreme option while Ollie wants to give people the benefit of the doubt.  While the conflict in this case is how to handle Roy (to kill or not to kill), the disagreement speaks more to the irreconcilable difference between Sara and Oliver (even though Sara managed to resist killing Helena in an earlier episode, and Ollie steps in before she puts Roy down in “Seeing Red”).  It was a bit out of left field for me when Sara decided to up and leave towards episode’s end.  It smacks more of plot convenience, ie Sara abandoning the team in their darkest hour so that she can swoop in from the shadows at a future time when they need it most. It feels telegraphed, but time will tell if I’m right.

Now, back to THAT THING THAT HAPPENED!  After Roy’s sedated (and Felicity gets her dumplings), the Queen family appears to be on the mend until a vehicle broadsides their limo. Oliver wakes up in a daze, seeing the faces of Shado, Slade, Moira, and Thea swimming before him.  It seems that Slade has orchestrated a very similar scenario, one that saw Dr. Ivo pointing a gun and forcing Oliver to choose whether Sara or Shado got to live. We all know how that ended, including Oliver, who chooses to sacrifice himself this time instead. Slade isn’t having it, and neither is Moira, who bravely places herself between Slade and her children. Slade acknowledges her bravery, laments that her son lacks this trait, and then runs her through with his sword, killing her.

And now you know why we saved the flashback for last.  While the soap opera shocker meter was near off the charts this week with Oliver’s pre-island confession that he’d gotten someone pregnant, (a non-Laurel someone, to be precise), the real setup was for one last pleasant scene between Moira and Oliver.  I’m torn with how I feel about this sequence.  On one hand, it showed the lengths that Moira was willing to go to protect her son, and the fact that Oliver always had some sentimentality beneath his trust-funded exterior.  On the other, it confirms how terrible both of them are, using their wealth to sweep problems (and lives) under the rug, and then promptly forgetting about the events that led to their mistakes and never learning from them. (I also felt that Moira’s confession that she knew Oliver’s secret was a bit out of nowhere, but it made sense in context of the ending.) A bittersweet way to say goodbye to Moira (and Thompson), but a surefire shocker of an ending to say the least.

arrow-seeing-red-colton-haynes-willa-holland“Seeing Red” left us with a lot of questions, just a few of which I’ll pose to you here:

  • Will we see Ollie, Jr., who should be at least 6 at this point, somewhere in Central City in the future?
  • Is Felicity friggin’ pregnant?! She was constantly talking about food and getting a round belly…
  • More importantly, is Oliver finally ready to commit to killing Slade once and for all? I mean, what else does it take?
  • What was Moira about to reveal about Malcolm before the collision?
  • How much psychiatric help is poor Thea going to need now?
  • How long until Oliver stops using “motorcycle accident” as his excuse for his injuries?
  • When will Black Canary return?
  • Will Roy recover? And when he does, will he continue to be a rage monster, plagued by haunting visions?
  • Who is the “old friend” Sara is off to see?

Leave your answers in the comments below, along with any questions that I missed!

Grade: B+

Quips & Quivers:

Felicity: “No Big Belly Burger, though. It’s giving me a big belly.”

Oliver: “I think I trashed this specific hotel room once.”

Ollie: “I do have smoldering charm.”

Laurel: “I promised Sara I’d help her with her trigonometry.” Ollie: “I don’t know what that is.”

Sin: “Roy got injected with something, like a drug. It made him strong. Like … comic-book strong.”

arrow-seeing-red-stephen-amell-susanna-thompsonI liked the rare crossover interaction between Diggle and Thea. Makes you realize how little screen time certain characters share together.

Diggle: “I can’t let you out of my sight, and you’re sick of seeing me everywhere you go. Lurking seemed like a good compromise.”

I liked that they gave the doctor a reason for wanting to help Arrow and Canary, and for keeping it hush-hush. Hopefully they’ll use this setup in future episodes when they need to. The team really does need an in-house doc.

Sara: “Mirakuru doesn’t do anything against a headshot.”

Moira: “I know. Oliver, I know.”

So literally everyone and their mother know Ollie’s secret now. (Zing!)

Felicity: “Are you sure that’s a good idea? Can you even get into those leather pants with that knee?”

Felicity: “Anyone else crave dim sum after fisticuffs? No? Okay then, dumplings for one.”

Sara to Oliver: “I just care about you too much to be with you.”

Oliver: “Kill me!” Slade: “I am killing you, Oliver. Only more slowly than you would like.”

Slade to Moira: “You possess true courage. I’m truly sorry you did not pass that on to your son.”

Watch the promo for next week’s episode of The CW’s Arrow, “City of Blood”: