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Recaps

Death Looms Large, Arrow “Broken Arrow” 

Spoiler Alert – For all of you who haven’t watched Arrow yet, you shouldn’t be reading this article. But if you are, stop now because there are some sorta-kinda-maybe deaths in this week’s episode and we’re going to be discussing them here.

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

First and foremost, I have to come right out and say it, I don’t think Thea is dead. Yes, spoilers have been circling the internet that a major character will die this season, but just as Roy’s “death” in this episode was a red herring for Thea’s “death,” I have a feeling that Thea’s “death” is actually a red herring for another to come this season. But that’s just me.

What do I think that, you ask? Well, first of all, the promo showed us that she’s not actually dead. And we know that there is a magical pond up on Nanda Parbat that is filled with healing water and if Oliver chooses to be head of the League, he can have all the water he wants. They obviously didn’t show that to us earlier this season for no reason. Not to mention, history has shown that just because a character is “dead,” doesn’t mean they’re actually dead. When a character on this show actually dies, it happens and it’s over. There is no struggling, no hanging on, no “we can save him/her” moments. Sara. Arrows through the chest. Falls off a building. Done. Tommy Merlyn. Caught under rubble. Utters a few words. Dead. Moira Queen. Impaled with a sword. Gone. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that when the characters on this show have a chance at bring someone back from the brink of death, they usually succeed. So the fact that Thea is first lying in a hospital bed and then being carried up a mountain in the promo, makes me question if she’s really down for the count.

But before I get to what this possible death means for Oliver and the team, let’s go back to another goodbye. I have to admit, for a character that has been extremely hit or miss for me, I was actually a bit sad when Roy said goodbye. Not so much when he got stabbed, but more the back-from-the-dead-but-have-to-pretend-I’m-dead goodbye. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that at times, I’ve found Roy annoying, particularly in the beginning, but he’s really come around this season. In Oliver’s absence, he definitely stepped up and the fact that he has forged bonds with other characters besides Thea has given him some depth. Plus, it’s kind of noble that he sacrificed himself to help Oliver and to more or less punish himself for his mirakuru-murder. If anything, it shows he has a conscience, which is an imperative on Team Arrow.

Roy: Do you remember what I told you when I found out you were the Arrow?

Oliver: Yea, you told me I saved your life.

Roy: Now I get to save yours.

Oliver: I can’t let you do that.

Roy: Oliver, ever since I found out that I killed that cop, I have been trying to make it right as Arsenal but maybe what I need to do is make it right as the Arrow.

Oliver: No, Roy.

Roy: I killed a police officer. Mirakuru or not, I should be punished for that. I should be in prison.

Oliver: That won’t bring the officer back, this city still needs you

Roy: It needs you more. For the first time since I remembered what I did, I’m okay.

I don’t know that putting himself in prison actually equates to justice, but if this is what he needs to find peace, then I’m okay with that. And I have to admit, the plan he came up with was far more clever than I thought him capable of. Granted, I have a feeling Felicity and Diggle were pretty involved as well, but still, it was a solid team effort.

That being said, I’m gonna be pretty pissed if they did this whole character rectification and sentimental goodbye only to bring him back next week. Yes, I know that the actor, Colton Haynes will no longer be a series regular, but with Thea near death, it’s kind of hard to believe that Roy would stay away and not somehow try to be involved in bringing her back.

Enough of Roy. Back to Thea. Being that she died at the very end of the episode, there isn’t really much to say about her yet. I’m sure there will be more next week, but for now, I want to take a quick look at some of the conversations that Oliver had this week that are clearly going to come back and haunt him once he finds out about Thea’s “death.”

Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW
Photo Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

First off, we only saw a brief snippet of Merlyn again this week and while watching his scene with Oliver, if felt somewhat insignificant. Honestly, I didn’t even remember that it had occurred until I scanned through the episode again. But in true Merlyn fashion, it was surprisingly telling and provided a good deal of foreshadowing.

Merlyn: Setting Harper up as your patsy, I applaud the…

Oliver: I had nothing to do with Roy turning himself in. But I will get him out.

Merlyn: And then what? Ra’s won’t stop until you’re wearing the demon’s head ring on your hand.

Oliver: That’s not gonna happen.

Merlyn: People are being murdered, your days as the Arrow are finished. But of course, no one close to you has died. Have you considered that leading the League of Assassin might be a preferable outcome as to what alternatives, Ra’s might devise.

Oliver: I have a lot of work to do. I have to break Roy out of prison.

So interesting that while Oliver was so laser focused on Roy, he was failing to hear the message that Merlyn was delivering. And yes, Merlyn was right. He might be evil, but he isn’t stupid. And when it comes to the League of Assassins, he’s been around the block a few times and knows the rules to the game. Obviously, Merlyn is also going to be PISSED when he finds out about Thea and I have no doubt that he will, in some way, blame Oliver. After all, if Oliver had just accepted, none of this would have happened. Thea would be alive. However, unlike Captain Lance, I also think Merlyn is savvy enough to know that being mad at Oliver isn’t going to accomplish anything. The only way they can save Thea is by working together and I am quite sure that will play a significant part in the next episode.

The other conversation that felt incredibly telling took place between Oliver and Felicity after Oliver blew up at Diggle for not stepping up and doing as Oliver would do. I can’t deny that Oliver can be more than a little headstrong. His way always seems to be the right way and since he was forced to lay low this episode, he was bursting at the seams.

Oliver: I can’t believe you and Diggle are okay with just sitting on your hands while Roy fights off all of Iron Heights.

Felicity: It’s not that simple.

Oliver: No, Felicity, if anything was ever simple, it’s this.

Felicity: This what? Your going to jail too?

Oliver: I can’t just do nothing.

Felicity: John’s right, I think you’re struggling with doing nothing with Roy, with Ray. But right now, you need people to help you, you need to let them. Maybe, there is something more going on with you than just what’s happening with Roy and this meta human. You have sacrificed everything to be the Arrow, even you and me, but whether or not your break Roy out of Iron Heights, there is no more Arrow. Ra’s took that from you.

Oliver: I was told once that a man cannot live by two names. Well, right now, I can’t live by either. So I don’t know who I am.

Felicity: I know who you are. Whether you’re in a suit or under a hood, you’re the man that I….the man that I believe in.

I love how honest and blunt Felicity can be with Oliver. Yes, he is having trouble sitting still and not being able to “fix” everything, but as Felicity pointed out, his struggle is more than just this. Oliver has given up everything to be the Arrow, but he also hasn’t. He still has his health and his family and his freedom. It’s not like he has, as he said “lost everything.” Until now. I think losing his sister is gonna be a huge step closer to “everything” in his mind. And the fact that he is having an identity crisis and can no longer be the Arrow (which is a conversation for another week) and feels he can’t be Oliver seems like a pretty hefty push towards taking on this major life-defining role. I’m not saying he wants to be the demon’s head, but if he’s missing that feeling of having an identity in his life, then this would be a way to rectify that. Albeit, an evil way, but still a way.

Nevertheless, Ra’s clearly hasn’t given him much of a choice. First tarnishing then “killing” the Arrow and then impaling Thea and being the only man who can save her. Obviously, I don’t like what he’s doing, but I do have to admit, the man is pretty clever and definitely knows how to get what he wants. That being said, I have a feeling that some major season-ending twist will find Team Arrow a way out of this conundrum. And as I mentioned before, it will likely involve a major death….but whether or not that’s Thea, we’ll have to wait and see.

Be sure to catch Arrow Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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