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‘Guilty’ & ‘Draw Back Your Bow’

Catching up on Arrow is always a fun part of my week, and the past two episodes have been no exception. Filled with drama, a little romance and wonderfully tense action, Arrow has really continued to strive for the best in its third season.

Guilty’ explores three different storylines: Roy’s confession, a gang crime framing Laurel’s new training partner, and more flashbacks to Hong Kong – with the weakest of the three being the latter. Flashbacks take us back to a moment where Oliver struggles with remembering where a message has been hidden by the ARGUS’ latest victim. I’ve always found myself dozing off during flashbacks, and this was unfortunately the dullest part of the episode, only providing a random explanation for Oliver’s meditation exercises later on.
arrow-guilty-01Poor Roy fights for his own sanity in the much more exciting storyline of Sara’s murder. He confesses to a worried Felicity, who informs him that Sara’s wounds could’ve been caused by throwing arrows, just like Roy’s dreams – or memories. I was pleased to see more of Roy and Felicity as they’ve been the least developed relationship in Team Arrow.

Thanks to Oliver’s moonlight meditation, Roy remembers back to his Mirakuru-induced state, and recalls the murder of a police officer, which Oliver and Sara witnessed. Oliver later admits to hoping Roy wouldn’t have to remember, however he felt it better than blaming his sidekick for murdering their friend.

Alongside this, we have the current crime-solving aspect of the show, in which the episode is highly focused on Laurel and her training partner, Ted, who is framed for gang murders with hard evidence. As it turns out, Oliver wasn’t Starling’s first vigilante. Ted Grant was. After an attack goes wrong, Ted took up and left, vowing never to pick up the duties again. His old partner, Isaac, reveals himself to be behind the crimes, still angry over being ‘abandoned’ by Ted.
arrow-guilty-02One key scene I have to talk about is Diggle’s comment to Oliver about going after Roy, serving justice no matter what and encouraging Oliver to abandon his friend. Why would Diggle, who often gives worthy advice, discredit Roy without a second thought?

So, having ruled out Roy from our suspect list, we’re still left with the ongoing mystery of Sara’s murder. My money is still on Merlyn or one of his associates, or even someone involved in the League of Assassins.

In summery, the only thing Arrow is truly guilty of is over-using the flashbacks. And can we talk about that cliff-hanger? Goodbye boxing, hello Cupid!
arrow-draw-back-your-bow-02Episode 7 opens with a short flashback to last season, where Mirakuru-crazed soldiers were running around, causing mayhem in Starling City. We’re reminded that Oliver saved many people that day, including a young woman who later comes back to haunt him during the episode with an obsessive and twisted view on romancing our vigilante.

Super fan-gone wrong, Carrie decides the best way to win Oliver’s heart is to go around killing his put-away criminals and dress them up in costume. Supernatural’s Amy Gumenick played the crazed lover wonderfully, with just the right amount of warped humour. After another fight scene involving a near train crash and a broken finger, Oliver manages to disarm Carrie and sends her over to ARGUS to ensure no more trouble.

Despite it being another temporary crime storyline, it provided some nice development for Oliver, who is torn throughout the episode due to Felicity and Ray heading off to spend more time together. The pair had some nice, light-hearted scenes and it was lovely to see Ray shower our favourite I.T gal with gifts and pretty words. However, I’m quite certain that Felicity is well aware that she doesn’t need that lifestyle. It’s also crystal clear that she’s still just as heartbroken as Oliver when she overhears his words to Carrie; “I can’t be with anyone. I have to be alone.”
arrow-draw-back-your-bow-01As always, the Hong Kong flashbacks lack depth, despite seeing Oliver attempt to bond with his wary housemates and gain their trust. I suspect there will be more exciting developments later on, but I’m actually beginning to pine for the island flashbacks.

The only issue I had with ‘Draw Back Your Bow’ was the unnecessary club drama with Thea and her newly hired DJ. Whether it was there to merely provide light moments or create tension when Carrie arrives later, it felt out of place with the episode.

However, the closing scene was a sweet addition to an otherwise drama-filled episode, where Oliver and Roy – both feeling a little down in the dumps – have a late night dinner at Diggle and Layla’s place. The family/friendship element of Arrow holds the show together beautifully and provides the series with a strong base.

The ending offers up yet another cliff-hanger in the form of Captain Boomerang, who is no doubt shaping up to be either our series villain or another one-episode, temporary nightmare for Team Arrow. I’m hoping for the former.

‘Guilty’ ★★★

Draw Back Your Bow’ ★★★★

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