Oh, the feels! I accept that comment is a bit snarky considering the gravity of the situation, but when your action hero drama goes for weepy and sad, mixed results are likely to occur. That’s what I felt after watching “Sara.” Not that it was a bad hour. It wasn’t at all. It did poignantly show how tight knit this team really is and how losing one of their own can be so devastating. It forced all our heroes to evaluate their priorities in life and one or two conclusions surprised me a bit. Of course, one or two didn’t either.
Oliver handled this latest horrible death in his life with outer strength and resolve, even though underneath it all was resignation. T he flashback was supposed to tie in to Oliver’s inner struggle, but I’m not sure it quite hit the mark. Still, I loved seeing Colin Donnell on my TV again! I miss Tommy. It must have been heartbreaking for Oliver to put his buddy through that ordeal and not be able to tell him he was alive, but hey, it saved his life. After seeing that, you get why Oliver believes that someday it will be him on that slab like Sara. It’s the life he chose. He just seems to face one hopeless situation after another and real relationships aren’t permitted for him. Yep, he just can’t fight it anymore.
On the other side is Felicity, whose journey seems a little more out of left field for me. Here she’s been so devoted to Oliver all this time, he asks her on a date, it’s interrupted by a murderous villain and now she thinks she wants a different way of life? She did know who she was dating, right? I get that maybe she feels like she needs to get out and try something different, but I don’t see how we got from point A at the end of last season to point B in “Sara.” It was more of a giant leap than a gradual progression. Sure, it’s really a bad plot device to get her to work for Ray Palmer so that whole love triangle between her, him, and Oliver can get started, but whatever. She did deserve the promotion and she still gets to do her vigilante activities in the evening.
This actually works in Olicity’s favor down the road if you think about it, because now she won’t have the awkward position of dating her boss, unless she decides to date her new boss. BTW, I’m still not buying Palmer’s mantra about saving the city though. Who’s pulling his strings? There’s always someone evil behind these do-gooders. Did we not learn anything from Sebastian Blood? Please let it be Malcolm. Please?
As for the rest of the team, Diggle shows up, deciding that he must be there for the team (shocker there, we knew he wouldn’t be gone long). He does have a precious baby girl at home though, aptly named Sara (she looked pretty big for a newborn but still really cute). Roy, who’s missing Thea, and finally tells Oliver why she can’t be reached (her “I’m leaving” note I guess shared all that). He realizes that choosing to help the team back in last season’s finale cost him Thea, and Sara’s misfortune gave him time to think about that. Just long enough for him to join the team assault against Simon LeCroix anyway. Yep, reflection over. Captain Lance doesn’t know what’s going on at all, making him the happiest person of the bunch.
The rest of the episode revolved around Laurel and her journey. This is one of those rare times where Laurel’s story came across as real and not forced. Her actions actually made sense! She’s grief stricken but also desperate for revenge and justice, which means she goes through things without thinking them through. In other words, she’s Oliver in season one. The loss of Sara is no doubt going to haunt Laurel for an eternity, which is the ideal comic book fodder that will push her into becoming the new canary. She’s got a long way to go though, stupidly going after Sara’s killer with guns blazing and tempers hot. If Oliver wasn’t there to talk her down (at least he took away the bullets from the gun) she would have killed the wrong man (even though he was hardly innocent). Oliver is going to have to be her mentor, showing her the ways of patience and killing is bad. No one else can get through to her.
I really did feel for Laurel at the end though. The team may know that Sara is at rest, burying her at the original grave marker (they didn’t get rid of that when she turned up alive?) but only they know she’s there. No one else gets that closure or gets to honor her memory. She deserved better. I just kept wondering what’s going to happen when poor Captain Lance finds out. He’ll be devastated! Keeping that secret is going to be very hard on Laurel, all while making her more determined to be stronger and better when going after the killer. You know it won’t stop after that. She’ll realize she needs to carry on Sara’s legacy. Yep, a big leap forward in the origin story of The Black Canary.
The weakness of the episode was all that the character drama didn’t blend quite right with the villain of the week story, aka Simon offing people and the team chasing him. That part was too formulaic. There were a few token action scenes, like the showdown on motorcycles, but when it all came together the episode seemed clunky. It took away some of the emotional impact we were supposed to feel . Still, I love that end. John Barrowman being on my television even for a few seconds is way better than no Malcolm at all. And Thea has gone all ninja. It suits her, although I’m not sure about the new hairdo. Now Malcolm is “father.” Sweet! They must have had some fruitful bonding time.
That takes us into next week, where Oliver is ready to go after Thea. He’s about to learn some big truths! Those reveals are always mixed bag on this show, but I see some golden opportunities here when he finds out about Malcolm. Golden! You’ll be able to cut the tension with a knife. Either that or I’ll just enjoy Malcolm being him. It’s a win either way.