Arrow: “Guilty” Season 3 Episode 6 Review

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“Who killed Sara Lance?” has been the main question of Season 3 so far, and Guilty either gives us an answer, a cheap one at that, or is yet another bump in the road stopping us from finding out what really happened.

Since Roy got his official Team Arrow costume, we haven’t really gotten much interplay between he and Oliver that showcased their partnership. That is what Guilty was most successful at doing.

Roy’s visions of himself throwing arrows into Sara’s chest put the idea in his head that maybe the Mirakuru cure didn’t work as well as they had hoped. But when Felicity runs a scan, there doesn’t appear to be any left in his system. Regardless, Oliver, having already lost one partner, tells Roy to take a few nights off to go rest once he notices that something is off.

Meanwhile, murders are occurring throughout Starling City that point back to Laurel’s new teacher Ted Grant. Turns out he was a street-level vigilante while Oliver was stuck on the island. I like the detail that he was never really noticed because he was focused on the Glades and cops barely even went there back then.

Pitting Laurel and Oliver against each other on whether Ted was guilty or not was a ton of fun. You had to laugh at Laurel’s “We used to date,” remark to Ted, even though it means that Ted could probably figure out the Arrow’s identity pretty easily now.

Ted eventually reveals that he, like the Arrow, had a sidekick, but that he killed a man on the job, causing Ted to give up his vigilante life. It becomes clear that Ted’s former partner is the one trying to frame him when he shows up and sticks a gun in Ted and Laurel’s face.

There was a lot to enjoy about the climactic car chase. Oliver and Diggle do their best to stop the vehicle, but this is Roy’s story and he deserves to have his say on the matter. That said, Laurel’s awesome driving maneuver deserves a mention, as she flung Ted’s partner out of the open door of the backseat. Roy closes in and it becomes sidekick vs. sidekick. Roy vows to never be like him, just as Oliver vows to trust his partner, unlike Ted did with his.

The use of Arsenal on Arrow has been largely successful, with this episode nailing the hero/sidekick dynamic in live-action better than we’ve seen in a lot of the big-budget superhero blockbusters of the summer. Still, the connections to Sara’s death feel almost completely unnecessary.

Oliver’s weird meditation memory thing in his flashbacks was tedious and unrealistic. Oliver is hardly a zen garden type of superhero, but the way he tried to apply this to Roy was just plain silly. Roy is hardly collected enough to come close to any sort of meditative state. The whole thing felt forced and put a big red mark on an otherwise great episode.

By the end, it’s clear Roy didn’t kill Sara, but that we’ll have to wait at least another episode for the final reveal. It all feels like a cheap tease just begging for watercooler talk. Such a shame on an episode that mostly nailed the very tricky sidekick role. With three episodes left for the year, including the big Flash crossover, hopefully we’ll get some real answers before the holiday break. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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