Arrow: “Seeing Red” Season 2 Episode 20 Review – Our Verdict on This Shocking Entry

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This was a brilliant episode disguised as a very bad one. Using typical TV and comic book tropes, we were tricked into what kind of story we were going to be told this week. We were dead wrong. Warning, major spoilers ahead.

I’m always very nervous going into Roy centric episodes, they tend to go either way. But I’m never nervous going into Moira centric episodes. Seeing Red wanted you to think it was a Roy episode, which it did, perhaps a bit too successfully. But as a things get set in motion, the dark truth of this episodes comes alive to take your breath away.

After one hell of a crazy season for Moira (first prison, now a mayoral candidate), Slade forced a sword through her chest, killing her. The not always morally centered voice of reason for the Queen family was taken, just as Shado was taken.

The flashbacks of Moira helping Oliver circumnavigate a pregnancy scandal actually resembled the character best. The lengths she will go for her family are evident here, but that has always been Moira’s justification for her actions.

Then there was when she told Oliver she knew his secret without ever saying the name Arrow. Of course she knows, she has to know. Oliver, and the show’s writers, haven’t exactly done a good job giving excuses for Oliver’s late nights and injuries. So of course she knows, what mother wouldn’t?

When Seeing Red wasn’t forcing Roy to Hulk-out, it was celebrating one of Arrow‘s most engaging and dynamic characters. Then they pulled the rug out from under us. Now Oliver has to live that Slade killed his mother while trying to hurt him. Thea has to live with never forgiving her mother for hiding her father’s true identity. Tommy’s death in the Season 1 finale was a tear-jerker, but this was just emotionally wrecking. Oliver may no longer be about revenge, but good god does Slade deserve a second eye removal.

Sadly, as powerful and as shocking as a lot of this episode was, Roy’s storyline was an absolute mess. If a mirakuru cure is in the future, please give it to Roy so his angsty super strength can just go away. The action was dull, the acting was atrocious on Colton Haynes’ part, and it ultimately took away from what could have Arrow‘s best episode.

That being said, as bad as these moments were, everything with Moira was still so powerfully done. It’s hard to pull of a genuine shock on TV these days, with Game of Thrones being just about the only show that gets attention for it. But I saw none of this coming and I had to reach for the tissues. That’s damn impressive, ArrowGrade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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