Arrow S3E1: “Stop Dangling Maybes”


By Josh Axelrod

Well, that was fast. It was just a few weeks ago that I finished my “Arrow” binge, and I’ve already been graced with more new episodes. And “Arrow” came back in a big way in an episode that was asking a simple question: can all these characters living multiple lives ever strike a balance between them?

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

Oliver certainly thought so at first. After Slade’s assault on Starling City last season, things were finally stable in his life for once. Sure, he had lost his company and mansion. But pretty much everyone (minus Detective Lance) knows he’s The Arrow at this point, and his quest to clean up Starling City had been going relatively smoothly.

First and foremost, I’m already loving that the show has officially made Roy Oliver’s sidekick. Whether he’s Speedy or Red Arrow or whoever, he now looks and acts much more intimidating than he did in that red hoodie. Plus, his training appears to be paying off in big ways. He’s clearly missing Thea (who was MIA in this episode), but at least he has a real purpose now to quell his anger.

Mazel tov to Diggle and his new daughter! He and Oliver spent this episode clashing over whether Diggle should be put in the field or not now that he has other responsibilities. In his case, it appears that he’s ready to put Lila and his daughter ahead of Team Arrow, though I’m sure we’ll still get to see him kick some ass this season.

But guys, let’s get to the big development: Oliver asked Felicity out! And he was wooing the hell out of her until Count Vertigo had to go blow up the restaurant and remind Oliver that living a normal life just isn’t in the cards for him as long as he wears that hood. Making his vertigo-induced fear himself was a bit too on-the-nose, but it appears he at least now isn’t afraid to be Oliver Queen anymore.

And we’re definitely not done with this Felicity romance. That kiss was way too genuine for it to be over the way Felicity seems to feel it is. Oliver better act quick though: Not only has Barry Allen (aka The Flash) woken up and is feeling more confident, but it looks like Ray Palmer (former Superman Brandon Routh) is not only going to steal his company, but try to take Felicity from his as well. Better step your game up Ollie.

We’re also getting more flashbacks, as usual. Though instead of the island, now we’re getting Oliver’s time being held captive in Hong Kong by Amanda Waller. She wants him for some team, and all he wants to do is either go home or die. She’s blackmailing the guy tasked with keeping Oliver from escaping by threatening to harm his family, so clearly she means business.

Photo courtesy of Rama’s Screen

This episode opened up a lot of new possibilities for this season:

  1. Now that Vertigo induces fear, it’s only a matter of time before The Scarecrow shows up, right?
  2. It appears that Oliver no longer has any qualms about killing people, based on the way he took out the Count without a second thought. I know it’s been a while since Tommy died, but shouldn’t his memory still be weighing on Oliver? I guess not.
  3. THAT ENDING. OH MY GOD THAT ENDING. I almost don’t want to discuss it because it’s so deliciously spoilery, but well, **This is your massive spoiler warning.** Anyway, it seemed really random when Sara showed up after leaving last season to rejoin the League of Assassins. Well, she came back in full Canary force this week. She had nice moments with Oliver and Laurel, and then proceeded to get shot off a roof by someone off-camera. There’s no way she’s really dead, right? She looked pretty dead, but then again, we all thought Malcolm Merlyn was dead too. Lazarus Pit, anyone?

So the big mystery now: Who shot Sara Lance? The black arrows certainly look like Malcolm’s, but that’s way too easy. Could this be our introduction to Ra’s Al Ghul? Also, if Sara really is gone, is it finally time for Laurel to take up the Black Canary mantle? So many questions and so many plotlines introduced in one episode. Welcome back “Arrow,” we missed you.

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