Arrow: Guilty Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

Arrow has had its ups and downs in its third season and “Guilty” was a definite down swing. I could blame it on the growing pains of the Hong Kong flashbacks or the lack of Slade Wilson, even though those aspects are a part of the problem, but it just seems likes the series lost heart and its high stakes mentality.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

I’m just going to say it straight: This episode was boring. Some of the characterization was off, there was too much Laurel, and the villain of the week was too diluted. At this point, I’m enjoying The Flash a lot more than I’m enjoying Arrow. At least in The Flash I enjoy every single character, however I can’t say the same thing about Arrow.

Laurel continues to be highly problematic, but this episode tried to fix and tweak her character. She was actually likable in her scenes with Ted Grant, but then reverted to a whiny child not getting her way in the scenes with Oliver. There is a huge discrepancy in the way she is written in her interactions with different characters.

So far in the handful of Arrow’s season three episodes, Roy has had little to nothing to do but be a backup to The Arrow and at times even Diggle. It was a relief to see Roy actually get something to do. The character has come so far since his debut that it would be a shame if the character growth stops just because he has become Arsenal, which he was dubbed in “Guilty.”

In this episode there was a heavier focus on the Oliver and Roy relationship, which had been majorly neglected throughout the first handful of episodes in the season. They used the focus on Ted and Issac’s relationship as an extremely heavy-handed parallel to Oliver and Roy. I find it annoying that they had to use another relationship to develop the two bow wielding heroes. It could’ve been done without the aid of Ted and Issac many episodes ago. However, even though there was a focus on Oliver and Roy, it still wasn’t a part of the two major storylines in the episode. For someone who is now such a larger part of Team Arrow, it should warrant more of a closer look at the character. Considering there is significant insight into Oliver’s relationship with the other members of Team Arrow, it’s time this relationship gets addressed.

It was nice to see Oliver take on a mentoring role for Roy, but there was a major logic problem and therefore uncharacteristic response from Oliver. When he thought Roy killed Sara in the mirakuru state, it wasn’t okay but since Roy remember he killed a police officer it was totally fine then. For someone who now looks down on killing, logically it was odd and somewhat unexplainable.   

Usually Diggle is the voice of reason and I almost always agree with his assessment of situations, but for some reason it’s like he had a personality transplant when he told Oliver to let Roy loose. It was very uncharacteristic and just another example as to why this episode didn’t work.

Ever since the beginning of the series, comic book fans have been clamoring for the boxing glove arrow. “Guilty” finally delivered the famous arrow and incorporated it in an extremely realistic way that fit nicely into Arrow’s world. It’s something so fantastical from the comics that it seemed like it would never fit into Arrow, but the writers figured it out. Major props.

Rating: 3 out of 5

    One Comment

  1. Tinne RinggrenNovember 18th, 2014 at 2:15 am

    I have to say I disagree with you on Diggle having a transplanted personality.

    Diggle IS the voice of reason. So when someone he cared for/appreciated, and has been fighting battles alongside, dies, you can expect there to be some grieving. Essentially I feel that’s why Oliver says in an earlier episode, I believe, that he’s not allowed to grieve yet because then no one else could.

    So, in my opinion it really seems like Diggle is clouded slightly by his feelings for Sara and the possibility of Roy having killed her is easy to just accept. Saves him from speculating and worrying more about what actually happened to Sara. A hasty decision yes, but in no way does that stray from the kind of character he is. Like all of Team Arrow, they loved/cared for Sara, so it is only to be expected that their minds are slightly clouded with grief.


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