Arrow Review: “Seeing Red” (Season 2, Episode 20)

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The flashbacks this week didn’t focus on the island, and instead told the tale of the time Oliver got a girl pregnant after cheating on Laurel. Moira steps in, without his knowledge, and pays the girl $2 million to tell him she’d lost the baby and disappear. Could this be a set-up for Connor Hawke somewhere down the line? It would certainly seem so. I did not see this coming, and cannot wait to see where it goes. They didn’t introduce a plot development like this just for the sake of one episode, so keep it in mind when season 3 kicks off in the fall.

For those unfamiliar, Connor Hawke is the son of Oliver Queen in the comics, and even takes over as Green Arrow for a short time. We weren’t given a specific timeline on when the child was born, but he’d be at least six years old now, probably older. Still a bit young to follow in his father’s footsteps, but it’s cool to see that seed planted so that we can revisit it later.

By the third act, it looked like everything had finally settled down. Oliver went through the ringer this week, having his leg broken and then getting dumped by Sara because she wants to protect him. A cliched reason, but this is still a CW show after all, and you can’t keep your main characters happy for too long.

Just as things are settling down and Moira begins opening up to Thea and Oliver… BAM! Their car gets hit and we cut to black. I thought that might be the end of the episode, but oh no. There’s much, much more.

Things come into focus and Slade appears. Oliver is tied up, and before him sit Moira and Thea, bound and crying. Slade stands behind them, and tells Oliver that he must choose between the two. This was perhaps the most intense, jaw-dropping scene we’ve seen in the series thus far. Oliver obviously cannot choose, which prompts Moira to get to her feet and sacrifice herself for her children. Surprisingly, Slade accepts her sacrifice and stabs her through the heart before cutting Thea loose and walking away.

Stephen Amell is brilliant in this scene, bringing forth raw emotion and despair we haven’t seen him display since Tommy’s death. The scene at first felt abrupt, but I suppose that’s the point. We were supposed to feel like it came out of nowhere, because it did, and it left a hell of a shock wave that I’m sure will permeate through the final three episodes of the season.

All in all, “Seeing Red” could have easily been a dull hour that derailed the momentum that’s been building since mid-season. However, thanks to some emotionally charged revelations and tragedies, what we got instead will likely be remembered as one of the best episodes of the series, even if it had its fair share of problems.

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