Arrow: Seeing Red

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By Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

When I started watching “Seeing Red” I was thinking, “Oh, what an oddly semi-calm episode for Arrow.” But, yeah I was wrong. The last 10 minutes of the episode left me in utter disbelief.

Warning: Major spoilers ahead!

I didn’t see that death coming. I really didn’t. Usually I am pretty good at spotting impending deaths, but the death of Moira Queen got me. If a character is not a major player, shows tend to over-utilize them an episode or two before their death. Sure, Arrow used Moira a lot throughout “Seeing Red,” but it never fully registered for me as I thought it was because the mayoral race was heating up.

The Queen matriarch’s death was very well done. Guns have become the weapon of choice in media and it’s easy to become desensitized to them. Arrow, much like Revolution, is unique and uses other weapons like bows and arrows and swords to inflict damage. When Slade killed Moira with his sword, it felt more shocking and more of an honorable killing than him using a gun.

Her murder was equally as emotional as the season one death of Tommy. It felt significant even though her character really wasn’t. I wouldn’t have cared if her character died at the end of the first season. She was a cold character with little personality. In this season, Moira had character development and even though it was minimal, it was there. Credit for that has to go to both the acting and writing. Especially the writing at the end of the episode – it was a full circle moment for Oliver being in that situation again – but his mother wouldn’t let him make that choice and instead she sacrificed herself for her children. It was truly touching.

Moira knowing about Oliver’s secret was surprising. She never gave any inclination that she knew about him being the Arrow. It was moving when she said there was nothing to say except that she was proud of him. Stephen Amell and Susanna Thompson rocked that scene.

I really liked that the flashbacks’ focus shifted from the island to pre-island. Before this episode I didn’t care for Moira at all, but these scenes really showed that all her deceit and lying stemmed from a love of her children. It doesn’t excuse her but it was nice to see.

In the comics, Ollie does have a child, Connor Hawke. He took over the mantle of Green Arrow when his father was “dead.” I thought it was interesting to place the child and his mother in Central City. Could the character be headed to the Flash spinoff?

It was disappointing that the weakest link in the episode was the Roy-centered stuff. Don’t get me wrong, his scenes served a purpose. Since no one – not even Thea – could get through to him, he absolutely needs to be cured now. Before, there wasn’t much urgency to his condition. It was always treated as if they needed to harness this new energy. Now, it’s so out of control that he’s on Slade’s level by seeing a “ghost” Thea.

Sin continues to be a strong second-tier character. All of her scenes with Thea and Sara were touching, especially her stuff with Sara. In my opinion, Sara’s strongest scenes are with Sin and Papa Lance. At times Sin feels more like Sara’s sister than Laurel does. When Sara left, she said bye to Sin and not to Laurel. I hope that the series will subvert my expectation and actually let Sara live, but after this episode her fate continues to look grim.

Good for Diggle finally getting some action away from Oliver. The scenes between him and Thea were somewhat awkward but enjoyable to watch. It’s always entertaining to watch people who don’t normally work together share scenes.

Felicity was once again the comic relief in this episode. When Ollie hobbled down the steps of the Quiver/Arrowcave/Foundry and she had to carry him and her reaction to him injecting himself with pain killers cracked me up. This season, the series has gone to a dark place, but it’s always nice to have light hearted moments hidden within in episodes.

What did you think of Moira’s death? What did you think Moira was going to tell her two kids? How long do you think it will take for Ollie’s son to show up on Arrow or the Flash spinoff? Will Moira’s death be the thing that brings Malcolm back?


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