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REVIEW: Arrow 2×20 “Seeing Red”

Well, that was certainly not what I expected in terms of an ending, I mean holy crap I thought Ollie was beginning to fight back. Yes, it seems we were given a bait and switch in terms of the content of “Seeing Red” as we were led to believe that Roy was going to be put down or put severely out of commission for quite a while. Instead the episode became a very strong story about Oliver’s family and what those members are willing to do in order to protect those they love from harm. Each member of the Queen clan had a rather satisfying arc and each had their own looming danger constantly approaching throughout the episode, but in the end the most complex member of the Queen family made the ultimate sacrifice. It says a lot about the show that we achieved the ending we did and there are still three whole episodes left before the season ends. So, let’s dive in.

So yeah Moria is dead, that really just happened and may I say she went out really hardcore. I mean voluntary sacrifice is nothing new but it really helped to show that her primary goal was to be a loving mother till the very end. Susanna Thompson just knocked every scene out of the park this week right down to those final moments in the woods with Slade and her family. I knew from the moment we saw that the flashbacks were not island related that something was up and when Moira came in to talk to Oliver the death flags were beginning to raise. It was amazing how those flashbacks managed to capture the essence of Moira as a character, she was willing to do anything for her family even if it meant doing something horrible like bribing the girl who is carrying your son’s child. Yes, that was some daytime soap opera-esque shit but damn if it did not play out well on screen.

Of course that was not Moira’s only strong scene this week as she told Oliver that she knew he was The Arrow. Seriously, Thea is gonna be even more pissed when she finds out everybody except for her and Sin knew that Ollie was The Arrow, but I digress. The reveal was well timed and definitely made sense, I mean Moira was not stupid and had to have realized just how different her son was since he got back from the island. It showed that she did not care what Ollie did only that she was proud of the man he had finally become. She was proud when he was going to sacrifice himself to Slade and how her children had grown up, so the sacrifice was earned and she went out in the best of ways. I thought Slade would have gone for symbolism by shooting Moira but the katana through the chest was just as brutal and entirely Slade. Suffice to say Malcolm officially has a reason to come back to the city as he is probably going to want revenge.

As for Roy, man was watching him go all terminator brutal or what. It is definitely interesting to see all of the clear parallels between him and Slade being formed right down to hallucinating the person he loved telling him to kill. You would think in all of Ivo’s research he would have come across some weird warning label about what the Mirakuru’s side effects would be. It was a strong choice to have Roy not have any dialog until the very last moment but there does seem to still be the matter of Roy being a walking time bomb. The team will only have so much Tibetan pit viper venom to sedate him with and even if Roy’s body manages to metabolize most of it there have to be some ramifications for injecting that much poison in your veins. Hell, even Bane does not get away with dosing that much and the man practically runs off a Mirakuru hybrid.

Finally I want to talk about Oliver as this was a big week for him as a character with his mother’s death in the present day and him getting a girl pregnant in the past. Oliver this season has been battling Slade whether he knew it or not and now Oliver has lost both of his parents, his girlfriend left him, and his sister hates him (somewhat). Ollie needs a win and he seemingly does not know where or how he will find one. Yes, he managed to save Roy but that is a stop gap as the Mirakuru is still making Roy insane and we do not know if Oliver will be able to stop him next time. It is hard to figure out how Oliver plans to defeat Slade as he has been so thoroughly beaten to the point of moral collapse. I just wish we had some inkling of how Ollie plans to fight back other than Slade making himself the most wanted man in all of Starling City.

Overall it was a fantastic episode as we ramp up for what appears to be Starling under siege.


Final Grade A-

+Moira’s noble sacrifice

+Slade’s twisted revenge

+Roy going all terminator

+Thea having a strong outing


-Ollie can literally not catch a break


Extra thoughts

-So, Ollie’s son would be approximately six years old by now. Please be Connor Hawke.

-Does everyone in the main cast own a freaking hoodie, I mean hell even Sin is getting a piece of the action

-I love how casual Slade was with the sword, my only question is did he lay it across his back seat or buckle it in on the passenger side?

-So Sarah just runs away? Twenty bucks she is making a booty call to Nyssa.

About the author

Scott Swartz