Thursday, April 24, 2014

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 20 - Seeing Red

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Hallucinating due to the Mirakuru in his veins, Roy Harper escapes from the Arrow Cave and goes on a rampage.  As Ollie and Sara argue about whether or not it is still possible to save him, Ollie must contend with further turmoil at home as the relationship between himself, Thea and their mother continues to deteriorate, even as Moira Queen becomes poised to become the next mayor of Starling City.

In the flashbacks, we see an incident in the Queen Family home seven years earlier and learn just how far Moira would go to protect her children even then, as Ollie comes to her with disturbing news.  He got a girl pregnant... and it wasn't his girlfriend, Laurel!


Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (the scene of Ollie and Sara in bed discussing their relationship), Green Arrow: Where Angels Fear To Tread (the idea of Ollie unknowingly fathering an illegitimate child while in college).  And while not based on any particular story, the whole episode has the feeling of a Mike Grell Green Arrow comic as we see Ollie benefiting secretly from people he's helped in the past as The Arrow (the doctor who treats Ollie's injuries) in a manner not dissimilar to an urban Robin Hood.  There's also the reoccurring themes of trust broken and lies told by those closest to us to protect us.


In the flashback, Laurel says "Good night." to Moira as she's leaving the Queen Mansion, when daylight is still clearly coming in through the windows.

Why hasn't Thea asked why this Slade Wilson guy was so invested in telling her "the truth" in the first place?

Where was Diggle when The Queen family limo was attacked?


Susanna Thompson is given a great episode to go out on, delivering a number of great speeches in both the modern and flashback scenes.


There's some very nice orchestral music throughout the episode.


This is not the first time that Oliver Queen has fathered a child out of wedlock.  During Mike Grell's run on Green Arrow, Ollie was raped by the assassin Shado, who later gave birth to a son.

Later, during the Chuck Dixon run, it was revealed that Oliver sired another son - Connor Hawke - with a girl he knew back in his hippie college student days named Sandra "Moonday" Hawke.  Connor become the second Green Arrow after Ollie's death.

Finally, there's a long-running theory - first proposed by Green Arrow expert Scott McCullar - that Cissie King (a.k.a. the heroine Arrowette) and daughter of former Green Arrow sidekick Bonnie King (a.k.a. Miss Arrowette) was Oliver Queen's illegitimate daughter.

We do not find out the name of the woman Ollie impregnated nor the gender of their child, so there's a fair chance the unnamed woman could be either Sandra Hawke or Bonnie King.  Given that reference is made to her returning to college in Central City, it seems more likely that it is Sandra Hawke.

Sara's leaving Ollie, claiming Ollie deserves someone better than her, is similar to arguments why Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance couldn't make a relationship work in the comics, with the genders flipped.


Ollie uses three tranquilizer-dart arrows to bring Roy down.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Ollie in Sara are in bed together, kissing one another softly)
Sara: Do you think Roy's okay?
Ollie: Please tell me that you're not thinking about Roy right now.  We're finally alone.  In a very nice hotel room.
Sara: A hotel room that you couldn't afford.
Ollie: I have something of a history with the manager.
Sara: Mmmm... I can only imagine.
(Ollie glances around the room)
Ollie: I think I trashed this specific room once.  When favors run out, we should think about getting a more permanent place.
Sara: ... we?
Ollie: Well... you're probably getting tired of staying with Laurel.  And we can't sleep in the foundry now that Roy's there.  So..
Sara:  But I mean... "we"... are you asking me to move in with you?
(Ollie answers this by kissing her.  Suddenly, his phone starts ringing)
Sara: Your phone's ringing.
Ollie: I know.
(The two go back to kissing.  Sara's phone starts ringing)
Sara: Okay, BOTH our phones are ringing.  That's nothing good.

Ollie: Mom, I know a little something about... sacrificing the people closest to me for the good of this city.  That's what you need to do now.
Moira: ... I know.
Ollie: Good.
Moira: Oliver... I KNOW.
(Ollie stops dead in his tracks.)
Moira: (quieter) I know.
(Ollie turns around.)
Moira:  I've known... since last year, I suppose.  The night of The Undertaking everything became so clear.  That 's pretty much the night I stopped sleeping.
Ollie: Before you say anything else...
Moira: There's nothing else to say.  Nothing I need to say.  Except I could not be more proud.

Woman: I'm not looking for money.
Moira: Of course not.
(Moira hands the woman a check.)
Woman: I told you I don't want money.
Moira: And I'm telling you that this is my first grandchild.  And I want to make certain that he or she has a bright future.  Please.
Woman: (looking at the check) ... this is a million dollars!
Moira: I want to make certain my son has a bright future as well.  That money is yours once you tell Oliver that you've lost the baby.
Woman: ... what?!
Moira: And another million when you return to Central City, never to speak to him again.  Can I offer you some advice, one mother to another?  When it comes to your children, there is no action that is inconceivable.  There is no decision that is impossible.  You do what you must to provide the life that they need and I think that two million dollars is sufficient to provide the life that both our children need.   Don't you?

Sara: I would have killed him.  I was ready to.  He'd be dead right now if you hadn't stopped me.
Ollie: But he's not.  That's all that matters.
Sara: That's not true.  I WANTED to kill Roy.  Because that's what I do.  That's who I am. Because I spent six years in the darkness.  And I looked into the eyes of The Devil.  And I gave him my soul.
Ollie: I can help you get it back.
Sara: No, you deserve someone better.  Someone who can harness that light that's still inside of you.  But I'm not that person.  And I never will be.
Ollie: Sara... don't.
Sara: I'm sorry.  I just care about you too much to be with you.

And the whole scene with Slade's sadistic choice between Moira and Thea.  But especially the final lines...

Slade: (To Moira) You possess true courage.  I am truly sorry... you did not pass that on to your son.


As the episode opens, we find out that STAR Labs is still working on the Mirakuru antidote, after Felicity gave Caitlin Snow a sample of the drug in 219.

We also find out that Isabel Rochev's death hasn't made the papers.  We know that's because she isn't really dead thanks to an emergency blood transfusion from Slade Wilson, but Diggle thought he killed Rochev in 219.

The on-line newspaper Felicity is reading in the opening scene has headlines regarding Moira Queen's lead waning and a series of controversial court room reforms being pursued - perhaps in response to the DA's office rehiring a lawyer with a history of drug abuse who was about to be disbarred to an assistant district attorney's post?  Or due to a recently fired assistant D.A. cutting a deal with a mob boss to lure out a violent vigilante that got several people killed (217)?  Or due to both of the aforementioned lawyers illegally withholding evidence from the defense in a capital murder trial (207)?

Another mention of The Big Belly Burger - The DCU's favorite fast-food franchise and - in Starling City - the burger bar run by Diggle's sister-in-law/ex-girlfriend.

Diggle says that Roy was more out of control than Slade was at Oliver's house, referring to 215.

Moira's campaign manager makes reference to Thea's kidnapping in 218.

Sara is still employed as a bartender at Verdant - a job she was hired for in 214.

Sin does not wear make-up.

Ollie is given treatment at Glades Memorial Hospital.  The doctor who treats him makes reference to the Triads stealing medicine meant for the hospital (202) and wondering how he could thank The Arrow for stopping them.  He gives Ollie a brace and some painkillers, noting that Ollie will be able to walk but it will still hurt.

Ollie refers to Helena Bertinelli and Sara not killing her (217).

Sara says the only way to disable a person on Mirakuru is with a head-shot.

Sin tells Thea about how Roy was injected with something that is messing with his head.

We see that Roy has hallucinations of Thea telling him to kill her, similar to how Slade Wilson has visions of Shado telling him to kill Ollie.

Ollie tries to write off his limp as being the result of a motorcycle accident.  Moira calls him on this, saying it is his second accident in as many weeks, referring to Ollie's injury in 219 following Slade Wilson's attack on The Arrow Cave.

Moira reveals that she has known about Ollie being The Arrow since 123.

Moira offers the girl Ollie impregnated two million dollars if she'll tell Ollie that she lot the baby and go back to Central City, never speaking to Ollie ever again afterward.

Ollie makes use of Sara's Tibetan Pit Viper venom (first seen in 212) to keep Roy sedated.

Sara dumps Ollie, saying she doesn't deserve him.  She says her goodbyes to Sin and says she is "going to see an old friend".

Moira is about to tell Thea and Oliver that Malcolm Merlyn is still alive when their car is hit.  The rumors of Merlyn's death being greatly exaggerated was revealed in 208.

Slade sets up a sadistic choice, trying to force Ollie to choose between his sister and his mother, mirroring Ivo's actions in 209.

The Fridge Factor

Sin is imperiled to drive home how much Roy has changed.  Thea is imperiled to give Ollie more angst.  And Moira gets fridged to give Ollie even more angst.

The Bottom Line

A powerful episode with a number of honestly shocking and surprising moments.  Definitely one of the best episodes of the season.  Possibly the best one yet!

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