Friday, November 14, 2014

Arrow - Guilty

More than any episode of Arrow in recent memory, "Guilty" struggles with a pair of stories that move forward character development but struggle to in terms of creating a compelling hour of television. Much of the problem can be laid at the feet of J.R. Ramirez as Ted "Wildcat" Grant who is simply too young to sell the premise of the city's long-forgotten vigilante when he's basically the same age of as every member of Team Arrow rather than a contemporary of Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) which would make a hell of a lot more sense. The storyline involving gang members murdered in a manner to point the police in Wildcat's direction is awkward because never once are we given any reason to suspect that he could be the person responsible (and proof of his innocence).

The B-story involving Roy's (Colton Haynes) visions of murdering Sara, teased at the end of last week's episode, work better as the character's backstory and the madness associated with the Marakuru help sell the idea he might be responsible. The coincidence between Wildcat's former sidekick and Roy both being killers is pretty damn hamfisted, but at least the show allows Oliver (Stephen Amell) to make the right call regarding Roy (who even though he's not responsible for Sara's murder does have some guilt to work through).

Despite my issues with the episode, "Guilty" still delivers by continuing Laurel's (Katie Cassidy) training with Wildcat which will culminate in her assuming Sara's role in the second-half of the show's Third Season, introducing the idea that Green Arrow wasn't the city's first vigilante, and providing Roy with both his nickname and plenty of guilt to work off on the streets. Next week's appearance of Cupid is unexpected, but it does suggest another option (or red-herring?) as the love-crazed archer might be the one responsible for Sara's death.

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