The Calm review – A man cannot live by two names

Arrow returned for its third season with the return of Count Vertigo (well, almost), the setting up of the season’s big talking point ‘Identity’ and, a shock death.
It was a solid start to life in season three, it’s perhaps not up there with the best episodes we’ve had throughout the previous two seasons but it’s not a Blind Spot, that’s for sure. There were some decent moments without a doubt, it perhaps let itself down with trying to cram a little too much into its forty minutes – with some storylines suffering due to a lack of time spent on them.
But let’s take it from the top, I’ll resist the urge to start with Sara and jump to the identity aspect of the episode.

Identity crisis

As we discussed in the podcast, Oliver’s not been sure if he can be both the Arrow and Oliver Queen and it’s something he struggles with throughout the episode.

There are others, too, who suffer with an identity crisis, for example we have Lance who still wants to be a cop in the field even though his body won’t allow it any longer. He tells Laurel that he’s been a cop before Laurel and Sara were born, it’s all he knows and he’s not sure what to do now he can’t quite be the man he once was.

Then we have Diggle, he’s been Oliver’s right-hand man since the early days of his crusade and now he’s meant to be a father and have a family. Oliver aims to usher him away from one life to another, Diggle is reluctant though seems to come around to it towards the end of the episode.

Then, obviously, we have Oliver’s struggle which one would expect will be bubbling throughout the course of the season to come. It brought us a nice scene when the new Count revealed what Oliver’s worst fear was – himself – leading to a fight between Oliver and the Arrow. In some ways, Oliver hasn’t been Oliver Queen, at least not fully, since he was on the boat with Sara years and years ago. Season 2 saw him open up more, this season opener saw him take the plunge with Felicity before rapidly changing his mind. It’s something I’d expect him to struggle with throughout the season and something that, if done right, could be a really effective, engaging storyline.

Sara’s swansong

This opener brought Sara to an end (for the third time, poor girl). She only really popped up at the end, for reasons that aren’t really all that clear yet. Well, we know she was coming to see Laurel but we don’t know why. We don’t know if she had the blessing of the League. We don’t know why she was killed.

In truth, we don’t know much, except a feeling of frustration, anger and sadness.

I think that’s testament to Caity Lotz and the writers for delivering a great character. Lotz has been fantastic as Sara, she was a great addition in Season 2 and I’m sorry to see her go. She’ll be missed, no doubt, both on and off the show.

Sadly, I think her death was a bit inevitable in some ways. In terms of what they want to do for Laurel, Sara’s death will be the spark to get her arc going. She affects all of Team Arrow as they’ve spent time with her, they know her, she’s their friend. It’s one of those deaths which has ties to many of the characters in the show. It’s logical and god, I hate that. It makes perfect sense and it’s a shame as like I say, she’ll be missed!

In terms of whodunnit, looking at the promo for the next episode as well as the press release, the money has to be on Komodo. But the big question is, why? She seemed to know her killer, had he been with the League? I don’t have answers and… I’m usually wrong when I make theories but let us know, tweet us, facebook us, comment us – whatever! Let’s just get this one going. Why was Sara killed? Go! Discuss away!

More time needed

Again, we talked about it in the podcast, the only criticism to be drawn from the episode is some things felt rushed. Diggle’s fatherhood storyline, we had the false alarm and bam, then there was a baby. There was the villain storyline, which had some nice elements to it but again, there were only a few scenes for the new Count. Oliver and Felicity took up most of the episode and in fairness, that storyline was well done. However, there were plenty of others which, had more time been spent on them, they could have proven really effective.

Parts of the episode just felt a little uneven. Perhaps a more feature length opener or a two parter or something could have aided this. There were plenty of good ideas on show, it just maybe wasn’t executed quite as well as it could have been.

Nevertheless, the wheels have been set in motion for the season ahead, and I for one am very much looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.


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