Arrow: 3.14 “The Return” | REVIEW

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February 19, 2015 by Luciana Mangas

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So, how about that crazy episode last night, huh? I couldn’t have chosen a better one to start reviewing this show, as “The Return” presented us with all the best elements that make Arrow such a great drama. I am a very recent fan, having only caught up with the show – in an insane two-week marathon – this past January. That said, I will be the first to say that I have zero knowledge on the DC Comics front, so my review will be solely based on TV canon.

Now that this is out of the way, let’s talk about last night’s ridiculously awesome episode, shall we? Although I sorely missed Felicity (even though we got that cute scene in the flashback) and I wasn’t exactly super excited to watch an hour long of the Thea show, I admit that the way they portrayed her relationship with Oliver was just so poignant and beautiful to watch. Thea has never been my favorite character, but she has been slowly growing on me for the past couple of episodes, and she has earned some major brownie points for everything she endured with Oliver on the island. I absolutely loved her display of bravery throughout this episode; for all his faults and mistakes, we have to admit that Malcolm Merlyn really has trained her really well. And also managed to destroy any shred of trust she had in him now that the shit has hit the fan. My heart broke for her when she found out she was the one who killed Sara.

God, I miss Sara.

Anyway, bottom line is, I really enjoyed Thea through this entire episode, to my absolute surprise. I am also so relieved that Oliver is opening up to her and that there are mostly no secrets between them anymore. Or maybe there are. I don’t know. The man has got to be the most secretive dude in all fandoms, because I seriously can’t even keep track of all his secrets anymore. And I thought that the most important role in this episode for Oliver – present time on the island – was to finally let the cat out of the bag on who actually killed Sara. It was great to see Slade again, but I thought him being in this episode played more of a catalyst for Thea than for Oliver. Except for that last line when Slade asked about Felicity – and the threat was so very obvious in his tone; we all know our favorite hacker will be in serious danger whenever Slade escapes from Lian Yu again.

Now let’s talk about the flashbacks and how amazing it was to see Tommy again. I understand why they had to kill him in the season 1 finale, but I really, really liked Tommy. Despite all the horrible wigs, it was great to have a look at the Starling City gang from years ago and we even got another look at Queen Consolidated, which was really cool. What really stood out for me in the flashbacks, though, was that we finally understood how Oliver got the message from his father and how that was the catalyst for him to become the Arrow in present time. Now it makes sense, because I really wasn’t buying into the whole hallucination he had on the island thing.

I loved watching how Laurel and Tommy’s relationship started and what prompted her to take a job at CNRI. Also, meeting Dig’s brother? Awesome – however brief that was. And of course, that ridiculously adorable Felicity scene at Queen Consolidated. I wonder if Oliver even remembers that that was when he saw her for the first time. It would put their conversation during their failed date in a whole new light, wouldn’t it?

Anyway, that’s it from me. What did you guys think of the episode? And how psyched are you for next week’s “Nanda Parbat”? Tell me all about it.

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