Arrow Review: Closer to Rock Bottom

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I have to admit that I found Arrow Season 2 Episode 11 a bit upsetting, both on an emotional level and a logical level.

Logistically, it's easier to understand - but emotionally I'm having a difficult time with Oliver choosing Sebastian Blood's newly born bond of friendship over Laurel's long-standing place in his life.

I realize most of you are going to disagree with this on a completely different emotional level, but we're still going to examine it a bit.

Because it was part of the hour and sets up what's coming next week, let's first touch lightly on Roy thinking it's as easy as gaining brute strength and you're on your way to becoming a superhero. Who in the hell told him that? If anything, after growing up around thugs who reigned with their strength alone, he should have known it would have the opposite effect. 

Putting Sin in harms way just because he's fast and can pull a car door off in a pinch was also incredibly stupid. So much for all the growing up he's done since he met Thea. At least he impishly asked the Arrow to put one through his heart instead of his leg this time. While a tad dramatic, it lead us to believe he might have learned a little something.

The main focus of the hour was, of course, your very favorite character's downward spiral. Laurel took another tumble down the hill on her way to rock bottom tonight, but it's all a very much centered around her poor choices and her proximity to Oliver as someone he once loved.

We do know to what end she has created her own hell by doubting herself and blaming herself for Tommy's death and drowning her sorrows in booze and pills. Because of her family history with it, she has no leeway to make those mistakes. Really, trying to become an alcoholic around an alcoholic is just idiocy. They can spot the signs, even when they're not there. They'll make those suckers up if you're not careful. Laurel was not careful.

But, it is what it is and now she's pretty much lost everything -- most recently her job, but most importantly the faith of her father and Oliver. 

I was kind of shocked when Oliver announced he was going to give a friend the benefit of the doubt and it was Sebastian Blood, and that his idea of doing that was to tattle on Laurel and ask him if they had broken up or something. She confided in him that she thought he killed his mother (he did) and was a criminal mastermind (he is) and Oliver went against his gut and took her comments (as if she was a child) to the person about which she was complaining. He almost got her killed.

She nearly had me believing that Sebastian was a criminal mastermind and the only reason that I believed her was because it was Laurel. I do have a blind spot where she's concerned. Not anymore.


The thing is, it wasn't just because it as Laurel. She had valid points and they never did follow up on what happened to his father. The files were missing so they just dropped the subject all together. Yet even Felicity had to admit with a name like Blood, it can't be a good sign. How long have you been waiting for somebody to make that connection?!

It was too easy to pin it all on Officer Daily and Officer Lance and The Arrow have much more experience in the area and should know that. They just wanted it to go away and for Blood to be the good guy they think he is and to blame it all on Laurel and the pills and booze because in their experience pills and booze always means bad judgment. Not in this case!

I wasn't sure what the flashback scenes were meant to imply regarding Laurel. So Sara had a crush on Oliver first, snuck out of the house and went to a keg party and spilled beer on a very drunk Ollie -- and then Laurel called the cops and had the party shut down. Since Laurel and Oliver were a couple shortly thereafter, Sara thought it was a setup? I'm not sure how that worked out. Then Sara went on the boat to pay her back. 

They lost me. So what? Sisters do that stuff to each other all the time. It's hardly life shattering. Just because Moira happened to sabotage her husband's boat and Sara was on it didn't mean that they were all caught up in a giant soap opera. Well, they are now.

We know for certain that Slade is using Laurel as part of the plan to hurt the vigilante. Slade likely doesn't know that Sara is alive and when he does, his plans will probably need to be altered a bit. He's going off of all the information he has available to him. Then again, Sara was chummy with Ivo when I wouldn't have expected it on the island -- maybe Slade knows about Sara through the League of Assassins.

The problem with the Laurel-centric episodes is that they always seem to focus on the same stuff over and over and never seem to take a forward step. She's been locked in a single storyline all season while everyone else has been dashing forward. Then she's gone for episodes at a time and when she's back... nothing has changed.

It's no wonder people find it so difficult to wish good things for her in the Arrowverse. Laurel is a slow-moving ship on a sea of speedboats. It's rather unfair.

The real kicker is how everyone is going to feel when the truth comes out. Only Felicity is going to be able to stand up and say "I told you with a name like Blood he would be up to no good!"

Do you think Oliver put his friendship with Sebastian Blood before his with Laurel?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (71 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I've got to say that I enjoyed reading these reviews but not anymore, I don't get what show are you watching but not only that, sisters do that all the time??? Really, in what universe...

@ Starbreeze

You never had fights with your sister? Like the same boys? Maybe your were farther apart in age. We never went to the dramatic levels that they do on TV, but it's TV. For them it's normal, for sister's close in age, I think it's common to argue over boys and such. However, if that's enough to put you off of reading my reviews, that's fine. I say many more unpleasant things about life on a pretty consistent basis.

@ Carissa Pavlica

True that!!
They over exaggerated on arrow, of all the ways to show the dysfunctional relationship between the sisters!!!!!!!
One sister sabotages the other sister's move on her crush and dates him afterwards. To get back at her the other sister decides to sleep with her crush who had been dating her sister for quite sometime...... Ahh the young and the reckless. Although this majorly proves that pre-Island Oliver is a huge ass.


Good episode. However, disappointed in Oliver. I know most people don't like Laurel but I think she is great.Katie Cassidy is doing a great job. Oliver won't feel great when he finds out she was right.


Did I miss something? Why did Arrow and Laurel have to sneak into the Hall of Records in the middle of the night? Couldn't she just walk in during business hours and request the file? It would certainly be a lot less dangerous that way. Also, why does Ollie completely disregard the fact that said file is completely missing? Isn't that, I don't know, more than a little *suspicious* under these circumstances?

@ Dreamrose

Yay! Hi Dreamrose. The good news is I need someone else to think I'm not nuts in my belief that the Arrow team disregarding the lost trail over Blood's dad's file would not have happened if it had been given to them by anyone other than Laurel. And... That stinks. And the other good news is we disagreed and bonded over Bones so we are not in cahoots! ;-) All in all, tonight's episode just didn't add up. It's the first time in a long time that the logistics and emotions were on a collision course.

@ Carissa Pavlica

Definitely not in cahoots! :-D I'm reminded of the saying, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." Oliver, of all people, should appreciate this. That, and "a lack of evidence is, in itself, evidence." Also, Oliver's team never really answered a critical question: where did the Mirakuru serum in Starling City come from? Are they just accepting that a corrupt low-level beat cop just happened to find the stuff... somewhere? Really?

@ Dreamrose

Just responding to your comment down below - I don't think for a minute that this is the end of the "missing file" at all. I think Arrow's been pretty good with tying up loose ends - and the way they've spun the Laurel story actually has given me more faith in the writers than before. Also - I have to say that THIS is another reason why I love TV Fanatic. I think this is one of the few places left where we can talk and argue and discuss the shows we love while still being respectful of others' opinions. :-)


I hope you don't mind a contrary opinion, but I respectfully disagree with your points on Laurel. I think you're being too harsh on Oliver and everyone else. We, as viewers, know that Laurel's telling the truth. However, if you look at it from the POV of the other characters - to them, she doesn't have valid points at all. All Laurel has is wild conjecture and unfounded accusations, compounded on by irrational behaviour. Laurel had no proof of her accusations against Blood, and her only "lead" was the word of a woman committed to an asylum. He also freely admitted to knowing Cyrus Gold, so no one really has a reason to suspect him. And if all that wasn't enough, she was found to have an opioid addiction - I mean, between stealing pills and the apparent paranoia, you couldn't get more classic drug addict behaviour. We all know that Laurel's being set up, but there's no reason for any other character to think so. No logical person would lend any credence to her words after all that, and I would find it less believable if they did. Also, Oliver - I don't think he actually went to Blood to give him the "benefit of the doubt." I actually thought he was being sarcastic, and went to see Blood to get a face to face opinion on whether he was lying or not. He never told Sebastian that Laurel complained - I think he wanted to see how Blood would react when talking about Laurel. Lastly - Roy - can't we assume that part of his stupidity is due to the Mirakuru? I mean, they keep drilling into our heads that it messes with people's minds - perhaps this isn't just stunted growth on his part, but As for being suspected simply because his last name is sinister...well, you probably shouldn't watch Hannibal LOL :-) (no one on the show has figured out it rhymes with cannibal yet...honestly...) I do agree that the stuff on the island was pointless - (though I don't quite agree that sisters do what Laurel supposedly did "all the time"). (sigh) No more round tables for me after this, right? :-)

@ Robin Harry

Instead of answering of my own accord, I will point out DreamRose's answer above. I don't know her and we disagreed over Bones, so we are not in cahoots. Someone other than me finds it odd that the story of Sebastian's dad was dropped given the circumstances. If it were brought to them by another source, they would still be on it, in my opinion.

@ Carissa Pavlica

I totally agree with you and Dreamrose that it seemed strange that they dropped the missing file. Right there with you. What you said though is exactly my point. Things might have gone differently if it were brought to them by another source. But Laurel isn't a credible source to them. She was successfully set-up and completely discredited, to the point where no logical mind would believe her accusations. What's happening to her is what you've been saying all along when all of us were simply annoyed with Laurel - they're pushing her to rock bottom. I'm not bashing Laurel - I happened to think this was a great episode for her. I'm just trying to see it from everyone's perspective.

@ Robin Harry

What Oliver needs is some sort of independent corroboration, some sort of clue that maybe Laurel wasn't completely off-base despite her drug-induced paranoia. On the other hand, he doesn't find the missing file (in and of itself) at least a little curious?


i get what ur saying about Roy but i mean thats what practically all teens do when they aquire powerrs of some sort


Good episode. Oliver listened to Laurel and tried to help her find out more about Blood but then the guy in the skull mask wasn't Blood and now he knows Laurel has a drug problem he's lost his faith in her and it makes since why he has no reason to believe her because Blood wasn't under the mask and the only file on his fathers murder is gone so what's he supposed to do. Oliver will find out the truth eventually and feel bad that he didn't stick with Laurel but he has a good reason for why he didn't. Can't wait till the next episode it looks really good I can't wait to see Roy train with the arrow.

@ marissa

But when has Oliver let a missing file stop him from getting information? They're letting booze override everything. Of all people, someone who partied his brains out and an alcoholic. For shame. As if everything they did during that time was useless. It doesn't fit.

Fearless diva

So as you all know, I am obsessed with Arrow. (lol) So I was bored today and figured that since PLL often provides clues to the audience about key plots on their season poster, why couldn't Arrow? Thus, the examination began! So obviously, Oliver is at the center, with the island behind him. Which made me think, he's getting better at letting go of that. It's haunting him but its not as bad as it was the year before. Furthermore, Felicity and Diggle are to his left and right; forming what some fans have dubbed "The Arrow Trinity". Their his closest confidantes. But after Diggle, are Thea and Roy. However, if you take a closer look, there's an obvious space between where Diggle is and how far away those two are. Which can symbolize how they don' know about Ollie's secret. However, here's where it gets interesting... Slade is in between Laurel and Felicity and his pose is that of someone getting ready to fight. Remember his monologue in the midseason finale? The "fighting pose" could be a representation of Slade getting ready for his showdown with Oliver and being in the middle of Laurel and Felicity is not a coincedence. I think its deliberate. Either this means he will use the two ladies to recreate the moment where Ollie had to pick between Sara and Shado or that at very least, its referencing that he is going to try to get to Oliver by using these two. Furthermore, Laurel is further away from Oliver and closer to Slade in distance. A reference to far Oliver and Laurel have drifted apart and their relationship fizzling out. But, could her being closer to Slade mean that she will be the easiest to corrupt?


Good Review :) On the flashback when sara talks about her sister, I think it's meant to refer to the fact not everyone is as they seem. It's fits at the part when Oliver is investigating his good friend Sebastian Blood being a criminal mastermind. All the flashbacks refer to this in a way I think.

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Arrow Season 2 Episode 11 Quotes

Now I don't need his help to protect this city. Let's find us a bad guy.


His last name is Blood, that can't be a good sign.