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Arrow Round Table: "City of Blood"

by at .  Updated at . Comments

It's the Arrow Season 2 Episode 21 Round Table and we're talking about Oliver's decisions to miss the funeral and sacrifice himself, Laurel's new focus, what Sebastian Blood must be thinking and more.

Dive into the comments and join in the conversation with staff writers Hank Otero, Kate Brooks, Carla Day, Nick McHatton and Carissa Pavlica. Play nice!

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What do you think of Oliver's decision to pull away, miss Moira's funeral and contemplate suicide?

Hank: While I think missing his mother's funeral was a terrible choice, I can't imagine what coming to terms with his own mortality must have been like. I can totally understand how Oliver's disappearance appeared typical behavior for him, but in this case he needed to get away for some peace and quiet. If he had stuck around, I can't imagine Diggle and Felicity would allow him to contemplate death. They eventually show up to talk him out of it right? Anyway, I didn't see his choice as running away so much as needing space to make a life or death decision.

Kate: While I understanding both decisions, missing Moira's funeral is a rough one. Even if it is your fault, that is just something you'll have to live with for the rest of your life. With that said, choosing suicide to protect everyone else is somewhat heroic. It wouldn't have worked because Slade doesn't want Oliver dead, he wants him to live with great loss for as long as he does live. It wouldn't have solved anything.

Carla: Oh, Oliver. I felt for him. He basically killed his mother. Not really, but that's how he saw it. He was devastated and broken by Slade and it was entirely in character for Oliver to run away and hide. At least he didn't run as far away as the island this time. Was it selfish? Maybe, but everyone mourns in their own way. How was he supposed to face Thea? Regarding the suicide, Oliver was devastated and by sacrificing himself he thought he would save others, while ending his own pain. Misguided, but understandable.

Nick: Carla is right on this, everyone mourns in their own way. Oliver retreating to some place where he can find and process his grief is understandable, but missing your own Mother's funeral is tough. It's a chance to pay your last respects and support your family. Oliver misses an opportunity to support Thea, and to pay his final respects to Moira's selfless sacrifice. At least Oliver didn't completely leave though. At some level he instinctively knows he needs to stay and fight instead of retreating to the island like he does with Tommy.

Carissa: Oliver had plenty of time to retreat after the funeral. Leaving Thea on her own and missing the funeral was unacceptable. I'm unmovable on that point. He was supposed to face Thea because all she's asked for is the truth. He could have tried it on for size. I'm also surprised after learning how many factors came into play on the island other than sheer survival, that Oliver honestly thought it would be as easy as sacrificing himself to save his family. If that's all Slade wanted, then why didn't he just kill him outright? There was some seriously flawed thinking going on all around. 

Laurel and the Arrow Flee
Laurel and the Arrow flee from Mirakuru soldiers in this photo from "City of Blood."

Laurel stepped up. Give an honest, unemotional assessment of her inclusion in the activities.

Hank: I think is was great that Laurel took up the fight against Blood again. Something never felt right to her and in the end she was proven correct. Though she's annoyed me most of the season, I'm on board with Laurel now. I did find the Laurel Arrow reveal a bit anticlimactic. Even Roy had a more interesting reveal you know? Yes, I realize Laurel already knew but I guess I just hoped for a bit more.

Kate: It's hard to be "unemotional" about Laurel's decision because she has been such a terrible character all season that now she actually is doing something quite awesome. For the first time in a really long time she is a great character. Like Hank said, she's always felt something off with Blood but unlike Hank, I am not necessarily on board with Laurel now.

Carla: Laurel's been the weak point in Arrow season 2. She was better here, but her speech to Oliver about knowing him didn't feel earned. He's not the same person that he was pre-island (which is a good thing) and she doesn't really know him now. When she showed up when they were trying to take down the mirakuru army, I just sighed. She did help save Oliver, but she's a liability. When she whined, "Oli, there's too many of them. We can't fight." Ugh! Annoying. I want to see a strong Laurel, but she's not.

Nick: I'm a mixture of everyone's opinions on Laurel. I like that she's stepping up and finding her own footing again; doing what she can to figure out her gut feeling with Blood. She plays the politics of the show well, but part of me just does not care about her underneath Verdant; it's too big of a jump. It is not completely earned. Laurel knows about Oliver's nightly dealings, but to be quickly introduced into the cave, giving him a pep talk, and coming along on the mission is too much too soon. Laurel needs to find a way to contribute to the team and pay those same dues that everyone else has done, and, so far, she has not done it; however, this version of Laurel is far better than what we've had so far, so I'm willing to go for it.

Carissa: I'm saddened to think the comments will be just one big Laurel bitch fest. I disagree that her time in the lair was any less earned than anybody else. What did Roy do to get there? Got in Oliver's way too many times and shot up with Mirakuru; forcing Oliver's hand. Yet he didn't get the same flack for calling Oliver out on his poor behavior that Laurel did for her pep talk. What's that about? Laurel is intelligent but has been in the dark too long. She's in the light -- I'm looking forward to her next moves. She may not even like Oliver the more she learns about who he is now, but at least she has a chance to get to know him.

Oliver revealed himself to Sebastian. What do you think Is on Sebastian's mind right now?

Hank: Kill the Arrow? Or not be killed by the Arrow is more like it, right? Someone's got to go in the finale and I don't see the writers killing off Slade. My money's on Sebastian Blood.

Kate: Survival. Blood is terrified of Slade. It's like Stockholm Syndrome, you do what you have to do to survive your situation and if that means being the voice a a Mirakuru Army, you do it. Oliver is Slade's threat and in his mind, it's a no brainer that Slade will defeat The Arrow.

Carla: He's gone from a anonymous leader of the mirakuru to having a target on his back. He's going to have to fight harder now than ever to stay alive.

Nick: Sebastian's in his own island right now. He's in an impossible situation since Slade is not that big on him, and only uses him for a pawn; and he knows Oliver is going to be gunning for him now. So he's fighting to survive, and it's still undecided which team he's ultimately going to choose. I think there's a definite possibility that Blood will end up with one last ditch effort that turns the tide for Oliver.

Carissa: You almost have to feel sorry for the poor guy. To have the greatest evil and the greatest hero in town breathing down your neck makes you a good candidate to shed actual blood. He must be wondering what Slade hates about him so much, because that's still unknown to him. He's in the dark, yet he knows too much. If I were him, I'd be planning an escape.

Who do you think will be on Team Arrow as the season ends?

Hank: Laurel as Canary for sure, I've said this many times during our round tables. I don't see the writers killing off Diggle or Felicity but Roy might go off with Slade in the finale. I'm not sure he fits well in his current state anyway. His journey this season has been odd.

Kate: Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity obviously. I am having a really hard time with idea of Sara being killed because that just means that Laurel will have more to do and I'm not for that yet. I agree with Hank that they can't kill of Slade but that doesn't mean they can't cure him. As far as Roy goes, he just needs to die, he's terrible and doesn't belong anywhere anymore.

Carla: Oliver, Diggle and Felicity will remain the core team members of Team Arrow. They will have associate members in Sara, Roy, Nyssa, Lance, and even Laurel. Unlike Hank, I don't see Laurel becoming the Canary this season. She needs to earn that and she's not there yet.

Nick: I think Oliver, Felicity, and Dig are safe. Roy and Sara are on the bench for now. Laurel will most likely work her DA position.

Carissa: It will likely end with the core trio standing and the rest completely up in the air. That will be the hanging chad for Season 3. 

Share your overall thoughts on City of Blood.

Hank: I see City of Blood as the first hour in a three part finale. It wasn't my favorite episode of the season and had a few predictable moments (which is rare for the writers) but I guess it was necessary to get us to next week's installment. So far it's the one episode I didn't rush to watch again.

Kate: Most of the episode was a filler until they actual lead-in for the final two episodes came along. We have this great set up for the remaining two hours of the season. I'm on the edge of my seat, I am racking my brain and preparing myself for more great loss. When the season is all said and done, we wont be talking about City of Blood, we'll be talking about Moira's death in the episode previous and the two episodes to follow.

Carla: Overall, it was a set-up episode for the final two episodes. The players are all in place for an ultimate showdown between Oliver and Slade. Oliver's emotional breakdown after his mother's death felt authentic and real. I wish there was a better explanation about how Isabel's able to take back the Verdant building and hurt the Queen's financially. She's the CEO now, but the Queens still have an ownership stake in the company. The first appearance of Ravager was a letdown, but I have high hopes that she'll impress over the last two episodes. After seeing the mirakuru army, I'm always going to be afraid of the Deathstroke mask!

Nick: It won't be my favorite episode of the season, but it sets up some very important stories going forward. My favorite parts were definitely Felicity and Dig searching for Oliver, and Oliver finding Solace in his back up operations location. The reemphasis on the "Core Three" was a big one for me as well.

Carissa: I'm happy to see some female strength coming forth without physical power to back them up. Sheer brains and determination from Felicity and Laurel is nice. The core three being recalled as the source of Team Arrow was a nice call out and I liked Oliver saying "I'm the Arrow" to Sebastian, but there was too much that didn't feel right and was counterintuitive to the rest of the season. I'll likely leave major portions of it out of my future marathons.

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

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The best Team arrow this year imo is Ollie,Digg,Fel and Sara 2 guys 2 girls and felt balanced and exiting

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Hank u honestly think Laurel will become Canary this season lol what are you drinking buddy? If she is to become Canary s4 at the earliest lets not piss all over Ollie/Sara actual crucible and training that makes them the badasses they are

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Team Arrow after episode 23 will be Oliver, Diggle, Felicity, and a cured Roy, with Laurel in the wings and Sara back to the League to satisfy having Nyssa and the League join the battle. Blood and Isabel among the fallen during the battle. Slade also cured and enlisted by Waller into the SS. Regarding the whole Laurel is worthy/not-worthy argument — I agree that she has to earn her place on the team, and that it's implausible that she become Black Canary midway through next season. Roy's situation was unique in that he was brought into the team in the attempt to help him deal with being inflicted with the Mirakuru. Otherwise, the other four current members of the team went through years of training to achieve their specific skills, so it makes absolutely no sense for Laurel to jump into fishnets after six months. It's clear the writers are going to fast-track her ascension to the front lines, but hopefully it will take at least a couple of seasons and not a couple of months. I would love to see Sara in the Canary role in the next Birds of Prey installment, with she and Helena on the same side at least once before the title is passed to Laurel.

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"Laurel's been the weak point in Arrow season 2. She was better here, but her speech to Oliver about knowing him didn't feel earned. He's not the same person that he was pre-island (which is a good thing) and she doesn't really know him now. When she showed up when they were trying to take down the mirakuru army, I just sighed. She did help save Oliver, but she's a liability. When she whined, "Oli, there's too many of them. We can't fight." Ugh! Annoying." Carla - I ADORE you for this quote alone. You are now possibly my favorite. And Nick: Laurel needs to find a way to contribute to the team and pay those same dues that everyone else has done, and, so far, she has not done it; And Kate: Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity obviously. I am having a really hard time with idea of Sara being killed because that just means that Laurel will have more to do and I'm not for that yet. I agree with Hank that they can't kill of Slade but that doesn't mean they can't cure him. As far as Roy goes, he just needs to die, he's terrible and doesn't belong anywhere anymore. I agree with all of this. Nothing more to add really. Although I will say that I loved Oliver's scenes with Sebastian Blood but I super LOVED Felicity Smoak's "Bitch with wifi" moment. I love that they play off of her intelligence in her tactics. She doesn't have to be a superior fighter to be an effective and formative member of the team! I love it!

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Loved seeing the core team arrow together!!! Oliver, Diggle and Felicity to me are what make the show, they have such chemistry together. Please lets keep them them main focus. Really had a hard time watching Laurel and her speech in the lair to Oliver, was very painful to watch.And the way she dismissed Diggle and Felicity before her speech really bothered me. Some of her lines and delivery......ugh!!!! She just doesn't click for me. Roy is okay and I love Thea. Miss Sara too. Her interaction with Felicity was great to watch

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Laurel has been used as a plot device since the middle of season one. I hope she gets to be a character now. I don't think she'll be Black Canary next season, I think that is too soon. I do hope the writers change the pace of stories a bit. I think they tried so hard to tie everything to Oliver this season that we've been "told" about developments that should have been scenes, and side story lines - like Laurel's addiction and rehab - happen almost too quickly to get over the ill will that was caused. I liked her more in the last two episodes than I have for a while. I agree Ollie should have been at the funeral. The suicide plot was lame - Slade doesn't want him dead, he wants Ollie alive and suffering like Slade is. I think they'll cure Slade if they can or maybe let him redeem himself before he dies. I'm still concerned they'll kill Det. Lance - lots of things foreshadow it, hopefully its all misdirection. I think the comment about getting back to the three of them was a promise to viewers to cut back on the Team Arrow extras. With Laurel being told by the DA to pick her battles, and the preview looking like the cops will call Arrow I suspect the mayor might live and we'll have Arrow taking on a Batman like role with the cops to take on corruption in the City Hall and DA's office (remember, Merlyn had friends in the DAs office during the trial) and maybe the police force since there were obviously corrupt cops helping with the Mirakuru. Looking forward to see how they spin the story out.

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I dislike Roy and Laurel. Both useless. Both expendable. Both such disappointments to their comic counterparts. Both bearable worth any mention.

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Q#2 I am so glad that finally Laurel is being given the chance to show what she can do. I agree with Clarissa that Laurel has certainly earned her place in the Arrow cave. She has been kept in the dark for far too long and at least for the first season of Arrow the center of Ollie's world. Remember he told her that he is trying to be the man that she always saw inside him. It took the harrowing experience on the island to bring out that man. And when Sara told Ollie that he needed to be with someone who could harness the light inside of him you know she was talking about Laurel. As far as viewers giving a fair unbiased assessment of Laurel, there are so many who dislike the character that it doesn't matter what she does they will crucify her. Thankfully there are just as many who like the character and on several sites I've seen the tide turn and a backlash against all the Laurel hate. Interestingly several post we're attacking the Arrow himself.

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@ Moname91

There is no way Laurel was the light that Sara was referring to. For one thing she is the exact opposite of hope or joy. There is no doubt that the person she meant was Felicity. If you watch the actual scenes between the characters really well you will notice that the only person Oliver actually locks eyes on and is overwhelmed by is FS. His moments with Laurel are dead and lack any emotional connection. He seemed pissed at Laurel for intruding on the team which he should have been. If tptb go LL as the main plot focus they will lose most of their fans. She is just not an interesting or likable character. Concentrating on Laurel could get the show cancelled.

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@ Gerri+Ingerson

I agree with you completely about the light Sara was referring to. If you watch the scene, Sara actually turns and glances toward Felicity and then looks back at Oliver. There were also the scene between Oliver and Felicity about his finding hope (harking back to her "find another way") as well as Digg's telling her she could never be a bad person. Juxtapose that with Helena telling Laurel once you let the darkness in, it never goes away and Laurel using blackmail and extortion with the DA to get her way. Laurel's losing her own light. She can't harness anyone else's light at this time.

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@ Moname91

Laurel HAS NOT earned a damn thing everything is given to her Sara/Oliver had to suffer through 5 years of hell Laurel had to survive her own drug addiction oh you poor girl Laurel

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@Carissa, I have to again agree with you on your points with Laurel. I thought that it was just some fans who didn't like Laurel, but now I see it's also most of the Round Table crew (you being the exception) and I find that highly disappointing. People tend to take some of their cue from the main writers or bloggers, and I see a pattern here. The RT crew seems to dislike Laurel, and some of the readers/posters do as well. I am very upset by that. You are right in that they didn't even treat Roy the way they treated Laurel, when he did some of the same things or warranted the same anger as did Laurel. It's a twisted world, is all I'm going to say on this topic for now.

Carla day
@ Stephie59

I don't dislike Laurel in general. I think her character has value on the show and I hope she sticks around. I do believe her character hasn't been written well or utilized in the best way this season. I also don't want her to become Black Canary ... soon. I do like Sara as BC. I'm very glad Laurel knows about Oliver/Arrow, but she doesn't belong in the Arrow lair. Ideally, I'd like her to be developed into a hero other than BC that draws from her own strengths whether it's a hero from DC universe or maybe even a fresh character.

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Q1. While I didn't like that lack of character growth, I think it is totally within character. I am disappointed that Oliver wasn't there for Thea, but I'm not surprised. I am, however, surprised that he things Slade would just kill him. Obviously, Slade is more into torture. Q2. It's hard to be unemotional about Laurel. I like that she went back to suspecting Blood (even if it did seem a little out of the blue), but I hated her in the Arrow Cave. She seemed to dismiss Felicity and Diggle as the hired help, and her speech to Oliver was ludicrous. ("I know you in my bones"? I'm not sure how Cassidy delivered that with a straight face.) I hated her whining to go with them and her following anyway. This is exactly what got Tommy killed a year ago. It will likely get someone killed or injured this year. Apparently, she is incapable of learning. Q.3. While I was expecting the reveal, I did love it simply for the look on Blood's face. I think Blood is thinking "WTH did I get myself into?" Q.4. Oliver, Diggle & Felicity - they are Team Arrow. Q. 5. I loved it.It was one of my favorites - but I think that was because of Diggle and Felicity. I loved them in this episode. "Bitch with Wifi" - best line ever.

Arrow Season 2 Episode 21 Quotes

I don't even know why I'm crying. I didn't even like Moira. Terrible thing to say about someone after they just died. In my defense, she was not nice. She was diabolical. Not a word you often hear at someone's funeral.

Felicity

Sebastian: I'd love to speak with Oliver.
Thea: Well, if you see him, please tell him that he missed his own mother's funeral.

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