I'm becoming very cynical while watching Arrow.
Isn't it a little early in the series to feel like I know the paths characters are going to take before they take them? I had to hope "Salvation" would prove me wrong.
As I was watching the Glades Betrayed live feed, I was imagining how Detective Quentin Lance was going to take all available evidence and turn it around and make it another excuse to accuse The Hood of evil deeds. I understood the similarities, being vigilantes, but that's about where it ended. The thought of the cunning detective ignoring the current crime to drag "The Hood" into it was all I could think about.
I was so happy Det. Lance was busy elsewhere.
That was a shame, because Felicity's first big disappointment in helping Oliver and Diggle came when she was unable to track "The Savior" and it hit her like a brick to the face. She's so confident of her skills that not coming through, especially in a life or death situation, resulted in a great test of Felicity's strength and she felt alone. Yet, she was also happy she didn't have someone to go home to because explaining her day would have been impossible.
There was a really strange cutaway scene when Felicity mentioned she wasn't seeing anyone, Oliver had a memory of the island and Yao Fei and his daughter and then the shot went directly to Laurel having found the girl in the photo - and I was certain it was going to be Yao's daughter, Shado, who was assumed to be Sarah in the photos. That would have been so cool, and the photos were fuzzy enough it would have worked. Foiled again!
It was rather surprising how much Laurel was able to accomplish in such a short time. It was a really interesting family scene when she talked to her dad about hoping he was going to talk to Dinah about accepting what they already had, instead of jumping into the melee with her and getting caught up in the emotion of it all.
You could tell she must have felt less than Sarah when she was alive by the way she reacted to their search. It was that feeling of inadequacy that made her find the girl in the photo in a matter of hours, something her mother hadn't been able to do in years.
The heartbreak on her face later when we learned Dinah knew Sarah had betrayed Laurel and Dinah felt she had a hand in killing her by letting her go was awful to watch. Not only did she lose her mom when she sided with Sarah by giving her sister a pass to take off with her boyfriend in the name of true love, she lost her again when she disappeared for years in a desperate and unfruitful search for a dead girl and even again when she came back to drag her father into it and tell them the truth.
That was one messed up family, but Laurel seemed to make peace with Dinah before she left. Something tells me it wasn't as true as she let on.
Felicity didn't have a lot of time to sit around and be miserable about her inability to save the ADA's life because as soon as he was killed, "The Savior" picked up Roy Harper right in front of Thea and soon he was live on the Glades Betrayed webcast. There was no way Felicity was going to let that connection suffer the same fate, and she and Diggle were really on their A game as they tracked down where the guy could be broadcasting from and how Oliver could save Roy.
Of course, Roy was saved, but what happened afterward was what mattered. Because Felicity pulled up an old map of the subway system, Oliver was able to tie it to the symbol he's continually seen. It wasn't a symbol at all, but the map of the defunct subway. The Undertaking, the list, the Dark Archer - they're all tied to The Glades. Well, I could have told them that, but it's nice they're in the know now.
A couple other important matters happened during the episode. Malcolm reminded Moira of his need for information on who tried to assassinate him. He got her to give up Frank by telling her he had someone on the inside who was willing to tell as much as he knew for reduced prison sentence. She obviously wasn't willing to take the chance that she might be named - and named Frank instead. By this time she has to be wishing she had taken her chances with The Hood.
While she and Frank were talking The Dark Archer showed up, killed Frank and disappeared. Malcolm is FAST. Moira is going to start to feel very, very alone as he learns more about her, and he will.
While she's experiencing the isolating feeling of knowing too much and having nobody to shoulder the burden, Oliver has a team around him, which is probably going to grow with the inclusion of Roy Harper very shortly. Roy was pretty amazed at what a good vigilante could do as opposed to a bad vigilante, and he kept the arrowhead to mull things over. Oliver told Laurel he doesn't want to be on an island any more and invited her to dinner or coffee. Her response was funny - "why?" If I were her I'd probably expect ulterior motives, too.
I thought this week really gave us insight into the identities of our characters and what makes them tick. Not their every day routines or a walk in their shoes, but what happens when something unexpected occurs. Their fight or flight response patterns. Each one was pretty impressive. Laurel, Oliver, Roy and Felicity were the most intriguing and I felt their doors were opened a bit, allowing for more emotional arcs to follow.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.