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TV REVIEW: FTN reviews Arrow S02E20 “Seeing Red”

April 24th, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

For the record, I am still in shock as I write this review. After seeing the previews, I felt I knew what this would be about. And for about 50 minutes it was just about what I thought it would, and it was good. Then…

It is hard to pull off a feint, a true feint in television. Between trailers, previews, photos, interviews, and spoiler sites, it’s hard to not know in general what might be happening. True, there’s been some jaw-dropping moments, even shockers if you will this season. Yet the way it was written, it kind of felt like a natural thing. Whether it was the reveal of Slade being alive, him telling Laurel about Ollie, etc. Everything just felt in place, yet here, it came out of nowhere, and I’m sure we’re all feeling what happened.

So, let’s get to it shall we?

This episode truly started off as we expected it to. Roy becoming a berserker because of the Mirakuru, and hurting just about everyone in his path, both stranger and friend. Props to the writers for making us feel like this was more than just a burst of anger from past events for Roy, this was straight up madness caused by the drug. As both Sin, Ollie, Sarah, Diggle, all felt his wrath, and what wrath he had.

Another nice touch brought him in parallel Slade, as we saw his delusion talking to him, his was Thea, Slade’s is Shado, are we seeing a connection here?

The question soon became, “Do we save him? Or kill him?” Another key part of this episode was the difference of opinion between Ollie and Sarah as to the answer of the question. Ollie (for obvious reasons) wanted to save him. Sarah meanwhile, in no small part due to what happened to Sin, wanted to end it before anyone else got hurt.

What might be perceived as a subtle difference is actually even more so as Sarah pointed out. It’s the difference in how they were trained. Ollie was trained to survive and kill when necessary so that he could make it home one day. Sarah is a trained assassin, who pledged her allegiance to “the devil”, or should I say…”the demon?” Anyway, two different mindsets, two different approaches, two very different endings if allowed to play out.

Then there’s Thea. She’s justifiably still reeling from everything that’s happened, and she’s still not happy with Moira or Ollie. Yet she still cares for Roy, as she proved in the later part of the episode. She was willing to risk her life to get through to him, a touching notion.

Truly though, for reasons I now must talk about, the star of this episode was Moira. Moira has been a character that truly embodies the term enigma. She’s smart, cunning, sometimes ruthless, will go to many means to get things done…and yet, at her core, she’s a mother who just wants to protect her children. At times we may have doubted that, yet she always found a way to prove her love for them, even in the dark times.

“Seeing Red” showed Moira in a new light in many ways. The flashback scenes were all about her protecting Oliver from an unexpected incident. This was done both with taste and truly great character performances.

Back in the present, her desire to reconcile with Thea led to her almost dropping out of the mayoral campaign. A shocking move, especially given the current situation of the Queen family. Yet, a believable one. Though a change-of-heart was almost inevitable, it was still nice to see she almost did it. Even going to Sebastian Blood to tell him she was dropping out.

Ok, now for the big reveals. If you haven’t watched the episode….what the heck are you reading this review for?!?!?!

First off, Moira knew! Yep, she knew Oliver was the Arrow! How long? Since the Undertaking apparently. This raises a few questions to be sure, especially given how some scenes played out earlier in the season, however this was skated over by the very beautiful moment of her saying how proud she was of Ollie. Many superheroes can’t tell their loved ones who or what they are, and because of that many wonder how well they’ll take it. Seeing this simple scene no doubt made it feel worth it to Ollie…

Until the car accident that is. Who saw that coming??!?!?

Just when you thought things were getting better, just when you thought the truth was about to come out of multiple peoples mouth (more on that in a minute) a car crash changed everything.

Slade had returned.

Dang, that hurt. Ollie, once again tied up, once again forced to choose between the ones he loved. Admit it, you were begging for something to happen. For Sara to return just in time to save them. For Diggle to somehow save the day. Or for Ollie to break his bonds and take on Slade right then and there.

It didn’t happen. And Moira paid the ultimate price. Though in a true testament to her character, she did it with class, she did it with style, and she did it protecting her own.

RIP Moira Queen.

Words kind of fail me right now so I’m going to continue onto another topic. Now that this has happened, there is no turning back. There cannot be a “Slade walks away” scenario. As much as we love him as a villain, HE NEEDS TO DIE!!!!!!! So the question is raised, how?

The topic of a wild card tipping the scales in Ollies’ favor to stop Slade. We thought it might be Sarah, but clearly not. Roy is an option, but he’s still under the power of the Mirakuru, and who knows how long it’ll take to get out from its control. Which raises two possibilites.

First is the question of the “other” archer. Malcolm Merlyn. Moira was about to reveal he was alive before the car crash, will Ollie put the pieces together to realize his nemesis is still alive? And would he ask him for help to take down Slade?

Or is Sarah still the key? She went off to see an “old friend”, we all know who that is. Will she call in some reinforcements to take down Slade’s army?

Some many questions, so few answers, and only three episode back. Season 2 of Arrow has shown just how good a superhero show can be written, acted, and paced out. I don’t want this season to end, it’s too good. But it will, and I’ll be ready, will you?

5 out of 5

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!