Life on the island and in Starling City grew degrees closer on Arrow Season 2 Episode 14 as we learned a bit more about Sara's relationship with Sin and Oliver came face to face with Slade in his own living room.
It was likely a discouraging night for Olicity shippers and Laurel haters, as the relationship between Oliver and Felicity felt more than ever like a brother and sister situation and Laurel finally came to terms with what has been driving her destructive behavior.
Oddly enough, those revelations felt like breakthrough moments that will drive the course of the season in ways we hadn't come to grips with until now.
Robert Knepper was on board as William Tocker, AKA The Clock King, but he was again an underutilized bad guy who only helped set the stage for our main characters to learn an important or powerful lesson. I'm giving up on any expectations going forward that big name guest stars will make an impressive criminal impact.
Without The Clock King, however, Felicity wouldn't have had a chance to prove her value to the team.
We knew that the more people who came into the tiny Arrow Cave the more feathers would get ruffled and Felicity has been basking as the only female on the team for quite some time. It was an honor to be in her position and she had skills Oliver and Dig didn't. Enter Sara with her battle skills, battle scars and computer skills and Felicity felt like she was no longer needed.
She didn't need to prove anything to anyone but herself. It was her own self worth that was in question. She made some bad moves that she wouldn't have taken otherwise, and even donned a leather jacket in an attempt to look tough. Felicity's big moment was protecting Canary against The Clock King and taking a bullet for her. She has her own scar and she and Oliver shared a moment as a result.
Oliver: Are you alright? Diggle had mentioned that maybe you were feeling a little left out.
Felicity: What? No. I just used to being your girl. I mean, not your girl, girl. Your girl. I know it sounds like the same word, but it means something different in my head.
Oliver: Hey. You will always be my girl, Felicity.
Is it difficult to believe that she's alright with Oliver dating Sara? Not at all. Felicity is strong, if just a tad socially inept. It's entirely possible that all of her tongue tied missteps when talking to Oliver have been just that... indications of her inexperience with the opposite sex. Crushing on Oliver with his shirt off is one thing, expecting to be in a relationship is another.
Sara's fear of being in the same room with Laurel lead to a dinner disaster, and that lead to Oliver giving up on Laurel. It's exactly what she needed. A final push to the brink.
The exchange between Laurel and Sara that followed was so well played. It was emotional and felt true. Laurel realized she had spent so long holding on to anger over what happened when the Queen's Gambit went down that she didn't like the person she had become.
When Sara showed up, so strong, beautiful and full of life -- in spite of having been through hell -- Laurel hated her even more because when she looked into the mirror she finally saw herself as the opposite of her sister and knew it was all her own doing.
Laurel's process is only beginning, but making that first step by reaching out to Sara and begging her acceptance, as well as attending a meeting with Lance, might mean she's on the road to recovery.
Now that Oliver has given up on Laurel and Sara has reconnected with her and Oliver made the discovery that Slade Wilson is alive and well in Starling City and in his living room, no less, I'm back to a Sara/Shado showdown at season's end with Sara and Laurel.
My thought behind that is made with some assumptions, such as Sara and Laurel continuing to mend their relationship and growing closer. If Sara finds herself in the same spot, as strong as she is now but with her sister in Shado's place, I don't think she could live with herself or with Oliver if either of them let Slade kill Laurel.
For all of the nitpicking and backstabbing that sisters may do (and yes, dramatic license propels that to much higher proportions than what we do in real life so please remember I'm talking generally here), there is always a connection no matter how torn sisters may be at any moment. Have you ever heard "I can say that about her because she's my sister, but you can't"?
The point is that no matter how much animosity was between Sara and Laurel if either of them was faced with a life threatening situation and had a way to save the other, I don't think they'd hesitate. We'll see how it plays out, but that's my thinking.
It was certainly fortunate for Thea to send an urgent text to Oliver at the exact time Slade was at the mansion, wasn't it? All of that will play out next week in more detail. Slade pumping that fist of his and that angry handshake between the two showed how the tension had mounted very quickly.
- The island scenes were barely necessary this week, but did explain how Sin and Sara were acquainted. I had wondered that at one time, so it was nice to bring that back and touch upon it now that Sara is "alive" again.
- Lance learning that Dinah has someone else was a bit heartbreaking, but I didn't expect Alex Kingston to sign on full time so it wasn't a surprise.
- The scene between Diggle and Felicity was very special. It would be nice to see them become closer as Oliver and Sara are out on missions more frequently.
- It seems we'll get more time at Verdant now that Sara is the new bartender. That's also a great way for her to get to know Thea and for Thea to get more airtime. I like it!
- I'm hoping that all of the female characters are featured in the Birds of Prey episode because the more I see of them together, the more I like the idea of their dynamic.
Remember you can watch Arrow online to catch up on any of the installments you missed or just to relive your favorites!
Were you pleased with the Sara and Laurel reunion?
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer 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.