Welcome to the Round Table for Arrow Season 2 Episode 20, the installment where we said goodbye to Moira Queen. Has the death sunk in for you yet?
Below, staff writers Kate Brooks, Hank Otero, Carla Day, Nick McHatton and Carissa Pavlica share their thoughts about this shocker and what it will mean for Oliver, Thea and company going forward.
Lets get started!
Sara left Oliver and headed out of town. Thoughts?
Kate: I felt like this was incredibly rushed. I mean, all of the sudden she's dealing with these deep issues of being a killer and nothing else? I don't know. I have a hard time really being okay with their "breakup" because of Sara's demons just now being talked about. With that said, I do understand that she feels no good for Oliver. That what Oliver needs is light and not darkness, no matter how she feels about him. I get it but it feels rushed. To answer the question directly, I hope that she is visiting an old friend and will bring in reinforcements to fight this war with Slade.
Hank: My first thought was... Again? Doesn't it always seem like Sara's running away? And at the worst possible moments too. I agree with Kate, the break up felt very rushed. One minute they're happy in bed and the next she's bad for him. I can't believe she just realized she's a killer, it's not news to the audience. Sara was trained by the League of Assassins wasn't she? I also feel she'll be back but with reinforcements.
Carla: Unlike Kate and Hank, I didn't think Sara's departure seemed rushed at all. She's always known she was a killer, but Oliver convinced her that she could change. Up until the moment with Roy, she was a recovering assassin. When she wanted to kill Roy, Oliver's friend and Thea's love, she felt she failed in her recovery and not worthy of Oliver. She was selfish in her decision, since Oliver needs her help now, but it made sense that she would run. Sara and Nyssa reunite!
Nick: I'm mixed about Sara heading out of town. I'm happy that she's potentially leaving to find herself and decide if she really wants to be a killer or not. Sara turns to killing to survive, and the situation with Slade makes her survival instincts kick in. She saw Roy as an opportunity to break the cycle with Slade and wanted to take without worrying about the consequences.
Carissa: It never felt to me like their romance was permanent. However, as fighting partners they seem to have more staying power so I won't be surprised to see her riding back in with reinforcements. They aren't going to be the kind that refrain from slaying, however, so Oliver will need to make up his mind about what he really wants. He's fighting for his life and the more people he lets off the hook, the more who can come back to haunt him.
Sweet scene between Oliver and Laurel, as we learned he also has a child lurking. More thoughts!
Kate: How Soap Opera of Arrow to bring in a child. Even if they were doing this to show how devoted Moira was to her children, there will always be the question of "when is the child going to show up." I wasn't really into this plot twist but if this child actually does come into play, this will change everything for Oliver. Like I said, very Soap Opera of Arrow.
Hank: I always love the Ollie flashbacks (and young Laurel as well). Isn't it great the way Stephen Amell raises the tone of his voice? I think it's awesome. Not into the mystery baby storyline at all, though I have no doubt the writers will make it an interesting part of Season 3.
Carla: I may have audibly sighed at the baby reveal. I had a difficult time believing that pre-island Oliver would have been so upset about the miscarriage. The last thing that Oliver wanted was responsibility. With the child presumably still in Central City, I wonder if they are setting up for an Arrow-Flash crossover next season. Not a fan of this reveal, but I have faith that the writers will do something magnificent with it.
Nick: I really don't see the purpose of the baby storyline. It goes to Oliver's characterization pre-shipwreck, but there's really no need for him to father a child. There's so many other variables going on that the baby just loses focus of the core dynamics and stories of the show. It's possible for them to really put together something good with a little Queen out there, but at this point in time I have zero interest in it.
Carissa: Well, in one DC world, Oliver Queen does have a son. He's not 6 when they meet, but his name is Connor Hawke and he eventually takes over his father's superhero duties. Should the series run 20 years, they're all set to carry it into the future. Word has it he has a good relationship with Laurel (as Canary) and is friends with Green Lantern.
How will Moira's death affect Oliver and Thea?
Kate: Oh my goodness did this break my heart or did this break my heart? I was in shock that this happened. I was actually talking about this with some friends this weekend and I asked them, "Who do you think is going to die by seasons end" and even though I was expecting a great loss, this still floored me! I think Moira's death is going to empower Thea. Moira's death was the most honorable of them all, you know sacrificing her life so that her children can live. Thea witnessed this extreme act of bravery and I hope she uses it to become as honorable as Moira was. At least this is what I hope, I cannot stand anymore pity party Thea.
Hank: I think it will affect both of them deeply. However they won't have enough time to grieve because Slade's still out there and there's only three episodes left. Moira's heroic death will allow Ollie to move past the issues he had with his mother and Thea now has a better role model. I'll admit I was incredibly surprised that the writing team killed Moira off. That said, they had also exhausted her storyline. There's only so many lies she can tell right?
Carla: They will be crushed. I think that's a given, but long term I'm not sure. With Moira gone, Oliver will have more responsibility than ever. For Thea, I can see her going in the opposite direction from what Kate and Hank suggested. Thea could easily bond with Malcolm and turn against Oliver. It would be heartbreaking, but Oliver has and continues to lie to her. In a state of grief over her mother and Roy, she's in a vulnerable position and Malcolm will take advantage of that.
Nick: As the panel echoes, it will for sure push Thea into learning more about her father, and gives Malcolm an opportunity to come out of hiding once again. The interesting twist on all of this is how Malcolm, and to a lesser extent Thea, will play his allegiance. There's a chance that since Thea's mother is killed, he'll want to make good with her and avenge Moira's death. Moira's death with for Oliver puts him at a junction. He made a vow after Tommy's death to stop killing, yet that vow ultimately ends up at the death of Moira. Oliver will need to make a choice whether he's willing to continue with his vow or, like Sara, revert to being a killer in the name of justice.
Carissa: I'll echo everyone here. Crushed. I expect Oliver to take it the hardest because of his lies. He can't get that back. Thea can move forward knowing she held nothing back from her mother. She also has an opportunity to address her paternal relationship if she so wishes. As for their sibling relationship, Thea could hold Moira's death over Oliver's head and with good reason.
When should we expect Malcolm Merlyn to come back and what's coming with him?
Kate: He will come back by seasons end and will bring a shit storm upon Slade. The instensity is building and now that Moira is dead, how can he not come back and help out The Arrow.
Hank: Merlyn will be back before the finale for sure. As Thea's biological father, he's going to step in and offer support now that Moira's gone. Part of me thinks he will join the fight against Deathstroke but the other part wonders why he would, there's nothing in it for him. Honestly, I expected to see much more of John Barrowman this season, but I'm glad his appearances have been few and far between. He's made more of an impact that way.
Carla: I like Hank's suggestion that Malcolm works with Oliver, but the only way I see that happening is if Thea's in danger. Since Slade killed Moira, I think Thea's no longer at risk. Instead, Malcolm will use Thea's grief to get close to her. He lost Tommy, but he has another chance to be a good father. Whether that means taking her under his wing to continue his nefarious ways or cleaning up his act ... that's what I can't wait to find out!
Nick: By season's end for sure. I like the idea of him switching his allegiance to Thea, and by proxy to Oliver, to help ruin Slade. It really echoes the enemy of my enemy idea, but what happens after Slade is anyone's guess.
Carissa: He was only staying away because he and Moira agreed to it. Now that Moira is gone, his return is inevitable. Thea is bound to have questions, even if he is a mass murderer. I would love for her to go off with him and learn something, turning her into a badass.
Who is the last person to die before Slade considers his saga a done deal?
Kate: As much I don't want it to happen... Sara. That is the ultimate pay-back death for Shado. Sara lived when Shado could not. As much as it'll hurt, I've been preparing myself for it. If not Sara, then Laurel. Thea is too easy to kill. I really hope it's Roy though! I've had about as much of him as I can handle of him. My main problem is that I cannot understand why Roy is getting more screen time than Felicity and why it continues to happen. Anyway, that's another topic for a later discussion. I'm betting that one of the Lance girls will die by seasons end.
Hank: I'm going with the obvious choice, Sara. We've been saying all along in our round tables that Sara has to die so that Laurel can become the Canary. I'll stick with that theory. It also brings things full circle as Shado died on the island instead of Sara. That's justice in Slade's twisted mirakuru-induced mind. I can't imagine they'd kill off Laurel, there would be a gazillion furious fanboys/girls out there you know?
Carla: Sara seems like the obvious choice, so I doubt it's her. It's probably Laurel. Slade would be punishing both Oliver and Sara by killing Laurel. He didn't kill Oliver because he wanted his former friend to suffer. He killed Moira, so it would make sense to kill someone close to Sara as her punishment too. If not Laurel, maybe Lance? My money is on Laurel as his last target. I doubt Slade will be successful in closing out his saga.
Nick: Sara is the obvious choice, and will probably end up dead; however Slade is not stopping until Oliver is completely ruined, and he's seeing that emotional pain is going to get the job done. Slade knows he doesn't need to kill Oliver because he can break him completely.
Carissa: Sara is the obvious choice, but Laurel is the viewers' choice. I really don't know what to expect at this point. They're both too predictable. Perhaps Slade was speaking in code and he didn't mean a human death. Yes, those are straws at which I'm grasping. Let me grasp and go about your day!
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.