Arrow returned last week with smiles, romance and a new baby. But it ended with a devastating loss on Arrow Season 3 Episode 1.
Below, our Arrow Season 2 TV Fanatics team - Hank Otero, Carissa Pavlica, Allison Nichols and Carla Day - break down the highs and lows from the premiere. It was anything but "The Calm."
Oliver and Felicity. What surprised you the most?
Hank: What surprised me is the two actually went on a date. I always thought the Ollie/Felicity relationship was more brother/sister than anything else. Knowing that Laurel's life is about to change in a big way doesn't bode well for Olicity anyway.
Carissa: That Felicity ended things on her own terms. I know it won't be forever, but I was proud of her for calling him out on the dangling carrots. It's borderline ridiculous and he's just holding her back. If he loved her, he'd truly let her go and walk away forever or he'd say damn it to hell and go all in. Not the half and half BS.
Alllison: That Oliver brings up depressing island/Hong Kong stuff on a first date. Actually, no, that didn't surprise me all that much. I was proud of Felicity. Like Carissa points out, it's great that Felicity ends it on her terms. She has had such strong feelings for him, but she knows her own worth. She isn't going to live her life waiting for Oliver anymore. I'm proud of her. And Hank, Olicity is endgame. Get on board (I kid, but seriously, Olicity for life).
Carla: I'm with Hank, I've never really seen Felicity and Oliver as a romantic pairing. He's come across as more of a big brother and mentor. In addition, he's been too troubled to be good for her, until now, maybe? It was odd to see Oliver so happy and actually with a smile on his face. For the first time, I saw a bit of real romantic chemistry between the two. So, maybe I can get on board. That surprised me.
What did you think of Ray Palmer's introduction?
Hank: I liked the guy and his presentation was fantastic. Loved the "Star City" bit. His overall vibe reminds me of Felicity, speaks fast too. Palmer's definitely going to give Oliver a run for his money this season.
Carissa: I loved it. I was really impressed with his witty repartee and his charming manner. I expected I might dislike him, but not even close. Of course, if he's going to catch Felicity's eye, I should have known he would be good.
Allison: Okay, I watched Chuck, so when he popped on screen, I had not nice things to say to him (because he can totally hear me). That being said, I fell in love with Ray. He lightens up the show with his humor. It will be interesting to see him and Felicity interact.
Carla: He's quite the charmer. I liked him even though he's trying to steal the company from Oliver. I don't want him to be a villain, it would be a nice change for a new character to show up who really has the city's best interest at heart. I could see Ray and Oliver becoming friends if he's honest and true. Is there anyone Felicity doesn't have chemistry with? Their interactions were sweet, even if he did deceive her at first.
Sara is dead. React.
Hank: I'm bummed, but if you go back and read the last few round tables from Season 2 I predicted she'd die. That's what needed to happen for Laurel to become Black Canary at some point. Brilliant that they didn't end the season on that sour note and left her demise for the premiere. Totally unexpected in true Arrow style.
Carissa: I wish I didn't see it coming, but I did. I'm not really ready to react. Next week I expect to be really react-y.
Allison: Why? Why, why, why? She's my favorite character. I'm in pain. It's a little annoying that she pops in at the tail end of the episode, and then dies. We can't have brought her back just to kill her off. The writers need to make her death mean something. Tommy's death shaped Oliver. Hopefully Sara's death can influence a lot of people. Or, you know, she can not be dead. Come on, Oliver thought she had died, what, two times before? COME BACK TO ME SARA!
Carla: I love that they kept that for the final scene of the premiere instead of killing her in the finale. It was shocking, unexpected and a brilliant way to propel the season forward from her. I'll miss her. I guess I need to start preparing myself for Laurel to become the Black Canary.
Who shot Sara?
Hank: My gut says Ra's al Ghul. The "why" of it all I'm not sure about. Could it be for involving the League of Assassins is last year's big battle? Perhaps he didn't approve of Nyssa's relationship with Sara thinking it made his daughter weak. Sara knew her killer, and seemed surprised he was in Starling.
Carissa: Someone she knew. Someone she wasn't particularly afraid of, but she was perturbed. Beyond that? I have no idea.
Allison: I agree with Hank - Ra's al Ghul. He's supposed to be the big bad of the season, and so maybe this is his introduction. As Carissa says, Sara knows the person who shot here. Would she have been more scared if it was Ra's al Ghul?
Carla: I agree it was someone she knew. I don't think Ra's al Ghul killed her, but her death will be what brings him to town. If it's someone we know, I'll throw out Thea or maybe Ray Palmer. Either one would be a fun twist. If Roy was aware of being a cop killer, I'd pick him, but I don't think he knows ... yet.
What's next for Team Arrow?
Hank: I think the death of Canary is going to set Oliver back yet again. Atleast for a few episodes. Roy's a real part of the team now and it's possible he takes point for a while. I can't imagine Diggle being benched indefinitely. Maybe he and Roy team up? I'm curious to see how things play out.
Carissa: In the short term, I expect it will be all about Sara in their attempt to ask the who and why of the end of her life. Perhaps they'll piece together her last days. Felicity and Oliver being at odds will make it all extra angsty.
Allison: Hopefully digging into the mystery of Thea. It would be great to spend some time seeing what she has been up to. This would definitely be a mystery that would involve the entire Team Arrow.
Carla: Team Arrow will be on the trail of Sara's killer, plus we'll see what Thea's been up to with her father and Ray will be the thorn in Oliver's side
What do you think? Join the roundtable by leaving your thoughts in the comments. Want to re-watch the awesome episode? As always, watch Arrow online anytime here at TV Fanatic!