I cannot think of another episode where all of the stories tied in so well.
All of the characters in focus in Arrow Season 3 Episode 6 had narratives flowing swiftly and seamlessly between the arcs and it made for a fantastic hour of television.
The time for nitpicking over Laurel Lance has reached its end, Arsenal was coined and we learned enough about Ted Grant to know that him sticking around is a good thing.
Better off Ted -- I think I'm experiencing a little bit of a fangirl crush on J.R. Ramirez. He's tall, looks fine and has a killer smile. As the character Ted "Wildcat" Grant, he isn't afraid of standing up to The Arrow, which puts him in a unique position. When he's accused of murder, he admits his past.
The Arrow: That's the second time I've found you with a body.
Ted: I've never killed anybody. I'm being set up.
The Arrow: And why should I believe you?
Ted: Because I used to be a vigilante. I used to be you.
All of the interactions between Oliver as The Arrow and Ted were fantastic. Ted pointed out the obvious -- it's difficult to draw a comparison between men who wear masks and serial killers when you're doing it in a mask. They even had a little "measuring" moment when Ted suggested The Arrow probably had a room for his supplies just like Ted; "Mine's bigger," replied The Arrow. Ohhh... a little friendly competition between vigilantes!
Even though Ted admitted to a murder six years ago, he only felt guilty by association with his own "guy in red" named Isaac, who did the actual killing. His perception was that he should have cut him loose long before so he could have kept his sidekick out of trouble.
Ted, your mistake wasn't cutting him loose. It was losing faith in him.The Arrow
The Arrow asked Ted to stop training Laurel and he didn't comply. That takes balls. He knows right from wrong and won't do anything to hurt Laurel. Oliver likely knows that. What are the odds Laurel's training will continue without Oliver's knowledge?
The guy in red -- We all had various theories about what probably happened regarding Roy and Sara in the Arrow round table, and many of you hit the arrow straight on with your guesses he was getting confused about murdering the cop (which he didn't know about) and Sara's death (which he did).
The entire thing played out nicely and my only bone to pick was his recollection of her saying "what are you doing here" in his dream. I know that's silly, but she's still around, right? Couldn't they have filmed a dream sequence to make it just off enough to throw us?
What I really enjoyed about it was learning what other forensic evidence Felicity had on the killer. We're looking for a short man who can toss an arrow with Mirakuru strength. That should really narrow the field. But, back to Roy.
Roy finally became a man in "Guilty." He rose above sidekick to have his own frame of mind. Not only were his conversations with Felicity realistic, they were honest. His motorcycling skills have improved and he's quite the weapon for Oliver. Oliver didn't see that expression as a dig and thought they should call him Arsenal. Welcome to the world, Arsenal!
Laurel stands tall -- While Roy became a man, Laurel found her inner strength. She decided to stand up on her own and train, even without Oliver's blessing, and it worked for her. She didn't act put upon or overly dramatic even when the times could have called for it.
Discovering someone you know may have killed your sister could be a defining moment. Laurel was visibly upset, but not beside herself. She has learned restraint and can back away and see things clearly before judging. That's a huge leap from where she was a year ago.
When Laurel talked to Ted (as he, and probably Oliver, knew she would) about continuing to train, her reasoning was sound. In the situation she was in, with a gun to her neck and racing down the highway, she should have been scared to death. She wasn't. She knew what had to be done and she did it. (Did anyone else notice she must have Felicity's number pretty high up on her speed dial? I liked knowing she trusted Felicity as much as the others do.)
She deserved the pat she gave herself on the back for her ability to hold it together under pressure, but she also understands she's not there yet.
I want you to give me the tools to avenge my sister's death. I want you to teach me how to get justice outside of a courtroom.Laurel
Everybody wants to call her our for not having the same training as her sister, but Laurel is putting herself out there and not making excuses for herself any longer. Thea was trained in mere months and everybody thinks she can kick ass. Roy was trained through the power of Mirakuru, but nobody questions his capabilities as a sidekick.
Laurel proved she changed and is willing to do whatever necessary to continue to do so. There are no more excuses for her, and she no longer needs them.
Other bits throughout the hour were also entertaining. Have flashbacks ever fit so perfectly into the moment? Maybe they did earlier on, but during Arrow Season 3 they've really been hit or miss. Oliver recalling his memory exercises worked out great for the Roy arc, even if Oliver started having them before he know Roy was suspected of killing Sara.
I'm not sure where they're going with Ted, but I hope to see him suited up sometime in the future. I don't know much about Wildcat. Could he coexist with Team Arrow? When Laurel told him she used to date The Arrow, maybe he thought about getting his own suit out of the locker...
Laurel using her role as a DA to get Ted to talk about Stanzler was meaningful without pushing the boundaries of her position. She can get charges dropped if there's not enough evidence for a case. That will continue to be useful for her and Team Arrow no matter what direction she takes.
So tell me, was it the Wildcat fangirl in me who found the hour worthy of praise or was it well-written, cohesive and clever? What are your thoughts on the action? Hit the comments!
While you wait for Cupid to make more of an impression, you can watch Arrow online via TV Fanatic.
Here is your first look at Arrow Season 3 Episode 7, "Draw Back Your Bow."
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.