Arrow Round Table: Can Malcolm Merlyn Be Redeemed?

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Welcome to the Arrow Season 3 Episode 11 Round Table!

This week, participants chat about Felicity's change in attitude, a possible redemption for Malcolm Merlyn, how Oliver will react upon his return, lying to Capt. Lance and more.

Join TV Fanatics Paul Dailly, Alison Nichols, Carla Day, Hank Otero and Carissa Pavlica by dropping us a comment. Let's get a discussion rolling!

Arrow RT 1-27-15 - depreciated -

What did you make of Felicity's change in attitude?

Paul: Loved it. She was far entertaining to watch this week. Her witty one liners returned and she was back to her normal self. My favorite part was when she asked for the keys to the helicopter.

Allison: I enjoyed it. The last episode she was grieving and in shock, now the shock has worn off a bit and she is thinking more clearly. I loved her scene with Laurel. It was fantastic, and I'm loving seeing the two of them together. I can't get over the helicopter bit. Also, I had no idea they didn't have keys.

Carla: Phew! I was worried that Felicity would go down an annoying path but she pulled out of it. I was glad to see the witty, strong Felicity return. I loved the helicopter bit and really everything about her and Ray. I enjoy her interactions with Ray much more than I ever have with Oliver. Ray and Felicity speak the same language and I appreciate that he was able to pull her out of her funk.

Hank: Carla and I are totally on the same page. I was afraid the writers were going to ruin the one female character I've loved since day one on Arrow. Thrilled our Felicity was back this week. Also, I've never been an Olicity fan (feel free to revisit our Arrow round tables for proof). I feel Felicity and Ray simply work; they're great together. I hope her focus doesn't shift back to Ollie when he returns.

Carissa: It's what I expected of her right after she thought Oliver was dead. I would have expected her to break when she saw the team falter a bit without him or, even better, if they didn't. I'll take this. What I couldn't take was the idea she gave up so quickly. I found it odd so many people commented on her 'flirtation' with Ray Palmer being too soon, when that's been going on much longer.

It seems highly likely there is a redemption story on the way for Malcolm Merlyn. How would you feel about that?

Paul: I'm against it. There is no amount of good deeds that could ever redeem him. He will always look out for himself. Everything he does is to his advantage. Heck, he could take down Ra'as and he still wouldn't be redeemed.

Allison: I honestly can't see him ever being redeemed. I mean he used his own daughter as a pawn, putting her in Ra's path. I think Malcolm may do things that he believes are for the best, but this is coming from his very warped mind. If he was to ever be redeemed, it would take at least a full season for it to be believable.

Carla: Merlyn is not redeemable. He can make better decision and decide to fight on the side of "right," but that won't redeem him from the evils for which he's responsible including the destruction of the Glades, Tommy's death, setting up Thea to name just a few.

Hank: I think I've been pretty clear I'm done with Merlyn. The guy has overstayed his welcome on this show. I've got my fingers crossed for a great death scene for Barrowman. For real this time too. If the writers decide to redeem him... I will riot!

Carissa: I'm in agreement with everyone. He's irredeemable. If they go that route, I don't see how he can ever be trusted by anyone. The things he has done are unforgivable. It will be interesting to see how they play the poor loving husband who lost his wife card on Arrow Season 3 Episode 12.

Are you surprised the citizens of Starling City appear to feel safe with a blonde masked woman and red arrow protecting them?

Paul: Yeah. The city was pretty much against the Arrow, so it is very refreshing to see them embrace other vigilantes. This could all change very fast though, so I wouldn't expect this to last very long.

Allison: I think that the vigilantes are growing on them. I don't know if they feel a hundred percent safe with masks running around the city, but it is better than nothing. If the police are pulling out of the glades, then any protection would be welcomed.

Carla: No. Starling City has become used to masked heroes protecting them, including Sara's Canary and others. They all saved the city from Slade's army not that long ago

Hank: If you think in terms of the real world, yeah it's just plain weird. However, within the context of the show I think the masked heroes have proven themselves worthy of the city's trust. Good thing they didn't show Laurel fall on her ass on TV. That would have sucked haha.

Carissa: It's interesting that the city they're protecting, knowing very little about them, feels a lot better having them at the helm than viewers do. They did save the city from Slade's Army and don't know Arrow is gone, so that may be a part of it. Either way, I'm proud of both sides for having faith.

Has the lie to Capt. Lance about Sara's death gone to far and is there any way to make things right at this point?

Paul: Top far. He already knows something is wrong. I get that when the lie started he was very weak and it could have killed him, but I don't expect him to understand Laurel's reasons for keeping him in the dark. It's the sort of lie that could tear the family further apart. I have a feeling he will hold Oliver somewhat responsible for Sara's demise. I don't see any clear path out of this lie.

Allison: It has gone on way too far. The phone call did allow Team Arrow to get information on what was going on. I'm not sure Lance would have shared everything if he knew that Laurel was in the suit. However, he needed to know weeks ago. Now, he is going to start (hopefully) putting the pieces together that something is off with "Sara," and his relationship with Laurel may never be the same again.

Carla: Yes, it's gone way to far. At this point, I don't see the secret being about protecting Lance, but to keep Sara's memory alive and to protect Laurel. When Lance finds out the truth, it will mean Sara's dead and not coming back. The lie keeps Laurel from fully grieving and accepting her sister's really gone. It's annoying from the perspective that Lance seems a bit stupid regarding Arrow's true identity and not realizing Laurel's keeping the truth from him.

Hank: I agree with what everyone said. The lie has not only gone too far, but if Lance finds out that Laurel's behind it (and pretending to be Sara) it's going to be devastating for the man. Laurel's got to end that charade immediately, for everyone's sake. Storywise, it's also grown old.

Carissa: It was shocking when Laurel first decided to keep it from him and now I'm beginning to wonder if Lance is purposefully keeping himself in the dark. The voice wouldn't be able to mask the physical differences between his daughters and Laurel's sudden injuries, so similar to what he experienced when he learned Sara was Canary. He might not be any more ready to face the truth than Laurel was to tell him.

How do you expect Oliver to react upon his return?

Paul: He will be happy his team has upped their game in his absence and that if he ever really did have to go away, the city would in good hands.

Allison: I think he will be upset at the state of Starling, but he will be happy to see his team continuing the fight. There's no way he is going to be okay with Laurel out on the front lines dressed as the Canary.

Carla: I'm not sure. As Paul and Allison said, he could be happy. Though, it would be much more interesting for Oliver to struggle with how they have moved on. Everyone is replaceable even the Arrow and that should crush Oliver's ego a bit. Also, before he "died" he was the unquestioned leader of Team Arrow. Generally, everyone yielded to his decisions. They are doing well without him, so will they immediately accept him back as their irrefutable leader? I hope not.

Hank: My first thought was, the team has moved on without the Arrow. That's going to hit Ollie hard when he returns. After all, this was his crusade right? I doubt everyone will be able to pick up right where they left off. As Carla mentioned, will Oliver still be the irrefutable leader? Will he and Laurel clash? Either way, I'm not sure his return will be easy.

Carissa: It's a really tough call. He'll be happy Team Arrow had the determination to carry on in his absence and that they didn't fall. If Malcolm is fighting along side them, it might cause problems. When he sees Laurel fighting as Canary, he may be angry, but also blame himself for taking on Ra's al Ghul in a no win situation and falling for Malcolm's bait in the first place. His mind will be a tornado of activity! He'll be most concerned at how Felicity will accept him upon his return.

And here is your look ahead to Arrow Season 3 Episode 12:

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.

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Arrow Season 3 Episode 11 Quotes

Your penicillin tea tastes like penicillin.


Roy: What the hell do you think you're doing out there?
Laurel: Same thing as you.
Roy: I've had training from Oliver and years on the streets. You have a law degree.