Arrow 2×20 – Seeing Red

"It made him strong. Like...comic-book strong."


That was so brutal, I don’t know where to start.

I get why writers kill off certain characters sometimes, particularly as a show reaches its season finale and it needs to up the stakes. However, I really really wish the writers didn’t kill off Moira. Susanna Thompson has been a magnetic presence on the show thus far, and her magnificent performance is going to be sorely missed. The actress imbued Moira with a great deal of depth and warmth amidst all the lies and the deceit. I always felt like the writers could do endless things with her character, and I genuinely wanted her to remain with the show until the very end. Sadly Andrew Kreisberg felt otherwise, as this decision was made due to the fact that creatively, the writers felt Moira couldn’t be taken any further (they had already exhausted her numerous secrets). That’s a pity as I would have loved to see Mama Queen become Mayor and eventually achieve redemption.

Nevertheless, much like any death, we have to accept it, and I’d be wrong if I didn’t note how effectively her demise was handled. All year long, I imagined a scenario in which Slade would recreate the infamous Shado/Sara choice, but utilize Laurel and Sara instead. So imagine my surprise when Ollie was faced with the utterly horrifying (and poetic) decision of choosing between his mother and sister. Suffice to say, Stephen Amell, Susanna Thompson, and Willa Holland knocked this sequence out of the frickin’ park. The entire ordeal proved enormously harrowing to watch, and it was punctuated by the trio’s powerful performances.

Quite intriguingly, Moira revealed to her son that she’d known his secret ever since The Undertaking. It was a poignant moment for the show that sadly ended up being quite heartbreaking; after all, we’ll never get to see what would have been a brand new dynamic between Ollie and his mother. On the bright side, this realization definitely makes me want to rewatch the second season and catch any clues that conveyed Moira’s knowledge of her son’s extracurricular activities.

The flashbacks provided a beautiful parallel to the present day happenings. We were treated to another display of Moira’s immense love for her kids when she paid off one of Ollie’s pregnant one night stands. While the existence of this child will undoubtedly come into play in the show’s third season (and I’m still not sure how I feel about that), it was quite satisfying to watch Moira protect her own through any means necessary. The character certainly went out on a high note, and the final juxtaposition of her standing alone in Queen manor as Ollie crawled next to her lifeless body was downright traumatic to watch. Ouch my aching heart.

Funnily enough, the episode was sort of weak until that final scene, as Roy’s rampage couldn’t possibly hold a candle to the Slade drama of the past few weeks. Maybe it’s the fact that Colton Hayes isn’t the most talented of actors, but I was sort of rooting for Sara to take him out permanently. Thankfully, it was still entertaining to watch Roy choke Thea and obliterate Sara and Ollie (even causing serious damage to our hero’s leg in the process). Plus, in the grand scheme of things, the episode undeniably worked by utilizing Roy as a misdirection before the final set of horrors.

And really when all is said and done, I can’t remember the last time I was this sorry to see a character go; I was absolutely gutted by Moira Queen’s death.

Bits & Arrows

– Ollie and Sara’s scene in the hotel room was a pretty romantic departure from the stuff we’re usually accustomed to on Arrow huh?

– Laurel only got one scene this week: the flashback with her and Oliver. I enjoyed it, and I’m eager to see what she’ll be up to next week.

– Again, I loved watching Moira acknowledge her son and how proud she was of his alter-ego.

– Adorable moment of the week: Felicity catching an injured Ollie at the bottom of the stairs.

– I actually didn’t notice at first, but Sara’s line about looking into the eyes of the devil is a direct reference to Ra’s Al Ghul (The Demon’s Head). Thank you internet; silly me.

– Excellent continuity with the doctor helping out Ollie since the Arrow fought off the Triad in the beginning of the season and helped bring the med shipment into Starling City.

– Who else is betting that Sara ran off to see Nyssa (the supposed “old friend”)?

– Naturally, Moira was about to tell Ollie and Thea about Malcolm being alive before the crash. I’m sure he’ll return soon enough.

– The most chilling moment of the episode: Slade’s final line to Moira (found below) and then the fakeout where he puts down his gun before plunging his blade into her chest. Horror movies aren’t this terrifying.

– Moira’s “You’re never without me” line? Oh my lord.

– So who is the next person Slade intends to kill? Sara? Laurel?

– Seriously, Stephen Amell carries off despair like no one else. He’s improved at an outstanding rate since the show’s inception. Kudos.

Starling Quips 

Laurel: I promised Sara I’d help her with her trigonometry.
Oliver: I don’t know what that is.

Thea: I’m going to the stock room. If I get attacked by some shot glasses, I’ll call 911.

Felicity: Oh God you’re heavy. Is that really all muscle?

Felicity: Are you sure this is a good idea. Can you even get into those leather pants with that knee?

Felicity: Anyone else crave dim sum after fisticuffs? No? Okay then, dumplings for one.

Sara: I spent six years in the darkness. And I looked into the eyes of the devil and I gave him my soul.
Oliver: Let me help you get it back.
Sara: You deserve someone better. Someone who can harness that light that’s still inside of you.

Slade: (to Moira) You have true courage. I’m very sorry you didn’t pass that along to your son.

Must-Download Tune
And Then You by Greg Laswell

A gut-wrenching and emotionally charged final sequence elevates this episode into one of Arrow‘s most memorable hours yet.

Nad Rating


  1. Ohh man!! They killed Moira 🙁 I don't know how I can recover from this…

    This is turning out to be a chilling week (Revenge's season finale, this episode of Arrow and Cristina leaving Grey's Anatomy on Thursday). I need a drink to recover. Where's Laurel when you need her? Lol.

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