TV - Arrow Season 3, Episode 6

Arrow

Do Roy's dreams mean what he thinks they do? Just who is Ted Grant? All questions that get answered as Steve Taylor-Bryant watches Guilty...

Roy is half asleep. Roy is half asleep because he is being haunted by his dreams of killing Sara, however there is a drug gang to stop and Roy, Diggle and Oliver enter a warehouse to stop a heroin deal only to discover the gang mostly dead, one of their crew kidnapped and “guilty” written on the floor in blood. This trend continues and eventually leads to a dead body hanging in Ted Grant's gymnasium where, only a couple of hours earlier, Grant had been training Laurel. Grant protests his innocence but Oliver still has some real trust issues with him and digs into his past, with thanks to Felicity. Oliver tracks Grant to a storage locker where he finds a lot of vigilante paraphernalia and another dead body. Grant admits to Oliver that many years ago, long before the Arrow turned up, that he and his partner used to be a vigilante double act trying to keep drugs out of The Glades and away from schools. When his partner, Isaac Stanzler, beat a man to death, Grant cut him loose and gave up his secret job.

Stanzler is now back and trying to frame Grant for multiple murders, "more than Son of Sam but less than Ted Bundy" to quote Captain Lance and, after the police finally release Grant with no charge, Stanzler turns up and kidnaps Grant and Laurel. In the chase to stop them, Oliver is knocked off his motorcyle but Roy manages to buy Laurel enough time to shake Stanzler out of the car. Oliver and Diggle rescue Grant and Laurel from the burning wreck whilst Roy, being taunted by Stanzler about just being a weapon in the Arrow's arsenal, takes Stanzler down.

The help by Roy wouldn’t be such a stand out moment if it hadn’t been for his admission earlier in the episode to Oliver and Laurel that he killed Sara by throwing the arrows at her whilst being under the influence of Mirakuru. Diggle wants Roy to be accountable for what he has done but, spurred on by an event from his past (yes, the flashback was relevant this week) Oliver helps Roy meditate to see clearly what is dream and what is memory. What Roy sees is the murder of a police officer that he committed on Mirakuru, not the death of Sara. Whilst this news would normally be expected to please, Roy is still so stunned that he committed murder, he walks away. As Stanzler is being moved from the police station to prison another archer, a female, arrives on the scene taking him out but not before answering his question as to her identity - I'm Cupid, stupid.

I really enjoyed Guilty a lot more than I thought I would. Revealing Ted Grant's past life as a vigilante helped give him a bit more of the right feel as he had in the comics (Wildcat), and the way the reveal was composed, with a puzzle involving dead drug dealers, was possibly more entertaining than is perhaps healthy. Seeing Laurel as stronger character now due to her training with Grant was also welcome and I found I wasn’t sighing about her getting kidnapped for the millionth time. Roy finally got his name! Arsenal it is, although it is going to take convincing from Oliver that he deserves such a moniker due the level of guilt he is feeling, which was another great touch by the writers. All too often in superhero/vigilante shows and films the consequences of the main characters actions are often put down to circumstance but the Arrow writing team always allow for the guilt and emotion that you would hope to see in real life.

The team is building well now, each character is becoming what I hoped they would, there are some nice nods to the comics and cartoons of yesteryear whilst the show keeps its own sense of identity, and there is a beautiful woman with a bow and arrow killing people. Happy days.

Image - IMDb.