‘Arrow’: Just The Three (Okay, Four) Of Us

Published 12 months ago by

Stephen Amell in Arrow Season 2 Episode 21 Arrow: Just The Three (Okay, Four) Of Us

[This is a review of Arrow season 2, episode 21. There will be SPOILERS.]


Sometimes, in order to convey the magnitude of a situation, a character’s reaction to a great loss can be handled in a more indirect manner than usual. As Arrow demonstrates in the opening minutes of ‘City of Blood,’ the lack of Oliver Queen at Moira’s funeral, and the search to find him afterward creates a certain tension that may not have been as well served by focusing directly on his grief. The show turns primarily on the choices Oliver makes, so by having him opt out of his mother’s memorial service – at great risk to his already damaged relationship with Thea – it immediately informs the audience that there’s something building underneath his decision to do so. It also pushes both the character and the narrative out of the somewhat passive nature of depicting sorrow, affording Oliver the opportunity, when he finally does make an appearance, to drop the bombshell of his plan to give up and allow Slade to take his life.

While the arc of a superhero facing tragedy with a misplaced sense of martyrdom is fairly common, and the episode here doesn’t necessarily offer much in the way of compelling new insight or action into the trope, Oliver’s choice to give in has the inadvertent effect of refocusing Team Arrow, while also finally welcoming Laurel into the fold. The inclusion of Laurel definitely feels like it was a long time coming, as the character had always been an outlier of sorts, caught between a vacillating desire to apprehend and support the Arrow. In that sense, the depiction of Laurel is a lot like that of Det. Lance: both were initially set up as minor foils for Arrow and major complications with regard to Oliver’s secret identity.

But as Det. Lance softened to the notion of a vigilante dolling out justice in Starling City – after the Arrow stopped leaving bodies everywhere – his character began to feel more like an integrated part of the overall narrative. Meanwhile, with Sara running around in and out of costume with Oliver, Laurel’s marginalization seemed to have reached the point of no return. Her bout with alcohol abuse, and subsequent dismissal/reinstatement in the district attorney’s office kept the character in the loop, but did little to pull her into the actual storyline. Now, with Sara temporarily absent, Laurel winds up playing a decisive role in turning Oliver’s mind away from suicide, and back toward the idea of stopping Deathstroke and Mayor Blood’s army of mirakuru-enhanced soldiers. This winds up being a terrific turning point, as it shows at least one aspect of Slade Wilson’s campaign against Oliver turns out to have ostensibly backfired, revealing a demonstrable chink in his otherwise impenetrable armor.

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in Arrow Season 1 Episode 21 Arrow: Just The Three (Okay, Four) Of Us

And, even more so than when Oliver finally shows his face, ‘City of Blood’ turns and dramatically improves following Laurel’s pep talk. This carries through to the episode’s liveliest point, which comes during the restaurant scene between Oliver and the newly inaugurated Mayor Blood, where everything is laid out on the table, so to speak. The interplay makes good use of Kevin Alejandro for the first time in several weeks, while also setting up the action that winds up leaving the episode on a cliffhanger.

The episode adequately establishes the ramifications of Moira’s death on the immediate Queen family, but more importantly, it refocuses that energy onto Oliver, who is now ready to step out from under the shadow of grief and use the memory of his mother to get back to the business of saving his city.


Arrow continues next week with ‘Streets of Fire’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Sarah will die in Season finale. Laurel will become the next canary. Flash hopefully makes a split second cameo to help Arrow get the edge on a 1 on 1 battle with Slade.

    • I concur. It’ll probably be Sarah who bites the dust. Then again, that’s what the writers have led us to believe. So the actual resolution is still anybody’s guess.

      Flash shouldn’t show up. It would be too ‘deus ex machina’ for an outside force that hasn’t been involved in the plot development up to this point to suddenly swoop in and save the day. Plus, such a victory would hardly feel earned in any conceivable way, don’t you think?

      Let Oliver/Diggle team up with Merlyn. Bring in Waller and the Suicide Squad (Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Clock King?, Harley Quinn?). Wake up sleeping beauty Roy. And have Sarah return together with Nyssa and half a dozen of her LoA minions to even the odds.

      • I disagree about The Flash. I think having something like the Mirakuru medication being dropped off just in the knick of time by a gust of air to the surprise an confusion of the Arrow crew followed by a close up of Barry Allen’s face smiling as he’s running at super speed would be a great teaser and exciting!

        I’m glad Malcom is back. The season finale is going to be epic.

        • Now that’s a completely different story (that would actually work). I was just talking about Barry taking out half of the Mirakuru army and/or knock out or distract Slade so Oli can land the deciding punch – something alone those lines.

          • By the way: is your user name by any chance one of the possible subtitles WB have secured for MoS2? I’m asking ’cause it sounds a hell of a lot smoother and cooler than any of the clumsy pseudo-philosophical/pseudo-poetic suggestions they have made before.

            • I don’t know but thanks. I like it better too :)

        • F*** YEAH!

      • I hope Sarah stays around quite awhile. Besides looking hot, she also looks hot, and in addition looks hot, not to mention she just…plain…looks…(whew…gotta loosen my collar–I’m torchin’!). Her character is too good to lose, and Oliver’s team needs the extra muscle (read: skill). I can’t see after his introduction and Barry knowing who Oliver is, him not making an occaisional appearance back in Oliver’s city.

        • ^ I agree Sara is too hot to kill off

    • Loved this episode, really love them all but I really disliked the way Isabel Rochev looked in her Deathstroke mask/armor. I thought it looked like a joke but it didn’t take away from the episode

      • +111…i laughed. it looked like a big fish bowl on her head.

        • Hmmm…fishbowl on the head…wow! A guest cameo by Mysterio!

    • Actually the writers had flash in the script for the season finale but changed it so flash can have his own pilot. If I remember correctly. If they didn’t change it the last couple episodes of arrow would have been his pilot. Then the flash series would continue where arrow left it. I read this on one of the flash series posts.

    • Actually flash was supposed to be in the last episodes of arrow. But the writers changed it so flash can have his own stand off pilot. If they didn’t change it the last couple episodes would be flash’s pilot. And the flash tv series would pick up where arrow left it. I got this information on a flash series post.

      • OOPS

    • A lot of people need to die if this guy’s secret identity has any hope of becoming a secret again. It’s a major disappointment to me and is literally putting me off the show just how many people know Oliver is the Arrow. This guy and his team gives his ‘secret’ identity away like it’s utterly worthless (and now it is utterly worthless). Shame good show but this is really niggling me to the point it’s getting really silly and I’m about done with it.

      • ther are only 10 people who know and now nine with moiras death and Felicity, Sara, Diggle, and Roy don’t really count since they are part of Team Arrow. Slade and Isabel will be gone/in prison and the others wont tell anyone. Most people who know wouldn’t be believed if they did tell someone anyway.

  2. Laurel stepped it up in this episode. She has been a bit of a weaker character, but she has started to make some headway. Still not 100% sold on her being Black Canary, but it’s a start.

    Another great episode. It played off of Oliver’s emotions and the end was awesome. Can’t wait to see the next two episodes.

    I’ve been cosplaying Deathstroke at cons and it has been alot of fun. I am hoping to be able to meet Manu Bennett in Hartford at the end of this month.

    • I agree, Laurel had been becoming annoying and useless to the point where I hated when she was screen, but she made a good comeback and I hope I can come to like her the way I liked her in the first season.

    • Making Laurel Black Canary will be a big mistake. Does not have the training, and Sarah does a great job. No, definitely do not do away with Sarah, and in her stead promote Laurel. No, no, no! If you want to do something different, bring in Ray palmer, who I think already had one discreet mention earlier on in the show, and have him get introduced as The Atom (potential spin-off for series, plus introduces him for Justice league affiliation!).

  3. Great Episode !! love the build up to Finale…..

  4. One thought – in the finale, does Mayor Blood maybe turn on Slade Wilson? Just before he spoke to the “Mirakuru Army” – he looked like a man having some doubts about Slade’s commitment to his vision of a better Starling.

    Blood is clearly flawed – but I do believe he thinks he is going to create a better Starling.

    I’m sure Slade just wants to watch it burn because it was also Oliver’s goal to save it.

    • I don’t think that he’s going to jump on the Team Arrow wagon to help them stop Deathstroke to do the right thing for the city. I think what Oliver told him about Slade at the restaurant is sinking in. He might be wondering if Deathstroke is really going to let him rule Starling or if he’s been lied to as well and he’s just a pawn.

      If Blood DOES help Oliver it will be to further his goals and eliminate the threat of Deathstroke turning on him. He’d turn on Oliver after that. Enemy of my enemy is my friend. Oliver would probably feel the same way. What’s the current bigger threat? Blood would be easier to take out so accept his help and deal with him later. Kinda like I’m sure they have planned for Malcom.

      • Oh agreed. I guess I didn’t spell that out. I don’t think he joins Oliver ‘s cause and does a complete character turn – I just think he may realize he was a pawn and Slade is going to causevway more destruction to the city then he signed up for.

  5. Worst episode this season, the writing, holly carp…
    Who wrote this?

    • “holly carp” = a festive fish dish?

    • I agree – not a good episode. The part of Laurel was totally miscast, so between the bad writing for her part, the bad storyline and bad acting, I can’t stand Laurel. She isn’t even in the New 52, so why not get rid of her. And it wasn’t her “pep talk” that changed Oliver’s mind, it was the Blood with Slade reveal that changed his mind. She should have opened with that. Why do the writer’s write her character as self absorbed and superior? She came into the lair and immediately dissed Dig and Felicity.

      • Dinah Laurel Lance is Black Canary in the New 52. Arrow uses her middle name.

      • Self absorbed and superior = lawyer. She’s playing the role accurately I guess.

    • totally agree with you on this one. I LOVE the show but this one was not up there with the best ones. Is Brother Blood ever gonna hook up with The cult of TRIGON?

    • Can’t believe I’m replying to a known Arrow troll but I thought this episode was brilliant, much better than last week’s pointless Seeing Red episode that really did nothing until the final 5 minutes.

  6. Good episode. Arrow keeps delivering all the time. Flash making an appearance should not be an issue as long as its a small cameo and his actions dont take over the story line. It would take away from all the hard work the gang have put in to make this a super show. Let it be Ollie and Slade beating the crap out of each other and let them settle the score while the rest duke it out amongst each other. Isabel looked badass except for the mask. With that mask on she looked like a good guy doll. Also in my opinion a under utilised actor. Summer Glau can kick butt with the best of them. Would be an awesome showdown between her and Sarah.
    Looking forward to the final episodes of this season. Its gonna be awesome.

    • The mask really brings out her Peyton Manning “Five-Head”.

  7. As much as I love Sara. And I love her character and caity lotz in generwL. Love her as the canary and would be okay if she was the canary! I couldn’t help get giddy when laurel was in the cave with Oliver. That was cool moment when she was standing next to him looking at the suit.

    Then she somewhat ruined it by showing up anyway.

    Also love diggle and felicity’s interrogation scene and ravager looked weird. She looks better without the mask in the promo next week.
    I finally like summer glau in the show. Lol

    “The essence of heroism is to die so that others may live” love that!!
    Also loved his second cave.

    Walter is a great character. Wished we see more of him.

    I think Sara will die in the finale.

    Can someone tell me if tommy is the dark archer in the comics? Or is it merlyn. Cuz I wouldn’t mind a winter solider type thing where Merlin dies and tommy is brought back memory wiped as te dark archer.

    • I like Caity Lotz as Canary, I think she is great. She is a serious weak actor though. Her lines she delivers when she is just Sara are awful.
      That said, I would like to keep her on, but I agree, I think she is going to die in the finale. The producers have said over and over that Laurel will be Black Canary, this will probably be the start.

      • When did they say that?

        • Andrew Kreisberg said it last in January of this year

          • Completely missed that one. And all this time I thought people were nuts with the whole idea of it.

          • Link to a real interview where Andrew Kreisberg actually said that or it didn’t happen.

            • This is the idea from the beginning. And it was been told also on Arrow Paley Fest panel last year. If you google it, there is 1 hour video on Vimeo with the cast, where Guggenheim and Kreisberg talk about how they will give Laurel her “fishnets” but it will not gonna happen over the night. She have to walk the dark path to earn her Black Canary status and i see that little by little they move her into the big picture of Arrow mission.

              • Okay, thanks!

      • Laurel as Canary? Never work, big mistake.
        I want to see Felicity and Sara model bikinis. That would give me a “quiver” you couldn’t put an “arrow” in!

        • Are you a lady?

    • Tommy Merlyn is the Dark Archer in the new 52. Check out the Wiki page on Merlyn. It’s really cool. He is one of my favorite villains.

      I liked Summer as Ravager. She did look a little weird with her mask on, but damn I loved her one liner to Diggle. I gotta re-watch so I can remember it lol

    • I don’t know about the New 52, but in the pre-Flashpoint comics, there is no Tommy Merlyn: Friend of Oliver Queen.
      Merlyn is just a rival archer who defeated Green Arrow in a contest… then became evil for some reason.

      • I just looked up the New 52 version but TheFume totally answered that already and I missed it. According to the Wiki page, he is originally Ollie’s best friend, like in the show

  8. another great episode. I personally have enjoyed Laurels arc this season, and think Katie has really done some good work, i might be in the minority here, but I will enjoy watching her journey into becoming the Canary. It seems pretty obvious Sara dies at the end of this season. I don’t want Slade to bite the dust he’s the perfect arch nemesis for Oliver, but everything seems to be leaning that way, Ollie will probably shoot him with the cure and then probably kill him, or Slade kills him self from the guilt (not that likely) either way i look forward to watching it as always. on a side note I so want Dick Grayson to show up and go all Nightwing on Slade that would be pretty epic.

    • I don’t think Slade is gonna die. I think ARGUS will step in and he will join the Suicide Squad. Hopefully turn them into a spinoff with Manu at the helm.

      • Suicide Squad seems like a bunch of putzes. They wouldn’t scare me. I’d give ‘em all a wood-shedding, and tell them to go back and get some real bad-guys.

  9. kinda of a slow ep this week but that usually happens after a shocker like last ep. merlyn is back next ep yesss

  10. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE SPOILER ALERT IN YOUR TITLE. How can you so calmly list your headline with your first sentence the lack of Oliver at Moira’s funeral. I have my episodes on DVR and I’m sorry if I am slow to getting to my TV shows, but I would expect you to show some more respect. You obviously give your spider-man fans that respect by posting this right above the comment section:

    “If you want to discuss Amazing Spider-Man 2 spoilers,
    CLICK HERE to go to our spoilers post.
    Please be considerate of people who have not yet seen the film.”

    This was done very poorly, spoiler alerts should be applied across the board not just super blockbusters. Thank you so much Screen Rant.

    • Why the heck are you reading an episode review of an episode you haven’t seen, if you’re so concerned about spoilers?

    • Dude chill out its a review so of course there will be spoilers. He clearly says there are spoilers under the top photo.

    • Its been over a week since the last show, spoiler time is over kid. This is not the same as a movie that not everyone has access too. You can stream it online, dvr it, watch it live, on demand it, illegally d/l it – there are tons of ways to view it, and if you have not watched the previous weeks episode its not SRs fault for spoiling that episode at this point.

    • [This is a review of Arrow season 2, episode 21. There will be SPOILERS.]

      He did.

    • You would figure a review of an episode would have spoilers or at least that’s common sense for me which is why I avoid reviews when I miss an episode of a show, i.e. GOT, AOS, Hannibal, or any other shows I’ve missed

    • We didn’t get this particular episode of Arrow until 8 days after the US and I didn’t get to watch it until the early hours of Saturday morning (over 24 hours after it aired here).

      Know what I did due to all that? I waited to watch the episode before checking out the review and comments. It’s annoying when shows are spoiled before you get to watch them (I unliked Revolution’s Facebook page for instance because they spoiled Jason’s death a full month before the episode aired in the UK) but SR only put spoilers in articles, not headlines so the easiest thing to do is not read the articles for a while.

      I mean, Hannibal only just returned to our screens this past Tuesday but the US is 9-10 episodes ahead. I haven’t read a single review or comment about season 2 on this site yet and won’t until I watcht he episodes myself. It’s a simple concept, really.

  11. Why would someone even open an article that was a review of a show they haven’t watched yet?

    • Especially when it says REVIEW clear as day across the picture.

      • Lol you beat me to it.

  12. This is my dream finale, Canary gets Merlin to come save his daughter and revenge his lover. Merlin and Arrow decide to team up and take out Slade and company, body count is off the charts.

  13. I can’t believe how stupid the people are. I thought it was just me, that episode wasn’t that bad so i watched it again and it’s much worse so i went to imdb and looked up the writer and then everything was clear…
    Why did they let this guy write? who approved this script?

    • I ask myself that every time I watch AOS

      • Same here but hey, Evil_Ash trolls the Arrow articles anyway with his crazy hatred for the show so…

        But yeah, even Arrow’s worst episodes are still ten times better than AOS at its best.

  14. I see Malcolm helping Oliver fight Slade and that would be one hell of a fight!! :)

  15. It would be cool to see the mirakuru cure delivered by Flash and Slade getting injected and him and Ollie ending it with at final hand to hand show down…But if he beat Slade that would take away from the credibility of the show for me cause no one can match Deathstroke in a hand to hand but Batman…So it’s going to be interesting to say the least on how they play it

    • I thought the producers said they were originally gonna bring back flash for the season finale. But they changed it (if I remember correctly) so flash can have his own pilot.

  16. Deathstroke lives. Sara Dies. Laurel becomes the Canary. Deathstroke will be back.

  17. Wow, this Star Wars movie looks really cool!

  18. We’re a week behind here in the UK so we had “Seeing Red” last night.

    I’m not bothered about spoilers so I read SR review last week so I knew about Moria, what I didn’t know and absolutely loved is that she doesn’t die in the crash but on the end of Slade’s blade.

    Susanna Thompson is epic in Moria’s final moments….

    Those peeps that comment on the “soap opera, CW-ness” of Arrow I personally would put up with a whole season of mush for a moment like that and fortunately Arrow provides similar (although not as powerful) moments fairly regularly

  19. What I want to know is what are the motivations behind Brother Blood. In ine hand he’s a sociopath that killed his parents, and on the other he genuinely seems to believe that he’s Star City’s savior. What’s his endgame is what I’m asking. In his mind Is benevolent, is he a ends-justify-means type of extremist, or is he just crazy?

    This episode was good. A couple nitpicks like Blood conveniently time stamping the incriminating letter (with initials no less) and no physical conflict up until the end (to be fair, that’s on the way).

    Glad they’re shifting the focus back to the original three. I don’t mind the Team having revolving members (like Sarah, Roy, Laurel, and maybe Huntress), but the core three really need to be running the show from a protags’ standpoint.

  20. I just want to know something i may have missed in the past episodes. how is slade able to control mirakuru injected people. I mean we’ve seen people injected spiraling out of control but they seem really obedient and ordered for some reason. any explanation?

    • Happy to go over it with u, but I don’t get how u missed it.
      Deathstroke enters his lair and explains in great detail how [SCENE DELETED].
      And that’s how he commands his army

  21. I want Sarah to be off the show SO bad. I don’t find her at all attractive and I can’t stand the way she talks. She’s the only thing keeping this show from being a 10/10. I would like to see a lot more of Huntress. Anyways, love the show just can’t stand Sarah.

  22. They are setting this up for a series of individual battles. I suspect Thea could be the one to die, Merlyn will save her and maybe have the LOA bring her back to life. Or Merlyn will just save her. After Oliver’s comment about her pure heart, you know it has to be corrupted. I don’t think Merlyn and Ollie will join together. I think Merlyn will make a play to take Thea away from the Queens and make her a Merlyn. This could give Caty Lotz a reason to hang around keeping an eye on Thea and the LOA or to drop in on occasion as the LOA’s emissary as the show returns to the Olly/Dig/Felicity team. I think Deathstroke will try to kill Sara, but given all the foreshadowing they are doing regarding Officer Lance, unless it is an intentional misdirection I suspect he will sacrifice himself for Sara (parents don’t do well in Starling City.) A couple episodes ago he told the girls to watch out for each other, he was the first one shown at the funeral, he keeps getting beat up…. Laurel will eventually be the Canary but I doubt it happens next season. I think they’ll keep Sara around in some form.