Arrow Stars Preview Thea and Malcolm's 'Dysfunctional, Brutal' Bond

Arrow Season 3

Prepare for one twisted family gathering on Arrow when Oliver travels to Corto Maltese in search of Thea (Willa Holland) — and finds more than he bargained for — in Wednesday’s episode (The CW, 8/7c).

“He knows very little about what she’s done [during the past five months] other than that she has lied about where she is,” Arrow‘s leading man Stephen Amell previewed during a recent set visit. “Oliver calls her on that immediately.”

As the hour’s flashbacks reveal, his little sis has spent quite a bit of time with her biological father Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), and she’s got the new skills to prove it.

“He’s been [taking] her under his wing,” Holland shares. “She’s been up to — not necessarily no good — just something a little bit different for Thea.”

During her training sessions, the bond between dad and his progeny has evolved in “very interesting” ways. “The Thea Queen-Malcolm Merlyn relationship is not going to be anywhere near normal, and I don’t think anybody would expect it to be,” Holland notes. Her onscreen pop, Barrowman, takes it a step further, labeling it “the most dysfunctional, brutal father-daughter relationship.

“You’re going to look at it and go, ‘This is too uncomfortable, but I really want to [keep] watching it because it’s like a car crash,’” he continues. However, as twisted as the dynamic may be, “there is a genuine love there and caring for her, but he wants her to be strong. He wants her to be able to stand on her own two feet.” (Barrowman also warns “your jaw will hit the floor” during the flashbacks.)

RELATED Arrow EP Talks Sara’s Death, ‘Olicity’ on Hold and More

In a weird way, there is also trust between the two because, while Malcolm is who he is, “the one thing that he hadn’t done to Thea was lie about who he is,” Holland points out.

“Knowing Malcolm’s past, it’s definitely hard for Thea to trust him, but I think over the last five months, she’s gotten to known Malcolm in a different way,” she explains. “They have a different type of relationship than you would expect from them off the bat.”

But could it still be one full of deceit? When it comes to Thea’s evolution, Malcolm is “happy that he is in control of the situation,” Barrowman says. “How he does control is…pretty vicious.” While he used his money, power and physicality in the past, “this is his quest to emotionally manipulate people now.”

As Malcolm has grown closer to Thea by being honest, the distance between Oliver and his sister has only grown wider, both literally and figuratively. “He comes to the realization that the only way to bring her home when it was lies that drove her away is to tell her the truth,” Amell previews. “How much of the truth he has to tell her is one of the crucial points of the episode.”

Will it be enough to lure her back to Starling City? “The one thing that could always pull her back was Oliver, and her love for him and that side of her family, as well as Roy,” Holland says. “She has a lot in Starling City; it’s her home. But right now, I don’t think she has [any intention] to go back. She’s found a new Thea Queen and is very happy with who she is at the moment.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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63 Comments
  1. DarkDefender says:

    I can’t wait to see how the new Thea interacts with everyone else. So far she looks kinda badass, (that haircut is awesome) I just hope she can keep up with the physicality of her new role in the ways Caity Lotz did with BC. Barrowman is gold and I hope we get a lot more of him this season.

  2. Claire says:

    I am very excited for Willah Holland and her story this season. I have always liked Thea and felt there has always been potential there for more. Even though she was often in the background, she had a connectivity to Oliver, Moira, Roy and Tommy as well.

    I’m really looking forward to her development this season and her scenes with Barrowman. Selfishly too, I hope for her to develop an on screen friendship with Felicity—the two can bond over daddy issues.

    Keep pushing the good stuff like this Arrow! I hope we get some interviews for David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards as well! Woohoo! Go Willah!

    • A says:

      I would love to see Thea and Felicity interact, or even Thea and Diggle again. I’m also hopeful for some David and Emily interviews this season.

  3. kath says:

    I’m interested to see Thea get a good storyline, and I hope there is enough of Moira in her to beat him at his own game.

    However… within 15 episodes three strong women have been brutally murdered without the chance to fight back (Shado, Moira, Sara) and I had enough of Arrow hurting women. It’s left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.

    If Malcolm’s training techniques involve torturing Thea, it’s going to be another black mark against the show. I’m tired of men hurting women whatever the reason. It just encourages things like the death threats around Gamer Gate.

    • To be fair the show also has a lot of female characters, but I do see and agree with your point regardless.

    • I’d say I can see the point, but it requires ignoring all the bad things that happen to men on the show, and it is telling to me that you handwave all those away. Apparently they don’t matter?

      • kath says:

        Bad things happened to Robert and Tommy, but it was Robert’s choice to take his own life and Tommy’s to risk his to save his damsel who stupidly went where three people told her not to go.
        Moira, Shado and Sara had no chance to make a choice. (Picking between your own life and your daughter’s? Not a choice at all for any mother.)

    • Samara says:

      I agree 100 percent

  4. Sparky says:

    There is something so delightful in how evil and manipulative Malcolm is, I can’t wait. Will also be good to see Oliver and Thea’s bond strengthen. We know that she eventually has to go back with him but how much does she really want to go back and how much has manipulated her already. This is shaping up to be a great season so far!!!!

  5. Trish says:

    So happy for Willa! I hope Thea kills it this season. I can’t wait to have John Barrowman back as a cast regular.

  6. Joey Padron says:

    Good scoop about new episode. Can’t wait to see how Thea being bonding with Malcolm and training her. I wonder if Oliver will finally tell his secret to her for her to come back home.

  7. I’m getting the feeling the first half of this season will tease the Thea and Merlyn were behind Sarah’s death, Nyssa Al Ghul possibly even suggesting it (she is slated to return again), but later we find out the League is actually behind it as they’re trying to eliminate their rogue members or something.

    • kath says:

      I agree that they will first tease Malcolm and Thea being behind it, although they were in Corto Maltese when it happened, but it’s probably Ra’s resenting Sara’s relationship with Nyssa.

      • Rob Watkins says:

        I don’t think Ra’s resents the relationship, but either it’s payback for leaving the first time, or perhaps Sara knows something.

        • Shelley says:

          She never told Laurel the real reason why she returned right before she died. We’ll find out soon. I hope the writers give us different teasers to think about who might have killed Sara. Ra’s, the League of Assassins, the head of the organization that had Oliver in Hong Kong, or whom ever. It’s going to be a good season to watch. New twists and turns.

  8. Briggs says:

    I am so excited for this storyline. I can’t wait to see where they go with this. So far, every event has had an underlying reason behind it, and Thea looks poised to take on a bigger role in the show because of Malcolm’s training. I can see Oliver being forced to work with Malcolm because of Thea, though how that comes about will be fun to watch, if they go that route.

  9. James D says:

    Hey the more Barrowman we get the better in my book, even if he has some weird ass greek tragedy stuff going on with his daughter :) Thea seems to be suited for it too judging by last weeks ending the girl is pretty badass. will be interesting to see what the writers do with Thea, will they go the Speedy route eventually or IMO do something far more entertaining and make her a legit villian Dark Archer 2.0 or maybe some version of Cupid. Lets be honest the Foundry is kind of crowded at the moment I don’t think Thea would fit. Either way should be fun to watch

  10. Mary says:

    I’ve been wondering just how honest Malcolm has been with Thea, like the fact that he’s the one who blew up the Queen’s Gambit.

  11. speedy says:

    So, a 20-year-old (or is Thea 19?) who trains all day for five months is believable to me as someone who becomes kick ass. Oliver and Sara were in their early twenties and training all the time. Thea’s arc is one of the few storylines I still feel invested in. Crossing my fingers she won’t get fridged like every other female in Oliver’s life.

    • Briggs says:

      Just so we’re clear: dead bodies decompose. Any morgue I’ve ever seen had many refridgerated units to keep the bodies in good condition for eventual burial. So fridging Sara was, in effect, preserving her until a decision was made as to what to do with her. It had nothing to do with her being disposable. In fact, just the opposite, since it took a couple days to decide what to do with her remains. So how about we calm down and eagerly await what’s going on with Thea? Corto Maltese looks lovely.

      • kath says:

        I can’t help but think that putting Sara in a freezer referred to Gail Simon’s complaint about “fridging” female characters in comics in order to push the storyline for other characters, in this case Laurel. Earlier Shado was fridged for Slade’s revenge story, and Moira for Oliver’s.

        There is no way the producers of Arrow didn’t know about that term since they’ve sat on panels that discussed fridging in the comic books. After shooting Sara full of arrows and having her fall into a dumpster (like garbage), it felt like yet another “screw you” to those who preferred Sara.

        • Rob Watkins says:

          And Tommy was killed to further . Would you rather their deaths be meaningless? You are looking for reasons to be offended. They weren’t claiming Sara was trash because she fell onto a dumpster. They wanted her death to be brutal. It’s no different than Tommy’s death because a building collapsed on him and he got impaled on rebar. It wasn’t a screw you.

          • kath says:

            Tommy, like Robert Queen, got to die heroically. Malcolm and Slade, both villains, survived. Meanwhile three strong women, two of whom were good fighters, were all executed in a way that they couldn’t fight back.
            +
            You don’t have to have a degree in statistics to find a bias there.

          • Briggs says:

            Oliver’s life is populated by strong women, always has been. And don’t forget, Moira’s death was heroic. She told Slade to kill her and let her children live. Poor Shado was killed by a madman because Oliver wanted both her and Sara to live, and who knows about Sara, yet. it’s easy to take the deaths out of context, but it also robs the deaths of all meaning. Let’s not do that. This show is a narrative.
            .
            Robert Queen killed himself. I know he was in a lot of pain, but he also left Oliver to fend for himself. I’m not sure how this death was heroic.

        • Carla Krae says:

          She didn’t fall into a dumpster. She hit the ground. She lands in the alley and Laurel kneels with the body.

      • speedy says:

        I’m going to assume this comment was directed at mine. That’s not what I meant by fridging. But thank you for pointing out the dead bodies decompose and they hadn’t made a decision as to what to do with her and that’s why they put her in a freezer. I wasn’t quite sharp enough to catch that that was why they did it, even though Felicity specifically says that. And I will respectfully disagree about the reasons why they killed Sara. It’s not something I am willing to keep arguing, nor is it something I see myself forgiving anytime soon. But you are certainly welcome to calm down. I will await Thea’s storyline the same way I approach every storyline concerning women characters on Arrow since the end of their premiere–with wariness.

        • Briggs says:

          *sigh* I honestly don’t think it was deliberate on their part. Would anyone be commenting on this if, say, Roy were arrow-ed on that rooftop? I had no idea ‘fridged’ was a term in comic books. So don’t pile on me.
          .
          If they *did* do it to tell fans ‘screw you’, I wouldn’t blame them, especially after the whole season 3 poster drama. This fandom is full of people who not only call for the deaths of characters, but the actors who portray them. Well, guess what? You got a death. Is everybody happy now?
          .
          ((Not saying that’s what they did, but I wouldn’t be one bit surprised. Yeah, I’m cranky. I’m sick of the drama. In fact, I’m literally sick at the moment, so go pick on someone who has the patience for it. #notinthemoodtobenice))

          • speedy says:

            Uh, you were the one who started this. I left a comment. You were the one who told me to calm down. If I’m pissed and you aren’t, good for you. But maybe don’t tell other people not to be pissed or not to be upset about stuff they didn’t like. And no, I never wanted a death. I am not one of those people who think they killed the wrong sister and I certainly never altered that poster. I’m sorry you are literally sick on the moment, but I never picked on you. I posted on a public message board to share an opinion I had, which I had every right to do, and you replied to my comment–not the other way around.

          • Briggs says:

            My comment may have been in response to you, but by no means was it meant for just you. You made a ‘fridging’ comment, and I admit, I went off the deep end, but I just found it ridiculous. I am sorry, however, if you felt attacked. You weren’t the only one to respond to me, yours just happened to be the last response. This was not a personal attack, but rather, a plea for sanity among the fandom as a whole. Next time, I will make that more plain by not responding to a single person, but to an entire comments section behaving badly. Which this one is not.

          • JC1 says:

            Briggs, since we cannot post links here, I would invite you to do some reading on the “women in refrigerators” trope, now shortened within fandom to “fridging”. The term was coined by comics book writer Gail Simone (who is one of the writers of the Black Canary comics), and takes its name from an incident in the comics where Green Lantern’s girlfriend was killed by the villain and stuffed in the refrigerator for him to find.
            .
            Even if you may not have a problem with Sara’s death, many of us do, particularly coming after the brutal execution of Shado and Moira. I would consider all three “fridgings”, particularly Shado, and I’ve said even before The Calm aired that I thought that Shado’s death was where season two went off the rails. And yes, MG and AK are deliberately thumbing their noses at the fandom by literally placing Sara’s body in a fridge. I’m told that they’ve been on panels discussing the “women in refrigerators” issue so they’re well aware of the implications. And your idea that it’s because of the poster reaction is ridiculous because that episode was filmed well before the poster came out.
            .
            As for Tommy and Robert, Tommy died saving Laurel, and Robert killed himself to give Oliver a chance to live because there wasn’t enough water in the raft for them all. Quite a bit different from Shado, Moira, and Sara, who were all brutally murdered at the whim of their executioners for “storyline reasons.”

          • JC1 says:

            ^^Amending the above comment to say “Gail Simone (who is one of the writers of the Birds of Prey comics)”.

          • speedy says:

            I could have gone on and on about Women in Refrigerators and the misogyny behind the way women and their deaths have been written on Arrow, but I didn’t. I specifically talked about being invested in Thea’s arc, just pointing out that I’m wary now. I wasn’t posting that to invite drama. They’ve killed off 3 strong, independent women in 15 episodes because they get “more story” that way–producers’ words, not mine–so if I accuse the writers of succumbing to the Women in Refrigerators problem, I believe I have basis to do so. They didn’t even give Sara the chance to fight back. I am a woman. I have daughters. Representation of women in media IS something I pay attention to, and if you think that’s ridiculous–fine. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, just as I am entitled to mine.

          • speedy says:

            In response to your question about whether there would be an issue if the genders were reversed, it’s clear that the very real issues behind fridging is what you fail to grasp. It’s why most people will dismiss mine, Kath’s, and JC1’s comments as making a big deal out of nothing. I’ve learned there is no point in arguing with people about this–people who want to understand the issue will read up on it. People who think we’re overreacting will dismiss us as such.
            The conversations if the genders were reversed would be very different, but to me, there is no show that can get away with killing four characters (including Tommy) in 2 seasons (Tommy died at the end of S1) and then claim “it opens up so much story” that I would consider good writing. I find that to be incredibly lazy, further emphasized by the fact that Marc Guggenheim has used almost exactly the same wording when asked about why they killed Moira and Sara–interviews months apart, and yet the same answer. You know what would have surprised me is Sara being alive and Laurel still being propelled forward into her journey as BC. I would have loved to see the Lance sisters, side-by-side, kicking ass, instead of watching a show where Sara had to die so Laurel could replace her. Who didn’t see that coming? Just like who didn’t see the Slade would eventually get revenge on Oliver by re-creating Ivo’s “choose who lives” scenario?
            The only reason Sara’s death shocked me is because I expected so much more from the writers. I expected them to surprise me with a story that didn’t fall into a problematic trope. Oliver trains Roy so he can fight side-by-side with him, but Sara had to die so Laurel could be BC.
            I appreciate the respectful tone of your question, but I think the question itself reveals a lack of understanding about the problem. It is great that you are asking questions. Questions are important, and I hope you continue to ask them but also that you do read up on the issue and while you may not agree, you might come to understand where I’m coming from. And I hope you are feeling better as well.

          • Briggs says:

            My physical health is better… kinda. I think I’m sitting up, so that’s better.
            .
            The thing is, Game of Thrones has killed more people, and I haven’t heard about this argument being used in conjunction with that show. Now, it could be because people expect it because George R.R. Martin is notorious for killing off characters, but it’s still an example of multi-character death.
            .
            I thought many of the chars had stories left to tell, but that’s why there was so much impact. When you take the deaths out of context, you lose the meaning behind the death, and it’s easy to make it something it’s not. Even Joss Whedon (known for writing toward female empowerment) has gotten flack for this by killing Joyce and Tara in an effort to affect his lead (female) character in a way that he wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
            .
            Oliver being who he is, he’s surrounded by a lot of women. So, to affect change in Oliver, something happens to the women. It’s not like Roy and Diggle haven’t suffered, with both of them dealing with different challenges each, but there are more women in Oliver’s life than men. Does this mean Sara had to die? No. But I also think that we’re going into episode *3* of a 21 (I think) episode season, so it’s still a bit early to talk about how only the women have bad stuff happen to them. I don’t think anyone on the show gets away unscathed, with even poor Walter getting kidnapped (and then virtually disappearing from the screen), so it’s not like the abuse isn’t shared amongst them. I can itemize the abuse, but not in a post that’s already this long.

          • kath says:

            Fridging Moira was shooting themselves in the foot with regard to storylines. There was so much more to tell about her!

          • speedy says:

            I never watched Game of Thrones, so I’m speaking specifically about Arrow. I did watch Buffy, and yeah, not a fan of killing Tara (that plotline and Willow’s trajectory was a Jump the Shark moment for Buffy-I stopped watching shortly after), but Joyce died of natural causes, which does not fall under fridging.
            I would also disagree that it’s too soon to judge Arrow–3 women in 15 episodes points to a disturbing pattern. Yeah, there are 21 episodes left (it’s a 23-episode season), but I don’t believe they have earned me giving them the benefit of the doubt. Look at how the men died versus how the women did. I think approaching the rest of the season with low expectations is the way to go at this point.
            Again, I think it goes to just not seeing what the problem is here. I’ve had this conversation with my husband over the last few years–an ongoing dialogue about this issue–and now he gets it. Now that we have three little girls and I ask him how he would feel about the message that only one of them gets to be a superhero–one dies before the next girl can take her place. He had Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc. growing up. My girls? They’re expected to look up to the Disney princesses.
            Media and literary representation of women is a big issue, and it isn’t about what happens to the men to justify what they have done to the women–it’s about what they’ve already done to the women. Do I hope the future of Arrow has better story lines ahead for their women? Absolutely. But will I expect more from them? No. Absolutely not. My expectations died with Sara Lance.

          • Briggs says:

            I looked at Sara as a cautionary tale, not as a role model. She went through some horrendous stuff and now we have to deal with what happens next (in my mind, Laurel gets an unexpected and unwelcome visitor in Nyssa and that’s how we get flashbacks for Sara).
            .
            But again, I think, in the name of feminism, that we’re overlooking *narrative*. What, you want all the bad stuff to happen to the men? If we want to get into how screwed up people are getting on the show, I think I could name at least one traumatic thing for each male (excluding Oliver, who we know is messed up) and still have things to list as ‘dishonorable mentions’.
            .
            Yeah, the women die, but *again*, you take the deaths *out of context*. Shado’s death had a purpose (basically the start of killing the good in Oliver’s soul at that point). Moira’s death had a purpose (breaking Oliver down more than he already was and giving impetus to his later actions). Sara’s death has a purpose, too, and *again*, it’s still too early to really see the damage of that. It really is. If we’re not at the mid-season finale, it’s too soon. It’s okay if you feel differently, but that doesn’t change the fact that we have 21 more episodes and you’re writing them off before you even see them. I’m giving this storyline a chance, and that means waiting more than two eps (only two have actually aired, just realized) to see how it unfolds, in my mind.

          • speedy says:

            Briggs, clearly this is a pointless debate. We are looking at this from two completely different perspectives. It’s not at all about wanting bad things to happen to the men, it’s about how women are viewed–and that IS seen through the narrative. You are able to justify how they have written the women. I am not. It’s not about how many episodes are left; it’s about what they have already done–and no matter what they have written for WHY Sara died, they wrote a plotline where she never even had the chance to fight back, and where her death is the reason her sister decides to take up BC because there couldn’t possibly have been a scenario where two female superheroes existed; one had to die to replace the other. This is a useless exercise, and pretty damn frustrating, so I am done debating this or trying to explain it. Have a good day.

          • blackconvoy says:

            I don’t really care that Sara died. And honestly, If it was Laurel who took those arrows to the chest, no one would be talking about how women die since no one seems to like her. People can say whatever they want, and it doesn’t matter what good we’ve seen her do. Sara was a killer. An assassin. She has done some horrible things that we don’t know about. As much as we like her, with the life she lead, she had it coming to her eventually.

            Yes, Slade killed Moira last season. But you know she was no saint herself. The only one I feel bad for is Shado.

          • Briggs says:

            Your point about Laurel makes me so happy. :) Variation on the point I was trying to make with my genderswap-question-that-never-got-answered. Would this be such a big problem if it was Laurel who was killed? I wonder.

        • speedy says:

          One final point: Sara Lance WAS a role model to me. I identified with her and you may not have, which frankly doesn’t surprise me. She rose above the horrors of her experiences to become a superhero, but all you saw was a cautionary tale.

          • Eve H says:

            After Sarah death I read that the Black Canary was one of the super heroes to use Lazarus Pits.
            Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter, Nyssa was at first allowed to use her father’s Lazarus Pits
            The substance possesses the ability to rejuvenate the sick and injured, and even resurrect the dead.

    • Rob Watkins says:

      She’s 19, and she was shown to have “wicked aim”. Can we refrain from speaking in hyperbole, not every woman in Oliver’s life has been “fridged.”

      • speedy says:

        Which is why I said “every other woman.” It is truly surprising to me that men in comment boards everywhere seem to take offense when Arrow is accused of fridging women. And also, you are welcome to stop speaking in hyperbole.

        • Rob Watkins says:

          Fridging isn’t the same as killing. I didn’t take offense, just it bugs me when people make an issue out of something when there is none. Can’t we just think of the characters as individuals instead of making it about some group, be it males, females, blacks, whites, gays, etc.?

          • speedy says:

            You’re absolutely right. Fridging isn’t the same as killing. Except when it is. Let me quote Gail Simone: “Women in Refrigerators,” is a trope where a female character, “is killed off in a particularly gruesome manner and left to be found…to offend or insult someone, or to cause someone serious anguish.” It’s been done three times in 15 episodes by the Arrow Writers. So you might not think there is an issue here, but I respectfully disagree.

            You are welcome to your opinion but I am holding on tightly, passionately, to mine, and to me, this is not “hidden misogyny.” It’s glaring and blatant. You may not see it, but you’re wasting your time if you think you can convince me it’s not there, just like I’d be wasting my time trying to convince you it is.

      • kath says:

        Thea and Felicity haven’t been, and Laurel never will be because the producers love her. But Shado, Moira and Sara, three of the strongest women on the show, have and in ways where they were prevented from fighting back.
        McKenna moved away and Helena is in prison but they only appeared in two and four episodes respectively so the connection wasn’t as strong with them..

        • Rob Watkins says:

          I never looked at Moira’s death as a parent protecting their child, not as some hidden misogyny on part of the writers. Sara wasn’t prevented from fighting back, she was taken completely by surprise. I think you’re making a mountain out of a molehill. The one thing I will give you is that Shado’s death didn’t have as much impact on me as the other two because I don’t think we got to know her as a person as much, but I don’t think her death was wasted.

          • kath says:

            If you don’t see a difference between Robert taking his own life and Moira forced by Slade to choose between her daughter being killed or dying herself; or between Tommy choosing to sacrifice his life to save Laurel and Shado with her hands bound kneeling at Ivo’s feet as he shoots her in the head; or Slade fighting Oliver on equal terms and Sara being taken by surprise and killed as she greets someone she knows, and you don’t see that as a pattern in how this show treats the deaths of men versus those of women, then we really aren’t on the same page.
            It’s also the timing. Robert and Tommy died in season 1. Seasons 2 and 3 only women have died (other than one or two-shot villains)

        • Rob Watkins says:

          And Moira did die heroically. She died protecting her children. You keep bringing up how the women couldn’t fight back. Be specific about what you think the writers are saying when they wrote those scenes.

        • Rob Watkins says:

          Of course Robert’s and Moira’s deaths were different, but not in essence. By the way, Yao Fei also dies with no chance of defending himself, so about as many important men in Oliver’s life have died as women. Slade wasn’t making Moira choose, he was forcing Oliver to choose. Moira did the heroic thing and gave her life to save her children. Yes, we aren’t on the same page, I’m disagreeing with you. Why does it matter when the characters died? What really bugs me is if the deaths are meaningless and have no ramifications, but they pretty much all have meant something. I truly doubt Sara’s death was the writers being misogynistic (I noticed that you sidestepped that question), as much as them wanting to keep her attacker a mystery and the death to be shocking, which a long drawn out fight would’ve interfered with.

          The writers not killing off Slade b/c he’s one of the best villains/characters in all of DC, there’s still way more story to tell with that character alive. After all the deaths in Oliver’s life, I have a hard time believing they will kill Thea any time soon, if at all.

          • kath says:

            Yao Fei was killed because he was Yao Fei and Fyers wanted him dead, not in order to affect Oliver. It did influence Oliver but that’s not why he was killed, unlike Shado and Moira. I’d argue that Sara was killed solely to advance Laurel’s storyline. Fridging is defined when a female character is brutally killed to advance the storyline of a more powerful character, usually a male. The only reason for Shado and Moira dying was to advance Oliver’s storyline. (I think Moira especially had a ton of stories left in the character.) Sara was killed to advance Oliver’s and Laurel’s storylines, when she still had a lot of story left herself.
            To answer your question, I find all these three killing misogynistic because unlike Robert and Tommy, the women didn’t choose it, they had no possible alternatives. Robert could have tried to live a few more days to see if they could find land and settle his own accounts instead of burdening Oliver but Moira had no choice because it was either her dying or Thea. This is why atavistic stuff like Gamergate happens.

          • Briggs says:

            If the genders were reversed, but nothing else changed, would this even be a thing? If, for example, Olivia Queen had to choose between her father and her brother, and her father chose to sacrifice himself so his children would live, would there still be this discussion about ‘fridging’ people? If it was a Lance brother that got shot off that building? It’s a valid question, i think, and I want to know if that would make a difference.

          • kath says:

            If the genders were reversed, or better yet if they were used equally, then it would not be a thing. If Sara died heroically choosing to save Laurel with her last breath and Tommy was the one shot on the rooftop; if Moira chose to shoot herself while Robert was the one tied up with no choice, it would not be a thing.
            The sexism is a problem. The sexism is very often a problem.

          • Kath–Sara was created as an expendable character, that’s why you met her in flashback. She was already gone, the same with Shado. They were great strong women, who went toe to toe with the big boys with big guns. That’s an awesome positive. Just because as secondary characters they died to advance the title character doesn’t make it misogyny it makes it plot. Tommy died the same way. And other recurring guest stars and regulars will continue to do so. Oliver got his hood from the nobility of Yao Fei. He got his training from the wisdom of his daughter. Slade didn’t die because he was male, but because Oliver was growing as a character to hero and not a killer, and don’t forget, Slade was taken down by a woman. Sara was betrayed. Her fighting back would have made it a fight she lost not an intriguing mystery–it doesn’t weaken her, it keeps her strong and it makes it more poignant. Also, you have to think of the deaths and lives in reference to Oliver because it is his story.

            The abundance of strong women on Arrow is pretty awesome. And the abundance of them not being treated as disposable love interests is even better.

        • Rob Watkins says:

          Yao Fei was still murdered without a chance to fight back, Killing off a character to advance another character is good writing. It’s when it serves little purpose and happens too often that it loses its value like it has on 24 and unfortunately SPN. If it was just women who died, you’d have a point, but just as many important men in Oliver’s life have been killed.

          Friding doesn’t require the deaths to push forward the story. Have you read the comic in question where the term comes from? I have and the problem with it was that the death of Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend served little purpose beyond giving him a sad backstory. This isn’t the case on Arrow.

          None of the male characters chose death either. Robert was forced to because the boat sank and he wanted to save his son. Moira was forced to by Slade in order to save her children. Yao Fei had no choice in the matter, and Tommy didn’t choose to die. His was a tragic accident.

  12. A says:

    I am so excited for this. Arrow is the best show on TV

  13. aunni says:

    im SELFISH, i want spoiler on episode 5 #mama smoak

  14. Eve H says:

    The main reason why her mother, Oliver and Roy lied because they where trying to protect her.
    I’m hoping that the true reason why Thea is with to gain knowledge and training so she be able to protect herself. I hope her character doesn’t to be like (Smallville) Lana Lang.