Arrow Sara Back to Life

Arrow's John Barrowman Previews Malcolm's 'Bizarre' Dilemma and a 'Jaw-Dropping' Nanda Parbat Twist

This week on The CW’s Arrow (Wednesday, 8/7c), the League of Assassins’ lair in Nanda Parbat gets a pair of surprise visitors, when Laurel Lance (played by Katie Cassidy) shows up with Malcolm Merlyn aka Ra’s al Ghul’s troubled daughter Thea, as well as quite-dead Sara, in tow.

How might Malcolm react to the unexpected visit and the even-more-unexpected favor to be asked of him? The always entertaining John Barrowman shared with TVLine a peek at what’s to come.

TVLINE | How has life as Ra’s al Ghul been treating Malcolm?
It’s complicated. [Laughs] It’s complicated but it’s good, because where we left him, he had the League kneeling at his feet, Nyssa included. Six to seven months have passed, so you do don’t know whether he’s in control or not, but something happens [this week] where you realize that these fighters, these men and women, are under his control.

TVLINE | Has he made any changes to the place? Maybe some curtains to soften it up, or…?
Oh God, no, it’s still as hard as ever. He wanted it just the way it was. Malcolm doesn’t want to change anything, and he’s not really a decorator!

TVLINE | How would you describe his current dynamic with Nyssa?
All I will say to that is it’s going to take a twist and a turn. Obviously, Malcolm was involved with the death of her father, so she has a bit of a grudge Arrowand she’s very vocal about it. But she does something that is one of the episode’s jaw-dropping moments, where people are going be like, “Ohhhh…. Myyyy…. God.”

TVLINE | Obviously, Laurel and Thea are on their way. Does Malcolm welcome these visitors?
Malcolm doesn’t know that they’re going to waltz through his door, and when they do, a dilemma is put in front of him. There’s his daughter, who he knows has been having some trouble and he didn’t really want her going in the Pit in the first place. And then you have Laurel, a girl who blatantly turned to Malcolm when he saved her life and said, “I wouldn’t do the same for you” — and she’s brought her sister, who is someone Malcolm had killed to obtain his objectives. And Laurel’s back to ask him to resurrect Sara! That is probably one of the most bizarre dilemmas that he will ever come across, and what’s interesting is how he deals with it and explains it to Laurel. It becomes a moral and ethical issue with Laurel, and I think the audience is going to be like, “What?!” — which I love, because it shows complexity.

And he knows something is going on with Thea, that she’s got this bloodlust in her, this violent streak, so he turns to her and says, “I’m concerned about this.” But what he does with her is completely unethical and has no morality attached to it. That’s again the complexity of Malcolm, that within those two situations, the audience is going to be like, “O-M-G.” He’s offering two different solutions for two different people.

TVLINE | So, the League has no “hangover cure” for Thea, for Pit people?
Uhhh, you don’t know that. That question may be answered tomorrow.

TVLINE | As forArrow-Sara-Dead the whole Sara thing: Unlike when Thea went into the Pit freshly dead, Sara… has seen better days. Do we turn the Pit to “11”?
[Laughs] I think it goes up to “55.” Yeah, that’s a little bit more of a “risk,” shall we say. Malcolm has said before that when somebody goes into the Pit, a piece of everybody’s soul who has been in there prior goes into that person. Well, Sara’s going to need a lot more than just a piece of everyone’s soul. It’s going to need to fill her a lot more than it did Thea, so Malcolm is very intrigued by how she might come out. But would he want her to come back when he got rid of her in the first place?

TVLINE | Basically, this is the wrong favor asked by the wrong person.
Totally.

TVLINE | Are the days of any hint of paternal warmth between Malcolm and Thea gone?
Without giving too much away, I think you’re going to see that Malcolm’s love and concern for Thea has grown, and it’s almost like he’s trying to prove it to her and make her realize that what he is doing is not only for the benefit of his family but for her, because he is adamant about protecting her. It’s an unconditional, parental love. Malcolm just goes about it in a unique way!

TVLINE | Might we ever see Arrow Season 4 SpoilersMalcolm back in Star City? Has the new Ra’s earned vacation days yet?
Malcolm is Ra’s al Ghul now, he can do whatever he likes! Malcolm’s been watching what’s going on, he knows that Damien Darhk (played by Neal McDonough) is causing havoc, he knows that it’s getting close to harming his daughter and it’s also getting close to harming the man out there that he always wanted his son to be like, Oliver. Malcolm’s just waiting for that right moment, either to be asked or to step in — and when one of those moments happens, again the audience is going to go, “Oh my God, there he is!” Again, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen, but Malcolm will always be there when they need help.

TVLINE | I’m sure viewers would relish a John Barrowman/Neal McDonough face-off.
Heh-heh-heh…. “Keep watching.” [Laughs]

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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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47 Comments
  1. Luis says:

    I’m keeping popcorn at the ready for that first Malcolm/Damien face-off

  2. Peter says:

    Yup Laurel will be the morally reprehensible person in all of this. God I certainly hope she’s six feet under in 6 months. Glad Sara is back though, Caity Lotz on my screen again, a dream I never imagined possible last year.

    • Jason. P says:

      Sounds like an “olicity” fan here.

      • VP says:

        Liking Olicity and disliking Laurel aren’t mutually exclusive. You can like Olicity and like Laurel, or like Olicity and dislike Laurel. Doesn’t change the fact that this is a terrible decision for them to have this character make. It’s like they don’t WANT people to like her.

        • Sil says:

          Agreed! I have favorites on the shows. Oliver is the top. I am indifferent to Laurel since season 2. I loved Sara since her 1st scene. I was very disappointed that Sara had to die for Laurel’s story line season 3. This is another disappointment to resurrect Sara for Laurel’s story line. But, as a whole this season looks great and am excited for Diggle to have his story told. Thea exploring her dark side and being Speedy. Malcolm and Darkh’s possible interaction. I love Darkh as the villain. Lance is being used better this season than season 3. Diggle and Oliver’s trying bromance. Watching Felicity as CEO. Yes, I love the season already.

      • Liz says:

        And you sound like a typical Laurel stan who doesn’t believe she ever does anything wrong because comics.

    • Rodline says:

      So you all know Sara was going to be resurrected because of LOT, and you all know it was going to be from the Lazarus Pit. And anyone who was going to do it will be a selfish move. But since it’s Laurel she should be hang right? I’m starting to see why people hate the Olicity fan base.

      • VP says:

        It’s the context in which the decision was made. They could have done this any different number of ways, yet they chose to have Laurel dig up her long-dead sister and resurrect her after seeing what the Pit did to near-dead Thea? There is no forethought or long-term thinking here. Another bad choice in a long line of them.

        • Rodline says:

          Whatever the context Laurel will never catch a break with you people, many of you guys already labeled her as a bad actor. Even if she was rescuing puppies you people would find something wrong with it. Anyone who bring Sara back to life it will be wrong, why can’t she want her sister back?

          • amb1973 says:

            If anyone who brings Sara back will be wrong, why not write one of the villains doing it? You know, evil guys who generally do evil things? Easy peasy.

            But you just go on thinking it’s all about Olicity, rather than logic.

          • VP says:

            “you people”? Thanks for giving Olicity fans a break. Oh, wait, you didn’t. Way to be hypocritical. There are some of us (myself included) who want better treatment for Laurel. There were better ways to do this, but they chose the worst one. There’s a difference between missing your sister and wanting her back, and raising her rotting, decaying body from the dead when EVERYONE tells you not to… There’s nothing rational about this story. But, “you people” will always defend Laurel’s terrible, irrational decisions that never hold any consequences.

          • Glenda says:

            The producers/actors(peeps that write, decide, control Arrow) have all stated:this year they are going strong with the Green Arrow comic legend, tenet. The Laurel Lance haters need to find a new avenue of dislike–Katie has grown with the Black Canary–hardened–determined–flawed..as the creator’s intended.

            Other than Oliver, the Black Canary is paramount to the story. Sara’s resurrection is key to LOT. No one would have made it to Ra’s to ask for the crazy pit miracle, muchless think of it the moment she learned of it’s existence; to demand Malcolm give back what he took!
            The only thing getting in the way of great drama on Arrow is the “hate Laurel because she threatens Olicity”..please Felicity is a strong character addition to the original comics, but drama and exciting story-telling doesn’t include too much “happily ever after”. The Black Canary does not want to take anything from “Olicity”. And Felicity respects her journey.

          • VP says:

            Did I ever say that my dislike of Laurel was tied to Olicity? No. Because it isn’t. I dislike Laurel because the character as the show has created her sucks. She doesn’t matter. She didn’t even KNOW about one of the major plot points last season. She had NO idea until it became necessary. She never knows anything until they HAVE to tell her. The Pit, Thea’s parentage, Thea killing Sara. Hell, Oliver didn’t even tell her that he was the Arrow. Tell me again how paramount Black Canary is to the story when she hasn’t been relevant to the major season arcs for three years running now.

          • rodline says:

            Would it make you people like Laurel’s character any better if someone else confronted Malcolm and make him resurrected Sara since he’s the one who had her murdered? No. Like I said it doesn’t matter what they did,do, and will be doing in the future with her character, Olicity and Sara fans will always find something wrong with Laurel.

          • Liz says:

            Fans will always find something wrong with Laurel because there is always something wrong with her. That’s just the way the show has written her. She’s a pathetic excuse for Black Canary. Dinah Laurel Lance of the comics is nothing like the mess written on Arrow.

          • VP says:

            First of all. Rodline, please stop saying “you people.” It’s rude, condescending, and really unflattering for you. You can’t generalize people liking Olicity as all having the same opinions. Newsflash: we don’t all have the same opinions on everything. Some of us like Laurel, some of us don’t. You can’t generalize us all into the “Laurel haters” box. It’s assuming a lot, and you know what they say about assuming…

            I would have had the utmost respect for Laurel had Sara been resurrected by Damien or Malcolm instead. Had Damien taken Sara’s body and resurrected her to screw with Team Arrow and Lance, that would have been a great story. Picture it: the team gets reports of a woman in black killing people, maybe men abusing women. They search for leads, and finally track her down. Laurel comes face-to-face with her and realizes it’s Sara. However, Sara doesn’t remember her and attacks. Sara runs off when Oliver and Thea appear, leaving Laurel to break the news. Then, the “Save Sara” saga starts.

            It would have served the main narrative, making Sara’s resurrection feel less like a side trip and more like a relevant event that fit in. It also would have given a great opportunity to showcase the Lance sister bond we’ve been TOLD so much about. Laurel could have dedicated herself to bringing her sister back.

            Instead, we get Laurel once again acting before thinking and being generally selfish. This isn’t a hero’s storyline.

          • rodline says:

            So VP you are taking this personal, and I would like for you to not mention my name again. How about you bypass my comment altogether, I am not getting personal over a tv show.

          • VP says:

            Sorry, rodline, but I take rudeness personally. You can have a respectful debate without resorting to treating a group of people condescendingly. I’m here to talk about Arrow, not be demeaned by a butthurt Laurel stan.

          • VP says:

            I was simply pointing out that I found fault with your viewpoint of the Olicity fanbase. Seems fair, given the context of your argument. When an argument implicates me personally, as a part of the Olicity fanbase, I tend to take it personally. I would like better for Laurel. My problem with this storyline is the context of the decision. Making rash decisions against all logic is an incredibly problematic pattern for Laurel as a character, which has nothing to do with any other character on Arrow.

          • rodline says:

            O please, it may not be you but I’m telling you but the majority of Laurel’s haters are Olicity fans, some are Sara’s fans also. Personally I can’t stand Felicity and Oliver together but I don’t criticize everything Felicity does. I don’t want to attack anyone but the Laurel hate doesn’t have any foundation here.

          • VP says:

            In your opinion. In my opinion, there are very legitimate grounds for disappointment and anger towards the character on this one.

            Each fan decides on characters on their own. Are there those who hate laurel based on their enjoyment of olicity? Sure. But I’d wager the majority of them dislike laurel all on her own, with no external influence. Laurel existed far before olicity did.

  3. Gail says:

    I wonder if Sara will remember that it was Thea who shot and killed her.

  4. amb1973 says:

    Malcolm has never said any such thing about the Pit, and Nyssa didn’t give a crap about her father dying, in fact she clearly stated she wanted to be the one to kill him. JB is entertaining, but keeping him as a regular required Oliver et al., to develop a serious case of plot-induced stupidity in S3, which is apparently continuing in S4.

    • justtobesane says:

      Agreed.

    • peterwdawson says:

      Big time. I mean, Merlyn had Sara killed in the first place for fairly stupid reasons and never received any damn punishment for it. The fact that Nyssa still hasn’t tried to get revenge for that honestly feels out of character for her, despite how much she tried to mellow while tagging with Laurel.

  5. Katy says:

    I think the worst part of last season was having Nyssa bow to the man who killed Sara not that I don’t dislike Malcolm (well I do but I like him as a villain) its just in that moment I nearly got sick.

  6. Nicole says:

    Poor Tommy. Malcolm still dissing him in death (I wish Oliver had been my son!) despite his son showing more brass ones in his death than Malcolm ever has in life. AND begging Oliver to spare Malcolm’s life despite knowing what a monster he is. Can we have Earth-2 Tommy Merlyn pay a visit to dad before The Flash closes the portals so he can tell Malcolm what’s what?

    • amb1973 says:

      Or alt-Tommy could just cut off Malcolm’s head.

      And I love how JB keeps insisting Malcolm loves both Thea and Oliver, both of whom he’s tried to kill, threatened to kill, and manipulated into killing time and time again. Such a ridiculous interpretation of a now-ridiculous character.

    • Drew says:

      Ooh! Alternate Tommy as the new Dark Archer!

  7. Liz says:

    Poor poor Sara. She’s been through hell and back and now she’ll be bought back from the dead not quite right and forced to suffer the consequences of Laurel’s decision for the rest of her life. How awful!

    • tvjunkie says:

      as if Capt Lance wouldn’t do the same thing if he knew about the pit.

      • VP says:

        I don’t think he would. We were told that Lance and Laurel will have very different feelings on the matter. I don’t think he’ll be supportive of Laurel’s choice to bring his daughter back from the dead. It’ll be too unnatural for him. Though we’ll see tonight and next week.

  8. Kate says:

    Oh my goodness, I don’t know how that never crossed my mind, a Damien/Malcolm face off. My TV might fall apart. I actually can’t sort of wait for Damien to put together some of these people and what his perspective might be on the fact that regardless of how in the way he is to his plans, when he learns that Oliver killed Ra’s. Or is his perspective more that Malcolm is just a poor substitute that he…crap, I seem to be talking myself into Nyssa being the one who is killed and that is a grave the Lance girls insisted on since she was able to be herself when she was in Starling…but like, Damien might have some sort of yen to retake what he thinks of as his rightful position or at least absorb the LOA into HIVE and if he learns of all of this before he discovers Oliver, Nyssa might be his target as technically the rightful heir.

  9. Drew says:

    I wish they could do the Sara plot without Malcolm or Nanda Parbat. Last season was a mess. The League is a joke. Malcolm as Ra’s makes no sense at all. I wish the writers had just cut themselves loose from that whole plot and moved on.

    • amb1973 says:

      They so easily could have. They could have either had Darhk resurrect Sara to use against Oliver and TA, or they could have had Rip Hunter do it using time travel shenanigans. The writers just choose to do everything the worst possible way.

  10. peterwdawson says:

    The hell isn’t Merlyn dead yet?

  11. VP says:

    I wish they’d chosen to have Damien resurrect Sara on the sly. He’s got the LP water to do it, and it would be a good distraction for Team Arrow while he keeps going with his plan. Plus, a crazed assassin on the loose would really drive home the “Starling is dangerous” Damien is pushing. He could use it to blackmail Lance some more, and it would create some good, relevant tension in the core cast. Imagine the team tracks a dangerous, anonymous assassin and Laurel comes face-to-face with her and discovers it’s Sara. She stops and tries to talk to her, but Sara doesn’t remember who she is and attacks her. Then it launches the “save Sara” storyline. It could showcase the Lance sister bond, showing Laurel trying everything to reach her sister and make her remember. It would have been a much better story.

    • amb1973 says:

      Exactly. They should have had the villainous thing, bringing Sara back to life, done by a VILLAIN. Either Darhk or Malcolm would work for me. Then Laurel could be the one to reach Sara, and be a hero, instead of whatever she is now. The writers choose the weirdest way to do things.

      • VP says:

        They really do! I wish it had played out in a way that tied the resurrection to the main narrative so it didn’t feel like such a side trip. Plus, it would have salvaged Laurel. She looks less stunted and less selfish if the villain does it to mess with crap instead of her doing it just because the Pit is available.

    • Speedy says:

      Holy moly. This is genius. I want it now. This would have been so organic. And yeah, they just continue to run Laurel’s character to the ground. As much as I love Sara, I wish her return was handled differently.

      • Betty Boo says:

        One thing I will say, is that they have succeeded in making me interested in a storyline for Laurel for the first time ever.

        I’m keen to watch and see whether they actually go through with the utter assassination of her character and take her past the point of no return by having her insist on resurrecting Sara despite all the evidence it’s an appalling and selfish action, or whether they take her to the brink but ultimately throw the character a lifeline, by having her act with a shred of humanity and selflessness when facing the biggest test of her character to date.

        Can Laurel be a hero? Only if she doesn’t subject her sister to a fate worse than death. Time will tell.

    • Liz says:

      I would have really enjoyed that storyline. As of now I wash my hands of everything Laurel Lance. The way they’re writing her bringing back Sara from the dead is the most selfish act she’s ever done and that’s saying something considering she went against everyone’s advice in season 1 and her actions got Tommy killed. I’m done with her. Your idea would have changed that.

  12. Rick says:

    I don’t get all the hate Laurel is getting “she’s doing it against everyone, all the signs blah blah blah”. All the side effects we had with Thea so far is a little anger issue that so far it’s shown that she can control it, it’s not really too much. She knows Olvier did it with Thea because “He would do anything to save a sister”, the same thing with him (she would do anything to save her sister).

    Right after she learns it’s possible she talks to Thea, you know, the one who actually went to the pit and Thea is not against doing it, even helping her do it if she is sure she wants to do it.

    • amb1973 says:

      Thea wasn’t dead. Oliver did actually “save” Thea’s life. (Although I personally think he also made the wrong choice there, since it involved him at least temporarily agreeing to take over as head of an evil organization, which is not something I want a budding superhero ever to do.) Laurel is not “saving” Sara, bc Sara is dead. Superdead. Really, really, really dead, and rotting, and in a grave, and has been for a year. It is not possible to “save” someone who is dead.

      Laurel is not a real person, she is a character in a tv show. The writers chose to go about resurrecting Sara in a way that makes Laurel look like a self-centered nutbar. The writers could have had Malcolm do it, or Darhk, or Rip Hunter, since Rip knows he needs Sara. The writers chose this route, so this is all on them.

      Also, how exactly was Thea, who killed Laurel’s sister, who’s been living with Laurel, and who is currently undergoing an emotional crisis due to problematic dark magic hot tub having been used on her, supposed to say no to Laurel? When did Laurel even ASK Thea if she was okay with it? No such scene was shown. Laurel TOLD Thea they were going to Nanda (after lying to Thea’s brother about it when he told Laurel to take care of Thea), and Laurel TOLD Thea they were taking Sara’s rotting corpse with them to the dark magic hot tub, after Thea asked not to be taken near any regular hot tubs.

    • VP says:

      I don’t think it’s fair to call Laurel’s choice right because Thea agreed to it. Of course Thea would agree to it. If Sara comes back to life, she’s no longer a murderer. Laurel approached the one person she knew would agree with her, and actively decided to NOT tell anyone else, including her parents (or at least her father, whom she’s already lied to for far too long regarding Sara).