WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for last night's episode of Arrow.
Fans were surprised last night to see the sudden, brutal death of a key recurring character on Arrow -- a move showrunners say will touch off a season-long mystery on the hit CW drama.
The first batch of candidates here are folks who might be the killer...directly. People who know their way around a bow and arrow. None of them seems obvious, to be honest, but here are our thoughts...!
Ra's al Ghul
Seemingly the obvious choice, Ra's al Ghul may not have done it personally but seems likely to at least be involved. Besides the fact that we know him to be the season-long big bad, there's the fact that Sara recognized her attacker, who also knew her by name, but she asked "What are you doing here?"
The odds of Ra's being the actual guy behind the bow are pretty long; he's not really that associated with a bow and arrow, and anyway it seems likely that given his reputation, if it were Ra's who Sara saw, she would respond with more than a little surprise.
So...odds seem good that Ra's al Ghul, whose daughter Sara dated and whose rules she has repeatedly disobeyed by leaving Nanda Parbat and coming back to her civilian life, is somehow involved in her death, but probably not the actual killer.
We get our first look at Komodo, a fairly new Green Arrow villain from the comics but one who has a very Arrow feel to him; he came with built-in mythology and history with Oliver and company when he was introduced in the comics.
Since he's an assassin, and since he's appearing next week, he seems like the top choice for the "triggerman," but I'm not buying it. Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim told reporters at a screening last week that the mystery of Sara's death would be the engine driving much of the Arrow story for the first half of the season. It isn't much of a mystery if the first, most obvious choice turns out to be right.
You can't discount the possibility of Malcolm Merlyn (or even Thea, since that voice was obviously distorted) being the suspect when somebody gets killed with a bow and arrow.
That said, he seems an unlikely candidate, if only for the same reason as Ra's; Sara should have registered more shock and/or fear, or been more ready to fight, if she were to turn around and see Malcolm.
It's not clear what would make Nyssa want to kill her onetime lover, with whom she was still happily in some kind of relationship at the end of Season Two, even if it wasn't romantic.
Additionally, there would be little sense to Nyssa using the voice-distortion device, as it's likely she could get a jump on Sara if she wanted to even without it, since Sara would be unlikely to imagine such an attack was coming.
This second group are people who, like we suggested about Ra's above, may be responsible for ordering the kill, but not actually committing the act.
The A.R.G.U.S. and Suicide Squad leader is shady, has issues with Oliver and company, and is the big bad in the flashbacks this season. No reason why she might not play a role in the present day, too.
Yeah, it would be difficult to manipulate this stuff from the Supermax prison on Lian Yu, but if there's anybody who can do it, it's Slade.
Yeah, he seems like a good guy...but you know, the people who run Queen Consolidated have a history of being kind of morally gray.
And, there's the Identity Crisis element, too.