Arrow's least-liked character steps up to the plate, and it's a disaster. But it's a hell of an entertaining one. Take a look at the kind of help that Laurel Lance dishes out.
Laurel, Laurel, Laurel
In the last episode, which broke a million hearts, Sara Lance was murdered on a rooftop. She fell pretty much into her sister's arms. It's not surprising that that sister wants to help. It's also not surprising that she's terrible at it - and I mean that. Laurel is untrained, has just suffered a severe trauma, and spends her time working as a lawyer. There's no reason she should be good at this.
The show even manages to be a bit sly about her inability, because Ollie - the person who deals with Laurel most in this episode - consistently gets little moments during which he gives her looks of increasing exasperation. I can't post the looks, but I will translate them.
When he tells Laurel that he'll find the man who killed Sara, and Laurel quickly says, "We'll find him." (Ooooohhhhh, good. Laurel's helping.)
When they find the assassin, Simon LaCroix AKA Komodo, and Ollie fights him and gets shot in the side, and Laurel screams, "Get up!" (Laurel. This isn't helping.)
When Laurel, to her credit, finds Komodo's next target by torturing his last target for information, but wants to come along on the mission, and grabs a gun to help her do it. (Laurel, I just can't with you right now. I just can't.)
When Laurel shows up anyway, gun in hand. (Seriously, Laurel?)
When, after they determine Komodo was in Bludhaven the day Sara was killed, Laurel pulls the trigger anyway. (Laurel, for fuck's sake!)
When the gun fails to go off, and Laurel turns to him and screams, "You took the bullets out of the gun!" (A little louder, Laurel. He's a well-connected international assassin who's soon going to go into the prison system, so we really want him to know that we're on familiar terms with each other.)
Laurel's last act of helpfulness is not telling her dad (or, presumably, her mom) about Sara's death. It's not that I don't understand that she's worried about his heart condition. I just don't see this going anywhere good. As for Laurel as Black Canary - I'm a little disappointed, because Sara was a great Black Canary, and leaving her as that iconic character meant the show was doing something unusual and interesting. Still, up until now we've only seen the Laurel character in a holding pattern. Maybe, with somewhere to go, we'll see the character take off.
Fifty Shades of Ray
I do not apologize for that title, because Felicity's new relationship truly does remind me of that book. Felicity takes time off mourning to head over to Ray Palmer's new offices. After he learned that she has made a principled stand against working for him, he bought the company where she works so she still has to work for him. The exact same thing actually happened in Fifty Shades of Gray. (To forestall questions, I know because I read an article about how Twilight and Fifty Shades both included incidents that were meant to seem romantic, but were actually creepy and controlling.)
Secondly, when Felicity, still upset over Sara's death, upbraids Ray, he tells her that he can tell she isn't really angry with him, she's angry over something else. You're not really feeling what you're feeling, Felicity! You're feeling what I say you're feeling! Also, while you're crying and vulnerable, consider me a shoulder to cry on and your sole means of financial support!
Felicity, after spending some time with Ollie, watching him shut off his grief and stuff Sara's body in the fridge behind the bar, gets well and truly scared. She tells Ollie that she doesn't want to die down there, where she'll be quietly shoved somewhere out of the way because no one can think of anything else to do with her. She wants a life that she can talk about. So she puts on her cutest dress and goes off to lock eyes with her new, strangely-obsessive, billionaire boss. Hey, I love it. I don't want superheroes to model healthy relationships. I want them crazy and this is crazy.
Roy Comes Clean
Felicity's declaration has positive consequences for one member of the team. Roy has been hiding Thea's break-up note to him this whole time. Ollie and company think she's been vacationing in Italy. Meanwhile, Roy has been searching the FBI database for her because he suspects she's done something dangerous. When Felicity catches him on her computers, she forces him to show the note to Ollie.
By the time he gets around to it, though, Felicity has had her heart-to-heart with Ollie, during which she told him that life is too precious to spend it in secret in a dark basement. This seems to have really struck a chord, and Ollie goes around wet-eyed for the rest of the episode. When Roy confesses, Ollie just quietly says, "okay," and tells Digg that it's time he saw his sister again, because he doesn't want to die alone in a basement. Digg agrees.
Digg and Lyla Are The Helpful Ones
Once again, Digg and Lyla seem to be the best-adjusted people on this show. Digg shows up only briefly so he can pledge to help find Sara's killer and tell Ollie that he'll be there if Ollie needs to talk. At the very end, when they're burying Sara in her old grave, at midnight so no one will know, everyone seems at a loss for what to do. Digg announces that the funeral may have to be covert, but all of them knew the real Sara. To honor her, he and Lyla have named their baby Sara. It's a very kind gesture that seems to finally give people some closure.
In the Corto Maltese, in a mansion, on a cliff, by a sea as blue as a certain psychopath's eyes, a group of masked ninja-types are sparring with staffs. One ninja beats up the the other two. The ninja whips off her mask, and we see it's Thea! With new hair! That I will, apparently, get plenty of time to decide if I like during the next episode.