As predicted, the underlying mission of Arrow Season 3 is finding out who killed Sara Lance. While Oliver accepts the fact that he won't have the answers right away, that approach is not sitting well with Laurel. She's suiting up to become Black Canary and take on the first Black Canary's killer. Cool idea, Laurel, but don't you maybe want to narrow down some suspects before you go all through Starling City fighting random people? Besides, Sara's killer might not even be in the city. On the short list of suspects, Malcolm Merlyn could be Sara's killer. He's got the skills, he's got the arrows, but does he have the motive to do it?
Merlyn is still a character shrouded in secrecy, but we do know he's a past member of the League of Assassins. So far, he's been the only member actually willingly removed from the League. To make it even more simple: he's the only one who wasn't killed upon leaving the group — kind of a big deal. When he returns to Starling City, his intentions seem decent enough at first, but they quickly turn to death and destruction when he decides to level the Glades. In addition to, you know, rigging the Queen's Gambit to explode and stuff. So even if he has good intentions, they're usually quickly dispelled. So far on the series, Merlyn is a downright bad guy.
But could he kill Sara? Aside from the fact that he already sort of murdered her once on the Gambit, what could've made Merlyn want to shoot her with three arrows? Sara and Merlyn don't have much interaction — if any — in Starling City, but could they have crossed paths in the League before? Though he's not a current acting member, Merlyn could still have connections to its members, and Ra's al Ghul too. In an effort to outsource his dirty work, Ra's could have used the Dark Archer to kill Sara. It's completely possible. But this would mean Ra's wants Sara dead, and I'm still not entirely convinced that he's the one behind her murder.
Which then brings us back to Merlyn killing her on his own accord. He's an archer, but I don't know if he was the one to actually shoot those arrows them at Sara. Supposedly Merlyn's been in Corto Maltese with Thea this whole time. Sure, it's possible he could have taken a long weekend and returned to Starling City, but honestly, probably not. Didn't you see how freaked out he was when Oliver knocked on his front door? I doubt Merlyn would return home on a whim for a quickie murder. I don't see it as a real possibility unless there's a huge secret between Merlyn and Sara that viewers don't know about yet.
However, it does looks like Merlyn will be returning to Starling City now on the heels of Thea's decision to go home. However, Merlyn's homecoming will likely focus on their own father/daughter relationship and associated storylines more than anything else. Besides, would Merlyn return to the scene of the crime so willingly if he were the one to kill Sara? We haven't yet learned everything about the Dark Archer, but I don't think one of his big secrets is killing Sara.
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