As it turns out, nothing is safe in Starling City… not even your dreams. Especially if your name is Roy Harper. Last week’s Arrow episode “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” showed Roy dreaming that he killed Sara Lance, leaving us almost as startled as Arsenal himself when he bolted upright in bed. It was a shocking revelation, to say the least — something that we’ve come to expect more and more from this CW series. However, I’m not entirely convinced Roy is Sara’s killer… at least by his own free will. For one thing, the thought of any member of Team Arrow becoming a full-out villain is almost too much to bear. And for another thing, it all feels just way too easy.
Think about it… this show loves to lull us into a false sense of security. We may think we know what's going on until BAM: the story takes us in a whole new direction. Why should Roy’s subconscious be any different? Then again, maybe that’s what Arrow wants us to think, so they're telling us the truth for once to throw us off. (Ugh, is anyone else’s head starting to hurt?) But the point is, we don’t know exactly what Roy's dreams mean. Not yet, at least. Which means it’s important to keep an open mind about the situation and consider all of our options before just jumping to conclusions. Because this isn’t simply a question of if he’s guilty or not guilty. There are other forces involved that have the potential to make this much more complicated than that.
So let’s all put our best psychiatrist hats on and try to dissect what Roy’s dreams could possibly indicate.
He’s Actually Guilty
The obvious answer to this question would be to take Roy’s dream at face value. Killing Sara wasn’t just a figment of his imagination but rather a suppressed memory of something he actually did, whether it be via manipulation, compulsion, or, dare I say, his own free will. Perhaps he was blackmailed or paid or had a personal vendetta with Sara we have yet to learn about, all of which still doesn’t exactly paint him in the best light.
However, there’s also a chance that he did it, but was being controlled in some way. Sure, that still technically makes him guilty, yet it puts a much more positive spin on his moral compass. Then we’d at least know he didn’t want to kill her. His body was simply the unfortunate vessel through which it happened.
He Was Hypnotized
For all we know, someone could’ve implanted fake memories into Roy’s head to make him believe he killed Sara when he really didn’t. It's certainly the only logical way to explain how he knew what transpired between Sara and her killer on that roof without actually being the one to take part in it. Granted, I'm no hypnosis expert. (If I was, I’d be the one engaged to Benedict Cumberbatch, believe you me.) But that doesn’t mean another one of Arrow’s characters is incapable of such mind control. (Cough, Ra’s al Ghul, cough.)
He’s Projecting Guilt From Another Death
Even if Roy didn’t kill Sara, he has killed someone before — a police officer shortly after he was injected with the Mirakuru serum last season. It’s a moment that I’m sure still haunts him to this very day, even though it was done unintentionally. It’s very possible Sara’s death could’ve brought all of those guilty feelings bubbling back to the surface in an unconscious way, causing him to project that sin onto Sara's death.
It Was Just a Dream
Because sometimes a dream is just that… a dream (or a wish your heart makes). Nothing more. Nothing less.