Is that blood: Goon Reviews Arrow “Crucible”

Crucible

Okay, wow, just okay, wow.  So Sarah is Black Canary.  I can honestly say I did not see that coming, in the slightest, totally out of left field that one was.  So of course I have got to give it up for writers, props to them for the surprise twist.

Alright, as per the usual, lets start with the flashbacks.  Not much happened with those this week.  We had Oliver in the cage, getting shot, and the promise of more torture to come.  There was the official reveal that these unknown villains are after the skeletons found earlier, but we already knew that, and that Sarah is part of the crew.  Overall the didn’t give us very much with the flashbacks this week, which I am okay with.  This episode dealt more with the present, which I honestly found myself more interested in this week.  There were a lot of mentions of the island here, the biggest being Sarah asking if Slade was still alive, which went unanswered.

Lets get to the biggest part of this episode.  Sarah is Black Canary.  As stated above, this was a total shock to me, but I like it.  In the comics it was Laurel (known as Dinah) who was Black Canary, and it became pretty clear that she wasn’t going to become a hero, so the fact that they made her sister the character was a nice touch, and great twist.  We got more of her history here too, but not much.  References made to people who trained her, which we already know is the League of Shadows, but was a nice vague response for Sarah to give to Oliver.  I did love Sarah in this episode, we got so much more than we did last week.  Her motivation for returning to Starling City and being a hero, to make sure her family was safe, was a great.  What we saw last week was a character that is hard, cold, and willing to murder, but now we see how much she still cares for her family, how conflicted she is about letting them think she’s still dead and how much  she misses them.  This shown prominently when Officer Lance came to Oliver for help with Laurel.  Oliver and Sarah’s team up at the end was my favorite part of the episode, I loved when they did the brief weapon swap, showing that they are both highly skilled combatants with a variety of weapon and hand to hand skills at their disposal.

Outside of the costumes we had a lot going on as well.  I loved the return of Summer Glau to the screen, still the cold businesswoman that she was when last we saw her, but unlike last time she showed that she wants Queen Industries to succeed and be profitable again whereas last time we saw here she wanted to buy the company and dismantle it.  This change makes perfect sense for her character and I think if we see more of her she could develop into a truly interesting character.  Right now she is just acting as a foil to Oliver’s business man persona.  He is trying to move the company forward and help the city, she just wants to make a profit and doesn’t seem to show much regard for the safety of the city, clearly displayed by her shooting down the cash for guns plan that Oliver put forward. (no pun intended)

I will say this, the villain of the week, The Mayor, was very underwhelming.  I didn’t ever see him as a threat to the city, let alone to Oliver, he was clearly just a throw away a villain and not even a good one at that.  He was generic, unremarkable, and will be very forgettable.  His only reason to be there was to give Oliver another chance to interact with Blood, which was interesting.  We saw him start to see Oliver as not being an enemy of the city, actually showing some respect for him and making you honestly think he has the city’s best interests at heart.  So of course he is a villain.  I will freely admit that at the end of the episode I thought for a second they had introduced Scarecrow as a villain to the series, I was happy to see that hadn’t, we don’t need a Batman villain to this show, but apparently we do need a Teen Titans one.  That’s right, the newest big bad on the block is from Teen Titans, not Green Arrow.  We seem to be going through a dry spell as far as Green Arrow baddies go, which is a bit upsetting.  I’m not saying that Blood will be a bad villain, quite the opposite, it looks like he will be a great villain.  But for a show based off Green Arrow, we haven’t gotten many of his enemies as of late, its not like he doesn’t have his own rogues gallery of villains that could be drawn upon, and we have in fact seen some, but not as many as I would like.  Either way, we did see the establishment of a new, and more than likely, long term villain for the season, which I am personally excited to see.

This week we also got some fallout of Laurel’s self discovery from last week.  It was brief but we are starting to see self destructive behavior from her.  Given the guilt she is feeling over the idea that she was the cause of Tommy’s death, this isn’t unexpected.  I think Officer Lance’s (I am just gonna start calling him Quentin, much shorter to type)  response to this was perfect as well.  Quentin has been established as a recovering alcoholic and he is starting to see his daughter go down that same dark path he did, and it terrifies him.  His willingness to go to Oliver, who he still doesn’t have much love for, shows just how concerned he is.  I did not like Laurel’s attempt to throw his own destructive behavior back into his face at their first argument.  It really just showed how bad she was and that despite her statements, she needs someone to be hard on her, to pull her off this path she’s on.  Only problem is, she isn’t letting that happen.  So what we have here is a brand new sub plot for her character after the hasty resolution of her previous one.  I hope this will lead to the development that first one was missing out on.

Roy was solid in this episode, showing what could lead to a solid friendship between him and Sin, which I am sure will also lead to more drama between him and Thea.  While good, nothing overly fantastic, it was a lot of after effects of what happened last week and some seed planting for future character/story archs, which we seem to be getting a decent amount of in these past couple episodes.  Hopefully it will pan out.

Overall.  Great episode, and I think my favorite of the season so far.  We didn’t get a dragged out “who is Black Canary” story.  Her reveal was surprising and completely unexpected and brings with it great potential for the story.  I cannot wait to see her squaring off against assassins next week.

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