After a week off, Arrow is back with the metaphorical bang, and what a bang it was.
As always, lets start at the back and work our way forward. The flashback picks up with Oliver and co. scrambling for the Japanese sub to find the miracle cure for Slade, who lets be honest, has looked far better. All things considered, not to much happened here though, we got a walk through the woods and seeing how bad off Slade is from taking that explosion to the face a few episodes back. No, that is not to say this was bad, far from it, what we saw here was probably, in my opinion, one of the most significant parts of the show so far, Slade’s power up, the thing that will turn him into Deathstroke the Terminator. I have been waiting for it since he first appeared in season one, and I can’t wait to see how he will actually become the villain we all know and love.
That aside, this episode also saw another major step forward in the Arrow universe, the introduction of super powers and the first appearance of the man who will become the Flash! We are finally seeing more of the DC’verse incorporated in a form other than villains. Honestly, there was a lot going on in this episode, as seems to be the norm for Arrow, the main focus however being on this super powered baddie who is ripping open steel doors and stealing stuff as well as the appearance of Barry Allen aka The Flash! Now this story wasn’t resolved in this episode, given that it was the first half a two part, but damn was it a great first half.
Now, this has probably been one of the most anticipated aspects of Arrow this season, rumors have been flying of Flash spin-off since before the season started so it is so nice to finally see the ground work being laid for that to happen. Barry, for his part, has proven to be a very enjoyable character so far. What we have seen in him is a smart, competent, and determined young man. While I freely admit right now that my knowledge of Flash is rather limited, not really extending beyond the animated Justice League series and various movies that have come out, I have always enjoyed his character and if my memory serves, Barry Allen did have a strong friendship with Oliver Queen. This was shown well in his praise of the vigilante, and at the end, his being trusted with Oliver’s secret to save his life from whatever drug he got injected with. What was best was when he told of his mother’s murder, and the obvious super powered villain behind it, nice lead up to his own future speed powers and how that ties into his mother’s murder. I did find it interesting that they worked in his father being blamed for his mother’s murder, as this is taken from his modified backstory presented in the New 52. Granted if the spin off does get picked up, could lead to a great story arc. This was actually a good cliffhanger ending, while several times in the past I have made comments about shows/movies not telling complete stories for the purpose of set up, I honestly enjoyed it this time, this was a solid first half a two parter, and looks like it will be a fantastic way to close out the first half of the season. Grant Gustin was a good choice for the role, and while I was wary at first about his being on the younger side, he played the role well. I honestly hope we do get a spin off, I think it would be great to see him on his own.
Of course we must also mention Barry’s interaction with Felicity. This was honestly fun to watch, while they have been making several hints of a potential Oliver/Felicity pairing, which again, totally not opposed to, I loved seeing her thing with Barry. Best of all, no extra drama came from this! You all know I hate love triangles, they are evil evil things, and Arrow is having none of that! Hell, Queen even invited him to the party for Felicity! There little bits together were fun to watch, especially the reference
With the introduction of super powers to the show, there is an entirely new dynamic that I hope we will get to see explored; how Oliver, a normal person, will stand against these powered foes. We saw a glimpse of that in this episode, Oliver using arrows to pin the guys feet to the ground, the rope arrows to hold in against the wall, these were great to see, shows ingenuity to the character. I honestly hope this will lead to Oliver developing some the trick arrows he is so well known for. Also, small side note, this was actually a very fun action sequence to watch, no matter what you have to say about Arrow, they have been consistent in giving us solid fight scenes.
Moving away from the main plot, lets take a look at the supporting characters of the story. This week see the Sin appearing again, calling on Roy to help with her missing friend. I had my reservations about this at first, but Roy and Thea immediately jumping on board to help her out was enjoyable to see. Thea actually encouraging Roy to do his own hero thing was great to see, and it really showed just how committed Roy is to helping people, even defying Oliver when he was told to back off it. Granted this led to him getting an arrow in the leg, (so many Skyrim jokes, so little time) so it will be interesting to see how that will play out later. Most of all, I liked how this wasn’t just some random side story and that it is tying into the whole Brother Blood story. I want to see more of these little side stories, I think it would be a lot of fun to see different approaches to fighting Blood that could then tie together into one major strike at him.
We also see Moira adjusting to freedom again. While her scenes were limited, they were amazing. Her little digs at Isabel, her defiance of Malcolm, sicking Ghul and the League of Assassins on him, these were all great to see. Moira is continuing to be one of my favorite characters. Of course, this will all blow up in her face later, this is a CW show after all and drama like that is pretty much par for the course.
Final thoughts, great episode and solid first half a two parter. Barry is proving to be an interesting character, solid advancement of the Brother Blood plot, and freaking super powers! And of course, this review can’t conclude without a mention of Diggle’s not so subtle nod to Superman and the various other alien heroes that are part of the DC’verse.