Arrow Season 2 Episode 10 – TV Review
Arrow is the only silly action show I watch these days, so I’ve missed having it in my schedule.
Not that teen supernatural dramas aren’t trashy. It’s important you know that.
TL;DR Oliver foils the terrorist of the week; Laurel goes undercover (girlfriend undercover) to investigate Sebastian; Oliver, both as himself and as the Hood, supports Sebastian; Felicity and Oliver bicker/ship tease; Roy is having some serum issues; Aussie guy, too, has serum issues.
I’ve been considering name upgrading Aussie guy to Slade, but being an ignorant fuck is kinda my thing. So not yet.
Arrow excellently balances the villain of the week formula while having it dovetail with our ever important arcs. A terrorist bomber named Shrapnel comes out to play in Starling City. Oliver and Felicity have some difficulty apprehending him due to some ongoing bickering over her spending too much time in Central City with a comatose Barry Allen. They tease the ship just enough before it gets unbearable, and Oliver catches Shrapnel after an unsuccessful attempt to explode a campagin rally Sebastian is holding for his mayoral run. Meanwhile, Laurel slaps me for questioning her romantic interest in Sebastian: she’s actually investigating him because the guy is clearly suss as fuck. It yields ominous results. Meanwhile, Roy displays healing and strength abilities due to that serum injection. Thea is worried. And in island flashback, Aussie guy struggles with his newfound emotional instability due to our favourite Mirakuru serum.
His “scary” voice could use some work.
Arrow, as always, is still the go-to example for slick, efficient storytelling. Some modestly impressive stuntwork and requisite romantic interludes complement well.
But is anyone seriously going to vote for a man named Sebastian Blood? Come on, Starling City.
Why I hate this episode:
It’s also pretty embarrassing that Laurel, the world’s worst lawyer in the world’s worst DA office, is the one doing the Sebastian investigation. Fucking Oliver is throwing him cash and pledging the Hood’s loyalty to him. Maybe that stupid eye mask is clouding his vision.
Yes, he looked better with the eye shadow.
Felicity seems to be falling more and more into stereotypical female character territory. Her devotion to sitting by Barry’s bedside instead of doing her Hood work back in Starling City is disappointing. And the fact that its major consequence is romantic tension between her and Oliver (not that I outright hate dat UST) is the rotten cherry on the marzipan cake. I don’t like marzipan.
Quentin’s subplot about a mole in the police department is dull. Next.
Quentin approves of Sebastian to date his daughter, too. Despite his daughter telling him that she herself doesn’t trust him.
Laurel’s hair looks crappier than usual. That probably has something to do with me having watched all of Melrose Place (2009) and Harper’s Island over the last 2 weeks, which were better hair days for Katie Cassidy. But yeah, it’s not great.
Oh, and Shrapnel catches Oliver in a trap at a building so he can’t go foil the rally attack. Luckily, because this is CSI, the building has an oddly specific wiring configuration and Oliver can shoot a fuse box, also conveniently in range, to disable the trip lasers. Comic book territory, I know. But groan.
But it’s not all bad:
Shrapnel does manage to blow up 2 buildings prior to being caught. And although Oliver disables the trigger, he apparently had a city wide bomb party rigged up in the event he was cornered. That’s pretty competent. I like it.
Laurel is firmly back in my good books, and for good cause. She is dedicated to discovering the truth about Sebastian. Even after he sells her a weepy story about how he was orphaned because his battered mother killed his abusive father and then ran off. And even after getting Quentin’s seal of approval. She eventually tracks down a woman in a mental asylum who is supposedly Sebastian’s aunt (defeating his claim of having no family). Laurel discovers that she is in fact Sebastian’s mother, and Sebastian himself killed his father, then made the authorities think his mother was crazy to silence her. Get the truth out there, baby.
To be fair to Oliver, too, he is running his own investigation into who the skull-masked villain is. He just hasn’t put the pieces together yet. I hope Sebastian isn’t stupid enough to publicise his alter ego’s name, because Brother Blood is kind of a giveaway.
The Felicity/Laurel ship gets majorly teased. The impending bombing attacks become secondary to the tension between Oliver and Felicity over the Barry thing.
Oliver gets best line of the episode when he utters the word the real crazy shippers will doubtlessly latch onto. He’s apologising to Felicty: “It means you’re not my employee. You’re my partner.” Civil union confirmed.
On the island, Ivo issues an offer to the gang: give over the serum, or he’ll catch and experiment on them. Seems fair. Though I guess Aussie guy’s already been there, done that, so he might not be up for it (also, he’s a berserk monster now).
Oh, and Thea totally witnesses Roy’s superpowers in effect. Her WTF face when he shrugs off a falling lighting rig at the rally is very appropriate.