Arrow Season 2 Episode 12 – TV Review
The Laurel Lance Substance Abuse Saga continues.
Also, Wolverine‘s back.
TL;DR Bronze Tiger (Wolverine) is foiled while stealing a Malcolm Merlyn prototype earthquake machine; Oliver has to reveal his Hood/Arrow identity to Roy in the process; Roy is struggling with the serum; Laurel is struggling with the oppression of sobriety; flasback Oliver and Sarah reunite with Slade.
So the most important plot thread this episode is Oliver’s training of Roy in the art of vigilantism. Roy’s serum-induced temper and superiority complex make this a difficult job for Oliver. When Bronze Tiger is busted out of prison so an arms dealer can have him steal a prototype earthquake machine from Malcolm’s mansion, Oliver reluctantly brings him along as backup. When the machine is activated, Oliver has to reveal himself to Roy to snap him out of a beatdown rage and stop the machine. And thus, the Super Friends have a new member. Meanwhile, Laurel continues her descent into glamorous alcoholism, much to Quentin, Thea and Oliver’s worry. Meanwhile, Walter convinces Moira to run for mayor against Sebastian Blood. I’m sure that’ll end well. And in the island flashback, Sarah and Oliver stop Slade from destroying the boat (their only hope of escape at this time).
Aww, I wanted to see things go boom.
You know what? I’m just glad to see Laurel still in the spotlight.
With Aaron’s death on TVD this week, I need someone to fly the Melrose Place (2009) flag on The CW.
Why I hate this episode:
Not a lot really happens. The Bronze Tiger/earthquake machine stuff is all there just to give Oliver a reason to reveal himself to Roy. It’s just an excuse plot. The flashback is typically glacially paced, too. The most relevant thing to happen is Moira’s appointment as an opposing candidate for mayor. Get on with it, everyone.
Roy is very green, and basically unwieldly. I know Oliver was in a bit of a bind with the Bronze Tiger mission, but he really shouldn’t have taken Roy along. Roy was the reason Bronze Tiger got away with the earthquake machine from Malcolm’s mansion. And he was so outta control at the dockfront showdown that Oliver had to reveal his secret identity just to pull him up. Get rid of him, Oliver.
Also, during their training sessions, Oliver didn’t even have strategic shadows over his face. It was literally just Oliver in a flimsy eye mask and the hood covering his hair. How the holy hell did Roy not figure out it was Oliver?
Why on Earth would Moira be a viable mayoral candidate? Polls indicate that lots of people would vote for her. That’s ridiculous. The same people are flocking to Sebastian because he represents everything she isn’t. Don’t tell me 43.6% of the voting population are secretly waiting for a rich bitch who tried to murder half the city to come along.
I forgot Walter existed.
Quentin tries to trick Laurel into going to AA with him. He is surprised when she storms off. Silly boy.
Conversely, Laurel’s defence to this is “Wah wah wah they don’t know the kind of pain I’ve been through wah.” Grow up, bitch.
Thea and Oliver spoil Laurel’s binge drinking session. Rude.
Oh, and flashback Oliver passes up yet another chance to tell Slade the truth about Shadow’s death because he is a huge pussy. While I admire the pragmatism and commitment to insincerity (one of the crucial tenets of I Just Hate Everything), it’s not a good look for a hero.
But it’s not all bad:
Slade’s back in the gang. So that’s nice. And Oliver does mention to Roy how he had to put an arrow through Slade’s eye to stop him, so I’m looking forward to that.
Laurel kind of steals the show this episode. Her merry drunken appearance at Verdant is the very definition of hedonism, of which I am a proponent. She remarks how ironic it is for Thea Queen to be telling her to stop drinking. And she absently flirts with Oliver. Good.
When she stumbles home, she sees Sarah appear over her. I expect this to be real, and not a drunken hallucination, because earlier at Verdant Oliver called someone, telling them to come back to the city because Laurel needs them.
While ineffective, Oliver gives an earnest shot at being Roy’s Mr Miyagi. Roy just ends up power crushing all of Oliver’s equipment, which is kind of rude, but kind of fun.
Bronze Tiger is refreshingly flippant as a mercenary. He gets best line of the episode when Oliver (as the Hood) is trying to reason with him about the earthquake machine:
Oliver: “Do you have any idea what happens if the wrong people have it?”
Bronze Tiger: “Yeah. I get paid.”
He’s got you there, Oli.
At the end of the episode, he’s visited back in prison by Amanda Waller, the director ARGUS (the organisation that wanted to rescue Lyla from that Russian gulag) she offers him a position in a squad she’s setting up. I hope someone around here who’s familiar with the comics can help me know what that’s alluding to. But it sounds important.
Moira’s one concern with a mayoral run is the risk of Thea’s paternity getting dredged up. With Malcolm apparently still away out of fear of Ra’s, this leaves just Moira’s doctor as the only other person who knows the truth. The way she’s talking with Walter makes it sound like she wants to assassinate him or something. I can only hope.
Diggle and Felicity worry about Roy being loose lipped with Oliver’s secret. A fair danger, considering he’s already loose about who he tries to beat to death.
Laurel is facing impending disbarment because people have found out about her pill popping. Her response to this is to get sauced at Verdant, which is only reasonable.
Slade, Sarah and Oliver plan to take over the boat so they can get off the island. I look forward to seeing how that goes wrong.
Oh, and Roy’s “surprised that Oliver is the Hood” face is hilariously too intense.