Storm’s brewin’! All hell is about to break loose on Arrow as a dangerous new foe emerges. Good thing an unlikely ally who is bad on his feet is fresh off the train.
Let’s bitch it out…‘The Scientist’ is the first part of a two part fall finale in everything but name. Things in Starling City are clearly coming to a head as we move into next week’s finale. Naturally this means Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) life is in grave danger and a seemingly unbeatable foe emerges in the form of one of Brother Blood’s (Kevin Alejandro) super soldiers. This guy is literally a one man army, running around town stealing supplies to make an army of many. Oliver, Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Betts Rickard) identify the pattern of thefts fairly early on but other events distract them until the climax, which ends on a cliffhanger after Oliver is injected with a mystery serum that requires the talents of an outsider to heal.
Said outsider is actually one of the distractions: Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), whom DC fans will recognize by name alone. In his Arrow debut, Gustin makes a very strong impression. This is an actor that The CW is looking to build a Flash show around (hence the upteenth reference to the particle accelerator in the background) and it’s clear why the execs are willing to double down on Gustin. The kid has network friendly looks, comedy and drama skills and the character itself, as written by the Arrow team, fits into this world like a glove. It’s not hard to imagine Gustin having his own adventures and returning for the occasional sweeps week cross-over. Hell, the guy can even sell a cheesy backstory about a murdered parent from his childhood! Consider me sold!
Unfortunately Barry’s not telling the whole truth, so naturally we spend an inordinate amount of time meeting him, falling for his charm and then mistrusting him while Diggle digs up the dirt. Turns out Barry isn’t a real CSI and he’s not supposed to be in Starling City. This reveal drags on for too long considering it’s obvious that Barry’s worst plans involve little more than impure thoughts about Felicity. Aside from this, as far as introductions to new characters go, ‘The Scientist’ definitely gets the job done.
- For the first time in a long time, all of the B-plots are tracking back to a single focal point: the super soldier. Roy (Colton Haynes) – and to a lesser extent Thea (Willa Holland) – are circling around the outskirt, investigating a murdered friend of Sin’s (Bex Taylor-Klaus). Meanwhile five years ago, in the Island storyline, the ragtag band – including Shado (Celina Jade) and Sara (Caity Lotz) – find the super soldier serum aboard the Japanese WWII sub and administer it to Slade (Manu Bennett) before he dies (Not Spoiler: he’s totally not dead). How all of this comes to a head next week remains to be seen but there’s a lot of momentum heading into the fall finale.
- The sole exception is Moira’s (Susanna Thompson) storyline, which continues to operate on its own. Despite the character inhabiting the same physical space as the other characters, Moira is still dealing with the past. Specifically S1 conflict Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). I can’t imagine there were many DC fans surprised by the Ra’s al Ghul mention, though I wonder how that plays for folks unfamiliar with things like Nanda Parbat. Expect to hear more about all of this stuff in the second half of the season because we’re just getting started on this
- Riddle me this: Arrow has cast Summer Glau – a ballet dancer and general ass-kicker – but only used her as a corporate suit who glowers. Meanwhile the writers have introduced the League of Assassins and Moira clearly has some kind of history with Isabeau. How long before it’s revealed that Isabeau is secretly some kind of ninja and Summer Glau goes on a rampage?
- Olicity who? Barry and Felicity have tons of chemistry right out of the gate. My biggest problem is that even though Emily Bett Rickards looks young, Grant Gustin looks like a teenager. Sometimes their interactions gave me an underage lover kinda vibe
- Coolest stunt in awhile: Oliver’s battle with the super soldier in the truck. Is it completely improbable that Oliver would be able to stay on the cab during some of those moves? Absolutely. It is incredibly entertaining when the super soldier punches both him and the door onto the road? Absolutely.
- The super soldier that Oliver claims to have killed and burnt on the island is totally Slade, right?
- Finally, another rock solid episode and no Laurel Lance. Am I sensing a trend here?
- Oliver (upon being introduced to Barry): “Do your parents know you’re here?”
- Felicity (hearing about Oliver’s time on the island): “Why couldn’t you have been marooned on Aruba?”
- Oliver (as Barry approaches Felicity): “FYI, they will card him at the door”
Thoughts on Barry Allen and his introduction? Hoping to see him hook up with Felicity? How did Island Oliver – who is admittedly a bit of a wimp – kill Dr. Ivo and at least one super soldier? What is Brother Blood’s plan besides creating a huge army of Bane rip-offs? How long will Malcolm stay away before coming back for Thea? Sound off below
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW