Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and co. are back in action as a deranged anti-government bomber begins taking out buildings Fight Club-style. Plus: Olicity shippers swoon.
Let’s bitch it out…Arrow is back to continue its second season and while the case of the week is a bit blah (sorry Sean Maher…at least you’ll always have Firefly), it does a good job of bringing a lot of the disparate storylines into focus. Most specifically it pushes Kevin Alejandro’s Sebastian Blood to the forefront. After the mid-season finale’s revelation of who’s pulling the strings, it’s nice to get a better sense of who Blood is and why he’s so interested in doing harm. ‘Blast Radius’ doesn’t quite give us a complete backstory – mostly since the sob story he tells Laurel (Katie Cassidy) turns out to be a big load of bull – but the pieces that make up the man are coming together. We can likely assume that the abusive homelife bit is true, though according to his imprisoned mother Maya, lil’Sebastian may have been a bit of a sociopath when he was little.
The fact that Laurel is the only person who suspects something is “off” about the Alderman suggests promising things to come for a character who’s dovetailed in popularity this season. The problem is that it’s pretty clear how this is going to turn out for Laurel: a) not only is her recurring drug addiction going to factor into this (likely to discredit her) b) she will likely end up being kidnapped or ransomed because Blood and his cronies will make her. After all, Arrow loves its homages to Batman Begins and isn’t that exactly what happened to Rachel Dawes (minus the drugs)? Hell there’s even a villain in a mask and a mental asylum involved!
Thankfully we’re not quite there yet so we can focus on the important stuff: misplaced sexual tension. That’s right – Olicity shippers get excited! (and then dismayed). Oliver and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) continue their will-they-won’t-they relationship even as she presides over Barry’s comatose form in Central City. Felicity and Oliver’s exchange after they lose Shrapnel is pretty heated, but it’s so obviously laced with sexual jealousy that even a child can see it (which naturally means neither of them do – or they refuse to). Poor Diggle (David Ramsey) – who would want to work with these two when they’re acting like this? I’d be inclined to just yell at them to get a room already.
The hour ends well with the villain apprehended (natch) and Olicity’s relationship repaired (debate amongst yourselves the many inferences of the word “partner”). Plus there’s now a mildly nefarious alliance between Arrow and Blood, which should implode nicely in just a few episodes. All in all, ‘Blast Radius’ is a solid return that nicely sets up Arrow‘s second half.
- I’m always frustrated when (relatively) smart characters refuse to reveal secrets simply because the plot demands it. Case in point: Roy Harper’s (Colton Haynes) decision to remain silent about his Mirakuru treatment for five weeks. Why? Umm…because? Heaven forbid he just tell Thea (Willa Holland), which is what a rational person would do. Instead we get dumb sequences of him taking a blow to the back from a streetlamp and walking away like it’s made of Styrofoam. It’s way too far-fetched. Even Thea isn’t stupid enough to fall for his lame-o excuses.
- On the island, Slade (Manu Bennett) gets Hulk-y due to the serum, attacks Ollie, gets smacked by Sara (Caity Lotz) and stalks off to find Ivo. It all plays out pretty much exactly as you would expect, which is to say zzzzz.
- I am particularly fond of how Diggle is shot in the shoulder, but he still turns up in the Arrow-cave to talk shop before being dismissed by Oliver. Man this guy needs a storyline of his own.
- Finally, Katie Cassidy needs a sandwich. And maybe less Botox. Girl is starting to look scary/skeletal.
- Felicity (when Oliver tells her to get her head out of Central City): “Sure, right after you get your head out of your ass.”
How did you feel about Arrow‘s return? Are you interested in learning more about Blood? Do you foresee Rachel Dawes-esque trouble for Laurel? Just what kind of “partner” did Oliver mean? And how many times does Diggle have to get shot or injured before he gets to do something more memorable? Comment away below
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW