The Emerald Archer of Starling City has returned to The CW as ‘Arrow’ takes it’s place on the weekly schedule once again after a mid-season hiatus. When we last left Oliver Queen and his cohorts, they were able to track down Cyrus Gold as he and Brother Blood inject Roy Harper with the Mirakuru serum. Meanwhile, it’s revealed to the audience that Slade is still alive and the one behind the mysterious serum from the island. But perhaps the most memorable moment of all before the break was Barry Allen bestowing a mask to Arrow and then returning to Central City, where he is caught in a particle accelerator explosion during a lightning storm. Basically, we saw the origin of the Flash, who is slated to get his own spinoff series.
However, when we return to the DC superhero show, Barry is in a coma and Felicity is at his side. While she’s away, Ollie and Diggle have to deal with a serial bomber by the name of Mark Scheffer (AKA Shrapnel) who decides to target a rally held by mayoral candidate Sebastian Blood. Back on the island, Oliver and Sara learn about the erratic and crazed behavior of Slade thanks to the Mirakuru when their friend attacks them after burying Shado and evading Dr. Ivo.
Overall, I would call this week’s episode of ‘Arrow’ a weak return from the mid-season hiatus. I was expecting something more way exciting because of the reveal of Slade being the brains behind the whole Mirakuru epidemic plaguing the city. Instead, we got a random bad guy that didn’t really add anything to the story. Shrapnel could have been the villain any week, but guest star Sean Maher from ‘Firefly’ was pretty good, even though we didn’t really see much of him. The only important parts really were on the island with Slade and learning what the serum does to the people injected with it because now we’re starting to see those symptoms in Roy.
One thing that I did enjoy was the development in the platonic relationship between Oliver and Felicity. Even though Ollie will probably end up with one of the Lance sisters, I wouldn’t mind it if the computer genius and mysterious hero got paired up romantically. I love seeing the chemistry play out between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards. Of course, the writers probably meant for this to show how protective young Mr. Queen is of his friends, especially after Tommy died. But for now let me just hold out hope for Felicity and Oliver or rather Olicity.
Aside from that aspect of the episode, I found it to be filled with a bunch of clichés like Barry being in a coma and Laurel stumbling upon that ending reveal with Blood’s “aunt”. It was all very reminiscent of cheesy soap operas rather than modern superhero stories. And while Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ sometimes comes under fire for having too little action through bombs and explosions, DC’s ‘Arrow’ showed that by having a good bit of it isn’t necessarily good either. Don’t get me wrong, they were good action sequences, but they would have meant more to me if they were there for a better reason than just to look cool.
After recently marathoning ‘Arrow’ to catch up and prepare for this episode, I still haven’t decided if I like or love this show yet. It’s definitely better than most things on television and I’m always in favor of more comic book heroes making the jump to television, but with episodes like this one, I don’t get as hyped as I feel like I should be. Regardless, I’m very excited for next week because of Slade’s mask appearing in the teaser. I’m pretty invested in this blast from the past appearing in Starling City and with Sebastian Blood tricking Arrow into thinking that they’re on the same side, things should get pretty interesting.
‘Arrow’ starring Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, and Manu Bennett airs every Wednesday at 8:00pm on The CW.