A+ Episode Arrow

Arrow 2×04 – Crucible

"Living is not for the weak".

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Outstanding.

We’re only four episodes into the season, and the world of Arrow is already populated by an enormously diverse array of characters. It’s enough to get you supremely excited for the rest of the year and the show’s overall journey going forward.

Crucible does a fantastic job of integrating The Black Canary into Arrow’s world. While it was certainly the worst kept secret of the summer, the reveal of the masked warrior being Sarah Lance is highly effective. Her return provides Oliver with a lot of compelling material, as he divulges that he in fact encountered Sarah after The Gambit’s sinking. Amell does a terrific job of selling this retcon, and his chemistry with Caty Loitz is immediately engaging. Loitz herself is extremely likeable in the role, and she imbues the character with just the right dose of badassery and toughness.

Sarah’s return is paralleled with Laurel’s downward spiral, and while it’s not the most creative direction, it definitely feels like a necessary step to get her where she needs to go. And hey, I think we all were getting a bit tired of Laurel’s righteous holier-than-thou attitude. In addition, this turn of events allows Detective Lance (who’s slowly turning into this season’s MVP) to be the rational, supportive Lance for once. Two birds with one stone people.

Crucible‘s final moments are particularly awesome. First, boat-Ollie is dumped in a torture room and his assailant is revealed to be none other than Sarah (yes my jaw pretty much dropped). And if that cliffhanger wasn’t enough, this week’s baddie, The Mayor, gets strapped to a chair and injected with some sort of super-soldier chemical. And who’s responsible? A masked figure who looks eerily similar to Batman’s Scarecrow, and who’s unveiled to be Sebastian Blood (or “Brother Blood” as he’s referred to in true comic-book fashion).  It’s an admittedly brilliant twist, as we’re already invested in Blood’s character. Something tells me he’s exactly the kind of supervillain the show’s been looking for since Malcolm Merlyn’s demise.

If I had any quibbles this week, it would be this: I always loved the idea of Oliver and Laurel’s love overcoming the mammoth complication that was Sarah’s death (who was also sleeping with Oliver). It genuinely felt like the most insurmountable obstacle you could give two soulmates, and this episode effectively negates that with Sarah being alive. Besides some obvious obstacles, what’s stopping Oliver and Laurel from eventually getting together for good? It’s a tad unfortunate that the writers took the easy way out.

Bits & Arrows

– Very cool editing with Isabel asking Felicity where Ollie is, intercut with Arrow kicking ass.

– Epic teaser with Ollie catching the Canary only to realize it’s Sarah (who does a nifty escape with her tech).

– The Captain tests Ollie by shooting him to see if he can save himself. It’s a pretty brutal method. Also, I’m dying to know why he’s so interested in finding the grave-site. Hmm….

– So what is Donner’s purpose on the show? Is he going to be making goo-goo eyes at Laurel when he’s not trying to take down Moira Queen? Because seriously, that date was awkward.

– I can’t wait to see how Sarah knows Slade. I have a feeling their dynamic will be filled with witty banter.

– I know many people probably appreciated the scene, but I thought Blood’s speech to Oliver about the crucible was way too heavy-handed.

– I absolutely loved Canary and Arrow kicking ass side-by-side, playfully switching weapons, and the former not being able to stop herself from almost killing The Mayor (especially after he calls her a bitch). And the highlight? Arrow shooting the grenade in midair. Woah.

– There’s another mention of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator on the news. Is The Flash coming soon?

– Isabel Rochev is still useless. Why are they wasting Summer Glau with this guest-turn? She better have a purpose soon.

– Really awesome misdirection with Oliver saving Blood and them becoming friends, only to rip the rug out from under us at the end.

– Seriously I love Sin. She’s witty, and I’d love for them to explore her dynamic with Thea further.

– The scenes between Ollie and Sarah served to show how much better Black Canary is on the show as opposed to the atrocious misfire that was The Huntress in season one.

– Awesome touch with Blood working with the corrupt cop who pulled over Laurel earlier in the hour.

Starling Quips

Felicity: What kept you? Was it our masked blonde that carries a giant staff to beat the sauce out of attackers?

Felicity: (to Oliver) Do you have ANY happy stories?

Diggle: You know Oliver someone once told me, secrets have weight. The more you keep, the harder it is to keep moving.
Oliver: You see how hard I work out.

Oliver: Got to hell.
The Captain: Can’t. We’re already there.

Diggle: You and I went to Afghanistan to try and bring law and order to a country overrun by warlords and weapons. Should we do any less for our own cities?

Laurel: I’m the best me when I’m working.
Donner: And when you’re not?
Laurel: You don’t wanna meet her. She’s not good company.

Oliver: (to Felicity and Diggle) You both need to work on your definition of good news.

Laurel: Perfect. The recovering alcoholic and the former party-boy trying to tell me how to live my life.

Sin: (to Roy) Look at you rolling with royalty. By the way the salad fork’s the small one.

Canary: You can’t save a city with forgiveness.

Sin: You know you’re dating a moron?
Thea: It’s my first and last thought every day.
Sin: Crap I like her.

Must Download Tunes
Youth by Daughter
The War by Josh Record

Conclusion
Action-packed and memorable, Crucible is the strongest episode of the season thus far.

Nad Rating
A+

2 comments

  1. Wow!!

    I feel like the luckiest fan ever, since I had NO idea Sara would be alive! I've been avoiding spoilers and it's been amazing!

    Damn this season has been phenomenal.

  2. Awesomeness. Keep it up! Cause tons of surprises coming up that you shouldn't spoil! Hurry hurry! Finale is this Wednesday!

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