Arrow

Arrow 2×19 – The Man Under The Hood

"It's the Arrow that matters. The man under the hood isn't important."

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Every once in a while, a season comes along and completely blows my mind on every level. Last year, that honor belonged to Scandal’s majestic sophomore season, and this year; Arrow most definitely takes the cake. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to wait for the season’s remaining four episodes.

Following Slade’s monumental bombshell, Laurel didn’t end up confronting Ollie about his true identity. I applaud the writers for taking this surprising route and having our favorite attorney accept both Ollie and Sara’s alter-egos in secret. Lance’s speech to Laurel about the importance of having such a hero was a powerful and pivotal moment for the show, and it beautifully contrasted his views regarding “the vigilante” only a season ago. I do wonder how Miss Lance will be getting in on the action as the tensions continue to rise and we reach an explosive crescendo in the next installments.

If there was ever any doubt that Slade is the coolest most badass Big Bad of all time, then The Man Under The Hood certainly put those doubts to rest. The baddie got a number of incredible moments from decimating Team Arrow in their very own Bat-Cave, to that superb reveal of Roy hooked up to the army of super soldiers. If Slade is taken out of the picture by the time the finale comes along, the writers are going to have to work very hard to find a worthy successor.

Interestingly, Miss Isabel Rochev was revealed to be Robert Queen’s longtime mistress (and yes I share Ollie’s disgust at the realization that he and his father both slept with the same woman). But more importantly, Slade’s scheming protege was brought back to life as one of his super-powered goons after Diggle fatally shot her. Let’s just say I’m beyond pumped to see Team Arrow collide with Slade’s evil army in the season’s final hours.

Unfortunately, I have to admit that Ivo revealing the existence of a cure for the Mirakuro felt a bit like a deux ex machina. It definitely lessens the stakes going forward because I was genuinely curious as to how Ollie and his Scooby Gang were going to handle Slade and his gang. But hey, there’s always room for further surprises.

Bits & Arrows

– Fantastic teaser with Team Arrow infiltrating and blowing up Queen Consolidated’s labs.

– Deathstroke catching Sara in midair by the neck was jawdroppingly awesome. And the visual of Team Arrow sprawled out on the floor? Epic.

– Love the parallels with Sara’s scars mirroring those of Ollie.

– Much like Ollie realized he and dad shared a woman, Thea nastily realized that she tried to kiss her half-brother Tommy. Suffice to say, I’m very curious to see her journey now that she knows she’s the daughter of two mass-murderers.

– If this episode had any missteps, it was the two lab technician guest-stars (who will be regulars on the upcoming Flash pilot). Their inclusion was jarring in tone, probably because Barry Allen was originally supposed to be the one featured in this episode before his show got picked up.

– Poignant moment with Ollie stopping Sara from killing Ivo and doing it himself. Little does he know she’s not going to stay innocent for long.

– My heart kind of broke for poor Lance getting brutally beat up in prison. Also, Laurel got him released WAY too easily.

Starling Quips

Felicity: As far as plans go, this isn’t a good one.
Oliver: Felicity… this is your plan.
Felicity: I didn’t think you’d actually say yes.

Felicity: I’m a bomber… I can’t believe I’m a bomber.

Felicity: For the record, I hated her before we found out she was a supervillain.

Conclusion
Terrifically gripping, The Man Under The Hood beautifully set the stage for an explosive final stretch.

Nad Rating
A-

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