This was a busy episode. I think we might've gotten about ten minutes total with each character.
Mr. Scheffer (Sean Maher from Firefly), the bomber was a threat that was built up well, and he was crafty without falling into campy villainy, but there was next to nothing as far as motivation for his actions. So I think he was mostly just used as a plot platform so that Oliver and Felicity could work through their personal issues. The bomber was also used as an excuse to allow Oliver to step into his hero shoes a bit more.
The action was all fairly good, and the car chase where the bomber was throwing grenades out the window stood out for me. Although given how much damage a grenade can do, I wonder if Oliver's bike tricks would really have shielded him from the explosion? The other big moment was when Oliver actually ran into a burning building. It was another nice way of showing him grow into his new role.
As far as Oliver and Felicity go, the entire conflict started because Oliver is clearly jealous of Barry. It really does seem like the Arrow PTB are going the romance angle. All their scenes had a palpable tension to them, so whether or not you ship Oliver/Felicity, at least things are moving slowly enough to not feel forced or contrived. That moment at the end where Oliver told her that she wasn't an employee was very cool. Acknowledging how much Diggle and Felicity mean to him, and how much he relies on them was LONG overdue.
The big reason why this worked for me was the story Blood told Laurel. Sure, it was a sympathy play, heart-wrenching and emotional. If Laurel didn't have intimacy issues, she might've totally bought into how his mother murdered his father after she was abused to the breaking point -- literally when he broke her arm. So it was a bit telegraphed that Maya Resnick was actually his mother. The fact that Blood put her in a mental institution is sufficiently creepy. Now that he has even more power, what will he do to Laurel when he inevitably finds out she's been snooping?
Most of the scenes set on the Island with Slade were paralleled in the scenes with Roy as they both adjusted to the changes to their bodies after being injected with Mirakuru. Slade seems to be freaking out; he's angry and flies into fits of rage without much provocation. Roy seems to be adjusting mentally very well, but physically he's coming into a power that scares him. Sara said that Mirakuru typically either deforms the bones or the mind, so I wonder if we're going to get some physical changes to Roy. From what since we've now seen current Slade I think his mind was deformed by the serum. So I hope that Roy doesn't suffer the same fate. Still, that does explain the deformed bodies in the caves we saw several episodes back.
Unfortunately we learned that Oliver did pick Sara when Ivo forced him to choose. When it happened, I thought it was ambiguous enough that I wasn't quite sure, but given how worried Oliver is about Slade finding out I guess it really was how it happened. Roy's lies to Thea were even more transparent, and thankfully Thea isn't so dense that she didn't catch on almost right away. As much as I like the improvements to Thea's character this season, I want her more involved. Having her involved in Roy's secret feels like a good move.
Goodbye, Shado. I hope we see you again later on in the series.
Oliver cutting the wire to the button the bomber was threatening to push to blow up the city was the best shot of the week.
So Barry's in a coma. I wonder if he'll be there until his pilot airs.
I just realized that Paul Blackthorne sounds like Humphrey Bogart.
The use of green is fairly prevalent in the series, obviously, but it's nice that the use of red has started to gain some significance since it's Roy's color.
Dig got shot in the shoulder. Even without hitting bone, that's not an injury you just shrug off. Pun intended.
It's a shame that Summer Glau wasn't in this episode. I would've loved to see a bit of a Tam family reunion.
Loved the rooftop scene with Arrow and Quentin, and the explosion at the end was actually startling.
Moira: (to Thea) "You've taken Oliver's hobby and turned it into a successful business."
Oliver: (mouths to himself) "Hobby?"
Oliver: "I'm sorry."
Felicity: "Are you apologizing to me, or were you talking to your quiver?"
Oliver: "I didn't snap at my quiver."
From the queen of the double entendre. I think this one is my favorite.
Dig: "He probably put in a safeguard. Tampering with it will set up a deadman switch."
Felicity: "That's a really depressing term. And a little bit sexist."
Good episode, even if we did get a villain of the week.
3 out of 4 Bomb Triggers
J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow, The Originals and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.