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Arrow “The Scientist” Review (2×08)

4 Dec

xdefeating-the-acolyte.jpg.pagespeed.ic.J_m555ivznArrow wasn’t a show about superheroes back in season 1, and it’s a credit to the writers that even with the introduction of “superpowers” here, the tone still feels grounded and decidedly Arrow. In fact, the show gives us a fairly reasonable explanation for the shift in content: the serum. You know what? I’ll buy it; the challenge will be maintaining that sense of realism throughout the rest of the show’s run and not falling into the Superhero Cliche Pit.

Obviously, the main focus will be on The Flash. Barry Allen is introduced in this episode, and while I wasn’t too happy about the casting at first, I think we get a nice sense of who he is and what his motivations are; the exposition is a bit heavy, as expected, but Gustin is charming enough and fits in smoothly with the rest of the cast (he serves as a nice foil to Amell’s Oliver Queen). The most obvious pairing is what we get: Felicity and Barry make for a pretty nice couple–this show really is fantastic for making Roy-Thea and Felicity-Barry endearing–here, and I’m looking forward to how the show handles the relationships from now on. Also, kudos to the writers for all the little Flash jokes.

Usually when we’re introduced to a character, it’s in a place-setting episode, and “The Scientist” is no different. The show’s taking a step back before whatever fireworks they have in store for us next week, and while it does make for a less exciting episode, it’s still entertaining. Take, for example, Malcolm Merlyn; we would expect that after last week’s cliffhanger, he’d take a more prominent role here, but that’s not the case. The sidelining feels a bit awkward, but I do like how his character is being used to draw out the fight in Moira Queen; she’s always been an independent woman locked in both a literal and a metaphorical jail, and it’s nice to see her fight back. She’ll do what she needs to do to keep her family safe, and the League of Assassins reveal is a nice moment; it lends some more complexity to Malcolm’s storyline, aside from the “Evil Bad Dude” aspect of his character.

Finally, that brings us to the island; although I would like to see some more flashbacks, this week’s do a great job of showcasing Manu Bennett’s acting and drawing deeper emotional connections between him and Shado. In addition, it ties in very smoothly to the present day action; it all leads into a cliffhanger ending that is just begging to be resolved.

GRADE: B

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Best Flash joke: the nod to the lightning origin story.

-I would like to see more complexity to Brother Blood’s storyline: for example, more of his motivations are needed.

-There’s some fantastic action in this episode; the show’s really improved the camera work in this season.

-No Laurel. This is good.

-“Maybe he feels like he penetrates just fine.”

-“I’m not too good on my feet.”

-I don’t think Slade is dead. The sedative probably is the reason for his transformation.

-Hey, show, give Summer Glau some more to do, please.

-Oliver shooting Roy in the knee was really funny and surprising. I’m not sure it’s in character, but whatever.

-Emily Bett Rickards is looking really good, as always.

Credit to The CW and Arrow for all pictures. I own nothing.

 

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