Wednesday, October 30, 2013

REVIEW: Arrow, Episode 2.04, "Crucible"

The writer’s room of Arrow has my head spinning to say the least. They are doing a near perfect job at teasing the appetite of the comic book fans. Even with all the DCU name-dropping, they’ve managed to keep it from coming across as cheap or copy-cat-ish. I initially anticipated this show to feel like Smallville, to have the little comedic mentions of enormous topics that meant little to the show so early in the heroes’ development, but so very much to the fans. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Smallville, but Arrow is nothing like it and stands on its own in a beautiful way and nothing Arrow has presented us with has been a cheap shot or even felt remotely copy-cat. Even with the oncoming League of Assassins storylines, I don’t feel like they’re jacking Batman material (even if they are). Although, I will admit, I was beginning to. Furthermore, at the risk of offending long-time and hardcore Green Arrow fans, I’ve never felt like he was a first tier hero. I saw him as second tier. You have Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and then the rest. My point in mentioning this is, between Stephen Amell and the writer’s portrayal of Oliver Queen, I no longer have this opinion. That’s the kind of impact this show is having on hardcore DC fans, at least this one that is.

While tonight’s episode was jammed packed with storylines and what I feel to be game-changing character development, two massive storylines were divulged. The first dealing with the mysterious character that we have already dubbed “The Black Canary”, while officially, I believe her title is “Canary”. This I also believe to be pivotal. The writers have already informed us that this character is not the Black Canary but more of a conduit for the Black Canary. Without dishing any spoilers, I would like to remind you all that Laurel casually mentioned in season 1 that her sister Sarah had a canary years ago. I’ll leave that alone there… And as far as character development goes, we see Lauren beginning to not only abuse alcohol, but prescription drugs as well.  My suspicious nature leads to me to one conclusion: It won’t be long before we see her yearning for revenge and dawning fish-nets to execute it. 

In between these larger plot lines we see a new mid-grade villain step up, referring to himself as “The Mayor”, dealing in stolen military weaponry and trying to take over the Glades. While this may cause problems for the residents of The Glades, judging by the end of this episode, I don’t see his character rising too high at the risk factor scale. Besides, his demise clearly tells us that Ollie has some bigger fish to fry.

This brings me to end of the episode, which as usual, was one of the most important 30 seconds of the episode: the introduction of another comic book villain. For spoiler’s sake, we’ll keep it on the down low, but he isn’t too recognizable, even by name. Nevertheless, I believe we have a new-season-villain, who seems a lot more intimidating in this episode than he does in the little bit of comics I know him from.

Clearly, I loved this episode. I love the pace, I love the directions they’re taking us into, and I honestly love the portrayals of pretty much all the characters. It doesn’t get much more pleasing than tonight’s episode. But what do you guys think!?

Comment! Tweet us! Catch us on Tumblr! And come back next week!