Arrow Season 2 Review “The Scientist”

This season, Arrow doubled down on the action and, for the most part, it’s worked out well for them. Thankfully, they haven’t neglected character development during their quest for more action though. We’ve seen some growth and change in Oliver, we found out more about Diggle, and we watched Team Arrow become a finely tuned machine. That’s why everything that happened in this first half of the mid-season finale packed such an emotional punch, and it set up what looks like it’s going to be an excellent mid-season cliffhanger. All of the action was great, but the character beats are really what stood out for me in this first part of the finale.

Oliver is kind of starting to get on my nerves with his desire to keep everything so close to the vest. There was a break-in at Queen Consolidated, and when the police began to describe what happened, Oliver figured that someone had discovered how to replicate that supersoldier serum from The Island. However, instead of sharing what he knew with the rest of his team, he ignored Diggles questions and went to face the giant supersoldier on his own. How many times does Oliver have to get his butt kicked before he realizes that he’s not in this alone anymore? He’s got a team now and he needs to trust them. I get that he doesn’t really like to talk about what happened to him on The Island. That makes perfect sense. However, when things are going down in the here and now, he needs to clue his team in to what’s happening and he needs to be more willing to let them help him. That’s kind of the function of a team, Oliver. That team looks like it’s expanded to include Barry Allen.

Barry showed up in Starling City to investigate the break-in at Queen Consolidated. He said that his Captain at the police station over in Central City sent him over because they’ve had several similar cases. Barry and Felicity had an instant chemistry, and it looked to me like Oliver was feeling some kind of way about that. Even before he knew that Barry hadn’t been entirely honest with them, he was giving Barry the side eye. As it turns out, Barry’s boss hadn’t actually sent him to Starling City, but he heard about the rather bizarre case and snuck off to work it. He’s trying to figure out who or what killed his mother, but in the meantime he’s working all the strange cases that pop up on the radar because his mother’s death was a strange case. It looks like it’s a good thing Barry showed up too because after Oliver (arrogantly and stupidly) went to confront the supersoldier alone, he got poisoned and Barry is Team Arrow’s only hope of saving Oliver. I like Barry. He’s a rather adorable, slightly goofy guy who seems to have a really good heart. Basically, he’s the male version of Felicity. Other than him and Felicity being too cute for words, Barry possesses a skill set that could prove quite useful to the team.

Moira hit a few stumbling blocks during her attempt to reintegrate into Starling City high society. Oliver brought her with him to the Queen Consolidated board meeting, and Isobel Rochev made it a point to let Oliver know that Moira wasn’t welcome. Even Oliver’s attempt to cheer Moira up by throwing a welcome back party didn’t go so well. Moira didn’t seem all that phased by any of that, but Malcolm showing up at the house demanding that she tell Thea the truth did shake Moira up. For a minute, it looked like Moira was going to (once again) give in to Malcolm’s demands, but Moira is not without her own resources. Malcolm may not feel threatened by Moira, but she dropped the name of someone that Malcolm is afraid of: Ras Al Gul. Moira has made a number of questionable choices, but everything she did was because she was afraid. She was afraid of Malcolm. She was afraid of what would happen to her children. She was afraid of what would happen to Walter. She didn’t want to testify in court because she was afraid the truth about Thea would come out. I’m not excusing or condoning Moira’s choices, but I can understand why she made them. Fear is a powerful motivator and it can cause people to do things they otherwise would not do. However, it seems that Moira has decided to stop making choices from a place of fear. Good for her. I’m still not necessarily a Moira fan, but I did enjoy watching her stand up to Malcolm.

Malcolm Merlyn is a selfish jerk; which wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t so dangerous. He showed up at the Queen mansion and demanded that Moira tell Thea that he’s her biological father. But why? What does he expect to gain? Robert was Thea’s father; in all the ways that matter anyway. Does Malcolm expect Thea to just toss her love for Robert aside and run to him with open arms? Does he expect her to turn her back on the Queen family entirely? What’s the endgame here? Malcolm’s desire for Thea to know the truth has nothing to do with her and everything to do with him. HE doesn’t want to be alone in the world. HE doesn’t want to be responsible for killing his only child. Everything Malcolm has done has been about himself. Even his attempt to destroy The Glades wasn’t about saving the city. It was about punishing the people in the Glades for his wife’s death. No nevermind that in all likelihood none of those people had anything to do with his wife’s murder. He just wanted someone to pay. Malcolm was operating from a place of grief and selfish anger back then, and he’s still operating from that place now. But it looks like Malcolm has bigger problems. It seems his failed attempt to destroy The Glades upset Ras Al Gul and the League of Assassins. Apparently, The Undertaking was dishonorable in the sight of Ras and the League and now that Moira has told them he’s alive, Malcolm better watch his back.

This episode set up several exciting ways the conclusion could go next week. I have a feeling Oliver is going to be upset with Dig and Felicity for bringing Barry in to the fold, but maybe he’ll see that they really had no other choice. Roy might be out of commission for a while. Although, that’s kind of his own fault. He can’t seem to see that being the eyes and ears of The Arrow is just as important (if not moreso) than going out getting your butt kicked on a regular basis. I’d still like to see Oliver take on a more mentor type relationship with Roy. Oliver has a lot he could teach Roy, and Roy could be very helpful. And let’s face it, Oliver needs all the help he can get. The Island stuff finally seems to have some relevance to current events, so that’s a good thing. I don’t think Slade is dead, but I do think he will be a changed man since they injected him with that serum. All in all, pretty solid episode. I’m really looking forward to next week’s conclusion. So what did y’all think of this week’s Arrow?

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