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REVIEW: Arrow 2×04 “Crucible”

Written by Scott Swartz

Ok so that clears up somethings and makes other things all the more interesting. Yes “Crucible” gave us a lot of fun information about Canary or rather Sara and why she decided to return to the city. In the meantime Ollie was left to deal with a second rate crime lord. Overall it was a well excited episode but it just felt like something was missing to push this story over the the edge it to a superior episode. What helps to make a superb episode is giving us a villain who challenges our hero and makes the struggles in the story all the more real. Ollie’s challenges this week were all emotional and reactionary to what we found out about Sara and the important people in his life. There was a lot of great material for the characters to play off of and it looks like things are picking up at a fun pace. So let’s dive in.

So the Canary’s identity got revealed tis week and it was indeed a Lance, Laurel’s sister to be exact. Yeah the one we all thought was dead turns out she was not only alive but had ran into Oliver before while he was on the Island. She has not quite revealed where she got her training but it was clear that the Sara we saw on the island had been through just as much as Oliver. Her training and reason for coming back to the Starling were admirable but it did raise some real questions that will hopefully be filled in as the season goes along. Stephen Amell once again did a fantastic job playing the conflicted nature of Ollie with the revelation of Sara’s return. He knows it will hurt Laurel and Detective Lance more if they know what Sara has become and Amell was able to capture that pain fantastically. What really helped the episodes main story was how great the chemistry between Ollie and Sara was. It was clear that there was not only a mutual attraction but a good amount of respect for each others skills as evidence from when they traded weapons back and forth in the final fight. I think I am going to like this pairing more and more as the season goes on.

Another really strong aspect of the episode was how well the side characters were played especially Blood and Laurel. Blood, who could have been a simple maniacal villain has easily turned into one of my favorite characters of the season so far. I am really enjoying Kevin Alejandro’s performance as Blood and his entire crucible speech was really well delivered and spoken like a man who had gone through a crucible himself. Of course the end scene with Blood in some weird Scarecrow-esque mask injecting The Mayor with what I will assume is some sort of Bane type venom was kind of out of left field. I will let this play out as I really want to see how his power and persona will evolve over the season. Similarly with Laurel I like that the alcoholism and depression towards Tommy’s death is finally being confronted and that Detective Lance Is making sure she has a support system. The scene with Lance at the AA meeting was really well done when it could have come off as cheesy, definite props to Paul Blackthorne who has really stepped up his game this season. I really believe Arrow learned from how strong Tommy was as a side character last season and the writers are really pouring those lessons into the other characters.

Meanwhile on aboard the Amazo, Ollie got shot by Jimmie Jean-Louis, better known as The Hatian from Heroes, in some sort of weird prisoner initiation ritual. I assume that by separating Ollie from Slade and Shado this will force him to become a version of the harder Ollie we know today. I did find it slightly unnerving that Slade was nowhere to be seen during these flashbacks, I know for a fact it takes a lot more than a missile to the face to take down Slade, just look at last season’s finale. I really hope that the Amazo plot picks up pace a little more next week and we at least find out what happened to Slade. Also they keep hinting that there is something about the deformed bodies and how they are important, I feel like they could drop a few more hints other that creepily telling us that those bodies matter.

 

Overall a solid strong episode.

Final Grade B

 

+Ollie Canary chemistry

+Fantastic side character work

+Stephen Amell’s performance

 

-The Mayor was a useless villain

-Slade’s well being still unknown

-The Sin/Roy/Thea stuff was really unnecessary

 

Extra Thoughts

-Seriously liking the increase in Ollie’s trick arrows. Each one is more fun than the last.

-The final fight scene with the Canary/Ollie team up was everything I wanted for an initial team up. I hope they can keep it up.

-Boat full of Russian’s, explains how Ollie became a captain in the Russian mob .

About the author

Scott Swartz