Man even when Ollie manages to get a sliver of a win Slade just outright screws his day over royally. “The Man Under The Hood” which was partially written by Geoff Johns was just a massive sucker punch to the gut in terms of Ollie’s continuing fight with Slade. If anything this episode should have just been titled Deathstroke as we saw more of Mr. Wilson in the suit than out of it. We also got to see some fine work out of former Detective Lance and see Laurel come to terms with what Slade revealed to her at the end of last week. I mean this episode was jam-packed with character development and quality interactions even if it was not quite the duel with Deathstroke we are all counting the minutes till. That does not matter, what does is at the end of the hour Ollie has seemingly lost everything and gained nothing so it will be fun to see how he fights back. So let’s dive in.
So I am gonna start with my favorite part of the episode, getting to see Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow make their debuts on Arrow. I mean sure it was brief but it sure was fun to see Cisco be fly and Caitlin be cold to each other, I am not sure how that will translate to the actual Flash pilot but if this was any indication I cant wait to see more of their chemistry. Cisco was the definite standout of the two characters as he was easily the more likable and outgoing member of the two. His back and forth with both Caitlin and Felicity was well done and showed just how energetic and outgoing the character can be. It was also nice to have him backtrack when he mentioned Iris being something to Barry, as if he was not quite sure what to make of them. All of the material managed to work just well enough to make me want more of these characters and especially to see if they do become their comic book counterparts, although it could have more naturally fit into the storyline.
I do believe that we can finally admit that Lance is officially the Commissioner Gordon of the Arrow-verse. I mean god damn if his speech to Laurel about who the man under the hood is was not just epic. A lot of the audience assumes that Lance knows that Ollie is the hood and I can’t tell by the phrasing of his speech whether he does indeed know Oliver’s secret, but in the end it truly does not matter. Lance wants the Arrow to be a symbol for the city and not just some man who could easily be dismantled by the public. That was some next level Batman type stuff which Lance was spouting and man did Paul Blackthorne sell the ever loving crap out of it. I mean I remember when Lance was an insufferable bastard and now he is easily one of my favorite characters to watch. That ladies and gentlemen is plot progression and a half.
Sadly the weakest part of the episode was the reveal about Isabel. I mean it is cool and all the Oliver and his father are eskimo brothers but man did I just want more out of Isabel than just to be some sort of spurned lover. Thank god Summer Glau managed to sell the hell out of being spurned that way because this storyline could have turned sour very quickly. It seems all of our villains sans Blood are motivated by revenge against the Queen family for screwing them over. Hopefully as the season winds down Oliver will be able to sway at least one of his enemies into not wanting to murder his entire family. Because if this weeks action beats are any indication Oliver is going to need all the help he can get to take down Slade.
Speaking of which lets talk about how the Terminator trained a Terminator because holy hell did Slade run train on Team Arrow this week. I do not know if it was Manu Bennett in the suit when Deathstroke was raiding The Quiver, but damn if the message was not sent to Oliver and his friends. Anytime and anywhere Slade will be able to get to them and he will leave a massive amount of bodies in his wake. Slade’s hunt scene at Star Labs was a slight bit over the top, but it definitely managed to accentuate just how badly he wanted to make his army of super soldiers. This coupled with the raid on The Quiver definitely finally proved just how dangerous Slade can be and what it means to get in his way. I can’t wait to see what Slade will do with his army of freaks or even how he will be able to control them, but it is sure going to be fun to see where he ends up.
Overall it was a pretty strong episode
Final Grade B
+Cisco and Caitlin’s debut
+Slade in The Quiver
+Det Lance’s speech
-Thea material was annoying
-Isabel backstory lackluster
-Cure pulled out of nowhere
-And thus Dr. Anthony Ivo is dead. Dylan Neal really did some fun stuff with the role and I am sad to see him go.
-Yes, Caitlin did name drop Dr. Arthur Light and he is apparently “a psychopath.” Yay.
-Isabel now is both Slade’s disciple and understudy, she is Ravanger.