Arrow 2.4, "Crucible" Review

Arrow 2 4

rating: 3.5

This week's instalment of Arrow marks an interesting progression, with two plot points that will dictate the attention of the second season and several minor plot points to seemingly fill in the gaps between. This week the Glades is over run by a gang led by a man called "The Mayor", a former orphan, who steals military grade weaponry and uses it to terrify the people in the Glades and control what goes on. This week also saw a turning point in the Black Canary story line, maintaining her exposure to last week and revealing her identity to the audience, and also to Oliver. We also saw further developments in the flashbacks, continuing on from Oliver's capture and imprisonment on the boat off the coast of the Island. Finally there are a few other smaller developments that take place, including the establishment of some sort of relationship between Thea, Roy and Sin, as well as the introduction of the main bad guy for the season. This weeks episode returns to the slowish pace of the start of the second season and seemed to fail to capitalise on last week's episode. While there are a few great scenes that stand out, and certainly the flash backs are amongst the most interesting that they have been in a while, it still doesn't make up for Thea/Roy/Sin plots which are slow and drawn out. While the plans for the Thea/Roy/Sin relationship seems to have something planned down the track, at the moment the scenes dedicated to that specific plot feel like they bring down the rest of the episodes, so hopefully it leads to something worth while. This episodes villain, The Mayor, is a return to the standard Arrow villain after last week's introduction of the incredibly terrifying Dollmaker. Arrow seemingly has an infatuation with the more "physically present" bad guys, and The Mayor is just another in a long string of these bad guys that try to take control of the city, only to lose in a fight to Arrow and be either killed or arrested. While the Dollmaker's appearance brought hope that the writers of the show would vary up the villains a bit more, and potentially introduce a more psychological villain to the mix. After stopping The Mayor from stealing another shipment of army grade machine guns and stripping the gang members of their guns, The Mayor makes his first public appearance, crashing a "Cash for Guns" exchange hosted by Oliver and Sebastian Blood, announcing that nothing goes on in the Glades without the express consent of The Mayor. After killing a few officers, wounding Sin and almost killing Thea and Blood, who were saved by Roy and Oliver respectively. Oliver enlists the help of The Canary to intercept the next shipment, and the two work together as an effective team and manage to not only intercept the shipment, but also allow the police to arrest all the gang members, including the Mayor. Arrow 2 4 Edited 1 Within the first minutes of this weeks episode, Oliver manages to finally track the Canary down. After Felicity makes a connection between the Canary and Laurel, Oliver tracks the Canary down watching Laurel at her apartment, he manages to trap her with one of his trick arrows. The two have a short discussion in which the Canary reveals that she knows that it's Oliver under the hood, having recognised the Green Hood that they mentioned in the news. After unmasking the Canary and realising it to be Laurel's sister, Sara Lance, whom Oliver presumed to be dead. While the revelation of the character was nothing new to many of the audience members, it certainly plays an interesting point for where the writers will take the Canary plot, and certainly what this means for the Canary/Arrow partnership that was established in this episode. Aside from the revelation of her identity, and the two fighting together, the rest of Oliver and Sara's conversations revolve around whether or not she lets her family know that she is both alive and back in Starling City. While Sara seems to be reluctant at first, it seems that by the end of the episode, she consents to Oliver's request taking his hand. Certainly, the answer of what that last scene meant, and how she will break the news to her family members will be revealed in the upcoming episodes. The flashbacks in this episode continued on from Oliver waking up on the boat just off the coast of the island. Oliver was soon interrogated by a member of the boats crew, who asked Oliver about the graves on the island, what had happened to the soldiers on the Island and how many other people were on the island with him. After Oliver refused to answer, the crew member shot Oliver in the stomach, seemingly leaving him to die for not talking. However, in the later flashback it is revealed that the crew have given him tools to take the bullet out and stitch himself up, and the gunshot was later revealled to be a sort of rite of passage on the ship, with the other prisoners having the same bullet wound as Oliver. After recovering from the gunshot, Oliver is removed from his cell and placed in a larger empty room. After still struggling to get up, Oiver realises that someone else has joined him in the room, and as the camera pans up, the person is Sara Lance, showing that Oliver had known that she had survived the Queen's Gambit's capsizing. Arrow 2 4 Edited 2 Finally, there are other numerous smaller plots that are given some air time, including the growing relationship between Thea, Roy and Sin, as well as Laurel's seeming descent into drug abuse and alcoholism. After Sin spots Roy at the Cash for Guns event in the Glades, she makes fun of him for dating heiress Thea Queen, but after The Mayor crashes the event, Sin is shoot and Roy gets Thea to get help, taking her to Starling City hospital. Roy then seems dedicated to staying by her bedside, with Thea also contending to stay there despite not really knowing Sin that well. After Sin wakes up, she thanks Roy, then insults him to Thea by calling him an idiot, to which Thea agrees and Sin states that she likes Thea, seemingly seeling the relationship between the three. In another minor plot point, Laurel is recovering from the events of the previous episode, after being kidnapped by the psychotic Dollmaker criminal as well as coming to the realisation that she was the reason that Tommy died, and that it wasn't the Arrow's fault. Laurel had a marked decrease in scenes in this episode, allowing for the dramatic use of the fact that she rarely is seen without a glass of wine or champagne throughout her entire screen time, often taking big unsightly gulps as she is approached by another character. The whole alcoholism seems rushed, and copied straight from her father, but the writers did a fantastic job splicing a scene of Laurel popping pills and drinking with Quentin Lance at an AA meeting, with the juxtaposition of Laurel's spiralling descent into drug abuse contrasted with Quentin's attempts to recover from his previous issues with alcohol. Episode Highlights Oliver and Quentin's talk, with Sara listening Laurel's pill scene, spliced with Quentin's AA meeting Arrow and Canary working together
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While Edan has predominantly studied History and Politics, he also has a deep affection for all things sports, and has been a fan of the wrestling since he was a child, and often had several of the professional wrestlers moves tried out on him by his older brother. Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Edan is a passionate supporter of the Carlton Football Club in the AFL, and is a fan of Kane in the WWF/WWE. Edan also watches The Newsroom, Game of Thrones, Community, How I Met Your Mother, The League, Big Bang Theory, and Arrow.