Brian West

Arrow “Blind Spot” Episode Review

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I prefer swords………
After last weeks misfire, Arrow really needed a strong bounce back episode to get the proverbial ball rolling again from it’s long winter break. “Blind Spot” had it’s chance to do just that on Wednesday, and boy did it deliver. Building on the events set up last week, we got to see some pretty big story movement on Oliver’s hunt for Brother Blood, Roy’s possible transformation into a sidekick, and the first look at what Oliver is really up against this season. I’ll give you a hint, it starts with Death and ends with Stroke.

Ever since the first time the Deathstroke mask was teased way back in the beginning of season one, fans have been waiting for the arrival of Slade Wilson in full costume, that time has finally come. Even though we only got a small glimpse of the assassin in action, it was enough to get the point across…Deathstroke is a baddass and Oliver Queen is in serious trouble. The show has done an excellent job of fleshing out Slade Wilson in the island flashbacks, but all we’ve gotten since his arrival into the present story is an almost Godfather like presence, and the knowledge that he’s been the one pulling Brother Blood’s strings. Blood up to this point has still acted a lot more like a partner in crime than an underling, clearly the writers felt it was time to change that. Watching Deathstroke easily dispatch Blood’s henchman and showing him his place in the pecking order might have been one of the best moments this year on Arrow. If there was any confusion where this season was heading, it should officially be gone, Deathstroke and Oliver are headed for one nasty showdown. All I know, judging from the end of the episode, Oliver is gonna need more than just his skills to walk away from this fight.

On a side note, I thought Deathstroke’s Arrow version of his mask/suit was a great update for the show. It looked every bit as menacing as the comic version, and it is a big improvement over the mask worn by Slade’s late partner from the season one island flashbacks. I do wish the show would’ve found a way to work in the Ninja Turtle style mask ties that always hung from the back of Deathstroke’s mask in the comic, they were always such a cool visual. s030a-122-arw-110-07 Also, after seeing the Deathstroke updated suit, I’m starting to hope that the show updates Oliver’s Arrow suit to the more armored look of DC’s 52 version of Arrow. It’s something I just think would look great on the show, and besides we don’t want the bad guys to start dressing better than Oliver do we?

With the Deathstroke reveal not till the end of the episode, the majority of the story this week followed Brother Blood and Oliver’s hunt for him which took a surprising turn. After the discovery that Blood’s aunt was actually his mom, and that he was the one who killed his father, Sebastian was in full clean up mode this week. The opening sequence of the show was one of the creepier one’s I’ve seen, the way Blood forgave his mom only to show back up in his mask to kill her, really went a long way to further vilifying Blood. Seems like the writers are doing everything possible to make sure we really enjoy it with Sebastian Blood finally takes an arrow to the chest. I’m still having a hard time though with Oliver’s inability to see Blood for who is really is though. This week in particular focused on the fact that Oliver doesn’t trust anyone, and it’s frustrating that even though all the seemingly easy connections are there, the usually smart Oliver Queen can’t put two and two together. It was also funny to hear Felicity say the same thing I’ve been thinking, “His last names Blood, it can’t be a good sign”. Blood using one of his lackeys as a Brother Blood decoy was a smart move though, Laurel had finally convinced Arrow that Sebastian was Blood and he needed someone else to take the fall. But like I said before, it was very frustrating to see Oliver buy into the decoy so easily. Usually when everything magically falls into place like that, the writers do a better job of making Oliver more suspicious. Hopefully going forward this will not become a common practice, dumbing down the Hero doesn’t work for long.

Last week we finally got to see Laurel do something that was actually a good part of the show, this week she did even more than that, she reminded us what a great part of the cast she actually is. This was Katie Cassidy’s chance to finally shine this season, and she absolutely killed it. arrow-blind-spot I have been very critical of Laurel Lance this season. He character hasn’t done much this year, and more than that, the scenes and stories she’s been involved in have been some of the worst part of the show this season. Last week it looked as if the writers were finally starting to take steps to help to fix that problem, which they continued in this episode. It was a great having Laurel be the one to figure out Blood was evil, and even better seeing her try and help Arrow prove it. I liked seeing her hold her own in the fight scenes, which makes me wonder if the Black Canary title could still be in her future. I was also glad we finally got some story movement on her pill popping. Seeing her drug problem become more than a side story brought a very real element to her character, and the moments with her dad coming to terms with his daughter being an addict were pretty heartfelt. By the end of the episode, you felt Laurel’s desperation that no one believed her about Blood, and the destructive toll her addiction had taken on her. The only question left is if this is the bottom, or does Laurel still have further to fall? Either way, Cassidy and the writers have turned a character on virtual life support back into an intriguing part of the show, well done…well done.

Last but not least, Roy has finally become a sidekick…or at least Oliver has agreed to train him. With his powers starting to take a mental toll on him, Roy decided to enlist Sin, who in my opinion has the distinction of being the worst recurring character on the show, to help him find criminals to pulverize. Of course when he almost beats a hooker slashing bad guy to death, Oliver finally decides it might be best to train him. We’ll see how this goes, I’m hoping this doesn’t turn into a predictable side show, Red Arrow has some pretty cool moment from the comics and it’d be fun to see them on this show. Shouldn’t have long to wait though, looks like Roy starts his training next week.

We finally got a week that got the season two tradition of great episodes back on track. With an epic reveal of a classic DC villain and a wrap up of Oliver’s hunt for Brother Blood, “Blind Spot” already had done enough to be another great Arrow episode. However, in an effort to make up for a sub-par episode last week, I can only guess that the writers upped the ante by also finally giving our hero a sidekick, and they also finally gave Laurel Lance a chance to remind us why she’s great on this show.

I give “Blind Spot” 9/10 ways Deathstroke can kill you….with one eye closed.

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