Brian West

Arrow “Identity” Episode Review

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It’s a bad week to be a FEMA truck driver…….
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Spoilers are coming…You have been warned….

Well that was a busy episode. “Identity” does a good job of continuing to set up the many different plot lines that are gonna be woven into this new season. We also get our first real look at what this season will seemingly focus on, Oliver Queens journey to becoming a hero, and a look into the dual identities he must have to get there. Last year he was a vigilante crossing names off a list, now he knows that he must become more if he want to change his city. We also get a few more bad guys to add to the ever growing list of problems Oliver Queen is going to have to overcome if he wants to become a hero. A hero that unfortunately still goes by the name of the Hood.

After a little bit of a rough beginning, this ended up being a strong episode for Roy Harper. For the most part he has been a good addition to the show, but the same routine of him diving headfirst into super dangerous situations and then get yelled at by Thea for doing it, was starting to get really old. I’m glad Oliver/the Hood, has finally reached out and given him something to do. I also think its a smart decision to take the no rush approach to Roy inevitably becoming Oliver’s sidekick. No need to hurry Roy into the Red Hood quite yet, right now Oliver has enough sidekicks anyway.
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Laurel also had a much better showing than she did in the premiere, and we got better chance to explore her reasons behind wanting the Hood unmasked and thrown into jail. Her hatred did appear much more genuine than I expected, and any idea I had of this being something that would be resolved quickly is gone. Even with the extra screen time spent fleshing out the reasons behind her Vigilante flip flop, the whole thing still does feels forced. The reasons she hates him just doesn’t hold water. I get being upset over Tommy’s death, but blaming the Hood when everyone knows it was Malcolm Merlyn who was responsible for the Glades destruction, just doesn’t make sense. I like that the writers are trying to give her character a different role than the damsel in distress that she had more often than not in season one, but I still think she has a long way to go before she becomes more than just the girl that Oliver is still in love with.

This weeks island sequences gave us a little more to sink our teeth into than the short flashbacks from the premiere. Slade, Shado, and Oliver are much more of a team than when we last saw them last season, and Oliver and Shado are now an item. Like last season, the island flashbacks are always great and do a great job of telling a separate yet intertwining story. This week is no different. Slade’s talk with Shado about the island splitting Oliver into two different people was right in line of the episodes theme of dual identities. We also know that eventually Oliver ends up all alone on the island, this week we might’ve got our first look into what might be the cause. Slade doesn’t seem to happy about Shado and Ollie as a couple, and he already doesn’t appear to like being a third wheel. This will be an interesting plot to watch unfold.
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Even with the story elements of “Identity” being really strong, this episode had some really bad moments. The introduction of the new villain, Bronze Tiger, and reintroduction of China White was done really poorly. Its seemed like a waste to have two good villains like that show up to rob trucks filled with hospital supplies. Why are the triads even interested in medical supplies? There was zero plot development for this part of the story and the two villains are given almost no lines. On the plus side, the fight scenes were good and I think Bronze Tiger will be a good villain addition going forward, but it just really felt strange to introduce him in this episode. Now lets talk about those poor FEMA truck drivers. I know that the Glades are dangerous, but I think killing like eight or nine government workers would draw some police involvement. I know at the very least I wouldn’t keep sending out trucks with no escort if they are all being robbed and their drivers murdered. The whole thing was one giant palm face moment. The last thing I’m not sure about is Oliver’s new trick arrows. I know that he has vowed not to kill anymore, but an arrow that ties your hand to a post….lets just hope the boxing glove arrow from the cartoons doesn’t make an appearance at some point. Hopefully the writers can come up with creative ways to subdue enemies without going to far into the ridiculous.

All in all we got a good, if slightly unbalanced second episode. “Identity” delivered on some great action and humor, and really stepped up on the fight scenes. Hopefully this wont be the last we see of China White and Bronze Tiger, I think they could be more interesting characters if given a better reason to be there. I’m also interested to see more of Sebastian Blood. Is he really a Glades Activist or does he have more devious intentions planned. After just two episodes I’m already getting excited to see how this year unfolds. Even with it’s not so great moments, “Identity” is another solid episode and succeeds in continuing to lay the groundwork for what looks to be a very good season.

I give it 7.5/10 reasons why FEMA truck drivers deserve to make the big bucks.

What did you think about this weeks episode? Sound off below!!

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