Brian West

Arrow “Tremors” Episode Review

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Do you have one of your red hoodies? You’re kidding right?…
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With last weeks Deathstroke introduction really putting an exclamation point on the Slade/Brother Blood storyline, the writers have decided to shift gears and instead focus on starting to move along some of the other various plot lines that have been lingering around all season. Not that this is a bad thing though, this season of Arrow has introduced so many new plots and potential story lines that the show needed to start dealing with them at some point before the season ended. This weeks “Tremors” does just that and gives many of the supporting characters some much needed development and story progression, and in typical Arrow fashion even manages to throw in some surprise curve-balls and new future story lines.
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The main story for “Tremors” surrounded the training of Roy Harper. Much like this weeks episode, it started slow but ended on a strong note. There was a clear progression of Roy and Oliver relationship from beginning to end. What started as Arrow trying to save Roy as atonement for his failure to save Slade, became Oliver getting a second chance at redemption by opening up to and in the end trusting Roy . I liked the way the episode built up to Oliver revealing his identity to Roy in order to save Thea, it had a much bigger emotional punch to it. I am glad that they didn’t stretch this over a few episodes though, Roy was a power keg waiting to go off and it was clear from the beginning that training him as the Arrow wasn’t going to work, Oliver had to gain his trust early, and that was never going to happen with a secret identity. It still feels like it’s going to be a little bit before Roy dons a suit and bow, but at least he’s now part of Team Arrow. Consider the ball officially rolling toward Red Arrow becoming Oliver’s full time sidekick.

I’m starting to think that Katie Cassidy did something to personally offend the writers. No one has suffered more this season then Laurel Lance, and no character has also been more unlikeable. After the strong showing the last couple weeks, I really thought the worst was going to be behind her, apparently not. Rock bottom for Laurel might finally be here, and it wasn’t pretty. I guess it wasn’t bad enough for her to lose her job, her credibility, and have her father find out she’s a pill addict. No, this week she gets disbarred and can no longer be a lawyer, is an ass to her father as he attempts to get her help for her addictions, and then finally bottoms out at Club Verdant in front of Oliver and Thea, all the while being so unlikable that her character has finally turned into that person that even though you feel bad for them, you still just want them to go away. I really hope this is actually rock bottom for her, Laurel is a good character for the show and this story arc has not been a good one for her. Hopefully Oliver bringing in Sara to help her sister will finally end this dreadful storyline. I’m also hoping that this might be the start of Laurel eventually taking the mantle from her sister and actually becoming Black Canary. For those that don’t know, the comic version of the Black Canary is Laurel, not Sara. Now that I think about it, I don’t think Black Canary even has a sister. I guess if Arrow sticks to the comics, things aren’t gonna end well for Sara.
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One of the biggest surprises for me this week was the direction that Moira Queen’s story took. Having her run for mayor against Sebastian Blood was an interesting move by the writers. If you can put aside the fact that her name is linked to the destruction of the Glades, and the deaths of hundreds of people, having her run for office makes a lot of sense for her character. Moira has always been a strong character, but combine that with her smarts, her ability to lie and keep secrets, add in the fact she isn’t afraid to shed a little blood to accomplish her goals, and she does start to sound like a perfect politician. Of course this now puts her right in the cross-hairs of Slade and Blood, I guess it’s a good thing the Arrow is her son. One thing this new storyline does do though, is it starts the process of tying all the characters and their stories together, and my guess is that this is what will lead to Oliver’s eventual discovery that Blood is bad and Slade’s still alive.

The least interesting part of “Tremors” also ended up teasing something pretty big going forward. The Bronze Tiger made his second appearance on Arrow this season, and while this showing was better than his last, it was still pretty forgettable. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked, Michael Jae White isn’t really known for his great acting skills(Black Dynamite aside), he’s known more for his martial arts and ability to look and act like a bad ass. So I would say that he did well for what he was brought in to do, and at least he got a few more lines to say this time around. The most interesting part of his appearance though was what he got asked to join at the end of the episode. Amanda Waller has finally returned, and she is indeed assembling the Suicide Squad. With Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, and Waller all having been introduced on Arrow, it seemed likely that this might be where the writers were headed, guess now we know. It will be interesting to see how close to the comics the Squad will be, and what role they play on Arrow.

With season two at the halfway mark, a lot of the story lines are starting to play themselves out. We got to see a preview of Roy as a super powered sidekick, Moira gets a chance to pay back Starling City for the death and destruction she helped cause, and Laurel’s death spiral looks to finally be at an end. The writers are starting to tie everything together in a way that should make the second half of this season pretty epic to watch. Plus there is that whole Suicide Squad thing to look forward to. “Tremors” started a little slow, but with a really strong finish ended up being another great episode in an already great season.

I give “Tremors” 8/10 reasons that Laurel Lance really needs an intervention

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