Arrow “Crucible” Episode Review
Another week, another great episode of Arrow. At this point I’m starting to feel redundant talking about how good this season has been, but the truth is Arrow has really has been fantastic so far. The writers really deserve a lot of credit for continuing to push the show forward with every episode. Not content to slowly move the show along with little bits of overarching story sprinkled in-between villain of the week episodes, Arrow’s story driven pace has been much more along the lines of a shorter season cable show like Game of Thrones (minus the sex and extreme violence of course), than your typical 22 episode network show. The result so far has been a fantastic movie style storytelling, but on a much larger scale. Every week has stayed focused on not only moving the main story forward, but expanding it. It also seems like every episode has a big reveal that changes the show, and this weeks “Crucible” was no different.
Sara Lance Lives!!!….and she’s Black Canary. Wait…What? Comics tend to bring back characters from the dead fairly regularly, and with Arrow starting to lean heavily towards is comic roots, I probably shouldn’t have been so surprised that the youngest Lance sister is back, but I still was. The death of Sara Lance had played such a big part in Oliver’s transformation to the Arrow that I never thought for a second that she wasn’t actually dead. Even more, we find out that Oliver has known this whole time that she didn’t die on the Queens Gambit. This small detail is given even more life as we see from the island flashbacks that she is also part of the crew of the boat that Oliver is now captive on. It was a great way to add new drama and intrigue to the already great island flashback scenes, all the while adding another great wrinkle to the present story. Add in last weeks big reveal that the League of Shadows is hunting her, and Black Canary looks to be a much more interesting character than I originally thought she might be.
Speaking of the Lance’s, it looks like all the drama is finally taking its toll on Laurel. She now apparently has a drinking and possible pill problem. I haven’t been the biggest fan of her characters lack of direction this year, and this felt like yet another attempt to have her bring something to the table this season. Giving her a drinking problem and having it suddenly threaten to ruin her life felt more like a public service announcement of the dangers of alcohol than an actual direction for her to go this year however. To be fair though, I’d probably be hitting the sauce pretty hard too if I had deal with everything Laurel’s been through lately. Hopefully she will be given something important to do soon, her character is one of the few not having a good second year. Quentin on the other hand, is starting to steal the scenes he’s in. He had some great moments as the concerned father, even going so far as to ask Oliver for help with Laurel. Considering he still blames Oliver for the not so dead Sara’s death, it really emphasized how far he is willing to go to help his daughter. Also having him talk about Laurel’s drinking and pill popping at his own AA meeting was a nice character moment, and helped validate his worries about her spiral. Season two has really worked hard to make sure the Lance family are a big part of the story, with the big Black Canary reveal I think we now know why. It should be interesting to see how Sara not being dead effects the Lance clan, and how it changes all of their relationship with Oliver.
The rest of “Crucible” was pretty packed as usual. The villain this week was the Mayor, a resident of the Glads, who rose to power after the earthquake by stealing guns from the Army and using them to cause all kind of chaos. He wasn’t as bad as some of the previous two dimensional bad guys this show has had, but he really didn’t bring anything new to the show either. His one big contribution was to shoot Sin, Black Canary’s sidekick. I only wish he had killed her character, she seems pointless to the show and I don’t know why they keep trying to force something between her and Roy. Other things worth mentioning was a reference to S.T.A.R. Labs and them working on a particle accelerator. With the Flash on the horizon, I’d bet money that has something to do with his superhero transformation. The other big reveal this week was something that I had already suspected, Sebastian Blood is actually a bad guy. More than that, he has the makings of a season two supervilian. He has a really evil mask, a cool supervillian name: Brother Blood, and if that isn’t enough he also has tricked Oliver into thinking he really wants to help fix the city. Seriously though, I am interested to see what his serum does, and does his scarecrow looking mask have anything to do with the actual scarecrow or maybe the League Of Shadows.
This weeks “Crucible” was another great episode in what has already become a better season than we got in Arrow’s first year. With yet another series changing reveal that Sara Lance is alive and a superhero, the writers once again prove that they are dedicated to pushing this show in new directions and that they’re not afraid to bring back the dead to do it.
I give “Crucible” 8.5/10 reasons Laurel should lay off the sauce