Brian West

Arrow “The Scientist” Episode Review

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Barry Allen has finally come to Starling City…..
The Scientist
Spoilers Ahead…..You’ve been warned….

The episode we have all been waiting for since it was first announced that The Flash was going to be introduced on Arrow has finally arrived, but was it everything we hoped it would be? Of course it was, this IS Arrow we’re talking about here.

“The Scientist” is the first half of a two-part mid-season finale written by the great DC comic book everything, Geoff Johns. Like most two part episodes the first hour tends to be more set up than payoff and this weeks Arrow pretty much followed that formula, but man was the set up great. A ton of the multiple story-lines that the writers have been juggling all season are finally starting to come into focus and we finally get some answers to a couple of the big questions raised in this first part of season two. Plus there was the small matter of some new character that showed up this week named Barry Allen…..

How cool was it that the first scene this week involved a lightning flash across Starling City’s skyline? Even with the news that The Flash was no longer coming to Arrow (at least in costume), my excitement level was still super high for the introduction of a core member of the Justice League, and Barry Allen didn’t disappoint. One of the great things about having a comic writer like Geoff Johns on board for the show is that he knows these characters inside and out, and because of that a lot of the same Barry Allen from the comics made its way into the Arrow’s version of the character. Barry’s talent for always being late, his job at the Central City police department, his desire to solve his mothers murder and exonerate his father are all major parts of the Barry Allen character that made their way onto this weeks show. The Scientist The best nod to the Flash’s origin though had to be when Barry stopped right in the middle of reorganizing a shelf of chemicals and looked up as he heard lightning striking. Since that is how he originally became the Flash in the comics, it was a fun tip of the hat to the comics, and further proof that they are going a different way to give Barry his powers. Perhaps his speed is going to come from a certain particle accelerator that they have managed to reference in every episode this year and three times this week, guess we’ll find out soon enough. But even without powers, Barry Allen has a lot of
skill as a scientist/forensic investigator, and I thought Johns did an excellent job showcasing that this week. “The Scientist” was a great introduction to Barry Allen, and it laid the groundwork for the character to release his inner superhero next week.

I see now why CW decided to go ahead and pull the Flash episode of Arrow this year and instead go forward with an actual Flash pilot, Grant Gustin killed it as Barry Allen. I know of lot of people, including me, had doubts when Gustin was originally cast (mostly due to age), but he really did do a good job of not only making the character extremely likeable, but more importantly he showed that there was a hero brewing beneath the surface just waiting for the right moment, or accident, to emerge. I thought the show did a great job acknowledging (quite humorously) the fact that Gustin looks so young. Having a younger Barry Allen than the comic version shouldn’t really be a big deal, but given how young Grant does look it was fun to see the show poke a little fun at it. I’m still not sure how Gustin is gonna look in a the Scarlet tights and mask, but after seeing him this week I’m ready to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Even with the Barry Allen intro there was still much more happening this week. The biggest one was that Arrow is finally starting to connect it’s flashback story’s to the present. For the most part the flashbacks have always been their own separate story that tells the journey Oliver took to becoming the Arrow. Now there have been story parallels to the present, and most recently characters like Sara Lance have shown up from Oliver’s past, but this week all the current events tied into Oliver’s time on the island. I liked seeing Oliver’s reaction to the Miraclo serum resurfacing, he clearly didn’t like having something from his past pop back up unexpectedly. I also liked that the Miraclo serum flashback storyline is tied into Brother Blood and his use of the drug on his enhanced super soldiers. I knew it was only a matter of time before the writers started crossing the flashback stories over to the present, but I thought it would be Deathstroke who finally crossed that line. With Slade getting his own Miraclo injection this week, that might not be far off either. I thought the Thea/Roy/Sin sub plot of looking for one of Sin’s missing friend was fairly pointless, but it did lead to the surprising result of Oliver shooting an arrow through Roy’s leg. Call me crazy, but I don’t think that’s going to help Roy want to help Oliver, let alone become his sidekick any time soon. I’m starting to wonder if the Arrow is actually going to ever have a full fledged partner. Lastly I was a little disappointed how the Malcolm Merlyn story unfolded this week. With such a great reveal that he was alive and well last week, it was fairly anticlimactic that he just slinked away after finding out Moira told Ra’s al Ghul he was alive and where to find him. First of all, how did Moira find a way to contact Ra’s so fast, something tells me he’s not listed in the phone book, and secondly why does he care that Merlyn destroyed the Glades. Isn’t that kinda what the League of Assassins do anyway? Small complaints, but hopefully things that will be answered in the second half of the season.
Arrow has been so good this season that it was only fitting that we got a great mid-season finale. “The Scientist” had a lot hype and expectations surrounding it, and as usual the writers didn’t let us down. Along with giving us a great Barry Allen, we got a Kord industries tease (Blue Beetle coming to the show would be awesome), a lot of story movement, and answers to some questions that have been lingering all season that made this episode feel much more like the first part of a season finale than a mid-season one. With a super powered transformation imminent and possibly our first look at Deathstroke happening, I can’t wait to see the second part of the Barry Allen saga, next Wednesday cant get here soon enough.

I give “The Scientist” 8.5/10 reasons Barry Allen deserves his own show and why next week needs to get here……in a Flash

What did you think of Grant Gustin as Barry Allen? Ready to see him as the Flash? Sound off below and let me know what you think!!!

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