After last week’s Arrow review was published I was genuinely surprised by the response. Most out there on the interwebz loved last week’s episode, where I was less impressed. My biggest problem was its complete reversal of the recent developments about Brother Blood, basically halting any progress The Arrow (Stephen Amell) made into that investigation. Blood doesn’t appear in “Tremors“, confirming my concern over any recent payoff on that front.
Yet unlike last week’s tiresome episode, I found “Tremors” to be more enjoyable–shocking, I know, considering how much it focused on angry, angsty Roy (Colton Haynes).
Roy. Roy, Roy, Roy. Ever since his introduction I’ve struggled to give a damn about the character. A misguided teen from a bad neighborhood who so desperately wants to right the wrongs around him but is completely incapable of doing so without fucking everything up. It began interestingly enough, and even though his budding romance with Oliver’s sister Thea (Willa Holland) was at times insufferable, I was hopeful we’d see him rise to the occasion and become a true partner to The Arrow sooner than later. Just as his name so obviously suggested he would be.
Then, nothing happened. Episode after episode Roy did nothing but whine about wanting to help the vigilante. Whenever he did try and help, he got his ass handed to him. There was no effort on Roy’s part to better himself, no working towards becoming more useful. Just typical, angsty, teenage bullshit. It was infuriating! Oliver should have gotten rid of him ages ago and enlisted Thea to become his sidekick, as her nickname “Speedy” made me all too hopeful she would be.
Finally, at the end of last week’s episode The Arrow agreed to train Roy. Only after he was infused with the Miracle serum and basically gifted super powers, but whatever. Roy doesn’t need to know Oliver’s interest in him comes more from being concerned he’ll go off the deep end like Slade than actually wanting to bring on a protege. Now Roy has the opportunity to become a hero, to be useful for once. And what happens? He fucking whines about all the training being stupid!? GAHH!! You’re finally getting everything you ever wanted you little shit! Can’t you possibly just be happy for once!?
Having said all that, last night there were glimpses of hope Roy may actually be evolving a persona beyond whiny teenager (whenever he’s not Hulk-ed out with rage), and for that I’m happy. All I’ve ever wanted was for Roy to fulfill his potential, or hell, prove he even has potential. Haynes’ performance finally showed a little nuance, he brought some levity as well as sensitivity to his usual brooding demeanor. And now that Oliver has revealed himself to Roy in order to fully gain his trust I’m looking forward to their developing relationship. Will he every wield a bow, or any weapon, and transform into Arsenal? Not sure. I’d love to see them take that route but I imagine have super strength and speed negate the need for weapons.
Plus, you gotta love that they brought back the whole ‘slapping a bowl of water’ technique.
Otherwise, “Tremors” played out as an episode riddled with setup. There were the beginnings of Moira’s (Susanna Thompson) campaign for mayor against Blood. Something I can’t imagine will go smoothly, what with Moira having played a role in obliterating a good chunk of the city and its population. The peril this week involved the theft of Malcolm Merlyn’s prototype for the earthquake-inducing machine. Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White) returned, having been hired for the job. It was just about as exciting as last time he appeared on Arrow: couple good fight scenes, then he was back in jail. Except this time he received a special visitor–AMANDA WALLER! And she invited him to join – wait for it – the SUICIDE SQUAD!
Arrow sure has been littering this season with winks and nods to DC lore and its enough to make a fan’s heart swell with pride. On top of the Suicide Squad name-drop, the folks looking to steal that earthquake device were from the country of Markovia. This is a fictional European country in the DC Universe where the characters Geo-Force and the Teen Titan, Terra, hail from. You’ll notice both have earth-based powers of manipulation so that was a nice little touch.
And why not save the best for last? And by best, I mean worst. Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) off the wagon again. Not that I think she was ever on a wagon, or anywhere near a wagon before this episode, but there you go. I railed against the ‘Laurel’s an addict’ story line enough last week so I’ll keep this brief. I cannot recall any point in this season where Laurel’s “addiction” to prescription pills affected her job performance. The only time I remember it becoming relevant was in last week’s episode when Blood used it to discredit her. And now she’s being disbarred!? Guess they’re looking to speed up her downfall mighty quick as Laurel dismissed her father’s offers of help and spent much of the episode black out drunk. At least there was a ray of hope–Sara’s (Caity Lotz) back! Please say she can straighten Laurel out. I’m so tired of her being victim of lazy writing.
Next week Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) – daughter of Ra’s and sister to Talia – arrives in Starling City and I cannot wait to see her fuck shit up. I expect lots of cool fighting Arrow, ’cause last night’s two minor scrapes between The Arrow and Bronze Tiger didn’t cut it. I’m talking a big brawl–Arrow, Canary, Deathstroke, Roy, Nyssa, everyone!
Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8pm on the CW.