Review: Arrow – “Blast Radius”

Have no fear Arrow fans! With its mid-season premiere, Arrow proves once again that using a bow and arrows makes it impossible for foes with guns to aim properly. And thank heavens, since it would mean pretty much instant death for our hero if his enemies could actually aim their guns. “But was the episode worth watching?” you ask. (Totally not sorry about putting words in your mouth.) Does Stephen Amell have a chiseled body and magical sparkling eyes?! Of course it was worth watching! So silly of you to ask.

But seriously, it was a good episode. So you should watch it.

***SPOILERS BELOW***
 

Blast RadiusSo, before we talk about how awesome the episode was, let’s talk about how annoying Laurel is. After nearly damaging the muscles in my eyes from rolling them every time Laurel said she and Oliver were wrong for each other, I now have to grit my teeth through each of her “the Arrow is so evil” speeches. I mean, seriously, how many times does a guy have to save you before you get some appreciation? I sighed with relief when the writers thankfully changed their minds about giving her a drinking problem, but cringed this episode when they decided to make her a pill addict instead. However, annoying as Laurel may be, she has the good sense not to trust Sebastian Blood, which is more than I can say for absolutely everyone else. I’m glad that, for once, her judgement is right on target.

So the show opens with the Arrow chasing down a car. The car charges him, and the driver starts shooting. Does the Arrow move? Does the Arrow even flinch? No. He just stands there calmly. Why? The Bow & Arrow Proximity Principle, duh! It clearly states that the closer you come to a shadowy figure with a bow and arrow, the worse your aim gets when wielding a gun. (Newtonian physics. Look it up!) Anywho, with the proximity principle in full effect, the Arrow catches up with the guy and questions him about the guy in the skull mask. But to no avail. None of the “low-lifes” in Crescent Circle have seen the guy. (Maybe ’cause you’re looking in the quaintly named Crescent Circle. I’m imagining a two-car garage and bay windows.)

 Blast Radius

Oliver, still working on his PR, throws a party at Verdant in support of Sebastian Blood, thus proving that Oliver still has possession of his bad-judge-of-character award. You’d think he’d have learned not to trust anyone after being double-crossed so many times on the island. Or after finding out Malcolm Merlyn was the big bad last year. Seriously Oliver, don’t trust anyone. Laurel tries to tell him there’s something up with Blood, but Oliver doesn’t give it any credence. However, to be fair, I wouldn’t value her opinion very highly either if I had just spent the past few months listening to her bad mouth my vigilante alter-ego.

After a short, Blood-esque monologue, a bomber blows up several floors of a government building. And because the Arrow is a firefighter likes to save people, he goes to get the survivors out of the flaming building. The next day he decides, perhaps on a whim, that the Blood-esque bomber is completely unconnected to skull-mask guy. Then Felicity walks in, called away from her potential lover’s hospital bedside by a newsletter about the bombing. She and Oliver share a long, awkward stare before getting back to work. (Time out. Felicity got a “newsletter” about the bombing? Like, some random citizen puts out an email blast every time Starling City has a disaster? Weird.)

The Arrow is having a roof-top meeting with DetectiveOfficer Lance- where Lance asks the Arrow to investigate his fellow officers- when the bomber strikes again. This time the Starling City Municipal Building. When Felicity is given the digital slip, Oliver blames her saying she’s letting herself be distracted. (Jealous much? You’re the one who said you wanted to be “just friends!”) I must say I’m glad that Felicity stands up for herself and tells Oliver to pull his head out of his ass. By the way, I’m not the only one who thinks that if they’d been allowed to continue their argument, they would have ended up making out, right?

Blast RadiusAfter Oliver sees Blood announcing a rally on TV, the Arrow visits Blood to tell him to call off the rally. Blood, of course, insists on going anyway. Because, you know, saying you refuse to acknowledge terrorists makes all your events bomb-proof. Oh, wait, it doesn’t. *shakes head* Felicity gets a lead on the bomber, but since the Arrow can’t be in two places at once, he goes after the bomber and sends Dig to the rally. The bomber, of course, has set up a trap for the Arrow so that he has no chance to diffuse the bomb at the rally. But Felicity guides him to take out the fuse box thus powering down the trap.

The bomber shows up to the rally (duh) and shoots Dig (which ends up just being a “through-and-through” in the shoulder. Nothing that could’ve hit a major artery or will require months of physical therapy.) while he and Felicity are trying to disable the bomb. Then he is pursued by the Arrow on a motorcycle, actually outrunning the motorcyle for a bit. When the Arrow does catch up however, even at close range, the bomber can’t shoot the Arrow. Which he totally should have expected because of the proximity principle. (Good thing all the bad guys don’t know physics!)

Oliver sends Dig home to recuperate, then apologizes to Felicity and clears up everything. I haven’t been a jerk because I’m in love with you, I’ve just come to depend on you. And you’re not just my employee, you’re my partner. Yep, everything clear now. (Now accepting bets for when they finally hook up.)

Blast RadiusIn the Roy/Thea storyline, Roy is feeling the super-human effects of the mirakuru he was dosed with and trying to hide it. Thea sees him save Moira during the attempted rally bombing, so she knows something’s up. And then Thea sees that his arm is miraculously healed. But instead of just fessing up, Roy storms out, choosing to try to ignore the fact that he’s nearly invincible. Because hiding things from Thea always works out for him.

Laurel, meanwhile, has refused to stop looking into Blood. She traces the clues all the way to finding out that Maya Reznik isn’t Blood’s crazy aunt, but his quite sane mother that he’s hiding in an asylum so that she can’t talk about how he killed his father.

At the same time Laurel is being told she can’t trust Sebastian Blood, the Arrow is shaking hands on a deal to work with him. For some strange reason, the Arrow respects and commends Blood for potentially endangering hundreds of people by refusing to call off his rally. (Yeah, I don’t get it, either.) So now both Oliver and alter-ego Arrow are working with Blood and against skull-mask guy. Yep.
 Blast Radius

In the Island story line, Sarah, Slade and Oliver have just finished burying Shado. Oliver decides he needs to tell Slade that it’s his fault Shado is dead. Sarah tells him it’s a bad idea since he’s been dosed with mirakuru. Then, still wide-eyed and naive island-Oliver asks Slade why he’s going to the plane to gear up. He says he wants to kill Ivo, and when Sarah tries to dissuade him, Slade freaks out and tries to kill Oliver. (Totally rational response.) Sarah grabs a giant branch and smacks him upside the head to get him to calm down and stop choking Oliver. “I’m sorry,” he gasps. Ya know. For nearly killing you. Still bros, right? Later, the big bad walkies in to Sarah to trade the mirakuru for safe passage from the island. Then he adds the ultimatum that if they don’t take the safe passage deal, he’ll just find them anyway and make them his lab rats. Anyone else think they’ll end up as lab rats either way? …But Slade has disappeared with all the mirakuru, leaving them with no leverage. Perhaps we should have kept an eye on the murderous loose cannon. Oops!

So what did you think of the mid-season premiere? Could they have worked in more explosions? Were you also yearning for more shirtless scenes? By the way, can we get more work-out scenes? ‘Cause I love those!

You can catch this and past episodes of Arrow on The CW’s web site.

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Post Author: Chelsea Banks