Wednesday, January 29, 2014

REVIEW: 'Arrow' Trains Roy as Bronze Tiger Returns to Steal Malcolm's Earthquake Machine in 'Tremors'

The CW's Arrow - Episode 2.12 Tremors

Arrow offers to train Roy to control his new super-strength, but Roy refuses to listen unless Arrow reveals his true identity; the Bronze Tiger escapes from prison and steals Malcolm's earthquake machine; Laurel is disbarred and spirals out of control; and Moira is thrilled when Walter asks her to dunner, but his reason surprises her.

It's always a big deal when Oliver reveals his identity as the Arrow to someone new. The reveal of his secret to Roy in "Tremors" was basically to be expected. You could tell the show was heading in that direction - even though Roy didn't throw a fit about not knowing who was training him. Strangely, that doesn't take away from how big that moment was in the context of this episode. The way his identity was revealed was so profound and emotionally resonant. It derived from the action while being informed by these characters and their emotions. Like Oliver explains later, he had to talk to Roy as Oliver in order for him to remember his love for Thea. It was an epically strong sequence. So now, Team Arrow is up to four members. It should be interesting to see what new dynamic Roy adds to the team - especially since he's more unstable than the rest of them.

The personal stakes of "Tremors" were just so well-defined. The main action plot had this strong connection to the characters because it involved Malcolm's earthquake machine. That device effected everyone in this universe in the season one finale. Its repercussions are still being felt by them all as well. Moira is just now trying to accept that she's not somewhat responsible for the hundreds of deaths it cause - now she's running for Mayor against Sebastian Blood, which just seems so bizarre and out-there as well as just something for that character to do.

Then, there's Laurel who is at least now consistently on this downward spiral of self-destruction. I still don't care about it as much as the rest of the show - but it's also going to lead to big things very soon. Her disbarment likely is to help her get into the better parts of the show. She needs to hit this rock bottom before fully realizing what is happening around her. The return of Sara at episode's end is a strong indication that that narrative will be dealt with swiftly - and perhaps interestingly, since Caity Lotz has been a standout this season so far.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Tremors" was written by Marc Guggenheim & Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Guy Bee.
  • Loved Felicity's line about the prison being better at keeping secrets than in keeping its prisoners.
  • Amanda Waller returns for a minute to tease up the Suicide Squad to Bronze Tiger. So that should be interesting.
  • Apparently when Sara left Starling City, she left Oliver a phone number to contact her.
  • In island flashback news, Oliver and Sara stopped Slade from destroying the freighter with a leftover missile. They're just brief cutaways throughout the hour. That aspect of the show is much better used thematically in the present-day then it is through the flashback structure. We have a pretty good idea of where the island story is heading. But at least it can engage the audience and know how much of it we need each week.