Arrow: Crucible Review (

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Thursday, October 31, 2013

I’ve railed against the fact that Warner Bros. and DC have refused to let Arrow embrace its comic book roots but all that changed last night…at least for one episode.  With Green Arrow and Black Canary teaming up to take on gang of thugs, I could not help but feel the fight was pulled directly off the pages of a comic and it certainly had to put a smile on most fan’s faces.

Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity begin to track the movements of Black Canary and discover that she is not following Green Arrow but rather Laurel Lance.  Oliver sets a trap for the new costumed vigilante when he finds her watching Laurel outside of her apartment.  Caught helpless, the Canary shocks Green Arrow by calling him “Ollie”.  He removes her mask to reveal Sara Lance, who was presumed drowned when Robert Queen’s yacht sank, marooning Oliver on the mysterious island.  Oliver now confesses to Felicity and Diggle that he knew Sara survived and was, in fact, on the island herself although he claims to be unaware that she was still living.

Meanwhile, a local street gang led by a man known only as “The Mayor” has been stealing military grade automatic weapons and using them to take over control of The Glades.  After a dramatic confrontation with Oliver where Sara explains why she doesn’t want her family to know that she is alive, the pair team to take down the thugs, even exchanging weapons at one point just to show that Black Canary is equally adept with a bow as she is with her staff.

So Wow!  That sure packed a lot into an hour.  We now know that Sara is also connected to the island with an even more surprising development at the end as Oliver is shown captured and being tortured on the ship named “Amazo”.  Just as some secrets are exposed new ones crop up.  We know that with the League of Assassins episode coming next week and with the introduction of “Sin”, that Black Canary has ties to that shadowy organization.  We’re finally starting to see more of an ongoing, serialized style of plotting to the show outside of the bits on the island and this is indeed welcomed.

Another development is that Glades Alderman Sebastian Blood officially reveals himself as Brother Blood.  I could have done without the goofy, knockoff Predator-like mask that looked like it came from a dollar store, but never the less, this sets up another intriguing villain in the show, one that has a powerbase both publicly and behind-the-scenes.  In the comics, Blood was a villain of the Teen Titans and a worshipper of the Demon, Trigon.  It will be interesting to see how the writers work Blood into the fold as a Green Arrow villain.  There’s certainly a cultish like feel to him so far.

Two things I did not care for this week was the drama involving Laurel getting pulled over for a DUI and her unnecessary drama.  Is she taking over the angst role from Thea?  The other is the use of Summer Glau as Isabel Rochev.  Her sole purpose seems to be nothing more than chastising Oliver about how he is running Queen Consolidated.  So far her character has been completely useless and not what I expected at all.

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Mania Grade: A-
Episode: Crucible (Season 2, Episode 4)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Paul Blackthorne, Caity Lotz Colton Haynes, Summer Glau
Written By: Andrew Kreisberg & Wendy Mericle
Directed By: Eagle Egillson
Network: The CW
Studio: Warner Brothers, DC Comics