Arrow: The Scientist Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, December 06, 2013
Arrow returns from a one week hiatus with the first of its two-part midseason finale which introduces Central City Crime Scene Investigator Barry Allen to the cast. A thief with superhuman strength, created by Brother Blood, breaks into an Applied Science warehouse to steal a centrifuge. Barry Allen arrives from Central City to help investigate the crime as he has followed similar crimes in his own city. Felicity and Allen immediately hit it off as the team up to analyze evidence found at the scene.
The previous episode ended with the double surprise of Malcolm Merlyn not only returning and being responsible for Moira Queen’s not guilty verdict, but also the shocker of him claiming Thea is actually his daughter. He confronts Moira and demands that she reveal the truth to Thea. Oliver goes after the superhuman thief, revealing to Felicity and Diggle that he had fought similar super-powered humans back on the island that were created with the Japanese “Miracle” formula found on the old, abandoned submarine. His initial encounter with the masked man does not go well as he is handily defeated and only able to cut the man with is arrow but not penetrate his dense skin.
In the Island flashbacks, Shado, Sara, and Oliver are helping a badly injured Slade Wilson in search of the Sub and the formula which the help will heal his wounds. When Malcolm again confronts Moira over Thea’s parentage, Moira reveals she has made contact with one man who can kill Merlyn…the leader of the League of Assassins, Ra's Al Ghul. The episode ends with a cliffhanger when Oliver is gravely injured in another battle with the masked superhuman and only Barry Allen can save him.
Just a fantastic episode from beginning to end! Arrow has been on a roll all season and continues to gain momentum. The use of the Miracle formula introduces actual Meta-Humans into the Arrow universe and despite Oliver having been able to beat them previously on the island, he is defeated soundly twice. Grant Gustin portrays a young Barry Allen who has come to Starling City trying to find out who murdered his mother, revealing that it, too, was a Meta-Human with super speed. We get another Particle Accelerator hint as Barry is covering his head with a magazine during a rainstorm which asks the question on the cover “Is it safe?” There’s also a nod to Barry Allen’s original origin when he is standing near a rack of dangerous bottles of chemicals and looks up as a bolt of lightning strikes outside during the storm.
Roy is being pushed further and further into his own vigilante persona when he tells Oliver he’ll investigate the murder of a friend with or without his help. Moira uses the League of Assassin’s strict moral code against Merlyn to alert Ra's Al Ghul that the billionaire murderer is still alive. Arrow continues to do an incredible job of mixing its comic elements functionally, and not just to excite comic fans with hollow references. If anything, Arrow’s one weak point recently is glossing over details and expediting plotlines such as just how Moira Queen was able to make contact with Ra's Al Ghul so quickly but those minor quibbles don’t detract from another fantastic episode leading into next week’s mid-season finale!
Mania Grade: A-
Episode: The Scientist (Season 2, Episode 8)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes, Summer Glau, Grant Gustin
Written By: Andrew Kreisberg & Geoff Johns
Directed By: Michael Schultz
Network: The CW
Studio: Warner Brothers, DC Comics