Arrow: Blast Radius Review (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Friday, January 17, 2014
Source: Mania.com

Arrow returns from its holiday break to try and build on an outstanding first half of the season.  It’s been five weeks since Barry Allen was struck by lightning and he still lies in a coma in Central City.  Felicity has been traveling back and forth between Starling and Central City to keep a vigil at his bedside.  This leads to Oliver accusing her of not having her head on business leading to tension between the pair but reading between the lines it certainly seems as if there may be a bit of jealousy on Oliver’s part.

Oliver has been spending his time rousting local criminals to try and get a lead on the man in the skull mask (Sebastian Blood).  However his search has to take a backseat when a serial bomber starts blowing up various targets in the city and then sets his sights on a rally put together by Blood.  Oliver, Felicity and Diggle have to track the bomber down before he can kill dozens with his next attack.  Laurel, who has begun to get close to Blood becomes suspicious of the seemingly benevolent politician and begins checking into his background.  She learns his only relative is an aunt who is a patient at a mental institution.  Laurel goes to visit the woman and when she brings up Sebastian’s name she tells him that he had her committed when she witnessed him killing his father.  And even more startling is that the woman is not his aunt but his mother.

In the Island flashbacks, Oliver, Slade, and Sara and dealing with the murder of Shado by Professor Ivo.  Slade is beginning to feel the effects of the Mirakuru drug that healed him.  His strength is increased but also becomes highly temperamental, grabbing Oliver by the neck and nearly killing him.

On the downside we did not see Barry Allen this week and it may be that we won’t see him again until the Flash series.  Hopefully that is not the case.  Oliver was particularly intense this week.  He knows the effects of the Mirakuru drug and wants to do everything he can to stop its distribution.  The tension between he and Felicity was powerful but so was his apology at the end.  The emotions of both Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards were tremendously effective in both scenes.  

All of the characters on the show are starting to emerge and take shape.  Roy is beginning to display the effects of the Mirakuru drug when he saves Moira from being crushed by a light stand; Laurel isn’t merely whiney and doe-eyed as she has been for most of the season; and even Thea hasn’t been her usual annoying self.  The sub-plot with the serial bomber wasn’t interesting, however.  It was a toss away, inconsequential villain whose motives were not fully explained.  I’d have preferred to see more of Oliver’s crusade to catch Blood by taking out the thugs of Central City.  

Arrow starts the second half of its second season nearly as strong as it ended the first half with outstanding performances and plots which are engaging the viewer.  

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Mania Grade: A-
Episode: Blast Radius (Season 2, Episode 10)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes
Written By: Jake Coburn & Keto Shimizu
Directed By: Rob Hardy
Network: The CW
Studio: Warner Brothers, DC Comics
Series: