Arrow: Tremors Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, January 30, 2014
After a lackluster episode last week Arrow gets back on track with one of the strongest episodes of Season two which featured another fantastic mark out moment in the final segment. Ben Turner, aka The Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White) is busted out of prison and hired to steal a prototype version of Malcolm Merlyn’s earthquake device. The man he steals it for intends to sell the device to an unnamed person in Markovia, the fictional Eastern European country in the DC Comics universe. Oliver is busy trying to train Roy Harper to control his strength and his rage that is derived from the Mirakuru serum and basically making him do the “wax on, wax off” training regimen.
Laurel’s father attempts to get her to attend an alcoholics anonymous type of group meeting but she becomes incensed and refuses. After learning that she is facing disbarment she shows up at Oliver’s club where she gets plastered and forces Oliver to have her sent home in a Taxi. Moira Queen meets with estranged husband Robert who convinces her to run for Mayor against Sebastian Blood. In the island flashbacks Oliver and Sara are trying to track Slade Wilson and discover that he intends to use a missile battery to destroy Ivo’s ship…the only way off the island.
Despite the multitude of plotlines this week, “Tremors” worked from beginning to end because everything fit together perfectly. Laurel’s downward spiral into drugs and alcohol was the perfect impetus to finally reveal to her that Sara is still alive and hopefully be the motivation that turns her around. This was perhaps Katie Cassidy’s finest performance so far. Her vulnerabilities seeped to the surface as her life crumbled around her.
We are finally seeing the payoff of the island flashbacks. Oliver reveals that it was he who took out Slade Wilson’s eye with an arrow and also why Wilson wants to destroy him. I particularly liked how Roy continues to struggle with his rage. This is not something that should be resolved in just one episode or even by the end of the season. His fury was unchecked even when dealing with Thea and Oliver and eventually forced Ollie to reveal himself and the rest of the team, to Roy. And you had to get a chuckle out of the “Team Arrow” crack. Ultimately it was Roy who saved the day although he remains far from being in control.
Moira running for Mayor? The idea seems a bit far-fetched considering she was just on trial for being complicit in Merlyn’s attempt to destroy The Glades. But there was some sound reasoning presented…well as least sound for a comic book action drama, I suppose. But the biggest treat in the episode came in the final segment as Bronze Tiger, now back in prison was visited by Amanda Waller who wants to recruit him for her “squad”. This would make him the second member she has now recruited after Deadshot several episodes back. Even the preview for next week’s episode “Heir to the Demon” was great. Let’s review…Sara is back; The Suicide Squad continues to take shape; Markovia is mentioned which could mean nothing but could set-up The Outsiders and Geo-Force down the road; Roy is now part of “Team Arrow”; and backstory to Slade’s hatred for Oliver is nearly complete. All in all a fine week for Arrow!
Mania Grade: A
Episode: Tremors (Season 2, Episode 12)
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes
Written By: Marc Guggenheim & Drew Z. Greenberg
Directed By: Guy Bee
Network: The CW
Studio: Warner Bros., DC Comics