Thursday, April 17, 2014

Arrow - The Man Under the Hood

With Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) missing, Thea (Willa Holland) still pissed at him for hiding her parentage, his family facing potential financial ruin, Officer Lance (Paul Blackthorne) in prison, and Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) in complete control of Queen ConsolidatedOliver (Stephen Amell) and his team turn their attention to an enemy they can fight: Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett). Bombing his former company's applied sciences wing, Oliver, Sara (Caity Lotz), Diggle (David Ramsey), and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) prevent Slade from getting his hands on the equipment he needs to synthesize the super-soldier serum and create his new army.

After paying the heroes a visit in their layer (and leaving both their bodies and pride wounded), the villain makes a trip to a Star Labs facility in Starling City to procure the technology he needs. Distracted by both Thea and learning about his father's relationship with Isabel, Ollie plans to confront Slade when the killer is at his weakest inside the machine draining his blood to synthesize the drug and transfer it to his recruits. Sadly for Ollie things don't go quite according to plan when he finds Roy, not Slade, plugged into the machine.

Along with furthering Slade's storyline, and providing him with his new enhanced soldiers, "The Man on the Hood" plays on several themes of the series including the seeds of distrust in the Queen family as Thea's anger makes her ignore chances to help save the family fortune, and the ideas of vigilantism and heroism as Laurel's (Katie Cassidy) talk with her father gives her a new understanding and respect for the job she now realizes Ollie and Sara do together which they can never discuss with her.

Although the seeds of potential victory are found in a sample of the serum which Felicity turns over to a pair of Star Lab scientists (Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes) she met while visiting the still comatose Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), Ollie and company earn their lumps in this episode as Deathstroke and Isabel continue to outplay the hero heading into the final four episodes of the show's sophomore season. Even though Barry doesn't make an appearance we do get the first name drop of Iris West further setting up the spin-off. Felicity hopes the scientists can use the sample to fashion a cure (which we learn is possible during another flashback to the island), which given the number of enhanced crazed killers Green Arrow is now facing is likely going to be needed sooner than later.

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