‘Arrow’ 2.04 Episode Recap and Review: Crucible

The masks are coming off on this episode of Arrow!

There’s a new bad guy in the Glades. He’s calling himself The Mayor, and he’s bringing in stolen military-grade weaponry and distributing it to the local gangs. Ollie’s been putting in some serious overtime as the Arrow in order to figure out what’s going on, even to the point of being late for his own Queen Consolidated investor party. River Tam is not amused.

Meanwhile, Felicity’s been doing her own investigating, and she has a new theory about the Canary. Ollie isn’t the only one who’s been around when the Canary has shown up unexpectedly. In each case, Laurel’s been there, too. Maybe Ollie isn’t the one that the Canary is tracking. Ollie traps her outside Laurel’s apartment, where she finally unmasks and reveals herself to be the lost-at-sea Sarah Lance. As it turns out, Ollie knew that Sarah didn’t die on the Queen’s Gambit, but he didn’t know she was alive when he returned to Starling City. More on that in the island flashback.

Digg meets with his handy military contact to get the code for the tracker that was in the case of stolen weapons. Felicity is able to reactivate it long enough to give them the Mayor’s location. An epic gun battle ensues, resulting in the recovery of the new weaponry, but not the Mayor himself. The badguy du jour resurfaces later at a “Cash for Guns” event in the Glades, secretly hosted by the Queen family. The Mayor and his goons shoot the place up, nearly hitting Roy and Thea and injuring Sin.

The Arrow-team is able to find out when the next shipment of guns is going out. Ollie recruits Sarah to help him take down the Mayor once and for all. They’re successful (this time), and Ollie manages to get Sarah to leave the ganglord alive for the cops. It’s a step in the right direction, until the cop who arrests the Mayor takes him to a secret underground facility instead of the police station. There, he’s interrogated by a menacing masked man and injected with something about the same shade of green as Vertigo. (hmm, wonder what that was…) The Mayor dies shortly thereafter and the masked man reveals himself to be Alderman Blood.

Back at Starling City General, Ollie runs into Sarah, who had been checking up on Sin’s recovery. He manages to talk her into going to see her family. This could be just what the Lances need, as Laurel is currently mid-spiral, having just been nearly arrested for driving under the influence. I’m sure nothing about this is going to go horribly, horribly wrong.

This week’s island flashback jumps to Ollie’s time on the Amazo. He mouths off to his captor (big shock there) and receives a bullet for his pains. Surprisingly, he’s also given the supplies necessary to patch himself up. A fellow prisoner tells him that it’s a test of his will to live. He manages to scrape through, only to be thrown into a room to be tortured for information at the hands of the supposed-dead Sarah.

Darn it, Arrow! Stop taking out perfectly good villains before you get a chance to flesh them out! I realize that you’re setting up Blood as the season’s Big Bad, and I appreciate that, but these last couple of episodes have felt rushed. Brother Blood will still be working behind scenes if you give your lesser-but-still-interesting bad guys more than one episode each.

On another note, I pray to all that makes television watchable that Ollie isn’t the one to “fix” Laurel. With every shred of hope in my writing soul, I want it to be Papa Lance that brings her back from the same edge that he was on a few years ago. I understand that Oliver is our main protagonist and all, but I really want this to be a solid storyline and not just another check on Ollie’s heroic “to do” list.

Best Quote:
Felicity: “…do you have any happy stories?”

Things to Ponder:

  • I can’t imagine that Sarah’s reunion with her family is going to be as easy as Ollie was making it sound at the end of this episode. What’s going to go down to screw this one up?
  • Sarah seems to have permanent duck face. Character affectation, or just the way Caity Lotz’s lips work?