ARROW Season 2×04, “Crucible” recap

31 Oct

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Welcome back, Arrow-heads!  So, last time we were in Starling City, Laurel had survived an attack from Hentai-man, I mean, the Dollmaker and Ollie got saved from Laurel by that mystery blonde vigilante.  Plus, the show has a legit guy with the last name of Blood running around.  And in our flashbacks, Slade is on fire…as in his face and hands are burning, while past Ollie gets locked up on what seems to be a gritty reimagining of The Love Boat.  Let’s see if the Isaac on this ship has some wonderful cocktails to serve us while I recap this episode, huh?

Late for Dinner.  Oliver finds himself being occupied with fighting criminals with military-grade weapons when he’s made aware by Diggle that he should be somewhere else, like a party to attract investors to the Queen company.  He’s late, much to the irritation of Isabel Rochev, and to the flimsy covering up by Felicity.  But Felicity does make an interesting connection during Oliver talking to Laurel about last episode’s run in with the Dollmaker: that the mystery blonde woman popped up in Ollie’s sight appeared with one constant, that being Laurel.  So, Ollie follows Laurel and nabs the mystery woman doing the same thing.  He asks who she is, but she doesn’t want to tell him, but then she offers a hint by saying his name.  He reaches to pull her hair back and we see it’s a wig.  Ollie’s shocked (and for some of us eagle-eyed viewers, perplexed, but more on that in the notes below), because it turns out the Canary is Sara, Laurel’s sister!  Sara escapes, leaving Ollie to piece together things later with Diggle and Felicity.  Well, he lied a bit about what happened to Sara.  You see, we thought she drowned on the boat, but she didn’t because she popped up a year after Ollie got stranded on the island.  But he never brought it up because something happened in that timeframe that made him believe she was dead.  Does that clear things up?  No?  Yeah, I’m having a hard time with that, but let’s move on to a more pressing topic…

Ollie: "Tee hee hee, you're touching my pole...oh wait, it's your pole.  Um, yeah, good team-up.  You did great."

Ollie: “Tee hee hee, you’re touching my pole…oh wait, it’s your pole. Um, yeah, good team-up. You did great.”

A New Mayor.  Those military guns flooding the Glades that Ollie intercepted are from a new criminal calling himself the Mayor.  He wants to run the Glades, and he subscribes to that old NRA mantra, “he who has the biggest gun wins” (actually, I don’t think that’s an official NRA mantra, so for the record, let’s say its unofficial).  Unlike most NRA members, he tends to use those guns in big displays of force, like crashing a midday cash-for-guns collection drive held by Alderman Blood.  I’m sure there’s some irony in that statement, but one thing that happens from this is Sin is there during this whole thing to meet Roy (and cause some tension with Thea, who still isn’t aware her boyfriend is helping out the Arrow), and gets taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound.  Roy hangs around the hospital to make sure she’s okay, and even Thea wants to as well.  Awww.

The Mayor Gets Recalled.  Sin’s shooting gets Sara raring for a fight, and Ollie in costume gives her one: Felicity discovers the Mayor (foster brother to a soldier) is planning to meet a military convoy full of really lethal hardware, and offers Sara a chance to join in on the beatdown.  They both make short work of the Mayor’s team and manage to keep from turning the Mayor into a corpse.  Not that it matters in the end, because…well, before we discuss that…

Sisters in Turmoil.  Laurel hasn’t been really recovering from her experience with the Dollmaker (let alone all the stuff involving Tommy), and starts a trip towards the bottom with getting busted for a DUI (by the way, for future reference, never say who you are to a cop when being pulled over for DUI, because they don’t care), which Quentin keeps off the books for her career’s sake, and by episode’s end, is burying herself in work, booze, and pills.  Quentin asks Ollie for help talking to Laurel, seeing the same thing he went through years ago happening to her.  If only he knew in the room next to both men, Ollie was just having a conversation with Sara about her coming back to Starling City.  She doesn’t bring up that whole Ra’s al Ghul thing, but says she came back after the destruction in the Glades to protect her family.  Later on after defeating the Mayor, she talks to Ollie again, and worries more about what would happen if she revealed herself to be alive and what it would do to the other Lance’s and Ollie’s relationship.  He knows that may destroy anything between Quentin and Laurel, but he’s willing to risk that to reunite the Lance family.  This is odd, only because of what we see in the flashback.

In Steerage.  In the island flashback, Ollie is still trapped on the Amazo freighter, and getting interrogated about those pesky “graves” with the skeletons.  His lack of answers convinces his interrogator that they are on the right island.  So after that, Ollie gets taken away to a room to be tortured by someone.  That someone seems to be Sara.  I’m sure this all makes sense.  Eventually.

This guy and the Scarecrow from Batman Begins probably shop at the same creepy mask store.  I hear its got a great selection.

This guy and the Scarecrow from Batman Begins probably shop at the same creepy mask store. I hear its got a great selection.

“Yes, Brother Blood.”  In the last scene of the episode, we check in on the Mayor, who finds himself not in police custody after all.  But he is tied up, and facing a guy in some creepy Scarecrow-esque mask.  Creepy guy wants an army to take over the city, and wants to see if the Mayor can serve that army.  That creepy guy’s job application for said army seems to involve pumping something into the Mayor, which kills him.  Looks like someone failed the application process.  Then creepy guy takes off his mask, and in the “of course he’s a bad guy” way, creepy guy is Alderman Blood, who is addressed as Brother Blood!  Oh, and he wants more recruits for his army.  I almost don’t want to see the guys who survive Brother Blood’s evil army recruiting program.

–Comic book connections: I brought up previously my theory of the alderman being Brother Blood, and I was right.  Really, the last name “Blood” doesn’t scream “good guy” to me, why should it for anyone else?

–In a really odd bit of recasting that took me out of the episode a bit, the actress who plays the Canary isn’t the same actress who appears in the original pilot where we originally see Sara.  To put things in perspective, in the pilot, Sara has black hair.  Now, in the flashback to the same event, she has auburn hair.  Just seemed weird when that reveal dropped, I said to myself, “wait, who is that?” before it had to be shown to me via flashback who it was.  How ‘bout I just show you, with this vidcap from the pilot:

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And now, from this episode:

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I find this type of recasting always a bit dicey, being a bit of nitpicker on this kind of thing.  It’s like I’m being told I haven’t been seeing Emily Blunt all this time, but Jennifer Lawrence.  I’m not a stickler for consistency, but I’m just saying, it helps when you drop a bombshell like that.

–Also, turns out Mrs. Lance from season one was kind of right.  Not that the family can apologize, as they got a lot on their plate right now.

–Bad news for some of you: we are now 3 out of 4 in the shirtless Ollie scenes per episode this season now, for those of you keeping score.

–No Slade or Shado this episode, but considering where we left them, I’m assuming they’re licking their wounds.  Or in Slade’s case, dealing with part of them being burned.  By the way, Sara asks about Slade.  Um, what exactly happened on the Amazo anyway?

–In the conspiracy theory corner today: an interesting one has popped up due to the last week’s name dropping of Ra’s al Ghul.  The messenger in that episode and Malcolm Merlyn kinda sorta have the exact same getup.  Um, you don’t suppose…

–Speaking of theories, there’s another offhand news reference to a particle accelerator buried in the news reports this season.  Setting up a potential threat, or a possible appearance of someone who is supposed to pop up this season, hint hint?

–Isabel at least respects Ollie for the whole cash-for-guns idea, even if she doesn’t really want to fund it.  And with Queen Consolidated grasping for funds, not sure I could blame her for that.

–“Oh no, its not his blood.  (pause) Of course, its his blood, why would he have someone else’s blood on him?”

–Felicity may have summed up Ollie perfectly here: “Don’t you have any happy stories?”

So, thoughts on this reveal and what it means going into the rest of the season?  Leave them below, and come back next for “League of Assassins”…

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