After putting Seth Gabel's Count Vertigo down for good in "State v. Queen," Arrow took a week off to prepare for the arrival of another, probably even more popular, DC superhero. And even though Barry Allen hasn't become the Flash just yet, his arrival still marks the first time that superpowers have appeared on The CW series. How did the special abilities fit into the gritty, realistic Starling City that the comic book inspired show has created? Surprisingly well, actually.
The most discussed aspect of Arrow during the off-season (and well into lead up to last night) was how the series would handle the introduction of superpowers and I think it came off without a hitch. Both the current storyline and flashbacks have been setting up the arrival of heroes and villains with extraordinary abilities and "The Scientist," as part one of the two-part midseason finale, finally paid off on those promises. And how. I wasn't expecting Oliver to also get injected with the 'mirakuru' serum, mostly because I thought he already got dosed during his time on the island.
Nope, instead of the big reveal being that our hero has always had superpowers (which might have helped ease the transition), Arrow got his in the present, right at the end of the episode. Cliffhanger! Something tells me Mr. Allen will know what to do and it might involve raiding the same A.R.G.U.S. bunker for supplies that Sebastian 'Brother' Blood used to create the first of his 'strongmen.' I don't think the comic book series even dropped his name this week but the masked man with the extraordinary abilities was called Cyrus during "SvQ" which might mean that a run in with Solomon Grundy is also on the horizon.
But lets not get ahead of ourselves with their first few rumbles proving 'super entertaining' in themselves not to mention so many other major DCU developments to get to in "The Scientist." You know, like the titular scientist. I loved how the music cues changed when Barry was around, hinting at the (playful) score that will possibly back the upcoming Flash series. Before getting a glimpse of his face, we see S.T.A.R. Labs' particle accelerator, the probable cause of his own superpowers, on the cover of the magazine covering him from the Starling City rain.
The running gag of him being late was just one of the many foreshadowing jokes dropped throughout "The Scientist," my favourite being the bit when he was being careless with all the CSI chemicals. A nice little nod to his original origin story since it sounds like Central City's new particle accelerator will do the trick this time. There was also a reference to Director Singh, the head of the CSI unit at the CCPD who will most likely serve as a constant obstacle for Barry's interest in extraordinary cases. An interest sparked by an unbelievable (and unbelieved) childhood memory of his mother's murder (at the hands of a 'blur') for which his innocent father is currently serving jail time.
Speaking of jail time, Moira Queen just avoided serving a bunch for her part in the destruction of the Glades but she wasn't exactly acquitted for the crime in the eyes of the public. Or, uh, the jury either since the resurrected Malcolm Merlyn was the one who really secured her freedom by pulling a few strings. (Puns!) Oh, and he's also Thea's biological father. Oops. Thea is spared the news this week (more on that in a moment) and she spends a lot of the installment playing Speedy to Roy's Red Arrow.
Yes, I know they are traditionally the same person but Arrow has cleverly given each member of the crime-solving couple one of the sidekick's monikers as they work the 'street' for her big brother. Of course, neither know that Ollie is the Green Arrow and, after taking one to the knee, Roy may be more interested in finding out. Fortunately for the Queens (for now), Moira was able to use Malcolm's Nanda Parbat name drop to locate the League of Assassins' leader and provide them information on the rogue former member.
It seems Ra's al Ghul wasn't too happy with what went down in Starling City, mostly because it happened without his permission. I wonder if that's why his lesser known daughter will soon be making an appearance on the show? Will she be sent to clean up the mess caused by Malcolm (you know, by killing him) or is she another member of the League looking for Sara Lance? To be fair, Nyssa al Ghul could even show up in the flashbacks since Ra's' assassins have been popping up all over the place.
For all we know, Dr. Ivo and the crew of the Amazo could be part of (or at least in cahoots with) the League. They're somehow connected and by more than just Sara's Canary. And to bring things back to the superpowers, there was also a huge development on the island with Ollie, Shado and Sara dragging Slade to the Japanese Sub to save with life with 'mirakuru.' Something tells me his passing was only temporary and the serum is key in turning him into Deathstroke. The 'burning' question? When will he and Oliver square off?
Arrow returns with the mid-season finale, "Three Ghosts," Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Created by Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, the DC Comics inspired series stars Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes, Manu Bennett, Paul Blackthorne and Susanna Thompson.