Roy begins his training with Arrow as Bronze Tiger breaks out of prison. A plan to steal a prototype for Malcolm Merlyn’s earthquake machine is uncovered. Also, Laurel has problems! And on the island, Oliver sees first hand what the Mirakuru is doing to Slade’s mind.
Okay, this had some great action, some decent stuff between Arrow and Roy. I like showing how they deal with Roy’s losing control of himself in the present and juxtapose it with Slade’s actions in the past. It shows a part to Arrow we haven’t seen, worry but also an understanding he shares with Roy because of what he’d seen from Slade in the past. Some great character-driven moments between the two men, but also shows how Oliver is a reluctant teacher and can only do so much for Roy as he tries to save his soul.
But, the side story with Laurel goes nowhere. I mean, I like Laurel. And I’m interested in seeing how her drinking affects her life, but being that it’s so distant from the main story and the main characters, every time they cut to her it feels immensely out of place. I’m going to blame this on Characters-Need-Something-To-Do Syndrome. Which I’m also going to assume is some disease TV show writers get from time to time, similar to the flu and makes them forget that they don’t need to shoehorn in drama where none in needed. Also, I felt Diggle was really underused in this episode, what with Arrow running around with Roy instead, and Diggle doesn’t wear a mask or anything. But I’d rather him having a reason to not being used, like he had to help an army buddy or something, and us focusing on that for a scene or two instead of watching Laurel spiral out of control.
Wait? That juxtaposes the stuff with Roy and Slade as they too spiral downward. Whoa…
+10: Okay, I think I just blew my own mind a little bit, so I guess I won’t fault the episode, though something tells me that wasn’t on purpose. Then again, maybe I’ve been looking at it wrong? Maybe those overdramatic, nonsensical, shoehorned-in parts with Tommy really weren’t bad after all?….Nah