The CW’s superhero series Arrow re-imagines Green Arrow for a TV audience as a tough, often ruthless vigilante bent on setting things right in his home of Starling City by punishing the wicked. ComicsAlliance’s Matt Wilson will be following along to see how he fares.

This week, Laurel tracks down a lead, Sara fields an offer, and Roy gets emotional about superpowers.

Things kick off extra ominously this week when Sebastian Blood walks through a rainstorm to visit his aunt/mother in the asylum/prison where he's been keeping her. Blood's mom begs the nurse not to leave her alone with him, but the nurse kind of laughs it off, because who cares about crazy people anyway, and exits. After some rudimentary Spanish lessons, Mrs. Blood reveals that she told Laurel that Sebastian killed his dad. Blood kisses her on the head and leaves. But then Brother Blood, mask and all, shows up and Scarecrows the s**t out of her. He literally scares her to death.


Meanwhile, at what looks like the Alaska Pipeline, Arrow is blasting arrows around the head of a seemingly malnourished man who is either indescribably scared or very bad at acting or both. Arrow's trying to find Brother Blood, though he doesn't know that's his name yet. Arrow's actually administering a polygraph test to him via Bluetooth, and despite that being basically impossible, it also feels a lot like shooting arrows at the guys head may skew the results a little. It does lead to a pretty great moment in which Arrow has to ask the guy what color his shoes are, though.

Flashback Island. Ollie and Sara are looking for Slade in the old Lost plane, with little luck. The two of them try to figure out what to do, and Sara suggests maybe taking Ivo up on his offer to get them off the island. She wasn't there for all the Fyers stuff, so she doesn't know what offers like that tend to mean.Sara says there's another side to Ivo--he kept her safe on the Amazo for a year, after all--and Ollie replies by growling that he can't trust anyone.

Present times. Laurel's at work, poppin' more pills. She gets a phone call from the asylum informing her that Mrs. Blood is dead, so she goes to her boss to offer up her theory that Blood killed her. And his father. It sounds a little far-fetched, even though it's true. Maybe ease into it, you know, Laurel? The assistant DA understandably thinks it sounds kind of crazy and maybe like a career killer. Blood could be the mayor, after all.

Out in the alley behind Verdant, Roy's taking out the trash (that seems to be like 80 percent of his job, really) when Ollie sneaks up behind him to remind us of that time he got mad and shot his sister's boyfriend through the leg with an arrow. The show really doesn't want us to forget that moment.

Ollie seems downright proud of it, too. Then he all but asks Roy, "Hey buddy, you got superpowers?" and Roy dodges the question.

Back in the Arrowcave, Ollie explains that Roy's just not that into expressing his feelings, and Dig offers up the quip, "Not like you and me." I don't know if the show's holding for laughter or what, but it takes a beat before cutting away and moving on. It's the weirdest thing Arrow has ever done. I've watched it four times now to try to figure out what in the world is happening. I still don't get it.

Officer Lance calls on the Arrowphone and tells Ollie that Laurel wants to meet. And they do, on a rooftop just across from the Arrow line.


Did Vancouver name a branch of its public transit line after the show or something? That's cute.

Arrow reminds Laurel of that time she tried to kill him with a SWAT team and they share a good laugh. But then it's time for business. Laurel shares her sounds-like-a-conspiracy-but-it's-really-true theory about Blood.

Queen Consolidated. Dig and Smoak get into a little debate about whether Blood is really evil. Dig observes that Blood has given his life to help the downtrodden of the city. Fair enough. Smoak observes that Blood's last name is "Blood." Checkmate.

Ollie's still skeptical, so he sets out to investigate Blood's dad's death. Smoak discovers that there's a case file, but it's been sealed. Ollie decides he's got to break into the city archive and get it, but he's going to need Laurel's help to get in there. He gets Arrowed up and goes to visit the ol' pill popper to ask for it. She follows.

Meanwhile, Roy meets up with his new best friend Rizzo from Grease Sin to show her his superpowers and announce his plan to do some vigilantism of his own.

Flashback Ollie and Sara are still coolin' it in the plane and have some CW Piano Music conversation. Ollie eventually falls asleep and Sara grabs the walkie talkie from next to him so she can call Ivo.

At the present-day city archives, Smoak remotely knocks out the security cameras while Ollie and Laurel, who is in the traditional break-in gear of a long, easily visible white coat, sneak in. (Side note: Couldn't Laurel have just gone in there and gotten the file? She works in the DA's office.)

The security guards get hip to the cameras being out--because why wouldn't they, it's their job--and they call the cops. Laurel grabs the file, Arrow blinds the cops and dodges a few gunshots, and blasts out the window with Laurel. Like it's an Assassin's Creed game, the cops don't chase them out of the building. They escaped the high-alert area and completed the mission.

But uh-oh! The file on Blood's dad's death is empty!


Smoak discovers that someone else got the same idea as Ollie and Laurel did and got the the file first. She can't trace it back to anyone, which leads her to believe a city employee with access to the archive (Like, say, Laurel, who didn't need to break in at all) did it.

Over at Verdant, Sin drops by to give Roy some info on a guy he can go all vigilante on, because he loves to the kill prostitutes in The Glades.

Then, and boy, this is rough, Roy asks his girlfriend, whom he presumably loves, to let Sin borrow some clothes for "a date." "Somethng slutty," he says. Not making that up. That's the line. Thea excitedly grabs Sin to get her the outfit.

So let's break this down. Roy's thought process here had to be, "So Sin needs to pose as a prostitute. Who do I know that has hooker clothes? Oh, Thea." Then Thea, who is mad at Roy for being so cagey lately, lights up at the suggestion.

And two women wrote this episode!

Ollie goes to visit Blood at his campaign HQ to ask about whether Laurel had some reason to be mad at him. Blood laughingly says it seems like Ollie is acting like a jealous ex-boyfriend, then says, "I will take care of Laurel." All right, nothing suspicious there!

Out on the streets, Sin is wearing Thea's outfit, waiting for a john. She looks like a member of the cast of Fosse.


A john rolls by and invites her into his car. And lucky (?) for her, it's the murderer. He takes her to a parking lot, and just as he's about to start stabbing, Roy rips the door off the car (How'd he know where they would go?) and nearly beats the dude to death. Sin tries to stop him, and he bats her away. But he's got superpowers, so she goes sliding across the pavement. They decide they have to call an ambulance.

Blood campaign HQ. Slade confronts Blood about the file on his dad's death, which makes it pretty clear Blood did it. Slade says Blood should fix the Laurel problem, so Blood makes a phone call to his cop henchman.

Laurel comes home to find her apartment trashed. The cop henchman and a few others are there with a search warrant and those pills she's been popping. They arrest her. Laurel doesn't ask how they got a judge to sign off on a warrant to search a private home for a vial of prescription drugs. She's an attorney.

The cops stick her in an interrogation room, where she's all huddled up like any time the lead character in a horror movie gets put in an insane asylum. It's not the most credible look. Still, she tries to explain to her dad that Blood is setting her up.

Officer Lance won't hear it, though. He's hurt because Laurel has apparently been taking his prescription pills. He tells her she's an addict, just like him, and she's got to lay off Blood. He defeatedly walks out and tells Ollie he doesn't know anything anymore. It's Very Dramatic.

Flashback Sara calls Flashback Ivo on the walkie talkie. Ivo promises he would have never shot Sara in that whole "one of these women has to die" scenario, so that's a comfort. To be fair, Sara says as much. Ivo kind of sidesteps the question, though, and goes back to his whole pitch about trying to save the human race. Then he makes the hard sell, telling Sara the ship didn't rescue her, she rescued him. He begs her to come back to him. So there you have it. Professor Ivo is a PUA.

At least Sara sees through it. When she basically tells him to eff off, Ivo launches into threat mode. She just cuts him off. I like Sara.

Get your Arrow Bingo card out, because it's time for a hospital scene. And so soon after an interrogation room scene! Roy and Sin look in on that prostitute murderer Roy almost killed. A doctor comes out and says he might pull through. I mean, good on Roy for not being a murderer, but it kind of makes it impossible for this guy to actually be charged fairly for his crimes, right? There's no admissable evidence. If anything, he could press charges against Roy.

Thea shows up and starts telling Roy she wants to help him deal with whatever's going on. Roy spooks and walks about 10 feet down the hall, where he ducks behind a wall and cries.



Thea's still within earshot, dude. Go into a separate room, at least.

Laurel's apartment. She and Ollie are cleaning up the mess the cops left. Ollie promises he won't lecture her before hitting her with a lecture about how she isn't being herself. She asks for a glass of water. Olle leaves to get it. As he's coming back into the room, one of Blood's goons bonks him on the head. Blood (or is it?) oversees while two other goons drag Laurel away.

Between this, the Dollmaker, and a few instances last season, it may be time to add "Laurel gets kidnapped" to the Bingo card.

Ollie wakes up in Laurel's apartment and calls Smoak. Blood has left a message on the wall in, well, blood (Whose blood? No one was bleeding) politely asking Ollie to "tell the Arrow Starling Cannery." Convenient.

Laurel wakes up in the cannery, which I think might be a leftover set from a Saw movie. Blood (or at least a guy in his Scarecrow mask) is there, too, doing some Magic 101 disappearing tricks. Maybe-Blood launches into a speech about how masks once gave their wearers authority. So I guess he's seen The Mask.

Maybe-Blood gets Laurel in a sort of loose headlock when Arrow pops in and zings an arrow at him. Maybe-Blood pulls out a pistol and Arrow jumps down and knocks it away. The camera movements are crazy here, by the way. Like, weird Dutch angles and changing focus. It's kinda great!

Arrow and Maybe-Blood fight it out for a while. Eventually, Arrow gets the upper hand, but the whole thing ends with Laurel shooting him six times. I counted. Six!

Laurel demands Arrow take off Maybe-Blood's mask and...maybe not. It was cop henchman the whole time!



That's pretty much treated as the end of the whole issue. Officer Lance tells Laurel that the cops found some evidence of one of Blood's crimes (the arson of the place that did the psych evaluations for the mirakuru patients) in cop henchman's apartment. He says Laurel must have been all suspicious because of the pills. Even Ollie seems convinced this exonerates Blood. Ollie thinks he only got wrapped up in the investigation because it was Laurel who asked him to.

Only one problem: He knows someone stole the file about Blood's dad's death and covered it up. Cop henchman would have no reason to do that! That's a serious unsolved mystery! Ollie continues his streak of looking oblivious and dumb.

Oh, by the way, Laurel isn't being charged for killing cop henchman or for the drugs, but she is fired. She's still wearing the shock blanket when her boss tells her.

Blood goes to report the successful cover-up of his crimes to Slade. Slade says Blood's mistakes require a sacrifice, though, so he bursts in, in full Deathstroke attire, and kills Blood's goons.



Then he disappears. I know Not-Blood did something similar earlier, but it's actually wonderful and cool here. Do more of this, Arrow. Just embrace crazy supervillain s**t. Please.

Then, in the alley outside Verdant, Arrow tells Roy he can teach him how to control his newfound superpowers. Roy asks, "When do we start?" But he really should have asked when Ollie has ever trained someone on mirakuru, because the one guy Ollie knew who took it and is still alive is slicing up guys in suits as a method of threatening mayoral candidates.

Final thoughts

I like that Laurel's the one character who's right about everything with Blood, but other than that, the writers sure don't seem to like her all that much, between the kidnappings, the drug addiction, and quite literally no one believing her. No one even bothers to listen to her. Part of it is they tend to write her as a raving conspiracy theorist instead of an accomplished attorney who knows how to argue a case. I don't get why Sara is the only Lance sister the writers seem to respect.

Also: What's with our heroes committing crimes? Arrow can't kill anybody anymore, but Laurel sure did, when Arrow clearly had things under control. And Roy almost beat a guy to death. I guess because there aren't any formal charges, that stuff's just supposed to slide.

But what can I say, I almost forgive this episode for being mostly awful and borderline insulting because it had a scene of Slade in full-on Deathstroke gear. That was magical.


More From ComicsAlliance