The CW‘s Arrow The Scientist TV Show Review. Arrow: Season 2, Episode 8: “The Scientist” began what could be described as the first installment of a payoff to fans. Beyond Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) long awaited debut, viewers were treated to Arrow‘s first “empowered” villain, for the show’s present, and taken to the verge of its first empowered villain ever, in flashback.
The activities of Brother Blood’s (Kevin Alejandro) first successful miracle candidate brought Barry Allen to Starling City; but not for the official forensic reasons he claimed. First impression: this Barry Allen did not reflect the high strung, high energy source character that I recall. In fact, he came across as more of a socially awkward wallflower. The Flash might change this, but for now, the characterization did make him very compatible with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). Barry’s back story (arguably right out of Kolchak: The Night Stalker) was more in line with his comic origins, however, but will likely have no bearing on Arrow.
For Oliver (Stephen Amell), “The Scientist” meant another convergence of Arrow‘s parallel timelines. Blood’s miracle displayed qualities of an adversary he had faced on the island. Back then, his band had found the Japanese submarine containing a super soldier formula called Mirakuru. Faced with Slade’s (Manu Bennett) imminent death, it was decided to inject him with the formula, but sans sedative – a move likely to be fatal. His first run in with the current recipient of the drug was discouraging, but the team of Barry and Felicity paid off. Unfortunately, Oliver learned about Barry’s phony pretext for being there and terminated their partnership.
For some reason Thea (Willa Holland) wants in on Roy’s (Colton Haynes) after hours activities. This might be her way of keeping an eye on him, which explained her encouraging him to go to Sin’s (Bex Taylor-Klaus) aid – but only if he took her along. It was Roy’s investigation that connected the timeline events, for Oliver. The Hood’s solution, for keeping Roy out of this level of trouble, however, seemed both extreme and a deal breaker. The source characters had a tumultuous relationship (and then some), but The Hood may have shot himself in the foot with this one.
After last episode’s comeback appearance, as the secret of Moira Queen’s (Susanna Thompson) legal success, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) repeatedly haunted her over a single demand. This had nothing to do with the son and life he supposedly lost, but his remaining legacy: Thea. The development had soap opera written all over it; but thankfully, Moira Queen was to be neither intimidated nor underestimated. She did her homework and looked up the League of Assassins. Apparently, Merlyn’s miracle did not come by way of Ra’s al Ghul, and Merlyn had run afoul of the organization. Thanks to a tip-off from Moira, Merlyn had bigger things to worry about.
The fact that Merlyn either survived, or was revived, without League assistance left room for much speculation. I would reason that, beyond “just being that good,” Merlyn may have had another benefactor with a Lazarus Pit.
The Hood’s rematch with candidate Cyrus (Graham Shiels), did not go well. For Oliver’s sake, Barry was brought (somewhat coerced) to the Arrow Cave and made a part of the “Scooby Gang.”
Given Arrow‘s track record for re-inventing DC sourced characters, including their abilities and origins, the blink-and-you-miss-it nod to the classic origin of The Flash was a nice touch. Speaking of re-invented characters, Cyrus – aka Solomon Grundy – had been seriously downgraded for his Arrow role. While not the powerhouse of the comics, known more for taking on the likes of Superman, this Grundy seemed tailor made for the street level universe of Green Arrow.
I am of two minds on this. On one hand, I appreciate the expansive ambitions of Arrow. The series has not only been mining the DCU for characters and lore guaranteed to keep things interesting, but also tapping characters not likely to be used anywhere else, outside of their respective comics (Brother Blood: not likely to show up on the big screen). On the other hand, customizing such characters specifically to Arrow takes them out of play, elsewhere. What may be good for the world of Arrow may preclude any connection to a larger DC based television universe, or the planned joint DCU on the big screen. Like Christopher Nolan‘s Batman (again), Arrow‘s potential may prove useless to any other DC property outside the world it is creating for itself.
With the decision to regulate Flash to his own series, denying Arrow what was to be its one super powered appearance, the latter course seems the more likely outcome. The good news is that, like Nolan’s Batman, a stand alone Arrow may be worth its isolation.