Watching this episode, which introduces the character of Barry Allen soon to be known as “The Flash” (and superbly played by Grant Gustin – fantastic casting) leaves you wishing for the new The Flash series to start immediately. The episode played again this week and concludes with the “Three Ghosts” episode replay on Wednesday. These are two episodes not to be missed (or watched just once).
**********CAUTION********** SPOILERS DEAD AHEAD **********CAUTION**********
A robbery at Queen Consolidated has everyone stumped until Central City’s police scientist, Barry Allen, arrives to help Team Arrow.
The feel of this episode is lighter, more whimsical (primarily when Barry Allen is on screen) than the usual darker Arrow episodes. It was handled well and the blend of comedy, snark, action and serious is balanced and doesn’t make this story too foreign for the Arrow fans. It does give us an idea of the style of the upcoming The Flash series which looks to be falling somewhere between Smallville and Arrow. Anticipation is building!
Grant Gustin is quite charming as awkward CSI scientist, Barry Allen. Barry is almost immediately drawn to Felicity and they have a very nice chemistry between them with a hint of budding romance. His story about the murder of his mother and – after Oliver confronts him about inconsistencies in his story – his confession about his father’s subsequent incarceration for the crime, are touching and real. This is the perfect formula for a super hero.
Barry works the case of the Queen Consolidated robbery beautifully. He digs through data, connecting clues and developing solid theories in a way that complements the style of Oliver/Arrow, who works from training and instincts on a more physical level. What Barry lacks in brawn, he makes up for in brains. Oliver doesn’t trust him, but it remains to be seen how much of that has to do with Oliver’s suspicious nature or Oliver’s feelings about Felicity.
Barry’s relationship with Felicity is sweet and tentative and, not surprisingly, very productive. It’s a pairing that will hopefully grow in the future (in Starling City and Central City). Together, they share enough brain power to run Queen Consolidated’s science division. It’s no wonder that the team turns to him when Oliver’s life is in peril.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. At least that seems to be Thea’s attitude. Roy and Thea agree to help Roy’s friend, Sin, find a missing Glades resident, Max. Thea is all for Roy getting involved – as long as she can go along for the ride. Unfortunately, missing Max has fallen prey to the Mirakuru experiments of Brother Blood and company. Case closed? Not for Roy, who has become intensely serious (and that is putting it mildly) about crime in The Glades. Apparently, Oliver thinks the same thing since he ends up putting an arrow through Roy’s leg in order to slow him down. It’s funny how arrows continue to be a form of communication between Roy and Arrow/The Vigilante.
Moira Queen is back and more cool, calm and collected than ever – well, except for when Malcolm Merlyn pops up and makes veiled threats and impossible demands. Her strongest competition in the boardroom is Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) who seems to be made of pretty stern stuff herself (that’s right, don’t mess with River Tam!). This woman seems like a femme fatale to watch out for. It remains to be seen which woman will end up the true queen of Queen Consolidated.
At home, Moira has an even deadlier foe in Malcolm Merlyn – hell hath no fury like an archer scorned. Since the loss of his only son, Malcolm wants to get to know his remaining child better – Thea. Moira tried to out-maneuver Malcolm last season and it didn’t end very well. Several deaths, a devastating earthquake and a prison stint later and she is facing off with him again. Hopefully, she has learned a thing or two and has better luck this time. She has apparently become a better listener since she picked up on Malcolm’s mention of Nanda Parbat and did some investigating. With the help of new friend and Malcolm’s old enemy, Rha’s Al Ghul, she may just have a chance. But she should proceed with caution – your enemy’s enemy is not always your friend.
The Transformation of Slade
The story on the island is, as usual, the darkest part of the episode. Oliver, Sara, Shado, and an ailing Slade are on the run from Ivo and his men. In search of a miracle drug to help Slade, the gang makes their way to an abandoned submarine where the “Mirakuru” (miracle) is to be found. Giving the drug to Slade cold will most likely be fatal, but Shado and Slade opt for trying since his odds are not great any way you look at it.
There is a touching, bittersweet moment when Slade finally tells Shado he regrets never telling her how he felt about her. It should come as no surprise to anyone, but it seems to anyway. It is fleeting, but so important in the overall story of Slade and Oliver – this unrequited love will fuel so many actions yet to be seen. Slade is given the injection of Mirakuru and his reaction is violent – so violent that when he quiets, he appears to be dead. Before they can find out, Ivo and his men arrive and take the three hostage.
Oliver fares badly in a fight with one of Brother Blood’s soldiers – the only soldier to survive the Mirakuru experiment. Diggle and Felicity find him in a warehouse, unconscious with two emptied syringes in his leg. A hospital would reveal Oliver’s true identity, so Felicity decides to turn to the smartest person she knows – Barry. The episode ends on a great cliffhanger as a drugged and kidnapped Barry awakens in the lab and Felicity says to him, “Please save my friend.”
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c. Full episodes are also available at the http://www.cwtv.com/shows/arrow and On Demand (check your cable listings) as well as on iTunes, Amazon, Hulu and Google Play.
I always like to include some of my favorite quotes and exchanges from the episode. And there are soooo many quote/exchanges in this episode, it is wonderful. I included a baker’s dozen (um, give or take a few). The dry wit and the snappy comebacks are top notch.
Oh and the cover story for the Science Showcase magazine that Barry Allen is carrying in the rain:
S.T.A.R. LABS PARTICLE COLLIDER
IS IT SAFE?
If you have some quotes or moments you liked, please share in the comments section.#1 Felicity to Moira as she returns to Queen Consolidated with Oliver and Diggle: “Mrs. Queen, welcome back to the company.” Moira: “Thank you.” Felicity: “You look fabulous — really, better than ever. Did you do something to your hair?” Moira: “Yes, I shampooed it without eight women and a guard watching.” Felicity: [laughs, then stops, worried] “Is it OK to laugh? Because I was ordered not to say anything about you being in prison, just to avoid any awkward… exchanges.” [Moira walks away into the office.] Oliver: “Like that one.” #2 Isabel: “Oliver, I didn’t realize your mother was stopping by for a visit today.” Oliver: “Well, it’s not a visit. This is her company, too.” Isabel: “Of course. [beat] How are you, Moira?” Moira: “Back, Isabel.” #3 Officer Lance to Oliver regarding the robbery: “Any idea what these guys were so hot to break in here for? You didn’t happen to leave a spare earthquake machine lying around did you? [Oliver glares] Sorry.” #4 Barry Allen, arriving at scene of robbery: “Sorry I’m late. Well, actually, my train was late. Well, the second one. The first one I did miss, but that was my cab driver’s fault. I’ve got this great traffic app, and… but he thought that he was right. But I’m here now, though. So…” Officer Lance: “Great. Who the hell are you?” Oliver: “And do your parents know that you’re here?” Barry: “I’m Barry Allen.” #5 Barry to Oliver regarding guard’s murder: “I’m guessing you don’t know how hard it is to break someone’s neck.” Oliver: [feigning innocence] “Hmmm? No. No idea.” #6 (just because of the meet-cute moment) Felicity: “What did you say your name was again?” Barry: “Barry. Allen.” Felicity: [smiles] “Felicity. Smoak.” #7 Barry to Felicity, regarding The Vigilante/Arrow: “Police reports show that he uses carbon arrows, but if he switched to an aluminum carbon composite, he would have far better penetration.” Felicity: “Maybe he thinks he penetrates just fine.” #8 Malcolm Merlyn to Moira, surprising her in her home: “I hear you’re throwing a party. I didn’t get my invite.” Moira: “Where exactly should I have addressed it? Starling City Cemetery?” Malcolm: “I know that’s where you wish I was right now.” #9 Oliver hands Felicity a mangled arrow with blood on the tip. Felicity: “I think I preferred it when you left these in people.” Oliver: “I need you to analyze the blood on the arrowhead. If we can figure out which sedative they’re using…” Diggle: “We can figure out where the next robbery will be.” Felicity: “Barry and I will get right on it.” [Walks away, gingerly holding arrow.] Diggle to Oliver: “I think our Miss Smoak is smitten.” #10 Barry in lab, lightning storm looming in the background: “They have nitric acid next to hydrazine? Permanganates on top of acetone? This is the definition of dangerous! Felicity: “If it’s so dangerous, maybe you shouldn’t be touching them.” [thunder rumbles, lightning flashes] #11 Barry to Felicity: “Pays to work for a billionaire.” Felicity: “Actually my take home’s nothing special. Especially given I am rarely at home, since I’m with him every night.” Barry: [deflated] “Ah. Well, I didn’t realize you and he were…” Felicity: “Oh, no. Work. He… and I are not, no – I do not like Oliver. [beat, Barry smiles] Um, I was invited to a work function. It’s a party. And I have a plus-one… I was thinking you would make a really good… plus one.” Barry: [smiles, then stops with dread] “There’s not going to be dancing, is there? I’m just not too good on my feet.” #12 Barry to Oliver and Felicity: “That’s why I look into cases like this. The ones nobody believes are possible. Maybe if I can just make sense of one, I might be able to find out who really killed my mother. And free my dad.” #13 Oliver to Felicity at party: “Time for a dance?” Felicity: “Not really feeling like dancing with you, Oliver.” Oliver: “I know. And that is why I called him… [They both turn to see Barry Allen arriving.] FYI – they will card him at the bar.” #14 Isabel to Oliver at party: “I tried to warn you.” Oliver: “I tried to ignore you.” #15 Moira to Malcolm: “And I thought it couldn’t hurt to add extra security guards.” Malcolm: “It hurt them. [angrily throws down confiscated guns] Badly.” And the best moment/quote of the episode comes at the very end when a disoriented Barry Allen awakens in The Arrow’s underground lair and sees an unconscious Oliver in his Arrow green leather with Diggle standing over him. Felicity comes into view and says to Barry: “Please save my friend.”