Director: Guy Bee
Cast: Stephen Amell/David Ramsey/Emily Bett Rickards/Katie Cassidy/Colton Haynes/Michael Jai White
The Arrow begins Roy’s training in controlling his strength and channeling his anger for a greater good although it is not as easy as he would wish it to be. Back on the island Oliver feels guilty about what he unintentionally put Slade through and wishes to make amends as quickly as possible.
The Ups: This episode takes a break from the Brother Blood plot of the series and takes a different turn with this episode playing heavily on the theme of love and companionship. Oliver’s training with Roy is a bit cliche in the scope of it in that the student is defiant to the teacher but at the same time it feels refreshing. Roy has more to learn than just technique but he must also learn peace of mind and actor Coltan Haynes does a tremendous job of combining within Roy teen angst and pure rage. This week’s villain with Brother Blood out of the picture is none other than Bronze Tiger. Michael Jai White reprises his role as the martial artist/mercenary/assassin for hire and continues to portray a stoic character who says little but represents strong, indefinite motives. This episode also shines the light on two other characters who don’t live a double life. Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) and Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) have plot lines of their own that rest on the outskirts of the main story of this episode and mean to convey a certain realism to the story while also continuing the theme of love. Both these plots, though devoid of action, are both informative into the characters’ nature and where the story is going for them. It is because of these pivotal points that it is clear the stories of both these characters will eventually converge with the rest of the overlaying plot to create a much more dynamic feel that the series has already provided to it’s viewers.
The Downs: Each of the plot lines in this episode feel typical and overused as they definitely show up in other forms of media. Roy’s training, the issue with Bronze Tiger, and Moira and Laurel’s problems, though different because of the make of the show, all remain similar to things we have all seen in other shows, movies, books, video games, etc.
Overall: Even though the plot lines in this episode are cliche and a bit lackluster they still, at their core, provide a pathway that will lead the overlaying story into a very emotional state that the series is used to. Though the make of this episode is overused it still continues to be different in the fact that in the context of this show it provides a different sense to these plots. It is the uniqueness of the characters and the ever intriguing story that keeps us viewers guessing and glued to our seats when watching.
Grade 4 of 5