Writers: Greg Berlanti/Geoff Johns
Cast: Stephen Amell/Katie Cassidy/David Ramsey/Willa Holland/Susanna Thompson/Paul Blackthorne/Emily Bett Rickards/Manu Bennett/Colton Haynes
“The Man Under The Hood”
Between Team Arrow taking an offensive against Slade and trying to mend his broken family and company, Oliver certainly has his work cut out for him. If all of that wasn’t enough, in classic super-hero fashion Oliver picks up more problems along the way and nearly all of them are woven into a complex web of lies and intrigue.The Ups: This week Team Arrow finds themselves tracking the hi-tech equipment that Slade is after, starting with the tech lying right under their noses at Queen Consolidated. After Team arrow finds out what Slade wants and how he’s using it they come after him directly in an effort to stop him before he achieves his goals. This episode is a good example of what a show is like when everything goes right. The acting is engaging and intense, several different plot lines are advanced, we get a lot of great character developments, and the action scenes are fluid and well choreographed. This episode was also incredibly dense without being too rushed. In this episode we learn more about Isabel Rochev and her motivation for working with Slade is explained. We also see Laurel and Detective Lance get more screen time, in this episode it seems like their problems coincide with the Arrow more which draws them back into the limelight in more interesting ways. On top of all this Greg Berlanti and Geoff Johns somehow found time to plant some nice little Easter eggs and possible set-up for future story lines. Thinking back on everything that happened it’s amazing to think that it all took place in under an hour.
The Downs: The Island flashback doesn’t advance too much and is really only used for exposition in this episode. While I would have liked to see more of what happens on the Island I do understand that the balance between the flashback and modern day stories had to be shifted since so much is happening in the present.
Overall: Another awesome episode in the Deathstroke arc. Ever since we first saw Slade dawn the mask the show has only become more and more intense and this episode is no exception. In the lulls of the big climactic fight scenes, all of the secondary characters still get their time to shine and have the opportunity to participate in compelling stories. One of the great hallmarks of this series has been its ability to balance many different plot lines and this episode is a great example of that. While it should go without saying that you should tune into every episode of Arrow, this week’s episode stands slightly above the rest as an example of truly balanced story telling and great entertainment.
Grade: 5 of 5