TV Recaps

‘Arrow’ Review: Do you have any happy stories?

Jack Rowand/The CW

We have to give credit where credit is due and Arrow delivered one of its best episodes to date last night. “Crucible” was not perfect by any means (let’s not get carried away), but it was a solid hour of engaging television that set several key pieces into play and left us wondering what’s going to happen next.

The biggest piece by far was the reveal of Canary’s true identity. Since we covered TCA this summer, we already knew that a not-so-dead-after-all Sara Lance was the woman behind the mask (side note: we can’t help feeling for the writers and producers of the show and what must have gone through their heads when The CW president spilled the beans on their big secret. It’s not like anyone can reprimand the person who keeps them employed). But even knowing it was Sara, we were still curious about the why and how.

arrow-204-crucible-12It was a sharp-eyed Felicity who put Oliver on the Canary’s trail early in the episode. Queen Consolidated was hosting a party and Oliver was late, much to Isabel’s chagrin. We still don’t know a lot about her character, but we like what we’ve seen so far. She’s focused on the company’s success and has no problem telling Oliver that he’s doing a terrible job and he’s not really the one in charge, no matter what he might think. We’re looking forward to seeing more of her backstory explored in future episodes.

Anyway, back to Canary. Felicity is watching Oliver and Laurel talk at the party and she pulls Oliver aside and points out that Laurel is the common denominator in the Canary sightings. Sure enough, Canary is staking out Laurel’s apartment later that night and Arrow easily manages to catch her in a trap. He demands to know who she is, but she warns him that nothing will be the same and then she calls him by his name. Oliver pulls off her mask and it’s Sara (except it’s a different actress so the show inserted a new flashback of Oliver and Sara on the ship so viewers wouldn’t be totally confused).

Canary gets away and Oliver returns to the Arrow Cave and fills Dig and Felicity in on the turn of events. Both are shocked and here comes the twist that we didn’t see coming: Oliver knew that Sara didn’t drown! Remember at the end of last week’s episode when Oliver was taken from the island and placed on a boat? It’s basically a floating torture chamber and Oliver comes face to face with Sara there (but the flashback fallout is being saved for next week). Oliver tells Dig and Felicity that he honestly believed that Sara was dead and he didn’t see the point in letting Officer Lance and Laurel know just how much she suffered first.

Jack Rowand/The CW

Speaking of Laurel, apparently, she’s a pill-popping drunk now? When we said we wanted a story for Laurel, this isn’t exactly what we meant, but we’re going to cautiously wait and see where the show plans to go with this. For now, Laurel is having a breakdown, which is understandable given the hell that is her life. After flaking on a date with Hot Paul (the DA for those who don’t watch Orphan Black), a drunk Laurel gets behind the wheel and ends up pulled over for driving drunk. The cop calls her dad and Officer Lance begs Laurel to get help and not end up like him. Laurel is not impressed.

Sara goes to visit Oliver at the club. She explains that she came back to Starling City after the earthquake because she wanted to check on her family. Oliver urges her to let them know she’s alive, but Sara is too broken for that. Officer Lance shows up and asks Oliver to talk to Laurel and he considers telling him the truth, but stops himself. When he goes back into the club, Sara is gone. Oliver seeks out Laurel, but she’s no more receptive to him than she was to her father. She makes some snide remarks and walks away. Again, we don’t love this, but we’ll forgive if it actually goes somewhere toward building Laurel into the character she should be.

While all of this is going on, a gang leader called ‘The Mayor’ has been bringing heavy duty weaponry into The Glades. Oliver teams up with Alderman Blood for a ‘cash for guns’ program. Roy turns in some of his weapons and Thea is there too, mainly so Sin can arrive and taunt Roy about his girlfriend not knowing that he’s the vigilante’s errand boy (like we had any doubt that lie would come back to bite him). Oliver and Blood are on hand as well when The Mayor and his crew roll in and start shooting people. Oliver saves Blood, Roy protects Thea, but Sin is hurt.

arrow-204-crucible-07This leads to Arrow and Canary teaming up to go after The Mayor before he can bring in more guns. We’ve mentioned before that our comic book knowledge is limited to television and films, but we imagine this scene was basically a panel brought to life. It was pretty damn cool. At one point, Oliver and Sara had picked up the other’s weapon and when they went to switch back, the handoff basically seemed like foreplay, right? Whatever; it got the job done and it was fun to watch, especially the part where The Mayor taunted Canary and she showed him how much she dislikes the word ‘bitch’.

After all is said and done, Sin survived and promised to keep Roy’s secret. Sara and Oliver showed up at the hospital and he tried convincing her to tell her family the truth. She pointed out that if she does…and Oliver finished her thought by confirming that her family will hate him. This left us curious. Why? What did Oliver do to Sara that’s worse than getting her killed?

Now let’s talk about the final scene, which was super confusing. The Mayor was strapped to a chair and a guy in a mask (that looked a lot like the Scarecrow mask from The Dark Knight movies) approached him with a syringe and said something about making him stronger because he was creating soldiers to fight in his war. He injected The Mayor and then removed the mask as someone referred to him as ‘Brother Blood’. It was the alderman under the mask (Sebastian Blood, get it?), but we’re still not really sure what happened.

We went to the DC Comics’ Wiki to check out the character and ended up more confused. Apparently, he’s an enemy of the Teen Titans and he gets his powers from bathing in his enemies’ blood. Um, okay, that’s weird and creepy and probably not what’s happening here? But we’re still mildly curious, especially after he gave Oliver that whole speech about being in a crucible and there really being three options instead of the normal two. We’re going to wait and see where this goes before making an official judgment.

What did you guys think? Did you already know about the Canary reveal? Are you super curious about what happened to Sara that’s worse than dying? Do you think Laurel becoming an addict is a good thing? What’s your take on Isabel? Hit the comments and share your thoughts and theories with us!

Mandy Treccia
Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that.

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