Arrow Review: “Blast Radius”

Arrow returns to television and has a blast.

Title: “Blast Radius”

Cast and Crew
Director: Rob Hardy
Writers: Jake Coburn, Keto Shimizu, Marc Guggenheim

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicty Smoak
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Willa Holland as Thea Queen
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Alex Kingston as Dinah Lance
Colton Haynes as Roy Harper
Kevin Alejandro as Sebastian Blood
Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson
Sean Maher as Mark Scheffer / Shrapnel

Full cast and crew may be found here.

Premise

While questions linger about Sebastian Blood, Barry Allen’s coma, and Roy’s abilities, a new villain, Shrapnel, threatens Starling City.

High Point

Arrow’s escape from a certain trap, while predictable, felt like a perfect Green Arrow moment. Yep, that’s what the Green Arrow would do. Yet, despite Ollie’s badassedness, he needs and makes effective use of his support staff.

Low Point

The main plot had its share of unlikely developments: Felicity’s computer work, Thea and Moira’s timely appearances on the television. And while Ollie’s conflict with Felicity makes sense in context, the execution feels very forced.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 Arrow continues to be the Batman show somebody wanted to do. They have, however, added some new twists to Roy Harper’s story, and Shrapnel bore no resemblance to his comic-book namesake, though I suppose he could become that character.

Effects: 6/6

Story: 4/6

Despite some forced moments, the story held together as a villain-of-the-week tale, with some fair bits of the larger arcs.

The Roy Harper portions were more interesting than the island backstory this week, if only because we appear to be seeing, with his newfound heroics and speedy recovery, the origins of another DC character.

Acting: 5/6 The Blood family members have been well-cast; Kevin Alejandro brought a sense of depth and tragedy to his character. He won’t be a simple villain.

Emotional Response: 4/6 Of course, the claims (and even the insinuations) made by an institutionalized old woman about a person Laurel distrusts must be correct.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 Let me reiterate something I said before the show went into mid-season hiatus: DC definitely needs a game plan. Arrow would be a perfect starting point to spin out a larger JLA/DC-verse. It could even redeem Man of Steel. Unfortunately, they appear to be improvising in separate worlds. It’s too bad, however much Marvel may overshadow, outperform, and outclass DC’s non-chiropteran movies, DC is winning in their TV depictions of a comic-book world. Lead with your strengths, DC.

In total, “Blast Radius” receives 31/42

Lingering Questions

1. Agree or disagree: The island backstory needs to resolve sooner rather than later.

2. My wife wondered why Felicity would wear a backless dress while working tech support (the same look makes sense for Thea, however). What is the dress code for a superhero’s staff?

4 replies on “Arrow Review: “Blast Radius””

  1. Kiersten says:

    1. Totally agree!!
    2. What is the world’s fascination with dress codes! LOL

    I’m enjoying the heck out of Roy. :)
    I still love Felicity.. and ya know, if I had a dress like that and looked that good, I prally WOULD wear it to I.T.
    I mean, seriously, I’ve seen stranger stuff back here (in my entire building actually)
    *grin*

  2. Fez says:

    1. This particular storyline, yes, but there could be others. It feels like it’s being drawn out to parallel the current season, and we’ll get key info in both only in the finale.

    2. I noticed that as well but didn’t really see it as a bad thing. Technically speaking her job isn’t IT anymore but Oliver’s secretary/admin assistant/sidekick so the dress code for that may be a little skimpier than IT work in general. It definitely isn’t something you’d want to wear rewiring a network though…

    I like where Roy is going. As long as he doesn’t turn back into a Kanima.

    My biggest beef is that Oliver doesn’t have some way to stop a vehicle from his bike without jumping onto it. I fully expected him to whip out the bow or shoot something from the bike to stop the guy. Maybe that’s too Batman-like, or maybe it was necessary for the plot, but it felt unnecessary.

    Oliver’s reaction toward Felicity seemed more like Jealousy than anger, but perhaps that was on purpose also, I agree it felt a bit forced.

  3. Jethro says:

    Why exactly does Man of Steel need redemption?…

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      Many people were fine with it. But it underperformed, left many people cold with its depiction of dark Clark, and only managed a 55% approval from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. I found it less than impressive as a kickstarter for a DC cinematic universe, and just wrong for the character of Superman.

      I still think they can spin something out of the sequel, but they’re casting without a script, and it seems likely (at present) they’ll be keeping their tv and movie worlds separate. And that’s too bad, because Arrow has come into its own in the second season, it has created a good sense of a DCU, and their take on Barry Allen has me hopeful the Flash will follow that lead.

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