Arrow S2 Ep8 – The Scientist

Arrow S2 Ep8 - The Scientist

This is the episode we’ve all been waiting for. Part one of a a two-part mid-season finale featuring the first appearance of Barry Allen, who as we know will become The Flash. Barry makes his way to Starling City to investigate an attack on Queen Consolidated by a man who displays super human strength. We can assume this man is Cyrus Gold. Cyrus was first introduced in “State v. Queen” when Brother Blood injected him with the Mirakuru serum, or The Miracle serum. While Ollie and his team begin to investigate the aftermath of the attack Barry walks in and introduces himself. He states he’s with the Central City Crime Scene Investigation Unit and is investigating a similar case in his own city. Due to his remarkable intellect he begins to help with the investigation unknowingly working with the Starling City vigilante and his team.

Arrow S2 Ep8 - The Scientist

Queen and company meet with Barry Allen

Barry Allen is played by Glee alum Grant Gustin. Since he was first announced as the actor who will eventually wear the classic red tights there has been a lot of criticism out there concerning his age. I’m happy to say that “The Scientist” addresses this and gives a reasonable explanation to why he is so young. As for Gustin’s performance I was delighted. Barry Allen is written as a shy, awkward genius and Gustin portrays those attributes appropriately. Barry also has a tragic past which is touched on in the episode. His back story is very true to the character we know from the comics. I also noticed that Barry had his own unique musical score. It was lighter than the usual dark, ominous tones we hear on Arrow.

Throughout the episode there were some cute moments between Barry and Felicity. Both being intellects in their own right they seem to naturally fall for each other. At times the episode felt like it focused more on introducing Barry rather than focusing on Green Arrow’s plight. I’m fine with this. When his eventual spin-off hits The CW the writers will be privileged with already having an established character.

The episode isn’t all about Barry though. Some time is spent on Ollie’s mother Moira Queen making her way back into Queen Consolidated after winning her court case. Naturally, even though she was found innocent, many people including Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) do not feel comfortable with Moira returning to a position of power. This is evident by the lack of guests at her “Welcome Back” party thrown by Ollie himself.

Arrow S2 Ep8 - The Scientist

Moira Queen returns to Queen Consolidated

In addition to having to deal with these issues Moira is again pursued by Malcolm Merlyn. He insists that she tell her daughter Thea that he’s her real father. He declares Thea is all he has left. She nips this issue in the bud by threatening him with the mention of Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s, who has yet to appear in the series, apparently isn’t happy that Malcolm is still alive. Its good to see Moira step up to Malcolm. She remains one of the series’ stronger characters.

The main plot of the episode is about Ollie and his team trying to track down Cyrus Gold with the help of Barry Allen. Cyrus Gold is the first character on the show to have super-human qualities making Arrow less grounded in reality. Ollie even confesses he’s seen these abilities before referring to a situation with Slade Wilson back on the island. It’s about time Arrow featured some super powers. Barry even mentions to Felicity and Ollie that his mother was killed by what he could only describe as “a tornado” and “a blur”. Could it have been some sort of speedster? Whether it was or wasn’t this little bit of dialogue implies that Arrow takes place in a universe with bizarre and possibly supernatural occurrences. I’m glad the show is going this route. Its nice a departure from movies like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy which almost made it a DC staple to have their properties set in a realistic world.

Arrow S2 Ep8 - The Scientist

Ollie may be outmatched

The episode concludes with Ollie facing Cyrus Gold. Ollie is clearly out of his league facing a character with super human strength and a density comparable to concrete. Like any good two-parter he fails and is even accidentally injected with what might be Mirakura. A substance which has only worked positively on Cyrus Gold as far as we know. Felicity and Diggle are at their wit’s end and decide the only person that can help Ollie recover is Barry. This leads to Barry finding out the truth about Ollie and his team.

I really enjoyed this episode. The action scenes in Arrow are always pretty good for a TV show and “The Scientist” was no exception to this. Some points the episode was trying to make were glossed over a bit in order to introduce Barry Allen to the universe, but I really like what they’re doing with that character. Now I’m definitely looking forward to seeing The Flash spin-off next year on The CW. As for Arrow I can’t wait to see next week’s mid-season finale. This season has surpassed my expectations. I won’t know what to do with myself while Arrow is on break until February 2014.


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