Arrow S2 Ep10 – Blast Radius

Arrow S2 Ep10 - Blast Radius

Arrow is finally back after a month-long hiatus. Last month’s 2-part mid-season finale supplied Roy Harper with super strength, had Ollie face off against Solomon Grundy, and introduced Barry Allen/The Flash. What a way to end the first half of season 2! Unfortunately, Arrow’s mid-season premiere, “Blast Radius,” doesn’t reach that same level of awesome that “The Scientist” and “Three Ghosts” did, but I’m not complaining. I’m just happy the show’s back, and while “Blast Radius” felt only slightly above mediocre it was still entertaining and did add more dynamic to some characters.

Arrow S2 Ep10 - Blast Radius

Sebastian Blood, a.k.a. Brother Blood.

The episode begins with Ollie trying to find information on “the man in the skull mask” who we know is Sebastian Blood. Ollie doesn’t get any closer to his goal, but the stress from this case is starting to take its toll on him. For the majority of the episode he comes off as frustrated. This is also partially due to his partner Felicity being out of town. Following the events of “Three Ghosts,” Barry Allen is now in a coma back in Central City. Felicity travels over there to check on him leaving Ollie and Diggle to handle the workload. To make matters worse there’s a new villain in town by the name of Shrapnel. Shrapnel is played by Sean Maher of Firefly fame and comes off as different than the Shrapnel DC Comics readers may be used to. While Maher does his best with the material he’s given, Shrapnel has a mediocre, villain-of-the-week quality to him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was never seen in this series again but he served his purpose in “Blast Radius” acting as a terrorist blowing up Starling City buildings.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Blood is trying to gain more support in the community while running for mayor of Starling City. Even though Blood shifts his evil-looking eyes every so often the only person who suspects something is off with him is Laurel Lance. This brings me to an aspect of “Blast Radius” I really appreciated. Laurel has been MIA in a few episodes recently and when she was there she didn’t really do much. Now Laurel is proving her worth once again investigating Blood’s past and trying to find out if her hunch about him is correct. Unfortunately she is still having the drug abuse problem that was introduced several episodes ago, but no one’s perfect. I’m just glad to see her character start to get back on track.

On the other hand, Roy is on a completely different track than he was before. In last month’s mid-season finale, Roy was injected with Mirakuru which gave him superhuman strength and anger issues. I’m not too fond of Roy having super powers now. I just hope his abilities wear off eventually. I would like to see Roy eventually be trained as a sidekick by Ollie and I don’t think Ollie would want a sidekick that can punch a hole through his face. For majority of the episode Roy tries to hide his new abilities from Thea but it all comes out in the open by the episode’s conclusion.

Arrow S2 Ep10 - Blast Radius

Ollie loses Shrapnel.

There’s an interesting thing that happens between Ollie and Felicity midway through the episode. Felicity eventually returns home from Central City. After a failed attempt at trying to catch Shrapnel, Ollie blames Felicity for losing Shrapnel’s signal mid-chase. He chews her out pretty bad even though it wasn’t Felicity’s fault at all. He even gets upset with her for leaving Starling City during a crisis to go check on a coma-stricken Barry Allen. Ollie is definitely out of line here, but one can assume he’s a little jealous over her relationship with Barry. Ollie’s jealously makes me wonder if the writers will eventually end up making him and Felicity a couple. As I continue to watch more episodes the more I worry they are going to do this. I’d rather they didn’t. I like Ollie and Felicity as crime-fighting partners, not lovers. Let’s hope “Olicity” doesn’t become a thing.

Not much happened in the island flashback sequences in this episode. Slade Wilson is now on the warpath to get his revenge on Dr. Ivo for murdering Shado, the women he loved. He is also hopped up on Mirakuru and, like present-day Roy, has superhuman strength and anger issues. Ollie feels somewhat responsible for Shado’s death and feels the need to tell Slade. He is stopped by Sara Lance, present-day Black Canary.

Arrow S2 Ep10 - Blast Radius

Arrow aligns himself with Brother Blood.

By the end of the episode Ollie catches Shrapnel and prevents him from blowing up one of Blood’s mayoral rallies. Ollie then apologizes to Felicity for the way he acted earlier. Afterwards, he aligns himself with Sebastian Blood while Laurel finally discovers some truth about Blood’s shadowy past. It turns out Blood murdered his own father and stuck the only witness to his crime, his mother, in a mental institution to shut her up. Add this to what we already know about Blood and we can see he’s pretty evil. It’s too bad the only person on the show who realizes this is Laurel.

Overall, I enjoyed “Blast Radius.” Seeing Laurel actually do something was a nice surprise and I liked the conflicts between Ollie and Felicity. The action sequences, as usual, were well executed. The only real problem I had was that Shrapnel, who served as the episode’s lead villain, felt so mediocre. Especially when compared to villains in previous episodes like Count Vertigo and Dollmaker. Hopefully, future episodes of Arrow don’t resort to using throwaway characters like this.

In the next episode it seems Laurel will be kidnapped by Sebastian Blood and it will be up to Ollie to rescue her. Also, we will get a look at present-day Slade Wilson in his Deathstroke costume. Hopefully Ollie and Deathstroke will get into a some entertaining fight sequences. I’ll definitely be looking forward to that.