Arrow S2 Ep19 – The Man Under the Hood

Arrow S2 Ep19 - The Man Under the Hood

Arrow is back after a two-week hiatus with the episode “The Man Under the Hood.” Fortunately, the break we recently experienced will be the last of this season as the show will air for five straight weeks until the big finale. This week’s episode shows us the backlash of what occurred in “Deathstroke”. Laurel knows Ollie is the Arrow. Detective Lance has been arrested. Thea knows Malcolm Merlyn is her father. Isabel Rochev now owns Queen Consolidated. Roy has left Team Arrow and Starling City altogether. “The Man Under the Hood” explores the results of all these recent occurrences and also attempts to add a little more to the show’s ever-expanding mythology.

Arrow S2 Ep19 - The Man Under the Hood

Team Arrow minus one Roy

Laurel’s new found knowledge that Ollie is Arrow plays a huge role in “The Man Under the Hood.” There is a lot of focus on her investigating old newspaper articles concerning both Ollie and Starling City’s vigilante and also following Arrow and The Canary around. She slowly pieces everything together. Slade may have told her the truth about Ollie, but she puts the information together herself that Sara is The Canary. Apparently she couldn’t tell before that the domino mask wearing female vigilante that looks exactly like her sister was actually her sister. While I think it’s funny when things like this happen in super hero movies and TV shows (i.e., Clark Kent’s glasses don’t hide anything) I feel you just have to get used to the idea that they take place in a comic book world with comic book rules. It’s forgivable.

Nearing the conclusion of the episode Laurel visits her imprisoned father. After he had been beaten by a fellow inmate Laurel has had enough. She’s willing to tell her father that Arrow is actually Ollie. Before she can say anymore Detective Lance says he doesn’t want to know who the man under the hood is (working in the title of the episode) because of what would happen to that man. Having a great deal of respect for Arrow, Lance knows that he carries a lot of weight on his shoulders. It’s a very good speech from Detective Lance and really reinforces how much the dynamic between him and Arrow has changed since season one. It turns Laurel around, and after she’s able to make a deal with the D.A. to get her father released, she goes to Ollie and hugs him never revealing that she knows the truth.

Thea Queen has become one of the more sympathetic characters on Arrow this season. “The Man Under the Hood” emphasizes how much Thea’s new found knowledge that Malcolm Merlyn is her real father has affected her. She puts things in perspective for Ollie, as well as the audience, when she says to him “I tried to kiss my half-brother before my real father killed him,” referring to Tommy Merlyn. She’s definitely in a bad place right now and its hard not to sympathize with her. Later in the episode, after Ollie found out that his father knew about Thea being Malcolm Merlyn’s daughter, he informs Thea of this. He hopes the knowledge that his father still raised and loved Thea as his own, even though he knew she wasn’t his, would make Thea feel better. Ultimately, it makes her feel worse as she realizes not only are her brother and mother both liars but so was her supposed father.

The reason Ollie knows that his father knew about Thea is due to Isabel Rochev. She reveals this to him after she also reveals that she had an affair with Robert Queen and he almost left Moira and the family for her. While her former relationship with Robert Queen does mirror events that occurred in the comics, I think adding this bit of information to the show’s mythology is a little much. How much more complicated can Ollie’s life get? We already have a vengeful Slade Wilson, a power hungry Sebastian Blood, a distrusting Thea Queen, and a rebellious Roy Harper. Now the show’s adding a scorned lover with a vendetta against the Queen name. Let’s take it easy and save some drama for later.

Arrow S2 Ep19 - The Man Under the Hood

Bullets cannot harm the Deathstroke

The episode’s main story arc consisted of Team Arrow preventing Slade Wilson from getting his hands on a centrifuge that would aide in creating an army of Mirakuru-infused ex-cons. They do this at first by destroying Queen Consolidated’s applied sciences division. Afterwards, Slade shows up in the Arrow Cave and proves his might by taking out Ollie, Sara, and Diggle in battle. They may have been unprepared for Slade’s arrival but just knowing that Slade can take on three of them at the same time and win is scary. The scene reinforces just how much of a challenge he is and will be. The team will definitely have to step up their game if they want to beat Slade before the season finale.

Later, after Slade steals a centrifuge from the Starling City division of S.T.A.R. Labs, Ollie makes his way to where Slade is holding his potential army. He finds Roy there hooked up to the centrifuge which is basically feeding his blood to the escaped convicts, thus creating the Army. Slade and Isabel try to intervene and take down Ollie but thanks to some help from Diggle, Arrow makes it out of there with Roy. The final scene shows Slade’s Mirakuru-infused army rise from their beds. They will soon wreak havoc on Starling City.

I enjoyed “The Man Under the Hood,” but do think they’re cramming a lot into the Arrow mythology that can be saved for later episodes or seasons. The execution of the main story arc was a little dull, but I did enjoy seeing Laurel’s arc and was glad to see her come to terms with the fact that Ollie is Arrow. The episode also featured brief appearances of S.T.A.R. labs scientists Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) who will be supporting characters on The CW’s The Flash. While it was nice seeing these characters knowing what they eventually become (Spoiler: Cisco Ramon becomes Vibe and Caitlin Snow becomes Killer Frost), their appearance on Arrow and their mentions of Barry Allen and Iris West were nothing more than a plug for The Flash and felt out of place.

Overall, “The Man Under the Hood” was a decent episode, but I just hope this slow burn pays off in the end. How will Team Arrow take on Slade’s army? Will someone die? There’s only four episodes left in the season to find out.

Next week’s Arrow will focus on Roy going crazy and unleashing his frustrations on Starling City. Check out the extended promo for next week’s episode “Seeing Red” and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Man Under the Hood” in the comments.