Writers: Drew Z Greenberg & Marc Guggenheim
Director: Guy Norman Bee
THE ONE WHERE: Bronze Tiger is sprung from Iron Heights to steal Merlyn’s prototype earthquake machine. Moira, meanwhile, is persuaded to stand for mayor of Starling City…
THE VERDICT: Fittingly for a plot based on the threat of some earthquake action, there are some fundamental faultlines in this otherwise serviceable episode of Arrow . Most problematically, unearthing Merlyn’s prototype city-shaking device feels like an uninspired retread so soon after the events of season one. It’s an underwhelming, overfamiliar MacGuffin, especially as it’s so tantalisingly teased earlier in the episode as “a thing that can kill thousands…”
And while Michael Jai White makes a welcome return as Bronze Tiger – he’s a charismatic presence, and wouldn’t he make a great Luke Cage in Marvel’s upcoming Netflix series? – this episode rather wastes him as a hired goon, though his quick-cut, martial arts-powered scrap with Oliver impresses.
Am I alone in thinking that the Isle of Flashbacks stuff isn’t quite working this season? The scenes feel so short, so piecemeal, and for now this secondary narrative is struggling to build a sense of momentum.
More positively, it’s good to see Roy move closer to the classic sidekick role. He may still be rocking the red hoodie but there’s an undeniable iconic shiver as he enters the fray at the Merlyn mansion side by side with Oliver. His Mirakuru-fuelled bloodlust keeps this arc interesting, too.
TRIVIA: Arms dealer Milo Armitage is a minor character in the DCU, the husband of Sandra Hawke, who’s the mother of Oliver’s son Connor.
DID YOU SPOT?: The “squad” that Amanda Waller mentions is DC’s Suicide Squad, the latest iteration of which is a team of incarcerated supervillains used by the US government for black ops work. Bronze Tiger and Deadshot are members of the Squad in the comics alongside the likes of Count Vertigo, Poison Ivy and the ever magnificently named Captain Boomerang.
DID YOU SPOT? 2 : Did the guy playing Walter’s associate look familiar? He should do – that’s Nicholas Lea, once a mainstay of The X-Files as the duplicitous Krycek. He’s also popped up in Continuum , V and Supernatural .
Roy: “You know, I slapped water out of a bowl yesterday. And I slapped water out of a bowl the day before.”
Oliver: “You must be getting pretty good at it.”
Roy: “Yeah, well, I can’t wait to get attacked by a dog dish.”
Arrow is broadcast in the UK on Sky 1 HD