Monday, December 23, 2013

Superpowers Officially Enter the World of Arrow: Season 2 Mid-Finale

Off the heels of last week's cliffhanger, Arrow continues to impress with a mostly great mid-season finale. Last week, Barry Allen was introduced and a huge amount of developments occurred. This week there were even more and it set up for a great second half to what has been an improved second season.

The episode revolves around Oliver struggling with hallucinations which he thinks are brought on by his encounter with the man on the mystery drug, Cyrus Gold. These hallucinations are of Slade, Shado, and Tommy. They urge him to stop his vigilante ways and tell him that he has failed them. It turns out that these hallucinations were not caused by Gold, but instead Oliver's mind. Oliver has to overcome these demons and does so with the help of the Tommy hallucination, who tells him that he is doing good and that he's proud of Oliver. Speaking of Slade and Shado, the flashback scenes reached new heights as Oliver was forced to choose between the lives of Sarah and Shado. He chose Sarah and as a result Shado took a bullet to the brain. That came as a big shock to me and there doesn't seem like there is anyway to bring her back. However, last episode it was Slade that died and somehow survived to free Oliver and Sarah. Maybe Shado can come back somehow.

In the middle of the episode, Roy is captured by Brother Blood and drugged just as Arrow tries to save him. He ends up saving Roy but doing so he also possibly revealed his identity to him. Although, when Roy awakes he showed no memory of Oliver's secret. For now it's a wait and see type of thing.

Grant Gustin's Barry Allen was my highlight of the episode for the second week in a row as he continued to provide an awesome and accurate portrayal of the DC comics character. His interaction with Oliver is great and it transitions from Oliver being mad that Barry knows who he is, to an accepting him as a friend and ally. The best part of Barry related screen time was definitely his origin. Barry is shown working in his lab late at night as he was too late to make it to see the quantum accelerator in person. However, something goes wrong and the power goes out throughout Central City. Then it happens, lightning strikes Barry and the shelf besides him, which holds tons of chemicals, he ten collapses, and his skin dances with red and yellow energy. With that bolt, superpowers officially entered the world of Arrow. As great as Barry was I do have to question how. A police scientist is so gifted in healing people and it seems like getting Barry to save Oliver was a bit forced.

The other major part of the episode was the last moment reveal that Slade is alive and is in fact Brother Blood's boss. When asked who Arrow is to him, he responds by saying "my friend" but then goes on to say that he will strip him down to the bone and take away all those that he cares about. I certainly didn't see that coming and am very happy to see the people from the island adapting to life in the city.

In the end the entire Arrow team, featuring special guest Geoff Johns further demonstrate that they have indeed found a way to capture lightning in a bottle. 3 Ghosts is an episode that succeeds on virtually every level and serves as a very deserving of the mid-season finale hype.


Barry Allen continues to impress

The Flash's origin is true to the comics

Oliver's fight with his hallucinations is powerful

Island scenes finally reach payoff level

Reveal that Slade is Alive
Written by Alexander Handziuk

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