Arrow season 2 episode 8 review: The Scientist

Review Caroline Preece 6 Dec 2013 - 18:59

A new hero makes an appearance in this week's Arrow. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.8 The Scientist

Being introduced onto a show that already has a spin-off for you in the works must be a bit daunting, but that was the unenviable job of Grant Gustin in the latest episode of Arrow. Coming in as Barry Allen (aka The Flash) in a two part mid-season finale before he’s spun off into a show all his own, we fans were treated to one of those rare and nerve-wracking occasions when we get to judge the main character of a show before it even begins. Did we like him? And can you see yourself watching him on his own show?

Having only previously experienced Gustin as a villain on both Glee and (sorry) 90210, it was a surprise for me to see him play the slightly awkward, geeky Allen here. That’s a big part of why I was paying so much attention, because his casting a few months ago didn’t make immediate sense to me. After watching this episode, I’m happily eating my words and, while he’s only had 40-minutes to make a good impression, what Arrow has decided to do with him should please a lot of people. The big worry was of course the presence of super speed in the realistic world of the show, and we’ll have to wait until next week to see how that’s dealt with.

The episode itself definitely felt like the first part of a whole, and so is hard to judge as a single hour of television, but there are a lot of great elements that will play a huge role in the second half of season two. The introduction of The Flash brings with it the necessity for superpowers and, via the case of the week and timely flashbacks to the island, we discover that the serum Ivo is searching for is what will bring super strength and, eventually we assume, super speed to the show. It’s now being experimented with in present day Starling City and, as a result, Oliver has uber-henchmen to deal with.

Judging by the cliffhanger of this episode, he’s going to have trouble with this new obstacle to achieving peace in his city, and I just hope that means we can look forward to some more Justice League members popping up in the future. Will Allen join Team Arrow before he departs for the 2014-15 season? His budding relationship with Felicity seems like a good move in terms of keeping her and Oliver from addressing their romantic awkwardness for a little while longer, at least, and supporters of that pairing will be sated with all of the jealous looks and snide remarks being thrown around.

While Laurel is still suspiciously MIA, the show seems to be trying to finally find a way to use Thea outside of the club and the mansion. She accompanies Roy on his night time patrol for the first time – finally teasing the teen hero duo that was promised at the end of last season – and, although he stops her from actually doing anything dangerous or liaising with the Arrow herself, I hope they eventually find themselves on equal footing in this regard. Then again, the fact that Oliver resorted to shooting Roy with an arrow just to stop him meddling was an extreme way of showing how little he actually understands about real superheroics.

Barry, on the other hand, was given his very own tragic back story with a mysteriously murdered mother and a falsely imprisoned father that he wants to set free. This gives him trauma, purpose and a reason to be on the show, and all of that makes me think the writers have done some serious thinking about how they might successfully translate the character to this world. We can’t really judge until we see the resolution to this story next week but, judging just from this first hour, I’m happy with the introduction of more fantastical elements. See you next week for the final Arrow adventure of the year!

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, State vs Queen, here.

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Didn't know it when I watched the show, but the Barry Allen back-story is straight out of the comics.

i heard that the arrow writer's were going to bring the flash's superpowers into play towards the end of this series,but instead have decided to wait until his pilot episode to explore this. shame !it would have been great to see the flash backing up the arrow with his extreme speed.

With Thea about to find out that she is Malcolm's daughter and about to get pissed at her mom all over again, and with Arrow shooting Roy, will Roy and Thea be trained by Malcolm and start off as a villainous duo? Thoughts on the theory?

With Thea about to find out that she is Malcolm's daughter and about to get pissed at her mom all over again, and with Arrow shooting Roy, will Roy and Thea be trained by Malcolm and start off as a villainous duo? Thoughts on the theory?

it's and interesting theory.but thea hates malcolm and so does roy for what he done to the glades.I think roy will realise that arrow was doing what had to be done for his own benefit,although do not have any ideas on where thea's story is going to lead. let's hope it's a transformantion into speedy !

After seeing this episode, I can say that I am totally in it for The Flash's own series. Grant Gustin did a really good job. I just can't wait for next week's episode - I can feel that it's gonna be huge!

Oh, and wouldn't it be amazing if Ra's would be this season's big bad?

Allen inspecting the shelves stacked with chemicals while a lightening storm goes on was a great little nod to the Flash's original origin.

If the guys behind Arrow are going to be involved in the Flash series too, then I think it'll be worth a watch

I know Green Arrow was never the best mentor to Speedy, but... did Oliver really think the only way to stop Roy was put an arrow through his thigh?

It probably was. He wouldn't have listened to reason. although he could have just locked him up i suppose... but that would take time.

Really glad to see the show back on form after last episode's slight return to the silly soap opera melodrama that marked parts of the first season (that court case was embarrassing and having the Count return was a mis-step). My only previous experience of the Flash was the early 90s show and this seems to have taken a different (younger) approach to the character, which seems fine in the context of this show's universe. My only reservation is whether they should have made him into an awkward Peter Parker style geek - is that what he's like in the comics?
I really like how the island plot is fitting in with the main storyline and how Oliver is still not quite a settled individual, prone to over-reacting and making arrogant mistakes. Although I'm curious about the Flash, I'm more interested in seeing what happens to Slade, given that (after Sarah asked after him a few weeks ago, which she wouldn't have done if he died in the submarine in front of her) he must have survived the injection and I'd really like to see Deathstroke show up at some point. We also now have three interesting villains circling (Brother Blood, Malcolm Merlyn and Rha'as Al Ghul), greater involvement of the suppporting cast (although Diggle and Lance didn't do that much this week, at least on screen, but have had a few great character episodes this season) and a real sense that the show is building story arcs and a universe. Of course, not to keep bringing up a negative, the added bonus this week was the absence of Laurel Lance - the sooner she is either out of the show altogether or the writers give her a better storyline (noting that this may not be the writers' fault, but due to the actress' inability to protray any emotion except haughty indignation) the better.

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