Arrow season 2 episode 11 review: Blind Spot

Review Caroline Preece 23 Jan 2014 - 15:10

Will Laurel Lance become a more essential part of Arrow? After this week's episode, Caroline hopes so...

This review contains spoilers.

2.11 Blind Spot

When it gets to the point where a character becomes a drag on a series that has dozens of other things going for it, it’s either time to cut them loose or dramatically change tactics and, for Laurel Lance, Arrow seems to be choosing the latter. While we’re still dealing with the fact that Sarah, not her sister, is actually Black Canary in this incarnation of the universe, there’s a glimmer of hope at the end of Blind Spot that suggests she may become a more essential part of the show in the future. Then again, it might just have to get worse before it gets better.

Even more than last week’s Sebastian Blood investigation, the mystery this week completely hinged on how good Laurel’s instincts are, but that doesn’t mean she got to enjoy any of the spoils once Slade got wind of her plan to expose Blood. Instead, after yet another kidnap plot and a rescue from The Hood, her theories were apparently proved wrong and the threat of their perceived Skull Mask villain eliminated. Little do they know, however, that Oliver’s assumption he’s won the battle has put him in an even more dangerous position than before, and the only person who figured out the truth is currently on the outs with pretty much everyone.

Distrust between Laurel and Oliver was apparently part of Slade’s plan all along, and having the bad guy move forwards with a dastardly scheme while the hero is completely unaware is always a fun game for a action-thriller like Arrow to play. We’re still early in the season, of course, and it remains to be seen how long Slade plans to operate in the shadows before he reveals himself to his old friend. His temporary disappearance from the island flashbacks suggest that his return there will also mark his return to Oliver’s present day life, but then there are also lots of opportunities to mirror Roy and Slade’s discovery of their power and abilities.

Which brings us to the other thread of the episode – Roy and Sin’s ineffective crime solving double act. Unlike some of the other storylines involving supporting characters who aren’t Oliver, Diggle or Felicity, Roy’s journey towards becoming Red Arrow has been consistently engaging, and his misstep in Blind Spot was just another wrinkle in what is becoming one of the best things about Arrow from week to week. Putting someone in the hospital on his first time vigilante-ing alone, Oliver decides to prevent things from escalating and offer him training in Hero 101 before he causes any more damage to his one-man campaign to save the city.

While the show has demonstrated another gender imbalance in keeping Thea firmly in the dark (thank god for Sin) and pretty fed up with her apparently volatile boyfriend, we can now look forward to Roy possibly becoming a fully fledged part of Team Arrow sometime in the near future. My main question is how Oliver is going to train up a protégé without revealing his (already ludicrously obvious) identity, but maybe that’s going to be something the audience have to accept in an effort to stay within the story. No matter what form it takes, integrating Roy further into the main story is no bad thing.

Next week we also have to deal with the escape of Bronze Tiger from prison, the return of the earthquake machine that recently destroyed The Glades, Laurel’s circumstances getting even darker and Roy demanding to learn The Arrow’s true identity before he starts training. While they’re at it, they can hopefully start to bring Thea into the inner circle and develop the long-awaited Red Arrow/Speedy team, if not just so we can see operational superheroes who aren’t Oliver on a regular basis. See you next week!

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, Blast Radius, here.

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