Arrow season 2 episode 12 review: Tremors

Review Caroline Preece 31 Jan 2014 - 12:54

Oliver trains an apprentice in this week's Arrow. Here's Caroline's review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.12 Tremors

Since the moment Roy Harper was introduced to the world of Arrow back in season one, we’ve been wondering when and how he would eventually join up with Oliver and his team of secret-keepers. This week’s episode saw that finally play out and, though we have no idea how he’s going to deal with the fact that his girlfriend’s big brother is the person who saved his life (and shot him in the leg a couple of weeks ago, of course), the fact that Oliver feels as if he can trust Roy enough to induct him into the inner circle is interesting in itself.

The entire episode was constructed around the anticipation of Roy becoming the superhero we always knew he was meant to be, and the moment in which he discovered Oliver’s big secret didn’t disappoint. Interestingly, Roy didn’t earn his way into Team Arrow through some show of integrity or by mastering his new abilities – it was a desperate move by Oliver to help him better understand the tactics for control that he himself has learnt. He’s experiencing this for the second time, as the flashbacks to Slade have taught us, and he realised that Roy had to focus on something outside of himself. Whether it sticks, or whether he continues to be a loose cannon, remains to be seen.

The whole thing was something that desperately needed to happen, just as Felicity joining the team last year had to, and a constantly evolving group at the show’s centre will keep things fresh. We might never get a Justice League-esque team of heroes, but this second season has been great for introducing to more comic book characters than we could ever have imagined this time last year. We already have Black Canary, The Flash and Red Arrow, but there are also rumblings of Nightwing in the near future. No matter what happens, it’s clear that Oliver isn’t going to saving the city on his own anymore.

Its part of his evolution as a character – from vigilante to hero – and the same could be said for Laurel. Despite my thought that last week’s episode was a low point for the character, it seems that the writers had a few more blows to deliver. Now, however, Sara’s back in town ready to reveal herself to her sister, and hopefully the entire Lance family will become a much more solid element of the show from here onwards. Sara is a character that deserves to be in the present-day parts of the show as well as the flashbacks, Quentin hasn’t featured as much this year, and Laurel is a character in need of a major overhaul.

There are so many issues between Laurel and Sara, especially given that Quentin is already aware of his youngest daughter’s return, that it’ll probably be the main order of business next week. Roy will still be acclimatising to his new life, so this seems like a good idea, and could address a few of the weaker points of the show in the coming weeks. Thea and Laurel have been a problem for too long and, short of revealing Oliver’s secret to everyone on the show, bringing in people close to them will help them to become more integrated parts of the show. With Roy and Sara on one side and Laurel and Thea on the other, however, how long before Oliver’s cover is completely blown?

Though it’s obvious why this can’t happen at this early stage in the show’s life, watching Oliver and Roy work together this week was such a joy that it’s hard not to wish for a mass discovery. Now, however, we only have four people in the Arrow Cave and, with Diggle becoming increasingly sidelined in favour of Oliver and Felicity’s flirtations and Roy’s training, even that might be too much. The show is in a transitionary period right now and, with Slade sitting tight in the shadows and Malcolm Merlyn still hanging out somewhere close, the more heroes at Oliver’s disposal the better.

Read Caroline's review of the previous episode, Blind Spot, here.

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What, no mention of Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad set-up?

This show never fails to surprise me. Whenever I see that something has been given the 24 episode format I'm normally correct in thinking that it will be 80% filler episodes, Smallville made me this cynical while The Walking Dead's extension to 16 episodes per season seemed to confirm this for me.

On the other hand, Arrow never seems to slow down, which I love, I am just scared that the writers might struggle to maintain the momentum for the rest of the season (and for seasons thereafter), although as it stands, Arrow has been the perfect example of how good a show with more than 20 episode a season can be.

My only gripe this week was how Roy's super strength failed to cave in Bronze Tiger's face, surely there could have been a better way to film this scene.

P.S. Looking back, I can't believe that Smallville fans were in uproar about Justin Hartley not being cast for the role.

Which was great, but, my god, that was an awfully cheesy line.

Why? Hartley was nothing special, granted but are you suggesting that Amell has had anything to do with Arrow's success (frequent shirt absences aside, of course).

"(...) and there are also rumblings of Nightwing in the near future"

Wait, what?? I haven't noticed any hints in that direction, anyone care to be more specific?

Show keeps getting better and better! :)

Unrelated, how come Den of Geek has stopped reviewing Supernatural?? :(

Hi Kelpie, our Supernatural reviews had a short break but are back as of episode 9.13. Thanks!

The note at the end isn't really the reason I like the show so much, it's just referring to the amount of times I read "there's no Green Arrow without Justin Hartley", which of course is false, Hartley's version of the character would have been no way believable in the context of the show, he worked in Smallville but wouldn't have managed on his own.

The only hint I know of so far is that Bludhaven was mentioned in one episode.

Cheers :)

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