Comic Vine Review

34 Comments

Arrow #210 - Blast Radius Review

3

Arrow is back! Shrapnel begins to bomb the city and sets his sights on Sebastian Blood.

*Contains spoilers from the mid-season finale*

Arrow's mid-season finale (and couple episodes prior) were very awesome and full of massive fan service. They weren't just dropping names or saying, "hey, look at that Easter Egg!" Instead, they took some major steps to involve key characters and left us with so much potential. Unfortunately, this mid-season premiere doesn't take advantage of much of that and instead offers just an okay episode.

Look, I obviously don't expect the same kind of momentum that a mid-season finale would offer, but you'd think they would want to return with something more compelling and exciting for fans, especially since they want to keep people hooked until next week. Instead of addressing Malcom's return or Slade's role in the modern era (like, at all), they introduce the character Shrapnel (who, in this show, is basically a very toned down version of Batman Beyond's Mad Stan) and flesh out Brother Blood.

Shrapnel's plot isn't something we haven't seen before. He brought about some cool stunt work and produced drama between Oliver and Felicity, but aside from that, he was nothing memorable. It doesn't help that the show blew us away with amazing action before going on the break, either. Basically, he felt like filler before we dive into the bigger picture. Meanwhile, Brother Blood's story remains strong, but unfortunately, the return of Laurel takes away from that a bit. No, it's not because I think she's an annoying character or anything like that -- she's definitely doing the right thing here and will likely play a big role down the road. It's because I wasn't a fan of the actress' performance in this episode. She came off as somewhat stiff and unnatural in her responses. Additionally, what's meant to be an emotional moment between them is hindered by some very abrupt cuts.

The handling of Roy's progress was one of the more interesting parts of this episode. They're obviously paving a new path with the character and it has me legitimately curious to see how it'll pan out, especially since it leaves us with another character becoming suspicious of his physical upgrade.

Oliver and Felicity have a falling out which felt abrupt at first, but given all of the circumstances, the short fuse is understandable. I was afraid they'd really drag out the "I like you but I can't be with you" aspect, but they appear to put that to rest in this episode. Or at least I hope so because it's drama we've seen so many times before and, in a universe like this, there's way more interesting things to address. And, on the topic of more interesting things, the flashback does a fine job following-up with this new version of Slade and how Oliver's handling lying about Shado's death. These brief scenes were definitely more engrossing than what went down in the modern scenes. We all know where this is heading but that makes it no less exciting.

Blast Radius teases a couple of things worth getting excited over (primarily Roy and Brother Blood) but doesn't bring nearly the same kind of quality as the last handful of episodes. Unfortunately, the episode also doesn't follow-up at all on the major cliffhangers in the last episode. We know the mid-season finale's shockers will play a major role this season, but not chiming in on them at all during the opening episode was disappointing. Thankfully, the preview at the end of the episode was pretty promising and even contains the most exciting part of tonight's viewing: a look at modern Deathstroke's costume.

40 Comments
Posted by webling

Yup, I completely agree with this review. Before they repeatedly called him Shrapnel I thought they were doing a version of Toyman like in Smallville. He even works in a toyshop!

References I caught: Saint Walker, The Movement

Posted by Gotham331

Tad but underwhelming, but still a great watch. Next weeks episode looks very promising and most of the time the show delivers on promising

Posted by Saint_Wildcard

Oh well, can't win them all.

Edited by MrMazz

finally Arrow is back

Posted by patrat18

I disagree.

Posted by AweSam

This episode was as dull as the rest. I only tune in because I want to see Slade kick ass. At least they updated us on Barry and gave us a good idea as to where the Flash series will start off.

Posted by Deathstroke19

So it's confirmed that the guy in the trailer for next week is Deathstroke? When did we find this out?

Oh and who else noticed that when Ollie was talking to Detective Lance and the explosion goes off Lance radios it in and says DC 52?

Posted by knightofthechronicle

Yeah I definitely felt that this episode was a little off than the others. I especially thought we'd get a little bit more time with the present Slade than the past Slade, but I guess that was just the preview getting me too hyped up. The Brother Blood storyline is turning out great if you ask me, especially after what happens at the end. When are they going to discuss Laurel's drug problem though? It's getting a little annoying if you ask me.

Posted by DedrabbiT

The number 52 appears all throughout the series. I saw the reference to the movement as well

Posted by TheFirstLantern

The Movement I caught. I thought of this as a Set-Up issue.

Posted by Lurkero

The sooner Arrow drops the Felicity with Oliver drama the better. I don't want to see that develop into anything else. They are good friends and a relationship would seem forced.

The show might be taking the start low and end high approach. I don't mind returning to a tamer episode.

Posted by batsymyplaything

Can't wait to see Teen Titians' version of Deathstroke for next episode

Posted by PeppeyHare

Solid episode, definitely not one of the best.

Edited by millennium

dam i forgot that this returned tonight i need to find this episode online now

Edited by CitizenJP

Can't wait to see Teen Titians' version of Deathstroke for next episode

DUDE I thought the same thing lol. Totally reminded me of that.

Edited by drphilter

I LOVED the foreshadowing with Roy catching the light rack with the illuminating red lights all over him. LOVED IT!

Posted by The_Comebacks

@webling said:

References I caught: Saint Walker, The Movement

I missed the Saint Walker reference? Where was that in last night's episode?

I thought it was a great episode but it was really portrayed as a setup episode. The Deathstroke tease for next episode looks intriguing, however, I did have to re-watch the preview online (cause the mask looked almost white on the tv).

Posted by CF12793

Loved the review and I totally agree with it. For such a strong mid-season finale that in left us all in such awe, it's such a shame that this week's episode disappointingly didn't give us any new developments from Slade or Malcolm. Instead I felt like we got another "Villain of the week" episode, which I really thought they were done with.

Honestly, the episode felt tacky. Amell was in his zone but it seemed like none of the cast were trying too hard. And calling him "Shrapnel" just because that's his username on some forum was silly to me. Like they feel the need to give every single person they fight a codename or a nickname. I guess it's to make comic book fans excited over another DC character cameo, but if your interpretation of the character has very little to do with his comic book counterpart, then what's the point?

It felt to me like this was an episode that would have felt right at home in Season 1 of the show, but there have been way better episodes than this one so far this season.

But who cares about any of this because DEATHSTROKE!!!!!!!!!!! I really thought Slade wouldn't wear his costume in Starling until the end of the season.

Posted by SupBatz

Mediocre episode. Not bad but not all that great.

I really hope that this OliCity stuff ends soon. I like both characters and think they make a great team. But if two attractive individuals of the opposite sex work together, TV logic dictates that they simply MUST have romantic tension. It just feels forced to me.

The real magic of this show right now is Thea and Roy, for me. I hope that the two get an episode to themselves soon. I'd really like to see them develop into their own unit in the show. A second "Arrow-team", of sorts. I find it amazing how much I've grown to appreciate Thea's presence on the show after really disliking her last season. She and Roy are two of the most original aspects of the show.

Posted by Giovanni_Di_Guerra

I missed this show, I for one reeeeeeeeally want to see the flash. How long will he stay in his coma??

Posted by spidershamrock

Happy it's back but an annoying episode with far too much Laurel in it. I liked her in the first season but this year she is so annoying, and the pill subplot has no appeal to me.

Edited by Farkam

Good episode, boring villain.

Posted by PunyParker

Im still in Season 1....
Hear 2 is better....

Online
Posted by Xwraith

Im still in Season 1....

Hear 2 is better....

It is.

Edited by DaseanComerWCR

@mrmazz said:

finally Arrow is back

thank god

Posted by JV

"Did you hear me"?

"Yup"

Posted by JV

@awesam: "Dull"? Interesting take on the show..... "How so"?

Posted by AweSam

@jv: The acting is really bland, the plot is very slow and predictable, and the character development is total crap.

Posted by JV

@awesam: ok, I respect your opinion. I would say this: Acting: Not sure about bland, but it is middle of the road. Predictable: Unless your speaking of the hero winning, which is usually a Comic theme. I would disagree, there have been many twists to the show and surprises. And lastly Character Development: I would say that the characters have come along way. Perhaps not Laurel, but the other characters have grown immensely since day one. Just my opinion and hey I have never been a good critic anyway. I liked Waterworld, so what does that say :)

Posted by thebizz

The Oliver Felicity relationship stuff is super forced hopefully its dropped for good.

Posted by gameplay

yep

Posted by redleader1

@batsymyplaything: he does not seem to be like that version this slade is emotional. Plus did anyone else become horrified that slade said he has a kid in season 1 a kid who now must blame ollie for slade being hurt. I think rose might be in a episode later.

Posted by mikeman1090

My only big criticism of this episode is the "villain of the week" aspect of it again. Other than that, the action was cool, flash back scenes awesome, and we got some great character development for Sebastian Blood. Also agree with others that we should've seen more of present day Deathstroke

Posted by batsymyplaything

@redleader1: Oh I meant it in terms of his suit, not his personality. The mask and everything.

Posted by Sun_Pusher

Tad but underwhelming, but still a great watch. Next weeks episode looks very promising and most of the time the show delivers on promising

@webling said:

References I caught: Saint Walker, The Movement

I missed the Saint Walker reference? Where was that in last night's episode?

I thought it was a great episode but it was really portrayed as a setup episode. The Deathstroke tease for next episode looks intriguing, however, I did have to re-watch the preview online (cause the mask looked almost white on the tv).

@webling said:

References I caught: Saint Walker, The Movement

I missed the Saint Walker reference? Where was that in last night's episode?

I thought it was a great episode but it was really portrayed as a setup episode. The Deathstroke tease for next episode looks intriguing, however, I did have to re-watch the preview online (cause the mask looked almost white on the tv).

Again, we’re not up on the show as it’s currently airing, so we might be wrong on the exact details. But from what we can tell of people who watched the episode, “Blast Radius,” the villain-of-the-week, a villainous bomber referred to as… well, “The Bomber,” was mentioned to be a member of an anarchist group called “The Movement” at some point in the episode.

We’re guessing they have no plans to use any actual Movement characters now, of course, but if they did, bringing them in as antagonists to Oliver and the gang would be a super interesting story arc — though considering that the bomber was later revealed to be Shrapnel, a well-established supervillain in the DC Universe, we’re guessing that he isn’t exactly working in the best interests of the ragtag bunch we already know and love. At the very least, it was definitely a great one-two punch of DCU shoutouts for the hardcore fans.

Gail Simone confirmed the news this morning after checking in with some of the Arrow writers. Naturally, this excited her (and us) immensely.