Comic Vine Review

42 Comments

Arrow #202 - Identity Review

3

The Glades Memorial is suffering because FEMA supplies are being stolen. Who's snagging the supplies? It's no other than China White and Bronze Tiger!

*WARNING! Thar be spoilers in here!*

Now that Oliver Queen is striving to be a more traditional hero, it's time to see how he plans to battle the evil dwelling within Starling City. No longer does he have a list of targets to eliminate -- now it's all about taking on the challenges as they pop up.

As implied by the title, "Identity" dives into the toll a dual identity is taking on our hero. As the "Vigilante" (go by the new name, dammit!), Oliver sweats and bleeds to protect the innocent people in the city. However, this leaves Oliver Queen, CEO of Queen Industries, notable absent and seemingly ignorant to the damage his family's company has done to the city. Despite his best efforts to prove otherwise, it's safe to say we all know he's not going to win over the public any time soon. To make matters even more troubling for Oliver, Brother Blood finally enters the picture and, as you could have guessed, he doesn't help the CEO's image much, either. It's a narrative we've seen before, but it has a lot of potential to reel in more emotion as the season progresses.

The true highlight of this episode is Roy's expanded role. His efforts to fight crime in the Glades has put him in a rocky spot with Thea Queen, but his actions -- as foolish as they may be -- are justified given the circumstances. Without giving anything away, I will say there's some majorly satisfying moments with this character in the episode and his role is sure to only get bigger from here.

"Identity" also sees the introduction of Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger. In his debut, he's allied with China White and stealing supplies FEMA is bringing to the Glades. Naturally, this puts him at odds with Green Arrow the Hood, and while his reflexes were displayed awesomely, his fights were kind of a letdown. First, Ollie can barely take him on in a 1v1, then he can go toe-to-toe with Tiger and China White at the same time in close combat? Also, it was a tad silly watching Ollie walk around the crates after it was clear that spot gave Bronze Tiger a massive advantage. The setting wasn't that big and Ollie totally has what it takes to get out of there and take BT out in the open, but whatever, it's a fairly minor gripe and the use of a trick arrow helps compensate for that.

The cliffhanger comes as a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's absolutely exciting to think about what could happen if the worst comes to fruition. But on the other hand, it seems VERY unlikely his identity will be revealed so soon in the second season and he'll likely escape via smoke arrow or some other method shortly after being grabbed. I'll be thrilled if they prove me wrong and take that big move this soon, but it seems doubtful.

The backstory ties to his dilemma over killing, but at this point, it just feels like rehashing familiar territory. There's a slow burn with the mystery going on over on the island, so hopefully there's a big payoff or major development in the next episode. It's kind of funny because Season One had me more intrigued with the island story and now it's the polar opposite.

Lastly, some of dialogue felt cheesy (most notable during his encounter with the villains) and other remarks came off as a bit inorganic and seemed like exposition that wasn't really needed (elaboration on the map / their discovery, for example). That said, there was a mostly tight script for Ollie's interactions with Diggle and Felicity and the dynamic between those characters has grown an absurd amount since the first season.

"Identity" isn't quite as gripping or consistently solid like the premiere, but it really shines when Roy's plot begins to move forward and, despite not being the biggest fan of how the fights went down, it was still pretty exciting to see China White return and Bronze Tiger make his first appearance. Oh, and Diggle's awesome. That is all.

Viners, what did you think of "Identity?" Let us know!

42 Comments
Edited by SynCig

I would have given this episode a solid 4 but I see the validity in all of the points made above. One thing that bothers me about the episode is that imo Laurel's motivation is pretty weak. I am worried that she will become too unlikable. I really loved the Roy stuff as the review said and it was definitely the most compelling aspect of the episode.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@syncig said:

I would have given this episode a solid 4 but I see the validity in all of the points made above. One thing that bothers me about the episode is that imo Laurel's motivation is pretty weak. I am worried that she will become too unlikable. I really loved the Roy stuff as the review said and it was definitely the most compelling aspect of the episode.

Thank you. And yes, I can absolutely see that happening with Laurel. While I try to avoid news about future episodes, I imagine Black Canary possibly being a relative of hers could make her realize how flawed her recent actions are. Fingers crossed she doesn't devolve into a frustrating character.

Staff
Posted by The Stegman

For the first time in this show's history...I'm attractive to Felicity. I mean I always liked her...but man, that skirt she was wearing really...well, it was form flattering.

Also, Diggle is indeed great "I'm just his black driver" priceless.

Edited by CheeseSticks

@the_stegman said:

For the first time in this show's history...I'm attractive to Felicity. I mean I always liked her...but man, that skirt she was wearing really...well, it was form flattering.

Also, Diggle is indeed great "I'm just his black driver" priceless.

I agree with you on Felicity, i was like DAMN. She's hot as hell in this episode.

I'd give this episode 4 stars, it was very good but Laurel's motivation is weak.

Edited by AllStarSuperman

For the first time in this show's history...I'm attractive to Felicity. I mean I always liked her...but man, that skirt she was wearing really...well, it was form flattering.

Also, Diggle is indeed great "I'm just his black driver" priceless.

What? Felicity is by far the best looking girl on the show. and Diggles line was funny.

@syncig said:

I would have given this episode a solid 4 but I see the validity in all of the points made above. One thing that bothers me about the episode is that imo Laurel's motivation is pretty weak. I am worried that she will become too unlikable. I really loved the Roy stuff as the review said and it was definitely the most compelling aspect of the episode.

THIS so much. I kinda hated roy the first season, but im really starting to like him now.

Online
Posted by webling
@syncig said:

I would have given this episode a solid 4 but I see the validity in all of the points made above. One thing that bothers me about the episode is that imo Laurel's motivation is pretty weak. I am worried that she will become too unlikable. I really loved the Roy stuff as the review said and it was definitely the most compelling aspect of the episode.

I completely agree with everything you said. I have always been a bit "meh" with Laurel, but her argument didn't explain a complete 180°. Seeing her lose confidence in him and thus wanting him to stop because she thinks he is just going to get in the way makes more sense and if played out still could have had the same ending without making her seem such an easily impressionable character.

@k4tzm4n Yeah him entering the crated room seemed really stupid on his part, but it was still a cool enough scene for me to look past that. I'm loving that ComicVine is covering comics-relevant TV-shows now, keep up the good work guys.

Edited by dadarkknight36310

All the ladies on this show are off the chain, but Felcity oh my she is on another level of hotness with those curves wow-- Awesome episode by the way lol

Posted by Fallschirmjager

Another home run episode IMO. Hope they keep it up.

Edited by TheFirstLantern

4/5 the cheesy dialogue was cheesy. Laurel is becoming a hassle man. Sebastian Blood, does this mean Animal Man *gasp*

EDIT: Anyone catch the Jeff Lemire Reference.

Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

The thought the Bronze Tiger fight would be more.....epic.

Posted by Cyborg6971

@thefirstlantern: Yes I caught that and giggled. I'd give it a 4 and think laurel is as useless and annoying as ever. This season hasn't missed a beat. In fact the second half of season one to now have been a night and day change, for the better. Hopefully agents of shield will do the same.

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Here are my thoughts on the episode:

Edited by Lurkero

I am really worried that since Arrow was relatively successful in its first season the writers will be lax on giving characters strong motivation. Laurel already seems troublesome and Arrow's new aversion to killing anybody at all will create fake tension when he gets in tight situations.

The Bronze Tiger fight is underwhelming too. Vigilante villains gotta step they game up.

Posted by Cyborg6971

Does anyone know where or if there is a review for the latest agents of shield? I don't see it anywhere.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

@cyborg6971: I think its due to the NYCC hangover and Tony hasn't been enjoying the show that much.

Posted by bunkerbuster05

All the points have already been made in this thread. Roy is definitely growing on me, considering I haven't really liked him. And Laurel is quickly becoming unbearable, and there just to add drama.

Well, it is the CW :P. It wouldn't be the CW if it didn't have angst.

Edited by AllStarSuperman

Does anybody else feel like this:

"oh, its already been a week since agents of shield, I guess ill watch in tonight"

"oh man, it feels like weeks since the last Arrow, I cant wait!"

I enjoy both shows but Arrows on an entirely different level.

Online
Posted by CitizenJP

I like this weeks episode. Although they hyped up Bronze Tiger so much...he didn't really do anything that awesome at all. ;/

Edited by MrMazz

Man this epsiode reminded me of the fact that I had a bit of stolkholm syndrome when it comes to Kate Cassidy's acting. Man when she has to "act" it's just not good. Total lack of convicition in her delivery.

This was a solid but chunky episode overall

Cheap plug to user review here

Posted by Cyborg6971

@allstarsuperman: Same here arrow is established and just sprinting at this point and although aos is average at best the hype train is just so annoying to me. The latest episode was okay but not as good as arrow.

Edited by AllStarSuperman

@cyborg6971: completely agree, next weeks AOS looks pretty good though. im thinking it will only get better.

Online
Posted by Krissyjump

@allstarsuperman: I thought this week's episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. was great from start to finish. People tend to forget that Arrow also had a very rough start as well, only really picking up momentum halfway through the first season.

I really liked tonight's episode of Arrow as well, a solid 4/5. It wasn't perfect but I didn't really have any major issues with it.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

@krissyjump: honestly I like Arrow from episode 1, but whatever to each his own.

Online
Edited by UltimateSMfan

@allstarsuperman: Yes, i feel the same, AOS doesn't really do much for me or hasn't as yet.Hopefully it picks up.

@cheesesticks said:

@the_stegman said:

For the first time in this show's history...I'm attractive to Felicity. I mean I always liked her...but man, that skirt she was wearing really...well, it was form flattering.

Also, Diggle is indeed great "I'm just his black driver" priceless.

I agree with you on Felicity, i was like DAMN. She's hot as hell in this episode.

I'd give this episode 4 stars, it was very good but Laurel's motivation is weak.

Agreed, plus Ollie's "What would i do without my black driver" was hilarious! solid 4 from me as well,though minor flaws aside, an enjoyable episode.

@thefirstlantern said:

EDIT: Anyone catch the Jeff Lemire Reference.

"the Hood heading down Lemire avenue" :)

Posted by batpala

I'm a Laurel stan and I've been dealing with trolls in the Laurel Lance tag on tumblr all day, so bear with me, I'm a bit grumpy. Laurel has been through a lot. Her sister died, her boyfriend died and then because of Sara's death her mother leaves. Her father starts drinking too much and concentrating on his work instead of looking after his daughter. She gets through that and is relatively stable at CRNI only to have Oliver back and then comes the Hood.

She's been beaten, had hits put out on her, nearly died god knows how many times and been used as a ploy for people to get to the Hood. And then Tommy died and it's breaks the camels back and she doesn't want to blame herself anymore. So she uses a scapegoat; the hood. She sees him leaving Tommy's body in the rubble. [which was partially her fault but the explanation for why Laurel was in the CRNI building was cut out for some stupid reason in 1x23 ] It also helps that the DA is going up against the Hood because of all his copycat murderers who are killing cops, so she invests all her time in that for a distraction.

It's also a good idea to note that there's going to be an addiction storyline for Laurel coming up and it's most likely going to be linked with the Canary storyline because of the identity of The Canary [which is Caity Loitz' character's name, not the Black canary, just so you all know]

Posted by patrat18

This was a pretty good episode 4/5.

Posted by Rainquility

In the concluding scene after Oliver and Arrow defeat and subdue China White, didn't China see Diggle's face? Would she not happen to already know he is Oliver's bodyguard and make the connection or maybe I am imagining things. I could of swore she attacked Oliver and Laurel earlier in season one and Diggle intervened to save them. Someone correct me if I am wrong, although overall I was satisfied with this episode. I normally am with this series. Not exceptional but satisfied enough.

Posted by lifeboy

I hate you all for watching this without me! >:(

I have to work on wednesday nites :'(

Edited by Superbat420

@rainquility: I noticed that too, that was a real weak point.

Posted by The Stegman

@allstarsuperman: I actually watched AOS first...just to get it out of the way, lol.

Posted by Commander_Kane

God I hate cliffhangers like this. I mean I have a strong idea The Canary will make her second appearence by saving The Hood and his identity. Plus furthering the development between her and Laurel. Who she is rumored to be sort of a personal interest to her, as you said. Just guessing, though. Can't wait for next Wednesday!

Posted by joshmightbe

Is anyone else noticing that everyone on the show aside from Laurel is improving while she's just getting worse. Even Thea is almost tolerable so far this season but Laurel is even less likeable.

Posted by batpala

Tbh I came here to avoid Laurel hate/dislike and I still get it here. I'm outtie. Completely outtie. I am just so done.

Posted by MrMazz

@joshmightbe: Well Thea as a character is growing up and becoming more responsible and hell Willa Holland had some supre good moments in between being totally unsuferable in Season 1. Laurel's new motivatioon is specious at best. It makes emotional sense but that dosen't really work when 1) Kate Cassidy can't sell it and 2) we have the knowledge of how things "really are" so she looks even worse. In the end KAte Cassidy is really bad and hopefully they don't like Caity Lotz so that Laurel will become the Black Canary from the comics even though Arrow has a history of introducing proto-characters to kill and make the comic book one.

Posted by batpala

The thing with Laurel is that we have to remember she's in the dark when it comes to a few things, the main thing being Oliver being The Hood. She doesn't know that and we all know she would react different [though she would probably beat the bajeebus out of him for just leaving his dead body in the CRNI building instead of removing it] She only knows bits and pieces about what went on during the Glades earthquake. She doesn't know that Tommy dead with Oliver comforting him. All she saw was him leaving his dead body behind and not doing anything to try and help/remove it. That would leave bitter resentment. Add that to everything else that happened since The Hood came back and you can understand why she would want to blame him or place her own self blame on him to try and make herself at least functional so she can work at the DA's office.

Also Katie's a fantastic actress. You obviously haven't seen her in anything else, the writing on Arrow is cheesy and cliche at best. [Kill for Me is really good but warning for abuse themes and the like]

Posted by joshmightbe

@mrmazz: Honestly I know as a comic fan this will sound treasonous but at this point if Laurel being the Black Canary means this actress is gonna play her then I'd rather they be 2 separate characters.

Posted by MrMazz
Posted by clumsyninja

The Red Arrow guy is extremely cheesy and annoying, other than that I love the show.

Posted by War Killer

Does anybody else feel like this:

"oh, its already been a week since agents of shield, I guess ill watch in tonight"

"oh man, it feels like weeks since the last Arrow, I cant wait!"

I enjoy both shows but Arrows on an entirely different level.

While I'll admit that I did like this weeks episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. more than I did last week, but I do look forward to Arrow every week more than I do with AoS. But to be far, Arrow does have a whole first season to back it up, where as AoS is only four episodes in. Still, even with just four episodes AoS has been pretty underwhelming so far, where as Arrow's second season is already off to a great start.

As for the is episode, I actually feel it deserves 4/5 stars. I agree that Laural's motivations for hating Green Arrow (I'm calling him that whether he does so or not :P) and I have a feeling that by the end of this season Ollie will reveal to her that he is GA, which will make her feel all guilty for being a totally witch to him. lol I like that it creates some drama for Ollie, but it does come off as pretty annoying at times.

Edited by spidershamrock

I thought this episode was better than the first. Really enjoyed the ending as well.

Hope future fights with bronze tiger are in better lit areas though

Posted by ThomasElliot

Is it just me, or did the actress who plays Smoak sneak up from nowhere and beat down the actress who plays Dinah Lance in the hotness department? That last episode...dat dress... wow... so...... tight.... erm...PAUSE.

Edited by comicbookfan93

Some of my thoughts:

Love this show! Just gets more and more awesome

Love Diggle best character imo

Love Roys story

Love Slade total badass

Also does anyone else think in the flashbacks they're looking for the Arrow clan?

PS does anyone else think Shado is also hot?