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Arrow #208 - The Scientist Review

5

Barry Allen makes his debut!

For the most part, Arrow's been taking the "Christopher Nolan Batman" approach to the Emerald archer's world. They've aimed to ground Oliver, his villains and his allies in a more realistic setting (realistic compared to most comic book inspired media, that is), but tonight, that finally all changes. There's been plenty of buildup about metahumans in the show since learning about what everyone is searching for on the island and, more importantly, the introduction of none other than Barry Allen. "The Scientist" finally gives us our first look at powers in the Arrow-verse and, I won't lie, it was pretty awesome.

First and foremost, you can't have a super-strong and super-durable dude without some exceptional action sequences, right? It seems like the creative team was well aware of that and we're treated to a handful of 'em. Let's just say the debut of super-strength doesn't disappoint and it takes quite a toll on our hero. I was particularly impressed with the stunt work during a truck sequence and the final moments of the last fight.

The show also delivers on some major plot progression, too. Honestly, I was worried Barry Allen's debut would mean blatantly hitting us with too many obvious references. Thankfully, there's only a handful of them and they're all smirk-inducing. Another one alluding to how he'll get his powers appears a couple times and keeps you guessing whether or not the big moment will happen. Not only that, this episode also dedicates a fair amount of time to showing us who Barry Allen is and justifying his trip to Starling City. Down the road, it'll be very interesting to see how Grant Gustin adapts Allen's boost in confidence when he'll no longer have such bad luck with traveling. Furthermore, I really dug the chemistry he had with Felicity. She's such a likable character so it's fantastic to finally see her make such a strong connection. Plus, the way it'll all ends is a superb attention-grabber. Oh, and comic fans (which you probably are seeing as you're Comic Vine and all that...) are sure to love the developments from the island (no one really thinks he's dead, right?).

I'm a big fan of the action in this episode, but if Oliver already knows what he's up against and basically had prep time, why didn't he try a more effective trick arrow during their second brawl? He realized he should use an electric arrow against Bronze Tiger in a random encounter, so it's odd to see him try to knock out a dude that powerful with just his fists and bow. Holding him in place with the foot shots was cool and what followed certainly looked good, but talk about a tactical fail.

The CW tends to get a bad rep when it comes to drama, but truthfully, I'm usually just fine with the romantic subplots in this show. In fact, I enjoyed the tension and eventual conflict they built between Oliver and Felicity. However, the whole Moira and Malcolm element felt way too much like a soap opera for my taste . Sure, it was able to give us a name drop we've already heard (which they're still apparently mispronouncing, but whatever), but overall, I really wasn't feeling that part of the plot.

There was a lot of hype behind this episode and honestly, I think it lived up to it. Sure, I wanted to facepalm when Oliver tried to go Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots with a superhuman foe (their version of Solomon Grundy) and I wasn't feeling the drama with Moira, but this episode delivered big time with everything else. The action was great, there's some decent laughs scattered throughout, and the plot took some big steps forward to build the tension for next week's mid-season finale. Fairly minor complaints aside, I'd say this episode has earned 5-stars.

Viners, what do you think of the latest episode? Let us know below or create a user review!

101 Comments
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Edited by knightofthechronicle

This episode was great, loved all of the hints about Barry's life and his soon to be powers. I felt like the actor portrayed Barry perfectly. Plus, I never got the solomon grundy reference, I guess it's because I never picked up on the guys name being Cyrus. All in all it was a great episode and I can't wait for next week.

Edited by haydenclaireheroes

Here are my thoughts on the episode:

Posted by jayskee

Loved it. Can't wait to see Gustin in the flash costume. Did anyone else catch that Reverse Flash reference?

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@jayskee said:

Loved it. Can't wait to see Gustin in the flash costume. Did anyone else catch that Reverse Flash reference?

Absolutely.

Posted by k4tzm4n

Plus, I never got the solomon grundy reference, I guess it's because I never picked up on the guys name being Cyrus.

Yeah, if I remember correctly, the name was only said once in the last episode, so it was really easy to miss out on.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@jayskee said:

Loved it. Can't wait to see Gustin in the flash costume. Did anyone else catch that Reverse Flash reference?

For sure. Definitely seemed like a huge teaser for what's to come in his pilot episode.

Posted by Fallschirmjager

Also I will say, I loved how Ollie was constantly making the "he looks like a kid" jokes.

It reminded me of Geoff Johns taking on Aquaman's "he only talks to fish" stereotypes early in his Aquaman run.

It was more funny too because of how many people on comicvine cried about his age.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

5 Stars? this is a good week!

:)

Posted by jayskee

@k4tzm4n said:

@jayskee said:

Loved it. Can't wait to see Gustin in the flash costume. Did anyone else catch that Reverse Flash reference?

For sure. Definitely seemed like a huge teaser for what's to come in his pilot episode.

If I see the Reserve Flash done right on live action tv I will be like this

Posted by MatKrenz

God this show is so exciting. Also Moira is shaping up to not be taken lightly.

Posted by Wolverine08

This was an exciting episode man!

Online
Posted by Protoflash

I think grant justin did an awesome job as barry allen… but he still looks like he's more of a kid flash know what I mean? All those jokes at his age were beyond well deserved. But yeah, I'm really glad that they actually revealed super powers in this episode. makes the whole thing open to a lot more possibilities and I love it.

Posted by SupBatz

I give it 3.5/5 stars. Gustin was pretty good as Barry Allen. But the episode was a bit on the slow side. Some of the romantic scenes were nauseatingly bad (Slade and ShadO, Oliver and Felicity).

But this episode served mainly to set up next week's finale so here's hoping next week will really blow us all away.

Edited by Deathstroke19

@k4tzm4n: We know DS isn't dead because I'm right here....

Jk but we know he's not dead because when Ollie first met Sarah (when she came back to Starling) the first thing Sarah says is "Where's Slade?" So in this episode Slade "died" but if Sarah asks where was Slade when she saw him "die" then it would be contradictory and it proves he's still alive.

Also, I'm pissed from my fanboyism but pleased from what should be true by Malcolm's fear for the league. The fanboy in my is like NO YOUR TOO BADA$$ TO BE AFRAID OF ANYONE while on the other hand it makes sense that he would fear them. I'm also hoping (and its my theory) that the league will attack starling looking for Malcolm and so Malcolm and Ollie team up to fight them off. Oh and did you understand why Ra's was mad at Malcolm? I don't think i caught the reason.

Edited by Captain13

Grant Gustin is a good Barry, but it's laughable how many DC heroes have tragic backstories and dead-parent motivations.

Posted by ChocolateFrogs

That's a really obscure reference to Solomon Grundy. I've only been reading comics for two years but have never come across the need to remember his real name, if I saw it. (If it is Grundy, live action Swamp Thing coming soon?)

When Barry first appeared, I was skeptical. Then he grew on me as a character. (The acting was great all the way through. Fast talker.) I liked the references, like the dangerous chemical shelving on a stormy night.

Posted by darkbeam
Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse

Can't wait to see this!!!

Posted by webling

4/5 Loved the references and Raider's-like action sequence of Ollie boarding the truck. That thunder in the scene with Barry next to the chemicals AND THEN THEY DIDN'T DO IT! I forgot that this was a two-parter so the ending was really abrupt. Felicity mentioning the arrows not being good enough after Allen already mentioned how to improve them made Ollie's decision to use regular ones look really boneheaded. Oh well they'll hit the rule of three for that when they pick up that thread next episode so Ollie can take down strong people. Also no Laurel in this episode. Thank you!

References I picked up on: Kord, Reverse-Flash, Red Arrow (blood on the arrow [maybe I just want that to count so it'll happen already]). I missed the Grundy one.

Looking forward to next week.

@matkrenz RWBY!

Edited by Fallschirmjager

Grant Gustin is a good Barry, but it's laughable how many DC heroes have tragic backstories and dead-parent motivations.

All heroes, actually.

Spider-Man ? Daredevil? Hawkeye? all dead parents >_>

Edited by webling

@captain13 said:

Grant Gustin is a good Barry, but it's laughable how many DC heroes have tragic backstories and dead-parent motivations.

All heroes, actually.

Spider-Man ? Daredevil? Hawkeye? all dead parents >_>

It's the perfect Disney movie!

Posted by MatKrenz
Posted by patrat18

Damn this show is amazing.

Posted by Deathstroke19

@darkbeam: meh that's kind of a stupid reason... I mean they are the League of Assassins so i wouldn't see killing as being bad. I really couldn't say.

Edited by darkbeam

@deathstroke19: yeah that's what I was thinking but what other reason would they be mad at him.Maybe they don't like their people striking out alone like Sarah.

Posted by Deathstroke19
Edited by Captain13

@fallschirmjager said:

@captain13 said:

Grant Gustin is a good Barry, but it's laughable how many DC heroes have tragic backstories and dead-parent motivations.

All heroes, actually.

Spider-Man ? Daredevil? Hawkeye? all dead parents >_>

Just comparing the Justice League to the Avengers. And I mean dead parents as a motivation or central part of their origin

Superman-Dead Parents (on Krypton) for Motivation

Batman-Dead Parents for Motivation

Wonder Woman-N/A (except with Azzarello?)

Hal Jordan- Dead Parent for Motivation

Barry Allen- Dead Parent for Motivation

Aquaman-Dead Parents, though he doesn't seem motivated by either death

Cyborg-N/A but mostly because we don't know anything about him really

--

Captain America-N/A; Parents hardly mentioned; motivated by country

Iron Man- Dead Parents, though not motivated by either death

Thor-N/A

Hulk-???? N/A; Never really mentioned in a story I've read or watched

Black Widow--Mysterious Past

(Ultimate) Hawkeye--Mysterious Past

--

Dead Parents as Motivation doesn't have to be a bad thing, but DC is really overusing it. I'm saying this as a DC fan.

The whole tragedy in Barry's past isn't even something that's always been around. Geoff Johns just made it up like 4 years ago. I can't do anything about it, but I have to admit I preferred when Barry was just a good guy for no reason other than that.

Posted by Lurkero

The soap opera stuff is probly there to keep the viewership up. Arrow needs at least SOME of the other CW audience to watch it so that the show doesn't get canceled. The Malcolm-Moira lovechild story is actually producing some melodramatic comedy.

I still worry that introducing supernatural abilities in this series will turn into something bad. At some point it will become too unbelievable that Arrow can get anything done.

Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

That Blur was ZOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!

Edited by MuyJingo

@k4tzm4n I'm not sure Arrow, or the Nolan movies are mispronouncing Ra's

It's an Arabic term that means Demons Head. If you take the Arabic "رأس الغول‎" and put it in something like Google Translator to hear it pronounced, it is pronounced like they do on Arrow.

I've also asked this to Arabic speaking friends before who have said both are correct.

TAS pronounced it a certain way. Not necessarily the correct or only way.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@captain13 said:

@fallschirmjager said:

@captain13 said:

Grant Gustin is a good Barry, but it's laughable how many DC heroes have tragic backstories and dead-parent motivations.

All heroes, actually.

Spider-Man ? Daredevil? Hawkeye? all dead parents >_>

Just comparing the Justice League to the Avengers. And I mean dead parents as a motivation or central part of their origin

Superman-Dead Parents (on Krypton) for Motivation

Batman-Dead Parents for Motivation

Wonder Woman-N/A (except with Azzarello?)

Hal Jordan- Dead Parent for Motivation

Barry Allen- Dead Parent for Motivation

Aquaman-Dead Parents, though he doesn't seem motivated by either death

Cyborg-N/A but mostly because we don't know anything about him really

--

Captain America-N/A; Parents hardly mentioned; motivated by country

Iron Man- Dead Parents, though not motivated by either death

Thor-N/A

Hulk-???? N/A; Never really mentioned in a story I've read or watched

Black Widow--Mysterious Past

(Ultimate) Hawkeye--Mysterious Past

--

Dead Parents as Motivation doesn't have to be a bad thing, but DC is really overusing it. I'm saying this as a DC fan.

The whole tragedy in Barry's past isn't even something that's always been around. Geoff Johns just made it up like 4 years ago. I can't do anything about it, but I have to admit I preferred when Barry was just a good guy for no reason other than that.

I mean if you're just comparing JL vs Avengers, sure. Though WW, Aquaman, Cyrborg/MMH aren't motivated by their parents, dead or not. Amazonians are sisters, and the entire island was wiped out, so I wouldn't count that for WW. Cyborg's dad built him in Star Labs. MMH's parents are never mentioned that I know of (depending on which you go)

Thor's parents aren't dead, but is always motivated by them regardless (Odin moreso), except in the movie 2, where he ironically is motivated by his mommy's death =P.

616 Hawkeye at least, is motivated by his dead parents to an extent. No clue about Widow.

And as I said. Spider-Man an Daredevil certainly are. And Spider-Man is bigger than the entire Avengers roster imo (I know I own hundreds of Spidey comics and almost no Avengers one...so)

Still way more than just DC.

That Blur was ZOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!

Yup! Specifically it was Reverse-Flash though imo. The scene Barry describes is nearly identical to the Reverse-Flash arc in the New 52.

Would be cool with either character though.

Posted by CheeseSticks

Awesome episode as always.

Posted by fil123

i much rather have flash as a regular on arrow, instead of his own show... maybe if its a bust he will

Posted by Knightfall225

SupeeStrength looked very cool. I expected it to look cheap but it was amazingly done well. Kudos . 4.5/5

Posted by ULTRAstarkiller


@ultrastarkiller said:

That Blur was ZOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!

Yup! Specifically it was Reverse-Flash though imo. The scene Barry describes is nearly identical to the Reverse-Flash arc in the New 52.

Would be cool with either character though.

No I totally agree I just forget to differentiate between Proff Zoom/ Reverse Flash and Zolomon.

Ya me too I really like the direction this show is going. Things are really starting to heat up XDDDD

Posted by GrenadeFlow

I'm digging the actor portraying Barry. I can't wait till the flash show starts

Posted by The Stegman

For a second I thought they were trying to pull a FitzSimmons with Barry and Felicity, then I was relieved. Great episode and great Flash Facts!

Edited by MrMazz

Solid opening act and surprisingly meditative on the future and what is to come.

I thought all the talk of the Red Blurr Barry saw was more a referce to Red Tornado and his siblings and thus Dr. Ivo reborn than Reverse Flash/Eobard Thawne, that'd be a bit much out of the gate ya know. cool but a lot to start with.

Cheap Plug to User Review

Posted by PeppeyHare

Didn't catch the Grundy thing lol.

Posted by fil123

im still pissed, flash/reverse flash or zoom should have been saved for the movies!!!!

Posted by TheMantisShrimp

Such a great episode, I just caught up with this entire series and now I have to wait it out each week instead of binge watching.

Posted by Rixec

@darkbeam: meh its possible... I guess.

I think it's because of what Moira said about their honor. The League may only kill contracts, personal grudges, and those who stand in their way, so maybe Malcolm killing all those innocents was taboo.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

Didn't catch the Grundy thing lol.

The amp-ed up guy in the mask is named Cyrus.

They haven't called him Grundy though.

@fil123 said:

im still pissed, flash/reverse flash or zoom should have been saved for the movies!!!!

He can be used in both...

And who knows - maybe they use Wally/Zoloman in movies?

Posted by Raw_Material

Arrow is CW.

Edited by Raw_Material

Like they should change the network from CW to the Arrow Channel.

Edited by Commander_Kane

@fallschirmjager: Wait what happened? I must've missed that part. How they mentioned Zoom?

Posted by Malonius

@lurkero said:

The soap opera stuff is probly there to keep the viewership up. Arrow needs at least SOME of the other CW audience to watch it so that the show doesn't get canceled. The Malcolm-Moira lovechild story is actually producing some melodramatic comedy.

I still worry that introducing supernatural abilities in this series will turn into something bad. At some point it will become too unbelievable that Arrow can get anything done.

A street level, peak human vigilante trying to figure out how to take down a superpowered villian is completely normal in the context of comics. Oliver Queen's a billionaire so he's got access to super-science, super-tech, and global resources. What makes you think they won't be able to pull it off? Green Arrow will just have to be a bit smarter about it then he was this episode. Don't try to block a super-strength punch with your face!

They're also clearly setting up Ted Kord...the Blue Beetle...who is also a normal human with advanced tech. Plus they're building up Roy Harper to eventually become Red Arrow so I think Ollie will have some help.

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