Yes, Roy is finally being trained by Arrow! As you likely know by now, the serum messes with his head and gives him some Hulk-esque anger issues. So, a good chunk of this episode is essentially Arrow trying to train Roy, Roy unleashing, and Oliver being disappointed. It's exactly what you'd expect and doesn't really bring anything new to the table, but it's the necessary step they have to take given the circumstances. In the end, this familiar path leads us to something much more promising. Also, now that Roy has above-average strength, it's kind of odd to have him unleashing -- you can see the rage in his eyes and all -- on someone with numerous punches to the skull and then said person has no visible damage or is even okay a couple scenes from then. Look, this show doesn't need gore or anything to impress, but it's definitely odd to have him punch through hard substances and then slug away at a human's head. Having him toss them around or something (kind of like what "Solomon Grundy" did to Arrow) would be less distracting and more impressive.
If you pay attention to the promos and such, then you know this episode marks the return of Bronze Tiger (love Felicity's remark about him, by the way). The character has a surprisingly cool intro and generates one solid fight scene. This show's melees have suffered from quick cuts, too many close-ups and an overuse of shaky cam, but this one was well-done and it allowed us to appreciate the choreography. Sure, it frustrates me to no end that Oliver knows he's going up against Bronze Tiger -- a dude with crazy reflexes -- and decides to go hand-to-hand instead of, you know, using a trick arrow. But it is what it is, I guess. Ultimately, though, Bronze Tiger's just here for that one solid brawl and, to be honest, the rest of his role is pretty disappointing. That said, this is yet another path that leads to an attention-grabbing moment. You definitely know what it is if you're a big fan of the show.
Laurel, I want to like you, I really do, but you're making it so difficult. I understand she's going through a really, really, really tough time, but to reject her dad after he opens up like that is just appalling. She simply doesn't do anything that makes you want to feel bad for her situation instead of dislike her. Thankfully, this frustrating road she's taking leads to someone's return (shame on you if you really don't know who Oliver calls!), so, it can be said that her downfall is for the greater good. It's just so disappointing she has to return to this status, though. I was thrilled when she was on Brother Blood's trail. She was finally in the right and could potential be a gamechanger in the story. But now it seems like she's just going to be the victim until she likely redeems herself at the end of the season.
What's going down with Oliver's mom is a little difficult to swallow after what happened to the city, but the premise definitely has potential to spice things up. Tremors just goes though the motions of establishing this new direction for us, but it's packed with potential when it comes to bringing back familiar faces and forcing Oliver into a closer connection to his family. Now it's just a matter of jumping into that.
Even though we know how it'll all conclude, the flashback segments on the island are still pretty engaging and my personal highlight of this episode. The drama feels so much stronger than what we're seeing in the modern segments, and that's saying a lot since we know what the future holds for the three leads. It's legitimately compelling at times and it's great watching them build up to the final conflict.
Tonight's episode pretty much feels like going through the motions before we can get to the really good stuff. The path leading to these plot points aren't all that exciting or even original, but once we get there (aka the final 10 minutes or so), it's pretty rewarding and helps build the hype for what's to come. Now it's just a matter of seeing whether they deliver on all of this potential!