Arrow-Man Under the Hood


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

After the phenomenal “Deathstroke,” nothing could really compare with that episode’s scale, drama, or shocking twists. Arrow wouldn’t be Arrow unless something was blowing up or an arrow was being shot, but “Man Under the Hood” focused more on the quieter moments of character development.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

The first sequence of the episode had a great balance of humor, drama, and action. It was touching to see how torn up Ollie was about blowing up Queen Consolidated’s Applied Sciences building. Even though he seemed distant from the company for a majority of this season, this scene showed he really does care about it.

Although Felicity has developed as a character since she was first introduced, she hasn’t lost her sarcastic spunkiness and it was at full force in “Man Under the Hood.” Poor Felicity, she can’t win in the romance department. Barry is still in a coma, but he has already moved on. How is that possible? Clearly she still isn’t ready for highly dangerous situations as shown with her discontentment in planting a bomb. Props to Ollie for starting to learn that “there’s no I in team.”

Thea was a rock star this episode. If losing Roy and learning about her father happened in the first season, she would have acted like a complete brat and gone on a destructive rampage. But, she was genuinely hurt and angry, not only with Daddy Queen but with her brother and mom. She handled it quite well, she even let her brother try and explain himself not only once but twice. Out of all of the characters on the show, she has had the most character development with the least amount of screen time.

Before Thea said it, I completely forgot that she tried to kiss her half-brother Tommy. Man, she is totally right, the whole thing is messed up. To be fair, it’s not her fault. She didn’t know that Tommy was her brother and he was adorable.

Meanwhile, on the island, Oliver killed Dr. Ivo. I’m still impressed by the way Caity Lotz plays on-island Sara vs post-island Sara. There is an air of innocence about on-island Sara that immediately becomes lost in her portrayal of post-island Sara.

Well, we finally know what Isabel’s deal is. Nineteen episodes into season two and this is the first time her backstory and motives were exposed. I’m surprised it took that long, but I guess there have been too many players on the canvas this season for her character to be fully developed.

Papa and Laurel Lance had some nice scenes in this episode. Whenever Paul Blackthorne is given some meaty dialogue, he knocks it out of the park every time. I was caught off guard that Laurel decided to keep her knowledge of Oliver’s secret to herself. I was expecting her to run straight to him to talk about it. And why is it that characters have to make a “Wall of Weird” when trying to figure something out? It’s really not that helpful, especially Laurel’s version of news clippings.

Introducing characters from the new Flash series was a bit jarring. Tonally, their scenes were different and it didn’t really fit with the rest of the episode. Caitlin Snow, who is Killer Frost, and Cisco Ramon, who is Vibe, will most likely return as they help Felicity make the cure for mirakuru. It was a nice gesture to have them appear on Arrow. They did some name-dropping during their scenes. First up is Arthur Light, who is also known by his supervillain name Doctor Light, and second is Iris West, who eventually becomes Barry’s wife.

There are a fair number of fight scenes every week on Arrow, but this week’s best fight was the one in the Foundry, or Arrowcave, or the Quiver (I’m still not quite sure what I should be calling it. The Quiver seems the most appropriate). The choreography was tight and it was fun to see a fight scene in their lair for once. Deathstroke catching Sara by the neck in mid-air? So, so cool.

What do you think of Isabel being injected with mirakuru? Was it refreshing to see our heroes win a battle against Slade for once? Were you happy that Arrow used a rare trick arrow?

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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