Arrow‘s second season has been a great improvement over an already good show and “Blast Radius” continues with the trend by expanding on a lot of the plot wrinkles that the mid-season finale opened up and giving us some decent action to boot. Here is VGU’s spoiler-filled review of “Blast Radius.”
Arrow‘s mid-season finale left us with some interesting plot points as Brother Blood now has the mirakuru and Ollie is clearly very agitated at the thought of what can be done with it. Ollie’s rampage through the episode (especially in the opening scene) seems very similar to Christopher Nolan’s recent Batman films and that has been a recurring theme throughout the course of this show.
The fact that this episode didn’t simply “forget” about Barry was a nice touch and his comatose state (that we all know he is going to pull through) led to a good conflict between Ollie and Felicity that drove home just how much Ollie has changed and how he now depends on his partners for help.
Sebastian Blood is obviously being built up as the main villain for this portion of Arrow‘s second season (though Meryln is still out there) and his rise to political power is definitely creating some interesting dynamics in the universe. Ollie seems to be completely on board with Sebastian but Laurel has her doubts. This gives Laurel a chance to actually have an interesting story arc for the first time in a while on this show and it is nice to see.
Roy’s story also seems to be getting interesting as he is beginning to show the effects of the mirakuru and Thea is onto him after seeing him save Moira at the rally. What exactly happens to him is going to be a pivotal part of the plot going forward, given that he could be an ally or (more likely) a huge threat to Oliver.
As for this week’s villain, he seemed to be a complete throwaway character that was only in the episode to give Oliver and company a few action sequences. Shrapnel is an established comic villain but his contribution to this particular episode was pretty straightforward. I might have had a problem with that had this not been such an important episode for so many other plot threads. A stronger villain might have been underutilized or detracted from the other plots so it actually worked quite well.
The flashback sequences were once again super intense and seeing Slade begin his descent into madness from the effects of the mirakuru was great.
It’s clear to see that not only will that cause a serious rift between him and Oliver but also the truth that Ollie chose Sarah over Shado will add even more fuel to the fire down the road.
Overall “Blast Radius” was a very strong episode that thrusts us all back into the central plot threads of Arrow‘s second season and gave us a little bit of visceral action for the episode from the villain Shrapnel. It will be interesting to see where all of the plot threads go and at least now we can all get used to Oliver wearing a mask (because that eye makeup just didn’t cover his face at all).