‘Arrow’ Demonstrates How Its World Can Change In a Flash

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 18th, 2014 at 10:30 am,

Grant Gustin in Arrow Season 2 Episode 8 Arrow Demonstrates How Its World Can Change In a Flash
[This is a review of Arrow season 2, episode 8. There will be SPOILERS.]


The Arrowverse has been growing at a pleasant and positive rate since the season 2 premiere  (though a strong argument could be made for the last few episodes of season 1, as well). And with that the show has undergone a sort of change, the kind that’s not often seen on TV, but is one of the most welcome changes that can happen to a series: Arrow has gone from being a fun and exciting series based on a DC comic book character, to being all that set atop a show that’s just flat-out good TV.

And considering the series is now acting as the starting point for potential new shows that The CW can build its superhero line-up around, seeing that kind of development in Arrow should give viewers a great deal of hope that such new endeavors will wind up working out as well.

Of course, in talking about the expansion of universes, we’re talking about the debut of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) in part 1 of the Arrow mid-season finale, ‘The Scientist.’ The episode finds Oliver facing off against Cyrus (Graham Sheils), the first successful recipient of a super-solider serum Brother Blood (Kevin Alejandro) has been testing on residents of the Glades. But more than just having Oliver facing off against a terrifying new foe, the dual (triple if you factor in the island flashback) storylines hinting at a fantastical and rapid expansion of the kind of tools the series will soon have at its disposal, manage to play quite well with one another and come off feeling like an exciting way to shift show’s perspective a little.

Stephen Amell in Arrow Season 2 Episode 8 Arrow Demonstrates How Its World Can Change In a Flash

Having a super-powered criminal traipsing around Starling City, all while the episode delivers a string of hints pointing toward Barry’s own super-powered future is a far cry from the gritty corporate and street-level stories and foes from season 1 (as well as the statement from the producers declaring the world free from powered characters prior to its debut). Obviously, this is a mutable medium, and so the introduction of such elements means Arrow is going full-bore into a new realm that will undoubtedly change the way it tells its stories. So far, seeing the show leave the ground a little bit has resulted in some fun and exciting stories that have been surprisingly well crafted.

Clearly, with the super-soldier serum floating around on the island, and having been administered (seemingly unsuccessfully) to Slade, Oliver wasn’t exactly taken by surprise when a hulking guy in a mask showed up in Starling City, knocking down titanium reinforced doors with his fists and tearing an enormous Kord Industries-crafted centrifuge from the floor it was bolted to. The idea that Ollie’s seen and faced this sort of thing before (with a huge implication that he’s seen far more outlandish things) is the most successful part of this transition. Rather than leave Oliver scrambling to accept this as some new, fantastical development, or to eclipse his potential as a hero, the whole thing works to compliment Ollie’s status in the series – as both its central protagonist and someone who can deal with more-than-human threats.

Change like this can sometimes be a tricky thing; there’s fear that too much will make the show lose the essence that made it appealing in the first place. But so far, Arrow has managed to make it seem easy, while still being the show fans are devoted to.


Arrow will air its mid-season finale, ‘Three Ghosts,’ next Wednesday @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Wish SHEILD show could be a bit more like this. Arrow is killing it!

    • And maybe it will be. Don’t forget Arrow wasn’t much better than AoS for much of season 1.

      • why does everyone keep saying that arrow season 1 was not good?? it was awesome, waaaay better than agents of shield, arrow season one was like a batman begins

        • The f_ck you say? Season one of Arrow wasn’t good? Bullshiznit. <– (my ghetto voice)

          Arrow had one of the strongest, most coherent first seasons of television I've ever seen. I've loved every episode so far, but I'd say season one was better than season two (and I think season two is great).

    • I hope it can. I’ve been harsh on that show, with good reason. I hope it can be turned around.

  2. Was I the only one who saw Amell wearing his mask in the promo?

    • I saw it too. I think we might see it as soon as next week. He says “I was compromised” or something to that effect,then he is shown wearing the mask

  3. I was a bit skeptical when they announced there’d be superpowers/metahumans. I really enjoyed the grounded, “realistic” tone. But I’ve enjoyed how they’re handling it. They’ve established a grounded world, but now we’ll see how that world reacts when superpowered beings start to emerge. Eerily similar to how Snyder wanted to approach MoS…

    • That’s a solid reason why Arrow rocks. I had hoped from before Arrow’s first episode, we could have some of the more fantastical elements of comics in the show. But a more grounded approach to them (like you said, Man of Steel did the same). But I was very happy with season one’s pure human approach. Now introducing fantastical stuff later on, and having people react to it as we would if that suddenly happened in the real world is great.

      Personally, I’d like all super-powered stuff in comics media operate (and be explainable) by the most scientific solution possible. If a character has superspeed, address the issues of her/his perception/coordination/reaction speed, as well as the resistance to friction, and the potential of the speed causing damage to the environment. If a comic power has to be altered to be more believable, I’d say do it.

      The exception is flat out magic. If you’re a Harry Potter or Doctor Strange type character, then you don’t really need scientific plausibility. Just consistency with your own fictional rules, so you’re not pulling out deus ex machinas left and right. But don’t write Superman as a really exceptional alien being (which is science based), and use his powers in really illogical ways.

  4. Gee seems like people enjoyed the episode two weeks ago you would have thought the anti-christ descended upon the forums when Grant was cast as Barry Allen its almost like they knew what they were doing (shocker)

  5. So now that Gustin has won over the fanbase is it safe to say he will be in the DC cinematic universe?

  6. Great episode all around. Next week arrow gets his mask and hopefully his name, cyrus will die and as a cliffhanger rise again. Gustin was fine as Barry which means some of the peeps here need to eat their words.

  7. did Oliver get injected with the serum or was it just the angle they shot it at?

    i want Diggle to take the serum

    • he had 2 needles sticking out of his leg, he may have only gotten a small dose, and it may not even be the same stuff [but prolly is] i thought the episode was kickass.

      • yup…small dose would make sense for recover and strength to match his opponents

    • Dig is huge, I don’t think he needs any.

      • he’s a beast…i want him to take the serum so he becomes someone or something other then Olivers chauffeur, i like his screen presence

        • Indeed.

      • The bad guy was huge as well, but I don’t think he could thrown people in the ceiling of a warehouse before getting the serum. ;)

  8. If there ever was a time to unveil a non lethal gun /boxing glove arrow, it was in the alley with Roy. Nice way to treat a partner. Did you really need to cripple him?

    • i hear ya on that.

    • yeah that seemed a bit excessive

      • Yeah, Roy will have to stop adventuring in Skyrim, and become a town guard. I guess that means his superpower is that he can now tell I’m good at alchemy just by looking at my hands, which are hidden under Daedric gauntlets (seriously, how do they know what I’m good at?)

        But yeah, Oliver would be the worst brother-in-law ever. I think subsconsciously Oliver was like “Stop banging my little sister!” or “Dammit man, I’ve banged every woman in this city except Thea and you’re stealing my thunder”.

  9. Loving this show! Bought season 1 on DVD already!

  10. this was a great episode, the ending when barry was waking up and figuring out where he was was great, it just gave the show a completely different tone, on par with the music and with barry’s dialogues

  11. I can’t think of a smoother way to transition away from the grounded show in Season 1.

  12. Anyone else catch this dialogue between diggle and Ollie?

    Diggle ” What’s next, Aliens?”
    Ollie “This is real, Diggle.”

    Or something like that. Freakin hilarious. I loved all the subtle one liners and Easter eggs in this one.

  13. My favourite Easter egg of this episode was Barry sorting out the chemicals with the lightening going on outside!