Arrow Review: Not For The Weak

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Did everyone else know that Arrow Season 2 Episode 4 was going to be as explosive as it was or did I just not get the memo? WOW!

I think the recap for "Crucible" is one of the longest I've written for the series. So much went down!

The woman we have been calling Canary has been confirmed as Sara Lance. She looks like China White, dresses like her and The Huntress and has a moniker that nobody but us uses... but at least we know for sure she's Sara Lance. She didn't take long to reveal herself, either. 

Caity Lotz as The Black Canary

At first glance, it looked like Felicity was jealous of Laurel, but seeing Oliver and Laurel talking made her realize that Canary actually seemed to be stalking Laurel and not Oliver at all. And Felicity was a little bit jealous. It was so completely refreshing for Canary to call The Arrow Ollie and for him to lift her mask, wasn't it? 

We all wonder how people don't know who is standing right in front of them, given their poor attempts to cover their visible bits, and Sara only needed to hear about the vigilante in Starling City to know it was Oliver. She's a clever girl. Perhaps it's the villainess inside her that has brought about that extra keen awareness.

I didn't see the revelation coming that Oliver had known Sara was alive all along, any more than Diggle and Felicity. I wondered why he wouldn't have chosen to tell her family she was alive, but after learning her position as a dealer of pain on the lovely cruise ship Oliver found himself on via the island flashback, I guess he probably felt it was better then didn't know what she became.

Sadly, I kind of liked Sebastian Blood. Especially what he had to say about the island being Oliver's crucible and explaining that there are normally thought to be two types of people who have them: Ones who grow stronger and survive it and ones who die. Sebastian talked about ones who learn to love the fire and choose to say in their crucible and embrace the pain because it's all they know anymore. Clearly that was Sara, and also a journey Laurel seems to be heading toward. 

I was just thinking that collecting guns in tents on city streets was a perfect way for The Mayor to drive by and pick up the entire batch for himself when he showed up guns blazing. Except he didn't take the guns. That was a dead giveaway that something was up with Sebastian Blood.

The Mayor seemed to know who was in front of him when he asked why he was wearing the mask. 

Looking up Brother Blood, it seems he sucks the life force out of others to stay young for thousands of years or something. Since our version of Starling City has been staying away from the supernatural and true super powers, he must be after something else by pumping that drug into people. But what? It seemed to mirror whatever Oliver was going through on the ship and the mantra that living is not for the weak.

The story with Laurel is finally making some sense. Her feelings of loss and falling into pills and wine to cover her pain is a normal human reaction after recognizing her own guilt after such a great loss. She broke up with her boyfriend, got back together with Oliver, Tommy died, there was a horrible earthquake, she lost everything she worked for and she is a mess. It's the first real thing she has done since she's been on the show.

Watching Lance reach out to Oliver (with Sara overhearing) and talk in AA about Laurel while he broke down, begging for someone to watch over her, was very touching. Oliver knows how much losing Sara has broken down the Lance family, and offered to sacrifice himself for her in this Arrow quote:

Sara: You told them that I died on The Gambit. If they know the truth...
Oliver: They would never talk to me again. Not one of them. It would be worth it.

Will the next step on the Lance family journey be the discovery that the one they thought was lost is found? And if this is the story of Laurel's journey to becoming the Canary, does that mean there's a world of hurt on the way for them again?

Other bits worth noting:

  • Felicity asking Oliver if he had any happy stories. How cute was that?
  • Roy gave up his guns in the guns for cash program. He can use other weapons, right? So, no biggie!
  • Isabel Rochev hasn't made an impression yet. At least not a good one.
  • I'd like to see an anonymous donor (Ollie) throw a dance party at Verdant. These pour souls could use a little fun. Perhaps a costume party where everyone dresses up as their favorite superhero. Keep Laurel away from the wine.
  • Another reference to the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator made an appearance via a news conference before the coverage of the Cash for Guns event coverage. They're ramping up for the appearance of The Flash - the Doogie Howser of the scientific community.
  • I had throwbacks to The Huntress when Canary took out The Mayor. Close call!
  • What do you think Sara knows of Slade? Maybe her being in town is what brings him to Starling City.

I loved this episode. I thought it was tightly written, perfectly paced and had some surprises. When a show that is as talked about as much as Arrow can deliver a surprise or two, it earns my respect.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (174 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


herro bic boys


Lot of Surprises and a nice juicy story formation... So glad I found this series in my gym computer and started watching it few months back.
Slade vs Arrow showdown!!! This is gonna be awesome.


This was a very cool episode. What i love about the 2nd season of the show is that every episode tops its predecessor. The show keeps on improving and opening new doors to additional mysteries that happened on the island. The Canary angle made this episode awesome (Brother Blood was OK too).


Really good episode. I was suprized the Sebastian Blood is a bad guy it just makes me not like him even more than I already do. I was suprized to find out Oliver knew Sara survived. I liked the ending where Oliver told Sara they needed to let her family she was still alive even if it meant neither of them would ever talk to him again and he held out his hand and after a minute she took it. Does that mean that detective lance and Laural are going to find out Sara's actually alive in like the next episode or something. Can't wait till the next episode.


1. EXCELLENT work by team Arrow in the acting department, especially Stephen Amell. I believed everything he was saying.

2. The award for most improved character goes to Quentin Lance.

3. Laurel is the worst. She's seriously the worst. I dislike her more with every episode.

4. Roy's concern for what's-her-name just didn't make any sense - he'd only met her once by chasing her through the city. Also, he didn't actually save her life - there were tons of people shot and the EMS would have come there anyway. That whole thing made no sense to me.

5. Fantastic action scenes with Arrow and Canary. I LOVED when they switched weapons, absolutely amazing.

@ Robin Harry

I agree with you about Laurel. I hope that she won't be Black Canary


I dont like also the casting for the Black Canary her lips and the wayshe talks is annoying, she barely opens her lips. Another actress would have been better. So the new Mayor is the really bad guy I did nto ee that coming. As usual I like team Oliver. So Sarah and Oliver saw each other on the boat like lets say 1 yr later after the boat capsized, they went on different paths and ran into each ther in the prison boat. 1 yr later? So I do not understand why he was so surpirsed to see her if at some point he knew she survived? I mean maybe the suprise was seeing her again portraying this new personaand like 4 yrs later the incident.

Slade wilson jr
@ Arrowette

something must happen while on the boat or during this season (in the flashbacks) that leads to Oliver's strong hypothesis of Sarah's high probability death.

Slade wilson jr

We all know that Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke is a super soldier (intelligent, manipulative, vengeful, self-centered, and determined)
I believe the Burn he encountered on episode 3 was the NEW half mask being made and just like on TEEN TITANS, he will come to become Sarah's Master (beast boy's crush) Sarah will become Slade's apprentice out of a desperate attempt to protect her FAMILY.
Sarah did ask "WHAT HAPPENED TO SLADE"??????
HINT!!!! she probably knows that Slade threatened to kill those she loves if she disobeyed him. SO THAT IS WHY SHE IS WATCHING OVER HER FAMILY LIKE A PROTECTOR!!!!! (ha!!! great guessing here i know!!!!!! HOWEVER, i believe it will come to a confrontation between Oliver and Slade someday (maybe in another season or so down the road). With the plot of rescuing Sarah from Slade's rule or threats. However, SLADE WILSON will have a lot to threaten Oliver and Sarah with within the city. SLADE WILSON is hands-down MY MAIN REASON I WATCH THIS SHOW!!! Oliver/Laurel moments are epic and very passionate, BUT ONCE SLADE WAS introduced in episode 13 and especially my favorite ep. 14 THE ODYSSEY, i am just waiting to see what pushes Slade over the edge and now with all this new stuff happening.... SLADE Q'S: (guessing answers are welcome)
(besides the fact that Oliver got him torched all over "the girl" he warned him about, Shado)
so he is realizing that Shado has persuasion over Slade's word now...... BONUS QUESTION:
WHAT DOES THE TATTOO ON THE BACK OF SHADO AND OLIVER MEAN??? from episode 14 when we meet Shado for the first time..... (please any info would be nice on this topic)


One of the better episodes excluding some dialogue (e.g single box), writing (cops at gun give-in) and Laurel.

@ fortyseven

I don't exactly understand your comment. I'm utterly confused while reading this. Slade is the guy on the island... When did he threaten to kill Sarah's family if she disobeyed? When did he become her master? How did Sarah coming to the City somehow bring Slade there?


I wasn't told either that this would be one of the best ep. of this show so far. Lots of action and emotion. Great dialogues and surprises.
I don't know why Laurel keep saying her boyfriend died. TOMMY WAS NOT HER BOYFRIEND ANYMORE. I wish I could care about her, but right now I only hope this drinking problem makes her interesting.
I loved Arrow and the Canary working together.
As for felicity and Oliver I love every second of their interaction.


One thing - Oliver did *not* know that Sara was still alive. He knew she hadn't drowned when the Gambit went down because he saw her a year later on the ship where he was held prisoner, but he obviously saw something happen to her after that because he said he "was SURE she was dead" and "These were 5 years where nothing good happened! They (Lance family) were better off not knowing." I agree, can we PLEASE keep Caity as the Canary?? I just can't see how Katie will be able to believably pull off the fight scenes. I think Amell is doing an incredible job as Oliver/Arrow. He nailed that scene with Diggle and Felicity after finding out Sara was alive.

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Arrow Season 2 Episode 4 Quotes

You know Oliver, somebody once told me that secrets have weight. The more you keep, the harder it is to keep moving.


The Arrow: Why are you following Laurel Lance?
Canary: I could ask the same thing of you. I guess some things never change. You and her. Always and forever.