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+.


Is it just me or does the guy playing "The Mayor" seem to be doing a spot on Malcolm X impersonation?

Sarah silva

We all knew that the Black Canary was going to be Sara. However personally I do not like the casting choice of Chloe Lotz, there is something about her voice that I do not like and the way she purses her lips is weird. I really hope I get used to her on the show as we all know she is not going anywhere. She does kick but in the action scenes. So Oliver new she was alive for a long time. However I do not blame him for not telling Laurel and Quentin that she was alive, he had no idea where she was after he left the island until he took off her mask and saw it was her.
Laurel is spiraling out of control and I hope that by seeing Sara and knowing she is alive will help her.
I knew Sebastian Blood was bad from the very first time he opened his mouth. He is going to try his best to make everyone turn on Oliver and then Sebastian will try and take down the city and it will be Arrow that will save the day. Then people will look at him as a hero an not longer a vigilante.
I think Sara and Slade were an item.


Sara was trained by Ra's al Ghul's League of Assassins, which will be the focus of next week's episode. She obviously knows about Slade from the encounter five years ago on the freighter, so he's obviously still alive and will reappear at some point. Not to mention that Manu Bennett is now a regular cast member, so he's not going anywhere. While her character's eventual survival is at best questionable, hopefully Caity Lotz will be around for at least the full season if not longer. The producers may realize they've struck gold again, as they did last year with Felicity.


My main gripe is still with Stephen Amell.... he doesn't play a very convincing charismatic billionaire Playboy.


Was Sara trained by the same people who trained Oliver in the island? IWhat does she know about Slade? So Slade did not die in the fire? I want Slade to come to Starling city and join Oliver´s team. I wonder what Slade will react once he sees Oliver is the Arrow and and also that he lives a very lavish life.


Man... they cast a good Black Canary. Can we keep her? Caity Lotz is also a much better actress. I thought that the duality with how she portrayed Black Canary/Sara Lance was interesting. Black Canary is sultry and confident. Sara Lance is a damaged but hardened survivor. Plus, the mask, wig, and push up bra make for a much better disguise than Oliver's leather hoodie. Next week looks so awesome. I can't wait.

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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.