Arrow: “Blast Radius” Season 2 Episode 10 Review

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The problem with a show like this having 20 or more episodes a season is that some of them end up being filler. Sadly, for Arrow, this is how we came back from the holiday break.

Blast Radius wasn’t an entirely bad episode. It did a few things that keep the bulk of season two well above season one. However, the villain of the week format felt phoned in for this entry.

Oliver is hunting the man in the skull mask, who he doesn’t know to be mayoral candidate Sebastian Blood. While this story is certainly engaging, the bomber (Firefly alum Sean Maher), better known to comics fans as Shrapnel, was not. Most of Oliver’s time was spent dealing with a simple terrorist that had virtually no interesting qualities. It’s hard to go from Sebastian Blood and Cyrus Gold to that.

But Shrapnel was merely a distraction, albeit a boring one, to the much greater foe. And what better way to give Laurel something to do than to make her the one to start putting the pieces together. Laurel has been a weak point of the whole season, but this could be just the thing to make her interesting again. By the end of the episode, she finds out that Blood lied about his aunt being in the insane asylum, it being his mother instead, and that he was the one to kill his father.

However, Blood also feels like a distraction. Earlier this season, we got hints of Ra’s al Ghul, saw the return of Malcolm Merlyn, and had Slade in the present wishing death on Oliver. As a villain, Blood is interesting, but with all these other players out there now, it might be time to move on (although the preview for next week did show a Deathstroke costume!).

But the team dynamics are still intact. Oliver and Felicity get into an argument about how much time she’s spending with a comatose Barry in Central City. Felicity is clearly on her way to replacing Laurel as Oliver’s main love interest. Things got heated quickly between he two, but we’ll see where things head.

The island didn’t have much more than a few scenes this week. Slade appears to be losing it after taking that serum. I have a feeling the road to Deathstroke is one we’ll be seeing very soon.

While Blast Radius wasn’t exactly the most exciting episode of the season, it definitely wasn’t a retread to season one quality Arrow. The show’s voice and tone were still there, but the writers appear to be twiddling their thumbs until some of these bigger villains get center stage. Next week, however, appears to be Blood heavy with a dash of Deathstroke. So it won’t be too long. Grade: B-

By Matt Dougherty

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