Welcome to the latest Arrow round table. This week we're examining Arrow Season 2 Episode 8, which means delving into the introduction of Barry Allen, Barry's possible disruption of the Olicity pairing and the shot The Arrow sent into Roy's leg, among other things.
On the round table this week, we have our regular members, staff writers Kate Brooks, Carissa Pavlica and Hank Otero of Hank's Entertainment Site. Also joining us are two people who have made a splash in the comments section of Arrow - Robin Harry, who has recently started covering Brooklyn Nine-Nine for TV Fanatic, and Marko Pekic, username Spindae. Welcome them, and hit the comments with your thoughts on this week's questions!
What were your first impressions of Barry Allen's introduction to the Arrow-verse?
Kate: Adorable and perfect. Grant Gustin was great casting choice! I really also enjoyed his chemistry with Felicity.
Spindae: He was tremendous. Grant showed of the perfect combination of geek, great smile and social weirdness. Barry was presented as a well-layered character and the Flash always being late was a funny thing.
Robin: I really liked him - the guy is my dream nerd! I loved how they lampshaded his youthful looks. I think his introduction into team Arrow AND his attraction to Felicity were handled perfectly - low on emotional drama, high on sensibility.
Hank: OK looks like I'm going to be the unpopular one around here LOL... first impression was "seriously that's The Flash?" I didn't find myself instantly drawn to the character, the way I was with Oliver Queen in the "Arrow" Pilot. That's not completely Grant Gustin's fault; I think he did a decent job with what the writers gave him to work with. I just had a tough time with all the goofiness and bumbling through the episode. It felt very Smallville to me (a show I quickly lost interest in). That said, by the third time watching "The Scientist," I did warm up to Barry a bit more. I have no doubt I'll be okay with the Arrow-verse version of Barry Allen come the mid-season finale. Now, do I think the character (as he appeared in last night's show) will successfully lead his own TV series? Remains to be seen but I, for one, would have a pretty hard time watching that show.
Carissa: As I said in the review, I was very shocked at the casting choice. However, they seem to have a different focus for Gustin as the Flash than I expected, and youth appears to play a part in it. I imagine Flash being lighter in tone than Arrow with some darker elements, while Arrow is dark with some lighter elements. These writers never cease to amaze me, and by the end of next week I'll probably be eagerly awaiting a Flash series.
How do you think Barry's presence will effect Olicity in the long run?
Kate: Help it. Right now, it'll probably damper it - obviously. But in the end, I think it will help Oliver realize how he feels about Felicity. I look forward to this journey.
Spindae: I think it will push them apart, not to far of course. I mean the moment Oliver called Barry to attend the party he let Felicity go. He saw she could be happy without him and have a carefree life. And Felicity letting Barry know his identity will be a new issue in their relationship, I doubt Oliver will be happy about that.
Robin: Felicity gets to choose between badass stud and adorable nerd. Honestly, some girls have all the luck. I don't think it'll have a long-term effect - the pairing will still happen - but I REALLY loved that Oliver wasn't all angsty and jealous right now. Spindae, I really think Oliver will understand the choice Felicity had to make to save his life.
Hank: I don't think Barry's presence will have a negative long term effect on Olicity. While there were definitely signs of jealousy on Oliver's part, I think he realized that Barry made her happy, which in turn, made Ollie happy. Instead of his own show, Barry would make a great addition to team Arrow. I hope, if The Flash is picked up to series, that Felicity appears on that show as well. Crossovers, à la "Vampire Diaries/The Originals". That would rock!
Carissa: I'm going to be the naysayer here. I think Oliver seeing Felicity with someone younger and with whom she shares more interests might lead to him backing off of his expression of feelings a bit. She quite easily fell for someone else, so is what she has for Oliver anything more than a crush? Time will tell, but it's possible Oliver may not give that to her now.
Do you think Brother Blood's serum will be connected to Slade Wilson and how might this impact his presence in present day timeline?
Kate: Yes! At least I feel this is where the story is taking us.
Spindae: Maybe not directly to Slade, but to Doctor Ivo. He could get a present time appearance. It will be interesting to see how Oliver intends to defeat the über-human warriors. My hope for this serum story (even though a long shot) is for the writers to make a connection to the Green Lantern Corps, something like the founders of the GLC created the Original serum or something like that.
Robin: Absolutely. I found it weird that the dude who curb stomped Oliver in the warehouse didn't stop to look at who he was. Perhaps all of this is to draw Oliver out for Slade or for Dr. Ivo.
Hank: Oh man Spindae, how amazing would a connection to the Green Lantern Corps be? True, it's probably a long shot, but I'd love that! I agree with Robin, there seems to be some kind of connection between the serum and Slade Wilson/Dr. Ivo. Oliver mentioned that Ivo is dead in the present, so perhaps Deathstroke is using the serum to get Oliver's attention. I'm curious to see how this storyline plays out.
Carissa: The serum is connected to Slade in some way. The blood from the eyes certainly indicates it's the same serum that Brother Blood is using. We also know that what he uses makes his soldiers appear to die before popping back to life bigger and better than ever. Slade was "dead" when Ivo stormed the submarine, but he could have come back from that and perhaps Oliver never knew. The flashbacks had to be more than coincidental, and if the serum was burned, it's coming from a blood donor. My vote is Slade Wilson. Dammit. Gimme my Manu Bennett in the present as well as the past!
The Arrow shot Roy in the leg. What do you expect Roy to take away from that?
Kate: I think it will piss him off! But I think Roy will continue to be his eyes and ears.
Spindae: I think it will make Roy work out a bit and become a hero on his own. He will realize the Arrow won't train him or take him under his wing, so if he wants to be a hero he has to become one Hero on his own.
Robin: I think Roy will be pissed off, but the control isn't in his hands. There's no way Oliver's gonna let him do dangerous things while he's dating Thea. He should just chill before he loses an arm...
Hank: Yeah if I were Roy, I'd be uber-pissed! What the hell, you "penetrated" me bro? Haha that sounded all kinds of wrong. I agree with Kate that their partnership will continue, though Roy will be less of a vigilante fanboy from this point forward. That whole storyline with Sin last night felt forced to me, unnecessary, other than to give Roy/Thea something to do. I like Roy, and the writers have done a good job of fleshing out his story. I hope they don't push him away from the Arrow but at the same time, that Arrow lair is getting kind of crowded isn't it?
Carissa: Hank, your answer says all the right things. However, I want to see Roy get into some trouble as payback for Oliver turning a blind eye to the kid begging to be included. He misread the signs and he's going to have to play some sort of rescuer at some point. As he should.
Things on the island really took some dramatic turns, where do you think that story heads next with all that was revealed?
Kate: Slade will survive, obviously. Now that they've all been captured on the vessel, I bet they'll be torture. Shado will die, unfortunately - Slade will become enraged. Sara will be disappear, Oliver will think she has died. Oliver and Slade showdown. How's that for a prediction?
Spindae: Some dramatic love triangle or maybe even quadrangle moments which will probably cost Shado her life and dig a deep rift between Oliver and Slade. I hope we get a lot boat scenes, I love how creepy the boat is.
Robin: I find it hard to invest in the island romances; they don't really propel the story along yet. As for the serum - it turns people into super soldiers, but it also seems to turn them into jerks. Oliver said all the folks injected with the serum are dead. My theory is that he would have never had the heart to kill Slade (no matter how jerky/Deathstrokey he became).
Hank: It does seem like the island storyline is moving toward a Shado death and Deathstroke/Oliver duel. However, last season, it also seemed Malcolm Merlyn was going to die and Tommy would take his place as the Dark Archer. In retrospect, I'm so glad they didn't do that. One of the things I love about this show, is they always try to go for the unpredictable. I'm not really sure where the island stuff is going, but it does tie in better to the present storyline than last season did. I have a feeling whatever takes place on the island, is totally going to blow our minds!
Carissa: Again, I agree with Hank that the island scenes really tie in with the present so much better than they did in Arrow Season 1. I especially liked Shado discovering that Oliver had taken his girlfriend's sister on the Gambit with him. She got a different picture of him that opened her eyes to what Slade might offer her. But I get the idea that Slade's going to disappear for (ever?) from the island. I've finally found the flashbacks interesting - that's a feat in itself!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.