After a week off for Thanksgiving, Arrow returned with a brand new invention. I mean, episode. If you’ll recall, the big “dun dun DUN” moment of the last episode was Moira Queen being acquitted due to the interference of the not-dead Malcolm Merlyn, who also drops the bombshell that he is in fact Thea’s father. What the what?!?! We’ve also got to deal with Brother Blood’s newly-created super zealot, Brother Cyrus. This happens right away when this week’s episode, “The Scientist,” begins. Oh, and this is part one of the two-part mid-season finale. Soooooo, pay attention.
We begin with a break-in to Queen Consolidated’s Applied Science warehouse by a big guy with superhuman powers. He’s got a black mask of sorts on, busts the door open, and kills the two guards by breaking their necks with one of his huge bear mitts. Clearly, this is Brother Cyrus, but we’re not supposed to know this yet. What he steals is still not quite known.
In the office, Moira returns to a board meeting, and she wants to return to work, but Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) does not think that’s a good idea, mostly because she’s plenty happy being co-CEO. But, she has a good point – a jury may have let Moira get away with murder, but the city still hasn’t. That’s not going to look good for QC, is it? Luckily, this business talk is interrupted by Diggle, who tells Oliver of the break-in.
They and Felicity head down to the crime scene where Officer Lance shows them around. While they puzzle about what could have happened, a scrawny nerd comes trundling up with a rolling suitcase and a badge. He’s Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), a CSI from Central City who’s been assigned to help with the case. You know he’s important not only from him being BARRY frigging ALLEN, but because he has his own whimsical theme music.
Barry figures out, pretty quickly actually, that what the strong guy stole was a centrifuge and that he did, indeed, kill those men one-handed. Whatever could the guy want with a centrifuge, though? This whole time, Barry and Felicity have been meet-cute-ing on a nerd scale and Oliver’s not particularly pleased with it, nor, it should be said, is he particularly displeased with it. He just sort of regards it. But, Felicity knows that Barry’s very smart, so she asks him to help her figure out what happened, because the Starling City Police Department are totally useless and even Lance tells her to talk to the Arrow.
While in the lab, Barry asks Felicity a lot of questions about the vigilante and is piecing together a lot of things himself, about why he wears green and that he probably has the help of someone with computer training. She quickly changes the subject and asks why he’s so interested in the vigilante, which begins his backstory-spewing account of how his mother was murdered and the police never caught the guy. Maybe if Central City had a vigilante, that wouldn’t have happened. WINK.
At the Queen residence, Oliver and Thea think that throwing a big, lavish party for Moira is the best thing to do to look like everything’s back to normal. Roy, who’s been standing there waiting for his one line, gets a message and says he has to skedaddle, and Thea goes with him. They go to meet Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus), who says she can’t find her friend Max. Though she suggests Roy contact someone else to help (someone with a hood and arrows), Thea offers Roy and her services. Nice of her, I suppose.
That night at the Queen house, Moira is visited by Malcolm, who threatens her again about telling Thea that she is Malcolm’s daughter. Moira pleads with the crazy person that she’s spent her life loving Robert Queen as her father and that she shouldn’t be torn asunder now. Malcolm says that she’s the only thing he has now that Tommy is dead, conveniently forgetting that it was his fault his son died. Malcolm gives Moira a couple of days to prep Thea for the revelation… or else. But Malcolm makes a mistake and says something he shouldn’t: that he was a member of the League of Assassins.
The good guys are able to see that the guy who stole the Queen Consolidated truck and the centrifuge has also just knocked over a blood bank. Oliver knows more about this than he lets on, but doesn’t say anything because, well, he’s Oliver. He zooms after the truck on his motorcycle and there ensues a really awesome fight in and out of the speeding truck. Oliver is spectacularly hosed and the guy gets away.
While getting patched up back at the Arrow Cave, Oliver tells his friends that he has indeed seen someone with these abilities before. Where else? On the island, which prompts Felicity to point out how much she wishes he’d been shipwrecked on a resort island. He explains about Ivo and how everybody who had this treatment is dead… everybody. Oh, the mystery.
Oliver doesn’t score any brownie points with Felicity when he confronts Barry the next day at QC. He had Diggle do some digging (as his name would indicate) and he found out that Barry Allen is just an assistant CSI from Central City and that his captain DIDN’T send him to Starling City and they DON’T have an open case that’s similar to this. This revelation prompts another of Barry’s heartfelt getting-to-know-you speeches, in which he spills that his father is in prison for killing his mother but that little Barry saw something zoom into his house and kill his mother, leaving him 20 blocks away, and nobody believes him. He now spends his time investigating the strange occurrences in the hopes of learning the truth. Barry leaves in shame, rescinding his accepting of Felicity’s invitation to the Queen Gala. That’ll never make Felicity like Barry more; good work, Oliver.
While at the hovel in which Max used to sleep, Roy, Thea, and Sin look for clues as to his whereabouts. Roy sees a flyer for Sebastian Blood’s blood bank. Sin says that Max donated blood there a lot to get extra money, which is all the clue Roy needs. As they leave, Blood’s stooge in the SCPD spies them and tells his Brother that they’re looking for Max. Brother Blood says it’s time he was found. I’m sure, in hindsight, Max had decided to go to Horatio Bonemarrow’s bone marrow bank instead.
Nobody really shows up to the Queens’ party, much to Oliver’s dismay, but the glee of Isabel Rochev, who really doesn’t like Moira, or more specifically what she represents for the company. Moira gets a bit of good news from a partygoer who tells her that the information she supplied was gratefully accepted. Oliver decides to make amends with Felicity by re-inviting Barry to the party, where the two awkwardly but adorably sway to the music, since he’s a terrible dancer.
A call from Sin takes Roy away just as he was about to actually do something in relation to the other characters. This time he doesn’t let Thea know what’s happening; it seems they’ve found Max dead, of an apparent drug overdose, dried blood on his eyes. Roy goes and manages to snap a picture of the body and calls for Oliver using the handy dart-in-the-wall trick.
When Arrow goes to meet Roy, it doesn’t go well. Roy shows him the picture and Arrow tells him to leave it alone, as it again proves Oliver’s fear that the Super Soldier drug has returned. Roy gets angry and says that he’ll just investigate himself if Arrow won’t help, to which the hooded archer tags him in the leg with an arrow. Seriously, that’s a dick move for sure.
At the Queen Mansion, Moira is again confronted by Malcolm, who had no problem taking out her new spate of guards. He asks if she’s prepared Thea for the news and Moira defiantly says “no, and she’ll never know.” Malcolm isn’t really a guy with whom to fuck, but Moira has a trump card: since Malcolm let slip that he was in the League of Assassins, she was able to get word to R’as al Ghul himself that Malcolm is still alive. It seems the Demon’s Head doesn’t like that Malcolm left the League and behaved so disgracefully with the whole earthquake-machine. Moira tells Malcolm to run, which he does, though he says it’s not over.
Oliver finds Cyrus Gold and they have a big ol’ dust-up, even though Diggle and Felicity begged him to wait until they had a better plan. Oliver’s killed people like this before; Surely, he’ll be okay, right? No, he gets his ass handed to him on a plate made of bruises. The final move comes when Cyrus throws Oliver into a box of medical supplies wherein he gets injected with something bad. Felicity and Diggle show up to help, and Felicity can’t find out what with what he was injected because they broke the warehouse’s computer. She has no idea how to save him, but she might know who does.
Barry’s ten minutes late to his train and will have to spend the whole night in the station. Except, he doesn’t. He gets a tranq dart in his neck and wakes up in the Arrow Cave, where Felcity begs him to help save her friend, the unhooded, but still green, Oliver. Well, let’s hope Barry Allen doesn’t end up being a villain…
ON THE ISLAND
Oliver, Shado, and Sara follow the compass with Slade’s weakened, half-burnt ass dragging along. They eventually find the Japanese submarine in one of the deltas and go to it, looking for something that could help save Slade’s life. Upon entering, they find the miracle drug, but no sedative, which is integral to the patient staying alive. Since he’s going to die anyway, Slade agrees to be jabbed, and he begins convulsing wildly and bleeding from the eyes. Eventually, he stops breathing, but there’s no time for mourning, because Ivo and his pirates break in.
So that was part one, and boy howdy, did lots happen. It seems like this whole Brother Blood and super soldier stuff is going to come to a head. Maybe not the final head, but one that will leave it for a month until after the holidays. Barry Allen’s not The Flash yet, but maybe he will be next week. And speaking of next week’s mid-season finale, “Three Ghosts,” let’s take a look!