Arrow: 2.08 - The Scientist
After the return of the Barrowman, this week kept the surprises coming with the introduction to the Arrow universe of Barry Allen, a forensics expert with a future. Ostensibly here to look into the theft of a centrifuge from Queen's factories, it becomes clear that Barry's interest is more of a private venture than an adjunct of his work for law enforcement. Team Arrow accepts his help and Felicity accepts his attentions with the nerdly equivalent of gusto.
The theft entwines with our ongoing flashback on the island. Oliver, his half incinerated gruff friend and two former romantic conquests are looking for medicines to help the human toastie overcome his injuries. They hit upon the idea of using some of the experimental drugs that their captors are using to create supermen, but sadly the burnt one bites the dust leaving old Oliver alone and in charge of his romantic coterie.Back in the present, Barry identifies the thief as some kind of chemically enhanced superman, flashback alert, and Oliver sets out to frustrate this Lance Armstrong of baddies. Unfortunately, if rather predictably, the Arrow comes up short in the strength department, all those semi naked chin-ups come to nothing, and Oliver is rescued from the villain's lair pumped up with all sorts of life threatening, strength enhancing substances. Facing the same fate as his hoarse compadre on the island, Team Arrow must get Barry on side to save their boss.
In the world of sub-plots, Roy and Thea are investigating strange goings on in The Glades that seem to involve dodgy chemicals, and Malcolm has taken to appearing in Moira's living room like David Copperfield to issue threats. He wants Thea to learn who Daddy is, but Moira is refusing to co-operate and has informed Ra's al Ghul of Malcolm's lack of rigor mortis. Again Laurel is so far out of the action and so far back in the romantic queue that you are forced to imagine her contract talks are not going well.
So we have a cliffhanger and the mid-season finale is interestingly titled "Three Ghosts" with, I predict, a bonanza of sore throats amongst the spectres. Even if poor Laurel and Dad are being phased out, Arrow continues to open up it's universe and to introduce more threats to face in Starling City in the best comic adaptation on TV. Marvel's Agents of Shield, take note, this is how you do excitement....