Arrow: The Scientist (2×08)

Synopsis: A new face arrives in Starling City when someone breaks into Queen Consolidated’s applied science.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

It’s hard to believe that we’re already on the first half of the mid-season finale of Arrow. It hardly feels that long ago since the first episode of the season aired, but yet here we are. This season has brought with it an array of new characters such as Black Canary, Brother Blood and in ‘The Scientist’ arrived the newest face: Barry Allen.

After weeks of media coverage and anticipation Grant Gustin sweeps onto our screens as Barry Allen, a detective from Central City who comes to Starling City to investigate the break in at Queen Consolidated applied science division. He’s awkward, baby-faced (which Oliver can’t help but make a joke of at least twice in this episode) but also obviously brilliant at what he does. He deciphers that a very strong man all on his own forced his way into the applied science building and ripped a very large centrifuge out of the ground and fled. This, of course, is not normal and something that ‘The Hood’ takes an interest in.

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Meanwhile in his personal life Oliver has to deal with the wrath of Isabel when Moira goes back to work with the intention of getting her control of Queen Consolidated back. Isabel warns Oliver that doing this will not be good for the image of the company. As icy as Isabel is, it is obvious that she knows what she’s talking about but Oliver does as you would expect and doesn’t listen. In fact he decides to throw a party for Moira to show the public that they’re getting back to normal.

On the island Shado asks Oliver about Sara and does not like what she hears, but can you really blame her? Who wouldn’t be shocked to hear the guy she’s with took the sister of the girl he claimed to be in love with on a boat with him. It doesn’t really make Oliver look good.

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While Barry does his forensic science stuff to try and catch the perpetrator he and Felicity talk. He asks her about The Hood, since he’s read that she was saved by him, and Felicity tries to give away as little as she can while Barry bombards her with questions, revealing that he’s a little bit of a fanboy of The Hood. He’s also tells her of his tragic past relating to the murder of his mum, his killer was never caught.

Roy gets a call from Sin and she subtly hints is he could get The Hood to help finding a friend of hers that’s been missing, however Thea volunteers hers and Roy’s assistance. Speaking of Thea, Malcolm pays Moira another visit demanding that she tell their daughter that he’s her real father. He’s feeling a bit lonely, what with accidently killing his own son.

Together Felicity and Barry find a lead on the perpetrator and Oliver goes after him. The guy proves to be too much for Oliver to handle and he escapes but not before badly injuring Oliver. At Arrow HQ he confirms Diggle’s suspicions and tells him and Felicity that he knows more about what’s going on than he’s said. His news relates back to the island and the serum ‘Mirakuru’ that he and his friends on the island eventually find.

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While Felicity and Barry, who are getting on really well, use on of the hood’s bloody arrows to find a sedative that will help them track the man again, he asks Felicity about her relationship with Oliver. She quickly reassures him that she doesn’t like Oliver (*coughliarcough*) and even invites him to Oliver’s party as her plus one. But then Oliver ruins the cute moment by confronting Barry about the lies that he’s told them about working on a similar case back in Central City when he’s not. Barry admits the truth that he voluntarily follows up on weird cases ever since his mum was killed by something extraordinary and his father was blamed.

At Oliver’s party Felicity is angry that he scared Roy away but he has even more to worry about when he sees that barely anyone turned up. But Moira won’t let herself be disheartened and refuses to flee the party. Isabel comforts Oliver about the turn out but she and Moira are less than friendly towards each other.

Though the night isn’t going so well for the Queens Oliver gives Felicity a little present to apologise for his earlier actions, which turns out to be Barry. He and Felicity dance together (they’re so cute) but unfortunately afterwards Barry receives a call from his very angry boss, who has discovered what Barry’s been doing in Starling City without permission, and he has to return. He says his goodbyes to Felicity, shying away from planting one on her even though it was obviously it’s what she wanted.

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On the Island Oliver and the rest find the Mirakuru, and hastily decide to give Slade the option of taking it, although without a sedative the serum could kill him. Running out of options Slade chooses to take the Mirakuru but before Oliver injects him Slade apologises to Shado for not telling her how he “really feels” (uuurgh). The effects on his body are not good and he dies.

Sin and Roy find Matt’s dead body and he calls the Hood for assistance when it’s obvious that Matt’s death looks suspicious. Roy gets angry when the Hood won’t tell him what he wants to know and he quits working for him. Oliver shoots some arrows in Roy to stop him from looking further into the case. Meanwhile at the Queen Manor Malcolm approaches Moira about Thea but she refuses to be threatened again and scares him away by mentioning the name of Ra’s al Ghul, who wants to kill Malcolm, and he is scared away.

Oliver finds and fights the perpetrator, who is much stronger than Oliver and easily throws him around before escaping. Oliver lands on a box of Mirakuru and is injected with the serum. When Felicity and Diggle find him there’s only one person that can help him. At the station, having missed his train, Barry is shot with a dart and passes out. When he comes too he’s in Arrow HQ and is asked to help Oliver.

It’s always hard for new characters to come into a well-established show and not seem out of place, but Barry won over my heart easily and fit in nicely. I’m only sorry that we won’t see too much more of him in Arrow in the future. But he is getting his own show, so I can’t really complain. This was a nice episode which sets things up nicely for an action-packed, heart-racing mid-season finale.


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