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‘Arrow’ Review: “Blind Spot”

Arrow Blind Spot Review
The CW

Arrow’ season 2 lets loose its eleventh episode of the year with “Blind Spot,” as Laurel tasks Oliver’s alter-ego with looking into Sebastian Blood for her, while Roy uses his super-strength to fight crime on his own, with disastrous results.

Previous ‘Arrow’ episode “Blast Radius” saw Oliver’s efforts to track down Brother Blood sidetracked by the arrival of DC bomber Shrapnel (‘Firefly‘ star Sean Maher), while Roy attempted to conceal his newfound super-strength, and Laurel investigated Sebastian Blood’s past, so what does the eleventh episode of ‘Arrow’ season 2 bring? Will the real mastermind behind Brother Blood’s plan finally stand up?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Arrow’ season 2′s latest installment “Blind Spot”!

Late one night at his mother’s hospital, Sebastian Blood pays a visit to his “aunt” Maya Resik, inquiring what she and Laurel had talked about earlier. Maya apologizes for revealing that he killed his father, before Sebastian forgives her and leaves. Moments later, Maya goes to pray as Sebastian returns in his skull mask. Elsewhere, Oliver intimidates another thug, though still gets no further with finding the man in the mask.

Back in the past, Oliver and Sara return to the plane to find Slade still missing, before Sara proposes that they accept Ivo’s offer, and a ticket off the island, though Oliver balks.  Meanwhile in the present, Laurel arrives to work and hears a message from her contact at the hospital that Maya Resik has died. Laurel takes her suspicions to DA Donner, but he refuses to act on a hunch that might destroy his career. Over at Verdant, Oliver finds Roy in the alley and asks about his condition after the Unity rally, though Roy keeps silent about the true source of his surprising abilities.

Still getting nowhere in his hunt, Oliver returns to the lair to a call from Officer Lance, summoning the vigilante on behalf of Laurel. Oliver meets her atop the roof as shares her suspicions about Sebastian Blood, though when Oliver presents her findings to Diggle, Diggle suggests it might be another trap concealed by Oliver’s blind spot for her. Elsewhere, Roy meets with Sin to finally tell someone of his super-strength, but rather than involve Thea, Roy proposes they find a criminal for him to clean up the city on his own.

Felicity manages to track down Blood’s father’s case file, though it remains under tight (and analog) lockdown at city hall. Oliver returns to Laurel to enlist her access breaking into the building, though the seven-minute window Felicity manages to cut off the cameras for quickly expires, and guards send for Starling police. Laurel finally finds the file and the two escape, though it seems the file has already been emptied by an unknown party. Back in the past, Oliver and Sara reminisce about their first crushes on one another, though when Oliver falls asleep, Sara takes the walkie out into the forest.

Sin meets with Roy at a club to suggest they pick the “Starling Slasher” as their first target, though she bristles when Roy suggests she pose as a prostitute for bait. That night, Sin gets picked up by the killer and driven to an underground garage, though when he shows a knife, Roy quickly intervenes and nearly beats the man to death, injuring Sin in the process. Across town, Oliver visits Blood at his office to inquire about Laurel’s behavior, but Blood suggests he hasn’t seen her much lately.

Later on that night, Slade appears to Blood and hands over his father’s file, warning that his problem with Laurel nearly derailed their entire plan. Slade order Blood to handle it, for which Blood calls Officer Daly to ransack Laurel’s apartment, arresting her for possession of drugs. Afterward, Laurel begs her father to see what Blood is doing to her, though Quentin believes the paranoia to be a symptom of her addiction. Meanwhile in the past, Sara radios to Ivo, damning him for murdering Shado, while Ivo insists he needs Sara to help control his dark urges.

A doctor informs Roy that his victim is lucky to be alive, but when Thea shows up on a call from Sin, Roy continually refuses to share what’s been happening to him. Oliver helps Sara sift through the damage at her apartment, reminding her that she doesn’t have to suffer everything on her own, before Brother Blood appears and knocks Oliver out, kidnapping Laurel.

Laurel awakens at the Starling Cannery, taunted by the man in the skull mask, before Oliver intervenes as the Arrow and brawls with the masked figure. Brother Blood nearly gets the upper hand before Laurel manages to shoot him down, reluctantly taking off the villain’s mask to find Officer Daly’s face, and not Sebastian Blood. Later that evening, Quentin assures her that Daly had to have been behind it all, before DA Donner shows up and reluctantly fires Laurel for her drug abuse.

Oliver has trouble believing the threat of masked man has ended, admitting that his blind spot for Laurel almost had him believing Sebastian Blood was a killer. Upstairs, Roy continually brushes off Thea, as Oliver remembers back to the island that Sara ultimately refused Ivo’s offer, and agreed to find Slade. Back in the present, Sebastian arrives to Slade’s office to proclaim the matter taken care of, before a masked Slade quickly takes out Blood’s escorts, and threatens Sebastian, should he fail again.

Out in the alley behind Verdant, Oliver appears to Roy as the Arrow, and offers to teach him to control his newfound strength, something Roy eagerly accepts.

OUR REVIEW:

Last week’s installment ended up a bit of a dud, all explosion puns aside, given that ‘Arrow’ rarely manages to succeed in implementing one-off villains, particularly ones so drastically (if understandably) altered from their DC counterparts. We needed a breather episode all the same, given all the revelations and turns of midseason finale “Three Ghosts,” that “Blast Radius” was well-cleared to coast on its character laurels (pun intended!), regardless of the main action.

To that end, “Blind Spot” takes us head first back into the ongoing mystery of Sebastian Blood and Slade’s installment, something that comes to rattle Laurel as much as it did Oliver last week. It can’t be overstated how much ‘Arrow’ needed an effective story for Laurel this season, particularly one that threaded her substance abuse with discrediting her against Blood, rather than wallow in the grief that story clumsily began with. It’ll be interesting to see what Laurel does with her days (or nights?) now that her career has at least partially derailed, while her interaction with the Arrow tonight took welcome care to remember their most recent interactions, as well.

In any case, incorporating a side character like Officer Daly under the mask proved an interesting means to prolong Blood’s secret villainy, the recurring officer just memorable enough to make sense as a decoy, but forgettable enough to provide a few moments of genuine suspense before the unmasking. Storytelling possibilities for the Blood/Slade alliance have been bursting at the seams for weeks now, particularly with Slade now given a badass costume upgrade of his own, so hopefully Oliver will make some genuine movement on the trail in the coming weeks, especially as next week’s installment looks heavy with Slade flashbacks.

On the other side of the episode, we’re still not entirely clear why Roy seems so insistent on hiding his abilities from everyone, though we can’t deny the thrill of seeing the character finally fighting crime with some super-powered flair, particularly now that Arrow has in mind to train the young apprentice. We’re certainly glad to see Sin kept around beyond Sara’s present involvement as well, even if it does tend to edge out any real place for Thea beyond scowling through three or four different sets.

All in all, “Blind Spot” gave us great use of Laurel and Sebastian Blood that had felt a bit strained in previous weeks, though it’s clear the most exciting episodes are yet to come. If only that preview of next week’s episode weren’t so very spoilery in the last moments…

Well, what say you?  Did ‘Arrow’ hit the mark with its latest installment? How cool was it to see Slade looking even more like his comic counterpart? Give us your reactions in the comments, and join us next week for another all-new ‘Arrow’ recap of season 2, episode 12, “Tremors” on The CW!

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