Arrow – “Tremors” Episode Recap
In an episode I have been waiting for since they cast Roy Harper in Arrow, we finally get to see the hero and Roy team up and begin to build a relationship to eventually become Hero and Sidekick.
We open with a gruesome return from the Bronze Tiger, who is locked up in jail. He is broken out by a black market arms dealer to retrieve the prototype of the earthquake machine prototype that Malcolm Merlyn used to terrorize the city at the end of the first season.
We then return to the most important story line of the episode, where the Arrow is teaching Roy to control his strength. He is seen using the same slapping water technique Oliver was taught when training on the island. Roy is nonetheless impatient and overly eager to fight, and begs the Arrow for one chance to prove himself. Luckily, at that very moment Bronze Tiger breaks into the Merlyn home, and the Arrow grudgingly takes Roy along to help. Predictably, Roy gets overly emotional and starts to pummel a man to death, which throws off the Arrow’s plans to stop the Bronze Tiger from stealing the device.
In another unexpected plot choice, we learn that Walter wants Moira Queen to run against Sebastian Blood for Mayor of Starling City. It is interesting to see Moira’s initial reticence, fearing that the people of Starling City will not support her given her role in Merlyn’s attack. Yet the people who surround her, principally her daughter Thea, start to build her confidence, and remind her that the voters of Starling will see her as a woman protecting her children, not a mass murderer.
Laurel Lance is going downhill fast. She rejects all offers of help for her drug and alcohol addiction, even from her own recovering alcoholic father. She is being investigated for potential disbarment after the revelation of her substance abused problems (a somewhat implausible plot-line, but you can sense that the writer’s are looking for something to do with this character) . Oliver sees her plummeting into this abyss, and calls in the only person he knows can help her: Sarah, her sister, who Laurel believes is long dead in the same accident which stranded Oliver on the island.
Back to Roy: Throughout his training thus far, he is reluctant to listen to the Arrow. As the Arrow, Oliver tries to persuade Roy to focus on control for the protection of his beloved Thea, yet Roy sees this as an invasion of his personal life by a shadowy figure he has no real reason to trust. The tension is convincing: Roy is angry and scared, and is being forced to trust the Arrow without being privy to any of the pertinent information. Yet the clock continues to counts down on the earthquake device, and the Arrow is nearly taken down by Bronze Tiger, only to be rescued by Roy. This is where the episode hit its highest note: Roy is on the verge of killing the Bronze Tiger; but the Arrow needs Roy’s strength to help destroy the device. In a moment of desperation (and surprise for the audience) Oliver reveals his identity to Roy, demonstrating that his concern for Thea is just as genuine as Roy’s, and motivating the young miscreant to assist the vigilante in destroying the earthquake device.. It was an amazing reveal that I didn’t expect yet; the show’s cavalier attitude towards revealing Oliver’s identity remains one of it’s prime strengths. This new revelation, and Roy’s subsequent induction into Team Arrow, will change the entire dynamic of their relationship.
Back on the island, we learn that Slade is planning on blowing up the freighter with Ivo on it. Although I still understand the island story plot, it truly is becoming background noise and almost like a commercial for the real show of Arrow in Starling City. Striking the right balance between the flashbacks and present day has always been a precise act for Arrow, but as of late they have been leaning more heavily towards the present, leaving the audience to be satisfied with the briefest of snippets of coherent flashback.
The last scene of the episode is a big plot setup: Bronze Tiger is in jail (again), and a mysterious woman named Amanda Waller arrives to recruit the villain for a secret “squad.” What does this mean for the Arrow and who is putting this “squad” together? If you’re well versed in DC lore, you should know what this squad is; if not, prepare for what seems to be a very interesting plot twist in an already daring season of our favorite CW show.