This weeks episode Arrow is the first of a two parter which fans have been waiting for since it was announced way back in the summer, the arrival of Barry Allen before his own spin off show as The Flash. However, incorporating The Flash into the Arrow universe presents its own challenges. Arrow is definitely a child of The Dark Knight in its style and emphasis on realism. We are now midway through the second season and the idea of super powers has never even been addressed. Something that obviously needs to happen in order for this crossover to occur. We've had a few hints over the past couple of episodes but now it's time to see how well they do at adding powers into the world.
Officer Lance lays down his theory that despite the CCTV only seeing one guy that the job must have been carried out by at least three or four, with a forklift. In reality the perpetrator is actually the culmination of the Brother Blood experiments in which DA and possible Mayoral Candidate Jason Blood has finally succeeded in creating a super strong goon (instead of a corpse as seen before) in the name of Cyrus Gold. He is certainly not Solomon Grundy, the DC villain of the comics, but for a show thats going from bow and arrows to super speed, you have to take baby steps. His origin story has been mirroring the Island flashbacks where Professor Ivo has been searching for a World War Two super soldier serum.
Back in the here and now though we are finally introduced to Barry Allen, a VERY young CSI expert from Central City who says he believes the robbery was carried out by one man and that it's connected to a similar case in his home town. In reality though, he is there because he takes interest in unusual cases and is a bit of an Arrow fanboy. On first impressions Allen seems too young and too smart while also being a little bit grating. Drawing conclusions about the case before having any conclusive evidence, fawning over Felicity. Luckily, he's given enough time over this episode and the next to endear himself better. It also transpires that the thief stole an industrial level centrifuge.
As we jump forward again to the present. Felicity and Barry have set up a make shift forensics lab to track down the thief from dirt under his shoes in typical simplistic fashion, whilst over at the Queen mansion, Oliver decides the best way for Moira to move on with life is to throw a lavish party flaunting their wealth and her freedom while the people of the city still try to rebuild from the disaster many people still find her guilty of. Naturally no-one turns up except Malcolm Merlyn to continue his current subplot, Thea is apparently his daughter and he wants her... For something, we're not actually told we just get vague threats while he shrugs off having killed his last child.
By the power of science Barry and Felicity are able to track down Grundy and tie him to a truck being used to rob a blood bank. Oliver heads off to track him down, but his arrows barely scratch the guy enough to get a blood sample. Our hero goes back to the cave to get patched up by Felicity and tell his team that he's seen powers like that before, and it’s the same serum as on the island. However he insists that everyone who knew about it is dead. He also reveals that as well as blood and a centrifuge that the serum needs a sedative to stop people dying.
Back on Flashback Island the group have got inside the submarine and found the serum that they need to save Slade’s life. However, they can't find the sedative and know that it could kill him. After telling Shado he wishes he'd told her how he felt about her sooner Ollie administers the serum, Slade flips out like every other person who we've seen injected with the serum in Brother Bloods lab, screaming and bleeding from the eyes before appearing to die. Before anybody has much time to react Ivo and his goons arrive to take the others captive.
Back at the Queen mansion Malcolm has returned and demands to see Thea. Luckily for Moira though it appears the League of Assassins has a hotline number as she returns his threats with the revelation that she figured out who he really works for and has contacted Ra’s al Ghul himself.
Arrow confronts Grundy in the shelter and manages to get the upperhand on him long enough to ask him where he got the serum. Grundy tells him that his brother gave it to him and proceeds to attack our hero. Leaving him for dead and injected with unknown chemicals. Not knowing what he's been injected with team Arrow are forced to kidnap Barry and bring him to their hideout to help.