The best lie is one wrapped in a bit of truth. Truth is, Laurel has a substance abuse problem. Truth is, Officer Daily was found wearing a skull mask. The lies are that Daily isn’t the man behind the skull mask. That Laurel isn’t wrong, that Sebastian Blood isn’t Starling Cities savior (well with a name like Blood). Laurel’s spiral downward is melodrama 101- of which “Blind Spot” has plenty. Daly and the mask meanwhile resemble how the titular Death Note in Death Note was used. In which people use the information of others against them in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
“Blast Radius” reaffirmed Oliver’s need to trust at least some people, that not everyone is a criminal mastermind. It keeps him sane but leaves him open to the other side of the coin, that the rich socially mobile people he surrounds himself with are the true criminal masterminds. This and his self admitted blind spot for Laurel Lance coming into conflict as Laurel has him believing that Sebastian Blood is a criminal mastermind at the drop of a hat, despite having circumstantial evidence at best. Oliver has to/had to believe that Laurel Lance of all people would be right. Now by all appearances it doesn’t appear to be that way and Oliver has replaced that blind spot with another.
Normally it would feel weak for a show to repeat the same basic plot movements of last season: Oliver receives circumstantial evidence that a friend is a criminal mastermind, Oliver doesn’t believe it until it is too late. This time however the news isn’t revealed to Oliver in an episode or two, he and all of Team Arrow have been fooled by Slade Wilson’s methodical manipulation.
With plenty of references to concealed identity and emotions, last night’s episode was rife with moments of soap opera melodrama. You’ve got Roy slumping down around a corner in a hospital after putting a guy in it, Laurel finding herself on the other side of the table and acting like a typical junkie, Paul Blackthorne just quietly sighing the whole time as he walks out of frame. “Blind Spot” first half is more akin to earlier episodes of Arrow where there was less action and less defined characters but everything still ran on a nice compact genre engine. All of these moments back to back (even if they were partially broken up by the trip to the archives) did get a little tiresome. A fast melodrama can do wonders, last nights episode tended to wallow in misery for just a little too long, shots being held a couple of seconds longer than they should be.
Finally pushing Laurel into the main plot of season 2 has done wonders for my tolerance of Katie Cassidy. She’s not the best but when reduced to weeks of drinking and pill popping, she became the worst. Yes, she’s only part of the main plot tangentially due to Slade’s plans but her investigation into Blood was a return to the morally righteous defense attorney you though could be like Black Canary. Now that she’s fired from the DA’s office, things are a bit up in the air. Could this be the writers putting the Laurel character in rehab and on the back burner for awhile? Sending her away would symbolically cool the Blood thread until she comes back.
With a man in a Skull Mask dead, Arrow is positioned to go a bit more episodic for awhile. “Tremors” has the return of Bronze Tiger, and Roy gets to slap the water (man that really does sound like a euphinisim). After that there is the tantalizingly titled “Heir of the Demon”, remember there’s still that whole thing of the League of Assassins wanting Sara, remember her? The first half of season 2 was a excellent mixture of pushing barriers out and setting up multiple storylines, where the latest batch of episodes have all been singular in purpose.
At least we got to see the Manu Bennet in proper bi-colored regalia. Like most costumes on Arrow there is an inherent absurdity to it, it appeared to have a sense of inefficient bulk (even as Slade massacres 3 of Sebastian’s guards). That idea will likely go away as we see him more and more, we’ve finally got a live action version of proper Deathstroke!
Remember last week when I was glad that the show seemingly revealed Roy’s powers, mostly, to Thea? As it turns out, not so much. With Mr. Harper doing all he can to keep the anchor in his life unawares at what he plans on doing. For “Tremors” to happen, Thea has to stay in the dark for awhile longer, but at least it isn’t as bad as expected. Colton Hayes has done a decent job emoting the needed subtlety for someone in his position, he’s like a younger Stephen Amell in that way it’s slow improvement.