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Season 2, Episode 4 Aired: 2013-10-30

Arrow: Crucible Review

Shadows from the past

Reviewed: by Tyler Olson

***The review below contains minor spoilers.***

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All fans who didn't listen to the spoilers about the Canary's true identity, or those who failed to believe it, have wondered who was the woman behind the black mask, and this week the truth was finally revealed. (We never did announce it when CW's present Mark Pedowitz made the mistake of revealing it because it was too big of a spoiler.)

Knowing that she survived the turmoil on the island, and has been training under the guidance of a certain shadowy league, is a massive turn of events. She obviously doesn't have an issue with killing, since she, like Oliver, have mastered that over the years, but for her it is more than just survival, it is/was her job. How did someone so sweet turn into such an efficient killer?

Her return does reveal something else about Arrow – it will be following the comic book style of death very closely. Anyone who has enjoyed reading any of DC or Marvel's comic books over the decades knows very well that the dead very rarely stay dead. We were already teased with that during Deadshot's return in season 1, but with Canary it leaves the possibility of almost anyone returning, including Macolm returning as a living character, and not just a flashback. I'm starting to wonder if any of the other big names have truly died.

Apparently this happens when an arrow strikes a (flash?) grenade in mid-air... who knew!

Along with the return of the dead, so did the idea of the crucible. We have already seen this plot device used a few times. It started with Oliver (who has had two now), then with Helena, Diggle, and Malcolm. Even Quentin and Laurel had their own defining moment where traumatic events change them (although with lesser effects). So far, the consensus seems to show that everyone either becomes a hero or a villain, which almost always results in a killing spree. Perhaps Starling City needs more mental health therapists.

While "Crucible" was heavy on the character building, when it came down to the action it actually felt a tad tame. Come on, Oliver and Canary were working side-by-side against a villain, but the battle felt so easy that the heroes mopped the floor with them quickly. I had hoped for something a bit more... epic. Maybe the next episode of Arrow will deliver.

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