TV Review: ARROW Season 2, Episode 12 'Tremors'

PrintE-mail Written by Andrew Pollard

Picking up from where last week’s Blind Spot left off, we find the Arrow (Stephen Amell) training the rebellious, now super-strong, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) in an effort to give the street kid full control over his newfound powers. Elsewhere, the villainous Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White) is out of prison and on a mission to steal a prototype of Malcolm Merlyn’s earthquake machine that caused so much damage towards the climax of Season 1. We also get to see Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) hitting rock bottom, having been fired due to her addiction issues, and Walter (Colin Salmon) returns to try and persuade Moira Queen (Susanna Thomson) to have a mayoral run.

First up, it’s good to see Bronze Tiger get a good, solid outing here. Introduced earlier in the season, he just came across as a lackey for China White at that time. This time out we get to see a bit more of the character, and he’s also involved in some rather brutal scenes by Arrow’s standards. It’s safe to say, he’s certainly not afraid of getting his claws dirty. Bronze Tiger’s arc of hijacking the earthquake machine of course brings him to the attention of the Arrow. With Roy asking the Arrow a million questions a minute, not to mention getting all stroppy Daniel-San to Arrow’s Miyagi-type requests, the Emerald Archer decides to take Roy, complete with red hoodie, out on the job with him. Similar to the last episode, Roy loses control and thus Bronze Tiger gets away.

One thing that stands out in Tremors is the absence of Kevin Alejandro’s Sebastian Blood. Whilst the Sebastian/Brother Blood character has been developing nicely over the last few episodes, the absence of Blood gives other characters time to breathe and expand. Also, the fact that Brother Blood isn’t missed is testament to the roster of interesting characters that Arrow has created for itself. Sure, Blood is a great character, but there’s plenty of other personalities that can pick up the slack to stave off any over-saturation of any one character.

Whereas recent episodes of Arrow have given us further insight into certain characters, most notably Brother Blood, Tremors is a lot more action-packed than its predecessors. There’s several tear-ups between the Arrow and Bronze Tiger, not to mention some tension brewing within the Arrow/Roy dynamic and some similar tension between Oliver and Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) back on the island. As the mirakuru takes control of Slade, he seeks to take extreme measures of revenge on those he deems responsible for the death of Shado. Just as with Roy in the modern day, it’s down to Oliver to be Slade’s voice of reason.

Tremors ticks along at a strong, intriguing pace, but its final 10 minutes delivers several extremely tense moments. Unlike at any point in the show’s run, the Arrow is pushed to his limits as an extreme situation puts pressure on him to reveal his secret identity. As well as this, one of the episode’s final scenes gives us a firm warning of what is on the way: the Suicide Squad. Added to that, Tremors closes as a passed out Laurel stirs to see an apparent ghost.

Again, Stephen Amell and co deliver some great performances, with Amell becoming a master of the little things, the small nuances that really capture the Oliver Queen/Arrow character. Of course, it helps with you’re surrounded by a cast that deliver as well as Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsay, Willa Holland et al.

Tremors takes some fairly big steps in the world of the Arrow. It could be argued that some of these, especially one in particular, could have come a little too soon, but these happenings were always going to happen once certain things occurred earlier in the season. Sorry for the rambling, cryptic lines, but I’m trying to do my best to steer clear of any potential spoilers here. If you’ve seen Tremors, you’ll know exactly what I mean then. It's safe to say, one particular moment of this episode left my literally slack-jawed in shock. Not a pretty site, Starburst readers.

Another great episode of Arrow, a more action-filled one than some of the recent efforts, and Tremors is definitely one of the highlights of an already-impressive season.

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