ARROW S2 E09 'Three Ghosts' Review; "Leaves Other TV Comic Book Adaptations In Its Dust"
The midseason finale of Arrow delivered an origin story for The Flash, the return of Deathstroke and plenty of other great moments which will leave us all anxiously counting down the days until the series comes back in January. Hit the jump for my (spoiler-filled) verdict of "Three Ghosts"!
Well that was quite something, eh? This year, Arrow has consisted of nothing but top notch episodes, although like "The Scientist" before it, "Three Ghosts" is easily one of the best yet and certainly a fitting way to end the first half of season two. Not only does it wrap up some of the ongoing storylines, but the midseason finale also sets the stage nicely for both what's to come and the pilot episode for a certain well-known member of the Justice League! That's right, those mentions of Central City's particle accelerator did indeed end up paying off, but not quite in the way we all imagined. Instead of using it as a way of giving Barry Allen a "realistic" origin, Arrow remains faithful to his comic book roots by simply using that as a means of setting off the storm which results in the lightning strike that gives him his powers. It's safe to assume that the event will have also powered up a few of the other residents of Starling City, and I for one can't wait to see how it plays out in The Flash's series next year.
Talking of the Scarlet Speedster, Grant Gustin plays him to perfection here. He may be a little younger than some fans would like, but that quickly proves to be irrelevant as he delivers such a likeable and entertaining take on the character. After these two episodes, there's no doubt that the actor can hold his own in a solo series, making it all the more frustrating that we now have to wait until next Fall to see him in action (as a result of the CW's arguably quite sensible decision to no longer use a future episode of Arrow as a backdoor pilot). Still, it will undeniably be well worth the wait! Talking of waiting, we've all patiently sitting on the edges of our seat to see The Arrow don a mask, and the brief glimpse we get of it at the end of "Three Ghosts" is very satisfying indeed!
Of course, there's a lot more to "Three Ghosts" than just Barry Allen, and the finale also pays off in plenty of other ways. On the island, we see the ramifications of Ollie injecting Slade with Mirakuru, and it's clear that his split second decision to save Sara instead of Shado will be what leads to the man known as Deathstroke turning on his former friend. The island segments of Arrow remain as engrossing as ever, and it's clear that there is still plenty of story to tell when it comes to that five year period Ollie was missing. The use of Shado and Slade as hallucinations back in present day Starling City is an interesting one and they ultimately lead to a huge pay off thanks to the surprise appearance of Colin Donnell as Tommy. It should also be intriguing to see exactly where they go with Roy being injected with Mirakuru, especially as he's never been portrayed with superpowers in the comic books.
As you might expect, the action scenes are all top notch and the use of Cyrus Gold (who we seemingly get a glimpse of taking one step closer to becoming Solomon Grundy in this episode) once again proves that Arrow has one of THE best stunt teams in television. If you got chills from Tommy's return, then expect to be squealing with delight at the sight of the one-eyed Slade Wilson delivering his chilling speech about destroying The Arrow and all that he cares for. Between this, everything else mentioned above and the ongoing story with Ra's Al Ghul and John Barrowman's Dark Archer, there's an awful lot of pieces in the puzzle that is season two of Arrow. However, it shows absolutely no sign of becoming a mess as a result. Instead, the hit CW series remains a thoroughly enjoying and satisfying watch each and every week, leaving certain other small screen comic book adaptations in its dust. If you're not watching, use the Christmas hiatus to catch up!
OLIVER IS VISITED BY GHOSTS FROM THE PAST — After a fight with Cyrus Gold AKA the Acolyte (guest star Graham Shiels), Oliver (Stephen Amell) is drugged and left for dead. Determined to cure him, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) makes a risky decision. The cure causes Oliver to hallucinate, and what he sees forces him to confront his past. Meanwhile, Barry (guest star Grant Gustin) continues to help Felicity, and their connection grows stronger. The Arrow asks Lance (Paul Blackthorne) to look into Gold, but when the stakeout on Gold goes bad, someone is killed. Roy (Colton Haynes) is captured and tortured by Brother Blood (guest star Kevin Alejandro). John Behring directed the episode with story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kresiberg and teleplay by Geoff Johns & Ben Sokolowski.
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