Friday, February 28, 2014

Arrow S02 E14 "Time of Death"

In the Silver Age of comics, before Green Arrow grew a beard, changed his costume, and became the voice of the left, he was a more traditional superhero. Perhaps too traditional, he was basically a blank slate whose major gimmick he was Batman with a bow. And like Batman, he had a large, if derivative and unimpressive, rogues gallery.

The foremost of these baddies, in the Silver Age 1960s, was the Clock King. Like most Batman villains, the Clock King's crimes and gimmicks were themed, in his case, clocks and time. Though he wore a rather simple costume and cape, William Tockman's full face mask was a clock, both simplistic and disturbing. In my first encounter with the villain he had imprisoned Green Arrow and Speedy in a gigantic hourglass deathtrap.

Later, when Green Arrow grew a beard and became a liberal, and comics became most 'realistic,' the Clock King was unfortunately treated as almost a joke before fading into obscurity. He was a member of the laughable Injustice League in Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis' comedy Justice League comics, before being murdered as a member of the Suicide Squad. Notably he has reappeared in the New 52.

Ironically the villain's two previous television incarnations were as a Batman foe. Walter Slezak portrayed the Clock King on the 1966 "Batman" TV series, trapping Batman and Robin in the very same hourglass that held Green Arrow and Speedy in the comics. A slicker, cooler, differently powered Clock King menaced the caped crusader in the 1990s animated series.

Here in "Arrow," William Tockman, played by Robert Knepper, who has a villain pedigree from "Heroes," is a bit different. He's a criminal mastermind whose crimes are timed to the exact second. A tech genius, in the opening, he successfully engineers a robbery at Kord Enterprises by remote, guiding his henchmen as smoothly as Oracle used to do with the good guys in the comics.

Like his comics counterpart, he's obsessed with time and clock gadgetry, and unlike him, he's a killer. Happily, he's called the Clock King on the show, unlike many villains who know that's who they are but are never referenced as such aloud. He's also very resourceful and prepared, hacking Felicity's communication in his first encounter with our heroes.

With Sara revealed to be alive, we have a bit of a Lance family reunion this episode. It doesn't go well, as expected. Laurel is the obvious pooper, what with Sara ruining her life and all, but Dad wants it to work, especially between him and Dinah, so an attempt is made. Too bad Oliver is there too. Well, I guess someone has to play a-hole.

Quite honestly I wish they'd give Alex Riversong Kingston something more to do, much like I feel about David Ramsey's Diggle. But the latter may be changing, more on that later. I know Felicity wishes she had more to do, other than feel insignificant next to Sara. Seems Sara makes a lot of our female leads feel that way.

I am loving seeing (Green) Arrow and (Black) Canary as a team. We're finally getting some superhero action in this superhero show. For all those folks who gave up on this show early last season, come back, it's gotten sooo much better. That said, we need more of this and less of the soap opera.

On Flashback Island we learn what the real connection between Canary and Sin is, and it's just too convenient, much like most of the wrap up for this episode. Sara and Laurel make up. Oliver and Felicity make up. Clock King beaten, and Team Arrow repaired. All too convenient. Maybe sticking with the superhero action would be keeping in what the show does right, as opposed to the soap opera which is, like here, sometimes awkward.

Further comics shouts include Central City, the Flash's hometown, Kord Enterprises, owned by Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle, Blue Devil movie ad on the side of the bus? Coming 'this summer' too, maybe we'll see more? And there's also the fictional MacGregor's Syndrome that almost took out Alfred in Batman Forever, and similarly affects Tockman's sister, as it also did Mister Freeze's wife.
and of course, Quentin Lance's callback code - delta charlie fifty-two. Yeah, I winced at that one too - DC 52. But who else saw the

Now while we've been away, and just today as well, there's been lots of "Arrow" news, mostly in the way of two photos on the internet. The first is of the television version of the Suicide Squad, set to appear in the March 19th episode, imaginatively titled "Suicide Squad."

They've been building to this for a while, and now we're there. It looks from the photo that our Suicide Squad roster will include the scary thin Amanda Waller, Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Shrapnel, possibly Lyla Michaels (who we know in the comics as Harbinger from Crisis on Infinite Earths), and Diggle. One has to wonder if this isn't a switching sides for Diggle as he's had very little to do on Team Arrow of late.

The other pic burning up the internet all day is that of Grant Gustin, whose Barry Allen was terrific, but this time he's in costume as we finally get a peek at him as The Flash. A tad dark, I'd rather have wings than lightning bolts, but I like it. Can't wait, bring it on!

Next week: finally, Deathstroke!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Faves at Biff Bam Pop!

For the past month at Biff Bam Pop!, we've been running a theme called "February Faves" where we've been asking our staff and regular contributors to list their favorites in a variety of orthodox and sometimes unorthodox set of categories.

So far we've had Favorite 1980s Songs, Television Villains, Single Issue Comic Books, Recipes Made for Your Soul, Sci-Fi Shows, Break-Up Songs, X-Men, Wicked Women, Movie Marathons, Performances by Seth Green, Performances by Comedians in Serious Roles, Musicians in Movies, Winter Blues Songs, Pop Culture Massacres, and Early Performances You May Have Missed.

And my contributions to February Faves included my Favorite Reboots, Superhero Sidekicks, Favorite Avengers, Cover Songs Better than the Originals, and tomorrow I will be closing out the month with my favorite Avengers stories, look for it!

If you'd like to see everything Biff Bam Pop! has offered for February Faves, you can click here. Thanks for clicking, and reading, Happy February!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lost Hits of the New Wave #31

Remember Karin Begin? I do. I was unaware of her local, and then much later real, demise however. This blog entry started off as one about Beat Planet, a local WXPN radio show that was influential to me back in the day. I may get to it at some point in the future, but in researching it, I came upon the sordid tale of Karin Begin.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s I loved WXPN, the radio station of the University of Pennsylvania. They were the successful adult version of what passes for most college radio. They were not just different and sophisticated, but they were cool too. Hell, they were the coolest. They had wonderful specialized music programs like Amazon Country, Joe Frank, Gay Dreams, Star's End, Sleepy Hollow, Yesterday's Now Music Today, and the aforementioned Beat Planet. And they also had regular deejays as well.

Afternoon drive was where I discovered Karin Begin on XPN. She was quirky, edgy, fun, and played great music. And she was a redhead, and I've always had a thing for redheads. I always enjoyed listening to her. But music was changing, and around then new wave was becoming alternative, and alternative was becoming mainstream. A shiny new station called WDRE caught my attention for a couple years, and I missed what happened to poor Karin Begin.

Karin Begin became so hot, a Philadelphia magazine did a story on her, one that went from feature to expose when her background turned out to be falsified. When it further came out her entire resume was made up, XPN fired her. Upon reading about it, I did remember some of the details. She intimated she and Kiefer Sutherland had been an item, and was in his movie The Bay Boy. I remember renting it to see her, but couldn't find her.

While I cheated on XPN with DRE, Karin moved to one of my favorite radio stations, Z Rock in Baltimore, as Shannon Rock. There she was interviewed for "48 Hours" for an episode about lying, which resulted in her dismissal there. Does anyone check resumes any more?

Karin next resurfaced in San Francisco as Darian O'Toole doing mornings and competing with the syndicated Howard Stern with her own brand of talk, rock, and raunch. She did well for a while with her 'ovaries with attitude' identity there, and her propensity for untruth continued to be part of her repertoire as well. Eventually she list that job too.

In 2008, at the age of 40, Karen Begin died of respiratory failure, complications from, believe it or not, a broken leg. A real shame. She might have been a compulsive liar, but from what I remember, and what I read, a very cool and resourceful lady. Perhaps, in her own way, she was another lost hit of the new wave.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


My friends over at Biff Bam Pop! debuted this earlier today. You can check that out here.

Godzilla is back, baby! I cannot wait until May 16th!

Monday, February 24, 2014

RIP Harold Ramis

Actor, writer, and director, Harold Ramis passed away today, much too young, at the age of 69. The name might not ring a bell at first for some folks, but for others, the man defined comedy for a generation.

I first became aware of Harold Ramis from "SCTV." In my youth, the show aired a 1 AM, right after the original "Saturday Night Live," and was known by me and my friends as 'the secret SNL.' We called it that because most folks turned off the TV when SNL was over, they didn't know about this treasure. "SCTV" was a skit show set under the premise of a fictional Canadian TV network, and featured performers from Chicago's improv troupe, Second City, from which coincidentally half of the original SNL cast was from as well.

Harold Ramis was the head writer of the show, as well as working for Playboy and National Lampoon. From this starting point, he began form his comedy technique, and began writing film. Animal House, Stripes, Meatballs, and Caddyshack (which he also directed) all came before Ghostbusters.  

Ghostbusters was huge when it came out, I don't know if anyone remembers how big it was. At the time it had a pop cultural impact similar to Star Wars, everyone knew the lines, and everybody had the t-shirts, and everybody was humming the song that would eventually make Huey Lewis richer.

Later he would come into his own as a director and producer as well, with such films as Vacation, Analyze This, a favorite of mine, Someone to Eat Cheese With, and The Ice Harvest. He would also do his final film with Bill Murray, probably their best film, Groundhog Day, a piece of brilliance that the two men disagreed on how it should be done. To this day, it's probably what has kept Ghostbusters 3 from happening.

We've lost one of the greats, both behind and in front of the camera, who made us laugh and made us think. Harold Ramis will be missed.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Stan Lee's Mighty 7

When Stan Lee jumped to editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he cut his writing down quite a bit. Letting go of Fantastic Four, Thor, and finally Silver Surfer, by the middle of the seventies when he moved to the west coast, Stan Lee wasn't really writing anything any more. Every once in a while he'd pop up for projects like the creation of She-Hulk, Ravage 2099, and when he recreated the DC Universe, but for the most part he was done writing.

More or less a figurehead, a promotions guy, a pitch man, and the godfather of modern comics, when he does write any more it's not really up to snuff, at least in my opinion. He's still a great concept man, but as far as execution… well, it's hard to be original when everyone else is already doing what you pioneered. He still does come up with great ideas however. Mighty 7 is a case in point.

Done initially for Archie Comics and animated for the Hub Network, Stan Lee's Mighty 7 does have an intriguing twist if old hat characters and execution. The twist is that it stars Stan Lee as himself. While trying to figure out a new comic idea for Archie he comes upon space refugees from outer space, who he teaches to become superheroes. His writer's block is solved.

As I said, the characters are kinda cookie cutter and indistinguishable other than their super powers, mostly unoriginal, but the Legion fan in me does like the idea of another hero with Bouncing Boy's abilities. The best part of the feature, and the reason to watch, is that Stan gives himself all the good lines, or rather the writers do. He is the star here. And that's saying something considering the voice cast includes Armie Hammer, Sean Astin, Teri Hatcher, Mayim Bialik, James Belushi, Flea, and Michael Ironside. Nice. Worth watching for Stan. The jury is still out as to whether this pilot will generate a series or not.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax

A fairly vivid memory of my childhood is the fight for Lizzie Borden. Not so much about whether I could stay up to watch the infamous TV movie, it was more about would I even be allowed to watch it. The Legend of Lizzie Borden, starring Elizabeth Montgomery of "Bewitched" in the title role, was one of 'those' shows. It had a warning label that it was for mature audiences only.

Other than fighting with my parents, the warning label, and that all the kids at school were talking about it the next day, I remember very little about it. I know it was theatrically released in Europe with scenes of Elizabeth Montgomery committing the murders in the nude. And of course there was the jump rope rhyme - "Lizzie Borden took an ax, and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one."

We had all heard it was a true story, or rather that the movie was based on a true story, one of a horrible murderess who took out both her parents with an ax. I learned later the facts of the case, and that Lizzie Borden was actually acquitted of the crimes and went on to live in the same town of Fall River for another four decades, albeit in infamy, but a free citizen.

Now, for the second week in a row (first with the Flowers in the Attic remake) the Lifetime Network makes a splash with a movie event, the both humorously and horrifically titled Lizzie Borden Took an Ax. In the title role this time is Christina Ricci, and as much as I love her, she's no Elisabeth Montgomery, despite the resemblance.

As with the aforementioned Flowers, Lifetime uses music as a lure by playing the hypnotic "Psychotic Girl" by The Black Keys over the opening credits. The alternative soundtrack continues throughout as if music supervisor Tree Adams didn't know if he was scoring a Lizzie Borden movie or Marie Antoinette 2. I'm not complaining, I was digging the tunage, I just question the appropriateness of it.

Christina Ricci imbues her Lizzie with a believable cold detachment. Clea DuVall, perhaps best known from HBO's "Carnivale" and more recently "American Horror Story," gives one of her best performances as Lizzie's sister Emma. They are the showpieces of this gothic crime drama with all the proper trappings of a crime of the century.

This is a good version of the legend, and while not necessarily sticking to the facts, it's a good story. I loved the music, I loved the muted colors, but I wish we could have had Elizabeth Montgomery instead of Christina Ricci. Worth watching.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wireless Hospitality

In the weeks, no, months really, that I have been without dependable wireless internet (courtesy of Comcast), I have learned a lot about places that offer free wireless.

If you go to Starbucks, they are quite happy if you order something while you use their wireless. It seems to buy you about three hours. After that they will become what ranges from subtle to passive/aggressive, and sweep under your table and chair, wipe your table, stare at you with those "Are you gonna buy something else?" eyes, and maybe clear their throat every once in a while - but nothing overt.

At Panera bread it is a bit more aggressive. You had better buy something, and once you're finished, the Starbucks dance will begin in earnest. If you don't take a hint, Panera will ask you to buy something else, or they will tell you to hit the road.

Then there's McDonald's. You'd better order food, they don't play around with just a beverage there, after all, this is a restaurant, and not a hang out, or heaven forbid, an office. And there's not much grace period to sip your after meal beverage while you work either, not to mention what constant use might do to your waistline.

You don't really get the 'order something else' eyes at McDonald's however, there they have a different problem, they start looking at you like you might be homeless, despite the presence of a laptop. It's a good thing you can always tap their wireless in your car in their parking lot. They still might call the cops and report you for vagrancy though.

There's always the library, which because it's an unfortunately dying institution (which by all that's right, it should not be) you have to be selective. The cool libraries aren't especially close to me. But they are the best place to write and use the internet if your service provider won't, or can't, provide service.

Speaking of Comcast, I don't think I can express my unhappiness with them at this point, and oh yes, I'm holding back. Hopefully however the problem will be resolved this week... or so I've been told...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Eurovision 2014 Is Coming

It's that time of year again. Eurovision season is here and the contestants are beginning to be chosen.

Here are the entries for Albania and the Ukraine, who will all be participating in the First Semi-Final on May 6, 2014:

"Zemërimi I Një Nate (One Night’s Anger)" by Hersi Matmuja

"Tick-Tock" by Maria Yaremchuk

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Dumpsta Players Present "Discotastrophe!"

The Dumpsta Players Present "DISCOTASTROPHE!"

The Date: Wednesday, FEBRUARY 19, 2014
The Time: Doors open at 10 PM, showtime is 11 PM sharp! 21+ $1.99 cover!
The Place: Bob and Barbara's, 1509 South Street, Philadelphia PA, For info: 215-545-4511


Nothing defines the disco era quite like drama, drugs and divas! Swirling, twirling and whirling, one might encounter Liza or Jagger at Studio 69 bumping a boogie while Sylvester werked her booty under a mirror ball!

Join us as we hustle through thirty minutes of feathered hair, polyester, tube tops, fashion no-no's, questionable hookups and glitterama! But beware when Andy Gibb does one too many party favors...

Break a heel, feather your hair, but don't snort coke in the Ladies Room or you'll create a… "DISCOTASTROPHE!"

A portion of proceeds from this event benefit Gaudenzia House.

Gaudenzia helps people affected by chemical dependency, mental illness and related conditions to achieve a better quality of life -- allowing them to live as productive and accountable individuals.

Check out The Dumpsta Players on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and on their own website.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Flowers in the Attic

When I was a kid, a coming of age kid in the late 1970s, this was the book (and in rather quick succession, series of books) that not only everyone read, it was the one you had to read, and were forbidden to read.

"Flowers in the Attic" by V.C. Andrews is at its core a tale of forbidden love. A rich girl has an incestuous relationship with an uncle, and both are cast from the family. They live almost happily ever after outside the family, with a teenage son and daughter as well as pre-teen twins, until the uncle dies in a car accident. The mother must return to her family for help. The children are locked away in a huge attic because her parents are a bit deranged. While the mother is accepted back into the family slowly, the son and daughter enter puberty in the attic, where it's sinisterly intended they never escape from.

That's the first book. It continues in "Petals on the Wind," "If There Be Thorns," "Seeds of Yesterday," and "Garden of Shadows," a Gothic horror series of books telling the repeating incestuous history of this family, all with cool cut out peekaboo covers. Because of the content, they were banned in many schools, but everybody, including boys like me, read them. They were mostly narrated by the daughter, Cathy Dollanganger, and there was much speculation that the stories were true, and Cathy was actually the wheelchair-bound V.C. Andrews. Oh, the rumor filled days from the before the internet!

A disastrous movie starring Victoria Tennant, Louise Fletcher, and Kristy Swanson followed in 1987. To say it was disappointing would be a serious understatement. It was almost as if the producers didn't know anything about the book(s), and the result was at best a primer for the book, if that. It was a bad movie in both execution and performance.

Now, almost three decades later, the Lifetime Network is trying to take the Dollanganger clan the movie route. This production has Heather Graham as the mother, Ellen Burstyn as the grandmother, and Kiernan Shipka as Cathy. While Graham is seared onto my eyelids eternally from Lenny Kravitz' "American Woman" video and hard from me to imagine as matronly, I think Shipka is perfect casting. The simple fact that so many times I have wanted to slap the crap out of her snotty and rebellious Sally on "Mad Men" makes her the perfect Cathy - because really, the character is just a spoiled bitch. I loved the books, but by the end of them, I kinda felt she deserved the tragedy that was her life. Just my opinion.

I really liked Lifetime's ad campaign for the movie with Trees' haunting version of "Sweet Child o' Mine" and the teasers calling it 'The Book You Were Forbidden to Read.' Nice. Shipka fulfills suspicions, Graham overcomes my perceived limitations, and most surprisingly, Burstyn is not only properly evil in her role as antagonist, she even manages to garner sympathy at some points.

This is perhaps not a perfect version of Flowers, but it is easily light years better than the first movie version. Anyone chased away by the 1987 film should check this out, it's the movie we should have gotten, and a much more satisfying translation of the book.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Arrow S02 E13: "Heir to the Demon"

Of all of the big bads currently circling Starling City, there are none as big nor as bad as Ras Al Ghul. The immortal enemy of Batman and the head of the League of Assassins is extremely dangerous. We have yet to see him, but the very mention of his name sent last season's main villain, Malcolm Merlyn, running for his life.

Sara Lance, known as The Canary, was trained by the League of Assassins, and after being pursued to Starling City, she left, hoping to lead her assailants away from her family. At the end of the last episode, she appeared to have returned, and based on the title of tonight's episode, she appears to have brought her enemies home.

We open this episode with the daughter of the demon, well, one of them at least, arriving at a Starling City airport and deftly taking down Homeland Security. This is Nyssa Raatko, lesser known than Talia, but very much still the daughter of Ras Al Ghul, and very dangerous herself. It would seem she's on Sara's trail. When they meet, they kiss. Soooo not what any of us suspected.

From their conversation, Nyssa saved Sara when she was shipwrecked, trained her, and they had a relationship. What is it with daughters of the demon and superheroes? When Sara won't return to the League, Nyssa decides to teach her a lesson. She kidnaps her mom, Alex (Riversong) Kingston, who's visiting supposedly overdosed Laurel. Turns out Nyssa poisoned Laurel too, talk about psycho ex-girlfriends.

The chase after Nyssa with Arrow and Canary following on an 'arrowcycle' might be one of the best fanboy superhero moments so far. Shamefully it was brief. I want more Arrow and Canary. Masked vigilantes in costumes pursuing dastardly villains is what we're here for. And the arrow duel between Arrow and Nyssa? Awesome. More please. As it looks like our black Canary will be staying, let's hope we'll get it.

Instead of Flashback Island this week, we're flashing back with Sara to when Oliver was seeing both Lance sisters. We are witness to Quentin and Laurel hearing the news about the Queen's Gambit being lost at sea. We watch the family collapse, first in the past, and then in the present day. Laurel blames everything on Sara, and she's not really completely wrong either.

Soap opera continues as Moira launches her mayoral campaign against Blood. Felicity finds out Thea is Malcolm's daughter and Moira shushes her like the villain she is. She even pulls the same stunt with Blood himself, before alienating Oliver. Yep, if I was a Starling City voter, I'd be leaning toward Blood.

And when are they going to let Diggle do something other than stand around? They even took his girlfriend away so he doesn't even have a subplot any more. The one real regret I have about this otherwise excellent episode is that Felicity and Oliver's talk about his mom happens off screen. Such a wasted opportunity.

Next: The Clock King!


Just a quick apology for my absence, as first health issues and then lingering internet problems have kept me from keeping this blog up to its usual schedule. Hopefully we'll be back on track soon. Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Arrow S02 E12: "Tremors"

With so many possibilities from the DC Comics Universe to choose from, I can't say I wasn't disappointed to see the return of the Bronze Tiger. And his escape from prison could gave been less graphic and disgusting. Not to mention that his plan was a bit old hat as well. I'm also sad that Bronze Tiger has been reduced to Wolverine clone. This was a dramatic, but not happy, start to the episode.

We also see Arrow training Roy, although we're not sure where. Nice to know that Oliver is just a good a mentor on television as he is in the comics, as in not. No matter how hard they tried, Green Arrow and Speedy never came close to Batman and Robin. I have to wonder however if it wouldn't have been easier to just reveal his identity to Roy. The suspension of belief is stretched by thinking Roy can't tell who Arrow is this close to him.

Out in the field, Roy loses it, and later clashes with Arrow. The official plot of this episode may be Bronze Tiger stealing the earthquake device, but the real tension is between Arrow and Roy. In the end, Roy gets it together and saves the city, but it takes a reveal from Oliver to make it happen. Add another to the dozens who know his secret identity, and finally welcome Roy Harper to Team Arrow.

Flashback Island works much better when we don't know ahead of time what's going to happen. Everything now seems telegraphed, whereas previously, sometimes the past had more surprises than the present day. Maybe the writers should stop reminding us that Ivo is dead and Slade gets an arrow in the eye.

Again I find myself wondering if Diggle and Felicity will just stand around and do nothing this episode. Perhaps there are too many characters to keep track of in this show? Speaking of too many characters, the soap opera aspect that pulled down many an episode last season returns with Moira for mayor and Laurel in crisis. More superhero action please.

Noteworthy is the appearance of Armitage, Bronze Tiger's benefactor. In the comics, Milo Armitage was an arms dealer, and the stepfather of Connor Hawke - who some of you might know as Oliver Queen's illegitimate son, and the second Green Arrow. It might further be noted that over the years it's been speculated Shado might have been his mother, but it's not true.

Our closer has a very svelte New 52 Amanda Waller recruiting the now jailed Bronze Tiger for a squad of like individuals. It's notable that former Arrow opponents Count Vertigo and Deadshot were both longtime members of the Waller run Suicide Squad in the comics. I can't wait to see this subplot come together. Speaking of subplots, next week the Black Canary returns, and she brings Nyssa, daughter of Ras Al Ghul, with her...

Friday, February 07, 2014

Arrow S02 E11: "Blind Spot"

While various big bads are circling Starling City, Laurel has made it her mission to expose Sebastian Blood for the villain he is. She knows that he killed both his parents now and may be gunning for her. She goes to Arrow for help, who's aligned himself with Blood while at the same time hunting the man in the skull mask - no knowing they are one in the same.

One very cool side effect is Arrow and Laurel's excellent adventure to steal a file from the city hall archives. This is an awesome action sequence I'd like to see more of. It not only showed that not all of Starling City's police are inept, but also that Arrow can outthink as well as outfight them when needed. It kinda puts Starling's cops a notch up on Gotham's in my book.

When Laurel gets a bit too close to finding out the truth about Blood, Slade intervenes and forces Blood's hand. Suddenly she is set up and arrested by Blood's plant in the police. It's too easy because Laurel's been using illegal drugs and copping her dad's prescript painkillers as well. The chick is wrecked, and easy to frame, as well as hard to believe about Blood. Score one for the bad guys.

Going for that second score, Blood then kidnaps Laurel under Oliver's nose to lead the Arrow into a trap. At last! Arrow vs. Brother Blood, even the closed captioning acknowledges the villain's true name. He gives a nice rationale for the mask, and exhibits some very Batman-like disappearing techniques, but still, Arrow and Laurel manage to take down... the wrong guy.

Brother Blood is revealed to be Officer Daily, Blood's plant on the police force. This cleverly covers Blood's ass as well as shaking Laurel's drug addled resolve. More importantly, it gets her fired from the DA's office. It's a ruse that makes sense, which makes it even more dangerous. Blood is still on the loose, and unsuspected.

Roy spills the beans to Sin about his newfound powers from the Mirakiru, and proposes he become a living target to find the bad guys in Starling City. And even though telling one gal and not the other puts a bit of a romantic split in the Speedy Gang, Sin and Roy set out after the Starling City Slasher.

It seems that with great power comes greater anger management. Roy uses his superhuman strength and lack of control to put the perp in the hospital. He's remorseful but the rest of the Speedy Gang is worried.

On Flashback Island, Oliver and Sara have a bit of a heart to heart chat that doesn't shed a very nice light on Laurel. It's suggested the rivalry between the Lance sisters may go a bit deeper than previously thought. Oliver, especially pre-island Oliver, wasn't that much of a prize, was he? Of course, to punctuate the evening's conversation, Sara slips away in the night.

Seems her loyalties lie more with Ivo than with Oliver. She takes the walkie talkie and immediately calls her old boss. And it also seems like Ivo may have been more old flame than old boss. Either way, let's just say it's going to be a bad break up.

In the Easter egg department, it's mentioned that Sebastian Blood lived in the Zandia Orphanage, Zandia being Brother Blood's land of origin and nation under his religious thumb in the New Teen Titans comics.

Speaking of old NTT villains, at the end of this episode we get our first look at the present day Slade as Deathstroke in costume. Not too shabby. I have to say I prefer the island mask as it has more of the comics look as opposed to this hockey goalie vibe, but still, it's Deathstroke, finally.