[Spoilers from episode 3 from here on out]
I keep waiting for “Arrow” to lag. I’m expecting a ho-hum episode, but so far it’s been nothing but top-quality and action-packed from start to finish. Last night’s episode showed Oliver Queen’s resourcefulness when poisoned with toxic bullets. Courtesy of flashbacks, we learned that the man who shot him on the island was actually there to help. How does shooting an arrow into his arm constitute as help? I’m not sure, but the strange man’s survival techniques seem to rub off on Oliver.
Without further wait, here are the Good, the Great, and the Brilliant moments from last night.
The Good: Thea shoplifts, drinks too much, and parties too hard. Her bratty behavior will become grating, no doubt, but Willa Holland who plays Thea has a talent for layering her spoiled characters with hurt and pain and something explosive. She blows up at Oliver, constantly telling him that he’s barely her brother and most definitely not her father. The dynamic between Thea and Oliver works because while he’s out trapping bad guys, he still can’t quite wrangle in his wild sister. Who would have thought she’d give him the most grief?
The Great: Deadshot targets bad guys but also kills innocent ones too. Oliver’s on the hunt for the sharpshooter who took out a man from a hundred feet away. Deadshot’s a classic comic book villain (which I love), he has tattoos of his victims’ names on his bulky body and hides out in a dilapidated apartment. Oliver tracks down Deadshot by following the poison on the bullets. They lead him to the Russian mafia where Oliver easily convinces them to help him. How many languages does Oliver Queen know? And could he speak them before or after the island? The mob doesn’t fool around. A Russian mobster says, “I will also confirm that you are really Bratva captain, should this not be the case I will send my mechanic here to find you and kill you and your family.” Oliver checks out, so his family’s safe. For now.
The actual head-to-head fight with Deadshot only lasts a few minutes, and Oliver seems incredibly outmatched as Deadshot wields a machine-like gun and pops bullets like crazy. However, Oliver sneaks around a corner and shoots Deadshot right in the center of his goggle, puncturing his eye and ending his life.
The Brilliant: Diggle, the bodyguard, learns about Oliver Queen’s identity as Arrow (or so we believe). Oliver constantly tries to dodge Dig, and he leaves him outside of an exclusive club. I felt bad as Dig looked at Oliver like, “tell the bouncer to let me in, man, and Oliver was all like, “I don’t know him.” Burn. Dig, not one to hold a grudge, took Oliver and Tommy to Big Belly Burgers where his sister-in-law waitresses. His sister-in-law reminds Dig that his brother died trying to protect a client and to not make the same mistakes.
Diggle doesn’t take note of his sister-in-law’s warning because he chases after Oliver Queen who’s in pursuit of Deadshot. A poisonous bullet lodges in Diggle’s arm, and Oliver brings him back to his lair. As Diggle groggily eats Oliver’s plant to counter the toxic chemicals, he looks up and sees a blurry image of Oliver Queen, half in his Arrow get-up. Will Diggle remember Oliver as the hooded vigilante? Honestly, I’m growing very fond of Diggle — as I am with nearly every character on the show — and I already see the start of a flourishing bromance.
Did you like the addition of Deadshot? Are you crazy irritated at Thea or do you like how she’s able to push Oliver’s buttons? Who noticed Felicity Smoke — the comic book styled tech geek who agreed to help fix Oliver’s bullet-ridden laptop? And the recurring question: What exactly happened to Oliver Queen on that island?
— Becca Ritchie