“A Matter of Trust” or Stardust
Our show begins with yet another rooftop battle. The New Team Arrow (Rene Ramirez, aka “Watch Dog”; Evelyn Sharp, aka “Artemis”; Rory Regan, aka “Ragman”; and the ever-annoying Curtis aka “Mr. Terrific”) watches via a live GoPro stream as Green Arrow does his thing by chasing a suspected drug dealer. Ollie’s trying to get a lead as to who’s making the new drug du jour, Star Dust which is more addictive than anything currently out there. Of course Ollie catches the guy and has him suspended on wires 4 stories up. After getting the info he needs, Green Arrow is about to walk away but Mr. Bad Guy doesn’t know when to cut his losses and keeps talking smack. Speaking of cutting – that’s what Ollie does to the line keeping the bad guy safe, dropping him to the street below with the warning: “This probably won’t kill you, but you won’t be walking away”.
Back at the Arrow Lair, Renee is gung ho to get out on the street to crack some heads. Oliver thinks it’s too soon, however, and wants to keep the new squad safe until the team is better trained, which goes over like a lead balloon with the ever-impatient Renee. Ollie runs back out after receiving a distress call that ended up being a ruse by Felicity’s new boo Billy “Matches” Malone, a detective on the police force. He wants to warn the Arrow that there’s someone else coming for him so protect that neck.
Meanwhile, John Diggle is in jail after being framed by his commanding officer for murdering a fellow soldier. Lila, his baby mama and leader of ARGUS, shows up and they have a tete-a-tete before he’s taken back to his cell (brief note: NEVER discuss a case during visitation because those conversations WILL be used against you in court). Once there, he seems to be rooming with Deadshot who we last saw had a building dropped on his head. But the question is – IS he really there?
Wild Dog and Artemis go against Ollie’s wishes by hitting the streets to try and find the drug manufacturer and take them down. Due to his street knowledge, WD is able to locate where the drugs are being made, and he and Artemis attempt to take it down with just the two of them. Things were going well until WD goes up against the head honcho Derek Sampson (played by Cory Rhodes, son of legendary wrestler Dusty Rhodes) who gets the best of WD until Artemis shoots him in the shoulder giving WD the chance to recover. Much like the creation of The Joker, Sampson gets dropped in a vat of the Star Dust drug that was tainted by another unknown chemical during his battle with WD.
In City Hall, Mayor Queen meets with the new District Attorney who’s hopping mad because it appears Sampson has been killed by a “vigilante”. Turns out the D.A. had plans on indicting, then flipping Sampson to testify against his higher ups. Ollie’s like: “Holt up now – Arrow didn’t do this patna” to which the DA replies that it was a vigilante in a hockey mask. You KNOW this sets Ollie OFF.
Sampson’s body is taken to the morgue. As the coroner is attempting to perform the autopsy, his scalpel won’t cut Sampson who suddenly wakes up and is like: “Man, I can’t feel NOTHIN!”. Turns out the chemicals Sampson was dumped in had an effect on his physiology so that he doesn’t feel pain, bullets and puncture wounds have no effect on him, and he’s super strong. As with most bad guys, they revel in wanton property destruction and violence so Super Sampson (aka Stardust) proceeds to wreck shop at the hospital. This in turn leads to his first battle with the Green Arrow who proceeds to get his butt whooped.
Sampson escapes and meets up with his old crew and tells them he plans on turning them all into super soldiers like himself, so they can run the city. Ollie, in turn, has a yelling match with Renee because once again he didn’t follow orders. Felicity, ever the voice of reason, explains that the only reason the situation happened was because Ollie didn’t trust Renee’s experience out in the streets to follow his lead.
Having learned his lesson, Ollie takes the entire team to Sampson’s hideout for a final battle. The squad takes on Sampson’s henchmen while Ollie faces Stardust himself. As before, things look like they’re going bad for the Green Arrow when he starts cutting Sampson down to size. Turns out that just because you can’t feel your tendon’s being cut doesn’t mean you don’t need them. After a few, quick Ginzu slices Sampson sit’s there like a puppet with its strings cut. Game. Over. Thus, Team Arrow 2.0 win the day again. We also had a quick inside joke; after the battle and in order to gain his team’s trust, Ollie takes them to the REAL Arrow Lair. Evelyn gives Renee a quick jab talking about how his hockey mask looks silly, but Ollie has his back and says “I think it looks cool” (this is a nod to Stephen Amell’s role in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as Casey Jones, who also wore a hockey mask).
In City Hall, there was political intrigue when an intrepid reporter gave the Mayor some bad press that Thea tried to clean up. This too was turned around making it seem as if Ollie had no clue what was going on in his administration. After dealing with Sampson, Ollie held a press conference letting them know that unlike some politicians, he doesn’t blame anyone else for things that go on and that the buck stops with him. He also stood by his controversial decision to appoint recovering alcoholic Quentin Lance as his deputy mayor. Thea also let it be known to the reporter that she would not be played again.
We’ve had a lot of new characters introduced, and it’s going to be interesting to see how they’re developed and whether any old, familiar faces will show up. Make sure you tune in every Wednesday night at 8 to Atlanta’s CW! Follow me on Twitter, @ATLBlerd, let me know your thoughts and live-tweet along!