This week we got a pretty decent episode of Arrow, though it was not without some faults and a bit of head scratching. There’s a new thief in Starling City named the Dodger because he manages to dodge getting his hands dirty by using a proxy to get his jobs done. I really liked the Dodger, especially in the scene where he is double-crossed by a fence. I really liked the fact that he only stunned the fence’s bodyguards, but killed the fence. It shows the guy has class and a bit of honor as well. I just wish that he had been fleshed out more since he is quite the interesting character.
Oliver suits up to bring down another name on the list, which causes Felicity to object to Oliver’s methods and makes her question her role on the team. She doesn’t want to be a party to murder and Oliver’s commitment to the list when Oliver could be doing some real for the city by bringing down real criminals. I like the fresh voice she brings to the team while at the same time also reinforcing things that Diggle has already been telling him. Oliver comes around to her point of view and sets his sights on the Dodger.
The biggest moment of this episode though is our introduction of Roy Harper, who in the comics is Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy who later becomes Arsenal. Instead here Roy is a petty street criminal who snatches Thea’s purse as she is out with Laurel. The two manage to corner him in alley, but his facial expression never looked like someone who is trapped, in fact I couldn’t help but think, this guy looks like he practices parkour, then boom, just like he’s scaled a fence with two easy parkour movements. He does manage to leave behind his wallet chain though which the fence snagged. This is where the head scratching commences.
Now Laurel is the daughter of a police detective. You would think the easiest course of action would be to give the chain to her father to run for prints right? Instead Thea looks up the chain online, good thing it wasn’t mass produced, and then traces it to a shop. She then calls the shop to run down the name of the person who purchased it using his description. I know the red hood he was wearing bared significance, but did Roy just happen to buy the chain the same day or what? For the shop to even have his name he would’ve had to use a credit or debit card, you would think a criminal would use cash, but that’s the way the CW does things sometimes. Thea gets his name so NOW it’s time to turn this one over to the police. This whole chain of events left me baffled and we could’ve easily ended up in the same place story wise if she had turned the chain over to Detective Lance, which is Thea hearing Roy’s son story while in custody prompting her to look him up and visit his house. They have some witty back and forth before Roy hands over the purse and they call it a night. I did have one other problem with Roy, in the light of the interrogation room you could see the three lbs of make up he had on his face.
Oliver and Diggle both have dates and the only thing both dates had in common is that I didn’t care about them. Though it was cute to see Oliver and Mckenna interact when he asked her out. Amell spends so much time playing this rough badass so it was nice to see him a little vulnerable and out of character.
The Dodger case wraps up with the Arrow Team setting up a jewelry auction to bait the Dodger. Once he makes his move Felicity takes it upon herself to confront him and ends up with a bomb around her neck. This move confused me as well; why not track him until you can get Oliver and Diggle to help? Instead she makes a dumb decision only to further the plot of her becoming a victim. Not good work on the part of the writers. I understand this is a CW move, but CW viewers have brains also and it would be nice if they treated the viewers as such. We did get a really cool chase out of it, even though it was cut a bit choppy and left me confused at one point. In the end Oliver saves the day and all ends well for Felicity’s head.
The flashbacks this week, though they did play into Oliver’s struggle with trust, didn’t bare much weight on the episode. I was hoping for more progression of Slade and Oliver’s relationship. Instead we got Oliver running into a man who was held captive by Fyers’ group. I can’t recall the hostage’s name, but he probably had the strongest bit of acting this week as he described his ordeal to Oliver. I genuinely felt bad for him, but when he asked to be cut loose of his binds, I had the same reservation that Oliver had, this could be a trap, and I was actually glad that Oliver was as cautious as he was.
Moira is looking to get out of her dealings with Merlyn and hires China White to kill him. Not much else to talk about there.
Overall, while this episode did have a few failings, it still kept me entertained so I can’t be too upset about those failings. If Felicity hadn’t confronted the Dodger, if the Dodger had been better fleshed out, if Thea handed over the wallet chain to the police and if we didn’t have the subplot of Diggle and Oliver going on dates than this would’ve been the perfect episode. I want to score it higher, but in light of these issues I have to dock a few nerds. Of course if I had not enjoyed the main story than the score would be a lot worse.
3 out 5 nerds
Follow Christopher on Twitter @AUDone44 and The Nerd @nerdfollowing