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TV REVIEW: FTN reviews Arrow SO1EO3 Lone Gunmen

October 25th, 2012 by Christopher Williams 3 Comments

Arrow continues on his quest to bring the shady businessmen of Starling City to justice. His mission goes awry this week as someone beats him to the punch, but instead of justice this one is given a bullet to the chest courtesy of Deadshot. Realizing that he is targeting people looking to acquire an energy company up for bid  Arrow looks to move on Deadshot. Things get complicated when Oliver finds out his mom’s husband  Walter, is one of the bidders. Taking on Deadshot and protecting his family is too daunting of a task to handle alone so Arrow enlists the help of Detective Lance.

So I missed the second episode of CW’s Arrow due a DVR malfunction, namely me forgetting to set the recording, but with all that straightened out I was able to jump in on the third episode. I fell into extreme like with the pilot and was hoping that it would develop into a love affair with the series. Sadly this episode was a step in the wrong direction. There were just too many glaring holes in the script to get past. I tried with all my might to overlook these moments, but they just kept adding up.

Arrow needs some clues to find out the identity if the mystery shooter so he heads back to the scene of the crime. Tracing the bullet’s trajectory he estimates the spot where the bullet lodged itself into the side of a building. He seems to find the spot way too easily and uses some nifty parkour to get to it a few stories up. When I say way too easily I mean WAY TOO EASILY, but I looked past that. Getting the spent round back to his base he analyzes the bullet. Once it’s analyzed he gives us a quick rundown at what he’s found on the bullet. This internal statement closes with a “…the money leads back to the Russian mob.” What?! So now we know the Russian mob is involved with the shooter, not through investigative work we see but because he simply tells us it’s so. Okay…I guess? He’s about to head out to follow up on the lead but is overcome by a poison. He quickly pulls out an antidote and passes out. After a flashback to the island explaining how he has knowledge of the cure he quickly wakes up without even so much as a yawn. Seriously, I’ve taken naps that I’ve woken from more groggier than Oliver did from a poisoning. Doing a search of the poison helps him zero in on Deadshot. I thought Batman was DC’s greatest detective but apparently it’s…Arrow?

With some nifty undercover work that includes a great disguise of a baseball cap, Oliver tracks down the Russian mob to a mechanic garage. Posing as a mafia captain Oliver engages the Russians to get info on Deadshot’s whereabouts, but not before dismantling a henchman with a gun. They buy his story of being a mafia member. Apparently these guys have never turned on the local news, read a paper or gone online because they don’t seem to recognize the most famous man in all of Starling City. At this point he’s removed his cap so I can’t even give his great disguise the credit. The Russian boss agrees to help him but decide that if his story of being a mafia captain doesn’t check out that he would send his henchman after Oliver. Uh, you mean that guy with gun that Oliver just took out with his bare hands? Yeah, I’d take that threat real serious too.

Oliver comes up with a plan to build a club in the space he uses for a base to cover his late night comings and goings. Its in a bad neighborhood and his bodyguard, Diggle, calls him out saying he wouldn’t give back to the neighborhood. Oliver smiles brightly and says he has an answer for that, gentrifying the hood. Wait, what? Maybe I’m confused but where I’m from gentrifying means displacing the poor people, sinking money into the area and making it so nice that the poor people who used to live there can no longer afford to live there. Maybe Ollie has other ideas here though.  While waiting on word from the Russians about Deadshot Oliver decides to blow off some steam and check out a competing club that just opened up with his buddy Tommy. A club owned by a guy who’s fiancée Oliver slept with…at the wedding rehearsal.

The same night Laurel’s friend talks her into going out for drinks. Of course she heads to the same club Oliver is going to be at, but her friend seemed to be missing after being the one who talked Laurel into going. Who else happens to be there? Oliver’s sister Thea, and of course she’s wasted. I don’t know about you but I’m sick of his sister popping up completely trashed at every club Oliver goes to and then Ollie doing the protective big brother schtick. She then spills the beans about Laurel and Tommy’s activities, but hey, Oliver already knew so this just makes Thea look like an ass. A point driven home even further in an argument Thea gets into with her mom. What a brat, she needs at least one redeeming quality quickly or else I’m done with her. Lo and behold the club’s owner Max looks to get some revenge on Oliver using some big bodyguards to hold him down while Max gets his licks in. To the rescue comes Laurel kicking some Max ass with a few slick moves. She easily explains her martial arts prowess to Oliver with a slick ‘my dad got me some self defense classes’ explanation. Apparently she took the hyper advanced course, but hey, she’s probably going to be Black Canary at some point so I don’t mind this so much.

Oliver gets word on Deadshot’s location from the Russians, I guess his mafia captain cover checked out, so Oliver moves on him. After a shoot out Oliver recovers some key evidence that Deadshot is targeting people looking to bid on an energy company up for grabs to clear room for one of the bidders. It’s then revealed that Oliver’s family is one of those bidders so Arrow enlists the help of Detective Lance to protect his family so he can hunt Deadshot at the auction. The police take the guilty bidder into custody at the event in a pretty poorly done and rushed scene. Deadshot starts raining bullets into the event so Arrow makes his move. After a quick shoot out and fight Oliver ends it with an arrow to Deadshot’s eye. My problem with this is that while Deadshot isn’t an a-list villian he’s still pretty bigtime. They could’ve at least let him escape so he could be used again in the future. Nope, they just outright kill him after he gets maybe two lines of dialogue the entire show. Diggle is caught in the crossfire of their fight so Arrow quickly gets him back to his base to get him the antidote for the poison bullets Deadshot uses. Diggle wakes up as Arrow reveals his true identity as Oliver Queen. I did like this for two reasons. First Diggle actually acts like he’s just survived a poisoning and second, now Arrow will have a little help on his quest for justice. There was also the thing in the flashbacks with the guy who helps Oliver on the island. Dude was wearing what was obviously Arrow’s inspiration for his outfit and sporting a bow so I’m hoping they will dig deeper into Oliver’s training on the island.

I’m really hoping that the writers for Arrow will get their acts together and come up with some stories that aren’t riddled with more holes than a Brooklyn housing project. (Yeah, I just went there.) Please guys, give me a reason to believe, because this episode wasn’t it.

A very generous 1.5 out of 5 nerds
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Christopher is self-billed as the World's Coolest Nerd (meaning he wears glasses and is clumsy, but he never earned good marks in school). He loves all things Star Wars and superhero related such as comics, books, cartoons and movies. He's a husband and father who somehow manages to keep up with his pastimes since his day job mainly consists of sitting around a store with not much to do. He's very outspoken and wants to share his opinions with the world, or at least his fellow nerds. You can follow him on Twitter @AUDone44.

  • Neil

    Sorry, but after watching this episode myself I have got to disagree with the reviewer in the main part.
    To start he missed the 2nd episode which, to be honest, gives a lead into Olivers past on the island and as such gives more explanation about the mysterious character that oliver interacts with. If he had seen this before the 3rd episode it would have made more sense to him.

    Next the whole Diggle aspect, this has again been coming from last weeks episode and the cliffhanger ending of E03 really hits the spot and is a fitting lead into next week. I don’t see CW going the way of traditional sidekicks and as such they will have to utilse the more mundane methods of people becoming aware of his secret identity.

    Finally the investigation part, we don’t know what happened to Oliver on the island until the flashbacks take place, as such we don’t know what he has been taught or what skills he has developed. This in my eyes adds to the mystery of the character. The fact that he knows cures to poisons implies he has a knowledge of poisons now. Also the fact that he speaks Russian and has a russian mob tattoo would lead to an explanation that he would know their ‘tells’ if they have hired someone. Therefore to say there a holes would be accurate….but take into account the factor that we don’t know anything about Oliver means that they are not plot holes…but gaps where future knowledge will potentially cause moments of ‘oh thats how’

    Personally I thoroughly enjoyed this episode and look foerward to next weeks

    • Christopher Williams

      Thanks for responding. I never meant to imply there were holes in the plot, just in the story telling. The tatoo I assume to be fake because stuck on an island I don’t see him joining the Russian mob and working his way up to captain. The Russian mob is so tightly guarded that there’s no way he could manage that. I’ve studied up on them in the past since I do like mafia history. But you say you disagree with me, but you seem to echo the positives I wrote about. The holes in this week’s story itself stem from his prowess in investigation, finding the bullet too easily, his “disguise”, the henchman that would be sent after him who he already bested and the way he just states that the Russian mafia is involved. Those were way too glaring for me to dismiss. Plus the story moved along at an awkward pace in the end with Patel being taken into custody.

  • lindsey tam

    I’m a little torn now. I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about Arrow, and I was looking forward to checking it out. I’ve been working extra hours at DISH so I haven’t had time to watch it yet, but I plan to. I already set my Hopper to record the entire series, and since it has enough memory to save all the episodes I can go back and catch up on them when I have time. Hopefully the show will be good even if there are a few holes in the third episode. And if I watch all the episodes in order, as Neil recommends, I should catch all the lead-ins maybe enjoy the third episode a little more.

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