ARROW Fires Off Another Round

Episode 103 “Lone Gunmen”

[Photos: Jack Rowand & Michael Courtney/CW]

Corto Maltese! Big Belly Burger! Black Canary! Well… maybe. Just a hint.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

I’m going to throw this out there right at the beginning: I’m not a fan of voice-overs. The CW loves them. Gossip Girl, Beauty and the Beast, and now Arrow are following this trend of “tell, don’t show” that Ms. Walker has observed in her recaps. It’s lazy writing, to be sure, unless it’s done with particular skill. The effect of a good narration is to nudge the audience into a certain expectation. You don’t bludgeon us with stuff we should be seeing on the screen.

OK. Rant’s over. For now.

This week — Deadshot! Only the guy with the reputation for never missing, seems to be missing quite a lot. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that every time Deadshot is about to take someone out, Oliver shows up unexpectedly to save the day. It’s hero time!

At least this week Oliver’s not chasing whichever billionaire is in Laurel’s crosshairs. That got old in just two episodes. Laurel, in the meantime, seems to have not quite gotten over Oliver. Something Merlyn calls her on after they get outed to Oliver by Thea. Whoops. Only Oliver’s cool with it (he says), mainly because he’s in the middle of pretending to be a Russian mobster so he can get information on who’s using a particular kind of bullet in Starling City.

First, is there a language arts academy on the island?

Second, the “money trail” Oliver mentions with regard to the bullet, isn’t really a money trail so much as it’s an information trail. At no point in Oliver’s investigation is money involved. Ollie just happens to know that the Russians use this particular kind of bullet. And he just happens to know where the Russian mafia hangs out. And he just happens to have a big tattoo on his chest that identifies him as Big Russian Mob Buss.

Outside of those minor quibbles, yeah… makes total sense.

In my recap for the first episode, I noted that the writers were very ambitious, putting so many moving pieces into the story — the conspiracy, the love triangle, Thea’s shenanigans, the antagonism between Oliver and Detective Lance, the antagonism between Oliver and Diggle, the whole question of who’s going to figure out Oliver’s secret, the potential for Laurel to grow into Black Canary, etc. etc. It’s a lot, and I think the writers are starting to feel it riding the rails a bit. Which is probably why Diggle’s being brought in on Oliver’s secret. Because they were taking too long letting him figure it out on his own.

The action sequences are not bad, with the fight choreography and gun play a solid B+. And more Paul Blackthorne chewing scenery — and this time, we actually see the wheels turning in his head. He’s starting to question the idea that Green Arrow is an out-and-out Bad Guy Thug, and maybe there’s some method to his madness.

Green Arrow, meantime, has figured out that Deadshot is taking out the competition in a bid for a company called Unidac. Hired by one of Queen Consolidated’s competitors, Deadshot has a barrel full of fish waiting to be taken out at the auction. GA figures he can protect everyone all at once in so big a space, and so he makes Det. Lance his Gordon proxy, giving him Deadshot’s laptop and asking for help.

Arrow also seems to be taking a page from Christopher Nolan’s playbook, giving Oliver a high-tech geek on the inside. Felicity Smoak (relative newcomer Emily Rickards) is the analogue for Lucius Fox in this, mayhaps. And what’s with Oliver deciding to build a nightclub over his Batcave? Uhm.. yeah, it gives him cover for being out at night. But you want to put the club in the same building? Isn’t that taking a little bit of a chance?

Dollars to donuts, Oliver names the club The Black Canary.

Flashbacks to the island give us glimpses of the guy who shot Oliver — an Asian, who shot Ollie to protect him? What gives with that? This will play into the upcoming episode with Deathstroke, I’m sure.

Some pretty nice moments between Thea and Moira, as the two go through some growing pains as a result of Thea’s law-breaking. Oliver gives Mom the speech that he was indulged too much, and look how he turned out. Must be a pretty powerful argument, making me wonder just how Oliver did turn out for Mom to make the effort to actually be Thea’s parent instead of her caretaker.

And we see the first signs that Dinah Laurel Lance can kick butt, as she intervenes to “rescue” Oliver and Merlyn from thugs in the employ of the nightclub owner who’s fiancee Oliver bedding on wedding rehearsal night. So that piece has been put into play. She knows martial arts. And looks good throwing a punch. Season finale, we’ll see fishnets. Just sayin’…

Kudos for mentioning Corto Matlese in the (ahem) narration. And does the inclusion of Big Belly Burgers mean that Metropolis might be available in this story universe?

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[Official Show Site at CW]     [Previous Recap: “Honor Thy Father”]

Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella "The Hero At the End Of His Rope". His short film "Species Felis Dominarus" was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel's 2007 Exposure competition.

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