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Episode 307 “Draw Back Your Bow”
[photos: Ed Araquel/The CW]
Plenty of places for audience squeeing in this episode. Plus, the Olicity shippers are probably still trying to resist RayCity. Or SmoakinPalm. Or FeliciRay. Or PalmOak. Plus, Cupid gets center stage as she tries to get Oliver to board the Crazy Train o’ Love. And we finally get to see Katana in action.
Let’s hit this part first: the flashbacks give us our first experience seeing Tatsu as Katana, and those who were paying attention may have even heard a telltale sound effect when she was wielding her sword on the docks of Hong Kong. As her husband disappears while running an A.R.G.U.S. errand for Amanda Waller, Tatsu figures something terrible has happened. Oliver volunteers to go look, and they end up going together to learn that three A.R.G.U.S. agents were killed that night. But to get this information, Tatsu finally gets her hands dirty a little and slings the katana in a well-choreographed rescue of gaijin Oliver Queen.
Turns out Maseo was under lockdown at A.R.G.U.S. when the agents were killed, so he couldn’t get word to Tatsu that he was OK. But the scene served to show off Katana. And that’s the most important part about this flashback, that she shows Oliver something new to learn and she gets to see him stick his neck out for her husband. And do laundry.
The main thread of this hour deals with “Cupid, stupid” and her obsession with (Green) Arrow, which began the night of the Deathstroke Invasion. Turns out Arrow saved her from some of the Masked Thugs in the tunnel, and since she has “attachment disorder” she latches onto Arrow with a keen fixation that has her shooting up bad guys and leaving them posed in a replica of the green hood Oliver wears.
Sort of like a cat bringing you a dead mouse as a gift.
Cupid is actually Carrie Cutter, formerly of the Starling City Police Department. First woman on the S.W.A.T. team, and discharged from the SCPD because her mental disorder made things a little awkward with her partner (do S.W.A.T. teams pair off like that?). Felicity manages to identify her, and also finds her in several crime scene photos before Cupid’s first appearance. Which means Carrie has been stalking the Arrow for a while before going on the crusade.
That crusade leads to the local Sherwood Florist, where Cupid has a mob boss strung up with a bomb. Arrow confronts Cupid, and while he manages to save the gangster, he can’t stop her from getting away. Arsenal isn’t much help this week. She manages to get the drop on him pretty easily. Which has him ticked off and rage sparring with the target dummy back at the ArrowCave. This is the continuation of the whole “is Roy OK?” bit following his realization that he killed an SCPD officer, but he needs to recover before it turns into a Hand of the Writer moment when his distraction gets him knocked out just in time to complicate the … oh, wait.
Along the way, we find that Cupid has a Felicity of her own, in the form of Kirby Bates, who helps her track down Oliver’s base of operations. Except Oliver doesn’t kill the people who help him. Big difference there. When Captain Lance and the SCPD find Bates, Arrow figures out where Cupid’s going, and the final smackdown is satisfying both for its stunt choreography and the emotional subtext. Oliver really won’t be killing anyone if he can avoid it. First season, he might have left Cupid in front of the subway train, but dislocating his wrist to get out of the cufflinks in order to pull them both out of harm’s way … that’s pure non-kill Arrow.
Now, Cupid’s obsession with Arrow only serves as a counterpoint to the main idea of the episode, which is really not presented as the main idea. The writers have sneaked in an Olicity plot in the background, and it drives everything that happens in this episode: Oliver’s anger, his compulsion to control his team, Diggle’s attempts to play big brother for Ollie, and the lack of technical support that hinders Team Arrow’s effectiveness.
Felicity, in the midst of all of this, is riding shotgun on a sales pitch dinner with Ray Palmer. And she’s wearing couture. And as she says, “There’s nothing platonic about couture.” Ray figures as long as he’d dealing with boring rich mine owners, he can at least have good company. In the end, the Smoakin’ Hot Felicity in Couture makes the ultimate pitch to the Gardners (named for Atom co-creator Gardner Fox), presenting Ray as someone who actually plans to use the mine for the betterment of mankind, not just to make a fast buck. And during her little speech, it’s obvious she’s speaking personally. She talks about Ray in a way that clearly shows how she feels, but also shows her conflict, because she’s supposed to feel this way — about Oliver. Her loyalty is about to come into play here, methinks.
Especially since Felicity realizes, “Oh, God. I have a type.” when she sees Ray Palmer working out on the salmon ladder, same as Oliver does. And the look on her face when Ray kisses her, then realizes he’s kissed her, then realizes he shouldn’t have kissed her… she’s all “What the wha? What just happened?”
Not the look on Oliver’s face when he sees Ray kissing Felicity. That just serves to drive one more nail in the Olicity coffin for this week. Oliver has been obsessing about Felicity all throughout the episode, and Diggle thinks it’s because he won’t admit the way he feels about our favorite blonde with a red pen. But Oliver is convinced he can’t have a “real life” outside of his work as Arrow, mainly because it’s puts too many people in danger — the same reason why he wouldn’t train Laurel — but Diggle tells Oliver that relationships are why the good guys do what they do. Why be a vigilante if you’re just doing it to be doing it?
Thea seems to be building a relationship with the new DJ at the club. And he’s an arrogant cuss, I’ll give him that.
- Sherwood Florist – the flower shop is a nod to the one in the comics. Sherwood Florist is Dinah Lance’s flower shop in Seattle. She and Oliver lived in the building above the shop and used it as their base of operations.
- A.T.O.M. – we’ll have to see what the acronym means, but the Atom is the super-powered alter-ego of professor Ray Palmer. The “Tiny Titan” has the ability to alter his size and molecular density by means of the suit he wears. The Atom debuted in Showcase #34 (the same title in which the Flash first appeared). He was created by DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz along with writer Gardner Fox and penciller Gil Kane (who was one of the original Batman artists). Palmer, by the way, is named for Raymond Palmer, who edited Amazing Stories magazine from 1938 to 1949.
- White dwarf – a fragment from a white dwarf star powers the suit Palmer uses as the Atom. Originally, the material could change the size of anything, but then that object would explode from the instability. Palmer, being a physics Ph.D., developed a way to focus and stabilize the power to allow him control over the energy.
So, we know Oliver has feelings for Felicity. We know Felicity has feelings for Oliver, and also that she’s starting to appreciate Ray more. Notably, Laurel was not in this episode. Maybe to clear the story for Oliver/Felicity issues without complicating them with Oliver/Laurel issues? Because that way lies madness.
And then we get what a lot of people have been awaiting since we learned Ray Palmer was going to be on the show — the first glimpse of the Atom suit. Here, it looks like a 3D model of an Iron Man knockoff, but the A.T.O.M. label shows that the Arrow continuity is going to create some “realistic and grounded” way to explain why Ray calls himself the Atom. OK. Fine. But the suit looks rad. Can’t wait to see it in action.
And come on, Arrow… you can absolutely put powers in this show. We won’t mind.