Arrow -- "Human Target" -- Image AR505b_0042.jpg -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Green Arrow -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
ReviewsTelevision & Film

Recap: ARROW Introduces the Human Target and Delivers a Functional Episode


Episode 505 “Human Target”
Written by Oscar Balderrama & Sarah Tarkoff
Directed by Laura Belsey

[photos: The CW]

In recent weeks, I’ve been noticing a trend over on The Flash wherein they use a Villain of the Week purely as a Functional Character. By which I mean the villain only serves the purpose of getting one of our leads from point A to point B.

For Arrow, this week at least, we get a Functional Plot to get us from point A to point B to point C, during which another DC Comics character (or two?) is brought into the Arrowverse.


Our story this week gives us more details on the plan Tobias Church (Chad L. Coleman) has for Star City — using the city’s access to waterways to provide a conduit for the drug trade in Blüdhaven and Hub City. All of this he shares with Rene (Rick Gonzalez) while the captured hero is digging his own grave.

Did Syndrome teach you nothing? (Dean Buscher/The CW)
Did Syndrome teach you nothing? (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Remember villains: never get caught monologuing. Really. Because Church is sure that Wild Dog is going to be a dead dog soon enough, he doesn’t mind sharing his plan. He probably rethinks that position as soon as Team Arrow 2.0 shows up to rescue their teammate. And even though Church gets away, Rene has some pretty important information to share, once he remembers what it is.

This is where Diggle (David Ramsey) comes in. See, even though he’s a fugitive from federal and military agencies who won’t really think to look for him among his known associates in the place he’s lived for the past five years, John is able to re-join the team with his Spartan helmet. He’s also got the task of babysitting Rene and working him through his captivity and torture, hoping to suss out the details of Church’s plan before it can come to fruition.

"Caught you monologuing..." (Dean Buscher/The CW)
“Caught you monologuing…” (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Turns out one crucial detail Rene gave to Church is the identity of the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell). So now Mayor Oliver Queen is a target, and steps need to be taken to eliminate Queen before Church can make his move. So after the Mayor and Thea (Willa Holland) confront City Councilman Kullons (Greg Rogers) about his vote for rezoning a housing district, there’s an attack that leaves Oliver dead on the ground outside City Hall — confirmed dead on television by Deputy Mayor Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), a performance that has all of Team Arrow impressed because…

… Oliver’s not really dead! (surprise, right?)

'I'll make your face look good when I wear it." (Dean Buscher/The CW)
‘I’ll make your face look good when I wear it.” (Dean Buscher/The CW)

Instead, he’s brought in Christopher Chance, the Human Target (Wil Traval), who has the ability to impersonate high-value targets with such precision that he can almost actually become that person. The character has been on television before, in 2010 played by Paul Valley, and in 1992 played by Rick Springfield. Created by Len Wein, Carmine Infantino, and Dick Giordano in 1972, Chance is a master of disguise, private detective and bodyguard for hire.

So now we have the Human Target as part of the Berlanti DC Comics TV universe. The next question: will we get The Question?

Lately, we’ve been getting mentions of Hub City, and producer Marc Guggenheim teased fans with this design of a billboard that can be seen in the background on the show:

Its inclusion just may be a nod and a wink like the mentions of Kord Industries and Ferris Air, amounting to nothing. But maybe it’s an on purpose tease that hints at things to come. After all, Friday night is still open. Although as we’ve discussed on Rogues Gallery, that time slot needs to be filled by a character with supernatural or magic powers, such as John Constantine or Zatanna or Raven.

Turns out Oliver met Chance right after his official induction into Bratva back in Russia during the Pointless Flashbacks Unless They Have a Point™. I’m not going to miss these.

In the end, Church and his gang are rounded up after a rousing round of well-choreographed fisticuffs, and in our last moments, Prometheus attacks the police convoy and kills Church, but not before learning the identity of the Green Arrow.



Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on The CW.


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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