Synopsis: The Criminal of the Week is Dodger [played by James Callis], a kind of second-rate international jewel thief who goes after mostly second-rate jewels [no diamonds] and kills people with bomb collars who don’t cooperate with him. Also, Oliver has a date with McKenna and shoots an arrow or two in anger.
Details: The episode opens right away with a thug posing as a security guard stealing a gigantic ruby – seriously, the thing is larger than a small otter – and then relinquishing said ruby to Dodger [played by James Callis, who you may recognize as Dr. Baltar from “Battlestar Galactica”], who promptly unlocks the bomb collar around his neck, then tasers him into unconsciousness.
That seemed easy enough, so we move on to Felicity Smoak in the Arrow Lair where Miss Smoak suddenly gets all uppity and decides to lock Arrow in the Lair to prevent him from going off to give one of “warnings” to somebody who she has decided – via her Lenovo computer* – may not require an Arrow warning. Shortly afterward, Miss Felicity gets a case of Thea-like snippiness when she chides Oliver about Dodger “not being in your notebook”. Since this particular brand of snippy is usually associated to Thea in her exchanges with Oliver, we blame the writers and implore them to be more creative and maybe even consider getting Thea a new car to crash, eh [since Stephen Amell is Canadian]?
Since last week’s episode was flashback-heavy, this week’s is light – and pretty soon we hope they just go away as an unnecessary storyline crutch – and the first flashback merely has Oliver playing nursemaid to Slade who acts all macho and sweaty [acting sweaty is an art form] as he barks tough guy words at Oliver.
Moira reappears and meets with an Asian guy named “Frank”. Yeah, right, how many Asian guys do you know named Frank? Seven? Eight? Nine, maybe? All in New Jersey? Okay, now how many of those guys had daughters named Amanda? Anyhoo, Moira wants to talk to “Frank” about Malcolm Merlyn [aka Eddie Haskell, Sr./Dark Archer] and it is not about what kind of toppings he likes on his pizza. At least, we’re pretty sure it’s not or else there would have been some subtle product placement alerting us to that fact.
We return to Dodger, who has taken his big-ass ruby to Honest Abe, the local Starling City jewel appraiser. Honest Abe, it turns out doesn’t want to transfer money into Dodger’s numbered Swiss bank account [probably because the Swiss were neutral in World War 2, we’re thinking] and Dodger tases his three thugs, puts a big Swiss cheese hole in Honest Abe and takes his ruby business elsewhere.
Laurel is out to lunch with Thea – we made it almost halfway through the episode before Thea appears [yay] – and Thea has her purse snatched by a less fortunate superhero, a down-on-his-luck young superhero named Roy Harper, who must now resort to purse snatching and silly parkour maneuvers to get attention. After Roy gives a sob story to the police about his poor childhood, drug-user mother and bad acne-picking habits, he is released but Thea uses the all-knowing internet to track Roy down, retrieve her purse and possibly set up a future romantical storyline. It is a sad day indeed.
Felicity has rebounded from her bout of snippy, so she is allowed to accompany Diggle and Oliver on a trip to what is, evidently, the only diner in town – the one belonging to Diggle’s former sister-in-law, Carly. There, Felicity goads Diggle and Oliver to set up a double date scenario where Diggle takes out Carly and Oliver takes out his new police department friend, McKenna, and all the target demographic males groan in unison while the non-target demographic females perk up briefly from their Facebook checking. Predictably – like from a million billion miles away, predictably – the two first dates go badly and they, subsequently have second chances to sew things up in a nice, neat package by the end of the episode. Who didn’t see that Russian meteorite coming from their dash-mounted car cameras? Nobody in the Arrow writing, producing or directing department, apparently.
Flashback #2 has Oliver discovering the existence of a bloodied, beaten up dude in a cave whom we will call Bat Boy. Flashback #3 has Bat Boy asking Oliver to untie him and giving Oliver what sounds like a questionable story of how he arrived in the cave. Flashbask #4 has Oliver deciding not to trust Bat Boy and the final flashback has a Bat Boy-less Oliver delivering medicine to Slade.
After Dodger tries once again to unload the ruby grapefruit on another Starling City local jewelry aficionado, they are interrupted by the police department and Arrow – only to have Dodger escape by setting off one of his bomb collars. Diggle, Felicity and Oliver scheme about Dodger’s tactics and they decide to set a trap with Oliver’s “family jewels” as the bait [get it – family jewels? – hahahahahaha….zzzzz] to lure Dodger.
At the event, Felicity gets to play dress-up and – sure enough! – Dodger falls for the bait but then Felicity somehow manages to get bomb collared by Dodger [we never actually see that], who escapes and Oliver is forced to commandeer a dude’s motorcycle – it would have been best if they dude had said “Sure, you’re Oliver Queen, the billionaire, I’ll be glad to lend you my bike as I’m sure I will receive a handsome reward!” Instead, he objects and Oliver clocks him, but fortunately, the dude had an all-black helmet to help Oliver look menacing when he caught up to Dodger.
Oliver catches up to Dodger where he strikes a nerve – get it? Strikes nerve!? Hahahahaha…zzzzz – in Dodger’s arm, preventing him from pressing the bomb collar detonator button and then relieves him of his taser and tases him into Sleepyland. This is, of course, all very believable if you have had a minimum of three margaritas – which is apparently the limit CW requires of their viewers of “Arrow” episodes.
We were right! It wasn’t about pizza at all – it was about killing Malcolm! Moira makes a deal to off Malcolm with China White – who is back from her Bermuda spa vacation with Helena the Huntress – and is now ready for action, baby! This is the official ending the episode and signal to drink more margaritas.
The Poop and Skinny: The appearance of a relatively benign criminal such as an international jewel thief for a Criminal of the Week run is okay but the storyline was weak for Dodger, who comes off as being a second-rate Pink Panther stealing secon-rate jewels and you’re left wondering – why does he even bother with the piddly-ass crap in Starling City if he’s supposedly an INTERNATIONAL jewel thief? Shouldn’t he be in London, Paris, Milan or Monte Carlo tormenting the royals and the wealthy elite instead of messing around in Podunk Starling City?
You would think Felicity would be more savvy than to allow herself to get bomb-collared by Dodger now that she is a member in good standing of Team Arrow and all – doesn’t her new contract include extra savviness?
Burning question for the next episode of “Arrow” – will there be a villain reunion episode and if so, who will bring the potato salad?
*Burning question bonus – Product placements can be subtle or glaring – Lenovo chose to go with the sledgehammer in a slow – excruciatingly slow – pan across the screen while Felicity was looking at her squadron of Lenovo computers. How much did Lenovo pay CW for this particular sledgehammer?
As always – it is important to remember that, at any juncture where the situation appears to be dire for Arrow/Oliver and his very life may be in danger – there would be no more show [and therefore no more money to be made] if he were to die. You continue to be welcome.