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Arrow – Home Invasion – Season 1, Episode 20

Synopsis: Deadshot returns to create a little excitement and wreak some general havoc, Tommy breaks up with Laurel [boo-hoo], Diggle resigns in a snit and in the flashback scenarios, Oliver may be leaving the island – otherwise, just a normal episode. Ho-hum.

Shado teaches Oliver how to pull the strings to her heart.

Shado teaches Oliver how to pull the strings to her heart.

Details: Deadshot returns – this guy is like the Mayhem guy from the Allstate insurance commercials – and the opening scene has Diggle working out with Oliver in preparation while Felicity works seemingly undaunted in the background. Due to the results of an international manhunt that Felicity is tracking, they know the police know Deadshot is returning and have planned a sting operation to ensnare him.

All the flashbacks are fairly worthless, as they generally portray Shado attempting to seduce Oliver under the guise of teaching him how to shoot an arrow – much like a studly tennis pro might provide a wealthy cougar with tennis lessons – until the final flashback ending with Yao Fei crashing Slade’s island party pad and bringing a posse with him as he announces it is time for Oliver to leave the island, which could be a euphemism for Oliver to check in for his flight [though he didn’t mention anything about baggage requirements]. At least we’d like to think so – it’d make it a bit more entertaining.

In the episode Subplot of the Week, criminal Ed Rasmus hires Hitman Harold to eliminate Laurel’s clients – a kid and his mother and father – which he does except the kid escapes, setting up an episode-long kidhunt [kid’s not a man yet, you know] as Laurel volunteers to play hide-the-kid-from-the-murderer since the kid’s grandparents can’t be bothered to come all the way from Australia for their grandkid despite the deadness of his parents.

Thea [wash your brain out with soap after reading that name] has a few brief appearances throughout the episode alongside Roy Harper [the male version of Thea] as the two talk about some gobbledegook about Roy feeling connected to Arrow because Arrow saved his life and Thea saying she would stay be his side even though she doesn’t fully understand it and basically you are free to grab a beer from the kitchen during any of these scenes.

Hitman Harold – who could be one of Fat Albert’s posse all grown up and his life has gone horribly wrong due to possibly eating some bad Jell-O – visits Laurel’s pad and shoots up the joint [that’s gonna be expensive to fix, bullet holes and stuff] – but Arrow interrupts him and forces him to flee.

Eddie Haskell, Jr./Tommy Merlyn suggests taking the kid to Oliver’s house knowing full well that the Castle Queen will have the best armed protection – and, oh yeah, Arrow might be there too to help discourage Hitman Harold.

Meanwhile, Diggle participates in the police sting to take down Deadshot and Deadshot picks off four cops before Diggle confronts him in the stairwell trying to escape – only to have Deadshot escape and leave Diggle alive – prompting Diggle to get mad at Oliver/Arrow for electing to protect the Laurel, Tommy and the kid at his house instead of helping Diggle avenge his brother’s death and take down Deadshot in the sting operation.

Ed Rasmus is caught and turned over to the police by Arrow but Hitman Harold simply walks into the interrogation room at the police station pretending to be his lawyer and kills him with a poison pen. This leads to Hitman Harold infiltrating Castle Queen and the predictable smackdown fight between him and Arrow – which ends with predictable results [see TZ disclaimer at bottom of this recap].

Instead of receiving so much as a “thank you very much for saving our lives again” – Oliver receives a snarky comment from Angry police Chief Wiggum Detective Lance and an accusation and whiny concession from Eddie, Jr./Tommy about how Laurel would always pick him over Eddie Jr./Tommy if she knew his secret. Oliver might as well go back to the island with this kind of gratitude.

In the grand episode wrap-up five-minute warning finales, the grandparents from Australia finally show up for the kid after determining multiple violent deaths the kid has witnessed are sufficiently suitable for mentally scarring him for life, Eddie, Jr./Tommy breaks up with Laurel, Roy thinks he’s “connected” to Arrow, Diggle resigns in a huff and Yao Fei reveals his aforementioned travel plans for Oliver.

If you think this all sounds like a slightly serious episode of Scooby Doo without the van or Scrappy Doo, stay tuned as the crazy crew return for another spine-tingling episode of terror next week in “The Undertaking” – bwhahahahahahaha….

The Poop and Skinny: Regrettably, not a Thea-free episode – but her appearances were somewhat reduced to the odd banter with the equally regrettable Roy Harper [male version of Thea]

Seriously – Felicity has some foundation for a worktime nuisance claim – or whatever the legal Laurels may call it – if she is going to be subjected to workouts every time she’s trying to track down a criminal for Oliver and Diggle. Either that or maybe Oliver buys her a company iPod to drown out the manly man grunting.

So, let’s get this straight – after first showing Diggle working out and displaying his big guns, we’re supposed to believe that scrawny Deadshot overpowers him in the stairwell and then leaves him alive?!? Credibility flag raised here.

The Starling City police station, in addition to not paying its electric bills, apparently does not have enough funds for a surveillance audio/video for its interrogation room nor poison pen screening equipment.

Burning question for the next episode of “Arrow” – Will Yao Fei suggest using Expedia or Orbitz in planning for Oliver’s travel itinerary off the island?

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.

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