Synopsis: China White and Bronze Tiger have teamed up to make life extremely difficult for Arrow while local politician Sebastian Blood is working to make life difficult for Oliver Queen forcing Oliver to decide on some guidelines for protecting his dual identities.
Details: The earthquake-ravaged Glades section of Starling City is to be the recipient of federal aid and more specifically – drug shipments being sent to Glades hospitals. These drug shipments have become the target of the notoriously platinum-wigged out China White [Kelly Hu – Stacy Hirano in “Phineas and Ferb”] and her Triad gang who have also enlisted the aid of Bronze Tiger [Michael Jai White – “The Dark Knight”]. Thea’s boyfriend and notable Glades resident Roy Harper – who gets unceremoniously dubbed “Vigilante, Jr.” in this episode – has figured out the China/Triad plan of intercepting the shipments and killing the truck drivers and has decided to intercept the interceptors. Crafty. The only problem – besides the fact that, amongst his other problems, he is not a very good stolen car connoisseur – is that there are more of them baddies than he planned on and China White can toss weaponry around with the best of them provided you are not distracted by her platinum wig and/or black leather pants. So, needless to say, Roy’s attempt at vigilante-ing takes out one baddie but puts him in the hospital and jail where he gets interrogated by Laurel – and provide another opportunity for a snippy threat-and-insult-tossing session that must pass for interrogation these days. The session produced no discernible relevance other than setting up Roy and Laurel for head-butting scenes in future episodes – but that’s nothing you couldn’t have seen coming from less than 700 miles away.
At this point, Flashback #1 intervenes and Slade instructs Shado to go “talk” to Oliver – which seems to be an obvious euphemism for Slade telling Shado to essentially be the island call girl so Oliver doesn’t ruin their nebulous mission[s] – to prevent him from going nutty. We are left to presume that either Slade has already done this himself on some occasion or Slade is gay – which would be a very intriguing plot twist worthy of the writers’ paychecks.
Back in Starling City, local politician and rabble rouser, Sebastian Blood [Kevin Alejandro – “True Blood”] begins making trouble for Oliver Queen by calling him out publicly while Felicity, in a time-wasting scene – tosses a classic hissy fit complaining about going to MIT and not wanting to be Oliver’s executive assistant and evidently wanting to be the Nobel Prize winner for the IT category or something [it’s frequently difficult to tell where hissy fits are going and where they might ultimately end up]. You can almost hear the series creator saying “okay this Felicity character has been too submissive, she’s over that now, let’s manufacture something out of thin air and give her some anger issues.”
After having to sit through that scene you were probably never so happy – barring any scene with Thea – to see a flashback scene appear as Flashback #2 materializes to show Oliver and Shado having their Slade-mandated sex moment in a lake or river so Oliver can resume his commando mentality after some sperm release [though there is the problematic issue that this one hook-up can result in a baby – as Shado likely doesn’t have access to the island’s birth control pharmacy and television sex is notorious for its one sexual encounter fertility rate].
Back at the future, with histrionics temporarily in the rear view mirror Felicity has calmed down enough to track down the source of the next expected drug truck hit by China White/Bronze Tiger/Triad and alerts Arrow who then intercepts the hit only to be surprised by the presence of Bronze Tiger in the mix. The two tangle while China White inexplicably does not intervene and the cops show up to break up the party and set it up for a rematch later in the episode.
This brief confrontation is followed by a series of painfully soap operaish scenes whereupon Felicity goes off the deep end again [this has to stop right now in this episode or else Miss Smoak will be in danger of entering Thea’s whiny irrelevance orbit], Laurel and Oliver exchange pleasantries, Thea fires and issues an ultimatum to Roy, [maybe – who cares?] and finally, Oliver meets with Seb Blood to try to kiss and make up with an agreement for Oliver to show up at a benefit for the Glades .
Flashback #3 is short and sweet with the now-suspect gay Slade essentially telling Shado and Oliver to wrap it up because they have some important commando action mission coming up that may involves guns and fighting and other macho stuff – grrr!
Knowing that Laurel is seeking vengeance on this Arrow person to try and make up for Tommy’s death, Arrow pays a visit to Laurel to try and clear the air but only succeeds in making Laurel grit and gnash her teeth more to prolong the agony of the contrived conflict.
Oliver is on his way to the Glades benefit when he receives a call about another planned drug truck hijack hit and dons his Arrow gear to put a stop to it but since he doesn’t show up to the Glades benefit, Seb Blood begins talking trash again. Arrow shows up to do battle with China White and Bronze Tiger again but Diggle unexpectedly shows up and makes it a tag team affair with Arrow and Diggle winning.
The final flashback has Slade, Shado and Oliver discovering some prop department skeletons – uh, we mean some 60-year-old Japanese Army skeletons – in a cave on the island, which is really weird because that would put it eight years after World War II ended. Now if it were 70-year-old skeletons, we could legitimately ask – “why haven’t the island’s bugs and critters carted off the bones?” Wait a minute….where are all the island’s bugs and critters?!?*
Finally, Arrow inexplicably meets with Roy [why? Who knows…] and agrees to let him continue his vigilante-ing as long as he provides Glades information as a spy and the episode ends with the classic cliffhanger as Arrow – once again, inexplicably – goes to meet with Laurel who has entrapped him and he finds himself surrounded by 15 guys with laser-sited rifles pointed at him. Will the suspense kill him or you? To answer that question, see below…
The Poop and Skinny: A little something for the ladies is provided in the opening sequence of Stephen Amell working out in preparation for some anticipated Arrow duties later in the episode.
Credibility issue #61 – In this age of instant communication via any of an array of 22 million electronic devices beginning with the phone – nobody can inform Sebastian Blood that Oliver Queen has been delayed and might not arrive at the benefit? Nobody? In all of Starling City?
[*] Credibility issue #11 – where are the island’s bugs and critters?
Burning question for the next episode of “Arrow” – Will anybody step up to the plate and be Oliver’s executive assistant and get him some coffee?
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.