Synopsis: Sharpshooter Deadshot returns from a nasty case of arrow-in-the-eyeball in this Thea-free episode and seems to have recovered all the motor skills necessary to take on the assignment of a hit on Malcolm Merlyn [John Barrowman] while Arrow/Oliver reveals himself to yet another person in Starling City.
Details: The last time we saw Deadshot, he had a rather imposing arrow sticking out of his eyeball which would likely mean that it also extended into the adjacent mushy area known as the brain and having a large, sharp metal-tipped object pierce the brain means said person is probably not going to have very good SAT scores next time they take the test – provided he/she is not dead from having an arrow shot at them at high velocity and which is protruding from their skull. On the positive side – guess that means they would not have to take the test. So score another point for suspension disbelief in Episode 16 of “Arrow”.
Arrow begins the episode by killing a Latin American hitman named who also must have suffered brain damage at some point in the past as he brought a knife to an arrow fight. Once Arrow easily dispatches him, we move ahead to the Flashback parade where Oliver tries to make the radio in Fort Slade work while Slade does manly man things and chides him from afar.
Back on Planet Queen, Oliver goes on a date with McKenna to Laurel’s pad where they are all set to celebrate Eddie Haskell Junior/Tommy Merlyn’s birthday when Eddie Haskell Senior/Malcolm Merlyn shows up with a birthday gift and invitation to a big gala honoring Eddie, Sr/Malcolm. Eddie Jr./Tommy politely declines.
Meanwhile, Moira has contracted with China White to off Eddie Sr./Malcolm and China has sub-contracted with Deadshot, who not only has miraculously recovered from that nasty arrow-in-the-eyeball thing, but also has a brand new targeting doohickey for his eye socket [the show’s creators will have to explain how that works one of these days or else viewers can blindly accept it like lemmings – one or the other].
Oliver has been tipped by Felicity that the cell phone of the hitman says something might go down at the Jade Dragon – the Chinese Mafia’s go-to place for pork chow mein and hit man assignment payoffs – so he takes Eddie Jr./Tommy to lunch and Tommy regales him about how his Dad was gone for three years and he came back “cold” [that’s cold – not with a cold] while Oliver takes a breather to go in the backroom and encourage the chef to cough up the hitman assignment timeline.
After the second flashback scene finds Oliver fixing the radio, China and Deadshot work on their assassination plan and a rotating camera view gives us a visual update of three different storylines without the hassle of, you know, messy dialogue getting in the way, before we finally end up with Eddie J./Tommy deciding – after a brief talk with Oliver – he should attend his dad’s Big Gala Thing.
Felicity reveals to Diggle and Oliver that the dead hitman’s target was Eddie Haskell Sr./Malcolm Merlyn, sending Arrow to the Big Gala where he fends off five or six of China White’s thugs before becoming embedded in another long duel with China White – in a fancy-schmancy evening gown, no less – and just as he is preparing to put an arrow through her party dress, McKenna intervenes, forcing Arrow to leave the party early.
Meanwhile, Eddie Sr./Malcolm is most definitely finds himself in the middle as he must protect Eddie Jr./Tommy from the assassins and still get themselves to safety in his escape pod penthouse suite which supposedly has bulletproof glass. After dispatching a few of China White’s Triad boys along the way, the father-and-son duo arrive safely at the penthouse pad only to discover that they purchased their bulletproof glass at Walmart on sale as Deadshot – who is propped on a rooftop across the street – fires through it with a really big bullet and then hits Eddie Sr./Malcolm with another few bullets. Eddie Sr./Malcolm is wearing a bulletproof vest but, alas, this does not prevent him from being affected by the curare-tipped bullets Deadshot was firing. Arrow shows up and reveals himself to Eddie Jr./Tommy so Eddie Jr./Tommy can give his dad a blood transfusion with the help of a first aid kit that suddenly materializes and has all the necessary equipment. Yay.
Flashback #3 has Oliver and Slade listening in on a radio frequency to discover that Fyers is bringing in a Russian missile launcher called Scylla to the island.
Oliver relays the info about the curare-laced bullet to Diggle, who now knows Deadshot – the killer of his brother – is still alive while Eddie Jr./Tommy visits his dad in the hospital where he fesses up to where he was for three years – Nanda Parbat, a fictional Shangri-La referenced in comic books sure to send all the fanboys into a frothy frenzy – before imploring Moira to find the traitor in their organization.
As if all that was not enough, the show ends with Laurel’s mother showing up on her doorstep and informing her that she thinks her sister Sarah is still alive. Whaaaaaa?!? [mock]*
The Poop and Skinny: Seriously, is Oliver going to reveal his identity to everyone in Starling City now? What’s he up to now – three people who know “secret” identity? Add on another four or five who probably have good reason to heavily suspect it. What’s the population of Starling City – 27?
It is difficult to imagine a highly sensitive IT specialist willingly giving up their personal information, but for any of you future Starling City villains out there itching to be featured in a future episode, Felicity’s middle name is Megan.
China White and Arrow seem to be having an extended duel scene across several episodes – if you spread them end to end across the Earth, how far would they get – Mongolia?
A Thea-free episode!
Burning question for the next episode of “Arrow” – will there be another literary reference and if so, will it again be to “The Odyssey”?
*Burning question bonus – Does anybody of relevance ever die in in this show!? Sarah, Deadshot, Malcolm, Arrow? Anybody?
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.