Synopsis: No guest villain this week for Oliver Queen – aka Arrow. Instead, it’s back to the usual corporate bad-guy-of-the-week but all hell breaks loose in the script as various story lines clamor for your belovedly short attention span as the episode eventually boils down to the important points of Angry Police Chief Wiggum [Lance] figuring out who Arrow is and Diggle signing up for the Arrow team – but not as a sidekick.
Details: We pick up from last week’s episode like a Part Two episode of a 1970s cop drama show with Diggle still on the table recuperating [it must have been a long week] from that Deadshot curare-laced bullet and Oliver deciding to let him in on the secret – that he is Arrow. But instead of showing gratitude for saving his life, Diggle takes a swing at Arrow/Oliver. But Arrow/Oliver doesn’t pay no nevermind and still tries to recruit Diggle to his vigilante superhero playground. Diggle doesn’t buy in – all good teams have to have buy-in from their team players – and quits as bodyguard to be replaced [temporarily] by another bodyguard who also quits by the end of the episode, indicating there may be either a] a rotating door of bodyguards for the series or b] a bad dental plan for Queen Industries.
Flashbacks continue for the series and are beginning to get tedious. If there is something to share from his five years spent on a remote island – then get on with it already! – so we can move on to the present-day angst and hooligans. In flashback #1, Oliver admits he has not mastered Chinese when grunted at by the caveman, in flashback #2, the caveman doesn’t like or share island chicken, in flashback #3, Oliver loses the vegan demographic by killing the island chicken for food and in the final flashback we discover that caveman speak English but not good.
Jason Brodeur is identified as the new corporate bad guy of the week Arrow sets his sights on him as well as deciding that Laurel should have the plum case despite – we are assuming – not having much in the way of criminal defense lawyering experience. But oh well, it’s Hollywood, right? Laurel returns to her apartment and we notice: 1] it’s been fixed up nicely since that last visit from Nikki Minaj [China White] but, 2] the lights don’t work, 3] Arrow can still get in through the fire escape [gotta get that fixed] and 4] she keeps a loaded gun in her drawer like all budding female attorneys do [duh!]. Meanwhile, Walter – the former best friend of Oliver’s Dad and new hubby of Mom/Moira – finds that $2.6 million is missing from their company’s Vancouver subsidiary [hockey pucks?] and enlists the aid of Victoria’s Secret model IT specialist Felicity Smoak to track down the source. Mom/Moira claims it was a bad investment in a startup [oh yeah, blame the internet] until Walter sneaks around and later finds it was actually for a warehouse used to store the remains of the sabotaged yacht wreck. Why she would keep the remains, remains to be seen.
Diggle’s recruitment continues and Oliver coughs up Dad’s black book of baddies co convince him and after some further spilling of beans at sis-in-law’s café, Diggle signs up to be part of the Arrow team [there is no “I” in team but there is in Diggle].
Arrow meets up with a suddenly trusting Laurel – on a rooftop at night, no less – to discuss the current case of Bad Guy Brodeur whose is framing her client for murder. Police Chief Wiggum Dad gets mad at Laurel for meeting Arrow who eventually shoots an arrow into the hand of Bad Guy Brodeur to entice a confession. But this does not produce the desired effect and Bad Guy Brodeur orchestrates a prison sabotage siege to try and kill Laurel’s client. Arrow discovers this plot and sabotages the attempted sabotage – yes, this is really the path the episode takes – and since apparently the prison holding an about-to-be executed prisoner does not have lights [same utility as Laurel’s apartment, perhaps?] and lax security, the entire scene – coupled with a gratuitous suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer – suddenly becomes plausible.
In the end, Arrow is revealed to Angry Police Chief Wiggum Dad because of his propensity for using stairwells with security cameras [the prison had money for surveillance cameras but not lights – what!?] as his changing room and gets arrested at home in front of Mom and everybody. Walter responds immediately by getting on his phone and we will segue into next week’s opening scenes with Walter and Moira checking Angry Police Chief Wiggum’s Facebook and Twitter status.
Meanwhile, in the less sanitary storylines within the episode, the island flashbacks reveal who shot him on the island in the last episode [it wasn’t Nikki Minaj – but he could be her rebellious second cousin who takes a fancy to Arrow’s rambunctious sister in a future episode] and that the pre-Arrow Arrow was not adept yet at figuring out snare traps on his own. Back at home, Oliver finds out his best friend Eddie Haskell [Tommy Merlyn] was sleeping with his ex-girlfriend while he was gone and presumed dead but Oliver’s okay with that because he will undoubtedly be hooked up later as a love interest with corporate IT specialist, Felicity Smoak, so it’s no skin off his nose. Diggle’s character is given some more depth as his sister and snippets of his backstory are released in a few scenes before getting back to the action. Finally, Oliver’s mom and sister hash out some of their differences in an Oprah scene for the ladies. Men, this is your 90-second opportunity to go to the bathroom or grab another beer.
The Poop and Skinny: Thankfully, the voiceovers are becoming less frequent as are the appearances from best friend Eddie Haskell/Tommy Merlyn – though it seems suspicious that a best friend wouldn’t be around for some of the drama. There were no playboy theatrics for this episode but there was an epiphany and a theme for Arrow/Oliver in this episode – ditch all the women! They only cause him trouble and slow down the action with mushy emotions. Bad Guy Brodeur gets chained briefly to a railroad track before Arrow releases him – what is this, a Snidely Whiplash maneuver in a “Dudley Do-Right” episode? Probably the silliest part of the entire episode – naming the bad guy Brodeur – an obvious reference to former NHL goalie Martin Brodeur whose New Jersey Devils must have kept one of the writers’ favorite teams from making the Stanley Cup finals one year so the writer is gonna get payback by naming a bad guy after him. That’s not transparent at all.