Synopsis: The guest villain this week for Oliver Queen – aka Arrow – is none other than Deadshot, a villain from the DC Comics universe who is only slightly different than Arrow in that he kills all perceived bad guys without warning while Arrow merely kills bad guy associates and leaves the bigwig for the police to handle – so it’s a you say “to-may-toe”, I say “to-maw-toe” deal. Either way you slice it, it’s the Arrow vs. Deadshot episode – let the Celebrity Vigilante Death Match begin!
Details: At the beginning of this episode, we half-expected that master-of-ceremonies introduction to intone…”Tonight’s guest villain, Deadshot, stars in “My Favorite Color Is Blue” or some such “Police Squad!”-style intro. The inconsequential, corrupt Starling City bad guy gets offed right away in this episode as Arrow is right in the middle of his do-the-right-thing lecture when Deadshot interrupts – showing extremely bad vigilante etiquette as expressly mentioned in the Geneva Vigilante Convention of 2007 – by killing said bad guy and sending a message to Arrow by grazing him with his curare-tipped bullets. This, however, gives us a chance to see that Arrow, once he awakes from his curare-induced dozing, patches himself up and we can add minor surgery to his long list of many talents that he never had to go to school to learn because he dropped out of four schools as we are told later. Ah, a self-taught man – I challenge you all to a fistfight! Wait, that was Hemingway and he never read him.
Moving on, because plot sense waits for nobody, we find out that – what!? – Arrow/Oliver is also supposedly a member of the Russian mob – or uses it as a ruse to get at Deadshot. Either way, it is a Cold War reference that would do any aging Republican proud – Damn Russkies! We knew they had some extra borscht up their sleeves! Meanwhile, Detective Lance – who we will refer to as Police Chief Wiggum Lance due to his character’s daily double of seemingly unending, over the top snark and stupidity – thinks Deadshot is Arrow until Arrow/Oliver decides he’s going to need some police help in fending off Deadshot’s next assassination attempt and enlists his aid in a covert manner. This leads up to the big expected, extended fight scene between Deadshot and Arrow in which Arrow wins and ultimately finds out that Deadshot’s eye is really bloodshot and Diggle, who has been shot by Deadshot finally sees Oliver as Arrow – albeit in a curare-induced hallucinogenic state before the fade out.
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: The voiceovers were still there but, happily, less frequent in this episode and although we think it was silly to have Deadshot tattoo the names of his victims on his body [is that supposed to be intimidating to a dead guy?] – we do like the fact that Deadshot has a wrist gun [cool!] and is allowed to use curare – that should send a few people to Google. Also, Arrow sorely needed a James Bond line when he took out Deadshot with an arrow to the eyeball – or at least have it be one of those bank account-draining arrows and take his money too! Will Diggle be to Arrow as Alfred was to Batman and Robin? If so, we hope Arrow gets a cool car out of the deal – and where’s the maid? Oliver the billionaire’s coffee shop “is in a bad neighborhood” begged for a salsa-laced retort from Miss Smoak – where the hell was it? She’s familiar with snotty executives – she works in IT. If Oliver’s nightclub in “the Glades” really comes to fruition, may we suggest naming it “The Point” and if he ever assembles a team of vigilantes to help him, those people should be called “Oliver’s Army”. You’re welcome.