So far on Arrow, we have gotten a glimpse (but only that) of what Oliver has been through and how he intends to right the wrongs of his father. This week’s episode was a tip of the hat to classic superhero fare, the altercation with the nemesis. It seems that someone is getting to Arrow’s targets before he can force them to repent. The episode opens with a scene of Oliver exercising shirtless (thank you, gods of tv) but quickly moves on to his encounter with an assassin nicknamed Dead Shot. This guy is a freak who wears what looks a camera lens-type monocle over one eye and a wristband machine gun. I was a bit put off by this at first, as so much of Arrow is done in a relatively believable manner that I felt this was a bit over the top, then I realized, “Oh yeah, we’re doing the supervillain thing!” And what do all supervillains need…a gimmick! I bet this guy is smelly too because he tattoos the names of his victims on his torso and new tatts have to be kept dry right?
Anyway, Arrow and Dead Shot encounter each other and exchange shots, leaving Arrow with a bullet graze that he soon realizes is poisonous. Unfortunately, Oliver has NOT spent his time on the island developing an immunity to iocaine powder like Westley. He chews a mouthful of magic weeds (really) and passes out for a bit during which we get the first of our teaser flashbacks to the island where some mysterious Arrow-looking character is doctoring him for an arrow shot he administered. We don’t know who this guy is, but he seems to be trying to help Oliver in spite of skewering him. After the visit to Neverland, Oliver decides to do some recon and returns to the scene of his encounter with Dead Shot. The only reason why I bother to mention this scene is that Oliver then determines where the stray bullet may have hit and proceeds to scale the building like Spiderman, but in a totally realistic way, like scaling a cliff face. It was impressive. Upon analysis of said bullet, Oliver determines there is a connection to the Russian mafia which he sees as a good thing. Really? Why, because for some reason, he can speak fluent Russian and has a tattoo that identifies him as a captain. What?! Yep, more to add to the Arrow mystique.
Okay, we have a supervillain, now all we need is a secret hideout. Arrow already has that but needs a reason to be there in case he is seen, so he comes up with the idea to open a nightclub, ‘cuz that’s the only thing rich playboys know how to do. Bff Tommy suggests a trip to Max Fuller’s new club to scope out the competition, nevermind that Oliver had previously known Fuller’s fiance in the Biblical sense right before their wedding. Seem like a bad idea? It is. Fuller ends up having his goons beat the crap out of Oliver and Tommy, but wait…who is that chick in the heels kicking Fuller’s butt? It’s Laurel. Seems that Oliver and Tommy bumped into her in the bar right before Max found them (and right after little sister tattled about their former relationship) and, since she is the patron saint of lost causes, she felt the need to help out. Is she sidekick material…maybe.
As the show progresses, we find out Digg’s brother was killed working a similar security-type job and Oliver seems unaffected by the news of his friend and girlfriend’s involvement with each other. His Russian mafia connections lead him to where Dead Shot is holed up. He loses him but swipes a laptop which contains information about his next hit, which quite possibly could be Oliver’s stepfather. Enter the tech-geek girl in the office who may end up being our next superhero asset. At this point, we have the supervillain and the bat-cave, why not a Fox/Q type? With this information, Arrow makes a visit to his favorite person in the world, Laurel’s father, and tells him about the assassin’s plans. All forces in this episode coallesce at an auction when Laurel’s dad saves Walter from a bullet. Oliver disappears and Arrow stalks down Dead Shot and nails him through the eye/monocle. Nice! But wait, we have a problem because Diggs has found them and been caught in the crossfire. Arrow grabs him and heads for his lair where he administers the same herbal potion and saves his life. As Diggs awakens, he sees Oliver, dressed as Arrow minus the hood. And now ladies and gentlemen, we have our Alfred! Tune in next week when we see how our hooded crusader handles this revelation, same bat time, same bat channel.