This week’s Arrow was a cleverly-disguised springboard for a tremendous amount of action on the character-development front. I was initially all excited about the part where Felicity finds a bleeding Oliver in her car, takes him to the lair where she and Diggs patch him up and maybe she becomes part of the team. She refuses, by the way, but there’s still hope she will become involved (maybe as Speedy from the comics – fingers crossed). And all of that was great. I mean she did upgrade his computer system. But after the episode I was way too distracted by other developments to pay much mind. Why? Well, because we are beginning to see the Green Arrow world grow at hyper-speed, like the planet created by the Genesis device in Star Trek. No rejuvenated Vulcans are in sight, but a whole lot of new characters are. Check it out.
While Oliver is fighting for his life in the lair we get a great opportunity to catch up on island business, in fact most of the episode was island flashbacks. His training with Slade continues and they attempt to take over an airstrip on the island in order to hijack the next supply plane which arrives shortly. Since Slade is awesome and hot, he takes on about ten men to Oliver’s pathetic pretty-boy one (that one didn’t really count either) and they take control of the traffic tower. But as Oliver stands and waits, he has an attack of conscience.
Even though Yao Fei did turn to the dark side, he managed to save Oliver’s life twice, so Oliver decides to go back for him. When he does, he finds a reluctant Yao who punches him in the nose to keep from looking like a traitor when Fyers enters the tent. Once again, Oliver finds himself facing Deathstroke in hand-to-hand…well, it isn’t combat, more like a slap-fest with Oliver getting it. Explosions rock the camp and during the distraction, Oliver slips away. Slade strides in and proceeds to engage Deathstroke/Billy Wintergreen, former friend and co-spy. I was relieved to find Slade was not in fact the same Deathstroke because he is too fine to be so bad, or relegated to minor appearances with his face covered up. In fact, he kind of reminds me a bit of Gerry Butler’s King Leonidas. I like being reminded of Gerry Butler’s King Leonidas. During the melee, Slade ends Big D with a sword in the eye and he and Oliver escape, but not without incident. Slade suffers a minor gunshot wound but Oliver manages to get him out of there and back to the plane-wreckage base camp. What happens after this is the interesting part and it has nothing to do with Oliver or Slade.
Fyers gets a phone call from his “boss.” Now, we cannot tell by the sound of the voice whom it may be, it does not sound like Malcolm Merlyn at least. But it is clear Fyers is a hired gun and someone is pulling the strings. In the comics, his boss is arm-in-arm with a drug lord so we will see where this goes. He ensures his boss that he has Yao Fei’s cooperation because (as we find out a few seconds later) he has Yao’s daughter. He lets Yao have a few minutes with her and we find out two interesting bits of information: 1) her name is Shado which is the name of an assassin in The Longbow Hunters-Green Arrow comic, and 2) that she has the same dragon tattoo as Oliver. Now, what is interesting is that in the comic, her dragon tattoo is a symbol of the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia. Shado is a character whose family is disgraced and thus she is raised by the Yakuza as an assassin to reclaim her father’s honor. This is very exciting as now all kinds of combinations are possible and new questions arise. Will she be an assassin? Is she Yakuza and will Oliver become Yakuza, or will the tattoo have something to do with the Russian mafia? Not likely, but we still don’t know the history behind that either. The possibilities are, in fact, endless!
Even though I was disappointed by Oliver’s handling of his mother since he totally backed off after the shooting, and Diggle’s Jiminy Cricket moments are getting a little old, seeing Felicity became more deeply embroiled in the deception (and her comment, “I may be blond, but I’m not that blond.”) was fun and I don’t think it will end here. Why? Because she is curious and curiosity can be a powerful motivator, that and a hot guy to follow around. Besides, anyone with lipstick that great has to important.