I was as uninspired to write this review as the writers were to write this episode. It’s mostly a flashback episode revealing more about the island than ever before while present day Arrow lays shirtless on an operating table with Felicity and Diggle playing 20 questions to get know each other and save Oliver’s life (Spoiler: Lady Queenbeth shot her darling boy at the beginning of this episode).
As much of a fan of the flashbacks as I am, I was quite disappointed with this episode. The writers played “just the tip” for so long revealing only bits and pieces slowly and slyly that when they go full throttle on the island, it was painful. Maybe I just wasn’t breathing deeply enough. Who knows?
LONG story short, Oliver and Deathstroke plot to escape the island. It goes smoothly despite Oliver failing at his one and only assignment leaving Deathstroke to come in and save the day. When Oliver realizes that Asian Yoda won’t be joining their little get away, Oliver grows a pair and a spine and tries to rescue his archer elder.
We learn Asian Yoda is working for the soldiers to save his daughter/niece/China White? Some undisclosed Asian with a Dragon Tattoo. Oliver gets caught. Again. And is about to die before Deathstroke saves the day. Again. Is he a good guy? Bad guy? Who knows. He’s hot so there is that.
So we have Deathstroke throw away his rescue for Oliver who threw away his rescue for someone who doesn’t want to be rescued. I don’t understand Deathstroke’s motivation for this choice. It’s weak. So it’s unbelievable.
I’m tipping my hat to this episode for two things. One, Oliver was shirtless a lot. Thank you. Two, Felicity is now on Team Arrow. But only to get Walter back and then she’s out (I’ll believe when I see it).
Love is late to arrive to Starling City (Come on, Cupid, Valentine’s Day was two, three weeks ago) but it does rear its ugly head when Diggle and Oliver ask out their respective love interests…who kinda look alike. What else do these two boys share?
Unfortunately this boost of confidence to ask out their ladies is the result of some lame bro challenge, “I’ll ask her out if you ask her out”. Blerg. All while Felicity watches in abject humor. She brings some much needed brightness to the dank Arrow cave. And some much needed support to Diggle as he now has a partner to help keep Oliver on the straight and arrow.
Perfect timing too as Starling City has a new playmate in town, The Dodger (played by the smoldering James Callis of Battlestar Galactica). The Dodger is such an obscure character that my very own personal DC Digest didn’t recognize the name. And for good reason. From what I could round up from the good ole interwebs, The Dodger has only had 8 appearances in comics. But he was created by the very gay friendly and prolific Judd Winick (of MTV’s first Real World, Pedro and Me, and the writer of the BEST Batman movie to date Batman: Under the Red Hood. Buy it. Watch it. Love it.)
The Dodger has a hard on for a very specific type of Spanish Jewels. After failing to gain a profit from his recent acquisition of The Sherwood Diamond (remember this) Team Arrow lures him to an auction with another Spanish Jewel generously donated by SPOILER: The Queen Family!
The Dodger walks up to the jewel. Pocket’s it. Then walks away. Literally. Felicity has placed a tracker in the jewel so she witnesses the brilliant heist and instead of alerting Oliver, or the cops, or anyone, she confronts the charming Brit. Maybe it’s The Dodger’s delicious gaze. Maybe Oliver’s boldness and confidence has rubbed off on her. Maybe it’s Maybelline. Regardless, Felicity now has a bomb strapped to her neck (Oh yeah, that’s how he got the name Dodger. He forces people to do his dirty work by strapping a stylish boom necklace to them and threatening to detonate it. Yeah, I don’t get it either).
Back at The Queen Mansion Lady Queenbeth wants out of the cabal and Sister Thea has her purse stolen by ROY HARPER! In an on the nose red hoodie.
First, Lady Queenbeth. She wants out. Calls in a favor with Starling City’s Asian Mafia to secure removal and Walter’s return. More to come of this in the next episode.
SIDENOTE-We have yet to see The Dark Archer this mid-season. Poor use of a character they introduced to end last mid-season. I’ve lost interest in this bad ass character and wonder why he hasn’t popped back up. What was his reason to even show up other than to give the writer’s an easy ending. Boo.
Second, Sister Thea. She tracks down Roy Harper via his wallet chain. Really? This isn’t 1993 and Thea isn’t Batman. Whatever. Roy’s now on the show and I’m happy. Now, let’s get him junked up and suited up with a bow and arrow. Yee haw!
Back to Felicity and her unbecoming blinking necklace. Oliver chases after The Dodger via a “borrowed” motorbike while Felicity directs him through the city via said tracker in jewel. Somewhere between leaving the auction and “borrowing” the motorbike Oliver dons some sexy black gloves? Weird.
Oliver disables The Dodger’s car with an explosive arrow. If you could only see my face while I type. The Dodger tries to stave off capture showing the trigger to the necklace. Oliver then severs his median nerve with yet another arrow rendering his thumb useless and saving Felicity. Who knew Micheal Kors Tuxedos’ came complete with convenient invisible quivers. The Dodger they says “I’m just like you. I steal from the rich”. What’s Oliver’s witty retort? “I’m not Robin Hood”! AH! Get It?! Sherwood Diamond!? Robin Hood?! Yeah, blerg on that too.