Deadshot is one of the coolest DC Comics characters of all time — a troubled loner who never misses with his trusty firearm, but never knows whom he can trust. The previews for last night's episode of Arrow made Deadshot look like the main attraction — but he's barely in the episode. We do get a chance to see the first stirrings of Black Canary, and the island storyline has yet another twist. Also, we learn that the ultimate aphrodisiac is a dead loved one.
Finally, on Arrow, some rich guys die! They don't get killed by Oliver, even though the particular guy he starts the episode torturing has been putting defective smoke detectors in his housing developments and letting people burn to death. (I expect that the season finale will have Ollie crash through the window of Nun n' Orphan Burgers, kill all the fry cooks, and leave the owner alive with a firm talking to.) Sadly, this terrible, terrible rich person is felled by an assassin's bullet, which also takes out a chunk of Ollie's arm. When Ollie goes to clean it, he realizes it's been poisoned. He grabs some leaves or something (But Officer Lance, it's medicinal!), his vision goes all swimmy and we're back to the island. The man who shot Olliver in the last episode is feeding him the same herbs, and generally tending his wound. I'm happy to report that this archer has a goatee.
Thanks to the herbs, which we can only hope are legalized, Ollie wakes up and manages to trace the poison to an assassin called Deadshot and the bullets to the Russian mob. He says something about the "money trail" leading to them, but I don't believe it. Maybe Deadshot spent time on the island, and marked it on Pinterest? Maybe the mafia marks their bullets with "How's my murdering? - Call 1-800-555-USSR." I like to think that's how it works.
Ollie decides to impersonate a member of the Russian mob in order to find out more. A lot of other sites have mocked the fact that no one notices that it's Oliver Queen, Famous Socialite, pretending to be a Russian gangster. As much as I love to mock, I never really bought that whole "famous socialite" angle. How many male socialites could you recognize if they walked by you in the street? If anything, Ollie is playing to his strengths. There's nowhere he would fit in better than in a room of dead-eyed psychos. (A note: Stephen Amell actually does seem to do a very good job of portraying the pre-island Oliver Queen as a shallow playboy, so I think his choice to go with post-island crazy-eyes is deliberate. He's sure as hell convincing.) Things go relatively well, and Oliver's alias, gets a promise on some information.
Back to the Queen house, where Moira attempts to ground Thea for repetitive shoplifting. Thea blows her off, spots that Oliver has been pushing Moira to be more firm, and nearly prances out of the room. I love this glorious brat. Considering her brother is murdering people, her mother probably murdered her father, and her stepfather has an English accent so steeped in latent evil that he might be channeling Alan Rickman, she's the most moral one in the family.
The police, meanwhile, find Arrows at the scene of not one, but two rich dudes who have been murdered by rifle bullets. Quentin Lance, The Only Cop in the Whole Damn City, is on the case! He figures out that the two guys were going to bid on a company called Unidac . . . as is Queen Industries. He pays a visit to the Queens and gives them industrial grade hairy eyeball, which Walter takes better than Moira. Walter points out that there is a lot more competition out there for the auction on Unidac tomorrow. Moira just snarks a bit about how Quentin doesn't seem concerned for their safety. Quentin just barely restrains himself from saying, "Enjoy your two living children," and leaves.
Oliver decides that he's going to open up a club right on top of his secret training facility, as an excuse to be out nights. Good idea! I heard Bruce Wayne explains his late nights by opening an owl sanctuary on the grounds of Wayne Manor! Tommy is more concerned with checking out the competition, and invites Oliver out to another club - owned by a guy whose fiancee Oliver slept with.
Suddenly, Oliver's idea to open a club makes business sense. The competing place is clearly the only club in town right now, since Laurel, Tommy, Oliver, and Thea all end up there. Oliver gets in Thea's face, telling her that her evening is over, and tries to drag her out. Thea, God love her, goes nuclear. Oliver turns to his friends like, "Why isn't she complying? It's almost like scolding a drunk, rebellious teenager doesn't work! Are there herbs I can chew for this?" Thea tells Oliver that Tommy and Laurel were having sex while he was missing. Ollie is about to go back to another round of making pointless mouth-noise at his sister, when the club owner has him dragged into the back of the club and beaten. In a fit of loyalty, Tommy tries to defend him, but it's Laurel who beats up the thugs. Black Canary fore-shadowing, now complete. They all get banned from the club. I hope Thea stays and has a good time, though.
And, damn, they really don't have anywhere else to go in Starling City, because Dig takes them to a place called Big Belly Burgers. Yes, from the Superman comics. Ollie ditched Dig at the club by refusing to acknowledge to the bouncers that he knew him, so at first I assumed that Dig was only taking him there to grab a fork so he could embed it in Ollie's thigh. Actually he's there to yearn for his sister-in-law, who is a waitress there. She doesn't like Dig guarding people. "Have you forgotten this job got your brother killed? Because I haven't. I can't." For a second I want Dig to have forgotten just that, because there is no other way a sentence like this could possibly be justified. Instead he just gives her eyes full of desperate yearning.
At this point in the series, there literally is no romantic subplot that doesn't involve a man suddenly becoming attracted to the recently-bereaved lover of a man that he was once close to.
Speaking of, Tommy stumbles through an apology, which literally means nothing considering that by the end of this episode, he's asking Laurel out again, and she's accepting. Ollie shrugs it off and gets a call from the Russian mobster. The guy gives Ollie the info on Floyd Lawton, who's called Deadshot because he never misses. This is funny, because we see Floyd do almost nothing but miss throughout this entire episode. We get a great shot of him missing immediately, when Ollie busts into his seedy hotel room. Floyd misses the giant man in creaky leather coming right at him, but does put a few bullets through his own computer.
Enter Felicity Smoak! She's a Queen employee who Oliver asks to salvage data from his bullet-riddled computer which he "spilled coffee on." She goes into a meandering speech about how Ollie's father drowned and ends by saying that she'll stop babbling in three . . . two . . . one. Look on the bright side, Ollie, at least she's not asking you if you've forgotten that your father drowned.
Felicity is a typical TV nerdy girl with a ponytail, glasses, and flawless make-up and skin. It's clear that the actor had to choose between this role, and playing an assistant district attorney on Law & Order. I immediately feel connected to her. Why? No, not because of the glasses, but because she immediately references Hamlet when talking about the Queen family. Ollie doesn't know what she's talking about with this Hamlet stuff, and also doesn't realize that the diagrams on the screen are of the site of the Unidac auction. I have to say, Ollie has never more fully covered his secret identity. After this bumbling performance, I'm surprised that Felicity doesn't feel the need to guide him through doorknob dynamics on his way out.
Flashback! Young Ollie wakes up on the island and notices the guy who shot him is sleeping. He runs for his life, and makes it maybe five hundred yards before being caught in a net and suspended from a tree.
The next day at the auction, a surprisingly sweet Thea shows up. She's sweet because Moira and she had a touching scene where they found some common ground. But I don't like Thea finding common ground. I like Thea when she's doing the verbal equivalent of biting someone on the face, so that's it for her for this recap.
Needless to say, Deadshot attacks, but first he helpfully shines his laser guidance through some champagne glasses to get Quentin's attention before he zeroes in on Walter. Quentin Lance tackles Walter out of the way, Deadshot, the master assassin, blasts the hell out of a waiter, and then shoots some random lady in the crowd. Are they sure he's not called Scattershot? How about Fan's Despair?
Ollie bursts in on him and they fight. To be fair, it's a decent fight, with some grappling and flipping, and lots of wrist-mounted guns, and if I'm not mistaken - one attempt at strangulation with a bow string. In the end, they get to a stand-off, where Ollie is hiding behind a pillar and sadly shouting, "Drop your guns!"
The comic book version of Floyd would have something cool to say about that.
This Floyd just says, "You've taken lives."
Ollie counters with, "For the good of others! You're out for yourself." Technically, Floyd is killing for the Russian mob's good, so I think he has a case — but Ollie punctuates his statements with an arrow through Floyd's eye. Goodnight, sweet Floyd. I was looking forward to someone on TV having a name more old-fashioned than mine. Alas 'twas not to be.
Ollie turns around to find Dig shot through the shoulder. Ollie runs over to help him.
The last flashback! Ollie is still be-netted. The mysterious archer comes up, cuts him down, and says, "Fool! This place is too dangerous for any one man alone. They'll kill you." He says this all in a language that Ollie clearly does not understand, and then immediately contradicts his own statement by walking off alone. The thing is? That's still not as silly as asking someone if he's forgotten how his own brother was killed.
We then see armed men in black inspecting the cut rope and the empty net. This puzzles me, because Ollie is clearly not there. So who is flashing back to this scene? Is it one of the armed men? I can only suppose it must be. I want him to turn to another man and say, "Have you forgotten that this net was not like this when we last saw it?"
The last scene of this is Ollie carrying Dig to a table in his headquarters and then sitting across from him. When Dig opens his eyes, Ollie, in costume but with his face bare, presents himself. Dig looks at him like, "What the hell? I've been shot. Don't just put me on a table and introduce yourself!"
And that's the end of the episode. I think almost all Deadshot fans will be disappointed. He's barely in this. And yet, it's strange, but I can't help thinking that they've got him right in some ways. In the comics, Floyd Lawton has a kind of sleazy charm to him. The show does get that aesthetic. The motel that he was staying in, the actor's look and bearing — there's some of the sense of Deadshot in all of it. I just wish that more of the episode could have been dedicated to him. So much time went into the Tommy-Laurel-Ollie love triangle. That isn't necessarily bad, but it's the same in every episode so far. Laurel is talks about Ollie, Ollie shows up and Laurel is cold to him, they seem to warm up a little, and then in the end, we're reminded that Tommy and Laurel are attracted to each other. It seems like this relationship is being juggled, each of the characters making the same loop and returning to the same position every episode. I'd rather see more Floyd.