This week we are dancing with the stars on Arrow, as the episode climaxes in a spectacular fight-dance, through which the camera was full-on waltzing. Also, characters are springing back to life so fast that for a second I thought that I'd accidentally changed over to The Walking Dead.
The episode starts with Ollie killing the assassin Brutale, but the real action is back at the Arrowcave, where Digg and Felicity are having a tank top fight disguised as Digg teaching Felicity how to defend herself. Digg makes an impressive showing, with a black tank top that seems to swoon away from his shoulders like a Victorian maiden, but Felicity's top clings to her like a group of loving cherubs to a bunch of grapes. It's tough to say who wins. Ollie strolls through, announcing that he killed Brutale and gives Felicity Brutale's phone to hack into so they can figure out his intended target.
He then announces that he has a date with McKenna. Digg points out that McKenna is trying to track down and arrest The Hood, but Ollie simply strolls out saying, "It's slim pickings for us vigilantes." Damn. Walked right past Felicity saying that with not even a flicker of interest. Sorry girl, but your tank top loses.
Ollie and McKenna are joining Laurel and Tommy for dinner. They have a little awkward conversation when McKenna mistakes a picture of a little girl with a canary as Laurel, when it's actually Laurel's sister, but things don't really cool until the doorbell rings and it's Barrowmerlyn. You know that vaguely poppish background music that the CW has going for social scenes on its shows? That dies the moment Barrowmerlyn shows up at the door. I don't think that's an editing choice. I think it is a measure of his power. "No more music. I am acting now."
Barrowmerlyn gives Tommy a present and invites him to watch as Barrowmerlyn gets a humanitarian award, because irony. Tommy rejects him. There's a little emotional scene where Barrowmerlyn gets choked up and says that he really did do everything, including semi-abandoning Tommy after his mother's death, because he wanted Tommy to be happy. Tommy rejects him again. Oh, Tommy! How can you be so cruel to eyes so blue, teeth so white, and a chin so cleft! It's like you have no heart.
Elsewhere, at The Bludhaven Apartment, we see a shadowy figure slip through a door and I spend just a bit of time hoping against hope it's Dick Grayson. However, when he starts swigging booze and smoking cigarettes, I know it is Floyd Lawton, or Deadshot. Boom! First reanimated corpse of the episode. And this one has no regard for his own life, and a kind of creepy face. We shall call him Patient Zero. The zombie apocalypse will spread soon. (Hello, readers who predicted that Floyd wasn't killed when Ollie shot him in the eye a few weeks ago! Congratulations, you are right. Get together and pick the non-four-letter word of your choice, and I will work it into my next recap as a prize.) China White — who, if we remember, is working on behalf of Moira — hires him to kill Barrowmerlyn. Floyd shows her his cloudy eye and grumps that he's retired. She shows him a glowing red thing. He immediately brightens, "Wow! A glowing red thing! As a sullen, drunken ex-assassin, living in a seedy motel, I can immediately recognize that and am happy to accept it as payment." Not really, but he does seem content to take the job.
At Arrowtopia, Felicity says that the phone hacking will very, very difficult, which means that it will happen before the end of this scene and with not even a moment's break in conversation. Done! The assassin had a picture of a Chinese restaurant that's a front for the Triad. Ollie, being himself, decides to take his best friend there. Between beating up an accountant and getting information that the assassination is going down tomorrow, Ollie talks Tommy into meeting up with his dad. (I am doing well with crowdsourcing information, and so am going one more. Mandarin-speaking viewers, did Ollie have no accent when he was threatening the accountant? And what does an American accent sound like in Mandarin, anyway?)
Ollie has somehow sensed the zombie apocalypse and has clearly decided to put his brain in cold storage for safety, because he immediately calls Quentin to warn him about the coming assassination attempt. Quentin, keeping his brains firmly lodged between his ears, grabs McKenna and tells her that they know where the vigilante is going to be, and are going to take him down.
And now we begin to waltz with Barrowman. As everyone gets ready for the big ceremony for the humanitarian awards, the camera circles like it's Austria at the beginning of the 1800s. The Triad put on waiter uniforms so they can get in the party. Moira shakily puts on earrings. Barrowmerlyn and Tommy put on evening clothes. Quentin gets ready. Floyd, wearing the red thing over his eye, gets ready. The Congress of Vienna sorts out the exact partitions of Europe after the fallout of the Napoleonic Wars and — sorry, the circling got to me. The point is, everyone is in play.
Barrowmerlyn makes friendly banter with Moira, who is trying her best not to look like she's currently imagining his gruesome death, until he is called up to the stage to accept the award. He starts nicely, saying that his wife was the real humanitarian. Then his voice gets rough as he states that he wishes the people who murdered her had known her. His voice starts breaking when he says that, if they did, they would have seen her to her car and made sure she got home safe — instead of taking her purse and shooting her. At this point I really don't know what's going to happen next. I just know, deep down in my heart, that the people who run the awards ceremony wish they had given it to someone else. Anyone else. The guys who shot Barrowmerlyn's wife would make a better speech, it's that awkward. Fortunately, at that moment, Barrowmerlyn sees Tommy in the crowd and recovers graciously.
Just as he gets offstage, the lights go out and the fire alarm starts. People start moving to the exit, but Barrowmerlyn sees the waiters kill a guard. He turns pauses, turns, and suddenly there is a circling barrowzoom!
He grabs hold of Tommy, and hustles him upstairs, telling him that there's a panic room. Outside Floyd moves "into position." Two waiters open fire on Tommy and Barrowmerlyn in a hallway, but them being named characters, automatic weapons are no match for their ability to duck behind wall sconces. Ollie comes in and starts firing arrows surprisingly effectively. I would say it's a shame that he stops shooting and fights China White hand-to-hand, but I couldn't criticize a fight so glorious. There's one shot of her swinging around his waist and one shot of her swinging around his neck. I don't know if they're dancing or fighting. I just know that either way, if they did it in public, a crowd would form in a circle around them and everyone would clap in time. Well, everyone except McKenna. She puts a stop to things — until Ollie shoots a fire extinguisher. "Oh no! My bullets are useless against a light mist," she screams. When she notices that both Ollie and China are gone, she scowls. I know, McKenna. I wish that mist had been Dracula, too.
Barrowmerlyn keeps pushing upwards to the panic room, attacking and killing a few waiters along the way. When he and Tommy get to the top, he brags a little about his super safe panic room, and then totally fails to get to it when Deadshot blows out the window and then shoots him through the chest.
Tommy runs to Barrowmerlyn just as he comes back to life. Second zombie of the episode! I would tell you to guard your brains, Tommy, but losing them would make it easier to talk to all your friends. Tommy sees that his dad has a bulletproof vest on. Barrowmerlyn swears he's all right, despite a little blood on his shoulder, but then fades out. Ollie comes swinging in. Tommy pulls a gun on him. Ollie puts down the bow, and sniffs a bullet that happens to be lying on the floor. He smells curare, and realizes it was Deadshot. Only, it wasn't, because Deadshot actually shoots people dead. That is the point of being Deadshot. Come on, Floyd! Since this series started I don't even think you've successfully killed a bottle of booze! You'd do better throwing the bullets at people! Anyway, Ollie says a blood transfusion is the only thing that will keep Barrowmerlyn alive. When Tommy still doesn't trust him, he pulls back his hood. Amazingly, Tommy's first comments aren't a critique of his mascara — which I have to say is extremely sloppy tonight. Instead, he lets Ollie do a transfusion, and Barrowmerlyn makes it to the hospital. Damn, Moira. I hope you didn't pay the Triad much money for that. And teach your son how to put on his make-up, will you?
At the hospital, Tommy seems to have dug down deep in his well of ingratitude, and found a bucketful to dump on his best friend. Apparently, your best friend saving your father's life, and putting his secret identity on the line to do so, is less important than him lying to you. Look, Tommy, that kind of stuff is cute with Thea, but you are about ten minutes younger than Barrowmerlyn himself. Have some sense.
Ollie's day gets a little worse when he has to tell Digg that Deadshot, who killed Digg's brother, is still alive. Digg takes a long walk of manly brooding.
Moira comes to see Barrowmerlyn, and does so in the same dress she wore to the award ceremony, showing that she did not poop herself when she found out Barrowmerlyn was alive, and therefore that she has nerves of steel. Barrowmerlyn charges her to find the traitor who tried to kill him.
Back at Laurel's house, Laurel is rushing out the door to see Tommy, but at the door she finds — her mother! (As an aside, Laurel, you have unthinkingly opened your door to your estranged mother, your loopy ex-boyfriend who you didn't want around, mobsters, assassins, and a guy who ruined your dinner party. Use the peephole, okay? It's Barbara Gordon-approved.) Her mother has some news. Sarah may still be alive! Third zombie of the episode! It's officially an outbreak!