Arrow Episode 3 - Lone Gunmen (2012): TV Recap
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Stephen Amell works out
The evil businessman of the week for episode three is James Holder, who is mean because he’s been saving money by installing defective smoke detectors in low income housing. Surely this can be rectified by Green Arrow threatening to shoot him unless he transfers some money somewhere and promises not to do it again, so Oliver tracks Holder to his rooftop swimming pool (man, does Oliver ever love meeting people on rooftops), which is, admittedly, pretty swank. If all I needed to do to get one of those was give people some bad smoke detectors, you better believe my slums would be firetraps. But instead of getting to deliver his catchphrase (“You have failed this city!”), Oliver has to run for his life. A sniper’s bullet takes out Holder and wounds Oliver. Who could have done such a dastardly deed while wearing a vision-enhancing monocle? (Hint: it’s Deadshot.)
Ollie makes it back to his lair, and painfully stitches himself up. This raises one of the biggest questions of the show so far: who is going to be Oliver’s Alfred? No self-respecting hero can be expected to set his own broken bones and remove bullets from his own tattered flesh. No time to think about that now, though: Oliver’s feeling woozy! The bullet has been poisoned, but luckily Oliver keeps some fresh antidote on hand. He grabs some, downs it with some Smartwater, and everything’s cool for now. Doesn’t it smack of desperation and insecurity in your aim if you poison your bullets?
Now, where exactly is this hideout? He’s a lot of space to do some impressive training in there, he’s got lots of computers for testing bullets for poison, and he’s got a sewing kit for closing up bullet holes, but where is it? Ah, it’s under a warehouse in a bad neighborhood! Oliver brings his Tommy and Diggle to the upper level of the arrowcave, and announces that he is going to use the space as a nightclub. The nightclub will both conceal his hiding spot and give him a convenient excuse for being out at all hours of the night.
After the open house, Oliver uses some sweet parkour moves to get a stray bullet from the assassin’s attack, which had embedded itself into a brick wall. By analyzing the bullet’s caliber and the poison used on it, his computer identifies the assassin as Deadshot, and lets Ollie “follow the money trail to the Bratva,” or Russian mob. He then walks into a Russian mob garage and asks to see Alexei Leonov, a guy that never appears. The two Russians in the shop deny his existence, and draw a gun on Oliver when he asks to see the basement (every building in Starling City apparently has a secret basement). Oliver quickly disarms the man with the gun and reveals that he is a Bratva captain by showing off the tattoo on his chest. Upon seeing this, they take him to the basement, where they do not introduce him to Alexei Leonov, but instead tell him they can find Floyd Lawton, the assassin the Russian mob has been using, but only once they check out his story to make sure he is really Bratva. This is probably the most confusing sequence in the show so far, because I don’t know who this guy Alexei is supposed to be, or why the Russians take Oliver to the basement without checking his story first. It’s also weird that they can check on Oliver’s rank in the Bratva without ever learning his name. My guess is that he told them his fake Bratva name offscreen (and the Russians don’t watch TV and don’t recognize one of the richest people in the city). But this raises even more questions. When and why did Oliver get into the Russian mob? Is the deserted island a Russian mob hideout? Or did he somehow get off the island for a period of time, rise to the rank of Bratva captain in Russia, and then return to the island to be discovered?
While the Russians are looking up Deadshot’s hotel reservations, Detective Lance checks in on Walter Steele and Moira Queen to let them know that Deadshot has taken out another wealthy person in addition to Holder. It seems all these targets are bidders in an upcoming auction, just like they are. Could they be behind the assassin’s attacks to limit their bidding rivals, or might they also be targets themselves?
Meanwhile, Oliver and Tommy pop into a different nightclub to get a feel for the future competition, but it happens to be owned by a guy whose fiancée slept with Oliver at the rehearsal dinner. Needless to say, the owner has his security team throw them out and start pounding on them. Oliver can’t really fight back without revealing his awesome parkouring skills, so Laurel Lance comes in to save the day with a few nice ninja moves. Why is this important? Basically because it establishes that Laurel’s cop father made her take “self-defense classes,” so it doesn’t look totally out of the blue if (and really, it’s when) Laurel becomes the Black Canary. On Smallville, they had a rule for Clark: “no tights, no flights.” Since Oliver already has his tights and (arrow) flights, I’m wondering if maybe it’s Dinah Laurel Lance who’s adhering to the “no stilettos, no fishnettos” policy. Or maybe this show is going to morph into the Green Arrow/Black Canary Hour by season two. Either way.
While Oliver is grabbing a burger at Big Belly Burger (gotta love the Big Belly Burger if you are a DC fan!), the Russians call him back; his story checks out, so they provide Floyd Lawton’s address. Oliver ambushes Deadshot in his seedy hotel room, but Deadshot’s patented wristcannon allows him to escape out the window. He had to leave his bullet-riddled laptop behind, though, which might give Oliver the clue he needs to find Deadshot’s next target.
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
He takes the lappy to Felicity Smoak, the nerdy hottie in Queen company’s IT department. Although Oliver claims to have spilled a latte on it, Felicity can tell that there are actually bullet holes through the screen. “My coffee shop is in a bad neighborhood,” he deadpans. Felicity’s got the tech savvy to pull up some blueprints of the Exchange building on the damaged computer, which is where the auction is being held, and where his mother will be in just a few hours. Could Felicity be Arrow’s Chloe? You know, the cute blonde that takes care of all his hacking needs, and who will develop an unrequited crush on her male friend? I’m thinking yes.
Oliver realizes he can’t cover the entire Exchange building himself, so he will need to enlist some help. He delivers the laptop to Detective Lance and asks that his men cover the towers that make great sniper vantage points. Unfortunately, Deadshot is able to take out one of the units and still take aim at Walter Steele, his next target. Lance notices the sniper’s laser pointer on Walter’s jacket, though, and tackles him out of the way, letting a waiter get hit instead. His next shot hits an extra who looks like Rob Ryan in the shoulder. For a guy named Deadshot, who wears a vision-enhancement device, and uses high-powered weapons, he sure misses a lot.
Oliver quickly changes into his Arrow gear, and races to find Deadshot. It’s a firefight! Bang! Bang! Whatever sound an arrow makes! Oliver takes refuge behind a column, and Deadshot takes the opportunity to compliment his opponent: “I admire your work! Guess you won’t be extending me any professional courtesy.” Green Arrow doesn’t see how he and Deadshot are similar, even though it doesn’t take much imagination to go from what Oliver does to what Floyd does. “We’re not in the same line of work. Your profession is murder,” Oliver retorts. Ah, now here’s the problem: “You’ve taken lives.” Oliver pauses because there’s really no good answer for this. He’s not a policeman or a soldier. He’s got no authority to make those life-and-death decisions. The best he can come up with is, “For the good of others. You’re out for yourself.” Oliver looks pretty sheepish here. Oops. When the best thing you can say to defend your principles against a killer for hire is, “Yeah, well, you’re selfish,” I think you’ve lost the moral high ground. And he’s got nothing to say after that so he just swings out from behind his cover and takes another pop at Deadshot, finally silencing him with an arrow straight through his monocle. There he goes, killing someone else (to be fair, Deadshot is a supervillain, and supervillains usually don’t stay dead for very long). At least it was “for the good of others.”
The Deadshot affair would be wrapped up if it weren’t for one last problem: Diggle has been hit by one of the poisoned bullets. Fortunately, Oliver knows how to combat this. He takes Diggle down into the arrowcave, whips up some antidote and Smartwater, and lets him rest. When he wakes up, his vision blurry, he sees a non-hooded figure before him. As his eyes start to focus, he can tell it’s Oliver. “Hey,” he says, nonchalantly revealing his secret identity. And with that, we finally know who Alfred is going to be! Diggle has combat training, and I bet he knows how to sew up bullet holes. Throughout the episode, Oliver has been learning from his family and friends that he needs to open up more, and he learned from Deadshot that he can’t always wage a one-man war on crime. He needs to bring a few people into this mission to be effective. He provided evidence to the police, he surreptitiously enlisted the help of the cute hacker, and he revealed his identity to his bodyguard. Before too long, he’ll have a nice little team going.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm Eastern on CW. Lone Gunmen originally aired 10/24/12.