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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Arrow 1x3 - "Lone Gunmen"

Arrow is not messing around. To their credit, they are not dangling and bemoaning their plot threads. It's only the third episode and Arrow has dropped two big reveals on top of a major DC Comics villain guest starring and name dropping some other DC staples for the fanboys.

The reveals:

Thea, drunk at a bar, outs Merlyn and Laurel as "screwing around" in front of Oliver. Oliver was non-plussed, leading Laurel to guess that he already knew. But this opened the door for Merlyn to try a relationship with Laurel for real, which is a fine subplot for those two as it keeps a direct romantic complication out of these early weeks of Oliver's holy mission as Arrow, keeping him focused on his do-goodery.

Even bigger, when Oliver's bodyguard John Diggle is shot by Deadshot's poisoned bullets, Arrow takes him to his Arrow Cave to heal him, and then Oliver reveals he's the Arrow. "Hey." This was great. Diggle was already onto him and it gives Oliver a guy he can trust, a sidekick of sorts, since neither Speedy nor Black Canary are anywhere near being ready to become Speedy or Black Canary.

Then there's Deadshot (real name Floyd Lawton), complete with eye scope and wrist machine guns. Arrow vs. Deadshot is the second DC Comics super fight Arrow has presented in three episodes, and it ended in brutal fashion - arrow in the eye. Deadshot also called Arrow out on his having taken lives, but Arrow's justification is he does it to protect the innocent, not as a mercenary. Batman would take issue either way. If there's a Batman in this universe. But why wouldn't there be because...

In the Arrow Universe, there's Big Belly Burger, where Diggle's rather hot sister in law works, and more importantly there's Markovia, shouted out by Oliver himself.

Oliver has plans to build a nightclub over his underground Arrow Cave in the Queen Industrial plant, to give himself a cover of where he spends his nights as a philandering playboy. This prompted the funniest line of the night, when Tommy said if he called his club "Queen's", he'd attract a different clientele than what he'd expect. (Tommy's other funny was his threat to some thugs, "You're gonna have to go through me! ..I think they're gonna go through me!") Also note Laurel saved both Oliver and Tommy from getting beaten up.

Also important: Arrow reached out to Detective Lance and asked for his help to protect people from Deadshot, realizing he couldn't do it alone. It's not quite the chummy relationship Batman has with Jim Gordon, but it's a start.

Flashbacks to the Island saw Oliver meet the man who shot him in the chest with an arrow, who's basically the Chinese Green Arrow. There seem to be a ton of black ninja commandos on this "deserted island", and they even caught Oliver in one of those nets the Ewoks use.

Finally, I really like Thea. She's something I've never seen in a superhero show before, a deeply troubled, drunk this week, younger sibling to a superhero. Willa Holland is terrific. At the clip this show is moving, turning Thea into Speedy before the end of the season may not be out of the question. My money is on Thea becoming Speedy before Laurel becomes Black Canary.