As if this episode’s title wasn’t enough of a clue, one of the many DC characters promised to make an appearance this season indeed has his appearance. Deadshot, Floyd Lawton (Michael Rowe) is in Starling City and is doing what he does best, assassinating from afar with startling accuracy. He’s been hired by the Russian mafia to assassinate businessmen interested in making a bid to buy Unidec Industries, which includes Ollie’s (Stephen Amell) stepfather, Walter (Colin Salmon). Deadshot’s arrival forces Arrow and Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) to team up, or rather, Arrow to let Lance in on what’s happening and hope the cop will trust him enough to follow through.
Back at home Ollie’s sister, Thea (Willa Holland) is continuing to spiral out of control. Moving on from recreational drug use and binge drinking, the girl is now into larceny. She’s basically the Lindsey Lohan of Starling City. We’re given a glimpse into “Parenting 101 by The Queens” with Moira (Susanna Thompson) and it clearly lacking in the discipline and structure a young debutante needs. While out clubbin’, a very intoxicated Thea lets it slip to Ollie that Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Tommy (Colin Donnell) had been hookin’ up while he was “dead.” And strangely, Ollie doesn’t seem too shaken up by this which means it’s likely he already had his suspicions.
In the few island flashbacks we’re given this episode we learn that the mysterious archer who last week shot Ollie through the chest was doing so to save his life, though he could have fooled me. He takes Ollie back to his cave and patches him up, but Ollie still misunderstands and tries to escape only to be caught in the trap of another group on the island. No real hint as to who these men are, but once again rescued by the archer the two are on the run.
The arrival of Deadshot gives Arrow something they’ve been lacking from the beginning, an antagonist. Up until now we’ve seen Ollie struggling with himself, with his family, with the police, and the few men he’s ticked off from his list, but there’s been to villain to the series. Deadshot provide that, however briefly, because he’s killed by the end of the episode! I’m sure quite a few fans will be disappointed by that, and I have to admit I was surprised they used him in a one and done story. There’s a hint we’ll see more of him in those island flashbacks, so that’s promising.
I don’t like the look of Deadshot’s eyepiece one bit. It could more easily pass for the kid’s toy version rather than the real deal. It looks cheap is what I’m getting at. And has Deadshot always tattooed his victims names on his body? I don’t seem to remember that bit. Rowe does a nice job with what he’s given, but again, it’s not much. Honestly, the best bit about Deadshot in this episode is when he’s killed by an arrow through eye. Sure, it’s definitely campy but I dug it.
Besides Deadshot we’re also introduce to Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) an I.T. expert working at Queen Industries who Ollie seeks out for some help hacking into Deadshot’s encrypted laptop. It’s a really funny scene wedged into what is a mostly serious episode. In fact, it’s quite refreshing and Smoak seems to be a likely candidate to join up with Team Arrow in the future. She’s cute, funny in an adorable, bumbling kind of way, and she can look passed Ollie’s bullshit. What I’m saying is, I want more.
Someone we do get more of this time around is John Diggle (David Ramsey), Ollie’s beleaguered bodyguard. We meet his sister-in-law and learn that his brother was killed while serving as a bodyguard. At one point in the episode he makes a comment to Ollie about appreciating how perceptive he is and it makes you wonder, does he know where his charge goes when he gives him the slip? Well, come the end of the episode there’s no question Diggle knows Ollie is Arrow. During the fight with Deadshot, Diggle is shot by one of his poisoned bullets and Arrow has to rush him back to the “cave.” The episode then ends on the cliffhanger of Ollie, in the Arrow getup without the hood or face paint looking at Diggle as he comes to.
That’s right, we get a moment of Laurel kickin’ major ass when she has to save Ollie and Tommy’s butts from a fight at a club. Can we get this girl some fishnets? Like, now, please. Thank you.
“The Lone Gunman” has easily been the most entertaining episode of Arrow thus far. I take it as a good sign the show in settling in and getting comfortable for an extended run, what with the news it was picked up for a full season. Deadshot’s one and done appearance is a little disappointing, but I know they’re bringing in more DC characters so I guess we shouldn’t expect all of them to survive. Amell’s performance as Ollie/Arrow is still very strong and he’s really turning into a likeable leading man.
If you haven’t been catching Arrow now might be the time to jump in. As the show is finding its stride we’re surely going to begin delving deeper into Ollie’s time on the island, his father’s murder, who was behind it, and what Arrow will do once he’s dealt with all those names in his book.
Arrow airs on the the CW Wednesday’s at 8pm.