emily bett rickards

Last night was the mid-season final of Arrow where the show remembered it had quite a bit of plot to move along since resolving Ollie’s (Stephen Amell) botched attempt at bonding with fellow vigilante, The Huntress, Helena Bertinelli (Jessia de Gouw). There were some island flashbacks, more investigating from Walter (Colin Salmon), the reveal of an “evil” archer in Starling City, and Ollie trying to save Christmas.

And his attempt to imbue his family with the holiday spirit they are lacking is awkward at best. Actually, the Queen family is all sorts of awkward and their forced enjoyment of each others’ company is heaped with awkward moment upon awkward moment. Have I said awkward enough, yet? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Good, ’cause that’s how watching the Queen family interact makes me feel.

Turns out since Oliver and his dad disappeared they’ve stopped celebrating Christmas, and more importantly stopped throwing their annual Christmas party. And if one guys knows how to throw party, it’s Ollie, and he does so with the hope it’ll liven up his family’s dreary Yuletide. It, of course, has the opposite effect but that’s exactly what I’d expect from the most awkward family in Starling City.

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In the second to last episode of Arrow before the series goes on its midseason break (Is it just me or are more shows taking longer breaks halfway through their seasons?) we get to see Helena (Jessica de Gouw) go full blown Huntress while Ollie (Stephen Amell) tries to reign her in, Diggle (David Ramsey) gets jealous, and Walter (Colin Salmon) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) become a detective duo. I’m thinking spinoff for these two, but more on that later.

We left the vigilante, sorta couple last week making out in Helena’s apartment and unsurprisingly we begin this episode with them asleep in bed. Man, CW, why you gotta leave the good bits off screen? Then Helena wakes up, sneaks away, and attempts to kill some head honcho for the Triad. Her goal is to spark a gang war between the Triad and her father in order to punish him for murdering her fiance. Sounds like a sound plan to me, but of course Oliver shows up in time to stop her.

Kids, today’s episode is brought to you by the letters “V” for vengeance, “J” for justice, and we’re gonna learn all about how they differ. Or not, because the show itself seems to be a little confused.

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Narrowly escaping jail, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is back to ticking the names of the rich and corrupt off his father’s list. Though there’s hope this plot device is well and truly dead. “Legacies” opens with a bank robbery by guys in hockey masks decorated to look like playing cards. The Royal Flush Gang, anyone? It’s another well done infusion of classic DC characters into Arrow‘s more grounded, realistic vision. I’ve mentioned it before but this show is littered with easter eggs for the comic book faithful. Coast City gets a shout out this week, and since its pertinent to this episode I’ll finally call attention to the name of Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) legal aide office – CNRI. Canary, get it?

The bank robbery is one of many recently committed by The Royal Flush Gang (note, never actually called that in the episode, but whatever) and it’s grabbed the attention of John Diggle (David Ramsey), Ollie’s bodyguard turned confidant turned crime fighting partner. He sees the bank robberies as an opportunity to open Ollie’s eyes to all the crime sweeping Starling City, not just those names in his father’s book. Unfortunately, rich boy doesn’t see it that way, calling those street crimes a symptom of the bigger problem.

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Picking right up where we left things last week Arrow, The Hood, Ollie (Stephen Amell), whatever you want to call him, has revealed his secret identity to bodyguard, John Diggle (David Ramsey), and expecting him to join up as a brother in arms is a little shocked when Dig takes a swing at him. Of course, he’s still recovering from Deadshot’s poison bullet so his aim’s a little rusty. Diggle calls Ollie a criminal and a murderer, name-calling that is completely warranted as his actions as The Hood – seriously, this name is dumb – have indeed made him commit crimes and murder people. So this moment of opening up doesn’t really go as planned and Diggle resigns.

Don’t worry, he’s soon replaced by the most incompetent bodyguard known to man. He’s a riot he’s so terrible. Please say he becomes a series regular.

Coming back home Ollie is met with more grief, this time from Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who’s come to the Queen mansion to check in on the assassination survivors and ream him for how worried he made everyone by just disappearing. She accuses him of caring for no one but himself which is well, ouch, considering he just saved everyone from Deadshot. Such is the life of a masked avenger trying to hide his true intentions by acting the dick all the time. With Laurel out the door Ollie’s sister, Thea (Will Holland) comes in for support as it seems she’s starting to grow up and leave trashy, nightlife loving, “Lohan” Thea behind. She tells Ollie to stop being a jerk – thanks, sis – and to start being real with Laurel if he cares at all.

Cue the case/criminal of the week. The news story buzzin’ all over Starling City is of Peter Declan, a man convicted of murdering his wife who is scheduled to be executed in 24 hrs. Turns out his wife worked for a man on Ollie’s list and that leads him to be suspicious of the murder charge, thinking it more likely her employer, Jason Brodeaur, was behind it rather than the husband. Evidence? He’s on the list, Dad said he was bad, just go with it.

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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.

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The Green Arrow adaptation, Arrow, starts up next month.  Fans are all praying that CW does something to make it shine and it doesn’t end up being just another in a line of often-failed attempts at bringing a super hero to television.  And though they’re updating the show for the modern day, it looks like many old favorites will be showing up during the series – 11 DC characters have been confirmed so far, in fact.

Which ones, you ask?  Well, just in case you’ve missed the piece-meal news announcing each character and who will be playing them, we’ve organized a list here.  Some of these you may know, while others played more obscure roles in Green Arrow’s comic and may be lost on you.  So without further ado, the line up is…

 

Black Canary (AKA Pretty Bird, Scream Queen, Canary)

Played by: Katie Cassidy

Super martial arts lady who ends up on the romantic side of Arrow’s life.  Looks like this one may have been seriously nerfed by the Arrow team, however (lame).

 

China White (AKA Queen of thePacific Rim, The Woman without a Heart)

Played by: Kelly Hu

Leader of a drug cartel in the Pacific Rim who butts heads with Green Arrow.

 

Constantine Drakon

Played by: Darren Shahlavi

Kick-ass martial arts master and assassin who almost takes Green Arrow down.

 

Deadshot (AKA The World’s Finest Assassin, The Man Who Never Misses, The Greatest Sniper on Earth)

Played by: Michael Rowe

Expert marksman who, despite being an assassin, has a softer side.

 

Deathstroke (AKA Deathstroke the Terminator)

Played by: ???

Super-soldier mercenary with mega-genes who once managed to kick the entire JLA’s ass.  Little info is available about what they want to do with the character in the series, including who will be playing him.

 

Felicity Smoak

Played by: Emily Bett Rickards

Computer software businesswoman who fights the good fight.

 

The Huntress (AKA Batgirl II)

Played by: Jessica De Gouw

Mafia daughter who sees the evil of crime and dedicates herself to taking down the bad guys in rather violent ways.  Looks like this one will be a regular on the series.

 

Merlyn (AKA The Dark Archer, Vordigan)

Played by: Colin Donnell

Bow and arrow wielding member of the League of Assassins.  Looks like this one may not be quite the character he was in the books, as the team at  Arrow has seen fit to rewrite his story just a bit.

 

Speedy (AKA Arsenal, Red Arrow OR Mama Mia)

Played by: Willa Holland?

There are two versions of this character, one male and one female.  Both ended up serving in a side-kick capacity for Green Arrow.  All the rumors so far point to using the girly Speedy and having Holland play the role as a mash up of side-kick and sister to the titular hero.

 

Walter Steele

Played by: Colin Salmon

Stepfather of Oliver Queen and CEO of Queen Industries who stays out of the action.

 

“The Well-Dressed Man”

Played by: John Barrowman

Who is Barrowman playing?  We do not know yet, but that shouldn’t matter too much.  I mean, it’s John Barrowman!  Speculative folks have kept the list short on who they think he might be, the possibilities including Count Vertigo, the Star City Slayer, Dr. Light or Deathstroke (which would put the real total to 10, I suppose?).

 

Well, this is certainly looking to be more interesting than I had first though.  Luckily, the show starts up on October 10th, so we’ll all soon get to see what DC has planned for us.

 

Btw, screenrant has an excellent breakdown of each character, including where you might have seen them first, some of their background and what CW is looking to change about them.  Check it out.