michael rowe

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Last night’s installment of Arrow brought the Emerald Archer back to Starling City, but with Oliver Queen’s return to his hometown now being literally yesterday’s news, we need to know now what’s next for the show. Well, there’s continuing development of the Black Canary for one thing, Ray Palmer suiting up in his A.T.O.M. armor for another, and then there’s the oil and water team-up of Oliver and Malcolm Merlyn to fight Ra’s al Ghul. But if none of that peaks your interest, how about a visit from some old friends. Or make that frenemies. Task Force X is making a comeback, although you may know them better as the Suicide Squad. (more…)

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As a whole, Arrowhas grown by leaps and bounds since its first season. The series has come to rely less on annoying “villain of the week” devices in favor of a stronger season-long arc and has surrounded its hero with a diverse and interesting cast of friends and foes. Last night’s season finale, “Unthinkable“, needed to send Season 2 out on a bang. Which it did, thanks to a solid season’s worth of build up. (more…)

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It shouldn’t come as surprise that a major issue I’ve had with Arrow are their piss poor villains. This season they’ve thankfully moved away from the terrible ‘villain of the week’ trope for more interesting and varied episodes, but often villains with potential are still wasted in forgettable, one-off appearances. Knowing that, I was a little worried about an episode centered are returning villains working as team, but honestly, I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed “Suicide Squad.” (more…)

Home Invasion

Back from another hiatus and with the promise of an epic Deadshot showdown, my hopes for this episode of Arrow were high, so my slight disappointment is really all my own fault. Well, possibly mine and those behind the marketing of “Home Invasion.” And this isn’t me saying this was a bad episode, it’s not, but when you promote the hell out of Deadshot and he basically is filling in this episode’s B plot, I’m going to be a little let down.

So what was the A plot of “Home Invasion”? A family Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is representing plans to sue a greedy, corrupt business man who lost all their savings. Unfortunately – because nothing good ever happens in Starling City – that business man, Edward Rasmus (Al Sapienza) calls in a hit on the family and the mother and father end up dead. The only survivor is the little boy who Laurel takes into her custody until extended family can be found and she and the boy become the hunted targets of Rasmus’ hitman (J. August Richards). Which means protecting Laurel becomes Ollie (Stephen Amell), or rather The Hood’s, top priority.

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Dead to Rights” was written by Geoff Johns, who also contributed “Muse of Fire” this season, and it proves to be another of Arrow‘s stronger episodes. No disposable villain of the week here, folks! Nothing but some pretty big and surprising revelations, and almost revelations, topped off with some great action. Really what makes this episode such a strong one is its willingness to move the plot forward. Often the over-arching storyline of Arrow gets pushed into the background while we watch The Hood tackle a lame, weekly villain, or things get overly soap opera-y with excessive family and relationship drama. Not the case this week.

The crux of the episode is the plot to assassinate Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) by the Triad as called on by Moira (Susanna Thompson). China White (Kelly Hu) seeks the help of Deadshot (Michael Rowe) who, obviously, didn’t die at the end of “Lone Gunmen” like we all thought. He’s hiding out at The Bludhaven Apts., the first of many little DC winks and nods Johns litters throughout the episode. It’s nice Deadshot’s not dead, having introduced such a fan favorite only to kill him off the same episode was a bit of a letdown. ‘Course, his role this episode is limited, but Deadshot does what Deadshot does well and that’s all I’d expect. China give him a fancy new eyepiece, and since he escapes capture I’m going to assume he’ll back to wreak havoc for Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Starling City in the future.

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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.

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