Never one to be subtle, this week’s Arrow dealt with – surprise! – identity. True identities, false identities, secret identities, yearned for identities; it was all stuffed in there. Now that Oliver (Stephen Amell) has decided to again become the vigilante he must constantly be choosing which role to play: crime fighter or C.E.O? Laurel (Katie Cassidy) holds true to who she wants to be, the woman who captures the vigilante. And Roy (Colton Haynes) is finally given an identity and perhaps the potential to stop being so fucking annoying. (more…)
“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.
You may have noticed – or not, it’s hard to tell – that last week’s episode of Arrow wasn’t reviewed due to my being out of town (at Gallifrey One! Look for my convention recap this weekend.). And what a shame, too, since last week’s “The Odyssey” was Arrow‘s best episode in weeks. It benefited, like I predicted it would, from more screen time for Manu Bennet‘s Slade Wilson, the inclusion of Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) properly into Team Arrow, and some real answers about what happened on the island between Oliver (Stephen Amell), Slade, and Yao Fei (Bryon Mann). For one, Yao Fei has completely switched allegiance to Fyers and his mercenaries because they’re holding his daughter hostage.
But no, that’s not the episode I’m covering today. This week’s episode was “Dodger,” and it’s a return to the tired villain of the week formula sandwiched between both Ollie and Diggle’s (David Ramsey) sorry attempts at romantic entanglements. And no, unfortunately not with each other. A shame because at least that would have been interesting!
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.
Arrow was back last night after a week hiatus for the stuffin’-your-face-with-turkey holiday, and it came back strong. In an episode without any island flashbacks, though still managed to make the consequences of Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) time there the focus, we were introduced to Helena Bertinelli (Jessica de Gouw), known to most as Huntress, learned the true identity of John Barrowman‘s “Well Dressed Man,” and finally saw Ollie be honest with someone.
“Muse of Fire,” co-written by DC’s wonderboy, Geoff Johns, picks right up with Ollie trying to mend his broken family ties. On his way to meet his mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson), for lunch Ollie sees her narrowly avoid being shot as the man she was speaking with, an “associate” of mobster Frank Bertinelli (Jeffrey Nordling), is gunned down by a mystery motorcyclist. After first suspecting his mother must have been the target, Ollie decides to investigate Bertinelli thanks to a tip from Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne).
After its promising premiere I’m happy to say Arrow continues to deliver action and drama with a hint of superhero camp. Stephen Amell‘s exposition-heavy voice over kicks off the episode and makes it clear this is a storytelling tool they’re sticking with, whether we like it or not. And honestly, it stops grating on you after a little while, especially because I’m not sure what other way they would get across the inner workings of Ollie’s mind. The struggle within himself over whether he can fulfill his promise to his father and be the son everyone expects him to be is at the heart of this episode.
Continuing to hunt down the men in his father’s book, Arrow’s target this episode is a billionaire, Martin Summers, who’s operating a drug trade with the suspicious Chinese Triad. He’s also the target of Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who’s trying to bring Summers in on charges for murdering a young women’s father. We get one courtroom scene for Laurel to strut her stuff and it’s just not doing anything for me. Maybe I’m jaded by the millions other courtroom dramas on television but I really don’t give a shit about any lawyer-thing Laurel does. Hopefully over the season they’ll develop her thirst for justice because right now it feels like she’s a lawyer only because it allows her to come up against both her father, Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and Arrow on a regular basis.
With Laurel pressuring Summers she becomes the target of the Triad’s assassin, China White (Kelly Hu). Her appearance in this episode is brief, but what she brings is badass. White’s an accomplished martial artist and can easily handle anything either Ollie’s bodyguard, David Ramsey putting in a surprisingly sympathetic performance as Diggle, or Ollie himself can throw her way. Even wearing a ridiculously platinum wig, she’s fierce. White’s not defeated come the end of the episode, and I expect and am looking forward to more of her in the future.
What “Honor Thy Father” is looking to hammer home is the personal sacrifice Ollie will need to endure in order to see his mission through. Amell continues to deliver a strong performance and does quite well at bringing the many facets of Ollie to screen. In the few flashbacks this episode we see his heartbreaking struggle to bury his father on the island and it’s a really touching moment reminding us his struggle on the island was as much emotional as physical.
Amell’s physicality continues to shine and he can be quite imposing as Arrow. We’re gifted a few more gratuitous training shots that I don’t believe anyone will complain about. And Arrow has some fun interrogation techniques creatively involving his skills and easily getting the desired results. I’m seeing more and more of the archer we’re familiar with in this episode.
At home Ollie is drifting away from his family, pushing them away, and this doesn’t go unnoticed. Cue another heartfelt scene between him and his sister, Thea (Willa Holland). Have I mentioned I want her so badly to actually become a vigilante herself? She’s proving she could be a real asset to Ollie, even is she isn’t slinging arrows alongside him, and I look forward to seeing their relationship grow. In public Ollie continues playing up the partying billionaire and, seemingly, continues to be a disgrace to his father’s memory. In fact he’s doing such a good job his mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson), who’s clearly far more involved in her husband’s death than we thought, believes he knows nothing of what’s really going on.
Arrow is shaping into a show with exciting action and an intriguing mystery around Ollie’s time on the island plus his mother’s shady dealings. I wouldn’t expect any of the cast or writers to be hit up with Emmy nods next year, but things are plugging along nicely. It’s filled a gap in superhero media and has become a welcome addition to my weekly TV schedule. Have you been enjoying Arrow? What are you hoping to see the show explore as the season progresses?
Arrow airs on the CW, Wednesday nights at 8pm.
Last week Arrow premiered to good reviews and good ratings. Good not great, but I’m hoping things only get better from here. (Psst, read our review of the pilot.) In anticipation of the new episode tonight a slew of new photos have been made available from tonight’s episode, “Honor Thy Father” and the fourth episode, “An Innocent Man.” Besides several great shots of Stephen Amell in his Arrow getup as well as civvies these photos provide more good looks at China White (Kelly Hu), who’s scheduled to appear tonight in “Honor Thy Father.”
Here’s a preview of tonight’s episode,as well as a gallery of images below.
Plan on tuning in tonight at 8pm to the CW for Arrow?
The Ladies of ‘Arrow’ – First Look at Kelly Hu as China White & Jessica de Gouw Talks Helena/Huntress
Green Arrow comes to the CW this fall he won’t be alone. There’s been a whole slew of DC characters announced to make appearances from Merlyn to Deadshot to China White and Huntress. I’m especially excited to see those last two ladies, because, well they’re lady superheroes. All right, one’s a villain, but still, lady comic book characters appearing in another medium! And there’s more than one, unlike the lovely but token Black Widow of The Avengers. What can I say, I take comfort in little victories like these. Here’s hoping Arrow‘s Laurel Lance gets a pair of fishnets soon.
Playing tough chick, mobster butt-kickin’ Helena Bertinelli, a.k.a. The Huntress, is Jessica de Gouw who recently shared with KsiteTV what it’s like playing both the secret identity and the superhero,
I play Helena, but I’m also The Huntress, so I have to be able to hold my own. The duality of the role, it’s challenging. I have to be able to kick butt and all of that, and I’m quite feminine in my normal every day [life]… the fighting and all of that is new and interesting for me, but it’s a good thing. I’m really enjoying it. I’ve kind of been thrust into it, so I might as well just jump in, right?” she says. Jessica teases that the Huntress is introduced into Arrow “with a punch.” “She comes in strong.”
I love that they’re playing up what a fighter Helena is but at the same time she’s quite the woman, just as comfortable in pair of heels as she is wielding a crossbow. Read the whole interview here.
Gouw hasn’t shared any details about her Huntress costume other than hinting there will be some of the iconic purples featured. China White (Kelly Hu) on the other hand, of her we’ve got our first look,
All right, so they’ve gone for the more traditional black catsuit look, but I like that they kept the bleached, white hair. She’s not called China WHITE for nothing.
What are your thoughts on Arrow and the DC characters they’re incorporating? Are you excited for the show?
Arrow airs on the CW October 1oth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hal Jordan is getting a lot of attention lately. A few years back writer Geoff Johns resurrected the character and refueled the Green Lantern line with the popularity needed for a big, splashy, summer blockbuster of a movie. Which, if you haven’t heard, is totally happening. Green Lantern hits screens on June 17th and in a turn of brilliant marketing Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment have released an animated film about the Green Lantern Corps.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is the 11th film in the line of DC Animated features and like, Batman: Gotham Knight before it, this is an anthology, featuring six interweaving tales from the Green Lantern Corps. A surprising but completely welcomed choice. I feared this movie would be another Jordan adventure in a tie-in or lead up to this summer’s film. Emerald Knights is really a tale about the Corps, and the different Lanterns who comprise it.