Arrow backtracked a bit this week into not so enjoyable territory with an episode that dealt to much on relationship issues and for the second straight week featured a less than compelling villain. The episode started out strong as a gang of masked men took out an armored truck, killing a guard. Oliver’s investigation eventually leads him to believe that the robbery was pulled off by ex-soldiers, one possibly being Ted Gaynor, Diggle’s old commanding officer in Afghanistan. Diggle is not happy that Oliver is investigating the man that saved his life and even pulls a gun on Arrow when the vigilante confronts Gaynor.
The problem with this scenario is that it was written so heavy handed and Diggle defended Gaynor so vigorously that we knew Gaynor would turn out to be the villain. This is a case where a little subtlety would have gone a long way. From this point on you could have closed your eyes and turned down the volume and figure out what was going to happen the rest of the way. This was disappointing to say the least, especially in light of the show’s recent episodes which have been quite good.
While predictable, the action was strong and it was nice to see Oliver mix it up with some genuine bad guys instead of the usual wealthy corporate moguls. Also strong was Oliver’s flashbacks to the island where we see him don the fatigues of the mercenary he killed in an attempt to infiltrate their ranks but he is in for a shocking betrayal. What the hell was that? Definitely the most interesting aspect of this week’s show!
On the other hand, Tommy’s battles with his father leave me cold. Tommy just is not an interesting character so far. But even worse is little sis Thea who is quickly on a path to overtake Lana Lang as whiniest character in a genre show. Her dalliance with drugs again was predictable as we’ve already seen her have issues with alcohol although it seems her plight will lead into next week’s (hopefully much better) episode of Arrow.