I think the best way to describe this week’s episode of Arrow would be lukewarm. Not great, not horrible. It forwarded a couple of plotlines but featured a totally disposable villain. Arrow is tracking down a high tech jewel thief who uses hostages outfitted with bomb collars to steal or him. Felicity helps him bug the cell phone of his former lover, Detective Hall in order to get a lead on the thief. Oliver also tries to rekindle their old romance by asking Hall out on a date with disastrous results. Diggle is having his own romantic issues as Oliver convinces him to ask out his former sister-in-law.
We learn that the shadowy group that Moira has been involved with had intended to try and benefit the city, specifically the rundown area known as The Glades until Malcolm Merlyn apparently circumvented the group’s goals. Moira now is making a deadly deal with the Chinese Triads and China White to have Merlyn killed.
Maybe the most important event of the week was that Thea had her purse stolen on the streets by a red-hooded thief. In and of itself it’s hardly important until we learn the thief’s name…Roy Harper. Roy Harper of course, is known in the comics as Green Arrow’s sidekick, Speedy and later known as Red Arrow. This introduces yet another element from the comic book side that we will certainly see more of in the future.
There were only a few brief flashbacks to the island this week, and fewer still featuring Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett). Oliver is trying to mend the gunshot wound Wilson suffered last week and while out to get supplies meets a man who is tied up and beaten claims to have also shipwrecked on the island. Oliver, now wary of anyone he meets, refuses to help the man. Was the man a victim of the mercenaries or was he trying to lead Oliver into a trap? Who knows but Oliver’s response is what further pushes him into becoming more hard-edged and untrusting. I like the way the writers are tossing in these little bits here and there that help to define Oliver’s development from carefree playboy into costumed vigilante.
On the downside, given the many romantic entanglements we’ve seen already between Oliver and Laurel, Laurel and Tommy, Oliver and Helena, and now Oliver and Detective Hall, does anyone really care about Diggle’s romantic life? This seemed completely frivolous and out of place. And, quick show of hands, who else besides me thought Felicity looks hotter with her hair pulled back and wearing glasses and dressed in her business attire than she did all made up and without glasses at the charity event? Just sayin…
Lame villain this week but at least the episode wasn’t a total loss and there were some good side stories this week.