Arrow: Lone Gunman Review (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Three episodes into Arrow’s run and I have to say I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy.  That’s ok.  It took well into the first season of Smallville to really get comfortable with the show.  Arrow is feeling its way right now.  It’s not groping around in the dark but it is searching for the doorway out with a candle.  Arrow is trying to do too much.  The Dawson’s Creek, familial-style drama shows up at the most inopportune times to clutch onto the show just when it’s starting to take off and this week’s episode, “Lone Gunman” was a prime example.

Arrow has targeted yet another dishonest businessman but just when he has his target cornered, the man is shot by a sniper.  Arrow’s investigations lead him to discover the identity of the assassin known as “Deadshot”, hired by the Russian mafia to assassinate businessmen who are all competing to buy a company called Unidec Industries.  One of those men happens to be his new stepfather, Walter Steele.  In order to help stop Deadshot, Arrow needs to forge an uneasy alliance with Detective Lance.

Okay…so the good.  Well we do get Deadshot, a well-known DC Comics villain.  Not fully in costume like the comics but wearing his red targeting system over his right eye and also featuring his wrist-mounted machine gun.  Better yet, and frankly the most interesting part of the show so far, is more flashbacks to Oliver’s time stranded on the island.  We meet the Chinese archer who shot him, and claims he had to do it to save him.  Sure enough, we later discover that this remote island is far from deserted as later Oliver runs away and is pursued by a group of heavily armed men.  Who are they?  Who is the mysterious Chinese Archer?  Did Oliver learn to speak Russian on the Island?  Right now these intriguing bits are what is bringing me back each week. 

The bad?  Sorry…I don’t care and I doubt most people care about the drama involving Oliver’s trouble teenaged sister, Thea and her weekly Lindsay Lohan wild child routine.  I don’t know, perhaps not naming your kid “Thea” in the first place might have been a good place to start.  This sub-plot drains the life out of each episode.  Not far behind is the love triangle between Oliver, Laurel Lance, and Tommy Merlyn.  Each week comes with numerous reminders that Oliver cheated on Laurel with her sister and now we have Tommy’s affair with Laurel to sort out.  Now one positive thing happened this week and it was that Laurel had a chance to kick a bit of ass, possibly foreshadowing her future as Black Canary?  We can only hope.

As noted last week, Arrow’s crusade to take down evil businessmen just doesn’t have a lot of staying power.  Hopefully the appearances of other villains will not be as them merely being hired henchmen.  While it was cool to see Deadshot, that appearance was tempered with Arrow killing him.  So much for that!  But more DC stars await on the horizon including The Huntress and Deathstroke.  I’m a long way from crossing Arrow off my list but I’m also a long way from considering it must see TV.


Mania Grade: C+
Episode: Lone Guman
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, Willa Holland, Michael Rowe
Written By: Greg Berlanti (developer), Marc Guggenheim (developer)
Directed By: David Barrett
Network: The CW
Series: