So, though we are already overflowing with awesome on this show, the generous gods of Arrow have decided to give us even more hotness. Yep, tonight is the debut of Roy Harper. He’s played by Colton Haynes. You don’t know who that is? Here’s a little visual clue courtesy of last season’s Teen Wolf…
He is not the precious gem that is in danger tonight, though we can hope his jewels will be the subject of future plots. No, tonight it’s all about this big red ruby and some effete British thief known as The Dodger, played by James Callis. He’s not the playful little street urchin getting into hijinks on behalf of that rascal Fagin. No, this dude finds hapless dupes to steal for him, under the duress of an explosive collar he puts on them.
Back at the Arrow Cave, Team Arrow is hard at work. Oliver is impressing them with his ability to be shirtless. Digg helps by watching him. Felicity, somehow, can’t be bothered. She must be a lesbian. No straight woman (or gay man) could fiddle on a computer while Oliver sweats and grunts behind her.
Oliver announces the next target is Kent Williams. Felicity finds out that Kent is just a single dad trying to raise a son in this crazy world. He likes puppies and kittens and moonlit strolls on the beach and not being murdered by The Hood.
Felicity rebels, telling Oliver he’s a big meanie for picking on people who ruin other people’s lives and there are plenty of other people to pick on. Oliver blows her off so she quits. I thought the plan was that she was going to focus on the Walter problem while Oliver crusades and she wasn’t going to get involved in his extracurricular murders. Oh well. For the first time ever, Felicity sort of annoys me.
Moira, meanwhile has a meeting with Frank, a fellow evil-maybe-not-evil guy involved in this whole Undertaking business. She tells him she wants out and she needs his help. I still think she’s at the very core of all this. But we’ll see.
Oliver and Felicity make up. She gets all righteous in his face and he lets her know he handled the Kent Williams sitch without murdering him. So everybody is happy. And now it’s time to find and deal with The Dodger.
It turns out that while our villain of the week may prefer to use threats and a stun wand over brute force, he isn’t a guy you want to betray. When his fence tries to skip out on payment, the fence winds up with a severe case of lead poisoning. His bodyguards all survive, though, which makes The Dodger more merciful than our hero. Ain’t that a kick?
Felicity has a plan for how to find their target—bug the police! Now, I admit I’m not a righteous force of justice myself, but it seems to me that if you’re just following the cops around, is there like any point? Just let them do their jobs. Besides, this investigation isn’t being headed up by Inept Inspector Lance, so there’s a good chance they’ll succeed.
And here we go, Colton on the scene! Colton in the hizzee!
Did I mention he was the second best thing about Season One of Teen Wolf for me? I’ll let you guess who the best thing was (Hint: Not Scott). Roy snatches Thea’s purse and parkours his way to safety. But he leaves behind a clue.
The lazy plot to catch the Dodger is really just a means by which to spur Digg into asking Carly out and Oliver into asking out his police woman pal, McKenna Hall. Oliver fumbles and bumbles his way through asking McKenna out, and it’s cute but so very out of character. Even the lame attempt at explaining it as him being out of practice doesn’t help. He faces down whole teams of security goons. This is not a guy lacking in confidence.
Thea is hard at work, trying to find the purse snatcher. She calls every store in the city to see if anyone has seen someone matching the description: “red hood, inhumanly beautiful face, big fan of werewolves, frequently spotted without clothes.” Low and behold, she gets a name. And that’s insane, but we’ll just go with it.
Digg manages to ruin his date with Carly by bringing up his dead brother Andy. And sure, that was probably bad timing, but it was a conversation they needed to have. Carly issues him an ultimatum and then cuts him off before he can respond. Okeydokey…
Can we get back to the shirtless training montages now?
Oliver’s date goes south as well. McKenna is all, “What did you do on that island? What did you eat? What’s the absolute most horrible thing that happened to you? This looks like it’s making you uncomfortable, but I have more questions. Did you ever have to leave a man to die? Were you tortured?”
Oliver balks and tells her he doesn’t want to talk about it. That pisses her off. Why? I have no idea. Then she gets a call from her police buddies with news that they have a lead on The Dodger. So she bails and I bring this detail up because it becomes important later.
The cops in this show are like the cops in pretty much every procedural ever. They raid the building where the deal is going down but fail completely to cover their perimeter. Oy vey. The Dodger makes his escape, but he has to shake off The Hood first. One explosive collar takes care of that.
Poor Roy gets hauled in to the cop shop for questions. Inept Inspector Lance, who works every division of the police department, it seems, makes him squeal. Okay, I’m sorry for that image. Just put it out of your mind.
Roy tells a story of his sick mom and how she got hooked on Vertigo and how she now has all these medical bills and how they live in a shoe with his ninety-nine siblings and how he was stupid and sold their only cow for a magic bean and, well, you get the idea. There’s just no way for him, with his model-perfect looks and abs of godliness to earn enough money to save them from poverty.
Thea totally buys it. I would too. No one with a beating heart could resist the trademark “Colton Soulful Stare.” So she drops the charges, which earns a few points in her favor in my running tally of “How Much I Hate Thea.”
Team Arrow has set up a trap for The Dodger. They’ve put a shiny jewel on display in the hopes that he will go for it. He does, of course, and they’ve put a tracker on it. The show doesn’t explain why he suddenly grabs the jewel himself or why there is zero security on it, but this is one of those episodes that doesn’t want to make sense. They can’t all be winners.
Felicity, who looks stunning, confronts the Dodger all on her own. Why? See above. Naturally, she gets collared. Oliver has to save her from being decapitated and so he chases down The Dodger. It turns out, he’s not really so good at dodging, ironically. Oliver paralyzes him before he does anything naughty and then apprehends him, saving the day.
Moira meets with China White and asks her to do the wee favor of killing Malcolm Merlyn. I am telling you, this is the real heart of the evil in Starling city. I just know it. Moira has plans within plans within plans.
As to the side plot in Magical Ninja Island, I don’t have a lot to say. It was sort of interesting, because I was hoping Oliver wouldn’t trust the prisoner. But that’s kind of sad, too, since if he was just a hapless victim, then Oliver was consigning him to death. And I want Oliver to be smarter and less trusting, but making him cold-blooded is depressing to watch.
Oliver and Digg make up with their respective dates. McKenna gets in a dig at Oliver about cutting their date short, prompting a “WTF?” from me. She’s apparently rewritten the entire date in her mind so that he blew up at her for no reason and then stormed off.
But then Oliver reminds me what a manipulative bastard he is. He’s done this to Thea and to Laurel. Just as the woman he is talking to is just reaching her stride in excoriating him, he whips out the sad look and laments about how broken he is and how he’s not surprised no one likes him.
Oliver plays these women like violins. It’s hilarious to watch them go from fury to looking guilt-ridden for daring to be angry with him. McKenna was ready to throw him down on the desk and do very dirty things to him, she was so hungry for him at that moment. But she is interrupted by Inept Inspector Lance, who I now promote to Detestable Detective Lance.
He wants her help on The Hood case. The Hood case? The one his supervisor wanted him to drop? The one he got one last chance to save and blew? And now he’s using more resources on it?
Can he be fired now? I’d say killed, but I don’t want to give Laurel that much to angst about.
What did you all think?