Last week on Arrow, we actually got a good look into Oliver’s past on the island and what helped shape him into the person he is today. We also got a brief look at his self-denial concerning his mother’s involvement in “The Undertaking” and her connection to the list of baddies he’s hunting. And we got a more permanent (and much needed) addition to Arrow’s team in the form of tech-savvy Felicity. This week, while the character’s shine the plot is pretty much the same as it is every week - Arrow fights a bad guy and wins.
This week’s bad guy just happens to be BSG alumni, James Callis. He plays a character by the name of Dodger, so known because he manages to avoid detection when stealing priceless artifacts. His MO involves putting explosive collars on people and getting them to do most of the dirty work or just using them as hostages against pursuit. When faced up against Arrow, dodger proves hard to catch at first but eventually Oliver lays a trap, a chase scene ensues and the two have their final showdown.
As for the rest of the characters, Felicity is already getting in Arrow’s face, becoming not only his technology expert but also acting as a voice of sympathy. She brings an alternative view of how to get things done with regards to the list and uses brains and tech instead of just muscle.
As far as Moira goes, it looks like Oliver’s visit in the hood scared her into wanting to get out from under Malcolm Merlyn’s thumb and escape her involvement in the mysterious Undertaking. And so she contacts some old friends to help her, including one that Arrow has fought in the past. There’s also a side-story with Thea and some boy that tried to steal her purse. It doesn’t look too impressive thus far.
Meanwhile, in the past, Oliver is busying trying to keep Slade alive. In order to do this, he needs to travel back to Yao Fei’s cave and retrieve the miracle herbs that once saved his life. Lo and behold, when he arrives in the cave there is a mysterious man tied up and claiming to be a victim of the soldiers on the island. From the beginning it looks like a trap of some sort, but what is Oliver to do?
Although I liked the way they spent some time on the character this week, I do have a few complaints. First of all, Oliver seems to get a different romantic interest every other episode. Old flings and enemies with benefits seem to be everywhere. The formula is getting rather tired.
My other main complaint is, yet again, the bad-guy-of-the-week format. At this point, it’s becoming more of the forgettable-character-of-the-week format. Arrow’s enemies get virtually no screen time and you always know he’s going to come out on top. Each week presents an almost identical premise of conflict and at this point it’s really dragging the show down.
It looks like China White will be coming back and the season is rolling to a close, so I’m hopeful that they make some changes and trash some of the clichés. If they can’t pull it together, season 2 won’t be worth watching unless there’s nothing else on TV.