Episode 15: Dodger
By: Carlos Uribe
Arrow is a show about the Green Arrow, a vigilante who seeks justice. It is based on the DC comic superhero Green Arrow.
The weekly mission this week involves a jewel thief who doesn't like to get his own hands dirty. He'll put on bomb collars on security guards and use them to steal his items. If they fail to do the job, he'll blow their head right off. If they succeed, he merely shocks them into unconsciousness. He's a villain. Oliver decides that he'll help the police take him down to prove to Felicity that he doesn't just go after the people on his list. The case was strong as it was the first time where we really get to see Felicity contribute to the weekly mission. She's able to create a bug that Oliver can plant on McKenna's phone so that they are able to keep up with the police on their investigation. When they have to use an expensive diamond as bait, since this thief would know it's a fake from the get-go, she's the one who plants a tracker on it. There's a part where the show pretends that it's going to kill her off when he puts a collar on her but it's really hard to believe when she's going to be a main character in the second season. The problem with resorting to life and death stakes is that they only work if the audience can believe it. Oliver can't die since there's no show without him and we know Felicity will at the very least survive until the second season. The action is still pretty great and the motorcycle race was thrilling but giving Felicity the bomb collar didn't really do anything to add to the tension. It makes sense if they were trying to show what Felicity would do in that situation but she doesn't really do much about it. She allows Diggle to try and manually disarm it while guiding Oliver to the device that will set her free. The former removes agency from her character while the latter she would have done regardless. It was a nice idea but my knowledge that she's sticking around made it more melodramatic than it was meant to.
The good news is that this episode wasn't just a weekly case as there were developments in the serialized plots, romances, and Thea learning something. There were two characters to go on a date in tonight's episode. The first is Oliver going out with McKenna. Their dinner is going fine until she brings up the island. Oliver tries his best to steer the conversations way from his experiences but she keeps finding a way to ask him questions. When he doesn't want to talk about what happened there, McKenna gets upset. I'm not sure why she's so angry but it makes sense that Oliver wouldn't want to talk about a traumatic life experience on his first date with her. This seems like the show was using the island to create conflict between the two but it felt more forced than natural. It's a good idea but the execution was just a bit off. Their dinner is cut short by the police as they have found the thief's newest fence. The plot continues a bit at the end when Oliver asks McKenna for a second chance but she only accepts after he explains why he doesn't like talking about the island. He basically gives hints that he wasn't alone and that he lost his soul in order to survive. It just really brings into attention on how screwed up the character was for those five years. Their first date didn’t go well as he's not able to open up to her due to the island's experiences. This seems to spell trouble for their relationship but it's basically doomed when Quentin gets McKenna to come aboard the Hood case. The Hood is Oliver's biggest secret which is going to make it difficult for him make any connection with her when there's so much he can't reveal.
The second character to go out on a date is Diggle. He's had a crush on Carly Diggle since basically the beginning of the series. The two have liked each other but it's awkward since she's his former sister-in-law. He does ask her out when he's pressured by Oliver. She accepts and the two go to a really romantic spot in the city. Their date seems to be going well until Diggle brings up his dead brother. This ruins the mood. Carly puts it best when she said that for once she thought she was a girl who liked a boy and he liked her back and nothing else mattered. The date is effectively ruined but he doesn't give up. He admits that it's hard for him to be dating his dead brother's girlfriend since he keeps thinking about how betrayed his brother would be but he's going to do his best to put this behind him. He convinces her by giving her a kiss to show that he does have feelings for her. It's nice to see Diggle not only get his own story but that this story actually went somewhere. What makes this work so well is that it's been in the background since basically the beginning. It doesn't come from nowhere as it's been slowly building up. It was all handled very well.
The other two plots are Thea and Moira. Moira decides that she doesn't want to be a part of the undertaking. It has taken the life of her former husband, it has kidnapped her current husband, and now she's been threatened by the vigilante. There's reveals that the undertaking was originally meant for good but it has only been distorted as time went along. It makes sense then that she wouldn't want to be a part of it anymore. She contacts a new character to get this done as she believes that he shares her reluctance in the role their playing. It's a nice development but it's one that seems like the show is trying to chicken out by removing her from Oliver's mission. It appears like the writers are seeking to avoid this game-changing conflict between the two of them because they're not sure how to proceed once it happens. I might also be wrong-they might force the conflict regardless of Moria's desire. In Thea's plot, she learns how lucky she is when her purse gets stolen. She's able to find the thief by calling all the stores that sold the wallet chain he used to wear. What's funny about this is that he apparently only has one hoodie as he was wearing it when he bought the chain. She doesn't press charges because he tells a sob story about how his mom got hooked on vertigo. This sob story might or might not be true. His name is Roy Harper, who is known as the Red Arrow in the DC universe. This otherwise forgettable plot might be leading into something a lot more interesting.
Dodger is a pretty good episode of Arrow. It has an entertaining and solid case that allows the show to justify Felicity's presence on the team. The dating plots didn't come out of nowhere and they didn't slow the action down. The Thea plot wasn't really necessary but Roy will hopefully be expanded on in the future. The Moira plot is heading in an interesting but disappointing direction. It might not have been a perfect episode but it was a relatively entertaining one that had good actions scenes and a nice motorcycle chase.