Okay, in one episode we got Dark Arrow, Deadshot, and China White, all coming together. This was the first taste of the buildup we've been getting hints of since the beginning of the series, and I have to say it was almost worth it. We're not talking Lost levels of intricacy, but this show is now officially getting complicated, even if you can still just drift on the surface and enjoy it.
Tommy's issues with Malcolm seemed to be insurmountable, but somehow Malcolm managed to bridge the gap in their relationship in one episode. It was convincing, but forced. Not that I care that much about Tommy, so it wasn't a plot point that was going to carry much weight for me to begin with. Malcolm getting shot was interesting, it was the right plot point to garner sympathy from Tommy. Although that blood transfusion scene was simply absurd. It was as good a contrived excuse as any to get those characters into that situation, but I'm not sure it was a worthy enough moment for Tommy to find out about Oliver. The final bit of irony was fun though, with Malcolm asking Moira to root out the traitor in his organization, when she's the one that hired the Triads who contracted Deadshot to kill Malcolm in the first place, what a tangled web we weave... sheesh.
Laurel had an odd little side story involving her sister Sarah. They introduced none other than Alex Kingston, who plays River Song on Doctor Who, she may never shared screen time with John Barrowman, but she represents the second alum from that show. I'm so not surprised at this plot development, although I have no idea where it's going to go next. I wonder if the picture of the Black Canary with Sarah was an indication that perhaps this Laurel isn't going to be the first Black Canary, and that maybe she inherits that title from Sarah. Much like I imagine Tommy will eventually inherit the mantle of Black Arrow from Malcolm.
I'm not sure where they're going with the Slade plot, this week there only few token scenes set on the Island. They focused on Oliver's resistance to physical training, some good banter between him and Slade, and the introduction of a radio. As plot devices go it's not a bad one. A radio can deliver all sorts of interesting information. It already lead to the fact that Fyres has a ground to air missile which can reach a whole mess of targets. At least Fyres is a solid threat, and taking him down will be a good thing to focus on for at least the rest of the season.
One final note; Nanda Parbat is a DC Comics version of Shangri-la that has connections to a bunch of stuff, including the League of Shadows, Lex Luthor, Bizarro, and Grodd. Batman even trained there. The fact that Malcolm said he went there brings in a whole bunch of potential larger DC Universe connections. What kind of characters are we going to see moving forward? Honestly this one little comment indicates that the sky is nearly the limit. Of course that is dependent on whether the producers are going to keep to their no superpowers mantra.
I want to mention how consistently excellent the casting is on this show. I would list all the great actors that have already guest stared but that would take up too much space.
I really liked that they addressed the need to give Felicity some defensive moves, so they showed Dig training her. I guess when Oliver starts training her she'll be officially bad ass.
At one point there is a sign in a shop window for Bludhaven Apartments. Bludhaven is a fictional city in the DC Comics universe that Nightwing (Dick Grayson, Robin) operates out of, and is fairly close to Gotham. Was this just a nice little nod to DC comic-book fans, or along with the Nanda Parbat reference, was it a hint at something larger.
Oliver has a perfect Chinese accent? Fun moment though as he sits down and the guy he just interrogated walks right past him.
So McKenna saved China White's life, that's interesting.
I totally forgot that Deadshot was presumed dead. Also Deadshot got a new artificial eye from China White, bringing him closer to his comic-book look.
Scylla and Charybdis (synonymous with "between a rock and a hard place", or more simply "having to choose between two evils"). Greek mythology, specifically the Odyssey again, interesting.
Felicity: "It's not going to be easy to break, but code breaker is my middle name, actually it's Megan."
Oliver: "My father was a pilot and he used to do his own maintenance."
Slade: "So you're hoping aircraft maintenance is genetic?"
Malcolm: "They're bestowing me with their humanitarian award."
Tommy: "What, they ran out of actual humans to give it too?"
They are doing what I hoped they would do, they've built up a gallery of villains and now they are starting to use them. I wonder how many more will be introduced? Either way I'm pleased that we aren't going to get someone new ever single week, I hope.
2 1/2 out of 4 Cybernetic eye patches.