This review contains spoilers
We deviated from the normal Arrow structure in last week’s island-centric episode, but we’re back to business in Dodger, featuring Battlestar Galactica’s James Callis as the titular villain-of-the-week. Things are shifting in the run up to the show’s back stretch of episodes, with Felicity joining the team alongside Ollie and Diggle, Moira finally taking charge against the Undertaking, and Colton Hayne’s entering the frame as Roy Harper, a potential Red Arrow and a definite love interest for Thea.
Firstly, the big change instigated by last week’s adventure was Felicity coming aboard Team Arrow. As predicted by ninety-nine per cent of the fans, she brings lots of good stuff to the group’s dynamic and allows old questions to be reposed in different ways. This is obviously essential for a show as morally grey as Arrow, as the concerns raised by Diggle at the beginning of the series would have become stale had he kept bringing them up whenever Ollie went after a new criminal. This way, Diggle gets to be the slightly less ruthless but still dedicated sidekick, while Felicity picks up the moral slack.
This week’s plot revolves around the same idea, since Dodger isn’t actually on Oliver’s list. It seems right now that he is only willing to go after extra-credit bad guys so that he can keep Diggle and Felicity on side, but that’s bound to change once he saves enough people on the job. I’d like to see Hood the vigilante become Green Arrow the hero before season one is over, but we might have to wait a little while longer than that to see his journey advance in that direction. In order to fall from grace, which nearly always happens in stories such as these, he has to become an icon.
As he says, he’s not Robin Hood, but he could still become a champion for the unprivileged folks in The Glades. This area of Starling City has been mentioned plenty of times but not yet seen, and new character Roy brings Thea all the way over to the wrong side of the tracks. After stealing her purse, she brings him in to press charges but drops them when she hears his sob story about his mother’s Vertigo addiction. Like he says later, she shouldn’t have taken his word for it, but it looks as though his home life will still turn out to be less than ideal. It’s about time Arrow started dealing with the class divide, and Thea’s romance with Roy will bring that.
But back to Team Arrow, the three core characters show off some lovely team work as they take down Dodger. It was slightly disappointing to see the whole ‘geek girl scrubs up well’ act along with Felicity’s role as the damsel in distress, but the fact that she helped to save herself pretty much made up for it. Also, as much as I love to compare her to Smallville’s Chloe Sullivan, I’d hate to see her develop an unrequited crush on Oliver. Despite her encouragement to both boys about asking out their own crushes, there’s definitely some attraction there that could easily grow into something far more tedious.
And finally, we see Moira take charge of her situation. After blowing up one husband and misplacing the other, it’s satisfying to see her try to get out from beneath the Undertaking. We’re still not entirely sure how far we can trust Moira, but it’s clear that she has some good intentions buried deep down and is slowly making the transition from villain to misunderstood victim. Now, China White and the triad have been hired to take down Malcolm, which obviously isn’t going to happen, so a showdown between Malcolm and Arrow shouldn’t be far off.
Now we’ve added a new comic-book character to the mix and have an established trio of heroes, the final stretch of Arrow episodes should be more consistently entertaining. Next week Deadshot and China White are working together to bring down Malcolm, Tommy is having issues with his father, and Oliver is trying to establish a new relationship with old flame McKenna. I’ll see you there.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, The Odyssey, here.
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