“Lone Gunman,” the latest episode of Arrow, introduces (Green) Arrow’s first formidable foe – Deadshot, an assassin who never misses.
Deadshot comes straight from the comics, but his Arrow iteration looks nothing like his comic counterpart. They have, in fact, managed to make him cornier on the show.
Gone is his ever-present mustache. In its place, tattooed names of those he killed cover his body. His look is somewhat reminiscent of Batman villain Zsasz, who tallies his kills with bodily slashes.
The tattoos plus the oversized eye patch/scope he wears make Deadshot look like the villain from a bad ‘80s action flick. Also, he uses both an eye patch scope and the scope on his gun at the same time. Perhaps meant to be “gritty,” the scope and the tattoos just comes off as silly.
Despite the crude design, it was really cool to see Deadshot’s trademark wrist-mounted gun go up against Oliver’s quiver of arrows when the two duke it out. It was like a scene straight from the comics. Unfortunately, the fight scenes between the two marksmen are disappointingly short, probably adding up to less than five minutes of screen time total.
Less than half the episode is dedicated to Deadshot and Arrow. Instead, much of the episode focuses on the supporting cast and their melodrama.
Thea’s behaving like a spoiled rich girl, and Oliver and their mom disapprove. Laurel’s still trying to get over Oliver, but won’t admit it to herself or others. Tommy’s happy to know that Oliver doesn’t care about his relationship with Laurel while Oliver was “dead.” Even Dig gets in on the drama, having a confrontation with his sister-in-law about his dangerous job.
Also to note, Oliver seems to have a ridiculous amount of coincidences in his everyday life. He, his sister Thea, and his ex-girlfriend Laurel all seem to randomly bump into each other at least once an episode. I guess this is to help each episode meet its CW drama-quota, but they could have at least tried to make it feel less forced.
On the plus side, “Lone Gunman” also introduced Felicity Smoak (Emily Rickards), the first female on the series to be neither whiny nor over-dramatic. She’s just like Smallville’s Chloe – slightly awkward, yet charming.
I had high hopes for this episode. Deadshot is every bit the marksman that Oliver is, and had the chance of at the least being a major recurring villain, and at most a Joker to Oliver’s Batman. The two have different viewpoints, which could have been used to show the thin line Oliver walks and the person that Oliver could easily become. Instead, Deadshot’s used as nothing more than a plot device.
The mystery and excitement from the first two episodes are missing from “Lone Gunman,” and are instead replaced with drama. Lots of drama. Hopefully next week’s episode will show a return to form.
Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on the CW. What did you think of this week’s episode?