We open with a voiceover, where Ollie refers to the scum of Starling City as a “virulent cancer…” ones that can be caught, with “the right surgeon, and the right instrument.” Badass. The next evil tycoon on Ollie’s vengeance list is James Holder, a slumlord who put defective smoke detectors in low-income housing. Yay, old-school socialist Ollie to the rescue! Sort of.
Ollie’s confrontation with James Holder gets cut short when Holder is shot in the chest. Ollie also gets caught in the crossfire, getting stuck with a poison bullet. Not just any poison bullet, though — one with a signature agent belonging to the beloved DC villain Deadshot. Luckily, he somehow has an antidote.
Ollie also plans to open a nightclub to cover his secret Arrow-warehouse, citing gentrification as his justification. Diggle calls out Ollie on his “White Man’s Burden” game, which is impressive. Again, we see Diggle ostensibly seeing right through Ollie, and serving as his mirror/conscience. Can we please send Thea “Speedy” Queen to boarding school and give the possible sidekick role to Diggle?
Ollie goes after Max Fuller and, in what is probably the highlight of the episode, we see Laurel come to Ollie’s rescue when he gets into a physical altercation with Fuller and his bouncers. Laurel takes one of the bouncers down in a somewhat unexpected ass-kicking, hinting at her future as Black Canary.
Throughout the episode, we also get flashbacks to Ollie’s time on the island, and it’s revealed that the Chinese man who shot him was actually trying to help, and that Ollie became a captain in the Russian mafia. Say what? This comes out of nowhere, has no precedent in the comics, and is a strange thing to shoehorn into the plot. The show really needs to have one full island-centred episode.
After another confrontation with Deadshot, Ollie grabs his laptop. He then visits another DC Comics character, Felicity Smoak, whom you may remember from her escapades with Firestorm. I would love to see more of her, as her literary allusions and perceptiveness could add a lot that we’re not getting from other characters (not to harp on it, but cough, cough, Thea).
The final act is another confrontation between Ollie and Deadshot, and it’s surprisingly lacklustre. They banter a bit about the politics of what they do, and Deadshot gets killed via an arrow to the eye. This was a wasted opportunity to pull inspiration from DC canon, since they didn’t give Deadshot more notable semblance to the character from the comics. We can hope, though, that he might make an appearance in the future.
The episode closes with Diggle, who had been caught in the Ollie/Deadshot crossfire. Ollie takes him to the Arrow-warehouse to give him the same antidote he had given himself in the beginning, and we see Diggle waking up to an Arrow-costumed Ollie.
The episode itself was pretty lacklustre this week, but it does show some promise: This revelation leaves the show a lot of room to expand. One hopes that the villains will become better utilized, though, since between China White and Deadshot, we’re pretty much 0 for 2.