I have been looking forward to the epic second right fight between Stephen Amell and Cody Rhodes for months now. Last night, I finally was granted that indulgence. You know, most times when I notice a pattern developing in the opening of a show, I find myself sort of annoyed or bored with it. However, when it comes to Arrow, that is certainly not the case.
Once again, we got to watch Oliver chase down a drug dealer and use his ever so ‘unique’ interrogation methods. By ‘unique’ I mean suspending the drug dealer off the side of a building and demanding to know where he was getting his product from. Given that this episode was featuring former WWE star Cody Rhodes, I found it extremely clever that the product (drug) was called ‘Stardust’. I must say, excellent job by the writers on that one! Oliver learned through his interrogation of the dealer that there was a new big wig villain in town, and his name was Derek Sampson.
While Oliver interrogated the dealer, Felicity sat in the modified Arrow Cave and did her own version of ‘training’ with Oliver’s new team. While I would love to have lessons by Felicity, others would disagree with me…and by others I mean Wild Dog. He wasn’t shy to express his boredom with the forensics side of the training, repeatedly expressing how he feels as though he is better fit to be taking on the criminals in the streets. This caused him to have quite the heated argument with Oliver when Oliver returned back to the Arrow cave. Before Oliver could argue Wild Dog’s ‘place’ on the team any further, Felicity picked up on a 911 call that was coming from a warehouse. Oliver headed to the scene of the call, leaving his team behind once again. Oliver arrived at the scene of the ‘crime’ to find himself face to face with a police detective. (Little does Oliver know that the detective he met with was Felicity’s new beau).
The Detective told Oliver (as the Green Arrow) to keep on his toes, and warned him about a big player in town who went as far as threatening Tobias Church to stay away from the Green Arrow; because the Green Arrow was his to kill. Well, at least that was nice of him to warn Oliver!
Oliver continued to struggle with his new position as mayor in this episode. A vicious reporter named Susan Williams blasted Oliver on her television show, bashing him and his administration for his decision to appoint Captain Lance as his Deputy Mayor. Oliver, shocked at Thea’s decision for proceeding without asking him, demanded that Thea clean up the mess she made; and that she should not have made the decision without his approval.
While Oliver and Thea talked politics, Wild Dog and Evelyn snuck out the the location where Wild Dog suspected Derek Sampson to be operating out of. At first, things went extremely well. They managed to take out Derek’s men pretty easily, but then Wild Dog nearly got himself killed by taking on Derek one on one. Evelyn arrived just in time, shooting Derek in the back. Wild Dog seized the opportunity, and threw Derek into a vad of toxic waste… or what appeared to be a vad of toxic waste.
The news of Sampson’s death spread to Oliver and Oliver became infuriated and confronted Wild Dog for acting out without supervision and without consulting with Oliver himself about it first. Wild Dog wasn’t shy to express his frustration at Oliver for not trusting him. Oliver retorted, saying that he couldn’t work with a team he could not trust.
While Oliver occupied himself with his ‘corrupt’ team, on the other side of town an innocent doctor began his autopsy report on the body of Derek Sampson. However, Derek was not dead… infact he was very much alive. He strangled the doctor, and attempted to escape the hospital… but not before facing off with The Green Arrow.
The fight scene between these two was pretty darn epic. Definitely the best part of the episode. Even though it ended with Oliver having to flee, it was still pretty awesome. Cody Rhodes definitely brought a lot to this episode! Following his face off with The Green Arrow, Sampson headed out to meet up with his fellow dealers. He told them he no longer feared Tobias Church because thanks to the chemicals he was exposed to, he no longer feels pain; and that he wants to create something bigger than Stardust. He wants to create a new drug, a serum made up of the chemicals he fell into and sell it on the streets.
Following this scene, we saw several heart t0 heart moments. First, Curtis told Felicity that she should not be afraid of Rory (Ragman) and that she should just tell him the truth about what really happened in Haven Rock; because he was going to find out eventually. Second, Oliver and Felicity had a conversation about how Oliver should accept responsibility for the mistakes of his team; because in the end, it is the leader’s responsibility to accept the faults for his team. Third, Oliver had a conversation with Thea following her attempt to clear the air with the reporter Susan Williams; which totally backfired. Oliver apologized to Thea for being hard on her, and expressed that he still needs her in his life, more specifically, his office.
Oliver then returned to his Arrow Cave (or lair, whichever you prefer to call it) and apologized to Wild Dog for not trusting him. He told his team that if Derek was going to have his army standing with him, than Oliver needed his too. With that, Team Arrow headed to Derek’s hide out and for about eight minutes; we got to witness some pretty awesome fighting scenes. Especially between Derek and Oliver. BUT not only did we get to see some awesome fighting, we got to see some pretty interesting costume designs too. Curtis wore his ‘Mr. Terrific’ jacket (respectful nod, awesome job writers!) and Evelyn and Wild Dog had some pretty cool getup of their own. After blowing up the lab, Oliver was able to finally defeat Derke Sampson. Also, we got to see Oliver look like a cool guy and walk away from an explosion without looking at it…. that was pretty sweet.
Following this victory, Oliver went in front of the press, as mayor and officially announced that Quentin Lance would be at his side and would be serving as his deputy mayor. (Loved this moment, for the record. Paul Blackthorne is GREAT as always!). Oliver brought his new team down to the old Arrow Cave (Arrow cave 3 I believe??) and shortly after that, Lyla appeared there as well. She told Oliver that Diggle was back in the states, and that he was in prison… and she needed Oliver’s help breaking him out.
Not much to report for Flashback Oliver this episode. We got to see him and Anatoly briefly talk about their time on the Amazo, followed by Anatoly telling Oliver that if Oliver wanted to beat Kovar he needs an Army… and that the Bratva is that Army that he needs. We also got to see Oliver become officially initiated into the Bratva, which consisted of the members walking up and slicing him with knives on his back (well, that explains SOME of the scars, that is for sure!).
While in prision, Diggle struggled with the agonizing pain of trusting the wrong people again. This guilt caused him to think about his brother Andy and most surprisingly of all, hallucinate that his cellmate was Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot. Now I gotta admit, it was PRETTY COOL seeing Deadshot make an appearance on Arrow once again. Diggle told Lyla to give up on him, because he was giving up on himself. Poor Diggle. I adore Diggle’s character, and I really hope someone pulls him out of this mess soon!
I continue to be impressed by the work so far this season, it is truly getting back to those dark and original roots that we were promised after last Season!!
Arrow will return Wednesday, October 26th on the CW.