‘Arrow’ Season 1, Episode 15 Review – Date Night

Published 2 years ago by

Stephen Amell in Arrow Dodger Arrow Season 1, Episode 15 Review – Date Night

Obviously, with Oliver Queen’s getup and the Hood’s general M.O., there’s an overt suggestion of him being something of a Robin Hood-type character – both in the comics and within the confines of the Arrow universe. And naturally, with that allusion comes some similar moral questions about what’s right and wrong when it comes to the division of wealth, and how someone like the Hood or, in this instance, Roy Harper and the villainous Dodger, might choose to answer them.

After last week’s high-flying ‘The Odyssey,’ Arrow takes a moment to catch its breath with a fairly straightforward villain-of-the-week episode featuring Battlestar Galactica‘s James Callis as the aforementioned Dodger. Backing the Hood’s pursuit of the jewel thief who never gets his hands dirty is the newest member of Team Arrow, Felicity Smoak (who, late last episode, made it clear she’d only join the team for however long it would take for them to track down Walter Steele), but early on, she seems far more invested after coming right out and questioning Oliver’s methods; namely, the killing and roughing up of Starling City’s white-collar criminals.

According to the network, Rickards was promoted to series regular partially based on fan interest in the character, which certainly implies that most folks like her. So, depending on your opinion of the character and of Emily Bett Rickards’ portrayal of Felicity Smoak, the latest addition to the team would either prove to be an unpleasant disruption, or would continue to be what most already thought she was: a fun character that helped to liven up the dynamic between Oliver and Diggle. In ‘Dodger,’ though, the character is afforded the opportunity to fill Diggle’s shoes as the occasionally disapproving partner, and manage to be the character in distress, requiring Oliver to spring into action.

Emily Bett Rickards and David Ramsey in Arrow Dodger Arrow Season 1, Episode 15 Review – Date Night

Seeing as how Diggle has begun to accept Oliver’s occasional use of lethal force, it appears that the responsibility of taking Oliver to task over his approach has now fallen on Felicity. On one side, this may feel like well-trodden territory for the show, but Arrow has never shied away from the character’s use of violence – and, for the most part, has managed to integrate it into the development of Oliver as he grows into the role of Arrow. There have been instances recently where the character has shown he is capable of change, and by slightly altering his line of attack against those he’s hunting – especially when he’s forced to deal with the individuals who don’t show up on his list – the writers have managed to keep the issue relevant without it feeling like they’re overdoing it.

During last week’s flashback of the assault on the airstrip with Slade Wilson, Oliver was reluctant to use lethal force, which felt like the right approach to a character that was in an important transition at the time. This week, Oliver is forced to go on a solo mission to Yao Fei’s cave to grab some “super herbs” in order to prevent Slade from succumbing to an infected gunshot wound. Once there, Oliver’s confronted with a young man who’s been beaten to a pulp and is begging for help. After falling prey to some deception in the past, Oliver is reluctant to cut the man’s bonds, choosing instead to leave him, for fear that he may reveal himself as one of Fyres’ men, or worse.

Again, this is intended to approach Oliver’s transition in a compelling way; he is basically left to ponder if he aided in the death of an innocent person, or if his decision saved not only his own life, but also that of the ailing Slade. For a show that often has to depict change as something that happens with the immediacy of flicking on a light, this gradual approach certainly helps to give the flashbacks more weight than simply satisfying the curiosity of what transpired on the island.

James Callis as Dodger in Arrow Dodger Arrow Season 1, Episode 15 Review – Date Night

While those moral angles are somewhat interesting, there’s still the matter of this week’s villain, who, for the most part, lives up to his moniker. Dodger uses explosive collars to help him avoid direct contact with the crimes he’s perpetrating, by forcing his hostages to steal for him, but he also proves to be pretty quick on his feet, narrowly dodging an arrow that would have been lodged in the chest of most other criminals the Hood was after. While Callis is a nice addition to the ever-growing rogues gallery on Arrow, his character is yet another cipher as far as villains go, and aside from forcing the Robin Hood angle (he was stealing the Sherwood Ruby!), Dodger isn’t left with much to do but put Felicity in danger and give the writers an excuse to bring Det. McKenna Hall back as a romantic interest for Oliver.

Perhaps Callis’ Dodger feels underdeveloped because that’s pretty much par for the course with this series so far, but it could also be that the episode itself was overloaded with subplots hinting at future storylines; specifically, Thea Queen takes to tracking down Roy Harper (played here by Colton Haynes) after he steals her purse, so that he can give her an indignant speech about the division of wealth between those in the Glades and the more privileged members of Starling City – which, for a guy who just got caught red handed (no pun intended) stealing a purse, was a pretty bold move. Seeing as how his line of thinking isn’t too far removed from what Oliver is trying to accomplish as the Hood, it will be interesting to see if it is through some future interaction with Thea, or the implementation of the mysterious undertaking that leads Roy to pop up on Ollie’s radar.

In addition to all of that, ‘Dodger’ also introduces Frank Chen (played by Chin Han of The Dark Knight), as an acquaintance of Moira’s and someone who is also aware of what the undertaking is (which from the way Moria describes it, sounds like gentrification with an extensive body count). Whatever, the plan actually is, Moira appears to be hopping from one bad acquaintance to the next, as she’s seen discussing the murder of Malcolm Merlyn with none other than China White.

Susanna Thompson and Kelly Hu in Arrow Dodger Arrow Season 1, Episode 15 Review – Date Night

Various Items:

  • The soapy stuff usually doesn’t get in the way too much, but with all the other things going on in ‘Dodger,’ it seems the writers could have found a better time to poke into Oliver and Diggle’s romantic relationships. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as progression on Diggle’s ongoing flirtation with his former sister-in-law needed to happen sometime, it’s just that with an already loaded episode, this felt like time better spent elsewhere.
  • Perhaps that will be Felicity’s role for the foreseeable future: Help progress certain character interactions as a result of her having little or no social filter.
  • Of all the shortcuts this show has used, “super herbs” is by far the one to beat.


Arrow (and a familiar villain) return next Wednesday with ‘Dead to Rights’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview below:

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  1. Wasn’t it strange that dodger got his hands dirty,which he never does, by steeling the diamond himself. He should have had Felicity get it for him instead of changing his MO for no reason.

    • I thought that was odd as well.

  2. Show gets a bit boring by the week ! :(
    Too normal,realistic and not enough Comic style !
    Guess matter of taste !

  3. why was Felicity walking around the party with her dress unzipped… did i miss something?

  4. This episode was pretty boring imo, but maybe that’s just because last week’s ep was the best of the whole series…

  5. ep was good loved that ending reveal were moira is working with china white cant wait to see how that plays out since dead shot will be appearing next ep

  6. This episode was more of a filler to me. Introduced Harper who will probably date Thea and then get assosciated with Oliver. The end reveal was cool. But the rest was just okay. The chase scene was fun to watch and I love felicitys interactions with Ollie and diggle.

    The product placement kinda bugged me though. Not the first time on te phone but when they pushed it and then added te tablet. Too much. Lol

    Next week is gonna be awesome deadshot!

    Also the island flashback was cool. I liked the quick shots to him being stabbed and walking away from someone. It shows that he had changed already. 6 months ago on the island he probably would have untied that guy.

    • I heard Microsoft is spending over a billion dollars on marketing alone (and it seems Arrow is getting some of that money ;))

    • @The mighty avenger.

      Same! It was kinda insane how much Microsoft was in this past week’s episode.

  7. Didn’t anyone else see the how arrow just bridged with TDK trilogy, the Asian man that spoke with Moira also came out in TDK as a corrupt businessman. Am I the only one that picked up that connection?

    • I noticed it was the same guy, but he died in TDK. I seriously doubt WB would try to tie the movies to this series, especially since they can’t even decide how/when/if to do a Justie League movie right now.

      • There is the option. It IS possible. Who knows, maybe this is happening prior to TDK?

        But more than likely, it’s just that the actor has maintained a relationship with WB and DC.

    • Same actor, different roles/characters. Not really an attempt to bridge the two franchises.

      • IronCaptqiin, are you the only one who didn’t read the whole article? The fact that Chin Han was also in TDK was pointed out.

      • Then why go through the trouble to hire the same actor to play an identical role if not as a nice little Easter egg for fans?

        • The role isn’t identical. Both are corrupt Chinese guys. This guy is named Frank Chen. He was Lau in TDK. Unless there’s some convoluted double life, wool being pulled over Moira’s eyes, or something else (which is possible), it’s likely just the same actor maintaining a relationship with WB/DC.

          • BUT it’s possible. If WB/DC continues the TDK trilogy into the Justice League, it could work

  8. This Episode was a little slower than most, but I was glad to see Alexander Siddig again.

  9. Ok first off… I totally called the Deadshot resurrection in my posts regarding that episode! I knew they wouldn’t kill off such a well known DC villian in one episode, and guessed that Oliver’s arrow through his eyepiece would cause him to upgrade to a mechanical eye…

    I thought this was a great episode, and a very good follow up to last week’s action fest. Best part, I thought it was nice to have a villian who wasn’t cheesing it up. between the douche who shot the lawyer for his mansion, and count vertigo, it’s nice to have a villian w/ a more grounded personality.

  10. Anyone else find it creepy how Diggle is dating his (ex) sister in-law?

  11. The episode was pretty boring in my opinion. Of course last episode- which was just overall fantastic, best in the series so far- was going to be difficult act to follow.

    This episode was more of a connective filler than anything as this recap/review stated. The flashbacks underline the change within Oliver obviously and Roy Harper comes into play and Felicity learns what the job is about. Roy Harper- the actor I have to see more of him to have a better opinion but his introduction could have been handeled better in my opinion.

    Overall the episode could have been better but the ending set up the next episode quite nicely: Moira Queen meeting China White to kill the Dark Archer- Malcom Merlyn. Deadshot is returning! Hopefully Slade will be back in action soon again.

    I knew the associate was from The Dark Knight and was fun meta reference,for me anyways.

    • I must have missed something when I watched the first episode with Deadshot. I was under the assumption he was dead after having an arrow go through his eye. Was there something in that episode that made it seem like he could still be alive?

      • the arrow mustve not had went that deep into his eye. if i remember correctly, he had that scope thing on that eye so im sure it slowed the arrow down enough to just take out his hey but not go into his brain.

        anyway, another mostly solid episode, ending was great and next week looks great.

  12. yes, he did get shot through his eyepiece strapped on (a range finder i guess) and if you look at his body afterwards most of the arrow is still sticking out of the front of it. Looks like next ep will show he’s been in recovery, and that China White will give him a replacement (badass looking!) robot eye.

    On an unrelated topic: I’m wondering why this site “screenrant” always makes up their own episode name like “date night” when all other sites are using “dodger”. Just makes it a little difficult to find it here sometimes (from google). I like to see how the critics feel after each episode, the response is usually very positive. Hopefully this show will go on for a few years and only increase in quality. I would trade all the smallville I’ve ever seen for this one season of Arrow and never look back.

  13. I enjoyed this episode the most so far! it made me stick around longer, even after the end of this season… the dates were uninteresting and bored me, but everything else was pretty good and intense. I liked it a lot :)

  14. Typical filler good for a filler Diggle and Felicity’s chemistry is weird but they have some of the best lines. Also Felicity was extra sexy in that dress and funny with that family jewels line.

  15. I agree that the episode felt slow and well kinda boring, but it’s not weird because it’s hard to keep the hype high in every episode. It happens in a lot of shows all over the world, so it’s a common thing that sometimes I found it silly when viewer (including me) had to go make whining complaints and all.

    After the well-played episode 14, I think it’ll be too much if we have another high level episode coming after that. So yeah, not the best episode, but I do like it cause it calms down the tension so we can be ready for (hopefully) more tense episode in the future.

  16. This episode didn’t purposely waste my time, just accidentally.

  17. Did anyone else get excited when Thea’s purse was stolen and Laurel began to chase the guy,thinking we were finally going to see her kick some @$$,only to be dissappointed when he climbed the fence and got away?

  18. This “Dodger” episode is just fine , in my opinion. Kinda like a breather episode from last week’s hi-octane “The Odyssey”, which I think is the best episode for this show. Eventually , there will be an episode that the fans have been long clamoring for – a Deathstroke versus Arrow confrontation in present day Starling City . These two episodes are planting the seeds for that .

  19. Glad we get to see more Felicity as a regular… she is Smoakin’ hot. :|

  20. I’m liking Felicity’s character alot. I think she is a welcome asset to “Team Arrow” as it has been so called. She also almost represents an “Oracle” type character from DC comics, which was the character of Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl who was in a wheelchair and gained the secret identity of Oracle, a unknown computer geek that gave accessed infor mation to the major heroes of the DC universe. At first when Oliver kept going to her, I had her pegged as that type of character, she is still going to be the same, only now working for Team Arrow. I think its great!