‘Arrow’ Season 1, Episode 3: ‘Lone Gunmen’ Recap

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Stephen Amell and Michael Rowe in Arrow Lone Gunmen Arrow Season 1, Episode 3: Lone Gunmen Recap

While it appears that Arrow doesn’t want to let Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) wallow in complete solitude with the secret he’s been hiding from his family and friends, there is some skepticism about how far the show will be willing to take things with John Diggle (David Ramsey) following the climax of ‘Lone Gunmen.’ Oliver has made it quite clear that the heroic persona he’s adopted is more valuable than a random thug’s neck, but in the aptly titled episode, he discovers flying completely solo may hinder his ability to help.

That’s a good thing, because as enjoyable as it has been watching Ollie ditch Diggle, or listen to the two discuss past evasions, it was a shtick that had already shown an expiration date and would only lead to Diggle looking like a buffoon. So, in the interest of creating a unit around Arrow, and easing up a bit on the endless sneaking about, Oliver decides it’s time to cut Diggle in on exactly what he’s been up to with a simple, “Hey,” at the end of the episode. Diggle’s involvement seemed inevitable after he demonstrated some ability while taking on China White (Kelly Hu) in last week’s ‘Honor Thy Father,’ but more importantly, it is indicative of the writers’ desire to move the overall narrative of the series forward at a decent pace. The whole Diggle thing could have dragged on for several more episodes, if not longer, so demonstrating a willingness to keep plotlines from becoming too tepid will certainly help when addressing some of the other shortcomings of the series that are hopefully just the growing pains of a new program.

Clearly, the primary issue here is the use of the villain-of-the-week format. Last week, China White was quickly introduced, briefly utilized to help progress the episode’s plot, as well as the relationship between Diggle and Oliver, and then sent packing after a short tussle with Arrow. ‘Honor Thy Father’ was still riding the wave of the series premiere, so it’s understandable that the White character would appear only for a short time, so that larger story concerns could be addressed. The main draw for ‘Lone Gunmen,’ however, was always Deadshot (Michael Rowe) and whatever kind of conflict would erupt between the two diametrically opposed sharpshooters. For the most part, though, it turned out to be a non-event. Although it drove the plot of the episode, Deadshot’s appearance was about as significant as China White’s. Certain elements like his trademark red eyepiece and wrist-mounted gun were present, but the character remained wildly underdeveloped up to his apparent death at the hands of Arrow.

Michael Rowe as Deadshot in Arrow Lone Gunmen Arrow Season 1, Episode 3: Lone Gunmen Recap

While discussing the similarities and differences between two men who enjoy gimmicks and make the choice to take the lives of others would have been an interesting avenue to explore, the purpose of Deadshot appears to have been simply to bring Diggle and Arrow together. Although Deadshot’s demise appears to be beyond question, this is a comic book program, so perhaps this truly isn’t the last we’ve seen of the character. At any rate, considering the build up to the climatic confrontation, the whole thing did come off as a little underwhelming.

On a brighter note, Diggle’s not the only one Ollie may be trusting with his secret. ‘Lone Gunmen’ also introduces another DC Comics character in Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), who manages to handle some vigilante-related tech issues without being too nosey about the whole thing. Rickards is fairly sharp in the role, and it would be nice to see her character develop into someone Oliver – or even Arrow – begins to utilize on a more regular basis. At any rate, getting an outsider’s take on the whole Queen family drama somehow makes Oliver seem more well-rounded, like pointing out his family foibles keeps the character from becoming too lost in himself. Still, overtly pointing out the similarities between the Queens and Shakespearean tragedy might be a little too on the nose – even for this show.

Oddly, the Queen family’s inner turmoil, the problematic Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and the parental shortcomings of Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson), become the dramatic weight of ‘Lone Gunmen.’ After Oliver expresses some resentment toward his mother’s hands-off approach to raising him, Moira decides its time for some (relatively) tough love to come Thea’s way. Dramatically, it’s enough teen angst to be right up The CW’s alley, and although it comes off as a little anemic, Moira’s admission of failure in regards to being able to communicate with her daughter helps make her more than the one-dimensional conspirator she was revealed to be in last week’s episode. Similarly, the relationship between Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) seems to be headed in another direction, which could lead to complications for Oliver, once the writers figure out how to get him more involved in personal relationships without working in a vigilante angle every time. Perhaps the club he plans to build over his lair will provide a better foundation for that sort of thing.

Stephen Amell Arrow Lone Gunmen Arrow Season 1, Episode 3: Lone Gunmen Recap

Finally, the island backstory has quickly become much larger than expected, but it may be too soon to tell whether this is good or bad. Oliver is certainly not alone on the island and neither is the archer we saw at the end of last week’s episode. Adding to the backstory is the revelation that Oliver is a captain in the Russian mob – or at least has the right people convinced of that fact. It’s a stretch, to be sure, and one apparently used only to bring Oliver closer to Floyd Lawton, but in order to sustain the backstory for the length of the series, it seems likely that more leaps like this will be made. Hopefully, the writers won’t make Oliver’s time on the island more enticing than his adventures as Arrow.

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Arrow continues next Wednesday with ‘An Innocent Man’ @8pm on The CW. Take a look at a preview for the episode below:

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  1. ARROW, Is much and way better then Smallville.

    • +1

    • I agree. Its not even a contest…

      I LOVE the island flashbacks. Its very reminiscent of LOST which is a good quality.

      We will probably see an “all island” episode in the future. I hope they keep up the mystery of the island because there are so many things they can do with it..

    • Whoa, let’s not get hasty here. Arrow’s only had 3 Episodes so far, and Smallville was reaching a different audience at a different time [Family stuff like that was more normal.] Now I’ve only started watching Smallville 2 weeks ago, and I’m only on Season Three, but what I’ve seen so far is amazing, Except the entire second half of of the First Episode of Season Three. As well as a few minor episodes of Season One.

      Arrow has entered a somewhat new era, and it’s audience likes a realistic world [unfortunately whenever someone mentions realistic everyone thinks of Nolan. I'm tired of hearing that.] Also, as for Dialogue, Arrow isn’t that great and I don’t like Ollie much yet. Arrow has it’s somewhat cheesy cliche moments [Parties, and Ollie acting like a jackass on purpose.]

      Both are good, and it’s okay to like either one. Though as of now, Arrow hasn’t proven itself to me personally. Also I’ve seen much more of Smallville which may be why I like Smallville more.

  2. I enjoyed the episode overall but I did feel Deadshot to be used up rather quickly. I would have had Arrow subdue him without actually killing him to show how good of a marksman is Arrow compared to Deadshot(if not better) and to prove that Arrow is not like him. And I feel Arrow should really start developing new tricks than hiding behind the wall when an enemy shoots at him just keep things exciting and fresh. Deadshot, alive, could have been interesting as he would be arrested but Arrow can then question him later or Deadshot having some message for the vigilante.

    Overall I enjoyed the episode and I like the side characters being developed and the pacing. Dinah Laurel Lance proving that she can fight is a nice direction to what will hopefully be the evolution of the Canary. I think the show is becoming great given it may have a few more episodes needed to shake off the formula.

    BTW I love the Bludhaven reference! Nightwing please?

    • I thought it was a great episode, and noticed the Bludhaven AND Markovia references.

      • Yes it was a fantastic episode! :) I am satisfied so far with this show. Considering it is still riding on the tails of the Pilot, the show is doing very well.

        And the mention of those names definitely point to world-building and more expansion. I cannot wait for next weeks episode

    • I actually liked the way it resolved, him firing once, holding on the walking over to his dead body.

  3. Great episode, great series. Gets better each week.

    • +1

  4. this show gets better every week,i relly enjoy the back story on the island.

  5. I think they’re doing a great job developing the characters carefully with a very effective “slow-burn” build-up which, nevertheless, fits almost seamlessly into the often frenetic pace of the series as a whole. Even Deadshot’s relatively rapid passage through the episode kept me interested…and not TOO broken up about his ending, given HOW Oliver dispatched him.

    • I enjoyed Deadshot in the show. I thought he was cool and creepy with the idea of him tatooing his victims name on too himself. It only dissapoints me that we may not see more of him and explore the character more- at least not seemingly any time too soon.

      The side character’s expansion is a great addition to a show that may be too claustrophobic if we follow only Oliver. Which is why I enjoy him making some connection with Felicity and Diggs ( although it seems he may not be fully supportive at first). Side characters do not seem so one dimensional and more real, flawed. They allow breathing room and some sentimentality (although some may call it chessy) to a serious show.

      I really enjoy it so far and expect better things to come when the series finally finds a place for itself outside of the villain of the week formula and distance from the Pilot.

  6. I found Deadshot to simply be a wasted opportunity. this show needs to have a little fun with the characters. this is pretty funny and sums up exactly how i felt http://electronichearth.com/arrows-lone-gunmen-gives-us-the-boring-deadshot-the-comics-demand/

    • Hey okay one of us have to change our names lol as I like Deadshots inclusion as part of the plot and hope they find a way to make his return- the only thing I do like is the ending because it seems he may not make a return

  7. Was not a fan of this episode, which was IHMO horrible. The character arcs continues to be great as we explore the cast and their motives/background but the “Lone Gunman” as an episodic plot was just terrible. Deadshot was boring, the poison was cliché and the island flashback was horribly intercut and pointless. Really disappointed.

    Ollie revealing his identity to Digs was cool however. Looking forward to see how that plays out.

    • I could understand why some may not fully enjoy the episode as it does feel episodic and I wanted to see more Deadshot but the subtle expansion of side characters I felt was nice and opening up Arrow to breath between the pacing.

      To me I liked Deadshot and his part of the plot I just wished to see more which given the ending kind of disappointed me. But hey there is always a possibility. Oh and Dinah having her little “Canary” moment was nice

  8. dont like the show anymore, way ot much talking and way to many characters introduced so soon. if they dropped the weird romance stuff, cut down on the cast and amped up the action, then i might consider jumping back on board but as a mate of mine said “DC is good with animated movies but terrible with live action, where as marvel is the opposite”.

    • So, you’re (at least, temporarily) giving up on the show after only THREE episodes?

      Wow.

    • American TV has to have a Soap aspect to practically every series anymore or the teens & twenty something’s won’t watch….and that is the focus group. They complain about shows like Sons Of Anarchy not being touchy feely so a show like this really has to have the love connection

      • I fit the demographic and I am fed up with soapy tv like this. Its just dumbed down tv. This is Dallas with some action pure and simple.

  9. I thought it was Ok. I also think they should have had deadshot last longer. I thought the flash backs are great because they are slowing showing how Oliver went from a rich punk to a kick ass.

  10. I was considering maybe checkin out american horror story but arrow is way better.

    • American horror story is awesome. I don’t understand what everyone is talking about. Deadshot is not dead! lol He’ll be back and hopefully have full head gear and not just the eye patch.

      • Yea deadshot is not dead. I want dig to get his revenge for deadshot killing his brother.
        Did anyone else notice Andy diggle’s name on deadshot ‘s chest? It’s got to he dig’s brother.

  11. Did not realize they referenced Budhave, which part was that in, and also i may be in the minority but i am hoping Deadshot is not dead for yeah that would be a waste of a good character that could easily pop up again heck have him and deathstroke team up with that chyna white lady oh and i have no idea about her since i have not read the new green arrow.

  12. It’s obvious Deadshot isn’t dead he’ll return now somehhow maybe even with a mask :P

  13. I just found out that they are gonna use a version of the Royal Flush gang in the November 14th episode and that Diggle is gonna start pushing Ollie to start making changes that are not on his list..could be the first break away from the episodic formula rut they are currently in…

  14. I liked this episode a lot but I hated Deadshot. Completely underused and frankly I thought he looked terrible. Call me a picky fan boy but I missed the helmet and the attitude he has in the comics, like the New 52. Oh well, but at least Green Arrow has found his “Alfred” and “Lucius Fox” now.

  15. They do go way over the top with his abilities. Come on…I don’t care how fast you are…..you’re not going to keep dodging machine gun fire. But what I really got a kick out of last night was how he had his costume hidden and ran to change to fight. He’s not Clark Kent who can change at super speed, but somehow apparently does.

    Speaking of costume….Once again it’s the old Superman trick of nobody recognizing you one in costume. That hood only hides the identity if the lighting is just right.

    Hopefully the back story of time on the island will explain how some of this works. There’s apparently more to the story about his almost super abilities than just five years to hone good hunting skills…..Like how someone who didn’t take education too serious suddenly speak a few different languages, is able to do some highly technical computer operations, and develop some pretty sophisticated weapons within arrows. If they don’t tie up some of those loose ends then the series will just become cheesy pretty quick

  16. Everything that Oliver does that may seem unrealistic or to far fetched, I will let slide cuz he clearly learned how to do those things on the island. Why and how are questions to be answered, but I don’t expect to learn those answers for a while. TPTB will slowly let us know when they want us to know, possibly starting with the next episode.

  17. I’m 100% sure this isn’t the last we see of Deadshot. I’m sure he’ll come back sporting his mask that we all know and love and have a more personal vendetta against Oliver.

  18. yeah the arrow probably just took out his eye, but didnt go into his brain.

  19. I loved this episode. The show is doing a lot better than I thought it would be since the pilot. The characters are developing nicely. My only downside to it is that besides the list of people I would have loved to see a constant bad guy on the show(thought it would have been Deadshot). Can’t wait for the next episode though

  20. I really like this show. Glad Diggs know. Would like to see deadshot come back,don’t think he’s not dead. Don’t know the DC characters, but knew when they should up that I knew it. There are times when I think “no way” but then I remember this is a comic book, it’s ok.

  21. Meant to say that I don’t think Deadshot is Dead.

  22. I’m no expert but that arrow didn’t seem to penetrate to deep. So maybe the impact knocked him out and left Deadshot with A black eye. Hey it’s A comic book based story anything is possible.

  23. wasnt expecting that ending when he revealed his secret to diggs

  24. Already starting to lose interest. This is too much “Batman Syndrome”. His secret identity is a joke, he’s already shown half his supporting cast, he does too much as Queen that would attract attention. Contacting the Russian mob as himself, he could have, at least, used a fake name. And he’s killing off all his villians.
    Deadshot was crap. No backstory, no build up and he only got 5 minutes of screen time before he gets killed. Plus he looked stupid. If you’re not going to use the whole mask, don’t use the eyepiece, it looked ridiculous.

  25. The villain of the week episodes are stupid. They only make iconic villains lame.
    Arrow’s Deadshot was just a random sniper, who missed most of his shots. Don’t know why they named him Deadshot. He was more like Zsasz, but with guns.
    I hate how Oliver can’t compartmentalize his personas.
    The acting needs to be better.

  26. This episode wasn’t as good as the first two for me.
    The over-all story felt like filler (only to support the character arcs and flashback scenes – instead of the other way round) and Deadshot was definitely underused. His death was anti-climactic and too soon! I really hope he isn’t truly dead because there’s so much more that could and should be done with the character.

    I’m not a big reader/fan of Green Arrow comics so I didn’t know Felicity Smoak was a character from the comics, but I chuckled a little when she came on screen… a rich playboy getting stranded on an island and rescued 5 years later to return to his city and fight crime as a robin hood-like vigilante is WAY, WAY more believable than a tech-support girl who looks like THAT. I didn’t think I’d ever say something like this in my life but… a less attractive actress might have been better (more believable).

    Still, this show is a lot better than most shows on tv right now and the ending of this week’s episode was very surprising. I can’t wait for next week’s episode and the one after that… and the one after that.

    P.S. Can someone tell me where in the episode Bludhaven and Markovia were referenced? I must have missed it.

    • I have to say, another thing that really bothered me was how Queen just walked up to the Russian mob guys. He’s all over the news and they probably know what Oliver Queen looks like (they could bribe him with the information or sell the story to a newspaper or something)

      Kinda stupid to do something like that IMO… he could have approached them in his Arrow identity instead.

      • the only reference i have noticed to budhaven was when i was watching either vampire diaries or beauty and the beast, they showed a preview from next week’s ep and Arrow clearly says your about to take the 2 15 to budhaven while standing on a train track with a guy. I have yet to re watch the ep for i am still wondering myself but i believe the other guy is right and it might of been one of the places deadshot has been before thus name dropping it. If you catch a preview of next week’s ep you can clearly hear him say it if it is the right preview.

    • Avenger…

      I already said my piece about why I DID like this episode, so no need to rehash.

      As to your question: Although I don’t remember the precise place in the script when it happened, both city names were thrown out casually with other real cities in a listing of locations (for investigation…I believe Oliver was mentioning some of the many places Deadshot had been rumored/spotted).

      It was an extremely quick, blink (your ears?!)-and-you’ll-miss-it reference…still, nice to have hinting at the larger world. :)

      • @Archaeon: even though I didn’t like this episode that much for reasons being, I think we can both agree that this is a pretty great and interesting show nevertheless (and it’s always nice to be in agreement with someone on this site – it doesn’t always happen that often ;)).

        As to my question, thanks a lot for answering it! I’ll be watching the episode again and be sure to keep my eyes (and ears) open for the reference.

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