Arrow: Season 1 Episode 3 Review – ‘Lone Gunman’

Courtesy of CW

“No man is an island” is a sentiment Arrow Season 1 Episode 3’s ‘Lone Gunman’ reflects upon. Simply stated, we cannot live alone or in isolation. If we hope to survive, thrive or pursue our life’s purpose, we must acknowledge our interdependence and recognize how our actions effect one another.

It’s a notion that is literally and metaphorically represented during Oliver Queen’s time on the mysterious island, which as discovered last episode was not deserted. The hooded man who shot the arrow at Ollie explains he did it to protect him and that Ollie could not survive alone on the island.

In present time, a lethal sniper by the name of Floyd Lawton, nicknamed Deadshot because he never misses his target, is hired to assassinate potential buyers of Unidac Industries. The plot points of this episode are specifically written to underscore the idea that everyone needs the help of others. For instance, Oliver uses his intriguing connection to the Russian mob to obtain Lawton’s address. As capable as Ollie is, including his ability to identify the poison curare, there are some skills beyond his capabilities. Which leads Ollie to rely upon the computer skills of tech girl Felicity Smoke to retrieve information from Lawton’s damaged laptop. When Ollie uncovers the assassination plan, he reaches out to Detective Lance because he cannot stop Lawton alone.

Courtesy of CW

The unfulfilled need for an emotional connection is debilitating as evident in Thea’s delinquent behavior. In the last five years she’s been coping with the loss of her closest family members; her dad Robert and Ollie. Adding to Thea’s isolation, is her emotionally distant mother whom has rarely spoke of her dad’s death.

There’s more to Thea than a rebellious teenage girl acting out from the lack of parental love and boundaries. In ‘Honor Thy Father’ it was established that Oliver has superior hearing when he detected China White outside on the fire escape long before Laurel did. So it’s likely not an oversight that Thea was able to sneak up on a shirtless Ollie in that same episode. In the pilot, I believe Ollie mentioned her nickname which may be a big hint.

Another character’s possible potential is observed when Laurel beats up the men fighting Ollie and Tommy at the nightclub. Laurel down plays her self-defense skills as a result having a cop for a father. As revealing as this may be, Laurel’s relationship with Oliver continues to be a weak link for the show. When Oliver opened up to Laurel last episode, I hoped it would be the first step to repairing their relationship. It’s not that I want them to get together, it’s that their on/off friendship is unnecessarily annoying. Laurel’s coworker teases her she’s been researching articles on Oliver. Even if Laurel can’t admit it to herself, it’s obvious her broken heart belongs to Oliver. So Tommy is just a substitute for what she genuinely wants.

One the strongest elements of the show is the rapport between Oliver and security consultant Mr. Diggle. Diggle’s has a sense of humor that can make the closely guarded Oliver smile (“I guess from now on I’ll be watching you pee.”). There’s an unspoken understanding developing between the two. Diggle is very perceptive and onto the fact that Oliver is not as he appears.

We find out more about Diggle’s family connections this episode. His brother was killed in the line of duty and his sister-in-law Carla works at Big Belly Burger. After Diggle is shot with a poisoned bullet, Oliver takes him back to his hideout. For Oliver to bring justice to Starling City he knows he cannot do it alone which is why he reveals his secret identity. It’s also a relief because the writers won’t have to come up with ways for Oliver to elude his bodyguard each episode, which would make Diggle look incredibly incompetent.

The final show down between Arrow and Deadshot was better choreographed than the fight with China White last episode. Other than tattooing his victims names on his body, Deadshot’s characterization could have benefited from more depth. Fortunately, Arrow has already been renewed for a full season so there will be opportunity to revisit and develop stronger adversaries for Oliver in future episodes.

You May Like by Sidekick Reviews:

Arrow Season 1 Episode 2 “Honor Thy Father” Review (vs China White)

Arrow Season 1, Episode 5 “Damaged” Review (vs Deathstroke)

Arrow Season 1, Episode 8 “Vendetta” Review (vs Huntress)

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 – Animated Movie (Spoiler Free) Review

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Posted on October 25, 2012, in Arrow, Comics, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Perceptive review! I, for one, am glad that this series has gotten renewed for another season, as what I have seen so far (this episode included) shows that it actually deserves it. I actually see Deadshot’s lack of depth as being less of a problem myself. In whatever incarnation the character has popped up (including this one), he’s the living embodiment of the gun–cold, impersonal, lethal. The tattooing of his victims’ names on his flesh was a nice touch, though.

    Two things: just because Queen has the tatt DOESN’T mean that he actually was Russian Mafia. My personal guess is that he pulled a “Matches Malone” play. To wit, there WAS a real captain in the Russian Mafia whose identity he assumed after the captain was killed (whether it was Ollie’s hands or not is an open question). Also, however good the episodes get from here (and I am expecting nothing BUT the best), it’s the interpersonal relationships that I see being this series’ engine. That part of Ollie’s life strikes me as being one part “Hamlet” (no coincidence that Felicity mentioned that play), one part “Count of Monte Cristo” (Ollie’s relationship with Tommie and Laurel are the analogs on this) and one part “Memento” (by virtue of the flashback sequences that uncover a bit more each episode). About that last part, I’m wondering…who was that Ollie’s eventual mentor was talking about as he cut him from the net?

    • Assuming Deadshot survived, I would love to see a deadly “chess match” where he uses his smarts and ruthlessness against Arrow in future episodes.
      Yes I agree Ollie most likely assumed the identity of a Bratva Captain, which leads me to think he didn’t spend the entire last five years on the island. I do appreciate all the literary analogies, it’s a convenient way to understand the dynamics of the interpersonal relationships. The events on the island are just beginning to take shape and I’m looking forward to finding out what danger is lurking there. Thanks for sharing your insight, it’s very well thought out.

      • One other thing that you may not have noticed that I saw straight away: one of the names on tattooed on Deadshot’s chest was “Andrew Diggle”. Too much of a stretch to be Dig’s brother? Also, the name itself is a nod to Andy Diggle, who wrote “Green Arrow: Year One” with his artist partner, Jock. Not the first time that this series has that kind of in-reference. The Judge Grell mentioned in the pilot is a reference to writer/artist Mike Grell, who was the first writer to make Green Arrow a killer.

  2. This episode was just one action scene after another, and I loved it! I am amazed about how great this series is turning out to be! I’ve always been a huge fan of the DC Comic character (just ask anyone who has seen the decorations in my office at DISH), so I couldn’t be more pleased that the CW is staying so true to the original Green Arrow. I’m glad to hear that it got renewed for a second season too! At first, I was worried about how the ratings would be, since its timeslot puts it up against popular shows like X Factor and Survivor. Schedule clashes like this don’t bother me, since my Hopper DVR can record up to six things at once, but I wasn’t sure what other people would choose to watch. I’m so excited to see how it expands into the second season, especially with the addition of the Lone Gunman!

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