Arrow: Season 1 Episode 20 – ‘Home Invasion’ Review

Arrow is back after a 3 week break with an episode that had Laurel protecting a child from a hitman intent on killing all witnesses and Diggle facing off against his brother’s killer.

Since I’m a little rushed for time, this is going to be a quick recap and review. Continue reading Arrow Season 1 Episode 20 titled Home Invasion review.

Heading into this episode, other than the title, I didn’t know anything that was going to happen or the villain of the week. So it’s a pleasant surprise seeing Angel alum J. August Richards as a hitman aptly nicknamed Mr. Blank. Killing is his business and keeping his identity a secret is his M.O. Mr. Blank’s penchant for tying up loose ends led to a number of memorable scenes including the shootout in Laurel’s apartment (she really does need a new place with a bulletproof door & a new shotgun) and inducing an embolism in Rasmus’ heart by applying pressure on the wrist (very cool).

I liked Mr. Blank’s dead pan attitude towards killing and his as matter of fact remarks (“what a beautiful home” and “your going to die in about 15 seconds”.). The final showdown with Oliver is a nicely choreographed action sequence and the fireplace poker through the chest is a memorable finishing move. I would have liked Mr. Blank to live another day; however, we’ll be seeing more of Richards in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in a highly secretive role that reunites him with Avengers Director Joss Whedon.

While the story line with Mr. Blank was satisfying, I was a little disappointed with how the other assassin in the episode was handled. Understandably on a television shooting schedule there inevitably will be some shortcuts; however, the directing in the scene where ARGUS agents were baiting Deadshot lacked a sustainable suspense or urgency. Perhaps it was smart then to focus the camera on David Ramsey and let him carry the scene with his strong performance.

Aside from the reflective glare of the eye scope, it could have been more clear as to where exactly Deadshoot was shooting from. I guess a master assassin doesn’t give up his secrets easily. The confrontation between Diggle and Deadshot is something I’ve been anticipating since episode 16’s Dead To Rights. The fight in the stairwell was shot a bit too claustrophobic for my liking and I would have preferred an epic battle. (Have you seen the guns on Diggle? The man is a beast.)

I didn’t expect either of the two to die but the reason Deadshot gives for letting Diggle live felt kind of false to me. I could think of several simple solutions or reasons the fight could end with both alive without resorting to “nobody’s paying me to kill you” (even though I just killed four agents). This is just a minor issue I can overlook because of course, it’s not like I want Diggle to die. It does bring up the question, who hired Deadshot to kill Diggle’s brother and why?

Directly or indirectly, the events that played out in this episode are a result of Oliver’s devotion to Laurel. Diggle has always been very astute as to pinpointing Oliver’s underlying motivation. There is truth behind Diggle’s accusations of Ollie choosing Laurel, “everybody else be damned”. How the wedge in their partnership will unfold will be interesting to watch and perhaps opens the door for a new sidekick (Roy Harper) waiting in the wings. In the flashbacks, we see that Oliver’s feelings for Laurel is preventing him from developing an intimate relationship with Shado. I do have to say, the romantic chemistry between Ollie and Shado is heating up pretty nicely especially since I didn’t see any of it in previous episodes.

Back in present day, at the center of Tommy and Laurel’s relationship break up is Oliver. This episode did a good job of depicting Tommy’s insecurities and showing why he feels inferior to Oliver. Although it’s The Hood/Oliver who protects and saves Laurel more than once this episode, a fact all too clear for Tommy, he does sell himself a little short. It’s a great character moment when Tommy helps the 7 year old boy deal with the death of his parents. So its sad that as good hearted as Tommy is, he believes he can’t compare with Oliver if Laurel knew the truth.

Overall, Home Invasion is another fun, action-packed episode which pushed a couple of relationships over the brink. Though the Deadshot scenes could have been directed better, it did not take away from my enjoyment of the episode. What did you like or didn’t like about this episode? What did you think of Tommy dumping Laurel?

More Posts You May Like:

Arrow Season 1, Episode 17 “The Huntress Returns” Review (vs The Huntress)

Arrow Season 1, Episode 18, “Salvation” Review (vs The Savior)

Arrow Season 1, Episode 19, “Unfinished Business” (vs The Count/Doctor)

Read an excellent in-depth back story of DC Comic’s Deathstroke:

The Character Spotlight – Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) (by Gotham Rogue)

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Posted on April 25, 2013, in Arrow, Comics, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I thought the fight sequence between the hitman and Oliver was one of the best in the show. When they keep the fights to striking and avoid goofy acrobatics it feels more believable.

    I like that they have villains now and are using them. They started real slow. Having so many characters teased and then a big push at the end of the season.

    • That’s what I liked about the final fight as well. Hopefully they can keep up the level of believable fight choreography moving forward.

      The show has made progress with how the villains are used and I’m looking forward to them taking it to the next level. Just 3 more episodes to go, I wonder if the finale will end with a huge cliffhanger?

  2. Good fight scene and a really funny line from Olivers friend to the detective haha “I spend most of my nights at your daughters” haha xD

  3. Thanks for continuing to read my blog and leave comments. I’d love to do the same for you, but unfortunately I am not watching any of the shows you are! They are all things I want to catch up on eventually, but I’m not a fan of spoilers.

    • All the shows I cover I obviously enjoy a lot. Maybe if you eventually catch up, you can comment, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts. Aside from my shows, I plan on writing a blog about upcoming comic book movies of 2013. You have a great blog and a lot of funny reviews, my pleasure to read them. Thanks for commenting too!

  4. Mr. Blank was awesome and I have to say I was sad to see him go. Did you know that originally the character was going to be the villain Onomatopoeia? That fight scene between Blank and Oliver was simply epic though!

    “The fight in the stairwell was shot a bit too claustrophobic for my liking and I would have preferred an epic battle.”
    They have to save something for the future. It was a little hard this week to have Deathstroke and Mr. Blank fighting for screen time.

    “What did you think of Tommy dumping Laurel?”
    I’m alright. I just don’t want her to end up with Oliver. Shado + Oliver or Felicity + Oliver would be preferred. Since Shado hasn’t been picked up as a series regular next season something must happen to separate her from Oliver and Slade. She’s been great so far.

    • That’s a very cool tidbit about Onomatopoeia. Shado and Oliver’s relationship is something I would like the show to explore next season even If she’s not a regular, just a reoccurring character or comes in & out of Oliver’s life. I think Felicity would get her heart broken by Oliver, so I prefer them as friends for now. As for Laurel, I think it’s too soon to get them together, though these past couple of episodes the show is really pushing them in that direction.

      • “As for Laurel, I think it’s too soon to get them together, though these past couple of episodes the show is really pushing them in that direction.”
        Agreed. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on this week’s episode. 🙂

  5. Finally got around to catching this one earlier. Mr. Blank was kind of fun and that final fight with Oliver was super cool. I thought the same thing as you about Diggle and Oliver separating for a bit might open the door for Roy especially with him being featured more in this episode.

    I’m sure the endgame is Oliver and Laurel, but I agree with other commenters that some other relationship first might be better. I kind of like the idea of Oliver and Felicity since she is awesome, but the fallout of an inevitable breakup makes me unsure if it is a good idea.

    Still need to watch this past week’s episode. Excited to see it and how the rest of this season pans out. Really good first season for this show.

    • For a first season, there hasn’t been any major bumps in the road that I can’t overlook. Yeah, there are some lackluster villains and characters that could use more development (ie Thea) but these issues can all be addressed in the new season.

      I read an interview where the producers said the finale will wrap up the season’s main story lines. This is great news because I like knowing there is an endgame or at least an arc for each season. It’s good if I can rewatch a show and see all the pieces come together that I might have missed the first time around.

      As for Laurel and Oliver, they still need to work on their chemistry and get to the point where fans are rooting for them to get together. Based on fan reaction on various sites, Felicity is a front runner to be Oliver’s girlfriend. The thing is, there’s not much drama in a happy couple so fans may get more than they bargained for when the relationship turns sour. Hope to hear your thoughts on the latest episode when you catch up!

  6. cool episode and the air embolus was a nice idea. but really misguided – you’d need like a balloon full of air shot straight into venous circulation to kill a person and that would only be if it made it to the heart and got lodged. :/

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