TV Review: ARROW Season 1, Episode 3 'Lone Gunman'

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

As a great man once said, “wait until they get a load of me.” Every superhero worth his salt needs a foil, and the ying to Green Arrow’s yang arrives (briefly) in the form of assassin Floyd Lawton – aka Deadshot, so called because he never misses his target. It’s the battle of the sharpshooters. For about five minutes.

While doing his whole ‘robbing from the rich to give to the poor’ thing, Arrow finds himself at the wrong end of Deadshot’s sniper rifle. Deadshot kills the man G.A. was busy menacing and then shoots the vigilante himself, with a poisoned bullet. Managing to get back to his lair (sadly not yet dubbed the Arrowcave), Arrow sets about hunting down the assassin.

Deadshot is supposed to be Lone Gunman’s main draw, but the character is little more than a freak of the week character ala Kelly Hu’s wasted China White. In a quick (but fun) bout of fisticuffs, the battle between Green Arrow and Deadshot is resolved a lot faster than a battle between Green Arrow and Deadshot should be. As usual, most of the episode is spent dealing with Ollie’s bickering family and his business dealings. We get it, writers of Arrow, you read Hamlet, now shut up and let Green Arrow shoot something. Deadshot himself looks a little less ridiculous than his comic book counterpart, having done away with the bright red hood and spandex suit. Still, his monocle and wrist-mounted gun remain intact. His appearance is a little more similar to how he looked in Arkham City, just before having his lights punched out by the Batman.

In other news, Ollie builds a nightclub above his not-Arrowcave (named Queens, no less), his sister continues to act out and Colin Salmon hangs around on the sidelines, obviously up to no good. Meanwhile, the bromance between Ollie and bodyguard Diggle perpetuates with Dig offering to watch his ward pee and admiring the lad’s ‘perception’. With Ollie acting so dark and moody all the time, his cheeky relationship with Diggle offers a little humour and comic relief. Here Ollie comes to realise that he can’t always work alone – in putting a stop to Deadshot, he is forced to enlist the help of several allies Dig, Dinah’s cop dad and IT Bod Felicity Smoke (a brilliantly named cross between Lucius Fox and Oracle). There’s a lot of subplot to Lone Gunman – far too much, given that this is supposed to be Deadshot’s episode.

In a flashback to the island, Ollie is shot and captured by a mysterious figure who promises to teach the lad how to survive. This figure actually looks more like Green Arrow than the programme’s actual Green Arrow. With the action in Starling City settling into a rut, Arrow’s island segments are quickly becoming the most involving aspect of the show. As he is captured in a net while stumbling wounding through the jungle, we half expected Danielle Rousseau to come claim her prey.

Lone Gunman is the first genuinely disappointing episode of Arrow. Deadshot may not be an A-lister in the DC Universe, but he is a somebody – a character worth far more than a one-shot cameo. Hopefully his appearance here won’t be his last. Well, this is a comic book show – rarely are people as dead as they might initially appear. Green Arrow himself should know that.

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