Arrow Review: “Lone Gunmen”

This is our first shot at reviewing Arrow, so some consideration will be given to the series’ first three episodes overall. We aim to keep reviewing, if we have interest and discussion. Hopefully, you’ll hear from more than one Bureau-crat over the course of the season.

Title: “Lone Gunmen”

Cast and Crew
Director: Guy Norman Bee
Writers: Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green arrow
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Willa Holland as Thea “Speedy” Queen
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicty Smoak
Marcus Rosner as Max Fuller
Michael Rowe as Deadshot
Colin Salmon as Walter Steele
Roger Cross as Hilton
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Annie Ilonzeh as Joanna
Christie Laing as Carly Diggle

Full cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

Another master marksman arrives in Starling City, but this one is a professional killer. His potential targets include people close to Oliver Queen.

We learn more about Ollie’s past on the island, while Ollie ensures that a couple more people will learn his identity.

High Points

1. The Arrow dispatches his adversary a little too easily; indeed Deadshot proves something of a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, he was an interesting opponent, and the show briefly raised questions about Oliver Queen’s ethics.

2. A superhero goes to the police for help: I liked this development, made more interesting by the fact that the officer in question is hunting the Arrow.

3. I’m intrigued by the developing story regarding Oliver’s life on the island, and I hope its mysteries will be resolved in a satisfying way. It was simpler in the old days, in the funny books. A rich guy could get shipwrecked, survive with a bow and arrow, and come back a superhero. The modern era and television’s somewhat more realistic sensibilities require a little more than that (especially given the range of the Arrow’s abilities in this show), and the need for explanation wasn’t Lost on the writers.

Low Points

1. One of the most famous men in Starling City, the heir to a vast fortune who just spent five years on a desert island and whose return was the media event of the decade, pretends to be a member of the Russian Mob. No one recognizes him. Even after they check him out, the mobsters accept that he’s one of them.

So, will we see a flashback to the island, where Ollie Queen has a piece of Doctor Who’s psychic paper grafted to his face?

2. Green Arrow’s disguise, in all of his incarnations, has been brutally ridiculous. This show doesn’t improve much on the comic-book version.

3. What the heck’s with that “ling” at the end of Star City?

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 Green Arrow has always been something of a Batman imitator, and this version draws heavily from both the Chris Nolan films and the Frank Miller comics. As Ollie, he poses and preens, playing his best billionaire playboy; as the Arrow, he monologues. Smallville, too, exerts an obvious influence, with the youthful soap opera feel. Fortunately, the angst does not black out the sun over Starling City they way it did the skies in Smallville.

The show has added elements of its own to the mythos. Most intriguing is Dig, security guard and confidante.

Effects: 5/6.

Story: 4/6 The story kept me interested though, as already discussed, the plot contained missed opportunities and at least one obvious flaw.

Acting: 4/6 Arrow features decent television acting. Performances vary, but the leads hit the mark often enough. The Queen family dynamics, central to the show, still seem a little forced and clichéd.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 5/6.

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Lone Gunmen” receives 29/42

Under the Hood

Okay, so Dig has finally learned what he has suspected since the first episode. Fine. But what about the techie who helped Oliver with the computer? Won’t she figure a few things out when Deadshot’s employer goes to trial? And how often can friends witness Ollie in a fight before they figure out he’s not the person he pretends to be? And will online reviewers of the show ever tire of making every bad archery pun possible? I suspect it makes some of you quiver with disgust.

8 replies on “Arrow Review: “Lone Gunmen””

  1. prentice says:

    Well, arrow puns aside, everyone keeps calling it a desert island. In the show, I believe they say “deserted” island. There’s lots of forest on that island for a desert, and it’s not a forest of palm trees.

  2. Jethro says:

    Ollie seems pretty good at acting USELESS in a fight when there’s anyone watching. He and what’s his name were getting their asses handed to them before what’s her name saved them (I’m bad with names). He was pointedly shown holding his punches.

    I’m not 100% sure what’s his other name gets to know the secret identity, just cause it looked like that at the end of the episode. Then again you may be working from comic book knowledge.

    As for the “tech”, my biggest problem was that the guy can’t figure out how to pull a harddrive from a laptop and put it in a USB dock. I mean really (:

    I also don’t think there’s a lot of mystery about the island. I called “Old Japanese Guy” from the first episode.

    That all said, I am actually really enjoying this show. I was worried it’ll be another Smallville.

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      I think it has considerably greater potential than Smallville, because they’re actually focusing on the development of the hero without restricting his becoming a hero. Smallville imposed limits that should have been lifted after Clark graduated from high school.

      • Jethro says:

        That wasn’t my problem with Smallville. I tried to watch it but the horrible, horrible soundtrack just made that impossible.

        Ok, maybe that was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but still.

  3. octa says:

    Hrrm, I might give this a shot. I stayed away because it reminded me of The Cape, and man was that show terrible.

    On side note, I find it interesting that DC is willing to explore opportunities for serious TV shows with their characters, even if they all don’t come to fruition(looking at you Wonderwoman, Flash, and Aquaman) but we don’t hear a peep out of Marvel for decades.

    I wouldn’t mind an ongoing wandering Wolverine series or an angsty Peter Parker show. Make it happen Timeshredder!

  4. lost says:

    I don’ t think Oliver was pretending anything with the Russians. When he went in there, he knew he was going to check out. And there’s no reason a famous citizen can’t be mixed up with the mob.

    We don’t actually know what Oliver got up to before the shipwreck either. We only know what in broad strokes what everyone thinks he got up to. And, of course, in 5 years on an island, any number of things could have happened, especially since the deserted island clearly has people on it.

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      The problem with writing reviews as a show goes along, I suppose. You may well be right, since I don’t believe they ask for his name. The Bad People on the island, for example, might connect him to the Russians. However, it’s too early in the show’s run to know if that’s because they do recognize him and he actually does check out (rather than fake-checking out, which I had assumed), or if it’s because the writing is sloppy.

      (Or it’s sloppy writing that they decided they’ll fix later by establishing a prior connection between Ollie and the Russians. I don’t trust series backstories much).

  5. Fez says:

    The tech is also a little odd for me. Unless he’s trying to draw in these people on purpose, I’m not sure how some of it makes sense. He has these fancy high tech audio recording arrows and arrows that can hack into bank accounts, yet he can’t figure out how to pull out a hard drive and hook it up.

    So either there is more to the story about where he’s getting the arrows, or there was a specific purpose he was including that IT worker, or it was a plot hole.

    I’m more and more curious about the island back story. I knew there had to be someone else there, but I’m not sure what’s up with the commandos (I’ll just call them The Others *cough*).

    As for the main plot, I felt they missed an opportunity as well by killing off deadshot, assuming he stays dead. They could have done quite a bit more there than a one-off show. And for some reason it bugged me that he used an obvious laser sight.

    I’ve heard rumors that nobody on the show will actually have superpowers, that they’re all just vigilantes and otherwise human. Not sure how true that is. It could be interesting either way, but some things are more plausible than others.

    Also this needs to be addressed (Not really, I just found it funny.)

Comments are closed.