We knew Oliver Queen was a ruthless and efficient vigilante. But we didn't really know how the young man stacked up against other individualistic killing types before. Thanks to "The Lone Gunman" episode of Arrow, we have learned just how truly badass Oliver can be.
Arrows beat guns on this show. Check out our Arrow recap for proof!
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Big Muscles and a Tiny Pool
Down in the Secret Factory of Semi-Nakedness, Oliver lifts some concrete blocks because... Actually, I think he pretty much just does that so we can ogle. Thank you, Arrow!
We also get some expository thinking from Oliver and learn that his next corrupt target is a man by the name of James Holder. Holder owns tenements where there are a lot of fires. Bad, bad man...
Bad, bad man with a tiny pool, that is. As Holder chats on his phone poolside in a robe, we learn that the man is planning to bid on something called Unidak Security (or whatever -- it's a company up for auction anyway). But the peaceful night is ruined by the arrival of the Arrow. Oliver lectures Holder briefly, but this turns out to be nothing compared to the bullet that quickly pierces Holder's chest, dropping the corrupt man into his tiny pool.
Because a Bullet Is Not Enough
Back in the Secret Factory of Semi-Nakedness, Oliver stitches up the gash he received when Holder's bullet grazed his beautiful chest. It's not the self-sewing that gets Oliver though, it's the poison.
Yes, Deadshot, the evil assassin featured in "The Lone Gunman" poisons his bullets. You would think that just shooting people would be enough. You would be wrong.
Fortunately, Oliver has some twigs in his giant mystery chest. He downs them and collapses...
This Week on the Island
The poisoned bullet brings Oliver back to the Island and that Arrow-looking guy who shot the shipwrecked young man. Oliver wakes up after his injury in a cave, with that arrow still poking out of his chest. His assailant, a ragged-looking Asian man, approaches with twigs and some water. Apparently, shooting Oliver was only meant to save the kid? OK...
Oliver passes out again but wakes up to find the Asian archer sleeping nearby. Still groggy, the boy runs away -- straight into a net trap. Whoops. Fortunately for Oliver, the archer obviously wants to keep his new friend alive and cuts Oliver down.
Men in black uniforms arrive soon after. They are bad.
Oliver Comes Back from the Bathroom
Enough about the Island! Back to Starling City and Oliver's troubles there.
Having survived his poison bullet, Oliver rushes home to find that young Thea was up to drunken mischief the night before. Oliver, of course, missed all this, what with his concrete-block lifting and vigilante-ing.
But fortunately, Oliver has a great excuse: He was in the bathroom. All night. Shockingly, Diggle does not entirely buy this.
Moira doesn't do too much to punish Thea, despite the whole drunkenness and arrest issue. This does not sit well with Oliver, who knows from experience that the standard Queen parenting style leads straight to delinquency. After that, Moira at least makes an attempt to ground Thea. It doesn't go well.
Tracking the Killer
The police, naturally, haven't got the slightest idea of how to find the man responsible for the death by the tiny pool. They should hire Oliver. By tracking the poison used on the bullet, Oliver quickly identifies an assassin by the name of Deadshot.
Who is this Deadshot? Although he is a very mysterious man, we do learn that he tattoos the names of his victims all over his body. This seems like a very bad choice for someone who might want to stay out of jail... But what do I know of international assassins?
Anyway, before anyone can track Deadshot any further, another name gets added to the tattoos -- Carl Rasmussen. Since Rasmussen was another bidder trying to take that Unidak company, the police have a clue. The auction for the company is coming up soon... And Walter plans to bid as well. Uh oh.
Oliver's next step to track down Deadshot involves climbing a wall. You remember a guy called Spider-Man? He's got nothing on Oliver Queen. This incredible feat of climbing yields success -- Oliver finds a bullet that can be traced to the Bratva -- the Russian mob.
Thank Goodness for the Russian Mob?
When most heroes discover a link between a killer and the Russian mafia, they are not happy. They moan about those violent, murderous criminals and how they get in the way of true justice.
Oliver Queen is not most heroes.
Instead, Oliver heads straight to a garage that is apparently a front for the Russians. And he gets in by claiming to be a captain in the Bratva? That tattoo is somehow related to this? Ummmm... We really don't know enough about Oliver Queen, do we?
Whatever the case and whatever leverage Oliver uses, it works. The Russian mechanic/mobster shares vodka with our hero and eventually provides the name and last known location of Deadshot.
What the heck is this about???
Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting!
In Oliver's continuing efforts to keep up the "rich playboy" facade, he and Tommy start scoping out locations for a potential nightclub that will not be named "Queens." Since Oliver doesn't know anything about how to actually run a nightclub (or, as Tommy points out, anything), they make plans to visit another club, Poison.
Diggle is not impressed with the plan (even though it's totally just a cover). But Oliver gets his bodyguard back by leaving the man behind the velvet rope when they get there. That's just cold, Oliver.
Everyone else, however, made it in with no problem. This includes a disdainful Laurel, a wasted Thea and the aggressive club owner, Max Fuller. Thea, not liking Oliver's attempts to impose authority, spills the beans about Tommy and Laurel's active sex life during the time of Oliver's presumed death.
Of course, Oliver already knows about this and thus does not flip out, killing the two sometimes-lovers with his bare hands.
The fighting comes later. There is some seriously bad blood between Oliver and Max Fuller, which leads to punches in the VIP area. Max punches Oliver. Tommy gets in the way of further punches. Max's men jump in. And everybody is soon whaling on everybody else!
That is, everyone is fighting until Laurel comes in. The lovely lawyer calmly kicks some security-guard ass and effectively destroys enough manhood to end the fight.
Laurel is done with the whole scene after this, leaving the boys to go get burgers at Diggle's sister-in-law's place (this will probably be important someday). Tommy feels awful about his betrayal. And Oliver is like, "Whatever dude. I'm using my mafia connections to take out assassins and don't have time for this soap-opera crap right now."
We never find out if the burgers are good.
What Happens When You Bring an Arrow to a Gun Fight
Most of us would die very quickly if we tried to use arrows to take on a skilled assassin armed with automatic weapons. That's why Oliver Queen is better than us.
When the Arrow arrives at Deadshot's dingy hotel room, the two expert killers trade fire for just a few moments before Deadshot decides to bail. The only casualty in this meeting turns out to be the assassin's computer. Oliver takes it along anyway.
Best IT Department Ever!
What does one do with an assassinated computer? When one is Oliver Queen, heir to the mighty Queen Consolidated, one goes to a cute, blonde IT specialist by the name of Felicity Smoke. Felicity is awkward and silly but apparently super competent.
Oliver asks for whatever can be salvaged off his damaged laptop, claiming to have spilled coffee on it. When Felicity points out a few obvious bullet holes as more likely causes of the damage, Oliver has an answer for that: "My coffee shop is in a bad neighborhood."
Eventually, the awesome Felicity works her computer magic and recovers Deadshot's blueprints. They turn out to be for the Unidak auction venue. A name, Warren Patel, indicates who actually hired the assassin to take out the competition. Thanks to Oliver's handy voiceover, we learn that there are far too many vantage points from which to assassinate rich people.
He has to bring in the police. Awkward!
Probably Not the Best Time for Familial Reconciliation
At the auction, we find Walter ready to bid on the company. He brought Moira with him. Moira managed a little bonding time to convince Thea to come too (because what teenager wouldn't want to witness her stepfather do business?). When Oliver shows up, it looks like the Steele-Queen family might actually have a happy moment.
Too bad about the murderous sniper gunning for Walter.
Detective Lance, reluctantly using the Arrow's tip to guard the venue, manages to get Walter out of harm's way just in time (although a random waiter isn't so lucky). Oliver meanwhile uses the confusion to chase after Deadshot. Having retrieved his Arrow costume from a garbage can (ha!), Oliver quickly finds his nemesis.
Deadshot is all about professional respect and courtesy when the two meet, but Oliver's having none of it. It seems our heroic vigilante sees himself as being way better than a killer for hire. Is he right? Well... That's not important right now.
What is important is the speed with which the Arrow dispatches his foe. Despite a veritable hail of bullets from Deadshot's guns, Oliver simply hides behind a pillar and stays safe. He does peek out for one arrow shot though.
And then there is silence. Oliver Queen freaking killed Deadshot with one arrow! That, my friends, is the definition of badass.
Deadshot is no more, but Oliver still has a bit of a problem. Diggle, trying as always to do his job, followed Oliver into the gunfight. Not being quite the badass that Oliver is (although Diggle is no slouch), the bodyguard takes a bullet and collapses as the poison begins to work.
What is a vigilante to do but give up and save Diggle from a yucky, poisoned death. Oliver hauls Diggle back to the Secret Factory of Semi-Nakedness and produces the antidote.
As Diggle struggles back into consciousness, he sees Oliver, standing tall in a green suit.
"Hey," is all Oliver needs to say. But that "hey" means everything is about to change. Diggle knows.
What will happen now that Diggle is in on the secret? Will it affect the Arrow's actions? Can Tommy and Laurel make their relationship work? How many more incredibly sexy workouts can Arrow give us? Share your thoughts and comments below!
(Images courtesy of The CW)