Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Arrow "Lone Gunmen" Review

I'm not an avid comic book collector. The only comic books I've bought were some Buffy and ANGEL, Joss' Astonishing X-Men #1 and #2, and Claudio Sanchez' Second Stage Turbine Blade comics, #1 and #2. Deadshot's not an unfamiliar comic book figure to me. I mean, he's not entirely familiar; I read about the tease of Deadshot in the Arrow trailers on Joblo over the summer. Arrow's portrayal of Deadshot is, really, my first experience with the character. My first impressions: Floyd Lawton is a regrettable name, and I expected an Eastern European accent.

Deadshot shoots one of Oliver's men on the list before Oliver finishes threatening the man with stuff unless he corrects the major mistakes he made when he provided low-income homes with faulty smoke detectors that resulted in the deaths of some of Starling City's less privileged people. "Lone Gunmen" introduces a needless narrative device that did not exist in episodes one and two after Deadshot's introduction. Deadshot is a character with a back story the audience needs to know immediately, if the narrative device should be interpreted as the writers desire to establish the assassin's importance in Arrow. Deadshot is like other great villains in that he shares many of Arrow's traits, but the traits are twisted into malevolence. Arrow's Deadshot is similar to The Dark Knight's Joker with regards to how he's thematically different from the hero.
Deadshot uses a list to kill people. Afterwards, he tattoos their names on his body. Oliver will kill people on his list if he needs to, for the greater good of the city. Deadshot alerts Oliver to their shared murders. Oliver dismisses their similarities because he's taking lives for good reasons while he, Deadshot, takes lives because he wants to. Their encounter is only the beginning of their series-long feud. Oliver takes Round 1 when he shoots Deadshot in the eye with an arrow. Deadshot also shot several wealthy people during the auction before Oliver stopped him. Among the people hit was Dig, who woke up after healing to the curious sight of Oliver wearing the suit of the mysterious vigilante working the streets of Starling City nightly. I guess Oliver won't need the night club cover to get around Dig.

"Lone Gunmen" was simply average. The introduction of Deadshot changed the dynamic of the episode and the series. It departed from the Revenge formula for an episode. Oliver's vigilante-case-of-the-week died within a minute of introduction. Oliver emerged as a hero in the Hero sense for the first time. Several scenes seemed designed to show Oliver won't remain a secretive vigilante. He clearly shows awareness of the sniper before the sniping; he thanks the Chief of Police rather meaningfully and without any prompting; and he reveals his Arrow identity to Dig. I'm probably overthinking the exchanges, but Oliver was incredibly overt, which makes me wonder about the season unfolding with Starling City aware of the billionaire playboy as their Guardian Angel in the night. It seems hard for the writers to sustain Oliver's secrecy throughout the season. His mother's spying on him; he's clearly displaying ridiculous fighting skills in public, an awareness of potentially catastrophic crimes, and exchanging unsolicited meaningful words with the chief-of-police about impending catastrophic crime. Interestingly, Oliver rescues individuals who might be on his list. Deadshot's the kind of villain that'll challenge Oliver, which isn't new to this kind of storytelling but is usually entertaining to watch.

The other side of Oliver's life were quarreling. Thea got into trouble for breaking into a clothing store and trying on dresses. Oliver took a Floyd's computer to the company's top IT girl to learn anything he could about the mysterious assassin. The IT girl opined on the Shakespearean drama of the Queen family. The observation/comparison flew over Oliver's head. The writers and I think alike, as I made the Hamlet comparison in "Pilot" review." Oliver didn't help to ease tensions within the house. Thea loathes him for being different from how she remembered. The troubled teen is looking for someone she lost the day her father passed. Oliver wants her to quit drugs and bad behavior, but she's resentful of him and won't listen. I'd be annoyed with the character if not for Willa Holland's lethal use of eyeliner and how she looks in a black dress, her debilitating eyes and curly brunette hair. Thea's a typically horrible CW teenage character; however, Holland's able to make her a bit more tolerable because of her delivery, expressions, and gorgeous appearance. Her mother tries to bond with her after enforcing a grounding on her, which fails; the women bond over a memory of the man they loved and lost. I hope their conversation signifies the end of Thea's terrible bad girl arc. It won't.

Arrow continues to be a solid show through three episodes. It's even better without the Revenge formula.
Other Thoughts:

-The island flashbacks grow more intriguing with each passing episode. The hooded archer who shot Oliver did it to save his life. The archer introduced medicinal plant and magic water to heal wounds. Obviously Oli learned a thing or two about a thing or two from hooded, goateed archer.

-I want Oliver and Thomas to open a night club just to kill Max's night club business.

-Guggenheim and Kreisburg wrote another episode from a story by Berlanti and Kreisburg. Arrow has a writing staff, right? Guy Bee directed it.


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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.