Arrow” opens with more muscle flexing and a quick reveal on this week’s target:  James Holder, the corrupt businessman behind a company that installed faulty fire detectors in the homes of the poor resulting in a literal death for some of the disenfranchised.  So Arrow goes over to Holder’s house to dispatch some justice but mid-way into his [boring] spiel the bad guy is mercifully executed by a long-range gun shot.

Oliver is also hit by a bullet in the shoot-out and once back at his compound as he starts to faint, he figures out that the bullets are dipped in a rare poison – assassins are such divas.  Our new target is none other than:  Deadshot, who apparently likes to tattoo his victims on his muscle bound, chiseled, bounce a quarter off those pecks, body

Back at home Thea is still in the middle of her downward spiral.  Her latest shot at rebellion?  Breaking into a clothing store and trying on clothes with her friend. 

I suppose it is clear that Thea is supposed to give the audience a look at who Oliver was before the island but his old persona wasn’t so complex that we needed to see it firsthand.  Every person over 20 has taken a stab at self-hatred and/or self-destructive behavior.  It isn’t a new concept (though we didn’t have billions to do it with).  And I hate to be insensitive (not really), but seriously:  five years later and you are still in a tailspin?!  Self-indulgent much?

Anyway, Oliver wants to look into creating a night club at his father’s old headquarters to cover up all the super hero stuff in part because Diggle is getting increasingly harder to shake.  Tommy suggests that they look at the competition by hitting up Max Fuller’s club Poison.  But things don’t go quite as planned since Max is still holding a grudge from that time that Oliver slept with his fiancé at their dinner rehearsal.  In the midst of all this action, it is revealed that 1) Tommy has been having sex with Laurel and Oliver doesn’t care and 2) that being grounded means little to Thea, who is also at the club getting wasted.  By the end of the night, Tommy and Oliver get pulled in a backroom where Max’s goons start to beat them down but Laurel comes in and saves the day with some smooth moves of her own. 

That leaves Oliver with only one person left to tangle with:  Deadshot aka Floyd Lawton.  During their first fight there is lots of bullets vs. arrows action but the two expert marksmen miss each other …repeatedly.  And they don’t meet up again until a soiree for shady business types later that evening after it is confirmed that Warren Patel (and surprisingly not Oliver’s evil mom) is the person behind the hits.

Arrow has to enlist the help of the police department because he has a one-bad-person-per-week quota and there are just too many potential victims for Deadshot.  Plus he didn’t suffer all those years on that treacherous island for some hired gun to come in and wipe all the people on his list in one swoop just as the show is picked up for a full season.  Oh and to raise the stakes:  Mommy Dearest hit Thea with the whole “you were a daddy’s girl but he’s dead now, so won’t you be mine” bit so she is there and though her character is quite pointless it isn’t time for her exit.

Thankfully, Arrow stashed his arrow kit, leather get-up, and mask in a trash can in the venue and after looking after the safety of his mom and sister he heads over to Lawton’s post to finish what he started.  One arrow shot to the eye later and the world is down one sinister assassin.  Or is it?  It’s unclear if Deadshot is dead despite the shot of him lying lifeless on the concrete floor.  Villians have at least six lives.

But before he is defeated he does manage to strike Diggle with a poisonous bullet.  Oliver quickly takes him back to the compound for an injury healing potion and waits until the security guard wakes up so he can explain where he’s been running off to every night.  Kudos to the show for not dragging the storyline out forever. How do you think Diggle will react to learning about Oliver’s alter-ego?