At the start of "Arrow's" latest episode, our hooded fellow is riding on his motorcycle and sulking over his forgotten lunch date with his mother. But the reminder, courtesy of Thea, turned out to be a segue to the introduction of this week’s target as Oliver witnesses another black leathered motorcyclist commit one of the more accurate drive-bys in recent television history.
The target: yet another shady business man with mob ties. Why is this a problem you ask? Well before becoming a part of the death-by-vigilante statistic in Starling City, the business man was attempting to close a construction deal with Moira to no avail. So she was mere inches away from becoming a stat herself.
The assassin takes the most time ever to leave the scene – and everyone knows that an important part of the drive-by is the actual getaway, so we’re left to conclude that this is an amateur. Well either that or Oliver has also managed to learn how to run extremely fast in the wooded jungle as he claims. The former is more believable.
At the hospital being treated for her injuries (a concussion), Oliver defends his decision to leave their mother in the middle of the street shaken and right beside a dead guy to Thea by claiming that he was hoping to get the license plate off of the shooter. It’s a lame excuse and she knows it.
But Oliver uses the awkward silence to make a quick exit and heads straight to Arrow Headquarters (aka the abandoned Queen Factory) to bring Diggle up to speed. He’s fuming because the town is apparently only big enough for one self-righteous vigilante. This new guy is cutting in on his kills, so they’ve got to go.
Meanwhile at the assassin’s lair we witness the bad guy, make that bad girl, cross her victim from her pin board just as Oliver would do after knocking off one of those people from his list.
Oliver sets up a business meeting with mobster Frank Bertinelli since it’s his men that keep getting targeted and hopes to get to know the interworking of Frank’s camp by pretending to be interested in giving him the construction job his man was angling for. It’s then when we learn that the assassin and Frank’s daughter are one and the same! Of course Frank gets called away on some shady meeting, so he pimps out his daughter in the hopes that she can entice Oliver to send money their way over dinner.
His important meeting? A check-in with the Triad’s China White to make sure that they aren’t behind his men’s recent string of fatal incidents. She insists they aren’t. But there’s no trust amongst homicidal maniacs, so he’s convinced they are behind it anyway.
Meanwhile at the fancy restaurant, Helena and Oliver struggle to make small talk at first but then the discussion turns to the island and for once our embattled hero finds that he doesn’t have to lie. She wanted to know if while stranded he ever felt relieved to be away from it all and he confesses that at times he did. This opens up a whole new conversation with the two trading war stories and before you know it we have flirtatious banter. He likes being him. She likes being her. I like them. I like them a lot.
Their date is cut short however when Diggle calls up Oliver and warns him that Frank’s head bodyguard is out ordering up extra security payments from small business owners and dishing out broken bones to those that can’t pay up. In fact his next stop is at the nice little restaurant that Oliver just left. Arrow shows up to save the night but so does our helmeted shero. They tangle and he pulls off the helmet to reveal Helena’s face. The shock prevents him from fully reacting however so she is able to run off into the night.
Back at headquarters, he’s still in shock, but Diggle orders him to snap out of it and fast. The situation is black and white to the bodyguard, who no longer even pretends to do his real job. But really – what makes her wrong and Arrow right? Giving a bad guy one day to change their entire life and calling that a justification is barely on the side of right.
Not getting anywhere with Diggle badgering him, Oliver takes to stalking Helena. He eventually makes his presence known while she’s at her dead fiance’s gravesite. And she defends her actions by reminding Oliver how easy it is to replace love with hate. ‘
He’s softening his stance on her being evil but doesn’t get a chance to go any further because her dad’s head enforcer shows up and shoves them both in a van. He knows Helena is the assassin taking out his men now and he wants to torture her a little bit before killing her.
I’m paraphrasing but it went a little something like:
Enforcer: Why would you kill your father’s men?
Helena: Easy – you all killed me fiancé.
Enforcer: Ah yes, in compliance with rule 187 of the punisher’s code.
Enforcer: Snitches get stitches. Or Bullets. As long as death is the finale we aren’t really too particular about the method to be honest.
Helena: But I was the snitch. (and to the FBI no less)
Enforcer: Oh. Oops. Well this is both awkward and all your fault. By the way, your boyfriend’s head received the bullet quite well. I know this because I pulled the trigger.
Ass kicking commences shortly thereafter because Oliver’s been edging out of his restraints the entire time. They win. The bad guys lose. And everyone that’s still alive goes home feeling just as conflicted as they did before all the killing.
Needing resolution, Oliver goes over to Helena’s house to talk things over. He’s in a weird spot – keeping someone else’s secret for once. And wants to know that if he lets this slide she’ll stop. But she won’t and all she really needs to know is that he can keep his mouth shut especially since she knows he’s Arrow and all. The attraction is palatable and they kiss just before the credits. One can’t help but feel like we the viewers got cheated out of a sex scene.
Lots happened in B-Plot land (let’s see if we can hit it in 100 words or less): Tommy still wants Laurel. She kind of wants him too. He lets Oliver know he’s moving forward with her. Oliver only cares for Laurel, so he lets Tommy know her well-being and his life expectancy are linked. Tommy’s been cut off from his daddy’s fat sacks. And ::gasp:: we learn that the previously unnamed shady man in the suit is none other than: Tommy’s dad!! Thea is still a nonfactor. Moira is still shady but she’ll be less overbearing in upcoming episodes because her man is back.