When one family is gunned down, the dynamic of the main cast changes dramatically.
What They Say:
Home Invasion – When Deadshot returns to Starling City, diggle intends to kill him – with or without Oliver’s help. Laurel’s attempts to protect a young witness increase friction between Oliver and Tommy.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The schedule for this series continues to be frustrating, as is the case for most primtime network shows, where we get a pair of episodes and then take some more time off. And Arrow certainly had some interesting material previously as the relationship between Oliver and Tommy started to fall apart and we saw more of just how far the elder Merlyn will go in order to secure his position. The bigger sense of what’s going on within the city has come to light as well for some of them and it definitely speaks to some old grudges and issues but also just a growing sense of power and money, which drives most things. And this episode gets some of this running again, but it also brings Deadshot back into play, which gets Diggle all fired up.
For Oliver, he’s intent on helping Diggle, but he gets caught up in another situation as well. A planned meeting with Laurel doesn’t go the right way as she was helping a couple and their young son to deal with losing all their money due to a powerful man named Rasmus. The family is set for a deposition but the powerful men send dangerous men to kill them, but the kid escapes and Laurel takes temporary custody of the kid. Which will naturally be hunted by the hitman now. The whole situation is riddled with some tension since Tommy was unaware of the meeting, dislikes that Laurel is taking on the kid and Laurel’s father is frustrated by a whole host of things. It’s a fairly standard situation that you can see in a number of shows, but the characters make it fun to watch.
With another botched hit against the kid at Laurel’s, the story takes an amusing twist as Laurel and Tommy along with the kid end up at Oliver’s since the mansion is filled with all the security and protection that they need. But being there has its tensions as Tommy really doesn’t want to be there, even though he suggested it, especially since Oliver isn’t sticking around due to the Lawton issue. An issue that puts Oliver into some conflict as it makes him choose between Lawton and Rasmus, which means someone isn’t going to be happy. In the end, both could be caught in time, but each of them leaves a different trail of chaos and problems behind them. The bigger problem is how it’ll leave Diggle feeling like he’s not getting the support from Oliver he needs when he truly needs it.
While the show does work through the hitman issue in some fun ways, the subplots the exist throughout here are a lot of fun. While at the mansion, we get some interesting nods from Oliver’s mother about her feelings on the time Laurel and Oliver dated and the kind of man he was because of her. We also get an interesting bit of progress on the subplot with Roy as he gets involved with the cops a bit more after stealing one of their police radios. He’s got an odd sense about the vigilante as it’s not clear what he really wants out of him in finding him, but Laurel’s father does a pretty good job of making it clear to both of them the kind of damage that the vigilante has done. There aren’t any huge reactions, but it’s enough to show the interest by Roy and revulsion by Thea.
The island arc continues on in this episode, which is definitely one of the more fascinating arcs in the show. With Shado a part of the group, one that gtes along well with Slade but has also managed to find a friend of sorts in Oliver. And she needs one in order to rescue her father before Fyres ends up killing him, which is a dangerous mission in general and one that Slade is resistant to since it requires Oliver being a key sharpshooter to cover them. The training that she’s giving him is going to take time, but it’s also drawing the two of them closer in some slight but significant ways. But we also get a little clarity on the Oliver of five years past when it comes to his feelings towards Laurel, even after spending time with her sister on the trip, and that there’s something significant to be had there that even Shado realizes.
While a weak episode in terms of having a really strong story with what’s going on with Rasmus and the kid, as they’re just basically set pieces, there’s a lot of good stuff with the main characters and what they’re involved in. Oliver’s all over the map and causing problems in the many relationships that he has, from Laurel to Tommy and especially to Diggle. There’s a lot of good interplay with them all here and the dynamic changes pretty significantly as it progresses, which definitely makes for some fun moments and curiosity about where it goes. The hitman side of the show has some really good things to it as it has an air of the professional and we also get some minor but really fun bits that involve Deadshot again. He doesn’t dominate the episode at all, but I love that they bring him in for a small piece to further things overall. Add in some really good brief scenes on the island and there’s a whole lot to like here.