Ollie thinks he's on the side of the poor. He is not. That is not outright mentioned in this episode, but it's pretty clear all the same. What is mentioned in the episode? Us going three steps farther into Hamlet, and the most interesting thing yet about the island.
This review humbled me. Not because I had to re-think my view of the show, but because I thought I covered everything I possibly could in my last recap, but I missed the one thing that will make this episode go more smoothly. In the last episode, Ollie decided to be a thoughtless, womanizing, drunk in order to get away with being the Green Arrow. I mention that because he comes to the exact same conclusion in this episode, and does it so exhaustively that I can't bear it. I'll just cover everything else.
We start with a pirouette fight on a rooftop between the Green Arrow and a bunch of thugs. He uses his arrows to maim or kill them all, before conspicuously not killing the rich man they were protecting. The rich man he body slams and then orders to "give those pensioners back their money." So, let's be clear. Even though this is the guy who ripped off all those people, and the bodyguards are just working schlubs, doing their job, and even though it's been shown that Ollie has a (sigh) hacking arrow that can quietly transfer funds and so doesn't need the rich guy alive, the guards get hurt and killed and the rich guy doesn't.
The next day Ollie attends a "proof of life" hearing with his family in which he lies to the judge about his experiences on the island while flashing back to the actual events, covering half of what we missed in the pilot. The judge, who is only there to legally declare that Oliver is alive, wonders aloud why Ollie is expositing at her. Just kidding, she just sits there looking pissed that she doesn't have the abs that would get her a line in a CW show. Instead all the talking goes to Laurel (Dinah) Lance, who bumps into Ollie, gives him hate eyes, and introduces him to her client, Emily Nocenti (a big shout out to Ann Nocenti, the comics writer).
Ollie begs off visiting his company with his mom and stepdad, ditches his bodyguard, and drives off.
In court, Laurel tells a jury that Ann is suing Martin Somers for killing her father. Her father was a stevedore, who found out that Somers was allowing "the Chinese Triads," to unload drugs on his dock. Somers had him killed, but the DA won't go after him, so they're suing him for . . . something. I don't know. I'm just pleased by the fact that this must be the first time that anyone on TV has said "stevedore" since Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I was here to witness it. Buffy fans know the quote I mean. To the rest of you - I am too much of a lady to repeat it. Perhaps some uncouth commenter will tell you.
Green Arrow visits Somers, brutally takes out more of his body guards, but doesn't do more than open a slight cut on his cheek and tell him to confess in court. I'm sure that won't result in more deaths, Ollie. Especially not of middle or working class people. Well done.
Back at the Queen home the class war continues as Moira, Ollie's mother, yells at Dig, his bodyguard, for letting Ollie ditch him. Ollie walks in, and explains himself. "I've been alone for five years, Mom. Alone." In the last recap I said that Ollie had the creepy detachment of a serial killer. He still does, only now he has added to his repertoire the blank-faced insistent eye contact that small children and sociopaths give authority figures whenever they want to convince them that they're telling the truth. Whenever Ollie had to lie in this episode, my eyes began to water involuntarily. The eye contact is that fierce.
But as to his quote about how he was "alone." I thought that Ollie was saying that he needed to be alone sometimes, because he wasn't acclimated yet. I really did. It's only when his mother gets all uncomfortable and he says that he'll "bring her to meet" his mother if "things ever progress to first names and phone numbers," that I realize what idea he's actually communicating. The fact that his mother, from a blank-faced stare, clearly gets the message, "I am de-horning myself with whatever floozy will jump on me the fastest," makes me uncomfortable and adds to the creepy Hamlet-Oedipus vibe that really makes their relationship interesting (whether it's intended or not).
This vibe is intensified when Walter and Moira finally get Oliver to Queen Enterprises, ask him to take a position in the business, and to announce that position at a ground-breaking ceremony of a building dedicated to his father. Ollie amps things up, asking what they think he did on the island that would make him okay with the fact that "My father's CFO sleeps down the hall from me." Oh, something is rotten in the state of Denmark, all right. (Denmark might even be where Starling City is. We haven't found out yet.)
Meanwhile, Quentin Lance is meeting with Martin Somers and asking him why one of his stevedores (Stevedore count for this episode: Two!) called 911 last night, and why Quentin found an arrow around the docks. Somers holds it together . . . for three seconds, and then he loses his damn mind and threatens both Quentin and his daughter right to Quentin's face. Quentin says nothing. He just goes down to his daughter's office with a police escort to guard her, showing that he is the one character with a brain on this show.
Somers, on the other hand, demonstrates that he has been drinking the sea water along his docks, because he goes to a white-blonde lady representative of the drug smugglers and says that Dinah Lance will shut down him and the triads. The lady reveals that she has been taking a sip or two as well when she says, "Then we will kill Miss Lance." Yes. Because the disappearance or death of a beautiful young lawyer who was publicly suing you will bring down a lot less heat than a minor civil suit based on a crime that wasn't proved in the first place. Quentin should have mopped the floor with these dingbats.
Back to the Queen home, where Ollie demonstrates the same smarts everyone else has as he changes his shirt in front of an open door, and freaks out when his sister Thea walks by and sees his scars. Thea and Ollie have a noticeably cooler relationship since their fight last week, but I think Thea can rev it up again and get some really adorable whining done if she tries.
She doesn't disappoint. She takes Ollie to his and his father's graves. She tells him that she would go to his gravestone and tell him about her day when she was feeling lonely, and ends with, "I felt closer to you when you were dead. I know that it was hell over there, but it was hell here, too."
If I were Ollie - and I'm glad I'm not because I enjoy wearing shirts and I really don't know where I would bury all the bodies - but if I were, I would look at her with eyes full of love, take her face in my hands, and say, "I am covered in stab wounds and animal bites, and you are wearing designer pink jeans. Just think about that for a while." Instead he says he'll try to work on talking to people.
And what better people than the girl who you cheated on with her sister, who died on the boat? Ollie heads over to Laurel's apartment. I know I keep joking that Ollie's a serial killer and creepy and all, but the scene in which he goes to Dinah and awkwardly tries to talk his way into her apartment so vividly reminds me of the show Dexter that I can't entirely credit the fact that the next scene isn't her waking up in a sterile room tied to a table. Instead it's them eating ice cream and talking about something so negligible that I just wrote, "Dexter Dexter Dexter Dexter Dexter" in my notes. Thank god, drug dealers pick that moment to attack. Dig suddenly appears saves them by shooting two gunmen, but gets tackled by the blonde lady. Ollie throws a what looks like a butter knife at her and she runs away. Attack over. Drug enforcer: 0. Butter knife: 1.
Quentin acts the hell out of this next scene, in which he greets his shaken daughter, informs her that the cops sent to guard her were killed in their cars (good thing you let Somers live, Ollie!), and turns the full force of his fury on Ollie, telling him to stay away from his one remaining daughter or he'll kill him. Dinah protests.
At last, Ollie wreaks his vengeance on Martin Somers! Kidding. He takes out Somers' guards again, and then lines up Somers against a crate and shoots arrows around him while questioning him, all without leaving a scratch. At this point, the exceptions he makes for the rich are so egregious that I'm beginning to think that those bites weren't from the island. I'm thinking that, as a child, Ollie was attacked by a mob of rabid poor people and saved by Bill Gates.
The blonde lady arrives and fights with Ollie, but the fight is broken up by the police. Quentin Lance almost arrests Ollie but Ollie knocks the gun out of his hand and fires a tape recorder arrow, which Lance plays. It's the recording of Martin's confession.
The next day Ollie shows up seemingly drunk and totally flubs the ground breaking speech, and turns down the job in his father's company. He apologizes to his father's gravestone before having his own gravestone removed. Who is your sister going to talk to now, Ollie? You selfish ass.
Now for the final dun dun dun scenes. Ollie, throughout the episode, is flashing back to his disposal of his father's body. He chases away seagulls, which were eating the corpse. He wraps the body up and carries it to the top of the island. In one pocket, he finds what looks like a blank notebook with a strange symbol on the inner cover. We recognize it as the filled revenge notebook that Ollie refers to throughout the series.
Moira, in clothes way too sexy to be virtuous, gets into a black car with someone. She alludes to the groundbreaking ceremony fiasco and says that clearly Ollie knows nothing, and they don't have to worry about him. Why, she says, he probably doesn't even know the yacht was sabotaged. We don't see who she is talking to, but we see that the person carries a black notebook with the same symbol on the cover.
And finally, Ollie is burying his dad on the top of a cliff under some heavy rocks. He puts the final one on . . . and is totally shot right through the chest! That was awesome! Just before he collapses, he sees a hooded archer coming towards him. That completely turned the episode around for me, but I hope that the series follows through on that turn and focuses mostly on the island. It is so much more interesting.
Next week? Deadshot! Let's hear it for Floyd!