TV Recaps

‘Arrow’ Review: Dodger Brings Roy Harper, Awkward Romance and Danger for Felicity

I’ve noticed a trend over the last few episodes of Arrow. I’m starting to enjoy the show more than I’m finding reasons it irritates me. While I’m nowhere near ready to sign up as head cheerleader or draw hearts in my notebook, I’m becoming more and more optimistic that this show might live up to its potential after all and that is a good thing. I’ve said it all along: I want to love this show. I just need it to let me.

So let’s talk about “Dodger.” This was the week we got to meet Roy Harper played by Teen Wolf’s Colton Haynes. Right off the bat, I have a confession. I don’t watch Teen Wolf so I have no prior fangirl ties to Mr. Haynes, which I think is probably a good thing since I get the feeling Roy is going to end up being a major character and I’d prefer not to compare him to a past role. Anyway, Roy was introduced when he stole Thea’s purse and tried to run off with it. Thea and Laurel caught up with him, but Roy managed to get away, accidentally leaving his wallet chain behind.

Thea proved that she’s not just a pretty rich girl and hunted down the store the wallet was bought from (seems unrealistic, but it’s TV so I’m going to go with it). She tracked down Roy’s name and called up Laurel to ask if her dad still arrests people (not sure why this line made me laugh so hard, but it totally did). Detective Lance pulled Roy in for questioning and he told a story about how he had to steal because his mom’s life had been destroyed by vertigo. Thea felt terrible and decided not to press charges (I didn’t really believe his story, but I’m skeptical of everyone, so…)

Roy was surprised when Thea showed up on his doorstep and promptly slammed the door in her face (kind of rude for a purse snatcher). Thea got him to open the door and he pegged her as the spoiled rich girl from the tabloids and told her she shouldn’t be in the Glades (aka the bad part of town). Thea basically told him that he didn’t know her and she wanted her purse back. He gave it to her and warned her that she shouldn’t believe every sob story she heard (after this I half-expected them to show his sick mother so I don’t know if he was lying or not). First impression: I like Roy and I like Roy and Thea. Basically, I’m here for anything that gives Thea more to do.

Speaking of awesome female characters that need more to do, my personal favorite Felicity was back again in this episode, being amazing. She was hanging out in the Arrow Cave with Oliver and Dig while Oliver did his workout and plotted to take down his next target. Felicity reminded them that she is not here for that and when Oliver blew her off, she promptly locked down the cave so he couldn’t leave (BEST). But Oliver told her that he doesn’t always have to kill and he knew how to unlock the system too. Felicity told him to shove it (okay, she didn’t, but her expression did) and she got up and left after reminding them that she didn’t sign on for this and Oliver should be using his skills to help non-rich people too.

The next day, Oliver and Dig showed up at Felicity’s IT office to make sure she wasn’t going to say anything and Dig questioned Oliver about what he would have done if he’d gone to the police. Oliver told him that he’d put an arrow in him and Dig wasn’t sure if he meant it or not (pretty sure he did). Felicity arrived, promised not to say anything and Oliver assured her that he hadn’t hurt the guy on the list; he just got him to give back whatever it was that he stole. Then there was a news story about a jewel thief named the Dodger that popped up on Felicity’s computer.

Oliver decided he was going to take down the Dodger, who didn’t actually commit the crimes himself. Instead, he attached collars with bombs in them to people’s necks and made them do his bidding. But he did get his hands dirty when he shot a man point blank. He was in the market for a new fence and McKenna was working the case so Felicity suggested that Oliver flirt with her and plant a listening device on her phone. Oliver did (and the flirting was super awkward). But it got the job done and Arrow caught the Dodger when the cops couldn’t, except then he got away by using one of his exploding collars. So the group came up with a new plan.

There was a specific type of jewel that he was interested in and of course the Queen family had one in their personal collection. So Oliver lent it out for the auction and he went there with Dig and Felicity to catch the thief. McKenna was there too and Oliver avoided her since they went on a date and it was even more awkward than his flirting when she asked what the island was like and stuff. Anyway, Felicity’s tracking device beeped and she caught the Dodger stealing the jewel and he put a collar around her neck and took off with it.

Poor Felicity was understandably freaked out and Dig immediately set to work trying to get the collar off of her while Oliver asked her to guide him while he followed Dodger (Okay, I get that Oliver needed help and Felicity needed a distraction, but that is a lot to ask a girl with a bomb strapped to her neck). Oliver stole a guy’s motorcycle and what followed was a sequence straight out of The Dark Knight (stop stealing!) where he chased him on the motorcycle, cutting through buildings and plazas and finally using an arrow to disable his tire and make the car flip over.

Dig got the collar off Felicity, the Dodger tried to sell Oliver on some story about how they were the same and Oliver knocked him unconscious and then told him that he was not Robin Hood. After that, he went to apologize to McKenna, the two shared a chemistry-free kiss and Detective Lance interrupted to tell McKenna that he wanted her to work with him to bring down the vigilante and Oliver was clearly cursing his bad luck (I don’t know about you guys, but I’m guessing Oliver’s romance with McKenna is not going to work out in the long run).

While all of this was going on, there were flashbacks to the island and Oliver helping Slade Wilson with his injury. As much as I want the show to be serialized, I’m tired of the island. I don’t care what happened there. It’s boring and I know it’s not going anywhere, but it’s not worth my time to recap. Oliver saved Slade and he was grateful. Stuff happened in between with some random guy and Oliver learned a lesson (lather, rinse, repeat).

Finally, there was one more subplot for the episode, which will lead us into next week’s episode that I am very much looking forward to because Tommy will be back and I love him. Anyway, Moira met with this Asian dude named Frank (who actually was in The Dark Knight so now they’re stealing people too. I’m kidding. The actor really was in the movie though). Moira and Frank were talking about “The Undertaking,” which I can only assume is the same thing as Revenge’s “Initiative,” basically a boring waste of time that no one cares about.

But Moira wanted to move against Malcolm so she asked Frank to help her find out where Walter is first. She mentioned his daughter and how their original plan was to make Starling City better and not worse (are you still awake?). At the end of the episode, Moira met with China White and asked her to kill Malcolm Merlyn (yes, please).

The credits rolled and we got a little hint at next week, which features China and her people setting out to take Malcolm down (fingers crossed that it works) and then Tommy had a gun and came face to face with Arrow. I can only assume that this will be the episode that begins Tommy’s transformation into Lex Luthor and/or the character James Franco played in those awful Spiderman movies, but Tommy is my favorite and if he gets more airtime as the villain, I am good with it.

Okay, it’s your turn. Tell us what you thought of the episode: first impressions of Roy, the chemistry between Roy and Thea, the awesomeness that is Felicity…will Laurel ever get to have a leading role? Will the island suddenly become interesting? Sound off below and I will see you back here next week.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.

  • Ehecatl

    I… don’t see what you find boring about the island OR the main plot surrounding Tommy’s father, the list, and Moira. If they off Tommy’s father in this next episode, it’ll be extremely anti-climatic. The only thing I dislike about this show is Helena Bertinelli (she’s a total waste of a character that distracts from the main plot and who’s involvement in Oliver’s life was completely forced) and the “villian-of-the-week” setup that distracts from the main plot.

  • BobSmith111

    This series is really showing some real promise, and I hope that Felicity sticks around in it. I can really see her being a very valuable part of the team. Arrow is a great show overall, and because I work at DISH, I’ve stayed informed on all the products and services we offer, that’s why I purchased my Hopper DVR. I like how my Hopper can record up to six shows, all at the same time. With so many of my favorite shows on all at once, I can use this technology to help minimize DVR conflicts, so that I won’t miss episodes of Arrow.