Things are heating up in Starling City now that Oliver once again beat death – with the help of Felicity and Diggle, of course. While the last couple episodes dealt heavily with the story arc, ‘Dodger’ reminds us that this is a procedural series and this week we return to the “catch the villain of the week” mode. This time, it’s the Dodger played by James Callis, otherwise known as ‘Battlestar Galactica’s’ Gaius Baltar.
We’re first introduced to the Dodger (Callis) as he coerces a guard to help him steal the Sherwood jewel. His MO is to attach a bomb collar that he can control remotely which is why the guard was so jittery. The Dodger’s also source of torture is a cattle prod. (Cattle prod vs. arrows? This may be the Hood’s quickest get yet.)
Back in the Hood lair, viewers are now envious of Felicity as she works on the computer (yeah, right) as the shirtless Oliver works out nearby. (We saw those sneak peeks she threw his way!) Anyway, Oliver tells Diggle and Felicity to call it an early night as he doesn’t see any problems confronting the next guy on his list. While getting his gear, Felicity pulls up info on Kent Williams and see that he has a 10 year old child. She overrides the locks on the lair to prevent Oliver from going after him as she doesn’t want to see a child become an orphan. When Oliver won’t relent to letting this one pass, Felicity storms out telling him she made a mistake agreeing to be part of his team.
The next morning, Moira has a meeting with Frank who she convinces to help her get out of the “undertaking” she is involved in with Malcolm. She knows Robert had once confided in him and she reminds him that they started this to save The Glades. Could Moira be on the side of good after all? Looks like as it seems that she was in on whatever Robert had planned with the book in the first place. I guess she just needed the Hood to threaten to kill her to push her in the right direction and get her priorities in order.
Meanwhile , Diggle and Oliver go and try to apologize to Felicity. Diggle is worried that she’ll go to the police but Oliver doesn’t think she will. When the computer genius arrives to her office, Oliver does say he’s sorry and lets her know that Williams was not harmed and returned the money he stole all in time to tuck his son to bed.
A news report comes on to be on the lookout for the Dodger. Diggle tells Oliver about the jewel thief and Felicity snarkingly comments that it’s too bad this guy is not on Oliver’s list. Oliver, not quite liking being questioned on his integrity a second time, tells Felicity not everyone he goes after has to be on the list and a hostage taking jewel thief would be considered as an exception.
Diggle and Oliver drag Felicity to one of their diner brain storming sessions where she notices sparks between Carly and Diggle. Oliver agrees with their newest member that Diggle should ask his ex-sister-in-law out but he counters that he’ll do the asking when Oliver asks McKenna out.
While Diggle stumbles on his task on asking Carly for a date, Oliver tells Felicity that if they can figure out the pattern of the Dodger’s thefts, then maybe they can anticipate his next move and get the guy. She offers a plan that entails Oliver to be all “flirty-flirty” with McKenna, the badge wearing officer who he likes and just happens to be working with Interpol on this case, and plant a techy bug which throws him for a loop. He tells her he just usually tries to find someone who can give him the info he needs and puts the fear of God in them to spill, but after a disapproving look from Felicity, he tells her he’s willing to try it her way.
The five years on the island has taken its toll as playboy Oliver has lost his moves and awkwardly asks McKenna out for drinks. She thought the invite was adorable (and it was) and ups the ante to dinner instead. Oliver has a date!
During the lunch break, Thea and Laurel grab a hot dog when all of the sudden Roy Harper steals Thea’s purse. Even with the soon to be Black Canary after him, he still manages to get away but not without leaving the chain from his wallet behind. This was enough for Thea to make a few phone calls to places that sold this style of wallets and she was able to get her robber’s name. (Yes, I know, major plot hole but just go with it).
Diggle’s date didn’t go well as he brought up the subject of his brother, Carly’s now dead husband, (Smooth move, Sherlock) while Oliver’s date with McKenna became awkward when she began asking questions about life on the island that Oliver was not ready to answer. Good thing her phone rang and interrupted their date.
The Dodger is on to another fence as he tries to get someone to buy the jewel. Unfortunately, during the exchange the cops interrupt and gun fire is exchanged. The Dodger gets away and even the Hood fails to stop him.
Quentin manages to bring Harper into the station to question him. The purse snatcher tries to plead his case by telling the detective that he steals because he has to. His mother got hooked on Vertigo and although she’s kicked the habit, she’s still not quite right and has massive medical bills. Thea watches all this behind the one way mirror and drops the charges. Later on she goes to Harper’s home to retrieve her purse and he tells her not to believe every sob story she hears.
At the Queen mansion, Frank tells Moira that a meeting has been set as she requested. She asks him if there is some way to get proof of life on Walter and Frank sets out to find out what he can.
The trio set a trap to bring the Dodger out in the open and it works except Felicity is the one who catches him in the act. So what’s a hostage taking jewel thief to do? He puts a bomb collar on the IT girl. She quickly finds Oliver and Diggle with the latter trying to disable he bomb and the former going after the Dodger to catch him and disarm the bomb remotely.
One would think that with the car chase going on, the Dodger would pick that time to set the bomb off, but it takes an arrow to the wheel causing the car to crash for the jewel thief to threaten to blow Felicity’s head off. But the show we are watching is called ‘Arrow’, so ….
Oliver works an arrow like a ninja works a throwing star and he manages to get one in on the exact nerve that will paralyze the Dodger’s trigger thumb. The bomb necklace falls off and Felicity is saved!
In the end, Diggle and Carly become Darly; Oliver opens up to McKenna and they become … well two ships in the night now that Quentin has offered the lieutenant a position to work with him to bring down the vigilante. Poor Oliver, you never get a break!
But wait! Surprises are not over as the last scene has Moira meeting with China White and requesting her to kill Malcolm. It’s on now! China White vs. the Dark Archer….now that’s a fight worth watching!
While I was hesitant that the series would lose its momentum this week, I was proven wrong. What the show lacked in suspense was made up with the addition of Felicity who brought in the lighthearted humor that was missing early in the series. Having her join Oliver and Diggle not only brings a conscience to the Arrow team but also allows some good hearted teasing. Watching Oliver not so confident is enduring as it makes his character more human.
On the other hand, the manner that the Dodger was taken down was, once again, wrapped up too quickly. The series has been touted as a reality based version of the Green Arrow, but having the vigilante archer manage to throw an arrow hitting the exact nerve that paralyzes the Dodger’s hand was such a bunch of… well, you get the idea.
Moira is one devious mama as she has now had enough and is making her move to get out from under Malcolm’s thumb. It’s good to see China White again as I have thought she has not been utilized as well as she should be in the past.
So what did you think of the ‘Dodger’? And how about Felicity being part of the team? Let me know if you think ‘Arrow’ hit the bulls eye this week or missed the mark in the comments below!