Oliver, Diggle and Felicity team up on their first mission; Roy Harper makes his debut

By Nuzhat Naoreen
Updated February 21, 2013 at 06:00 AM EST
Cate Cameron/The CW

Is it me or has Arrow really turned a corner? It’s no coincidence that the two best episodes of the series so far — last week’s and tonight’s — have featured the three best characters: Oliver, Diggle and yes, Felicity.

While last week’s episode helped lay the groundwork for the trio, tonight’s hour helped establish their dynamic both as colleagues and friends. It also did something I didn’t think was possible: make me like Thea (well, okay, sort of make me like her). But more on that later. First, let’s dial back to the start of the episode…

We kick off with a not-so slick heist at a museum, as a sweaty security guard makes off with a very expensive red ruby. While alarms blaze, the guard takes the jewel to a well-dressed man with a British accent (who we later learn is nicknamed The Dodger), and begs him to disarm the bomb collar around his neck. (Oh, so that’s why he was sweating). The man complies but before he leaves he knocks the guard unconscious.

Cut to Oliver working out at his hideaway. With his gunshot wound apparently fully healed (that was quick!), Oliver decides it’s time to cross another name off the list. His latest target? Ken Williams, a man who stole millions through a pyramid scheme. Before Oliver can go out on his mission though, Felicity overrides the hideaway’s security code and locks him indoors. She’s convinced Williams isn’t all that bad — He’s a widow! With a 10-year-old son! And a dating profile! — and she thinks that maybe Oliver should focus his efforts elsewhere. When Oliver refuses to listen, Felicity tells him she made a mistake signing on to work with him. I wasn’t expecting these two to have such a testy relationship, but it’s definitely working for me. Apparently, it’s working for Diggle too because he watches them go head-to-head with a barely concealed smirk.

Cue flashback: Oliver may have recovered from his gunshot wound in the present day, but on the island Slade is in pretty dire condition. It seems his wound is now infected. Oliver thinks he can save Slade if he finds some of the super herbs that Yao Fei had once used on him. He goes back to the cave where he first took refuge to search for the herbs.

Back in the present, Moira meets with a man, Frank, to talk about the undertaking. She wants out and she’s hoping Frank will help. Moira tells Frank they started the undertaking to fix the Glades, not lay it to waste. She points out that Frank only joined the undertaking because of his daughter, Amanda. Moira asks him what Amanda would want him to do. Clearly, she’s pushed the right button because Frank agrees to help her.

NEXT: Oliver apologizes to Felicity…

Oliver and Diggle head to Queen Consolidated to pacify Felicity. When they don’t find her, Diggle tells Oliver he’s worried her conscience will take her straight to the cops. Oliver doesn’t doubt her, though. He’s convinced she won’t say anything. His instincts are right. Felicity shows up soon after, and Oliver apologizes for his behavior earlier. He tells Felicity that Ken Williams returned the money he stole and got back home in time to tuck his son into bed. Their chat is cut short by a news report about The Dodger. After Diggle says The Dodger got his nickname because he avoids getting his hands dirty, Felicity remarks that it’s too bad he’s not listed in Oliver’s notebook. “You know not all the people I target are on the list. Every once in awhile I make an exception,” a slightly offended Oliver tells Felicity. Then he asks her to help them take down The Dodger. For a girl who declared she was only going to stick around to help find Walter, Felicity signs on to this new mission pretty quickly. Not that I’m complaining, of course…

Speaking of Starling City’s new jewel thief, The Dodger takes the stolen red ruby to a man in a bow tie. He’s expecting a big money transfer in exchange for the drop-off, but the bow tie buyer decides he’s not in the mood to pay up. Instead, he instructs his guards to take down The Dodger. Before the men can make their move though, The Dodger swiftly tasers each of them and then kills the buyer. Guess it’s time to find someone else who’s in the market for a stolen jewel.

Meanwhile, Oliver, Felicity and Diggle head to Starling City’s — apparently one and only — diner to figure out how they’re going to deal with The Dodger. “Is this really how you guys figure out how to get your target? Over burgers and shakes?” asks an amused Felicity. She has a point. Their conversation is sidelined when Diggle’s sister-in-law, Carly, stops by to complain about some rowdy customers. After she leaves, Felicity tells Diggle that Carly totally has the hots for him. Oliver piles on by suggesting Diggle ask Carly out on a date, but Diggle says he’ll only do it if Oliver agrees to make a move on McKenna, the female detective he’s apparently had a crush on for quite some time. Men!

While Diggle attempts to ask Carly out, Felicity tells Oliver he should cozy up to McKenna and, while he’s at it, insert a bug into her phone so that they can listen in on any police communication tied to The Dodger. Oliver tells her he’s much more of a confront-and-terrify kind of guy, but he’s willing to give her method a shot.

He heads over to the police station, where he lays some serious game on McKenna after bugging her phone. “It was nice seeing you the last time that I saw you,” he says. Somehow this works, and McKenna suggests they go on a date that very same night. Boys, please don’t try that line at home. I guarantee you will not get the same results.

Cue flashback: While Oliver searches for the herbs, he finds a bloodied man who begs him for help.

At the hideaway, Felicity pulls up information on the murdered bow-tie buyer. The team realize that the best way to capture The Dodger is to find his next buyer. For now however, the mission must wait. After all, it’s date night!

NEXT: Awkward first dates galore…

While Diggle screws up a romantic walk with Carly by bringing up his brother (a.k.a. her hubby), Arrow has an equally disastrous dinner with McKenna, who can’t seem to stop asking him questions about the island. Not exactly first-date convo. Her questions trigger some bad memories and Oliver tells her he had to make some tough choices. When McKenna pushes the topic, Oliver tells her he doesn’t want to talk about it (and rightfully so!). Luckily for him, the conversation gets cut short when McKenna gets a call about The Dodger. After she leaves, Oliver calls Felicity and asks her to activate the bug on McKenna’s phone.

Cue flashback: Oliver questions the man in the cave about his identity. The man tells him he was on a fishing expedition with his class when a mechanical failure on their boat prompted him to jump ship. Oliver continues to press him. He wants to know what happened to the rest of the class, and the man says he thinks he was the only one to make it out alive. He tells Oliver the guards on the island beat him, bound him, and left him to die. Though it looks like Oliver is about to help, he can’t bring himself to trust the man enough to untie him. Instead, he leaves him there and goes off to give Slade the herbs. Later, Slade — who is feeling much better — asks Oliver if everything went okay during his expedition. Oliver tells him it was fine, but he’s clearly haunted by his decision to leave the helpless man.

In Starling City, The Dodger meets with another buyer. They’re about to complete the trade when McKenna and a slew of other cops arrive on the scene. The Dodger manages to get away unscathed, but Arrow catches him outside. He doesn’t have the upper hand for long, though. The Dodger throws a bomb in Arrow’s direction and slips away once again.

Back at the hideaway, Felicity asks the boys how their dates went, but they’re not exactly in the sharing mood. (Side note: Any New Girl fans out there? For some reason Felicity’s relationship with the guys reminds me off Jess’ relationship with her roommates in season 1). They look into The Dodger’s records and realize he has an affinity for Spanish antiquities. Oliver suggests they lure The Dodger to an upcoming cancer benefit with a jewel donated by the Queen family because yes, they are just that rich.

Meanwhile, Frank sets Moira up with someone who can presumably help her get out of the undertaking. But Moira’s not done yet. She asks Frank for one more favor. She needs his help finding a lead on Walter. Apparently Malcolm is the only one who knows his whereabouts, and Moira tells Frank that if their “plan” works, she can’t let it ruin Walter’s life. Later, Moira meets with China White and asks her to kill Malcolm. Ah, so that’s her plan. Let’s see how well this works out.

At the gala, Felicity shows up — without her glasses! — in a dazzling gold dress. I imagine this was supposed to be her Pretty Woman moment, but to my disappointment both Oliver and Diggle look only mildly impressed. Their reactions are the least of her worries, though. Felicity tracks The Dodger and discovers he’s picked up the Queen family broach. Wait, I thought he was called The Dodger because he never committed his own crimes? Anyway, she tells The Dodger he needs to bid on the broach if he wants it. He’s not exactly intimidated.

NEXT: Felicity sports a new accessory...

A few moments later, Felicity rushes over to Diggle and Oliver. Apparently, The Dodger gifted her with a new accessory: A bomb collar. (Side note: How exactly did he manage to slip away unnoticed after putting a bomb collar around her neck? It’s not exactly a subtle device.)

While Diggle attempts to disarm the bomb, Oliver goes after The Dodger. With Felicity’s help, Oliver tracks him down and then shoots an arrow into his hand so he can’t activate the bomb trigger. The Dodger doesn’t understand why Arrow is targeting him. He tells him that they’re basically the same person and that he only steals from the rich. Arrow finishes him off and declares to no one in particular, “I’m not Robin Hood.” Um, okay. Meanwhile, Diggle removes the bomb collar from a very relieved Felicity.

With the bad guy handled, the boys attempt to fix their love lives. Diggle convinces Carly to give him another shot, while Oliver meets up with McKenna and promises more souffles. Just as they’re about to leave, though, Det. Lance shows up and tells McKenna he wants her to work with him on the vigilante investigation. Somehow I don’t think this relationship is going to end well…

Am I the only one who was hoping someone (and by someone I obviously mean Oliver) would check up on Felicity? The two obviously have chemistry, but it’s a bit hard to root for it to become something more when Oliver is so clearly unaffected by her (that’s not counting the entertaining moments of mild irritation, of course).

Speaking of chemistry, I certainly saw plenty of it between Thea and Roy Harper. Let’s back up a bit though. While strolling through the Glades with Laurel (yes, she made an appearance in this episode), Thea’s very expensive vintage purse gets stolen by a guy in a red hoodie. Laurel and Thea try to chase him down, but he manages to escape. Along the way, he leaves behind a chain that was attached to his wallet. Thea manages to use the chain to track him down (completely implausible but okay!), and asks Det. Lance to bring him in for questioning. While he’s being grilled, Harper tells Lance that he only commits crimes to help his distressed mother, who recently got addicted to Vertigo.

Upon hearing this, Thea — who’s dabbled with the drug herself — decides not to press charges. Later, she shows up at Roy’s house to ask for her purse back. (Side note: Why wouldn’t she just buy another one? If Oliver can donate a jewel to bait a thief, surely Thea can purchase another handbag). After calling her out for being a trust fund brat, Roy gives her two pieces of advice: Stay out of the Glades and don’t fall for every sob story a guy like him feeds to the cops. I really don’t want to admit this, but I might just like these two. In fact, their little love-hate relationship is that much more interesting because (spoiler alert!) Roy — at least according to the comics — turns out to be Arrow’s sidekick. Interesting, no?

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of this episode? Do you want Oliver to a pay a little more attention to Felicity? Are you feeling the Thea-Roy storyline? Sound off below.

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