Arrow recap: 'Draw Back Your Bow'
An obsessed fan sets her sights on the Arrow.
If you remember, I was not happy with last week’s episode, mostly because of how much it tried to force an unearned meaningful moment between Ollie and Roy, but also because it was the latest instance of Ollie being a hypocrite and, as anyone on TVD would describe him, a dick. Because he’s the main character, it’s easy to let him get away with a lot more dickish moments; plus, we were all too busy hating on Laurel, who’s notably absent from tonight’s episode. This season, however, Laurel has become less of a problem character, which is great for her, but not great for Ollie because his many unlikeable qualities—being manipulative, condescending, and a hypocrite—have become more obvious. Tonight’s episode, which features Team Arrow going up against someone who idolizes Ollie, definitely highlights the fact that Ollie might not be totally worthy of such obsession.
The episode kicks off with a flashback to the night of siege when Ollie, Felicity, and Diggle are rushing through the street to pick up the cure before Slade gets to it. On their way there, however, they decided to make a pit stop to save a cute redhead who’s being attacked by one of Slade’s mirakuru-powered soldiers. The damsel Ollie saves is immediately taken with the Arrow and picks up an arrow he left behind and stares at intently.
We then return to the present day where Quentin and Ollie are checking out the body of a man who was killed with an arrow with a spade-shaped point and dropped off in this location dressed in an Arrow costume; it’s Isaac Stansler. [ASIDE: Where does one order novelty arrows like that? Is someone actually making a living off of this or did Cupid just make these tips on her own?] Having seen the end of last week’s episode, we know Cupid, a.k.a. Carrie Cutter (played by Supernatural‘s Amy Gumenick), is behind it, but Quentin and Ollie don’t. All they know, based on the arrow and staging of the body, is that the killer wants Ollie’s attention.
Over at Queen Consolidated, Felicity realizes that she definitely has a type when she walks into Ray’s office to remind him about his upcoming press conference and finds him shirtless and working out on a salmon ladder. As he’s getting cleaned up, Ray asks her out to dinner. And before you get all excited, it’s not a date. Still pursuing his co-generation idea from two weeks ago, he’s meeting with the owner of minerals needed for the project and the owner’s wife for dinner and wants Felicity to ease the boredom. Initially hesitant because she wants to keep things platonic and professional and because she’s still not over Ollie, Felicity says no, but quickly changes her mind once Ray shows her the expensive dress he bought for her to wear to the dinner. I’ll admit it: I’m an Ollie/Felicity shipper. But I can’t help but be excited by the prospect of Ray and Felicity getting together because they have such a great chemistry and Ollie had his chance and gave it up.
Back at the Arrow-cave, Ollie and Diggle are examining the arrow picked up at the crime scene when Ray Palmer’s press conference begins, and Felicity is standing by his side—something Ollie is both shocked and not happy to see. Unintentionally kicking Ollie while he’s already down, Ray announces that saving Starling City requires rebranding Queen Consolidated and that he’s decided to rename it Palmer Industries—there’s a swirling finger motion that accompanies the name. Angry, Ollie starts hitting the tip of the spade-shaped arrow with a hammer, breaks the tip and finds a piece of paper inside with an address.
When they go to the apartment, Ollie and Diggle are surprised and slightly disturbed to find a room filled with candles, rose petals, and a heart-shaped mirror covered in arrows, and newspaper clippings about the Arrow plastered all over the wall. Creepily watching Ollie from across the street, Cupid calls a cell phone she left in the room and has her first conversation with her beloved. Carrie’s so inspired by how well Ollie takes care of the city but is worried that no one’s taking care of him (she isn’t too far off), and she has decided to prove her devotion by killing in his name. She then teases Ollie with a picture of her latest sacrifice in his honor. Once the phone call has ended, Ollie realizes that the arrow tips aren’t spades, they’re hearts.
Diggle and Ollie return to the Arrow-cave to find Roy, who’s still having a hard time since learning he murdered a cop because, unlike Ollie, lying to himself doesn’t come easy to Roy. Felicity walks in and says she was able to ID the man Cupid stole but hasn’t been able to find where she’s keeping him yet. She promises to work around the clock, except for tonight because she has dinner plans with Ray. Obviously challenging Ollie to express himself, she asks if she can have the night off, to which Ollie shortly tells her to do what she wants.
Basically, tonight’s episode is all about Ollie’s women problems. He’s forced to watch Felicity get closer to Ray because he, like an idiot, decided they couldn’t be together, while at the same time, he has to deal with this obsessed fan. Ollie’s approach to the Felicity situationis comparable to a little kid who decides that if he can’t play with a toy, no one can. Carrie’s obsession with Ollie is rather tragic because Ollie definitely isn’t the man she thinks he is and, at the moment, definitely not worthy of her obsession.
Felicity is eventually able to ID their mystery archer and we find out she used to work for the SCPD, and Ollie assumes that’s why she looks so familiar, but he’s wrong. Carrie Cutter left the force a year before he came back from Starling after stalking her partner. The reason she looks so familiar is that she’s been at almost every crime scene that Ollie’s been at recently.
NEXT: Not-a-date night
Thanks to Felicity’s awesome skills, Ollie and Roy—who’s now officially known as Arsenal in the field—are able to track Carrie to a green house. Carrie, who was hoping to have a private moment with her bae, immediately takes out Arsenal. In her and Ollie’s ensuing conversation, which is seen by her hostage who’s dangling from the ceiling with bombs strapped to his chest, she reveals just how crazy she is by saying stuff like, “If I’m out of my mind, it’s because that’s what love is: our own little slice of insanity.” Ollie rejects her advances, so she makes a quick exit, but Ollie can’t go after her because she triggered the bomb around the hostage’s neck. Based on this first encounter, I’m still not quite sure where to place Carrie on HIMYM‘s Barney Stinson’s hot/crazy scale.
Arrow and Arsenal return to the Arrow-cave, and Arsenal throws a little tantrum because he was so easily taken out by Carrie. Ollie tries to comfort him, but it’s to no avail. Roy’s not the only one who’s distracted. As soon as Roy leaves, Ollie immediately wonders where Felicity is and Diggle reminds him about her dinner with Ray. To take his mind off the dinner and avoid talking about his feelings, Ollie decides to go talk to the psychiatrist the SCPD sent Carrie to.
Worried about his friend, Diggle decides to pay Felicity a little visit and tells her that her dinner with Ray has Ollie all in knots. Being the badass she is, Felicity basically says that’s not her problem because Ollie made his choice, and if he has a problem with it, he should tell her himself. Unfortunately, Ollie’s too busy to tell her right at this moment because he’s busy interrogating Carrie’s psychiatrist, who informs him that Carrie has an attachment disorder and also suggests that he seek some psychiatric help.
As is to be expected, Felicity looks so amazing in the dress Ray bought her that when our normally charming and on point technology genius sees her, he stumbles a bit. Because buying a dress for her wasn’t enough, Ray also borrowed a $10 million dollar necklace to top it all off—this is not keeping things platonic. Later at dinner, Felicity comes to Ray’s aid when Mr. Gardner says he won’t sell his mineral deposits. She delivers this cute speech about how Ray is something better than a business man, he’s someone inspiring and mainly concerned with making the world a better place. If this wasn’t clear from her origin story episode two weeks, Felicity’s type isn’t men on salmon ladders, it’s men who want to help others and change the world for better. In Ray, she’s found someone who seems to be able to do just that without all the moodiness that Ollie brings to his attempts to do good. No matter who you ship, it’s clear that Ray might be a slightly more emotionally healthy choice for Felicity, but that’s assuming she needs to have a man—which she doesn’t.
Meanwhile, Carrie, dressed in all red, shows up to Verdant on the club’s opening night, which isn’t going well because of a crappy DJ. Using the time it took the Arrow to reach his most recent crime scenes, one of her former criminal informants was able to narrow down his base of operations. Unfortunately, Ollie is not in the Arrow-cave at the moment because he’s out on his motorcycle trying
to not think about Felicity to track her down. Ollie gives her a call and tells her that he’ll giver her the face-to-face she wants anywhere except for there.
Carrie and Oliver meet at the subway station where he saved her several months ago. Carrie continues to make her advances and Ollie continues to reject them, but this time he does so in a speech in which he admits to knowing what it feels like to want someone and to not be able to be with them. He says that he must be alone because of the life that he’s chosen. By this point Felicity has returned to the Arrow-cave and hears every word of this. The problem with this speech is not only have we heard it before, but it starts to hold less and less water each time he says it. Not one who’s easily deterred, Carrie says he’s lying, and as her psychiatrist predicted, lashes out against him, and the two fight.
Their fight eventually goes underground to the subway tracks to which Carrie cuffs him—because if she can’t have him, no one can (hmmm, while slightly more extreme, this behavior seems familiar.. maybe Carrie was right and they aren’t so different after all). Using the classic break your thumb trick, Ollie is able to break free of the handcuffs in time to save both he and Carrie from an oncoming train, which convinces her even more that he loves her.
[ASIDE: Cupid joins the very short list of non-relative female characters with whom Ollie has not slept. I’m surprised by Arrow’s restraint. Then again, he’s been so stressed and insufferable lately that he probably could’ve used a little bit of fun. END ASIDE]
Meanwhile, Felicity is hard at work in her huge
Queen Consolidated Palmer Technologies office when Ray comes in to take back the necklace and to thank her for what she said at dinner because it convinced Mr. Gardner to sell to him. As he’s removing the necklace from her neck, he says that she’s unlike anyone he knows and goes in for the kiss. Guess who gets off the elevator and witnesses… Yep, Oliver, who took Diggle’s advice to tell Felicity how he really feels before it’s too late. Obviously, it’s too late.
Seeing the kiss naturally leads to another Ollie tantrum in the Arrow-cave, which Roy hears. After they both acknowledge neither of them is “okay,” they decide to take Diggle up on his offer and join him and Lyla for dinner at their home. For the record, last week’s episode would’ve worked better if we’d been given more of these one-on-one moments between Roy and Ollie earlier in the season.
And now for three great comic moments in the episode….
Following his kiss with Felicity, Ray retires to his office and instructs his employees to let him know when the first of the Dwarf-star alloy is extracted from Gardner’s mineral deposits. Once off the phone, he goes to his computer and pulls up specs for a suit called the A.T.O.M. EXOSUIT. For those who don’t know, in the comics, Ray Palmer is known as the superhero The Atom, who has the ability to shrink to subatomic levels thanks to a white dwarf star in a belt he wears.
The second big comic moment came during the flashback when we not only learned that Ollie had no idea how to do laundry, but we also saw Maseo’s wife Tatsu, known as Katana in the comics, show off her sword-fighting abilities for the first time.
Finally, in the episode stinger, we’re introduced to Captain Boomerang (Nick Tarabay), who’s shown murdering someone in an alleyway. Captain Boomerang is the main villain in the second part of the Arrow/The Flash crossover episode.
Wall of Weird:
— Verdant new and extremely
cocky self-confident DJ, Chase (Austin Butler), kissed Thea at the end of his first night working there. That’s pretty much all that happened to Thea this week, which is pretty disappointing since I’m anxious to see Thea out in the field alongside Daddy Merlyn, who is also absent from tonight’s episode.
— This isn’t the last we’ve seen of Cupid. Instead of sending her to Iron Heights, Ollie hands her over to ARGUS to join the Suicide Squad, where he hopes she’ll be able to do some good.
— During the flashbacks, Maseo called Ollie an outsider, and we find out that Maseo and Tatsu fled Japan after upsetting a very powerful man. I don’t know too much about pre-New 52 Katana, so I can’t even begin to guess who Tatsu and Maseo angered. However, part of me was excited when they said the word “outsider” because I recently finished reading Green Arrow: The Killing Machine and Green Arrow: The Outsider War, which deal with a secret society called The Outsiders, which is formed of seven-weapon based clans: the Sword, the Arrow, the Spear, the Fist, the Shield, the Ax, and the Mask. In the comics, Katana’s sword, named Soultaker, is the Sword Clan’s totem. I definitely recommend you guys check out those two New 52 books. You don’t have to have read the first Green Arrow volumes to understand them.