Arrow recap: Mean Streets

A lot of people do a lot of killing for a lot of murky reasons. Superheroes!
Ep. 18 | Aired Mar 27, 2013

DARK NIGHT Oliver (Stephen Amell) faced off against a band of soldiers and a mad man without a gun -- and he only got shot at once.

Cate Cameron/The CW

The conventional wisdom is that Arrow is getting better by the week. (We even wrote a story about it, on newsstands now!). The conventional wisdom, in this case, is right — at least judging by tonight’s “Salvation,” which was as meaty and dimensional as anything this season. Every plot kept step with the other and, for a few wonderful minutes at the end, Stephen Amell almost cried. But more on that later.

First, have you heard the story of Starling City’s slumlord? He’s a bad guy whose badder hand with wiring caused the deaths of several people — and it’s too bad the proper authorities are tied up with a lack of motivation or proper evidence, Oliver grumbles while working out half-naked. No one else in the lair notices because they have more important things to focus on, like slumlords who are apparently killing people. Oliver preps his Arrow-gear and checks in with Felicity: Is she feeling good with all of this? She nods.

It’s too bad, then, that when Arrow shows up to Mr. Slumlord’s apartment (I’ll just call him John) he finds that it’s already been ransacked and Joe is gone. All that’s left is a knife, conspicuously un-sunk into the backs of any intruders.

Oliver worries back at the lair: Who could it be? And it isn’t that John is just gone, either. He was taken. Oliver worries: Can Felicity see if the guy had any enemies? This kidnapper is dangerous, after all, and he definitely won’t have Oliver’s “restraint.” But also, he worries, why is she making that face at him? Is it because she’s having trouble keeping track of his evolving ethical standards for superheroism? Oliver worries.

Stop. Dig is taking Oliver out to dinner. He worries too much.

But first — flashback! Oliver and Slade continue negotiating with Fyers about getting off the island in exchange for the circuit board.

On the other side of town and with the lights way down low, we find that Thea and Roy have fast-forwarded their relationship to that stage where one of them will probably tell the other that they’re moving too quickly. Not to be! Instead we hop tropes when one of Roy’s friends shows up — Thea takes that as a cue to preen; Queens, amirite? — and hands off a mysterious paper bag that has a gun in it. (Good for you, Thea, getting your nose dirty with some investigating.) Why the gun, Roy? “Because I’m no good with knives.” Thea frets at this sudden swerve toward criminality so he takes all of the bullets out of the gun, even though he’s still committed to robbing a liquor store. Thea wants him to reconsider the choices he’s making but, like, really — the red hoodie was Thea’s earliest warning and that was already episodes ago. Naturally, she storms out.

At Casa de Lance, Laurel finds her dad and River Song mom reunited in the cause of finding Sarah, who can also be called “mystery hat girl” because it is literally the only way they have to identify her to any and all other authorities. Isn’t it great that her parents are reconciled? Ummmm.

NEXT: Bros being bros, plus a murder

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