Arrow Episode 3 “Lone Gunmen” Shoots Straight And Scores [Advance Review]

As I sat with a group of reporters at the CW’s headquarters, waiting to watch an advanced screening of “Lone Gunmen,” this week’s new episode of Arrow, star Stephen Amell tweeted that his show had been picked up for a full season. After seeing the third episode, it’s little wonder why.

This episode sees Amell’s vigilante persona pursuing Deadshot, a ruthless assassin who seems to want to take out the same people that the Arrow wants to bring to justice. But it’s his real life as Oliver Queen that is truly complicated, as he has to deal with his wayward little sister, an unwanted bodyguard who is rapidly becoming a trusted friend, and a trusted friend who has a very big secret that involves his former girlfriend.

I find myself absolutely loving the way that Amell plays the duel sides of his character. While I’m still not a huge fan of the voiceover info dumps, when they’re accompanied by footage of his muscles rippling as he works out, I’m much less inclined to complain about them. As the Arrow, he is dangerously focused and coldly detached, but as Oliver, he does a fantastic job of pretending to be his old, irresponsible self because, like anyone in that actual situation would, he doesn’t really succeed, at least not with the people who are paying attention.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately in the case of his back-stabbing mother, his family and close friends are not the ones paying attention. But Oliver’s respect for Dig, the bodyguard he never wanted, is slowly becoming mutual as the man realizes that something about his client’s behavior doesn’t quite match up with his image or reputation. Their interactions are some of the best parts of the show.

I also appreciate how the backstory of his years on the island are linear (so far), but come in such small pieces that the audience doesn’t feel dragged down by them. They’re like these brief little glimpses into fear and isolation that make us look at Oliver with even more admiration and curiosity. How did he go from running through the jungle for his life to the master bowman we know now?

We also meet a new character this week, a bubbly blonde IT tech who I honestly hope we see more of, as she might be a potential love interest for Oliver who, quite frankly, could use one after this episode.

If you’re not watching Arrow, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon. You won’t be disappointed. As another reporter said after the screening, they’re three for three. And now you can be assured that they’re not getting cancelled before May.

Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.