Oct 25 2012 11:19am

Arrow Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: Abs and Assassins

Stephen Amell as Oliver patching himself up in ArrowLast week, Heather and Chris talked about the big-time comic book influences in Arrow. Unlike them, I went into Arrow knowing only two things: it had an archer as the hero and it was on the CW. What do those two things add up to? Shirtless guy with a great upper body.

(Need to catch up? Don't miss Tori Benson's thoughts on the pilot episode or Heather and Chris's episode 1.02 recap. Plus, read Jennifer Proffitt's report on the Arrow cast panel at NYCC!)

Turns out the show is more than just epic abs (and pecs and biceps and, really, every muscle group you can list). There’s a nice redemption angle, possible love elements, superhero skills and, okay, workout montages. I say this all, to let you know my recaps probably focus more on the ass kicking and the abs than anything you know from the print basis for the TV show. That said, let’s get to the sexy show.

Stephen Amell Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow*****SPOILERS*****

Speaking of workouts, this episode starts with Oliver shirtless and working hard. I love this man does crossfit-style workouts for three reasons 1) Because I do them, too. 2) Because he looks better doing them than I do. 3) Because he’s shirtless.

This episode, like all the others, picks on a specific bad business guy. Tonight it’s James Holder, who put bad smoke detectors in low-income housing leading to fires and deaths. I love seeing Oliver as this Robin Hood character, but I also wonder how many names are in that book. The series did just get picked up for a full first season.

Only this time Oliver isn’t the only one gunning for James. When he shows up to give his “back off or else” speech, a sniper takes out James and nicks Oliver with the bullet. This leads to self-stitching. Done shirtless. (Seriously, CW deserves a thank-you note for all the eye candy.)

The bullet is poisoned, though, and that leads us to a flashback to five years ago on the island. Oliver has been shot with an arrow and is given medicine, presumably the same thing he took to stop the poison in the current time.

Is Oliver able to go all CSI based on what he learned on a remote island or because he has crazy cash? I don’t care. He’s hot when he’s science-y.

We discover James Holder’s killer is known by the name Dead Shot. Also, he tattoos his victim’s names on his body and has a killer body. (Should we start thanking casting directors, too?)

Oliver is turning his warehouse hideout into a nightclub. This amuses me almost as much as it amuses his bodyguard. Batman needed more dance parties atop the cave. So I’m in. How do I score a plus one?

Laurel really does have a good best friend. “We are going to go out. We are going to have some shots. And we are going to dance with men we don’t know.”

Oliver Queen: Scales buildings. Looks remarkable in a thermal shirt. Thinks going up against the Russian Mob is a stroke of “good luck.”

The men dying at the hands of the Russian assassin appear to be prospective buyers of the same company Oliver’s stepfather is looking to buy. Sketchy.

Oliver tries to take Problem Sister home from a club. It does not go well. I know Laurel sees that he’s changed. He drops his guard when in protective mode and we don’t see the playboy he’s pretending to be in public. She sees it, too.

Katie Cassidy as Laurel in ArrowLaurel is a secret ninja (or takes self defense classes, whatever). See: Perfect Match for Secret Superhero.

I wonder how many foreign languages Oliver can speak. I want to hear them all. Swoon.

Immediately fell in love with the IT woman. Oliver brings in Dead Shot’s laptop saying he spilled a latte on it. Her: “Really? These look like bullet holes.” Oliver: “My coffee shop is in a bad neighborhood.”

Oliver As Arrow decides it’s time to bring in the cops. It’s the first time he’s asked for help protecting people, but it’s going to take a whole lot more to convince Laurel’s dad to trust a vigilante.

Tommy decides with the air clear about how he’s been sleeping with Oliver’s ex, it’s time to make the proper moves on her. And, though I’m not sure how I feel about Tommy and Laurel together, it’s hard not to appreciate a ‘you make me want to be a better person’ type speech.

Dead Shot tries to kill Walter, but Oliver's stepfather is saved. The sniper continues firing at the auction, and Oliver As Arrow decides it’s time to bust out the grapple.

Dead Shot suggests that he and Oliver As Arrow are the same. They’ve both taken lives. Oliver As Arrow makes the distinction that he only does it for the good of others. Then, arrow to the eye for Dead Shot. This may sound odd, but I like that he has to kill people. I want there to be consequences to it, of course, but I think it’s hard to see a vigilante who isn’t willing to take extreme measures against someone killing others. (This applies to TV, kids. I’m not making a statement for real life.)

Oliver’s bodyguard gets shot in the melee, which means taking him to Oliver As Arrow’s hideout and giving him the antidote for the poison. Time to let him in on the big secret. Next week should be excellent.


Lifting cinderblocks on a pulley means a tight core, people. Oliver mostly gave us his back in the opening scene, but, oh, when those abs were visible, you looked.


While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. Her appreciation of Alexander Skarsgard is well documented. Bother her on Twitter — @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
I haven't gotten to watch it yet! :( First thing when I get home, though, that's the goal. Looking forward to all that shirtlessness!

So Laurel's already a secret ninja, huh? That's convenient!
2. Miss_D
I liked the ep. More character development in this ep. I am really enjoying this show. I think that Tom's feelings for Laurel are going to become a problem with his & Oliver's friendship very soon because it seems to me that she likes him but still has strong feelings for Oliver. The coffeeshop line made me chuckle aloud.

I really appreciate that this show has diversity in long-term characters (not generally a big thing on CW shows) as well as liking the shots of Vancouver in the outdoor scenes. :) Would like to see more of Joanne.
The series did just get picked up for a second season.
It just got picked up for a FULL first season.
Darlene Marshall
3. DarleneMarshall
The IT gal is a character in the DC universe, so I believe we'll see more of her. That's a good thing.

All this hot male action and great one-liners make this a must-see show for me. Well done, CW!
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@Miss_D -- Thanks for catching that! Right, it got picked up for the rest of this season. I'll make that edit now.
5. ChelseaMueller
The IT gal is a character in the DC universe, so I believe we'll see more of her. That's a good thing.
Definitely a good thing!
Smash Attack Ash
6. SmashAttackAsh
I LOVED Laurel's surprise ass kicking. I'm starting to like her, though now I'm sad that she and doofus are hooking back up. I'm hoping Diggle becomes Arrow's badass sidekick. Also, I'm naming my next cat Mr. Diggles.

P.S. This dude is built to perfection. Holy fine piece of ass, Batman!
7. tlmfarmgirl
The best part of NOT getting to look at the abs is getting to look at the backside..... ;)

Great recap - I agree with the surprise Laurel kickass moves - maybe we'll see some hot playfight scene in a (near) future episode?
Nicole Leapheart
8. BoxyFrown
Late to the party, but IN LOVE with this show. It was on my radar because, hello, we all saw those promotional shots! I was so pleased this is actually turning out to be a great show-great storylines, multicultural (!), and lots of ass kicking from lots of people.

And yes...the ABS~

I couldnt help thinking about the Arrows in Nalini Singh's world, too. This Arrow would fit in well, I think. Mr Queen, not so much!
9. whiskeywhite
The IT gal is a character in the DC universe
Thanks, ChelseaMueller. That explains it to a non-comics person like me. All I thought was, "Skinny blonde with glasses as smart girl, how stereotypically boring." Give me Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), Criminal Minds' always interesting IT wizard any day.

I find their habit of introducing Arrow's skills before they give the back story a bit disconcerting. In this episode I thought, "Oh really, now he speaks Chinese?"
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