Warning: this recap contains major spoilers from this week’s episode of Arrow, “Human Target.” It is a recap, after all! Don’t say you weren’t warned …
After “Human Target,” Arrow officially needs more Human Target. The CW series introduced the DC Comics character in this week’s episode, and he. Was. Awesome! But he also was not in the episode enough. And as of now, Jessica Jones actor Wil Traval is only slated for this one episode. Boo. So Arrow, consider this my personal campaign to bring Human Target back ASAP, please and thank you! But for now, let’s get into this recap because so much happened in just one hour that is going to have major ramifications for this show moving forward.
I didn’t think it was possible, but Arrow actually made me empathize for Wild Dog. I really did not like Rene up until this episode – his stubbornness kept screwing things up for everyone and he never took responsibility for his actions … until now. He finally learned humility after all he went through at the hands of Tobias Church. But seeing how Tobias made him his personal punching bag? I mean, he looked terrible. I could hardly bear to watch those torture scenes. Poor Rene!
At least the new Team Arrow was working day and night, not stopping to rest until they found where Church was keeping Rene. Lyla even called in ARGUS to help in the search, so that meant that Dig finally made his grand return to the Arrow cave (yasss!) to let the new team know there was no news on that front. Oliver even used his mayoral pull to put his ACU task force on the case, but even that came up empty. Things did not look promising.
While Tobias continued his physical and psychological torture of Rene, the new recruit actually managed to get some useful information out of Tobias in return. Turns out that the reason that Tobias came to Star City was for its water access: by using the docks, he can create a drug smuggling empire. He’ll consolidate the drug trade from five cities into one empire, which is actually pretty smart. And that’s why he wants the Green Arrow out of the picture, so he can create his criminal empire without anyone to stop him. And while the new Team Arrow managed to get a lead on where Rene was being forced to dig his own grave (that’s just so twisted), Oliver got there too late. While he was able to save Rene from Tobias and his goons, Rene had already told Tobias Oliver’s true identity as the Green Arrow. Well … crap.
Meanwhile, Felicity’s new boyfriend, Detective Billy Malone (or as I like to refer to him, Detective Boyfriend), got a promotion at work, which Felicity was happy about for him … until she realized his new position was with the ACU, meaning that Billy would now be reporting to Oliver on a daily basis, and she hadn’t told Oliver about Billy yet. And to make matters worse, she lied to Billy and told him that she had told Oliver about her new boyfriend. This could not be more awkward. And as for Oliver’s love life, after trying to make peace with Susan Williams, aka the reporter who keeps making attack pieces on Oliver’s mayoral accomplishments or lack there of, she gave him her number. Ew. Seriously? How unprofessional!
But here’s where things got messy: After coming out of a mayoral meeting, Oliver was literally gunned down on the steps of City Hall by Tobias Church’s new vigilante hire. As in, gunned down until he died. Wait, what?! And while Deputy Mayor Lance gave a press conference about the attack and Oliver’s death with a sad Thea standing next to him, it was clearly all staged because duh, we would not have a show if Oliver just died like that. And lo and behold, it was all a fake out. Oliver was alive and well in the Arrow cave after Dig had made a suggestion that they hire Christopher Chance, an old acquaintance of his known as the Human Target, to wear an Oliver mask and make it appear like the mayor was dead so Oliver wouldn’t have to keep watching his back until Tobias made his big move and Oliver could take him down once and for all. Very smart move, Dig.
Later in the Arrow cave, Christopher was telling Oliver how he doesn’t just look like his clients when they hire him, he becomes them. He learns more about them than they even know about themselves. And that’s when he told Oliver that Felicity had moved on, because he had met Billy earlier that day during an ACU meeting and Billy had casually mentioned his relationship with Felicity to “Oliver,” since Felicity had told him that Oliver already knew about their relationship. Oops. This is why you don’t lie to your new boyfriend about your ex-fiancé, honey! Oliver climbed up Felicity’s balcony later that night to confront her about keeping her relationship a secret from him and to let her know that he was okay with her seeing someone else. Obviously he was lying, but it was still a nice gesture. Are Oliver and Felicity actually — gasp! — getting to a good place in their friendship again?
Meanwhile, after Diggle debriefed Rene about his time being tortured by Tobias, they figured out that Rene had overheard the time and place that Tobias was having all the heads of all the major crime families meet up to discuss his new empire of the largest drug enterprise on the west coast. Oliver got his new team suited up – including Diggle as Spartan! Yes! Oh my god! Finally! – to ambush the meeting. A huge fight ensued with Human Target giving Team Arrow an epic assist, and Oliver faced off with Tobias. The fight was brutal, but Oliver of course had the upper hand. He knocked Tobias out, but not until after Tobias warned him about the growing Prometheus threat that’s coming for Oliver.
The next day, Oliver held a press conference to tell the city the truth about his staged “death,” as well as announce that he helped apprehend Tobias Church and all his employees, as well as all the heads of all the biggest crime families in five cities. Now that’s what I call a win for Mayor Queen! However, that is balanced out by the fact that Prometheus attacked Tobias’ prison transport and before he killed Tobias, Tobias told him the Green Arrow’s identity. Oliver, you in danger, dude.
And in this week’s flashback storyline, Oliver finally became an official member of the Bratva, swearing off his blood family for his new brotherhood. His Bratva codename: Kapot. Okay, sure. But one of his new “brothers” still didn’t trust him or his intentions, and so he sent two men to kill Oliver in the street. Luckily, Anatoly knew that would happen, and hired … none other than Human Target (!) to shadow Oliver and kill the two men who tried to kill him! Whoa! The flashbacks hardly ever have such a connection to the present day story in the very same episode. This was awesome.
But thanks to Chance’s infamous reputation, Susan Williams in the present recognized “his work” when Oliver used him to fake his death, and one of her contacts was able to find some surveillance photos of Chance’s old work … including saving Oliver’s life in Russia. So now an ambitious and ruthless reporter who is determined to take Oliver down has actual evidence that he was not only not on Lian Yu when everyone assumed he was missing for five years, but he was also alive and well and free in Russia … and in the Bratva. This is really not good.
What did you think of this week’s Arrow? Are you as obsessed with Human Target as I am? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Images: The CW