What’s this? Arrow is developing characters beyond Oliver? I’m using “developing” in its absolutely loosest sense here, of course, since this show has no idea how to actually develop characters or give them an arc of any sorts. But, still, it’s quite the achievement.
Of course, “Dodger” is another one of those episodes where the writers try to convince the audience Oliver is actually a hero. He even tells Felicity that he sometimes deviates from the List. It’s really hard to tell if Oliver intentionally lied through his teeth or the show legitimately believes that. For the record, he’s still only helped when it’s a personal thing, and even then half the time they turn out to be involved in the List. Up until this episode, at least. This time Oliver actually does something, and he even does it before Felicity gets a bomb strapped to her neck on her first night on the job.
Speaking of Felicity only sort of joining up, she does a great and hilarious job pointing out the obvious flaws in Oliver’s methods. She also gets Oliver and Diggle to work through all their dating issues in one fell swoop. Clearly, she’s the most competent and intelligent person on the team. Although, it’s very weird that Arrow is presenting her ability to do a simple Google search as some sort of awesome high-tech skillset. But, still, anything that keeps Felicity doing something on the show is a good thing.
Off in a side-plot, Thea gets her purse stolen by Roy Harper. She also shows off her search engine skills and manages to track him down and get him arrested. Who knew she was a better crime fighter than her brother? Of course, Roy pulls out some sob story about his mother and vertigo that may or may not be a lie, which tugs at Thea’s heartstrings and she decides not to press charges, though she tracks him down later. It’s hard to be too invested in this little plot yet, as neither one has that much of a personality. But, it’s nice to see Roy, and giving them a plot develops Thea’s character more than just having her stand in the background, making snarky comments.
At the very end, in her own subplot that takes up maybe a minute tops, Moira is really kind of awesome. She takes charge of the situation at hand and hires China White and the Triad to kill Merlyn. It’s very likely going to end badly for her. But, still, it’s nice to know that someone’s doing something other than waiting around for developments with Merlyn and the List to unfold, unlike, say, her son.
Basically, “Dodger” was a chance for other characters to shine. Oliver still takes center stage, naturally, and we’re still sitting through flashbacks even after a whole episode of them. But, it’s overall not that bad. It feels like things might actually start moving again. Of course, who wants to get their hopes up with a show like Arrow?