Arrowverse Part 3: An Innocent Story and Undamaged

Arrow Season 1, Episode 4 & 5

An Innocent Man

Plot Rundown – Present

  • Oliver tries to recruit Diggle, but he refuses, calling Oliver a criminal and murderer.
  • To save a death row inmate wronged by Brodeur, a name on the list, Oliver dons his hood to meet with Laurel, convincing her to take the case.
  • Oliver visits Diggle, revealing what happened to his father and explains his crusade. To further convince him, Oliver tells Diggle that he brought his brother Andy’s killer, Deadshot, to justice.
  • The Hood and Laurel work together to secure evidence to free the victim, but it’s not enough to forgo the execution.
  • Oliver goes after Brodeur to get a confession. Brodeur reveals he’s orchestrating an attack on the inmate in prison while Laurel is there. The Hood narrowly saves the two, scaring Laurel in the process by almost killing a man. With the signed confession, the inmate is freed as Brodeur is arrested.
  • Walter comes across $2.6 Million embezzled from the company. Moira claims she invested the money. Suspicious, Walter calls in Felicity to investigate, discovering Moira lied, and the funds were transferred to an off shore account that owns a warehouse in Starling City. Walter investigates the warehouse, discovering the remains of Oliver’s shipwrecked boat, the Queen’s Gambit
  • Wanting to do more with his life then protect rich, snobby punks, Diggle agrees to join Oliver’s crusade. Before they can get to work, Oliver is immediately arrested on suspicion of being the Hood.
  • Moira meets with the mystery man as it’s revealed to be-

  • JOHN BARROWMAN AKA CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS FROM DOCTOR WHO?!?!? Oh, you’re going to be a delight. Anyway, the man has pieced together that the Hood is targeting members on the list.

Plot Rundown – Flashbacks

  • Oliver is in the Archer’s cave as he looks at a picture of Laurel he had in his wallet.
  • The Archer places a caged, living bird in front of him, instructing him to kill the bird for food. Oliver refuses at first because he’s never killed anything before. But as hunger starts to get to him, he kills the bird.
  • As Oliver eats the bird, the Archer reveals he can speak English and tells him if he wants to survive, he’ll need to kill again and he must forget about Laurel.

Discussion

We get a fairly average episode here. The “person on the list of the week” story is okay, but it’s the side stories that have the most meat. Walter starting to learn Moira’s true colors, Diggle’s dilemma with Oliver, and the cliffhanger at the end were definitely the highlights. First, let’s look at Oliver’s relationship with Laurel.

Oliver is told by Thea that in order to progress with Laurel, he’ll need to show her who he is. Though he doesn’t reveal that he’s the vigilante, he does technically follow Thea’s advice by having Laurel interact with his hooded persona. Things seemed to be working great, with moments showcasing that Laurel may more then admire the Hood, but Oliver gets a wake up call when she sees the Hood almost kill a man. She realizes the Hood is not a hero, but a killer. This parallels perfectly with the flashback story: in order to survive, Oliver has to kill and must forget about Laurel.

The most interesting storyline this episode was with Diggle. He and Oliver have a great chemistry throughout the show so far, and the progression of him wanting to join Oliver’s crusade is done very well. He is very reluctant in the beginning, actually trying to punch Oliver while still recovering from being poisoned. Once he learns about Oliver’s crusade, as well as, how he took down his brother’s killer, he realizes the good that he can do with Oliver. More importantly, he understands the effects Oliver’s crusade will have on himself. He knows how war changes people as he promises to help Oliver keep some of his humanity. It’ll be refreshing to have someone for Oliver to talk honestly with, not to mention Diggle will provide a different, more moral perspective on Oliver’s mission.

My only complaint for this episode is the fact that the main storyline is not as good as the side stories. Fortunately, that changes next episode.

Damaged

Plot Rundown – Present

  • Oliver was caught on footage retrieving the Hood’s hood from a duffle bag during Deadshot’s shooting. Being interrogated by Quentin, Oliver claims he stumbled upon the bag.
  • Believing Quentin to be on a personal vendetta due to the death of his daughter, Oliver enlists Laurel to be his lawyer for the trial.
  • Oliver reveals to Diggle that he WANTED to be caught on footage, because he knew how suspicious it would be for him to return home the same time the Hood appeared in Starling City. In the meantime, Oliver asks Diggle to start keeping an eye on an arms-dealer.
  • Walter enlists his head of security to move the remains of the Queen’s Gambit. Later, he receives a call informing him that his head of security died in a car accident.
  • Oliver refuses an insanity plea, countering to go through a lie detector test in front of Quentin.
  • The mystery man, named Malcolm, questions Moira on if she knows if Oliver is actually the Hood, to which she denies.
  • During the polygraph test, Oliver reveals that he was tortured on the island and admits he was responsible for killing Sara.
  • Oliver holds a huge prison themed house party so he has plenty of witnesses, as Diggle goes out to stop the arms-dealer dressed as the Hood.
  • Laurel apologizes to Oliver for her father’s actions during the party. The two kiss, but Laurel ends it abruptly and leaves.
  • Walter confronts Moira about the ship. She warns him not to look into this or else he could get hurt.
  • At the party, Oliver is attacked by a hitman disguised as a waiter and is saved by Quentin. A report of a Hood sighting gets Oliver’s charges dropped, alleviating the suspicion.
  • Moira confronts Malcolm for having a hitman sent after her son and orchestrating the death of the head of security, warning him not to harm her family again.
  • Laurel visits Oliver again, and questions the fact that he lied during the polygraph test. When asked if he had ever been to the prison where the Hood was spotted, Oliver said no. Laurel reminds him that they visited the prison during a school field trip when they were in 8th grade. If he was capable of fooling the test once, who knows how many questions he was able to fool? She asks about the island once more, but Oliver assures her that the events were far too traumatic and it still haunts him. She leaves, telling him that they can’t be together.
  • Walter leaves to go on a business trip, telling Moira he doesn’t know how long this trip will be.
  • Oliver admits to Diggle that he knows the pain he’s causing his family and friends by lying to them, but that pain is nothing compared to the pain it’s causing him as he leaves to stop the arms-dealer. 

Plot Rundown – Flashbacks

  • The Archer tries to teach Oliver how to shoot a bow and arrow. During their lesson, Oliver is kidnapped by a group of masked men with guns.
  • The masked men take Oliver to a military base, where he meets Edward Fyers, their leader. Fyer’s asks the whereabouts of the Archer, but Oliver refuses to tell him anything. This leads Fyers to call on a distinct masked man to torture Oliver.

  • Just when the masked man is about to kill Oliver, the Archer comes bursting in, saving him. The Archer thanks Oliver for what he did, praising his perseverance, and leaves him in the cave as a boulder blocks the entrance.

Discussion

Now here is how you do a main storyline! Oliver’s crusade is on the line as his alter ego is tested, having Laurel be his lawyer creates great drama due to her going against her father, and we get to see Diggle in action for a change, saving the day.

There were also a plethora of great scenes. Laurel and Quentin’s first conversation after learning she was representing Oliver shed some light on their relationship. Throwing himself into his work after Sara died, Quentin’s wife left him and Laurel, which makes the pain of losing Sara that much worse. Diggle berates Oliver for not filling him in on his plan to go after the arms-dealer. He’s so used to lying to everyone, he even started off his partnership with Diggle by lying to him. Diggle makes it clear that he is not some sidekick, providing insight as to what their relationship will be like moving forward. Oliver showing Laurel his scars demonstrated some really good acting on Katie Cassidy’s part, something we haven’t really seen yet from her. Add that to the nice, steady pacing and we’ve got a strong emotional scene.

The best scene in the episode, perhaps the show thus far, is the polygraph test/torture on the island. The pacing for the test is great, allowing for the tension to build and build. Intercutting the scene with the torture moments adds much more context to his scars as we get a glimpse of the pain he experienced.

We seem to be getting into a pattern of alternating quality episodes. Will the cycle break? Well, come back next week as Oliver’s love life takes a turn for the…for the…it takes a turn.

Until next time, this is Xander signing off.