TV Rants & Ramblings: Arrow 1.5 – Damaged

Arrow headerOliver being arrested and accused of being Arrow seems like it would be a major step in the story of Arrow, but within minutes this stressful situation is downgraded to nothing special.  I would have loved to see this version of the episode, but alas, it was not to be.

The Master Plan

Don’t worry, guys, Oliver isn’t going to prison.  Not that anyone was actually concerned about that to begin with, otherwise this would have been a rather short-lived show thanks to some major shark jumping.

What is surprising is that getting arrested and accused of being Arrow was all actually a plan all along, so feel free to point and laugh in remembrance of my comments about how stupid Oliver was for not consider that there might be security cameras in that building’s stairwell (for the record I don’t know how “I was just walking by this trashcan and decided to take the lid off of it, and surprise! A duffle bag with a hood inside! PS I don’t know where it went” worked).  It was actually all rather thought out considering he was smart enough to realize that people might make a connection between the rather public return of Oliver Queen and introduction of Arrow all in the same week, so to combat the suspicious he throws the comparison out there before anyone else can.  And if you have the means to throw a rather grandiose party as Arrow is across town stopping bad guys, then more power to you.

I’m not too sure about these witnesses that came forward about seeing the Arrow take out a guns dealer.  The only people that were witnesses to Diggle’s interruption were those involved, that or it was a really poorly located place for illegal activity.  Criminals aren’t always the most intelligent, but come on, I seriously doubt a tip was called in that went a little something like this: “I was making a rather illegal transaction when this hooded guy attacked us.”  Then again, Arrow isn’t shy about rather convenient solutions to problems, so this is probably just another example of that.

Back on the Island

Last week it was chicken killing; this week it is bunny killing.  But hey, it isn’t always easy bonding with strangers, so take what you can get; especially because you might need them to come save you from a group of heavily armed masked men.  Not quite sure who all these guys are hiding their identities from on a “deserted” island, but maybe they’re really just trying to look like Deathstroke without being too obvious, sticking just to the black mask instead.  You might remember the brief glimpse of the yellow and black mask during the rescue scene of the pilot, but tonight we get to see a whole lot more of it as this thick browed masked man tortures Oliver to get information about his best island buddy (or BIB).  Turns out BIB used to be a military man of some sorts and now Deathstroke’s boss, Edward Fyers, is looking for him.  The plot thickens!

Luckily, before Deathstroke can add on to his slicing and dicing on his way to reaching the 20% of scar tissue Oliver has on his body, BIB shows up with some rather awesome close combat moves to save the day, leaving Deathstroke alive to come after them once more.  At some point this decision will probably come back to haunt BIB, but not before he teaches Oliver all he knows.  Then my money is on BIB being killed, and Oliver is the one who will put an arrow through Deathstroke’s mask, leaving it for us to see in the first episode.

“I need to know, I need to see.”

Speaking of the scar tissue, was anyone else extremely uncomfortable by this moment?  I don’t care how much chest muscle is exposed; I cannot ignore these awkward bits of dialog between our love interests!  At least she was kind enough to acknowledge that Oliver most likely went through a lot on the island before demanding to see his wounds (something that he was all too willing to show), but it could have just been written better.  As could also be said about the awkward conversation change when Laurel said nothing can ever happen between the two of them even though there are obviously feelings still there.  I couldn’t help but squirm in my seat and laugh through my discomfort.

Other than that there were actually a lot of nicer bits between the two of them, starting with Oliver thinking it would be a great idea for Laurel to be his lawyer.  A questionable choice for sure, so much so that I am still not even sure why he wanted her to represent him.  Maybe it was just for more quality time; maybe it was to have her close so he could personally convince her that he isn’t the vigilante, who knows…  I just know it backfired on him when he got caught in a lie.

Guess he should have listened to Laurel after all about not volunteering for the polygraph (why she wouldn’t want this to happen considering she doesn’t think he is caring enough to be a murderer is beyond me), but I guess he just really wanted to show off some more skills he learned while on the island.  I am assuming this is where he learned to deceive the machine, but it could just be that he is really good at purposely “misinterpreting” questions to serve the answer he would like to give.  I mean, that rough sketch is far from an accurate drawing of Oliver, so is it really a lie to say that it is not a picture of him?  And he totally deflected the question about whether or not he has ever killed anyone by playing the “I killed your daughter” card.  Whatever means he used to get through the test, he was too busy thinking about lies surrounding Arrow to remember the truths about his life away from the hood, pushing Laurel even further away from him now that she has a reason to doubt him.

Damaged Goods

Oliver says that he doesn’t like talking about what happened to him on the island because he doesn’t want people to see him as damaged, but I’d say he needs to be more concerned about being seen as a monster because knowledge of his time on the island would make anyone question if he might go off the deep end at any point in time.  Laurel had a front row seat to that side of him in the prison, so he’s just lucky that alter egos are more likely to be figured out through kissing in TV and film and not eye contact.  But if he keeps on killing unarmed guys like the arms dealer then he is really piling up reasons for Laurel to be wary of him since she is bound to find out who he really is someday.

Final Thoughts

Each week Oliver seems to take one step forward and two steps back with Laurel, and this definitely happened in tonight’s light-on-action episode.  Looks like we’ll be getting back to that side of things now that Oliver’s “innocence” has been proven.

So what did you all think of “Damaged”?  Glad to see that snazzy black and yellow mask again?  Concerned for Diggle considering how willing he is to touch the point of one of Oliver’s arrows after just being shot with a poisonous bullet?  Disappointed that Walter brought up the boat to Moira after his first attempt to look into this secret was thwarted?  Granted murder is a good reason to bow out early.  Confused about Moira’s connection to the list?  At first she seemed more like a ringleader, but considering her comments about being a good soldier for doing all that was asked of her and the hitman sent for her son, maybe she doesn’t quite hold as much power as it originally seemed.  Let me know your thoughts on this episode below!


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