Can Arrow’s next target please be super bitch Hurricane Sandy? My apologies for missing last week’s episode due to the storm, everyone. “Damaged” was another great episode in the premiere season of Arrow. This show thrives when it focuses on delving deeper into the mind and memories of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) as opposed to a serialized “hero vs dirty crook” format. Interesting, considering the fact that the simple and expected format is indeed still there, as if the writers are giving us exactly what we anticipated this show to hand us, yet it constantly reminds us of what is truly important and intriguing with regards to this story; heart and partying.
Super Asian Archer: “Breathe. Aim. Fire… Aim that tree.”
Aim that tree, Ollie! The episode opened with Super Asian Archer training Oliver Queen to pick up dead carcasses in the jungle. Ollie tried his hand at shooting himself, only to fail miserably. As he went to retrieve the carcass his mentor shot down as punishment, he found himself in a hole. Literally, he found himself trapped in a whole by the “men in black.” Not Will Smith, but scary ninja-esque military folk. They brought Queen to their leader, who was more concerned with retrieving any information on Oliver’s mentor. Apparently, he was some sort of super soldier prior to living in a cave. Ollie lies in the man’s defense and ends up tied to pole. Get excited about begging for death, Oliver! Deathstroke is so scary!
Back in the present day, Oliver found himself arrested and facing trial under the accusation of being the “guy in the hood.” After getting the best mugshot ever snapped, Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) was eager to question Oliver. Stephen Amell really has the rich boy accent down in this scene! Mother Moira (Susanna Thompson) and her fella Walter (Colin Salmon) arrived in time to postpone the questioning until Oliver could get a lawyer. Lance left, and Oliver noted that his vendetta stems from the death of his daughter, Sarah, who was on the boat trip with Oliver. Who does Ollie want? Laurel (Katie Cassidy), of course!
After running to Laurel’s office in an attempt to convince her to represent Oliver, Moira found herself turned down. Laurel admitted to feeling uncomfortable due to her personal history with Oliver and the fact that her father arrested him in the first place. Instead, Oliver would have to represent himself in court. Not so fast, though! Laurel made her dramatic entrance into the trial in the nick of time. How awkward, Detective Lance! The prosecutor attempted to remove the option of bail because Oliver’s rich and can fly away easily. Too man private jets. I feel you, Ollie. Laurel told the lady to put a sock in it and instead managed to get Oliver house arrest to guarantee his confinement to the city. The judge was all for it! Laurel’s father was not. Another heated argument followed surrounding the dead sister and (new plot twist!) the absent mother!
I love that Oliver Queen is under house arrest. We know he’s Arrow. The rest of his world must regard him as the next Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton. What’s a socialite to do under house arrest? Party, duh. “Burning Man meets Shawshank Redemption!” Why sweat life in prison when you’re basically untouchable? Arrow can do it all. In fact, he got arrested on purpose. Digg (David Ramsey) was livid at first, but ended up buying Ollie’s story that he was caught on camera purposely. Oliver knew eventually someone would figure out that he and Arrow arrived in Starling City on the same damn night. He drummed up the idea of the trial to clear his name. How would he pull this one off?
Leo Mueller is an illegal arms dealer and he was gearing up to make a huge sell somewhere in the city. Using Arrow’s high-tech toys, Queen asked Digg to track him down. Even under house arrest, Oliver was determined to prevent military grade weapons from being sold to petty thugs. Why? That sounds great to me. Digg exploring Arrow’s lair was like watching the kids in Willy Wonk and the Chocolate Factory explore Wonka’s pad. I want a tracking arrow! I want it now!
Walter continued his trek down “Let’s Make the Viewers Like Me” Boulevard this week. After discovering the salvaged ship wreck last episode, Walter made plans with his head of security to have it moved to a safe location before confronting Moira. Slight problem; the man turned up dead in a mysterious car accident just prior to completing his task. Walter went ahead and confronted Moira anyway, only to have massive shade thrown in this face.
Moira: “You’re out of your depths.”
*Shudder* at that shade. Moira continued her own path down “Why Am I a Parent?” Way this episode. Firstly, she was confronted by a business associate who was overly concerned with her son’s connection to the “guy in the hood.” Later, things came to a head.
“We’re just going to declare you insane for the time being” scared the crap out of Oliver, and myself! Apparently, Detective Lance’s prosecutor wasn’t too happy that he arrested Oliver prematurely. She wanted to work out some sort of plea, but that wasn’t in Oliver’s plan. Just to shut down Detective Lance, he wanted to take a polygraph test and pass. We know Arrow has super skills, so we weren’t worried. After navigating his way through a series of questions, it seemed things worked out for Ollie. Just to top things off, though, he admitted to murder… “murdering” Lance’s daughter Sarah, to be exact, by inviting her on the boat trip. Just like that, Oliver stormed out in a huff and left Laurel’s dad looking like a jerk. Also important to note: the lie detector test revealed the island torture and scar situation to Laurel.
Thea (Willa Holland) popped up briefly this week, helping Oliver move a keg and slightly accusing him of being a killer. She has the arrowhead he brought back from the island. Plus, he’s constantly out at night when Arrow strikes. Oliver claims he got the token from a gift shop in the airport; a rugged replacement for a shot glass!
Party! At first, I forgot the shindig was themed and just thought the wardrobe department did an awful job of styling their extras. As if Oliver Queen would hang with a bunch of ragtag hooligans from, like, 2003. The jail theme was pretty funny, though.
Here’s the catch to Oliver’s plan to clear his name; Digg has to dress as Arrow and thwart the deal. Digg seemed livid at first, mostly because he was lied to, but inevitably agreed to help Oliver. One condition; no more lying to your sidekick. Oliver apologized, claiming he didn’t realize an actual crime was going to happen. Just bad timing, so don’t get shot!
Laurel has a knack for arriving fashionably late and pulling people aside to talk. In his bedroom, the two opened up to one another. Laurel admitted that her mother left her father after her sister died and work consumed him. Saddened, Oliver revealed his scars to her. Why doesn’t Laurel hate him? She’s what got him through it. *KISS* Uh oh, Tommy. Are you still on this show?
Digg called Oliver to report the mission accomplished. In all of his excitement, Oliver was almost assassinated by a henchman of his mother’s business associate. Pay attention, Queen! A slight brawl ensued, but Detective Lance stepped in just in time to save Oliver. Was he even invited? Afterwards, he took the ankle bracelet off of Ollie and cleared him. Job well done, Digg. Instead of gloating, Oliver thanked him. That’s so much worse!
Laurel knows she and Oliver can’t get too close. She knew he faked the polygraph test. Oliver claims he won’t let anyone get too close because of what happened on the island. “I’m damaged.” As if ladies don’t go crazy over that sort of thing. He’s too damaged to eat or sleep, let alone aim. Will this really throw Laurel off?
Back in the past, Ollie survived Deathstroke’s torture just in time for his buddy to swoop in and save him. Impressed, the man gifted Oliver a secret pouch before leaving Oliver to be sealed into the cave. Keep breathing!
Back in the present day lair, Digg called Oliver out. Roll the montage! Digg explained how Oliver never considered what a toll lying would take on his loved ones, and now he’s suffering for it. Thea toyed with her arrowhead and questioned, Laurel dragged her drunk dad home from a bar, and Walter went on a “business trip.” Moira threatened the business associate who put a hit on Oliver. “Don’t give my family paper cuts,” but we still call bull.
What did you all think of the episode? Is this series getting better and better? Are you enjoying the buildup of chemistry between Laurel and Oliver? Do you sympathize with Detective Lance? Do you like Walter more now? Do you still hate Moira? Where is Tommy? What’s in the pouch?