Arrow "An Innocent Man" Review: Occupy Starling City

Arrow S01E04: "An Innocent Man"

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the iconic version of Green Arrow was crafted by Neal Adams and Dennis O’Neil. Oliver got the goatee and a new costume from Adams, and O’Neil transformed the billionaire playboy who fought crime as a hobby into a man who'd lost his fortune and decided to fight crime to help those who needed it most: the poor, the disenfranchised, and ethnic minorities.

Oliver Queen very much became the 1970s liberal, and he was contrasted with law-and-order beat cop and cosmic do-gooder Hal Jordan, a.k.a. Green Lantern. The two emerald-clad heroes set out on a road trip through America, helping loggers and Native Americans, stopping drug lords, facing the perils of overpopulation and pollution, and even dealing with a Charles Manson-type cult leader.

That version of Green Arrow laid the foundation for what would continue for years in the comics, with stories often centered on social issues instead of supervillains. And even when Oliver came back from the dead (as all characters do in comics), he was still a liberal iconoclast who would rail against Aquaman for not allowing elections in Atlantis. This notion of the character even carried over into the animated TV series Justice League Unlimited, where the character was recruited for the expanded Justice League because of his emphasis on the “little guys.”

I only bring all this up because Arrow started to inch into this particular aspect of the character in “An Innocent Man.” It’s worth knowing where the show is attempting to come from as it tries to reconcile the Oliver who's out to help people who cannot help themselves because the system has failed them with the Oliver who's very much a vigilante with demons weighing on him.

Oliver maintained throughout the episode that he wants to help people like Declan, the episode’s client/case of the week, a man framed for the murder of his wife/would-be-whistleblower. Oliver believes that people like Declan can’t get a fair shake because the “criminal elite” of Starling City “see nothing wrong with raising themselves up by stepping on other people's throats.” There’s an element of class warfare here (regardless of where we all land about Oliver shooting bodyguards or murdering people, though clearly he has murdered people if he’s being charged with it), and Oliver is well aware that those in power, including his own father, have made it so that only those are already rich survive. He’s looking to make sure that such things stop.

And we even got this through Diggle, as he lamented that his current job in private security affords him no opportunity to make a difference, and instead he “protects punks and spoiled one-percenters.” It’s what drove him to accept Oliver’s offer to help clean up Starling City (not as a sidekick, thank the TV gods), but perhaps as a new mentor, someone who can keep Oliver’s soul from being “scrape[d] off in little pieces.”

But there’s a wonderful friction between these two men’s world views, and how they see this war for Starling City, as they both refer to it. Oliver comes off as the spoiled brat playing soldier (an attitude Diggle does not appreciate), a man who doesn’t fully understand the philosophy he’s spouting. Oliver is very much the white knight Diggle called him out as last week, the well-meaning limousine liberal who just doesn’t get it.

In "An Innocent Man," Diggle provided a needed corrective on the issue. It was astounding last week that a show on a broadcast network, let alone on The CW, would mention gentrification, and now this week Diggle confronted the privilege that Oliver enjoys, puncturing in a small way the fantasy that much of TV operates in for the sake of narrative convenience. I don’t expect Arrow to give up the fantasy, but I’m so very intrigued to see how the series navigates this tension, and how much of a voice for this sort of thing Diggle becomes.

The episode also put Oliver’s lack of faith in the system up against Laurel and Quentin’s belief in it. Laurel, in her role as a lawyer in legal aid, is doing similar work to Oliver... but through the system, just as Quentin taught her. However, even Laurel is aware that the system is broken, and she admitted as much to Oliver when she said she “thinks there's too many people who only think about themselves” in Starling City.

It’s just that Oliver isn’t well-balanced enough to deal with such a notion. The rage he showed as he mercilessly beat the man who attacked Laurel in the prison shook Laurel out of being a potential ally and into someone who sees, as Diggles does, a man who's gotten lost trying to do right in a way that may have worked on the island, but doesn’t necessarily work in Starling City. She’s still too attached to the system to break out of it completely, and believes that it can still be fixed from the inside, through legal (or slightly extra-legal) means, not unlike Hal Jordan did in the comics I mentioned above.

Despite all this, I still found the core of this episode dull. The Declan case felt... blah, is really the best word I have for it. It was more of a vehicle for ideas than an actual plot. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Arrow isn’t on sure-enough footing yet to carry off that sort of an act.

But with that said, the series is showing no fear about burning through plot. Quentin had the bright idea to check the security tapes from last week’s shooting at the auction after Laurel mentioned Oliver using a ski mask in the prison, and there he found Oliver digging a costume out of a trash can. It was a gutsy move on Arrow's part to tell this story so early, and I’m interested to see how the show wiggles its way out of this particular narrative bind while still maintaining just enough believability.

Meanwhile, Walter discovered the remains of the Queen’s Gambit in a warehouse owned by Tempest, LLC, a fake company that Moira started up. This was done a little too easily, and mostly off-screen, limiting the enjoyment of that particular chase. But on the upside it meant more Felicity, and so we’ll call it even. Plus it means a big potential blow-up between Walter and Moira!

And speaking of Moira, we finally met the man in the limo played by John Barrowman (I imagine there was some squeeing at his appearance for many of you). I’m withholding comment on Barrowman’s character until he has a larger part to play (which I believe starts next week), but I do want to use that scene to bring this post full circle a bit.

With that scene, the show sort of backed off its desire to be seen as having Oliver not going after “the rich” but after “the list.” The list, this brief scene implied, just happens to be rich. It was a disingenuous thing to do given the narrative of the rest of the episode, and it left me just a tad worried about how dedicated Arrow is to fully exploring these ideas.


NOTES


– Hopefully you all found Thea much more tolerable this week. No doubt you’ll say, “Well, she wasn’t being a spoiled brat, but she was still useless! Get rid of her already!” Consider your objections noted and filed.

– Flashbacks were fine. I'm enjoying getting to see how Oliver goes from a spoiled layabout who struggles to kill a bird to a man who nearly beats people to death.

– Your DC Comics factoid of the episode: Blüdhaven is a sister city, of sorts, to Gotham City (where Batman hangs out), and actually has worse crime rate than Gotham. When Dick Grayson stopped being Robin and became Nightwing, it’s where he relocated.

– No Tommy this week. I can only assume that’s because Colin Donnell was trying to figure out how to survive being a traveling actor using only his guitar and a Microsoft Surface tablet.

– The producers haven’t revealed who Barrowman is playing, but I’m predicting/hoping he’s Maxwell Lord (minus the powers). Of course, the show could just play me for a sap and make him Deathstroke, but then what about the mask in the pilot, huh?! NOTE: If you’ve seen a spoiler about the character’s identity, PLEASE DO NOT SHARE IT IN THE COMMENTS, or even hint at it.

Comments (93)
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Its clear, what they will do to prove Oliver's alleged innocence. Thinking back to smallville where Clark Kent had to wear the Arrow costume to deceive luis that Oliver was not the Arrow, I think Diggle is going to do the same but the question will be why Oliver took this Costume from the thrash can. Waiting to see how they maneouver over this little fact
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4 episode test for me failed, it's just so boring and I don't have empathy with any character.
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Hey barrowman wa sin doctor who so he is above every critism. The Creme de la Creme. The Rozals plazed there I just thought

What is Jack harkness doin in Arrow_ he is an other Reason to staz at the show
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Ok, first of all: any ideas where Oliver really got the list? Second: Is the archer on the island real? I don't believe for a second it is a coincidence that the first word he said to Oliver was the last he heard from his father.
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I think this recap hit the nail on the head with Arrow. The writers are doing an excellent job of crafting story and their characters' beliefs instead of simply having one action scene after another. Oliver, Laurel, and Diggle are all becoming very fleshed-out characters and it's only four episodes in.



My only bone to pick with this episode was over the police finding Oliver. I definitely believed the fact that Oliver overlooked the fact that there would be cameras; as was said in the recap, he's used to island life, not big city vigilantism. But wouldn't the police have already scoured the security tapes for evidence? And seeing as Oliver was front and center in that one camera, I feel like they would have flagged it as suspicious anyway. Oh well, looking forward to next week. I'm also surprised they're tackling this plot early, but I'm excited to see what they do with it.
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Someone else mention the police tapes below, and given the timeline of events, it's only been a few days since the Deadshot assault, so it's likely someone looked at the tapes but wasn't looking specifically for that and was looking for more Deadshot-related footage.

Just an idea.
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So the password to Moira's super secret lair is her dead husband's first name? Were 'guest' and '12345' already taken?

I think that Laurel has taken Thea's place as most needlessly annoying character. She keeps self-righteously telling people off! And why is everyone acting like Oliver spent the last 5 years at a Sandals resort? Even if it had been just a deserted island it still wouldn't have been a picnic. They all need to go rewatch Cast Away and gain a little perspective.

And I fully agree, I really hope the show sticks to its social critiques and leaves the cartoonish supervillains for another franchise. And I can't believe they've already uncovered Arrow's identity and arrested him!! I was not expecting that until at least the season finale.
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I agree with all of this!!!

I laughed at the whole password thing too because it seemed too obvious.

I agree about Laurel and her self righteousness etc. Which is why I maintain that the only characters that have really had my full attention and seem developed enough are Diggle and Oliver. The others need a little more dimension but that isn't a bad thing, it's just something that they have to work on over time and I'm willing to wait for that. SOOO agree about the resort thing. The way that has family and friends etc seem to disregard the fact that he's gone through a pretty horrible ordeal continues to boggle me. That is why I do like Diggle. I can tell already that Diggle will be that one character that sort of acts as voice for the audience, tempers out Oliver and things of that nature. Diggle is the one who acknowledges Oliver and what he's gone through without coddling him or making excuses for him either. I think him being a former solider is crucial to that understanding.

Shows willing to make social criitques in a realistic and gritty way are unprecedented so definitely agree.
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I want to know more about the original, Chinese Green Arrow!

The case of the week was more a meh than a blah to me. I was quite excited when Oliver had to break in the prison and how he lost it with the killer.And more Felicity Smoak PLEAAAASE!
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I really hope they crammed all these story arc/plot element/character development hopelas into this episode because they are planning some crazy 3, 4, 5 episode action packed non-stop fiasco. I mean they literally burned through 4 or 5 character building plot points and twists all in one episode. I can only assume they have more things in mind (like introducing Firefly... not the show the villain... and Huntress) and don't need the material.
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agree.
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Anyone noticed that the wrong hand was bandaged? Arrow shot at the left hand!
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I like the fast moving story but I fear they might be moving too fast and they'll run out of plot way too soon. If the show continues to have decent ratings the CW will want to keep it for 8-10 years, but I can't imaging it being watchable for so long.
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You can always keep a show going even when it shouldn't. It just feels like they are skipping over the "who knows what when" comic book superhero development section of this show pretty quickly. I mean it took what 1-2 seasons before anyone realized Clark was super in Smallville and another season for Chloe to find out and even longer for pretty much anyone not in the JL/from the future/in alternate timeline.
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Arrow is a surprisingly good show. I've never cared about the character of Green Arrow before, but this show changed that. That's gotta be worth something, right? It has a really good cast, not just pretty faces, but decent actors too, all of them more or less likeable, at least to me.. Good music from the same guy who scores the Mentalist, nice cliffhangers, decent action. The voiceovers gotta go, though. Willa Ford's character annoyed me a bit at first but I knew it would change, and besides, she's cute as a kitten, so that helps.

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JOHN BARROWMAN = MY FAVOURITE. yay for captain jack!
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This is the best new show on tv and probably in the top ten of all shows on tv. That being said, I sincerely hope the writers can dig themselves out of the early reveal of Oliver's identity. The only way I can see is for Diggle to take the fall and that would be just wrong, both for the way the plot is developing and the fact that he is one of the better charachters and a one of the better actors on the show.
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Thats right about Diggle taking the fall but i thinks its the only way thinking back at smallville where Clark took the fall too
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I cannot say enough good things about this show (and these reviews). Diggle finding out/getting on board so quickly is one of the better tv plot-decisions I have seen. I love the flashbacks in general, but this one seemed the most connected to the current timeline/plot.

I'm probably the lone weirdo around here, but I actually LIKE the voice-overs.I've always correlated the stoic, plot outline voice overs with those text boxes in comics (usually near the top frame, sorry not sure if they have a technical name) that serve as either narration or protagonist inner-monologue. Note: I haven't physically seen many newer comics, so this is based off of my impression of the layout for old-timey comics (mostly as depicted in Watchmen).
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The VOs are totally suppose to mimic the internal monologue you find within text boxes that you mention (and that still exist in contemporary comics, no worries), but I'm struggling with the adaptation of that device from page to screen, both from a writing standpoint and from delivery standpoint (Amell's still really dull doing them). I could forgive them if one or the other improved...In fact, if Amell's reading of them improved, had a bit more personality, it would help ease the expository work they have to do. They feel less like a glimpse into his head and more like an omniscient narrator. I think that's the big issue I'm having!

Thanks for making me think through that a bit more. :)
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I thought those text box things were used more frequently for "omniscient narrator" purposes than internal monologues? Amell's delivery of the lines works for narrating better than monologing. See? That's why I like, em. :)
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They're deployed a bit differently now. The boxes have largely replaced thought bubbles (which seem to have largely disappeared). But for a while, yes, they were very context-driven, not character-drive.

Apologies I took forever to reply to this.
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Also Green Arrows lacks an Alfred to spew all that dialog onto. Where Batman can reveal his inner thoughts and ideas through Alfred, Arrow can't and therefore we have voice overs. That's just my take.
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Diggle's brother died while working in private security, yes? So would he really want to team up with a guy who is maiming and killing private security workers left right and centre? Particularly since he tends to leave the main bad guy alive (albeit 'repenting' for his crimes in some way)?
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I actually really just liked the fact that he didn't say "you have failed this city" and still managed to get his point across. Maybe that is progress. Plus I like the fact that Diggle is going to be more of an Alfred then a Robin. As proven by the violent beating he was giving the guy, he needs someone to make sure he doesn't lose his soul and provide a plausible alibi as needed.
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Thank God! Diggle won't be Ollie's sidekcick, and like I said last week, it's better if Diggle helps Ollie with other stuff like covering for him or something like that. I didn't like the prison scene, Laurel kicked someone's ass last week and this week she can't even defend herself ? she could've kicked him in the balls, at least. I think they put that scene just to change Laurel mind about Green Arrow.
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This! During the whole prison fight scene I was yelling at Laurel to fight back. Her character is wildly inconsistent regarding how capable she is of taking care of herself- just one of the many reasons I don't really like her yet.
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Dear CW, the Microsoft 8 commercials...just...no. Thank you, Blue.

-I didn't mind the episode. I'm grateful that Thea came off more likeable. I actually enjoyed her moments with Oliver and for once it seemed as though they had a bond and/or connection that was legit. I think less is more with Thea, at least until she finds her footing as a character.

-"Oliver comes off as the spoiled brat playing soldier (an attitude Diggle does not appreciate), a man who doesn't fully understand the philosophy he's spouting. Oliver is very much the white knight Diggle called him out as last week, the well-meaning limousine liberal who just doesn't get it.

In "An Innocent Man," Diggle provided a needed corrective on the issue. It was astounding last week that a show on a broadcast network, let alone on The CW, would mention gentrification, and now this week Diggle confronted the privilege that Oliver enjoys, puncturing in a small way the fantasy that much of TV operates in for the sake of narrative convenience. I don't expect Arrow to give up the fantasy, but I'm so very intrigued to see how the series navigates this tension, and how much of a voice for this sort of thing Diggle becomes."

This. I agree with ALL of this. It's so true. I especially enjoy it on a network like CW because it's no secret how some of its other shows (TVD GG) etc unrealisticically skirt around even the basic of issues regarding any of that in such a way that it invokes an unsettling feeling in any of the fanbase who chooses to actually pay attention to it. In a way Arrow has a grittier redemptive quality with it's ability to just lay it out there. I love and respect that. Basically, it's all about Oliver and Diggle for me and that was fun to watch. I liked Diggle's initial resistance...it was necessary. I like the friction that is between them because it's palpable. There is this respect between them but there is this resistance too. I can see how to someone who served in the military and who is a middle class black man in an urban area can scoff and have that annoyance with this privileged one percenter white male spouting off about being a solider and rescuing the disenfranchised and underprivileged commoners, so to speak. Some kid who never spent a day on a battlefield, or more than a few hours a day on the other side of town. His passion is genuine and his intentions are great but it isn't enough to compensate for things.. I love how Diggle sort of gives him that look and a slight chuckle along the lines of "Cute Kid" , shaking his head at the hero complex and the fact that Oliver has come late to a party with this vengeance as if the things going on around him are somehow a new development. I just love their relationship period. It continues to be the most fascinating . I thoroughly appreciated the reassurance that he would not be relegated to side kick. The entire part of that episode had me practically giddy.

-I might be in the minority but I felt like the Oliver getting arrested because Laurel's daddy found some footage (that should have been noticed regardless of whether or not he was wearing a hood at the time) was a bit too fast. Some aspects of this show benefit from a fast pace but that one went a bit too fast for me.

-I did like the development with Walter. Should prove to be interesting and it gave me the opportunity to see Felicity , she's kind of a neat character.

-The voiceovers are still kind of rough but I get why they're necessary. The loved the flashbacks in this episode. I generally like them, but it was seamless this go round with how they fit in with the rest of the episode. The contrast between Oliver five years ago squeamish about having to kill a bird and present day Oliver who kills was practiced ease and is at risk of being unhinged.
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I was very much thinking about Gossip Girl and TVD when I was writing that section, but could really only speak to TVD (since I watch it), and that show basically coasts on privilege without ever once mentioning it (how are Elena and Jeremy paying for that house, buying food, maintaining the yard?!). (The racial politics of TVD are WHOLE other can of worms.)

And if you ever needed an example of how the show was still enforcing it, that Microsoft 8 commercial is pretty much "Man. Life is hard if you're a TV actor. Thank goodness for this tablet." Yeah, problems.

I'm really hoping Walter steps into focus a bit more due to these events (and that he doesn't end up mysteriously poisoned or shot or stabbed or pushed off a building or sunk on a yacht...), if only because Colin Salmon is a very fine actor, and I want to see him doing more.
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I never actually watched a full episode of GG either, but I seen enough clips and tidbits of it, and it's so glaringly obvious. Same with TVD. I love watching it but I'm always left unsettled and annoyed by the racial politics of it for sure.

I hope the same for Walter. I am kind of afraid for him giving the neck break pace in which they're going through certain elements of the show. I'd hate for him to somehow be dead midway through the season...or at the pace they're going with some of the stuff in another two episodes.
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This man is a master when it comes to the kill lights switch! ;-)
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did I miss something in episode? how did Declan get death sentence? did his wife's boss aranged it or what? if it's boss, then I get it, but if he got it, "just" by killing his wife is stupid to me. Surely there are people who killed many more and they are "rotting" in prison and serve their years.



that aside, I enjoyed episode



oh and THANK YOU Noel for warning people not to give spoilers in comments! small thing to do, but goes far:D I like watching shows without promos,spoilers,... Only with Dexter this season I started doing this,since I only watch that show so I can have closure with it.
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No, you didn't miss anything. I can't recall how long it had been between the murder of his wife, the trial, and when his sentence would've been carried out (I feel like they did say it during the episode; I do not have it in my notes).

As for the "just" killing aspect, killing a single person can be enough to warrant it depending on the prosecutor, the jury, etc. So it's not outside the realm of possibility. And given that judges seem easily purchased in Starling City (remember Judge Grell in the pilot?), I'm sure Broduer could've arranged things.
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In the US (sorry, not sure where you're from) some states have the death penalty and some don't. Which state you commit murder in would determine whether you get a death sentence or decades of "rotting" away. Additionally, some death-penalty states have a track record of execution within a few years of sentencing and some have a track record of execution decade(s) after sentencing. I'm assuming whatever fictional state Starling City is in must be one with both the death penalty and timely executions.
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Good lord the amount of exposition on the show!

The voiceover forced to fill in for the terrible, terrible writing and story telling on this show.



So weird to see a new show THIS cliched- what a massive waste of money.



The dialogue of the best friend, the girlfriend and the girlfriend's dad... OUCH!

The dialogue clanks loudly like a large wrench being dropped onto concrete from a great height.



A hot guy doing stunts is no substitute for the total lack of chemistry between the actors and clown-like dialogue which makes me wince. Jaw droppingly bad.
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I agree that the amount of cringe-worthy exposition in this episode was especially bad. The show has potential to be a gritty, smartly written social commentary but right now it's firmly stuck in cartoonish comic book land.

That said, I'm still really enjoying it despite its flaws!
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i agree with everything you just said, every character is annoying and green arrow delivers his dialog like a plank of wood. and i'm tired of them shoe-horning in pointless new characters. when that blonde tech chic speaks i actually get douche chills. and why does strong female character equal bitch? i cant believe they're only four episodes in and i may be done with this show already because its just so terribly acted and written.
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Not surprisingly I agree with EVERY word!



LOL@ 'douche chills!' Perfect!
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But tell us how you really feel! :)

The exposition is a real problem (particularly in the second episode), but the show is getting better at managing it (to degrees). The voiceover aspect I've simply decided to accept. I think this week's episode was actually rather light on the voiceover, but it's still something of a crutch that feels stylistically out of place on the TV show even if it may work on the comic page.

I go back and forth on the writing. I think this episode suffers from any number of superhero narrative cliches (I wear the hood to protects those I love/Must be lonely), but at the same time it's dancing around some interesting ideas that I attempted to address in the bulk of the post.
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Hey Noel!

Ha! If it helps Im just as loud if I love something too!

I enjoy high concept tv- but for it to work it needs a clever hook and clever showrunners. So far Arrow is Smallville with moody lighting!



I dont know much about the production team- but the show feels hacky, as if the network has interfered too much. It's story telling by numbers- broad brush strokes and shlocky archetypes. Plus as we've both identified, exposition is the main story telling device, supplemented by the trusty flashback.



I think voiceovers only really work if used sparingly and then only to give insight into character. The use of voiceovers used to advance story arcs is lazy. Show me, dont tell me!

Arrow's showrunner hasnt yet proved themselves deft enough to initiate the audience who are new to the story without sounding a klaxon and shouting HEY LOOK PAY ATTENTION, THERE'S A MYSTERY HERE!! every 10 minutes.



So far this show feels heavy and unwieldy- too many characters to establish quickly. But mostly I just dont like being treated like Im an idiot who'll keep watching dross just because I like comic books.

3/10 so far.
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Strange for a show to walk cheesy superhero lines like The Cape did, embrace its darker premises, have weak plot-of-the week stories and really good cliff hangers. I just don't know what to think about this series since it constantly misfires while maintaining a lot of very positive elements. I surely hope the writers can eliminate many of the weak elements of the show before it gets cancelled.
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Well, it's already been picked up for a full season, so cancellation doesn't seem likely this year. But who knows what May holds...
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Pretty good episode. I liked most of it except for the case-of-the-week plot involving the innocent dude in jail. That was weeaaak.

The overall plot is moving along fairly fast and I'm enjoying that... Quentin seeing the tape of Oliver (although I expect Oliver and/or his lawyers to easily talk Oliver out of any trouble and convince most people that he's not the vigilante [everyone but Quentin, basically]) and Walter finding Moira's secret stash are interesting. But if they're going to keep moving this fast, the writers need to focus on how to develop the process of getting there... it seemed like both Quentin and Walter found the Queens' secrets with the snap of their fingers.

But as much as I'm enjoying the show, I would just say that there isn't much to the character depth. Arrow's only 4 episodes in so it's not a big deal, but at this point I don't necessarily "care about" any of the characters except maybe Diggle.
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but why are the police only now checking security tapes from the last episodes events?
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It was incredibly weak. But it at least spurred on some interesting ideas around it.

Quentin's sleuthing was a bit better for me than Walter's search (which we agree on) since it connected threads from last week into this week in workable ways. Was it easy-ish? Yes, but I feel like it, contextually, worked better than Walter and Felicity's off-screen ease.

Character depth is an issue, but, like you say, episode 4. We'll see. They can't coast on the strength of Amell and Ramsey for too much longer.
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am I the only one insulted by the badly overdone bra-stuffing when Laurel was knocked down on her back in the prison riot? totally unrealistic and unnecessary.



Katie Cassidy is a beautiful, physically perfect woman, and the scene just irritated me; like we are all supposed to be 17 year-old boys? Wardrobe? continuity? really ?!?
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Noel,

not sure I buy Barrowman as Max Lord. When Max was orginally created he was one of the good guys, even when he went to the dark side he was doing bad things for good reasons (or so he thought anyway) the people on "The List" all seem to be doing bad things for bad reasons. Although there is about a zero percent of this being correct, The Well Dressed Man, seems more Lex Luthor than Max Lord.
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Eeeeh. Lord was always something of a morally ambiguous character. He was never just a good guy who fell from grace, but someone who walked along that edge in very fine ways.

And it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for show just to jump to the considerably shadier version of the character around the time of Infinite Crisis.

I admit my theory is based largely on the fact there aren't too many other, non-Luthor, high-profile business-type characters Barrowman could be. And he could simply be an original creation for the show.
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Maybe I should read other peoples a little more carefully.



theopratt - "Now it could be that this mysterious criminal organisation is responsible for sinking the yacht"



Biggest one of those in DC I can think of is Intergang and they're not short of a few Luthor-esque high powered business types to choose from.
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Intergang's a nice a idea, actually, which would make Barrowman....Bruno Mannheim?
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I have this theory that all serialized shows like this have some ups and downs in trying to establish the story line and sometimes it does feel like it is bashing you over the head with some things (i.e., like all of Laurel's lines). But then in these early stages are trying to rearrange viewpoints of certain characters (i.e., Thea, yes she was kind of a bitchy spoiled brat in the first episodes, but, we might have a vision of her being his sidekick someday and we have to start making her nicer).



I am interested in the island stuff, but they need to either cut it in more (like I forgot we were in any island time by the last scene of it) or split it up (like really, call all the Lost people over at OUAT they could help out with the splicing of that). They might even need to do a whole episode with it (I might have suggested next week when we will likely have a lot of time of Oliver sitting in a jail cell or an interrogation room).



I have a fairly easy answer to Oliver's present situation (he was bored at the event, he wondered into the stairwell, saw a guy put something into the trashcan, he was curious, he took the thing and ended toward the roof to look at it, Dig can verify that he followed Oliver into the stairwell, he saw the trashcan uncovered, and why if Oliver were the Hooded guy would he have left it uncovered, followed him upstairs to find him drunk and goofing off and took him back to wherever Dig lives to dry out overnight...this would all work provided that Deadshot is not actually dead which was my theory since no one seemed to mention it)
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If "blah" is the best word you can come up with - you should look for a different job. ;)



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Always glad when someone decides to engage with the review in such a productive way. ;)
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Thanks, Noel, for all the comic book backstory because I feel like the show is missing something and maybe that is part of it.
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I'm glad you found it useful. I'm trying to limit that sort of big comic book info dump, but I thought it was important to share this week so as to contextualize where the bulk of the piece was coming from.
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This is the best (and probably only!!!) superhero show on tv. Man.............the show's keep getting even better than anticipated. One of the best tv adaption so far (up-to episode 4) from pages of comics. I would give the show 9 out of 10. ABC beware. Everybody will now compare your S.H.I.E.L.D with this CW show.
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I wonder if name Tempest LLC was used just because the word means a violent storm or whether it was meant to be a reference to Garth, the original Aqualad. Probably just a coincidence.



I have a feeling that Diggle will have to dawn the hood in order to take the heat and suspicion off of Oliver.





One thing that I didn't like was Oliver's voice when he spoke with Laurel, it just went a bit too far into the Dark Knight territory. We never see him using a voice changer of any kind and it just comes off as this dark muffled voice. Granted, he has to mask his voice because Laurel is going to recognize it but it could have been a bit less.
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He did use a voice changer, it was the thing he clicked before he started talking to her in her apartment.
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Yeah, I meant to do a bullet about the voice thing but completely forgot about it. It's pretty not good, and as you allude to, it sounds very voice changer distorted, not someone speaking with a different voice. It was very awkward. Then again, those scenes on the roof of that building were all very awkward.
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The case of the week was kind of blah, true. I still feel ambivalent about both Lances - I'm basically bored when they're onscreen. As much as I like the actor who plays Quentin, he's just not doing much for me here. As for Laurel.... in most scenes with her father, she seems as bratty as Thea (who at least has an excuse since she's a teenager who's been allowed to run wild in the wake of her father and brother dying.) So then what does that say about her overall character? Not sold on this actress' portrayal of her either.



I still love the flashbacks - they say a lot about how Oliver has changed, and not all for the good. I think Diggle is exactly right when he says that Oliver is fighting a war, but he doesn't really get how that has an affect on his humanity. I just love Diggle's character more and more - I say get rid of the Lances and bring on more Diggle! And the actor who plays Diggle is awesome. I also love the actress who plays Felicity Smoak - this character is funny, and I'd like to see more of her! It was nice to find out that Walter seems to be in the dark when it comes to the Queens' former and current rich people/criminal shenanigans. Moira is starting to look more and more suspicious - wonder what Walter will say to her? And why the heck does she have the yacht? Now for the ending - this show's not messing around! I can't believe they've cast suspicion on Oliver so early on - can't wait to see how they wiggle around that. It's going to be hard for Oliver to do his thing if Detective Lance thinks he's a vigilante, even if he does get off. Overall, lots to love about this episode. Looking forward to next week!
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'effect' - And another thing - is it just me, or is anyone else hoping for Felicity to have a run-in with Arrow? Because I'm betting that would be hilarious - especially if she recounted the run-in to Oliver later lol
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Nope, totally waiting on this to happen. I've already written my fanfics. (Not really.) (...Seriously.)
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I know you said not to, but it's Captain Jack Harkness. About time he got back on TV.
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Here's hoping he gets out of a limo and starts awesoming (yes, that's a word) soon!
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This is gold: "No Tommy this week. I can only assume that's because Colin Donnell was trying to figure out how to survive being a traveling actor using only his guitar and a Microsoft Surface tablet."

ahahahahah, loving this show!
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That commercial was just...I don't even know. The CW has never been the best at this sort of thing. I still cringe when I think about the Aerie girls talking about Gilmore Girls AND Veronica Mars.
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How many times has grieving people who are missing a beloved one said that it's all the little things that count the most?!

In this episode, I felt that it composed just about every little thing that we've heard in the last 3 weeks.. (except Tommy) about what Arrow is all about. All these little scenes were almost like little stories that wound around each other to make up one interesting mixed show.

Clearly at the end of the episode, it states its just not about Ollie doing his bit for the world. it's about what he's doing that has repercussions and the people that get affected by it. Both Good and Bad. and not necessarily in a good way for the good people either...

One hope I have in this show is that it won't have any supernatural items in it. I want it to keep as real life as possible, and that'd be an interesting challenge for team Arrow to pursue.

Kinda like what the Christopher Nolan Team did with the Trilogy Batman Films. Of course without going to those lengths... but at least be as creative
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I'm wondering if they were just teasing us when Oliver called Thea Speedy. But she fits the profile, so who knows? Maybe he'll really train her or at least bring her in on all the secrets at some point.
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All the episodes so far are just great!Keep it that way!!I just imagine side by side, Gotham City and Starling City super heroes working together!! I hope DC Comics to take a look on this !!You never know!Oliver Queen is a very strong character and direct,we all want to be deep inside us, just like Batman they share almost the same story!
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John Diggs is obviously going to be John "Diggs" Stewart (aka Green Lantern). Am I the only one that sees it?



He's a conservative military black man with the "by the book strict military" style that Stewart has. And he is teaming up with the liberal green arrow. We will see green lantern, or an allusion to it, in this series (not sure how much on the scifi angle they are gona go on this show).



Any one agree? Disagree?
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That would be a sly nod to the Arrow/Lantern connection provided they leave it as just a nod & not ruin the show with silly. overt intergalactic superheroing.

...But as it is, John Diggle is actually a nod to Andy Diggle who was a head GA writer for a spell...as a matter of fact, I'd have to doublecheck, but I believe that Andy was established tonight as John's dead brother...but still...I like the under radar potential of the Diggs thing
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Yeap Andy definately was John's brother, the tattoo on Deadshot's chest last week confirmed with the scene in the diner about the poisoned bullets this week.



Not that I put two and two together last week, no not at all, not even a liitle bit.



I might be lying about that last part.



I think I might have just damaged my shoulder patting myself on the back there.
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Definitely enjoyed this episode once again. I agree on your point about the case-of-the-week lacking a bit of oomph, but it did serve much more as a vehicle than a plot unto itself. It really helped move things along in regards to Laurel and Oliver/Arrow, but also to showcase more of what Oliver is really going through.



I did appreciate Thea more this week, not necessarily because she wasn't being a brat, but more because she was an actual character, rather than a plot point. It's nice to have those few moments of Oliver being genuine with his sister, rather than simply having to deal with her shenanigans.
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Totally agree on the "no sidekick" thing--sticking with in-jokes instead (a la the Nolans) of "Speedy," "Bludhaven" (Nightwing), etc., is fun and is enough. (Especially since Dig is the one Oliver's partnering with, instead of Thea--if they were going the sidekick route, at least Willa Holland would've looked way better in tights than David Ramsey.)



Wonder if one of the "murder" charges is for the death of Laurel's sister.

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I doubt that he will be charged for the sisters death. However, The step father found the boat. So Moira might get a charge for that in the distant future.
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I doubt he'll be charged for the death of Laurel's sister, as much Quentin's would like to do that.
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I like the fast pace of events so far & how (for the most part) key players like cops & body guards aren't portrayed as complete fools when it comes to secret identities.



Though since ep 2, I do find myself pining for the day they progress the stories past the point of needing to rely on crossing bad guys off a list every episode. I know that sort of thing is a TV staple & needed as a crutch for a bad guy of the week format & everything, but I know that this show has what it takes to eventually evolve past that.



The sooner the better though. A show like this doesn't need a villain of the week format...as a matter of fact, now that I think of it, It would be cool as hell if they evolve into a 2-4 week miniseries storyline format.



For now, so far so good as it is. I've had uber fun watching every episode this month.
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I definitely agree about mutli-episode arcs. Villain of the week will probably get very old very fast.
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It definitely helps as a beginning crutch to help the show out. Revenge worked this way in the early show, with Emily basically X'ing people out one episode at a time, but this quickly fell away as the show got on its legs, and now has a fantastic serial format, rather than an episodic procedural one. Let's hope Arrow can run similarly.
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Yeah, since we're at the start, conventional as it is, villain of the week is the most efficient way get through the 1st season. I remember hating myself when I realized I loved The Vampire Diaries & back then, I was pining for the day they dropped that stupid diary writing thing every week. My VD self loathing decreased by a factor of 10 when they dropped it...I'm not even sure if it lasted through all of season 1 ::shrug::

& thanks...multi-episode arcs was the term I was brainfarting on. Arcs are comicbooky as hell without being overly comicbooky, y'know?

& Incedently, I really dig the bad guy name tattooey thing Ollie does...it reminds me of the guy in Brimstone
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I agree this episode wasn't great, but I can see it was needed to set things up so I'm alright with that. I like that they are going down the path of having Oliver reset his moral compass.
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Last week when Diggie found out the secret you said "Good; no more stupid sneaking around!" Then he quits one episode later and is replaced by another bodyguard who knows nothing. Lots more stupid sneaking around to come.
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That would be true if Diggle didn't decide to join Oliver by the end of the episode...
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New bodyguard already quit.
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This episode was by far the best of the season so far. You know a show is good when you feel like so much has happened and only 7 minutes have past.

The dialouge, the acting, the storyline were all very well executed. I can't believe that ending. Only four episodes into the series and that happens. Bold move. Can't wait to see what happens next.

I especially liked the interaction between Laurel and Arrow. It has all the classic interplay of a superhero and love interest. The relationship will only grow from here, but she is going to be conflicted for the forseable future. In one episode she saw all the good Arrow can do, but she also saw his dark side. It will be interesting to see it all play out.

I think it was obvious that Diggle was going to join Arrow. The way in which he did is what made it so interesting. At first he was skeptical and rightly so. Oliver explained himself and gave his reasons. This got Diggle thinking about it and by the end of the episode he realized the good he could do and what he could bring to the "team". His process was very believable.

Oliver implied to to the audience in his last conversation with Thea that he is himself when he is Arrow. I found this interesting as it is a theme that came up a couple of times on Smallville. Oliver would have to do some soul searching for whatever reason and he would come to the conclusion that who is is, at his core, is the Green Arrow. Not the playboy of the business man.

Like I said I really enjoyed this episode, I hope they can keep it up.

ps. I had to laugh when Oliver dressed as the guard, but still had his bow, arrows and quiver. How did nobody notice that? Sure, it doesn't stick out as much as green leather and a hood, but it is still very noticeable. Come on guys...lol. They did however give Oliver a voice modifier for when he talked to Laurel...so maybe I will let it slide...lol
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I didn't really like the episode either. It seemed a little ill timed. I would have liked more depth to Oliver before he had the do one for the little guy episode. And the convenience of having the guy who really did it in the book seemed a little easy.



Thea was better. But anything is an improvement of the whole "I am mad at you for no reason so there attitude. If I want to watch that kind of stuff thanksgiving is just around the corner. Plus the actress isn't strong enough to pull it off.



Diggle is interesting, I want to see what he and Oliver are going to do and where the are going.



The mother and the step father are interesting. If only to see how they raised the yacht from the bottom of the pacific.



The one thing that is annoying is Oliver getting caught on tape. He has been amazingly tech savvy given that he was on an island for 5 years. And has taken care of many cameras and other tech. Are we really supposed to believe he missed a camera where he stashed his outfit in the trash can that gave anyone who wanted to view it an easy face recognition. Hell they didn't even need to render it. I mean super hero and all the suspension of disbelief aside, that is pretty unbelievable. I expected better.
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I think this episode was a pure set up for Oliver not killing anymore, or at least him using less lethal force. If you look at the kill count, it was not as high as past episodes. He's learning that he had to survive on the island and did things he would not have done, but Starling City is not the island.

The first three episodes made this series gritty, and made Oliver the anti-hero, but this episode is the start of him being the hero.

I may be presumptuous, but in choosing the path between dark knight, and white knight, they are now moving towards emerald knight.
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We're only four episodes into this series, and already Oliver managed to burn his identity. See - that's what happen when you refuse to wear a damn mask at all time! Anyway, kudos for the showrunners for having enough balls to play that card already, but I'm not at all happy to see, from next week's preview, that this development will further push Ollie and Laurel together. Yeah, yeah, they're soulmates or whatever, but I'm with the lethal Asian guy - he's not gonna survive his whole 'taking-out-the-bad-guy-from-The-List' plan if he's only thinking about her.

Hands down, this week episode had the weakest case this series had so far, but it was obviously a set-up for bigger things. Thea not being a bitchy and high was definitely a nice change; shameful, though, that she still doesn't seem to have a point - Willa Holland is too good of an actress to be wasted like this. MAKE HER DO SOMETHING INTERESTING ALREADY!

How exactly do you manage to retrieve a broken yacht lost in the middle of the sea and bring it back on land without anyone noticing? And, just as puzzling... WHY would you want to retrieve a seemingly unretrievable yacht lost in the middle of the sea when you clearly want to hide it away? And, just as importantly... if you still want to retrieve a lost yacht to hide it away, when you manage to get it back... why would you store it in a warehouse for three years instead of just destroying it piece by piece? So what I am basically saying here is: Moira, as far as super-powerful criminal organization goes, you and your friends seems pretty damn incompetent. Really, I shouldn't judge, given I truly have no idea why any of this was done in the first place, but, right now, it just seems like one hell of a stupid plan...

So next week, enter Deathstroke, right? Love the fact "Arrow" is not messing around with our expectations - it burns through its expected benchmarks like "Revenge" and "The Vampire Diaries" would, which is great. If anything, I'm expecting they get done with The List before the end of the season... if, you know, Ollie gets out of that whole 'got-caught-red-handed-being-a-vigilante' thing.
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I"m pretty sure the yacht thing was Moira acting alone. Seeing as the password for the door to the warehouse was her husbands name, she cared for him very much. That yacht is the last thing she has of his. Just as important, it also could contain clues to his last moments before death (Moira still doesn't know he survived for a bit in a lifeboat). I think Moira had the wreckage brought up to both discover as much as she can about the accident (which probably wasn't an accident), as well stare at it to cling onto her dead former husband.

Now it could be that this mysterious criminal organisation is responsible for sinking the yacht, in which case they would want to make the wreckage (and any incriminating evidence) disappear so that it won't be investigated. However, if that were the case I agree with you that they would want to destroy it piece by piece. So again, Moira is likely acting on her own.
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I like the idea of Moira going solo here - this is just not a smart move that any self-respecting criminal cabal would back. That being said, it's hard to believe that Moira's "friends" aren't aware of the current location of the ship, and it is harder to believe they would be OK with it, given they're most definitely responsible for it sinking (nobody sincerely still think it was an accident, right? Good.) I doubt they would care about Mrs Queen keeping it as some kind of memento of her lost husband, and would try to get rid of it, regardless of her feeling.

The idea of her keeping that thing around to find some incriminating evidences or maybe even a key to some powerful devices Robert used to get to the top echelon of Starling City is actually intriguing, but you have to figure that, whatever it is, she should have thought it by now. And, of course, the most effective way to found whatever she is looking for would be to take the whole damn ship apart...

Keeping the wreckage as a memento, though, seems to be the most likely expanation. It's a not a great answer (seriously, those crime-bosses she hang out with wouldn't be cool about it), but even Walter could see the merit of her arguing that point, in some ways... This is quite an interesting puzzle to solve. Next week episode is going to be answers-heavy - am I already so hook on that show that I can hardly wait 6 more days? Good on you, "Arrow".
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It definately wasnt an accident. If Im not mistaken she actually admitted to having the yacht sabotaged an episode or two ago.

Since Moira had her son kidnapped to find out if his father told him anything incriminating they might just have done it to see if Queen Sr. left behind some kind of documents/evidence on the yacht that could be used against Moira and her organization.
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I actually enjoyed the entire episode, especially the flashbacks, the 1st Arrow actually speaks english :D



Only thing I didn't like is the cliffhanger, gah have to wait another week just to see what happens.



Plus, Felicity was funny. She can be my girl anytime. I mean, you know, because she isn't that kind of girl, but the... you know :P
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