Arrow "Damaged" Review: Under the Hood

Arrow S01E05: "Damaged"

We posted the results of the four-episode test for Arrow this week, and I have to imagine that some of you are wishing it were a five-episode test so that “Damaged” could have been included in the mix, as it was easily the best episode since the pilot, and probably the best of the series thus far.

"Damaged" was primarily concerned with proving Oliver’s innocence after his arrest last week, and it turned out that Oliver had always intended to be arrested so as to properly throw everyone off his scent as the Hood. As he explained to Diggle, the timeline of his return to Starling City and the Hood’s arrival would’ve set off alarms eventually (even Thea was putting together the pieces, and may still be), so what better way to get the police off your back than to set yourself up?

As many of you predicted, Oliver’s plan involved Diggle posing as the Hood to prove Oliver’s innocence, and it worked—and rather handily so, as Diggle was able to interrupt an arms deal. There is, of course, a bit of a flaw here, since I’m not really clear on what Oliver was planning to do if he didn’t have someone to stand in for him. Good thing Diggle was willing to engage in this war for Starling City, then!

Where the episode really impressed, however, was in the non-Hood stuff. Arrow hasn’t properly balanced the personal drama and the action as well I’d like, but tonight, when given the opportunity to do an episode that was heavy on personal drama, it showed its chop. A lot of credit goes to Wendy Mericle and Ben Sokolowski’s script, which moved briskly but also allowed scenes time to breathe and characters to interact beyond delivering exposition.

Nowhere was this more evident than in way the episode worked the tensions between Laurel and Oliver. There’s been unease between the two of them since Oliver’s return, and "Damaged" wisely brought those things to a head as both characters were forced to deal with not only a lingering attraction to one another, but to understanding one another’s pain. I mentioned this as something to look out for a few weeks back; Laurel explained that the pain the departure of her mother caused both her and Quentin consumed her past the point of even thinking about what may have happened to Oliver on the island.

While Oliver’s showing of his scars resulted in some passionate kissing, the polygraph results put them back where they started emotionally, albeit with a better understanding of each other. Oliver may have been exaggerating a smidge when he told Laurel he wasn’t sleeping or eating (let alone able to sign his name), but there was also an element of truth to it.

Oliver is trying to explain his trauma to someone, even while being in denial about it. Like Laurel and Quentin, he’s throwing himself into a cause, and while it helps him it to talk about it, doing so still keeps people at just the right distance to protect them from his vigilante activities. So even though his confession of “killing” Sarah may have been a calculated move to try and sway Quentin off identifying him as the Hood, it's also part of Oliver trying to continue to atone for his failures, for the wrongs he committed before became stranded on Lian Yu.

This issue of trauma, like the issues of racial and class tensions, is another sign that Arrow is interested in more than just being an action melodrama. It wants to address societal concepts not only in the way that superhero comics have tried to do (particularly Green Arrow books), but in ways that feel character-driven and purposeful.

We got some more glimpses into Oliver’s time on the island, including an exciting showdown between Deathstroke and the Chinese archer that Edward Fyers, Oliver's silver-tongued captor, was seeking. This story has continued to unfold nicely, and it's increasingly the strongest aspect of the series.

Also moving along are Moira’s dealings with John Barrowman’s still unnamed character. It’s clear she’s been in the man’s service for a while, and that his reach is long and deadly. It’s putting a definite strain on her marriage, as Walter is off to Melbourne for an indefinite amount of time. But you have to admire how she managed to transform Barrowman’s assistant showing up to kill Oliver into some criminal element seeking to get revenge on the alleged Hood, thus covering for herself and for Barrowman. She’s a crafty one.

Normally I give shows five or six episodes to work out their kinks. Arrow hasn’t worked out all its kinks yet, but once it finds a way to merge this episode’s compelling personal drama with its action set pieces, while still being able to fully explore those thorny thematic issues, I think we’ll have something very smart and very good on our hands.



NOTES & QUOTES



– I was annoyed with Laurel explaining what a huge conflict of interest it would be for her to represent Oliver and then doing it anyway. And, seriously, she doesn’t have any clients at CNRI that need her?! I’m being more forgiving toward the situation than I really should be since it’s a narrative contrivance that ultimately yielded compelling results.

– Tommy’s lack of an appearance last week and minimized presence this week is a touch troubling, but we’ll see how things go.

– Diggle looks ridiculous in the Hood outfit. Really, really ridiculous.

– "Burning Man meets The Shawshank Redemption.”

– “Well, you do know us billionaire vigilantes. We do love our toys.” And so does Diggle, as he came off very much like a kid in a candy store when he explored the Arrow Cave: “Oh, that’s sweet.”

– “I wore those horrible fishnets.” Heeeee.

– The “You failed this city!” line returned, and in a completely nonsensical way, as it was directed at a GERMAN weapons dealer. More like, “You took advantage of this city!”


– Edward Fyers is a fairly significant character to the Green Arrow mythology. He was a skilled CIA-agent-turned-mercenary who would be at odds with and team up with Oliver over the course of their careers, and he eventually became a mentor and father figure to Oliver’s son in the comics. Fyers isn’t the menacingly polite mercenary he comes off as here; he was more of a blue-collar sort who saw his jobs as jobs, very much a professional. He also had a killer mustache.

– Speaking of DC Comics characters, the show’s DA is named Spencer. It's likely she's Kate Spencer, a woman in the comics who was a federal prosecutor but became the deadly vigilante called Manhunter (one of many to have that name).


– No clues on John Barrowman’s character yet (unless I missed something in his office...?), but I've included a poll below so that we can continue that discussion with ideas that incorporate some of my theories, as well as draw on some comments from last week... particularly the ones that mentioned Intergang, a major criminal force in the DC Comics universe.

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Really wish byron mann (chan)'s mandarin was better. It's so heavily accented that a native mandarin speaker has a hard time distinguishing what he's saying. Even Gregory House spoke better mandarin.
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I'm confused..does Arrow actually murder people? They kept saying Oliver was being arrested for being a vigilante and for murder? Has he killed somebody?
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Yes, he's killed a number of people so far, although it seems that they are shying away from it more & more as the episodes progress.

I can understand why they're doing it, but nothing screws up the potential of a vigilante anti-hero like the use of non-lethal force
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The only one of the options that John Barrowman's character cannot be is an original character created for the series. If he was an original character, his name wouldn't require hiding and someone would have already said it. That being said, I'm not a huge comic book reader, so I have no idea who he could be.
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I agree with your logic, but I wanted people to have the option to voice that opinion. :)
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I missed pretty much everything last week, as I was away on work, but it may've been for the best. Once I caught up, I found that I didn't like last week's, and I was tearing it a new one in my head as I started up this week's.

Fortunately, it handled the main issue with Oliver in the best way possible. It felt like the CW Gods just wanted to jerk my chain a little, to let me know they were still with me.

CW Gods: "Do not despair, Little Acrobit; Oliver knew the camera was there. He did properly research the facility. He is still not an idiot. Do not worry about all those other tiny issues you had with last week. Watch on. Watch on."

The only real issue I still have with this show is all the 'Open up to me about the worst five years of your life and do it nao' people in his face. If PTSD were a grease burn, these guys would be hot running water. Is this the price for having a hero who doesn't act like Clark Kent, that everyone keeps asking him when he's going to start acting like Clark Kent? Because that guy lies more than any of them.

Still, the fights are pretty great, and while most everyone else isn't very interesting, they weren't very annoying this week. Certainly a great episode to follow the worst episode.

And they should've hired Mercenary Fyers to play Monroe on Revolution. That would've made it that much harder for me to quit that show a month ago.
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He did do his research, though that niggling flaw in logic (what if he didn't have someone to stand in for him?) remains. I really want to know how Oliver intended to get out of that gambit without some assistance.

I think you're spot-on with the PTSD comment, but I imagine that the sort of thing the show depicts is still happening in the real world, despite the prevalence of PTSD.

And I wanted you to know that I smiled real big at your comment below about frowning in front of the Internet (not out of pleasure for your frowning, but due to your phrasing and the context). Helped me to start my day off right before reviewing Saturday morning cartoons. :)
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At the trial, he was initially adamant about the ankle monitor, so perhaps he had previously not counted on such a hindrance to his plans. Slip the party, make an appearance (since he wasn't counting on the Germans either) and get back.

Or, perhaps the writers just don't care about logic.
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Yeah, you gotta be tough in front of the internet. Show weakness or flinch at content or sheer volume of hate mail / replies (that might just happen to me), and the internet will eat you alive. And put it on Youtube.

It's a stretch, but two scenarios that possibly could've worked for Oliver's exoneration are 1) Oliver has a second guy / girl out there in wait, and 2) he could've gotten out of the ankle monitor and magically snuck all the way downtown during the party, like he does at his club. Either one, I think, works at least up to CW standards.

Still, it's a gaping flaw if they never answer it.
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Like the show so far but with "Oliver" being such a bad stony faced actor I don't see how he can actually fool anyone.
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Not that I'm saying he's a good actor, but I think the stoney face is kind of on purpose.
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Good episode! It's getting stronger every week! Yay!
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Last week's episode held several annoyances for me - from Detective Lance's thick-headness, with Laurel shifting from one extreme emotion to another (first a near-instant epiphany about The Hood being just what the city needs, and then calling him a murderer for beating up the guy who wanted to kill her...), to Oliver's arrest only happening because he was so (seemingly) sloppy.

So it's fair to say that I fully expected this next-in-line episode to follow the suit and pile up annoyances and hard-to-swallow developments. And for the first 10 minutes it did. Just as I was slowly getting more and more aggravated with the show for asking me to believe that Oliver could've been so sloppy as to hide his costume in a place covered by the camera, the expository conversation with Diggle took place. On my side of the screen, a sigh of relief followed - he knew. He had planned it all along. He actually realised what many viewers had brought up before: that someone might eventually make the connection between his return and the appeareance of The Hood.



Truly a welcome move on the part of the writers, and another sign that Arrow might be both smarter and taking itself more seriously than its predecessor on CW (i.e. Smallville). Yet still, I kept seeing more flaws than benefits in Oliver's plan. Even if someone had made the aforementioned connection, they still wouldn't be able to prove anything. So how is giving some evidence to the police (even circumstantial) any better? How is drawing everyone's attention to the issue going to help in the long run? The suspicion was cast, and regardless of the final result, it might make people keep asking questions whereas they might not've been asking these questions at all before everything went public.

It was only the final conversation with Diggle in Arrow's Hideout that helped me make peace with some of these issues. As the faithful non-sidekick said, the things definitely didn't go down exactly as Oliver had planned. Our superhero did not count on so many people having questions, doubting him. He did not fully think about what happens when one lies. The end result - Oliver is actually fallible. He does not have it all under control, and he did not think everything through as well as he might've thought he had. It was really good to have it mentioned in the show, to draw attention to the potential consequences. I did not expect to see that, and I was more than positively surprised.



I also agree that counting on Diggle's involvement was another - rather obvious - flaw in Ollie's master plan. It would've been smarter to secure his bodyguard's allegiance before letting himself get caught on the camera. Although, to be fair, I would like to believe that there was a plan B in place should Diggle not agree to run along with entire "Hood" scheme - like Oliver having access to the camera recordings and removing/messing them up before the police had a chance to examine them closely.

As for Diggle substituting for Oliver - yeah, I guess we all saw it coming. He did look a little funny (as well as awkward, initially) in the costume, but I wouldn't go as far as to call the sight ridiculous. And I don't think that the differences in body postures actually mattered in this particular case. Remember than no one there had any previous dealings with The Hood - the criminals taking part in the arms deal have only heard about him. So the symbol, the idea, would've worked rather flawlessly. It's not like anyone was able to take a look up close.

The "multiple witnesses" part sounded a little silly, admittedly. But who knows, maybe Diggle just went for a stroll afterwards (Oliver's initial idea only involved Diggle being seen in the costume, not taking part in any action, after all). The only question is, why did Detective Lance let it go rather than accusing Oliver of sending in a potential accomplice dressed up as 'the menace', just to throw him off the trail.



Just briefly about the rest, to wrap up this long-winded post: I thoroughly enjoyed the higher than usual drama dose - the show doesn't need to rely only on the action sequences when it handles its characters that well. Moira may not be as one-sided character as I'd initially thought; I like Tommy, but didn't miss him overly much; Thea has shown some smarts; Laurel changing her mind about representing Oliver wasn't entirely believeable, and while I think that they share some chemistry, I wasn't expecting the kissing so soon; also, one shouldn't be too hard on Deathstroke's outfit - there are bound to be limited means of making one on a "deserted" island!
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A person cannot be tried twice for the same crime.
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I'm loving this series, even recognizing its clumsy moments. More than any other series, it seems to genuinely capture elements of comic book storytelling better than any show I've seen. Rather than "adapting" comics to a new medium, it trusts the conventions of comic books. Small examples: the voice overs (maybe cringe inducing) would be considered great writing on the four-color page; the earnestness of the show, perhaps out of step with our ironic times, perfectly matches DC's 70s output; having the hero so focused on his city -- a very silver age convention; mercenaries on a deserted island wearing ski-masks. In sum, I feel the show is doing something no other super hero show has done: trusted its source.
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I love this show. But I have mixed reactions to the way he mentions "this city". Ollie definitely has municipal awareness. Does he care about the other municipal departments of Starling City as well, like sewage, parks and recreation, traffic? Most people aware of city needs would say what they need are more free clinics and schools. And security, yeah.
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"The idea was to become a symbol."
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Called it on the whole Hood-as-a-symbol-and-therefore-my-nonsidekick-sidekick-can-put-it-on-in-my-absence theme (again, "borrowing" from the Nolans, mixed with some usual DCU antics). Kind of funny that, unlike some recent events in the Nolanverse and the DCU, Dig is bigger than Oliver, and so, I agree, looks more than a bit out of place.



Still it ultimately worked, for the show and as homage to the Nolanverse and DCU.



Actually, Dig seemed way more like Rhodey from the Iron Man films, both with the kid-in-a-candy-store look on his face (and on Rhodey's while staring at the Mark II in Iron Man) and in awkwardly putting on the suit (like Rhodey did in Iron Man 2).



Please tell me that Chinese Arrow is alive to train Oliver more. Otherwise, it will be a big stretch to figure that Oliver trains himself based on one bad lesson and a Mr. Miyagi mantra about breathing.



Looking forward to more Deathstroke! And I agree that Thea isn't sold on Oliver's coverup than Laurel. (Or Tommy, based on him peeking in the Pilot.)

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of course he's alive .. what makes you think he's dead?
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He went to lead off the bad guys whilst having trapped Oliver in the cave.
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I loved Diggle's face when he touched the tip of the arrow; that was hilarious. He was against it at first, but I think he quite enjoyed playing a vigilante.



Wow, the usually chatty Tommy only had 1 line in this episode.



No more bodyguard? Guess they had to get rid of him, in order for Lance to save Oliver.
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Great episode. Couple of things to say:

- Deathstroke having both of his eyes... weird. The main reason why he wears one at all is to show everyone that, even though he lost his right eye, he's such a badass that he would still kill anyone with ease. I guess he'll lose that eye eventually, courtesy of Ollie and/or his mentor. Anyway, that's way more believable than them managing to kill him - doesn't matter to me that Oliver got his mask before he left the island, killing the Terminator is way easier said than done. But, then again, if DC were OK with Ra Al Ghul actually dying in "Batman Begins", I guess they would be cool with that one too...

- I liked Ollie; I liked Laurel; but I don't like Ollie and Laurel together... yet. I'm glad they both realize they shouldn't be together - the last thing Queen needs, in his junior year as a crimefighter, is to have his curious ex around, asking him about his whereabouts. We'll see how their relationship will turn outlater on... especially when LAUREL'S SISTER COMES BACK IN TOWN - yep, I don't believe for a second she's actually dead, and completely expecting her to show up eventually. Mark my words: it will happen - comic book logic.

- Moira is a weirdly interesting character, because, frankly, I have no idea what's her endgame is. Think about the whole "Queen's Gambit" incident: it obviously wasn't an accident, she obviously knew about it, therefore she seems to have willingly sacrifice not only her husband, but her first borned son, for the sake of this shadowing organization she and, at one time, Robert, were part of. But nowadays, she seems to be completely oppose to letting anyone hurt Oliver (except, of course, for herself, with the whole kidnapping him and whatnot...) And you know what? Even though she keeps lying none-stop to all the people she claims to love, I do believe that she ultimately do give a damn and genuinely wants to protect her family. Gotta give a lot of credit for Susanna Thompson for that - she truly managed to make me care about her character. From a deceitful bitch in the pilot, Moira really looks more like a woman in over her head, yet desperately trying to keep her family safe and together. Seriously am interested in seeing where all this is leading...

- Hopefully, Diggle will never, ever, wear those tights again. And, by the way, the man is obviously bigger than Ollie, so is the GA costume one-size-fit-all or something?

- If you have Tommy around, don't use him only as scenery. Make the man talk and said some silly things, or don't make him show up at all...

- I don't have a clue who John Barrowman is playing... But you know what would make people go completely bananas? If he turns out to be VANDAL SAVAGE - that would be so ridiculous, it would actually be awesome, in a completely "WHOA, WTF!?" sort of way, plus it would be the second immortal John ever played! Never gonna happen, though (pretty sure Warner is keeping Savage for a - ill-conceived - possible Justice League movie), so... yeah, Maxwell Lord .
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I loved this episode. It was unquestionably the best episode of the series thus far. It peaked enough for me to think that maybe the show will find it's footing sooner rather than later. I had my doubts about the whole Oliver being arrested so quickly thing, but it was done quite well. Of course he needed to throw people off. It didn't work entirely because I still doubt the detective truly bought the story, Laurel seems hot on his heels, and even Thea has her suspicious. I like it though. Larger stakes...it's more entertaining if the supporting characters don't come across as incompetent. And for the first time since the show began...none of them did.

Erm I think it speaks volumes that Tommy had such a limited role and for the most part wasn't missed. I'm just saying...I suspect that sweet cultured actor will be using his Windows 8 and trotting around the nation and/or globe more than the commercial implied. I don't even think he classifies as sidekick material...which brings me to the D-man. Diggle is freakin awesome. Sidekick, he is not. I love that. He still has this way of doing things reluctantly, making Oliver actually think, understanding the guy etc. I like it. I loved him not using brutal force when he was taking down the arms dealers guys. Yes he did look ridiculous in the hood but I was pleasantly surprised that he would agree to do it, and it was just another stepping stone in what I imagine will be a great dynamic duo.

I loved the background and flashbacks. They were perfect and were in perfect harmony with what was going on in the present. I loved that Oliver's trauma and difficulties were finally addressed as were the troubles of Laurel...and through Laurel, the troubles of her father. The attraction and chemistry between them finally felt real. The acting during all this intense stuff was great and everything just flowed nicely. The same is said for Walter and Moira. Hearty stuff. I also loved that there were more witty lines thrown in there. Even though the "You failed this city line" was clearly misplaced it ironically was the first time that it didn't come off as cheesy. Oh and Diggle's voiceover as they wrapped up the character stuff at the end worked sooo much better.

I think this show is really coming along. I still appreciate and respect the level of grit it has compared to the other shows on its network.
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Yeah, Tommy really has no value, aside from becoming the ironically jealous asstool once Oliver and What's-her-face hook up. That's really the only thing I can see him doing, unless some radioactive insect bites him and gives him archrival powers.

And I like that Diggle's still keeping the sidekick label at bay. It looks tricky, but still looks possible.
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I think it's interesting how Oliver Queen wants to pass an image of careless/carefree playboy, but for anybody who looks more closely will see that's not true. Nobody that has gone through that kind of torture can be that carefree and not traumatized. laurel and Thea may buy that he's not "the man in the hood," but knowing what he went through they must know something is incredibly wrong with that image. It's a disguise as thin as Clark Kent's glasses. Besides, all the scars is something Oliver can't hide no matter what show he puts up. But it's amazing the effort he's making to build this facade.

By the way, does anybody still think that that Smallville actor would've been a better "Arrow"? Really, anybody?
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Up to now, the only person that Ollie told about the torture is Laurel & they did establish to the mom in episode 1 that PTSD may be an issue with the guy.

I'm sure the family & friends assume trauma, but since character knowledge & viewer knowledge are separate, it's wrong to assume they know more than has been established to them.

& I won't speak for anyone other than me here, but No...Hartley's Green Arrow from Smallville would have been a horrible choice...because A) this show has no connection to Smallville in any way & B) Hartley's version doesn't have the proper personality to fit with the tone of this show anyway...that's the reason he was never invited to play the role.
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Laurel, her father and the polygraph guy at least. Thea probably suspects something. And he'd better hope no paparazzo takes a shirtless picture of him. His mother seems a little dense to believe his story like that; it looks like she doesn't know her own son.

I totally agree about Hartley. he's a better fit for "Emily Owens."
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A BIG Barrowman fan! Miss Torchwood!



Thin he will kiss any guys??????
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Ooh! Ooh! or Greg Osbourne
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I'm an insufferable rebel, so after giving the ep. a 2nd watch, I vote that Barrowman could very well end up being Kyle Magnor
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Magnor's a good choice, actually, given how much they've been inspired by Longbow Hunters.

Osborne seems like a stretch for Barrowman, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up associated with Fyers and Deathstroke on the island.
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yep. I admit Osborne's a stretch & an after thought, but I can't help keeping the option open in my mind because of the CIA connection ::sheepish shrug::
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I admit that I am not into comic book lore, so everything I know about Green Arrow I know from Smallville and this. So I have absolutely no idea who Barrowman might be and I'll just wait and see. As long as we don't hear the TARDIS sound and see him running off... ;-)



I do love live-action versions of superhero stuff and I have to admit that Arrow is an incredible show so far although I kind of expected it to be some lame Smallville spinoff.

Overall the two shows I expected the least of but still wanted to try them became my favourite new shows this season: Arrow and Last Resort.

They even best most of the other shows I'm watching, placing them in my personal Top 3 of current shows along with Doctor Who.
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Dont know who Barrowman's character is, but I am happy to see him playing a villain in this series. Also liking Diggle, and even the sister. Not so happy about the choice of Laurel - hope it is just that the character needs time to develop, because for now I just can't see her as an idealistic lawyer - she looks kind of fake to me. But well, overall the show is looking better to me now than after the pilot. Best part is indeed the action on the island, look forward to seeing more of that.
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So I had to watch this episode twice. On first viewing I enjoyed it, but I didn't think it was anything special. I gave it an 8/10. I decided to watch it again, cuz I was just not seeing what everybody else was seeing, suffice to say, I see it now.

This was the best episode of the series so far. I think my problem the first time around is that I was not grasping the point of the episode. In superhero shows it is just a given that there is going to be a suspension of disbelief for certain things; particularly the dual identity aspect and that nobody can seem to put the pieces together. So on first watch I kept thinking that this was a waste of time, cuz in the end he will prove to everybody that he is not "the hood" . But on second watch I realized this was exactly the point of the episode. The writers were acknowledging that people really should start to at least question if Oliver is Arrow, cuz there are just too many coincidences. It made the people in this world seem aware and competent (even Thea was questioning Oliver). So to this I say thank you to the writers, as this is an aspect of superhero storytelling that often gets swept aside, so good on them for facing it.

I really enjoyed the double meaning in much of the conversations between Det. Lance and Oliver. Oliver kept saying that he is "innocent" and that he is "not who [Lance] thinks he is". Clearly this was a lie, but there was an element of truth to it. Lance made Oliver out to be a menace, a criminal and somebody who has no care or concern for other people. To Oliver this was not true, he does not see himself in this way and does not think others should see him that way either. Oliver believes he is doing the right thing as he is protecting Starling City from those who are corrupting it. Does he go a little overboard sometimes? Sure he does. But to Oliver the ends justify the means and if nobody else is going to save the city, he is going to do it the only way he knows how. And if that means some criminal gets killed, especially after Arrow gave him a chance to right their wrong, then so be it. As Oliver said at the end of the episode, "they had their chance".

I also liked the interaction between Dinah and Oliver, especially their last two encounters. For one, there was a fishnet reference. For two, the reasons she doesn't hate Oliver even though she has every right to, were very believable. Lastly, that she noticed Oliver's posture change when he was taking the polygraph, and that there was a slight flutter in the answer to the first question. Ironically, the episode began with many people, including Oliver's family, internally or externally questioning if Oliver could be "the hood"except for Dinah. By the end of the episode everybody but Dinah believes that there is no way Oliver could be "the hood". This sets up an interesting dynamic going forward.

This had the best island story so far and every fight scene in the episode was top notch.

Revised episode rating 9.6/10. And I'm looking forward to the next one.

Ps. "you know us billionaire vigilanteswe do love our toys". Loved Digg's reaction when he went to the...Warehouse? Or Base? Or Basement? Or Lair? I dunno, but I refuse to call it the Arrow Cave...lol

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But they called it an Arrow Cave in the 1940s and 50s! I'm being historically accurate!!!
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when will they actually call him The Green Arrow instead of the green hood and robin hood? John barrowman's character cant be slade i mean he saw and totrured him on the island and in the first episode we saw slades's mask on a stick so which might indicate he dead. John like you said has been meeting with moira for a while so.....really dont think john is slade
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Not only the Longbow Hunters, but the writer also spent about 6 years doing the GA solo title after TLH, making sure that it remained almost completely divorced from the rest of the DC Universe (It was a common practice for DC's mature readers subdivision during that era & it turned out to be a brilliant decision by the company) So, anyway...I don't see any reason for the guy to be called 'Green Arrow' within the show itself. The genpop in the show can refer to him with any name they like & it would never change the fact that we as viewers know what character's comic name is.
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They seem to be basing the series on The Longbow Hunters which was a mini series and run in which Oliver was more violent and did not go by any superhero name.



Otherwise, I think that they may just call him Arrow rather than Green Arrow. I would prefer that they call him Green Arrow though given that he is wearing a green hood.
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If they are using The Longbow Hunters as a base then I'm really sorry for Dinah.
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They are taking a lot from Longbow Hunters. Obviously the killing aspect, the more realism based hero stuff. However they also have clearly inserted Deathstroke, Deadshot, and Huntress. Their presence alone tells me that they are picking a little bit from everywhere in the GA DCU. I think that is really good from a creativity originality perspective. My only concern is they fall into an aimless "DCU easter egg" quota for the week mentality. Add some in and let it simmer... Regardless I'm really locked into Arrow now. This ep was the straw for me. A live action Deathstroke is just so damn awesome!!
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Fun episode, I liked all of it.

The only thing I kiiiind of have a problem with was the way Oliver completely just used Laurel. I know they kind of reference it near the end with Diggle's voice-over about Oliver not taking into account the people that care for him, and Oliver stating that he's wrong because Oliver's hurt the most because of the hurt that he causes them. But really, by asking for Laurel to be his lawyer, he just put father and daughter against each other... knowing full well that Quentin is actually right. I can't even tell why it is Oliver actually demanded Laurel as his counsel... she didn't actually play a significant role in setting him free. I also don't see why Laurel would accept it... it's as if hearing people compliment her idealism is a trigger for her to accept anything. "You're idealism is great..." "I'm in!"
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It's flabbily explained in the show, but Laurel does say that the reason Oliver selected her was so she would try and talk sense to Quentin. It's part of a larger gambit to throw him off Oliver's trail.

But I really like your emphasis on how he's using her to this end, with very little regard to how it may affect either of them. I think the show is playing a deep-ish game with how Oliver is dealing with his time on the island, the trauma, I spoke about a bit, and how his coping mechanisms (the identities, the war for the city) are just a means to an end so as not to face the truth....

Good food for thought...
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I love the instant and credible witnesses who saw Diggle as the Hood. Who are these people who were all hanging out at an arms sale and immediately went to the cops and gave sworn statements? How did that happen?

Oh man, I wanted to like this episode, but the stuff with Deathstroke was so schlocky it looked like a bad Syfy Saturday movie. Ollie is getting cut up simply to hide the truth about a stranger he met a few days ago and hasn't actually done all that much for him? Either something is missing, or the writers skipped an issue of the comic they're writing in their heads.

I'm growing very tired of Det. Lance, it's too much all at once, not subtle, just sloppy. The only part I bought was Laurel picking him up from the bar, that felt real, the rest was just bad CW tv. And I watched all of Paul Blackthorne in The Dresden Files where he was a wizard detective, so I know it's not the actor.
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Also, as an aside: It seems like you've been generally cool to barely lukewarm on the show so far. What has you coming back to it each week?
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I'm sure the painfully stereotypical gang members made a quick call to the police while they were calling ambulances for their injured comrades.

The Deathstroke sequences looked far better better than a Syfy Original. I mean, for one, there were no 80s pop singers in it! ;)

More seriously, I was fine with the Deathstroke stuff. I take your point about the possible motivations for Oliver not blurting out the location of the Chinese archer, but as the same time, he's shown Oliver a sort of tough-love kindness where as Fyers and his merry band have not. But enough to not blab after being stabbed and sliced a few times? It doesn't gel, but I don't feel like it's particularly egregious either.
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I had the same concern about the capture/torture stuff. However I'm wondering if it might not be correct to assume that the flashback is going in straight linear fashion. In last weeks Ollie seems to be nursing a wounded arm while wondering what to do with the pheasant. However he seemed to grasp the bow pretty readily in this weeks ep. Like maybe the hunting trip that started the ep was days or even weeks later. Whether or not that was true Ollie had already had some pretty tough life lessons and when "my family will reward my release" didn't seem to work you might not want to stick it to the only guy who can help you.
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Ha! Ok, true enough, but that Deathstroke mask alone looked like a Roger Corman film costume reject. When studios fear the spandex superhero, that is precisely what they are talking about. The locked in expression really drove the nails into the coffin.

I have been staying with the show out of hope, I guess. It's basically all we DC fans have to embrace right now, so I'm waiting to see if it gets past its CW issues. I did try to drop it a couple weeks ago, but it was a dull Saturday and there it was on the DVR.
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I have a feeling you may not be thrilled with their interpretation of the Royal Flush Gang costumes next week then. (I'm not crazy about them either, but I understand where the show is coming from with the idea; good with the bad.)

Can you parse out "CW issues" for me? You mentioned soapy aspects in the 4-test post, but as I told someone a week or two ago, possibly CameronCole, I don't think those CW aspects are going to ever go away (they have a brand to maintain). They do need to be better integrated, though.
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I appreciate the comments, and am stubborn enough that I probably will stick with Arrow through the whole season, there's tiny kernels of something that keep me hoping for breaking away. I'll continue giving honest feedback to your reviews despite the lack of pay. ;-)

WB TV seems to have a very specific recipe for how they deal with spartan budgets. If you look at other low-budget genre shows in these sorts of situations, they use the challenge of a low budget to craft a unique voice and use what they can to make a better show. Look at Veronica Mars or Babylon 5, shows that took their challenges and used them to hone what mattered most, writing and scope, and let the production follow those needs. Compare that to WB who doesn't get better ratings for their efforts, waters down their brand's premise to chase a tiny demographic of teen girls, and ends up angering their brand's base audience while not bringing new recognition to the brand. Syfy's Alphas is made in Ontario, Canada, it's a genre show on a limited budget, but it doesn't look like everything else, it has its own visual appeal that fits its message; The CW forces a homgeonous style to look, pacing, music, effects, even stunts that takes life out of the show even if it does look better than its budget suggests. And then there's the casting on The CW, "'nuff said."

Arrow has done a 1.3, you're right on that, but this is the network that renewed Oh Sit - the musical chairs show that somehow is also a ripoff of Wipeout AND has too many rules - and given a full ride to Emily Owens MD despite it being the lowest-rated show of the new season with a 0.5, CW seems to have aspirations of nothingness.

Anyway, it's good to have a real conversation about these sorts of things for once.
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The Royal Flush Gang's incoming? Oh no...

I literally frowned just now. I try not to do that in front of the internet.
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(Hit the limit of our comment threading).

Some of what you bring up is media conglomerate infighting. Warner Bros. Television doesn't want to sink money into something like Arrow (or Smallville or Birds of Prey) because it's on the CW (the WB ran into this problem a LOT) and such they won't garner ratings and definitely doesn't have syndication viability (compared to, say, Big Bang, 2.5 Men, Mentalist) so they prioritize other properties they've developed even though these DC Comics properties are all in the same family. A lot of this is, as you imply (I think) with the brand and 0.9 rating (though Arrow's doing a touch better than that right now, your point's still taken), are forms of self-fulfilling prophecies.

The rest, like the camera and lighting work or the Vancouver locations, end up being the results of the above due to budgeting.

My perspective, in an effort to explain some of my positivity (even though I have problems with the show that I've discussed way below), is that I don't feel that I can needle a show for some things that are, to varying degrees, beyond their control. Certainly the melodrama aspects (aka "the CW teen soapy mess") and how they're integrated are up to the show, as are how it constructs its mise-en-scene, but I am making allowances for their position and budget (though we'll see how well that holds up next week with the RFG outfits...).

I feel like this was productive, so I appreciate you explaining your perspective. :) A bit of me hopes you keep viewing just to continue to be present in these discussions, but no one should watch something they don't like (unless they're getting paid for it!).
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I saw the hockey masks in the preview and knew to steel myself on the Royal Flush Gang, but thanks for the warning.

Ok, beyond the CW teen soapy mess, there's also the same Canadian sets over and over, the Michael Bay-wannabe camera work and lighting (this carries over from Smallville), the hit-n-miss casting, and someone's usually got an evil parent. Hell, look at Birds of Prey from a decade ago on the WB, even it seems similar, it's like Warner can't get up enough courage to make bigger budgets and bolder choices, so they play safe and end up with these same types of shows over and over which avoid utterly ruining the brand but also avoid growing it past a 0.9 rating.
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This legal system is cray! They had no evidence whatsoever (the video was circumstantial at best) and the DA ready to try and convict him of multiple murders! And that plea bargain was the worst- "We've got nothing to hold you on, so accept our deal of only half your life in prison!"

I've watched enough Law and Order to say with authority that this entire justice system is a farce! Attica! Attica!

But really, this episode was excellent. All the elements came together well, characters were developed, plots thickened, AND there was some awesome action! And the boss man villain totally got an arrow to the head :)
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Hopefully Oliver's list includes members of the justice system who have turned Starling City into a judicial wasteland.
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I loved how we saw more of Oliver's time on the island, it really made me feel even more for him as a character and gave a great deal of depth and sympathy to him as well.
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I loved the episode until the end . The last part was incredibly cheesy. From the voice over, to the 'talking to the villain heroically'. I thought he was suppose to be a darker character but he goes on and say a cheesy line before he shoots the guy. Don't get me wrong, I usually like cheese, but the dialogue needs to be improved considering its already a really good show. I'm still not sure Digs as a sidekick but was happy to see Deathstroke.
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Is Amell bulking up (nice guns!) or are they just shooting him in tighter T-shirts?
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Oliver's started importing his tees from the Monroe Republic.

And that satisfies my Revolution joke quota for the week!
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HA! I was thinking Gap Kids, but you're probably right.
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A tremendous jump in quality of the show. I liked it. Most of the characters got a little bit more depth to them. Even Thea.

The only issue I have would be. What would have happened to his convenient little plan if Diggle would have said no, didn't get shot, would have been killed etc. He is a quality superhero, his contingencies have contingencies. But it all seems to rely upon Diggle getting shot with a curare laced bullet, not dying, not getting found by a SWAT team in their exfil, Oliver still having the cure, (the cure being from a remote island in the South China Sea and Curare being from South America), Diggle not turning him in, Diggle joining his cause, Diggle agreeing to don the hood, Diggle able to fight ten guys when he was just shot the other day, etc.

But that aside it was a great episode. And I like Diggle's commentary. That was great. Also another weird thing, did the chinese guy die or leave him to fend for himself? If so how did he train to know what he now knows? Seems weird.

Great episode and I like where I think it is going.
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I think the Chinese archer will return (I mean, the character has a name and all, though they haven't said it in the show yet). He just trapped Oliver in the cave for protection and is going to through Fyers and Deathstroke off the trail.

And Oliver training himself, archery at least, wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility. His skills as an archer were self-taught in a number of the comic origins. The rest of his moves though, yes, he'll have to have picked up from someone else.
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Definitely best epi since the pilot. I thought the action unfolded well and the plot made sense. I was seriously questioning Oliver's intelligence for hiding his duffel in front of a security camera; nice to know that was part of the plan. I do also wonder what Oliver had planned if he couldn't get Diggle to don the hood for the night - seems like a lot of his being released hinged on that. I guess he planned to spin it out into a public trial in which he'd find ways to discredit the 'evidence' in the eyes of the jury and everyone else in SC. It seemed like he considered what he was putting his family through with the arrest and trial, but as he told Diggle, the mission is more important. It does seem like he should have considered that a vigilante label would make him and his family targets though.



Speaking of the evidence - I'm no attorney, but it seemed pretty circumstantial to me. Yes, they had the video of him finding a duffel bag, but that doesn't make a case. As for Laurel. she doesn't seem like much of an attorney either. She went from 'not guilty' to 'hey take the plea' - the plea in which he'd forever be labeled a crazed vigilante and go to a psychiatric facility for an unspecified amount of time? And that's a gift? It wasn't like this was a slam dunk case in which they found his Arrow lair! Oh Laurel - I'm just not sold on this version of Dinah Lance, and I really think a lot of it is this actress. This character, and the actress' portrayal of her, is kind of all over the place. Amell delivered a pretty solid performance here, but there's still no chemistry between these two. He has more chemistry with Diggle and Thea. And old Quentin is all over the place too. I'd prefer to see more Walter and Tommy - Tommy's cameo wasn't enough, and I feel sad about Walter leaving.



I'm leaning toward an Intergang connection here with Barrowman's character. Definitely want to see more of him! And I also agree that the flashbacks to the island are very compelling and one of the things I most look forward to in each episode. That drama is unfolding really well, and that throwdown between Deathstroke and the Chinese archer was stellar. I'll definitely keep watching! The show has some irritants (the Lances being big ones for me at this point) but it seems to be coming together into a great story. Once they find their footing, I think this could be the best thing on CW.
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I agree with you, I love this show and it is the highlight of my week but no one really has chemistry. The exception seems to be Tommy who at this point can romance a popsicle and it would be believable.



I was also a bit confused at how circumstantial the evidence is. They had a definite right to arrest him on charges of being/abetting a vigilante but the entire plea and the "solid evidence" was taking it too far. Quentin is becoming annoying now at his single-minded need to avenge his daughter. Yes it is good character development but if they continue along these lines they are going to have the justice system suspend him for extreme action against Oliver. Maybe the show will do that in a couple of episodes.
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The chemistry definitely needs work, but hopefully that gels as the series continues. As for Quentin - it seems to me that he's headed for 'official reprimand' territory. Mrs. Queen would be within her rights to file a complaint about conflict of interest given that his daughter died on their boat. The more I think about it, the more I think it would have been better without that whole side plot - I wish there were no history between the Lances and Oliver. Then maybe we'd see Quentin doing some interesting police work to catch Arrow, and we'd see Laurel doing something interesting that didn't involve her looking overly angsty and teary eyed. Too late for that though, and still loving the show in spite of it :)
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It's a very TV-style sort of legal system on Arrow, though I did like the DA was all, "Well, Detective Lance didn't really consult with us on this, so, yeah, here's a plea offer because he screwed up." Admittedly, as you point out, that plea offer is pretty dreadful.

Laurel's suffering. I think her connection/attraction to Oliver has been the most consistent thing about the character, but the rest seems largely based on the needs of the episode. I talk a little bit about her and Quentin waaaaaaay down in the comments after bicelis asked a couple for some clarifications from me.

While I'm still betting on Maxwell Lord (as, it appears, many of the rest of you are!), I'm putting a small side pot on Barrowman being Morgan Edge. I think they're the two that make the most sense. (I must admit that a friend of mine posited Edge, as I hadn't even given the character any thought.)
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The "only" problem I had with the plea bargin was, as you pointed out the DA was Kate Spencer so the bargin should have really been :



"Admit to being the vigilante now Mr. Queen and I'll not only let you but I'll come give you a hand, if you don't mind?"
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A bit of me really wants Arrow just to turns into a pseudo-Birds of Prey show with Black Canary, Manhunter, Huntress, and Felicity in the Oracle role. Deep down, I think we all want that.
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Lord and Edge are the most likely. As long as we see more of Barrowman, I'll be happy either way. I saw your comments below on the Lances, and you're probably right in that the show doesn't have any focus for them at the moment. The effect is that I want to mute my TV when they start talking to each other, but I'm trying to be patient. It just feels like they gave Oliver and Laurel a history to satisfy a romantic angle from the comics, but they're not doing anything to make it very believable - it's a tell vs. show issue, the worst kind of exposition. That makes me think that they'd have been better off with the Lances having no previous connection to Oliver at all. Laurel has been most interesting to me when in scenes with Tommy. Oliver has excellent chemistry with Diggle and Thea (in some scenes) and even his scenes with Felicity pulled me in. It's usually not good when your two leads (and I'm assuming the main 'ship) have better chemistry with everyone else than they do with each other. Of course, I'm assuming they won't rush the romantic angle, so maybe they can work this out with time. As you said, it's early days yet!
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Everyone seems to have missed the other sort of throwaway line that Laurel said...after Sara died, my father and I threw ourselves into the law, my mother went the other way (or something to that effect).
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I heard "went away" not "other way," but I was also on TV where I couldn't get the captioning to work, so I may have missed it.
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After Sarah died, my father threw himself into his work.

I think that's part of the reason I'm an attorney.

He ran to the law, and I followed.

But my mother couldn't. So she left him. Left us.
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That seems about right. But it does leave things open a bit if you read into it. Both Detective Lance and Laurel ran to the law, but her mother couldn't. That could mean that she ran away from the ways of the system and became the first Black Canary.
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I don't care who John Barrowman is, as long as he's there.
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BTW: no idea who John Barrowman's character might be but just loving seeing him again... missed him a lot since Torchwood (the UK series, mind.)
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I agree some lines sound a bit cheesy and there is some overacting but in broad terms if they get their act together I think we'll have a pretty solid series... let's give them a chance.
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Is it just me or have they ever actually showed Oliver killing someone? Even the last scene he only "disables" the minions and with the boss they cut the screen and only have the sound of the arrow.
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It's not just you :) I remember an interview from a while back, possibly with Marc Guggenheim, that said they would be deliberately vague about who if anyone gets killed. I think the company line was that Ollie probably wasn't setting out to kill people but if they were criminals and they happened to die he wasn't going to lose any sleep over it.

So the body count is as high or low as you want it to be, with the possible expection of Deadshot, who they suggested was dead in the previous episode.
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yeah, forgot about deadshot... granted they really didn't confirm that, as the "police" never reported it on screen, but sure looked like he was dead given taking the arrow in the eye...
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This show needs to decide if it is a soap opera or dark brooding action show. The cheesy dialog, over acting and lazy plot setups do not contrast well with the darker aspects of the show. It is nice to see them take fundamental questions that comics often ignore head on which in this case is the Arrow showing up when Oliver did, but everything around that part of the story was incredibly weak.



This show blunders into The Cape/Revolution territory frequently and I hope it finds a way to steer clear of those messes.



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Easily the best episode so far. The episode did a great job with the character interactions. I loved the scenes between Oliver and Laurel and/or her father, dealing with his past sins as well as his present ones, and obviously giving Laurel a better understanding (albeit not a full understanding) of who Oliver is. I also loved where they've taken Walter's character, investigating the truth about the boat, and realizing there's a major conspiracy when that one guy was killed. Hopefully we'll get to see more of Walter's character in future episodes. Also, I'm really happy that they actually addressed the whole issue of the Green Arrow showing up right after Oliver was rescued, and actually gave the characters a good reason to remain blind to the truth.
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Bar none, and always has been, the fight scenes are fantastic! Nikita was No.1, now 2!

THIS SHOW GETS BETTER EVERY WEEK!
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I cant wrap my head around daddys extreme overacting, he performed well in Dresden. But this is so incredibly unbelievable and exaggerated how he always blows off anger, and his empty threats...take it back 2 nodges..
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Hehe, I was prepared to assume Paul Blackthorne would easily be the best actor on this show, especially considering everybody else's acting isn't particularly good, but Blackthorne isn't doing any better than the others. I think being on the CW let him not take his acting too seriously... or he's taking the seriousness of the show too seriously and overacting the crap out of it. Either way.
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I agree but I figure it's because after building up his anger for 5 years and then finally being able to direct his anger at someone would put him to the extreme. All that time he was probably blaming himself and now he has someone else to blame. Still a bit extreme though.
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I normally really like Paul Blackthorne, but he's grappling with a very broad character (and his accent keeps creeping in).
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I like that when Diggle was wearing the hood, he used non lethal force on the gang member. It fits with his character and his ideals. And the look on his face after was a nice touch. It had a touch of satisfaction but also kind of showed a man who really did not want to be in that costume.



Deathstroke was a bit of a let down though. For one thing, he had both eyes rather than one. Sure that is a bit of a nitpick but I would have prefered the show to be a bit more faithful since they already gave him the mask. Also, it would have him actually talk. I guess I am a fan of the Teen Titans version of the character who was cold and calculating and voiced by Ron Perlman.



I doubt Barrowman is Slade though given the fact that Deathstroke was not really as tall as Barrowman is. Plus Barrowman's character does not come off as military type. There are a number of highly powered businessman types in the comics. While a bit out of left field, maybe it is Roland Dagget, a Batman character.
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Like I said in a reply further down: in the first episode you saw the Deathstroke mask with an arrow through one eyehole so maybe Oliver took out one of his eyes. When/If he shows up again he might just have the good old eyepatch.

And Barrowman being Deathstroke wouldnt make any sense. He is obviously leading that group of criminals and had been doing so even before Oliver got stranded on the island. Deathstroke on the other hand appeared to be more of an enforcer for the head mercenary that questioned Oliver. I dont see how those two roles would fit together.
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Sticking with the John Barrowman character being linked to Intergang, well sort of.

Tobias Whale - headed up Kord Enterprises when it was a front for Intergang so fits the business man requirement. Also a member of the 100, lousy name for a criminal group but if "The List" has 100 names on it; and the 100 did employ a certain bow & weilding nemisis of Green Arrow. Misses out on the 400lb albino African-American requirements for a perfect fit, but you can't have everything.



One eye too many, one eye patch too few to be Deathstroke.

And not even a trace of a East European accent, which crosses Vertigo off the list.
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I don't think it's Deathstroke either, but I tossed it on there because I figured some folks might think so.

I think Vertigo's a possibility, accent or not, but is about as likely as Deathstroke (and way more likely than Dover, which even I think is a massive stretch).

I've settled on him being Max Lord or Morgan Edge (pre-new 52, obviously) if he's a DC comics character.
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I had to look up who Dover but and came across Stanley Jr. first, and while trying to remain as polite as possible about Barrowman because I do love watching him, it wouldn't be totally unfair to say that Barrowman is camper than a row of tents. So having John followed round by a massive, cuddly, cute pink monster seems like something he'd be very comfortable doing
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Yeah, everyone's going to find Jr first, and think that I'm completely nutty for suggesting that Barrowman's character is being followed around by a monster.
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Yes but when you see Deathstroke on the island, he has both eyes.
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But you also saw his mask at the end of the episode with an arrow through one of the eyeholes so it stands to reason Oliver took out one of his eyes.
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Surprisingly I absolutely love this show. It moves along, it didn't take them 3 episodes to kiss and it wasn't interrupted by someone. He wasn't alone on the island becuause seriously, is there anywhere left on this planet that isn't full of people? This show is dark, fast and has good acting.
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I don't know the comics, so after the first 3 episodes I was still unsure if I should continue watching - but I'm glad I did. They managed to give this show a very good rhythm since the last 2 episodes and make the characters more interesting. I hope they'll lose the voice-overs though (letting Diggle talk and be his inner voice was a nice alternative) and avoid the occasional cheesy lines to give it a more realistic touch. For now the island flashbacks provide a lot of mystery and to my surprise there are a lot more procedural elements than I thought there would be. So this show really keeps getting better with every episode at the moment.
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I did love the episode though, despite how ridiculous Deathstroke's face looked in the flashbacks. I don't know if it was the color scheme or material that they used, but I really didn't care for it at all.

Oh, and you know what was painful? Ollie's voice nearly breaking as he tried to tell Laurel she didn't have to go after their kiss. I say "tried" because that woman bolted so fast, that she was practically halfway back to her office by the time he finished the sentence. That probably hurt worse than anything that happened on the island, didn't it Ollie? :(
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Yes, I think that little moment was Amell's best work so far.
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I think Amell's work in this entire episode is actually really good. That long pause during the polygraph, and the after-kiss scene? Solid stuff. Plus he continues to make Island Oliver and Starling City Oliver feel like completely different people and in really productive ways.
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Agreed. And you can really see how he struggles with maintaining his "badboy" persona especially in those moments when the mask just doesn't stay on too well. I think it's quite a challenge to believably portray bad acting through good acting. That kind of balance is difficult, IMHO.

Now, if he only could do something with that terrible voice-over. Provided that would be actually possible. To do something with that writing... I mean, seriously. They are capable of writing very nice dialogue but that narration is... truly dreadful.
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You know what kind of bugged me? According to Laurel, she and Ollie went to a PRISON for their 8th grade field trip. Are we to assume Ollie went to public school? I mean, I guess it's also possible that Laurel went to some exclusive private school with Ollie, but I find it even less believable that a school for the entitled would plan a field trip to a prison. It also would make me wonder what Laurel's mom did for a living, because I doubt her dad could have afforded the tuition. Unless... maybe she was a scholarship kid?
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I find it hard to believe any school anywhere would take a bunch of kids to a prison. Maybe the Planetarium was booked up? Or maybe it was some Scared Straight nonsense...

And I guess it's likely Laurel had a scholarship, she seems wicked smaht.
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Loaded mom or scholarship, either are options. It would also explain Laurel's really nice apartment, or else it's rent-controlled (though I doubt any landlord in Starling City would still have rent control).
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Personally, I thought that Oliver's delivery of "You have failed this city!" was a quite bit less forced this go-around. Also, I thought Diggle didn't look bad in the Green Arrow outfit.
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great episode. I know I said that I want mother off the show, but she has awsome scenes. Still at some point she will have to go(right?maybe not this season,but if it gets more seasons,think she will "depart" from show at some point :D ),but for now,she is good for show.



Laurel:" After last night,clearly we are still attracted to each other"

Really!!?!?!? I just don't see it(might be better to say feel it). They have no chemistry(Ollie and Diggle have more chemistry,than those 2), their lines of how they feel about each other are just empty words and have no "weight". Think part of problem might,be because Ollie and Laurel "are so hot".

While I am ok with and get it,if there are gonna be couple of times,when both of them say,we can't be together for different reasons,however I will go crazy if I will relive Smallville's Clark and Lana crying scenes of how they can't be together. At least Clark didn't cry in their scenes,but Lana(ARGHHH!!!!....f-ing Kreuk!!!!)



While action(fighting) scenes are good,they are not great. Ollie threw his bow at forklift,bow bounced away,Ollie went on top of forklift and then in next scene he has his bow back in his hand....what the hell? Also few of stunt men seem weird(meaning I can see them waiting to be punched or thrown accross room)
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The fight at the...wherever it was at end the episode was a huge mess. Like XY said, it's not only an editing error, but it was just cut up to hell and poorly staged. It almost felt like an afterthought, a scene that was tacked on due to a short run time/need to have Oliver appear in the outfit.
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Yeah, the editing error with the thrown bow was too visible. They did the same thing in episode 4 in the scene at the docks. Some fights seem pretty "meh" and unrealistic (like the one with Diggle-Arrow) while others are really nice choreographed (e.g. the one with Deathstroke, although it ended too abrupt).
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yeah with Deathstroke was awsome....maybe they spend too much time for that scene and couldn't do others so well:D
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So it's offical John Diggle is Arrow's Alfred Pennyworth. I could be wrong but I think they may have done the Alfred puts on the Bat-costume to save Bruce Wayne in the Adam West tv show, probably not something you should be borrowing from if you want a darker, gritty tone.



Also Walter's trip to Australia is likely to be a long one; Colin Salmon was on Strictly Come Dancing up until last weekend, so doubt we'll see Walter again until mid-season, unless his plane mysteriously falls out of the sky. Either way it's a bit of a shame as I was startling to like Walter.
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I'm almost positive you're right about Alfred appearing as Batman in the 1960s series.

And thanks for the heads up about Salmon. I, too, like I mentioned last week, have been liking Walter a great deal, so his sudden departure has given me a sad.
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It was an awesome episode! Best yet! Did anybody else notice the delivery of line "You have failed this city" at the end? I thought it was actually good.
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A fantastic episode. Noel, you mention that the show needs to work out some kinks. What do you mean specifically, 'cause you haven't written anything specific about that in the review. Not being passive aggressive here, but seriously want to know your opinion :)

I kinda like that some episodes will be more action-y and some will only use to the case of the week element to explore the drama. This way an episode can be fully focused on one thing and do it well, like it did this episode. As we've seen in the previous episodes, mashing the two only results in 'good' rather than 'great'.

Fringe was one of few shows that could do it, Tim called them mythalone episodes. However, that's hard to pull off.
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Nothing specific this week (though I feel I've made mention of some every other week in some capacity) but that's because, as you note, they're settling their focuses on one particular aspect of the show's identity, but if you look at "An Innocent Man" or "Honor Thy Father", you find the show struggling to balance its case-of-the-week and action impulses against the more melodrama-focused stories.

So, using last week's episode as an example, the CotW was that Declan case. It's not a case though, and it's barely a plot. It's more of a contrivance to have Laurel and the Hood work together, and while that delivers some nice ideas, ideas that I chose to focus on, the case itself has no forward moment of its own.

Compare this to "Lone Gunmen," the Deadshot episode, which Oliver works through the CotW in a reasonable way to reach a conclusion. The procedural framework gives the show an opportunity to pace its action instead of being a collection of brief scenes like it was last week in which characters aren't necessarily conversing, but are talking to move the plot along. (Brief scenes are something else the show has a problem with; it may make the episode feel like it's moving quickly because of all the cutting, but it's just boggy to me.)

For me, the show can be stronger if it can balance these impulses within a single episode rather than being just one or the other. You say that mashing them together only results in "good," but I think it just mostly results in "choppy and unfocused" (or as I called it last week, "Blah.").

If the show decides to operate more in the vein of this week, with a particular emphasis each week, that's fine, but then the action plotting needs to be stepped up, because apart from "Lone Gunmen," the action plotting hasn't been great.

It's a touch unfair to point to the island flashbacks of how well the show can work, but I'm increasingly convinced that those flashbacks are the best broken stories in the episodes. They have a goal and a theme that compliment the current day stuff, with solid end points while still feeding its on-going narrative. The current day stuff isn't always so well broken, and I think it's safe to say that it's benefiting in some cases from the strength of the island stuff.

There are other issues. I don't think the show knows what to do with Tommy right now (part of this just could be the actor's schedule; perhaps with Walter off for a bit, the budget and scheduled is freed up now?), and I really don't think they have an idea about how Laurel and Quentin function as a pair. The two characters have essentially had the same conversation 4 times now, and this week their argument exists purely to mention the absent mother. There's no other reason for it to be in the episode, and that's just clunky.

I admit that a lot of this has just lurked in reviews, but I'm decidedly more interested in trying to meet the show its own grounds each week and dig into its larger thematic concerns than continually beat up on it for lazy and unfocused plotting. And like I said in the conclusion this week, shows often need five or six episodes to work themselves out (goodness knows The Vampire Diaries did). If that sort of sloppiness keeps up, you can expect to see me grumbling about it a bit more; it's still early going, the show and us, we're still getting to know one another, and it's always best to be patient.
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That was a very comprehensive answer, thanks :)

Also, it's nice that you come back to the review and respond to viewer's comment.
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I'm glad you found it comprehensive! ;) I did not intend the answer to become a mini-review in and of itself (it was just a little over 200 words shorter than the review above), but you wanted specifics!

And I'm always happy to reply to as many comments as I can. I'm trying to balance my presence here a bit more so I'm not sucking up all the oxygen (I feel like I may have overdone the comments with the pilot and second episodes).
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