Arrow: Damaged

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by Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)

Warning: Arrow. Season One: Episode Five Spoilers.

This week’s episode started in Purgatory with Oliver’s mentor trying to teach him how to shoot an arrow at a tree. His words of encouragement when Oliver failed on his first try: “You will die badly.” Charming. After Oliver went to collect the product of their hunting trip, their bonding session was interrupted as masked men kidnapped him and threw him into a cage.

Again, the series drew parallels between old Oliver and the newly-fined Oliver. We saw as Oliver was interrogated by the masked men on Purgatory and how present-day Oliver in Starling City was questioned by Quentin about “The Hood.” It’s interesting how many ironic coincidences can be drawn from both worlds. Oliver asked for Laurel to be his attorney and Mrs. Queen, using her charm and words like “ideals” and “smitten,” convinced her to join his case. This meant that Laurel would go directly against the arresting officer, her father. During the hearing, Laurel’s lovely lawyering skills got Oliver out on bail and on house arrest. Side note: Stephen Amell looks quite dapper in a suit, even while facing life in prison.

During Laurel’s confrontation with Quentin, we were informed that her mother wasn’t always missing in action, but had left after their daughter died. Laurel explained that Quentin only wanted Oliver to be the Hood because he hated them both equally. Oliver wanted to take a polygraph test to convince Detective Lance of his innocence, drawing similarities between both worlds once more. Previous Oliver was a “poor liar” according to his abductee who had a keen interest in Oliver’s mysterious friend on the island. The British villain with a typical “bad guy” accent stated, “This Island is called Purgatory, but I can make it Hell.” (Well someone obviously hasn’t seen Supernatural. Purgatory can be pretty bad itself.)

In present-day Starling City, Oliver was interrogated with words, but in Purgatory, the method was more to the point – unfortunately, it was the razor sharp point of a blade. Oliver’s mysterious hooded friend on Purgatory saved him from the unsettling man with the painted face, Deathstroke, during a kickass fight sequence. Oliver’s mentor took him to a cave, handed him a pouch and said “Remember. Everything breathes.” Cryptic, much? During the polygraph, Oliver admitted to being tortured and amongst others’ company on the island. But stated that the only person he’s ever killed was Quentin’s daughter, by asking her to come with him on the yacht.

After the hearing, Diggle was put to use as Alternate Arrow for the first time, making Oliver’s alibi official as Diggle busted an arm’s deal while Oliver threw a “house arrest” party with hundreds of witnesses. During the party, Laurel turned up to explain her father’s motivation and tell Oliver about how much Quentin had lost in the past five years. Laurel and Oliver locked lips after bonding over their losses, and before either could catch their breath, she stormed out.

Speaking of storming out, Mrs. Queen Bee and Walter have hit somewhat of a speed bump. After Walter located the remains of the shipwreck and asked the now-dead head of security to look into it, he confronted Moira. All she could say back was that Walter should leave it alone or he would get into trouble with dangerous people. He did leave it alone. He also left Starling City on a “much-needed business trip.”


Throughout the episode, many had doubted Oliver’s innocence. Thea thought the arrowhead he gave her was proof, but he brushed it off as a present from an airport gift shop. Laurel, after seeing his scars, was convinced that he had changed and could be Arrow. And Quentin, even after his theory was disproved, still desperately thinks Oliver and Arrow are one and the same. This is the first week where I didn’t mind that the villain wasn’t explored, because every other character was. The episode added depth to Amell’s character as he explained that if he ever told anyone what really happened that they would look at him different – they would see him as damaged. Oliver insinuated that while being tortured the only thing getting him through was the thought of getting back to Laurel. But Laurel has made it very clear that although they are still attracted to each other nothing can ever happen between them.

In the final scene, after saving Oliver from an assassin Quentin informed the Queen family that the masked vigilante had struck and Oliver was off the hook. And in one of the better moments of the episode, Moira turned to him and said “I’m truly sorry for what’s happened to your family Quentin, but would you kindly get the hell out of my house.” Oh, Moira. You might be held up with the wrong people, but at least you still take care of your enigmatic, dysfunctional mask-wearing family.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


    One Comment

  1. StefiNovember 8th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Good post! I’m in love with this show and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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