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TV REVIEW: FTN reviews Arrow SO1EO5 Damaged

November 8th, 2012 by Christopher Williams 1 Comment

As Oliver works his way out of his recent arrest, an arms deal is going down in Starling City which would flood the streets with powerful machine guns. Walter looks into his recent discovery of the Queen’s Gambit being stored away and Moira is in deep with some bad fellows.

Thank you CW for delivering another great episode of Arrow. While some of the content doesn’t quite sit well with, everything they are doing works, so I can’t be mad at the few issues that I have. So let’s get started.

Oliver is in a tight jam as the episode kicks off after his arrest last week after garnering suspicion of being the man under the hood. Now we all know he’ll get out of it, but I really liked the way the show drew it out for the entire episode. The writers could have easily had Oliver get off on a technicality within the first few minutes so he could be on his merry way, but instead his arrest becomes the focal point of the episode. Thank you for not going the lazy route, as this gives his arrest some meaning. I really enjoyed how Oliver went about getting his release with a whole plan that he had from the beginning to avert suspicions of him being Arrow for the long term. He put himself in a short term jam, but it had a long term payout, that was brilliant. My only problem was with how Oliver manipulates everyone who is close to him to achieve his goal. I felt bad for Laurel as he just lies to her face about not being Arrow. His mom rushes in to save him from Detective Lance’s interrogation declaring Oliver’s innocence and I kind of felt bad for her as she was being duped. Then the way he manipulates Diggle was downright wrong and I’m glad Diggle called him out in it. If Oliver needed Arrow to show up somewhere else so he can clear his name then Oliver should’ve just been honest with Diggle from the start. Another thing that irks me is how everyone refers to Arrow as the man in the hood or the vigilante. Would a freaking newspaper just dub him Arrow already so they can start using his name? That makes the whole series feel like an origin story, and with the flashbacks to the island every week, this season is essentially an origin story, but come on already.

Speaking of the flashbacks (great unintended segue) this week we got the mother of them all with the appearance of Deathstroke. Though he was a man of few words, or none at all, this was what I’ve been waiting for. The scenes with Deathstroke reveal a new angle of Oliver’s ordeals while being shipwrecked and now we all, including Laurel, see him in a new light as Oliver is tortured in horrible fashion after refusing to divulge information on the man who has been his castaway mentor. I loved this revelation because it adds a new layer of emotion to Oliver and Laurel’s relationship as well as helps to develop Oliver’s character a bit giving us a glimpse into what has hardened him so much while he was gone. This made his mentor that much more interesting too and I’m curious to find out what his importance is to Oliver’s mentor. These scenes also gave us one of the coolest fight scenes on the show so far. The flying armbar he threw at Deathstroke was brilliant and it was a nice touch to see Arrow use the same move later in the show.

I still don’t know what to make of Walter’s discovery of the family yacht being stored away and how it relates to John Barrowman’s character since he had Walter’s investigator killed. Though I do like how this plot is playing out with His connection to Moira, I wish they would give is a little more to go on. The writers seem to be playing this one a little too close to the vest and as a viewer it just leaves me a bit confused, but hey, I loved Jack Harkness so I’ll just keep hanging on to this story for now, though it better pay huge dividends when it’s revealed. I was hoping he would be revealed as Slade Wilson and therefore Deathstroke, but that might not make sense since he is sending cronies to off people when Deathstroke is the world’s best assassin.

The romance between Oliver and Laurel is heating up, but I don’t like the on again off again aspect because that leaves her relationship with Tommy in play and that guy is such a douche I couldn’t bear to see him get the girl. By the way, how fun was Laurel’s referring to wearing the fishnet stockings? I liked that subtle nod to her being Black Canary and hope to see her kicking butt in those stockings in the near future. I’m also glad that Oliver’s sister took a back seat this week. They had a moment or two, but if she had shown up drunk at the jail party Oliver threw I would’ve hoped her character gets killed off soon. Instead she actually gets a moment with Oliver that makes her character worthy of living as she begins to suspect something is not right about Oliver. I also enjoyed Detective Lance in this episode. He does go a bit too far with his hatred of Oliver, but it was funny to see his subtle tongue clicking of frustration every time he ran into a brick wall trying to prove Oliver is Arrow. Though Billy Zane has a tendency to act over the top sometimes, his character has a few subtle comical moments.  Sadly though, we do get another useless character in the German arms dealer who is only there to serve as a device for Oliver’s need to divert suspicions of his Arrow persona. So far the corrupt businessmen and the arms dealer have been nothing more than filler for the show seeming to be more a part of the set than actual characters on the show. Hopefully they can start to develop these characters a little more in the future. For now they have no purpose other than giving Arrow someone to beat up or kill.

Arrow keeps getting better every week, though the mythology and world building is coming at a slow rate I’m still enjoying this series for what it is and hope that the writers can keep building on this every week.

4 out of 5 nerds

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Christopher is self-billed as the World's Coolest Nerd (meaning he wears glasses and is clumsy, but he never earned good marks in school). He loves all things Star Wars and superhero related such as comics, books, cartoons and movies. He's a husband and father who somehow manages to keep up with his pastimes since his day job mainly consists of sitting around a store with not much to do. He's very outspoken and wants to share his opinions with the world, or at least his fellow nerds. You can follow him on Twitter @AUDone44.