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Debi watches Arrow (sydht!) 1.04: An Innocent Man 
1st-Nov-2012 08:51 pm
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This show is getting both more interesting and more ridiculous. Diggle is awesome, Laurel is less so, and that John Barrowman shows up, but not until the end so if you were planning to watch when he appeared, you don’t need to watch this one.

So when we realized Ollie was killing people in this show, I was worried that that was going to be just the way the show worked. Throw the Batman Rule out the window, Punisher with a bow only not as interesting, douchebag of the week blah blah.

Then there was that one face Ollie pulled at Deadshot last week and I thought “maybe they’re going to run with Ollie learning why the Batman Rule exists in the first place…” and I think they’re heading further in that direction in this episode. Note the title: Oliver Queen is definitely not an innocent man anymore. Plus the flashback sequences are actually thematic, this time!

Note, I have recapped some of these scenes out of order, especially near the end, in order to get related threads together. Because in chronological order, they get very choppy.

The DRAMATIC INTRODUCTORY VOICEOVER is now so blah by the numbers that I actually had to check my transcript from episode 2 to see if they’d decided to go with one standard. The answer is no, and I think I’m disappointed. Yet entertained. Which is par for the course, so far.

So remember when we left, Ollie had dragged Diggle back to the Arrowcave, the latter suffering from gunshot wound and curare poisoning, one or both of which Ollie cured with magic herbs, then revealed his secret identity to Dig.

Diggle responds by swinging his fist at Oliver’s face.

I respond by going “YEAH! HIT HIM AGAIN!”

Ollie, who has clearly been waiting for the opportunity to monologue out loud, gives Diggle a speech about how Starling City is dying, blah blah criminal elite blah blah poverty blah blah FOR JUSTICE pleasebemyfriend?

NNCR: Oliver Queen really really likes giving speeches about poverty

Long speech short:

“Join me, Diggle. You’re a soldier too.”

“You’re not a soldier, you murdering asshole. Get me out of here.”

Diggle and I are not the only people who think that Ollie is an asshole. When he gets back to Queen Manor, he finds Laurel waiting for him, having come around to see if he was okay, you know, after the shoot out aimed at his family. She takes the opportunity to have a well justified go at Ollie for having skipped out on his terrified family, and for being a selfish jerkwad. Thea catches the end of it and offers Ollie her sympathy, because really all Thea’s wanted since Ollie got back is a big brother she can talk to about boys and girls and stuff. Ollie blows her off and goes to bed.

FLASHBACK TIME. In the island cave, Ollie opens his wallet and pulls out a completely non water damaged photo of Laurel. He’s moping at it when his captor wanders carrying a wooden cage containing a flightless bird. He places it in front of Ollie, points at it and says “Shengcun.” Ollie is confused, so Captor points at it again and says “Shengcun” until Ollie is bored of the conversation, and goes back to apologing to the picture of Laurel. END FLASHBACK.

Ollie wakes from his nightmare and wanders into the living room to find Thea chilling out on the couch, watching news coverage of a Peter Declan, who was arrested for killing his wife around four years ago, and is now about to be executed for it. But Thea is, of course, more interested in talking to her big brother about social life stuff, such as girls, and by girls she means Laurel.

“Make a play,” she says. “Show her [he's not the same person he used to be]. Be yourself – your new self.”

I love Thea and I want Ollie-Thea sibling scenes forever, please.

Mind you, Thea’s advice of being himself hasn’t worked with the other person in Ollie’s life – it turns out the next morning that Diggle quit his job, leaving Moira to hire a new bodyguard; a clean shaven hard jawed man called Rob Scott, presumably a reference to graphic designer and Green Arrow fan Robert Scott – or maybe not, but at least Real Life Rob Scott has a decent Ollietache.

Moira is ALSO watching the news on Peter Declan, and it catches Ollie’s eye when it is mentioned that the victim worked for Jason Brodeur – and he was invested enough in his own publicity to release a statement on the occasion of his former employee’s murderer’s execution. Ollie repeats the name out loud, and Moira’s all “yeah, she worked for him, so?”

“No reason,” says Ollie, and asks Rob to fetch him the car. Rob refuses on the grounds that letting Ollie out of his sight is probably a bad plan. And presumably because he’s a bodyguard, not a driver. Ollie complains that someone has to drive him into town, so Rob goes off to fetch the car.

Rob is – not that bright.

Ollie takes a motorbike.

In the Arrowcave, Ollie can be alone with his inner monologue that explains the Declan case. Tried for killing his wife, Peter had no alibi and all the evidence, including fingerprints on the murder weapon, pointed to him. Ollie has decided this is bullshit based on one thing: Camille Declan, the victim, worked for Jason Brodeur, who is on THE LIST.

I am not even kidding on this. She worked for someone on The List (the list that seems to make up all the “job creators” in the city)  and therefore her boss killed her. That’s really Ollie’s logic.

[Cut to Brodeur talking to a goon so we know it's true, and that Camille blew the whistle about the company's toxic dumping, but that doesn't make Ollie's logic any less shitty.]

Anyway. Boss=evil, therefore boss=murderer therefore Peter Declan is innocent and he’s facing execution. He needs an attorney. Who’s an attorney that Oliver knows?

So I might be a bit worried that Joanna doesn’t really exist but is actually a figment of Laurel’s imagination. She never seems to seriously interact with any of the other characters, and only ever talks to Laurel, and usually about Laurel’s love life, or lack thereof. Sometimes she tells Laurel that Laurel’s doing lawyering wrong, but there is no evidence that Joanna has a life or interests of her own. Everytime she’s on screen I rejoice because she’s so well acted and definitely a pleasure to watch, but everytime I have to recap a scene she’s in I always make the :-| face.

But she really wants Laurel to get laid.

Laurel leaves her at the office and heads home to her apartment, only to find her lightswitches don’t work and she has an intruder. A man in a green leather hood. She responds the only way you’d expect her to behave if she found an intruder in her apartment – by pulling a gun on him.

Both disappoint in this scene – Laurel, by not firing a bullet straight into the home invader who not only completely ignores her order not to move, but who also invades her personal space in the CREEPIEST CONTROLLING MOST MANVADING WAY EVER. And Ollie, for being the creepy controlling manvadiest, but also for apparently using a voice synthesizer that makes him sound like Smallville Ollie. Don’t do that, Ollie. No one liked that Oliver Queen, and no one likes Christian Bale’s Batman voice. You don’t want to go there.

But mostly, it’s just a very creepy scene, in which Ollie basically asks Laurel to look into the Peter Declan case because he’s innocent, okay? Pleeeeease, Laurel? You’re such a good lawyer! Then he pulls a Batman and disappears.

Because Laurel is a sucker for a man dressed as an idiot who tells her she’s a Good Person, she goes the next day to the prison where Declan is incarcerated, and proceeds to prod him about the murder, listing all the evidence. Declan tells her that they had been fighting over Brodeur, who had been dumping toxic waste in the Glades. Camille had told a supervisor, and Peter had been mad about that, so they fought loudly enough for the neighbors to hear. He is Very Sincere, so of course Laurel believes everything and becomes convinced of his innocence as well.

I have no idea why, if Declan knew about the toxic waste dumping, he hasn’t been telling anyone and everyone who would listen to him, and taking advantage of all the media coverage we’ve seen so far this episode. Maybe he only remembered it this morning?

NNCR: The prison where Declan is staying is called Iron Heights. In the DCU, Iron Heights was a prison near Central and Keystone Cities (the Kansas/Missouri border) that played host to many of the Flash’s Rogues Gallery from time to time. I don’t think that Star City has an associated prison like this and Gotham’s Blackgate, but as it is situated in Northern California, and as in the DCU, Alcatraz is fitted out for metahumans, I wouldn’t be surprised if that one wasn’t used.

Walter Steele has adorable orange tinted glasses! And he is late for a lunch date with his wife because he was distracted by finances. A $2.6m withdrawal from the company’s accounts that has to be, um, accounted for.  He tells Moira that he’s sure it’s just a bookkeeping error, but compliance is worried shall we go for lunch?

Walter, by the way, is awesome this episode. He is rapidly becoming one of my favorite characters, along with Thea and Diggle.

Meanwhile, Quentin and Laurel are on screen together and this makes me happy because they so clearly love each other very much. Laurel wants more information about the Declan case, and Quentin explains the case looks open and shut. Could Brodeur have framed him because Camille went to a supervisor that day? No, says Quentin, because that same supervisor, Matt Istook, testified and said he didn’t see her that day.

Also cute on screen together are the Diggles: John and his sister in law Carly, at Big Belly Burger. She is judgmental about him getting shot in the shoulder, and also about Ollie, who then turns up with his new BFF Rob, who informs Ollie sternly that the area is secure.

“Hi Diggle, thanks for not calling the cops on me. Will you be my friend again?”

Is what Ollie should say, but instead he tight lippedly preaches at Diggle about Doing Good and about Righting the Wrongs done by his Family and hey look I have a List of people to kill. It’s very Serious Business. Oh, and did I mention that I’ve been investigating your brother’s murder and they found curare in the bullets that killed him.

Remember that?

I love that I’ve been rewarded with my obsessively screencapping and examining this show for continuity already.

Anyway, one speech about poverty later, he tells Rob he’s off to the washroom. Rob stands obediently by Diggle’s table, until Diggle feels sorry for the poor sod and lets him know that Ollie’s probably long gone by now.

Meanwhile, Moira has a confession to make to Walter. 2.6m is exactly the amount she invested in a friend’s start up venture three years ago. She’ll call accounting and sort it out, okay, honey? (Walter is SUSPICIOUS.) And Laurel has a confession to make to Joanna: the reason she’s involving herself in the Declan case is because of The Guy in The Hood. Joanna thinks Laurel is nuts.

I don’t really disagree.

Laurel meets with Hood on a rooftop (Oh, honey), and tells him that Matt Istook has already testified and said he didn’t speak to her. Ollie has the great idea that he should beat him into giving a different confession. Does Laurel point out this is in no way going to be admissable in court? Does she heck. Instead she tells him that he seems lonely. (Oh, honey).

Ollie runs off to find Matt Istook, and handcuff him to the traintracks, and shout at him about how he has to confess, damn you. Of give Ollie that file he’s just heard about. WHERE IS IT? When he gives up the location, Ollie frees him with an arrow, just in time to miss the train.

NNCR: The train Ollie threatens Matt with is going to Bludhaven. In the DCU, Bludhaven is situated right next to Gotham City, and is usually set up as being even crime-ier than Gotham. Dick Grayson, Nightwing, hung out there for a while, before Jason Todd nuked it. I wasn’t paying that much attention, it was a silly story line.

FLASHBACK TIME: Captor is cooking some meat. Ollie is hungry. He reaches out to take the meat, and Captor twists his hand, throwing him to the floor. Ollie tries again. The rejection is painful. Captor points at Ollie’s caged bird and mimes wringing its neck. “Shengcun,” he says. “I’m not going to kill the bird,” Ollie protests. END FLASHBACK.

Ollie delivers the files to Laurel, but not before cutting power in her office, which remains a dick move. Laurel says that as an attorney she’d never be able to get evidence like this. She used to think that playing by the letter of the law would fix everything.

“And now what do you think?”

“I think [this city] needs someone who cares about the lives of other people. Someone like you.”

Oh, honey.

Back at Queen Manor, Thea is pleased to find her brother – shocker – actually smiling. He’s all smug because he tried the ‘be yourself’ thing with Laurel and he thinks it’s working.

THAT, Oliver Queen, is NOT WHAT SHE MEANT. I don’t care if it’s working, IT SHOULDN’T.

Enter Rob, on his own, tired. Ollie smugs at him. “You gotta keep up.”

Back in Laurel’s office, Quentin is not amused. Because Matt Istook filed a complaint claiming the Hood harrassed him last night. And who has recently acquired that name from the police? Daddy is not happy, Laurel. Words are exchanged, Laurel actually breaks out the “if the police had done their job in the first place” line. It’s bitter.

And it doesn’t even work. Laurel takes the file to the Superior Court and is immediately challenged by Brodeur’s lawyers under slander. The judge actually uses the line “Ours isn’t a court of justice, it’s a court of law.” Just to make the point, y’know? Laurel storms out, but not after threatening Brodeur up close and personal.

Things Laurel Lance learned by having the Triad sicced on her:

-

-

-

Mind you, she is one scary-ass lawyer, because now Brodeur’s pissing himself, and his lawyers assure him that where Laurel is off to now – Iron Heights to talk to her client – is a very dangerous place.

Laurel takes the bad news to her now regular meeting with the Hood, and he asks what she needs to help Declan. She suggests a signed confession from Brodeur might help. So off he goes.

Felicity Smoak has been summoned to the CEO’s office! She’s quirky and spunky and a little overdone, but I still love her. Walter asks her to look into the transaction his wife authorized a few years ago: discreetly, please. She returns a few scenes later, to tell him that the company Moira “invested” in doesn’t exist. The money was used instead to set up an offshore LLC called Tempest. (Another Shakespeare reference?) This company has left no paperwork at all, but in 2009 (three years ago) it purchased a warehouse in Starling City.

Walter then heads off to the warehouse. The door is password protected and he tries TEMPEST, OLIVER and THEA before cracking it with ROBERT. Can I just say how much I hate it when passwords are used as a plot point? A lot is how much I hate it.

Inside the warehouse is:

The Queen’s Gambit, the boat that crashed, leaving Ollie a castaway.

Carla would like Diggle to stop moping and move on from the job he quit, please. She has a son, it transpires, and she’d like for him not to lose his uncle as well as his father.

“Does it ever bother you, ” Diggle asks, “that they never caught the guy who killed Andy?” Then he talks about being in the army, and how since coming home he’s been protecting spoiled rich jerks. He misses making a difference, yanno?

Carly says to go and do something he believes in. What if it’s wrong? “If you believe in something, John, it’s not wrong.”

As you’d expect, Ollie’s method of getting a confession out of someone is to yell at them and shoot arrows at them; in Brodeur’s case, actually through the hand. By an incredible coincidence, it’s during this confrontation that Brodeur’s cell phone rings to tell him that “it” is going down in an hour.

“WHAT’S GOING DOWN IN AN HOUR?”

Brodeur gloats about Declan’s execution “getting moved up” and gets an elbow to the chin for his efforts.

An Iron Heights, Laurel tries to assure Declan that they’re working on something, and they’re doing everything they can for him, while outside, Ollie jumps a guard from behind and steals his uniform. Brodeur’s goon turns up, bribes another guard and tells him to open the cages. PRISON BREAK.

The guards supervising Laurel and Declan run off to um, get themselves beaten and killed by escaping inmates in what is actually a very severe scene of mob violence. Laurel and Declan flee in the other direction, almost right into a crowd of prisoners, but are saved by a man in a guard uniform and a balaclava, wielding a bow and arrow. HOW MYSTERIOUS. Running away from the mob, they run straight into Goon, who proceeds to beat on Laurel, in a just as disturbing scene that involves him straddling her on the floor, strangling her.

Ollie Loses His Shit. he throws himself on goon and beats the everloving crap out of him, stopping only when Laurel throws herself on top of him to knock him off. They look into each other’s eyes, and what Laurel sees terrifies her.

Outside, Quentin Lance is relieved beyond belief that his daughter is okay, and they hug the heck out of each other. Brodeur’s bodyguard confesses to Camille Declan’s murder (though it’s not obvious how), but Laurel still apologizes. Quentin gives an ‘I warned you about him’ spiel, but she stops him. She knows. He’s a killer.

Declan is free, another name is crossed off the list. All happy, right?

FLASHBACK TIME. Ollie is still really hungry. Ollie’s bird is still alive, but Ollie’s never killed anything before. He apologizes, and wrings its neck. While he’s eating, Captor explains that ‘Shengcun’ means ‘survival,’ and if Ollie wants to survive, he’s going to have to a) kill some things and b) quit moping about his girlfriend, okay? END FLASHBACK.

Wait, says Quentin, there was a man in a hood in there? No, Laurel explains, he was IN DISGUISE. Good golly, thinks Quentin, his outfit comes off?

He goes back to the police department, and gets everyone together to look at the CCTV footage of the Exchange Building from last week. Because they’ve been looking for a Man in a Hood, and not, say, people running around being suspicious.

OH LOOK, they found footage of Ollie grabbing his kit out of the trash can.

BUSTED.

And now the moment everyone who isn’t me has been waiting for: Moira walks across a parking lot and into a Limousin and who should be waiting for her but Some Guy In A Suit.

Yes, yes, it’s John Barrowman, also known as Captain Sexy in the Sexy Sexy Spinoff of the only British science fiction show Americans have ever heard of because Hitch Hikers doesn’t count. John Barrowman is worried, you see, about the Hood, because he’s been looking at the people the Hood has killed, and every single one of them is on The List. Yes, even Warren Patel, the guy who was only targeted last week because he happened to hire Deadshot.

He says “The List” by name, which is either sloppy writing or intriguing. I’ll give the show the beneift of the doubt and suspect the latter.

Back in Queen Manor, Diggle has shown up, which is convenient, because Rob just quit. He’s not after the bodyguard position, he says, but that other job, which is absolutely definitely I’m not kidding about this, not a sidekick gig. But, he says, Ollie’s going to run around being an idiot no matter he does, and as the only guy in the entire city with a lick of sense, Diggle is burdened with the responsibility of not letting Ollie get himself killed.

Line of the week:

Ollie: I’m not looking for someone to save me.

Diggle: Maybe not, but you need someone just the same.

Digs is clearly going to be around to be Ollie’s moral compass, and to at least limit the dumbass douchebaggery he does per episode, which I’ll be honest, is kind of wracking up here.

This moment of beautiful bro-hood handshaking is interrupted by the sudden appearance of Quentin Lance, who barges in with a bunch of uniforms, heading straight for Ollie. I want to take a moment here to mention once again, how great is Walter, who stands between Quentin and his step son, and to whom Thea calls out to stop it. Ollie might have daddy issues around Walter, but I’m loving him.

Ollie is handcuffed, and Quentin, with relish but mostly with anger, recites the list of charges: Obstruction of justice, Aggravated assault, trespassing, acting as a vigilante and murder.

Take that, Ollie.

Tune in next week, where we’ll see how Ollie gets out of this one. Me, I’m glad that the identity thing is being played around with this early. Green Arrow has always had an on-off relationship with the thing.

This post can also be found at Thagomizer.net. Feel free to join in the conversation wherever you feel most comfortable.

Opinions 
2nd-Nov-2012 02:18 am (UTC)
About Ollie being arrested... here's the thing:

Congrats, he's now highly suspected of being "The Guy in the Hood". That should never go away, and yet it probably will. I mean, next week's episode will either have Ollie beat the rap entirely through amazingly convoluted yet 'coincidental' means, or he's going to escape from the police and be the most famous person on the lam in the city he won't leave.

Now, if it's option one, well, sorry... some people are just going to continue to suspect him of being TGitH. I mean, they have video evidence and all that. (Although why do I suspect that Felicity Smoak will be involved in hacking the police computers and erasing that?). Quentin Lance will continue to know/suspect it, sure as God made telepathic shape-shifting green Martians, even if all the evidence goes poof. And there's also his partner, black-police-sidekick-whose-name-I-have-forgotten. And Laurel, who's going to realize right damn quick that "OH SHIT, YEAH, OLLIE DID USE A KITCHEN KNIFE TO DISARM A TRIAD CHICK..." and go from there. About the only way that he could actually get out of this, and it's slim, it's damn slim, is if the video is of such poor quality (oh wait, it really wasn't) that Ollie could get most everyone to believe that isn't him. Of course, that requires someone of roughly the same build to be the fall guy...

Option two? Look, it would be like Paris Hilton or Charlie Sheen being outed as a vigilante. Sure, fine, they escaped the police... they're only just slightly well known and recognizable. Kind of hard to keep a low profile when you're the most famous rich kid in the city.

Honestly, I don't think the show is going to jump the shark with the next episode, but it's certainly looking like they've dug themselves into a hole here.
2nd-Nov-2012 02:04 pm (UTC)
I suspect it might be Diggle dresses in the hood and does some stuff while he's in custody, kind of thing. Not that it should work, but it's a proven comics staple.

Quentin should now always suspect him, because he's not stupid and I think it'll give a good edge to his relationship with Ollie. Laurel didn't see the kitchen knife (he ran into the next room) and I wouldn't be surprised (though I would be sad) if they continued to "Lois" her.

But yeah, I suspect evidence will go poof, but Quentin will always know it was him.
2nd-Nov-2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
Even with Diggle taking some of the heat off of Ollie, it's pretty obviously Ollie pulling a bow out of a trash-can... at the very least, he's "cooperating" with the Hood.

Still, we'll have to see how it plays out.

Mind you, this could be an opening for Tommy Merlyn to show he's not a slouch with a bow and arrows....
2nd-Nov-2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's a good point...
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