Thursday, 1 November 2012

‘Arrow,’ Season 1, Episode 4, ‘An Innocent Man’: TV Recap

It may be Halloween night, but the guys who fight rich, bad guys don’t take a timeout to pick up candy. It does make me wonder how many kids in Starling City are dressing up as hooded archers this year.

If it is Wednesday it must be time for another episode of the most popular show The CW has had in years, “Arrow”! When we last left our hooded vigilante, he had been forced to reveal his secret identity to his bodyguard, Digg. Lets see what happens next.

Digg and Oliver Queen are in Arrow’s hideout. Digg is mad that Oliver is “that hooded vigilante.” Oliver tells Digg, “I want you to join me.” Digg says, “You’re not a hero. You’re a criminal and a murderer.” He walks away.

Oliver goes home, where his ex, Laurel, is waiting for him. She’s angry about a whole bunch of stuff. I mostly zone out for this conversation as Oliver and Laurel’s back-and-forth is tiring and pointless. They are going to fall into each other’s arms again at some point. Probably right after Olvier saves Laurel from some dastardly bad guy. It’ll happen in 4 or 5 episodes, I bet.

Flashback time—on the island 5 years ago the untrained Oliver is stuck in cave with his mysterious rescuer. His rescuer is speaking Chinese and Oliver doesn’t know what is going on. Oliver looks at a photo of Laurel from his wallet. He misses her. Just wait a few episodes, dude, you will be back in her arms for sure.

Back in present time, Oliver and his sister are watching a news story about Peter Declan, some man in prison for killing his wife. Hmmm, I wonder if this Declan guy is going to play a role later in the episode?

The next morning, Oliver finds a new bodyguard waiting for him. Oliver is none too pleased that Digg is gone. The news is playing more stories about Peter Declan, who is going to be executed in 2 days. The news says that Declan’s dead wife worked for a businessman named Jason Broduer.

Oliver goes to his secret hideout, where we get some narration explaining that Broduer is one of the bad businessmen on Arrow’s list. We then cut to Broduer talking to one of his henchmen. They discuss the fact that Decaln’s wife was going to blow the whistle on some toxic dumping, which is why they killed her and framed the husband. This show is not very subtle in its storytelling. They lay everything out there in nice easy-to-follow chunk for the audience.

Oliver knows that Declan is innocent and knows that he needs a good lawyer. Laurel is a lawyer. So, Arrow breaks into Laurel’s apartment and tells her she needs to defend Declan. He tells her everything about the case but uses a deep Batman/Dark Knight kind of voice so Laurel won’t recognize that Arrow is really Oliver.

Laurel goes to see Declan in prison. He seems convincing as an innocent man. Laurel is going to take the case.

Meanwhile, Oliver’s mom checks in with her new husband, Walter, at the Queen Incorporated offices. He tells her he has been busy looking into a 2.6 million dollar withdrawal from a corporate account that accounting cannot locate. She acts innocent, but it seems like she knows something about it.

Digg is at his sister-is-law’s restaurant. Oliver comes in and asks Digg to reconsider his “offer” to be his sidekick. Oliver pulls out the notebook his father left him, with the names of all the bad businessmen in Starling City in it. Oliver explains that he knows who killed Digg’s brother and says he hopes Digg will help him take down the people responsible for the killing and other bad stuff.

Back at the Queen family mansion, Mommy tells Walter that she took 2.6 million out of an account to invest in a friend’s start up business a couple years ago. She says she will call accounting and get it cleaned up. Walter looks unconvinced.

Laurel goes to a rooftop where she meets up with Arrow. She tells him there is a man in Brodeur’s company who can probably clear Declan of the murder charges. Arrow is going to question the guy in his own special “I’ll kill you if you don’t tell me the truth” way. Laurel wants to know why Arrow hides his face. He says it is to protect the people he loves.

At Queen Inc, Walter gets the IT woman from previous episodes (the one who is way sexier and more attractive than any IT person on the planet) to look into the missing 2.6 million… the money his wife claims she invested. Walter smells a rat sleeping in the bed next to him.

Arrow grabs Brodeur’s employee and chains him to the train tracks. It takes the man about 2 seconds to give up all the info Arrow needs to clear Declan and put Brodeur in jail. He gives it to Laurel and she has a long speech about how he is just what the city needs. It almost feels like she is falling for Arrow a little bit.

We get another flashback to the island. Oliver is hungry but the mystery Chinese man won’t feed him. He wants him to feed himself and has a captive bird for Oliver to kill and eat.

Laurel is working hard to get Declan freed. She faces off with Jason Brodeur. He is worried she is going to come after him. One of his henchmen says they can take care of Laurel.

Walter is getting a report from the IT babe. She explains that mommy’s investment is just a story. The company she invested in does not exist. Instead, the money was put into an offshore LLC called Tempest. The only thing Tempest has ever done is buy a warehouse.

Meanwhile, Arrow has broken into Brodeur’s office and is poised to shoot the businessman if he will not confess and clear Declan. Brodeur says, “do you expect me to sign a confession or something?” to which Arrow puts an arrow through his hand. Niiiice! Brodeur tells Arrow that his henchmen are going to kill Declan at the prison so there won’t be anything else for Laurel to investigate. Laurel is at the prison too. Maybe that “Arrow saves Laurel and she falls for him” moment will come sooner than I thought!

A riot is going on at the prison, just the cover Brodeur’s henchmen need to kill everyone. But, Arrow bursts in and saves them. One of the bad guys is choking Laurel, but Arrow goes crazy and almost beats the guy to death. Laurel looks disgusted and scared. So much for a romantic moment saving her life.

We go back to the island and see Oliver wrestling with the notion of killing the bird. But, he is starving so he does it. Now we know how Arrow became a ruthless vigilante, he killed birds.

Walter goes to the Tempest Warehouse. He gets inside and sees the savaged wreckage of the boat Oliver and his father were on. Hmmm, I suspect this will eventually be evidence that mommy was behind Oliver’s father’s death.

Meanwhile, Det. Lance is looking at security camera footage of one of the Arrow’s recent sightings. He sees Oliver on the footage and appears to figure out that Oliver and Arrow are one and the same.

Another Island flashback. The mysterious Chinese guy explains to Oliver that the bird is not the last thing he will need to kill if he wants to survive. Oliver relents and breaks the bird’s neck. It is bird stew for dinner! Yum, yum!

Oliver’s mom meets with the “well-dressed man” in his limo. They have figured out that Arrow is targeting “the list” of evil businessmen. At some point they will probably figure out that Arrow got “the list” from Oliver’s dead daddy.

Digg is at Oliver’s house where he tells Oliver he will be Arrow’s sidekick. Just at that moment, the police burst in and Det. Lance arrests Oliver for being “the masked vigilante.”

And the episode is over!


Ok, Arrow fans, it is your turn to talk about the episode. Leave your comments below. Personally, I thought this was a so-so episode. I like the investigation into the Arrow and certainly enjoy the little pieces we are getting about Oliver’s mom and her evil plots, but the main story about Declan and Brodeur was too obvious and uninteresting for my taste. The show should trust that it can sometimes leave out the weekly “bad guy businessman” and just tell us other stuff. Heck, the other stuff is why we all keep coming back!

Well, that’s enough from me. Time for you to post your thoughts so we can chat!

If you want to read more of Jason Evans’ commentary on the Movie and TV industry, follow him on Twitter @TVFilmTalk

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