Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'Arrow' Review - 1.04 An Innocent Man

        On the newest episode of The CW's Arrow, Oliver realizes an innocent man, Peter Declan (Lane Edwards) was framed by one of his targets and he asks Laurel to help prove his innocence; Thea helps Oliver learn how to get back in Laurel's good graces; and Walter asks Felicity Smoak (Emily Rickards) to look into a withdrawal that Moira made without his knowledge.

        Tonight's episode of Arrow really excited me. The show just clicked on all levels - discovering what dynamics work for the series and which are less than flattering. It did that while also really challenging itself to move forward rapidly in the plot. I mean Det. Lance arrested Oliver for being Arrow tonight. That is a very bold creative move for this show so early in its run and I am already super anxious to see next week's episode to see how they get him out of this situation.
        The show as an ongoing series has set up the formula of taking down someone from Oliver's list every week. While this tactic has been used before on other shows (namely Revenge), I think in the context of this series it works really well. Tonight's episode was prime example of how to integrate the details of the takedown with the ongoing narrative without it being too overwhelming. If the show tries to go too big and mysterious, it has kind of been a letdown. However, when it allows the main characters to be the prime focus as they interact and react to the takedown, then it feels fresh and compelling. In this episode, both Laurel and Diggle are on this journey of self-realization of how moral the actions of Arrow are. Diggle was able to have some nice character progression that felt natural even with the noticeable plot devices - his brother's killer wasn't found! - for him to arrive at such a conclusion. I like the interactions between Arrow and Laurel (except for the horrendous voice Oliver is trying to use) and it is not your typical love-interest falls in love with your alter ego type of story. However, the character progression for her didn't really flow and we didn't get to see the changes in her character we were just told about them.
         The few plots that haven't really been working on the series so far - mostly Thea's troubled teenager ways and the Laurel-Tommy romance - were no where to be seen in this hour. Their disappearance allowed many of the great sequences to truly excel. Before I didn't love how scarcely used the island flashbacks were, but this episode did a beautiful job of offer parallel thematic ideas that helped shape the character's mindsets. Moira's ongoing mysterious plot where every week she seems to be talking to someone very discreetly in a limousine is growing redundant and may soon become a burden for the show. Something needs to happen to shake that story up. It may actually be tied to the fact the Walter found the shipwrecked boat. I know that character is not long for this world - if he was, he would be a series regular - so I worry about how much longer he will be sticking around.

So what did everyone think of the episode? Will Arrow and Diggle make a great team? How will Oliver get out of this arrested mess? Share your thoughts in the comments.