Wednesday, November 7, 2012

'Arrow' Review - 1.05 Damaged

        On the newest episode of The CW's Arrow, Oliver will only let Laurel represent him after her father arrests him for murder; Laurel takes the case which puts her at odds with her father; Oliver takes a polygraph in front of Detective Lance but things get tense when Lance asks him if anyone else was on the island; and Oliver flashes back to when he got his first scar, courtesy of Deathstroke.

        At the end of episode four, Arrow took a huge plot leap in its storytelling by having Detective Lance arrest Oliver Queen for being the masked vigilante. As soon as that episode ended, I was inquisitive by how the series would be able to convincing get its characters out of this huge mess realistically while keeping things in line with the overall tone of the first four hours. Tonight's episode did deliver in that aspect as the main plot was very entertaining to watch and I'm glad to see the show exploring and expanding the core relationships of the drama.
        I appreciated the fact that the main plot was so prevalent throughout this episode and it wasn't afraid to take risks - and for the most part it succeeded. Everyone's reaction and subsequent anger or calmness felt genuine and real. It also continued to amaze me with how it dealt with the three most powerful dynamics amongst the cast - Oliver and John Diggle; Oliver and Laurel; and Laurel and her father. Those three relationships are a true delight and they have been continually growing and changing. This episode had Oliver and Laurel rekindle their romance with a kiss and that moment had so much more chemistry and weight than anything that has happened between her and Tommy. As the hour progressed, it did become more clear that Oliver would get out of this mess by having Diggle put on the Arrow hood. However, what I wasn't expecting was how tumultuous that decision would impact the relationship between these two characters. Diggle now wants full honest and the truth and I still think that Oliver will be severely hesitant to openly up to him.
        I have frequently been asking for more insight into the island flashback sequences and this episode did provide more context in that respect. By creating this bigger island conflict, the series needs to devote much more time to it and how the experiences there have helped craft the man that Oliver has become. The flashbacks were able to make the Laurel feeling his scars and Oliver defending himself in his room much more poignant because we got to see the coinciding instances on the island.
        The discovery of the ship wreckage in the last episode also really got me excited about the prospects of the Walter and Moira stories because after four episodes those stories did seem to be lagging a bit. Aspects of that were still seen in the first scene between Moira and John Barrowman's mystery character. However, it was able to throw some twists with Walter confronting Moira about it and the subsequent separation between the two. That also was able to put some real fire into Moira's character that may allow to be more developed in this whole conspiracy story.

So what did everyone think of the episode? How much longer until Laurel learns the truth about Oliver (or at least until their next kiss)? Share your thoughts in the comments.