Picking right up where we left things last week Arrow, The Hood, Ollie (Stephen Amell), whatever you want to call him, has revealed his secret identity to bodyguard, John Diggle (David Ramsey), and expecting him to join up as a brother in arms is a little shocked when Dig takes a swing at him. Of course, he’s still recovering from Deadshot’s poison bullet so his aim’s a little rusty. Diggle calls Ollie a criminal and a murderer, name-calling that is completely warranted as his actions as The Hood – seriously, this name is dumb – have indeed made him commit crimes and murder people. So this moment of opening up doesn’t really go as planned and Diggle resigns.
Don’t worry, he’s soon replaced by the most incompetent bodyguard known to man. He’s a riot he’s so terrible. Please say he becomes a series regular.
Coming back home Ollie is met with more grief, this time from Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who’s come to the Queen mansion to check in on the assassination survivors and ream him for how worried he made everyone by just disappearing. She accuses him of caring for no one but himself which is well, ouch, considering he just saved everyone from Deadshot. Such is the life of a masked avenger trying to hide his true intentions by acting the dick all the time. With Laurel out the door Ollie’s sister, Thea (Will Holland) comes in for support as it seems she’s starting to grow up and leave trashy, nightlife loving, “Lohan” Thea behind. She tells Ollie to stop being a jerk – thanks, sis – and to start being real with Laurel if he cares at all.
Cue the case/criminal of the week. The news story buzzin’ all over Starling City is of Peter Declan, a man convicted of murdering his wife who is scheduled to be executed in 24 hrs. Turns out his wife worked for a man on Ollie’s list and that leads him to be suspicious of the murder charge, thinking it more likely her employer, Jason Brodeaur, was behind it rather than the husband. Evidence? He’s on the list, Dad said he was bad, just go with it.
I’m starting to tire of Ollie ticking off names in his dad’s book. It’s a plot device this series is beginning to hang on like a crutch. There are signs we’ll be moving away from this modus operandi, and it can’t end soon enough. The only good thing about wanting to prove Declan an innocent man – y’know, besides saving an innocent man from execution – is it allows Ollie to be real with Laurel. As in, break into her apartment and confront her as The Hood asking she look into Declan’s case and find out what’s needed to prove the murder charge is bogus. Again, you can’t help but laugh a little at the obvious Batman nod and how ridiculous his disguised voice sounds. It’s better than Bale’s growling and we’re shown that it’s something he achieves with another trick arrow, but you’ll be giggling, believe me.
And Laurel? Oh, Laurel. Last week you gave us a tiny peek at what Black Canary could be, what happened?!? This week you’re mooning over The Hood, who, as far as you know, is a psychopath and by episode’s end needs to be rescued because she can’t fight off one guy. What the hell? What happened to strong, confidant Laurel who kicked literal ass? This Laurel is a lovesick teenager who’s knees go weak whenever The Hood swings by for updates on the case. And speaking of the case, which again, barely matters, they’re able get the evidence needed to prove Declan innocent because Ollie beats a confession out of their prime suspect.
He’s taking intimidation to the extreme. At one point Ollie handcuffs Brodeaur to the train tracks – with a train to Bludhaven inbound, woot! Bludhaven shout out! – in order to force him to confess to Declan’s wife’s murder. Who are you, Snidely Whiplash? While this episode is called “An Innocent Man” it clearly has nothing to do with Ollie. All he’s done is proven he’d go as far as need be to satiate his hunger for justice. Diggle had the right of it, and it’s not until Laurel is later at the prison visiting Delcan when a prison riot breaks out and Ollie must sneak in disguised as a guard to save her and subsequently beats the shit out of a prisoner before almost, in the heat of the moment, lunging at her, does she realize it, too. Ollie is a killer.
Where did he learn to be so ruthless? Ah, the island. There he’s whipped into shape by the mysterious, Chinese archer. Presented with a bird and continuously berated by the man, Ollie eventually learns he must kill to survive, and this poor island chicken won’t be his last. The Ollie that washed up on shore was an over-privileged, feckless loser and wouldn’t have survived a minute had this Chinese man not taken him in. The man that left the island is a completely different person, one who might be more dangerous than we thought.
Occurring simultaneously is a little detective work by Walter Steele (Colin Salmon), Ollie’s stepfather, into why $2.6 million dollars just up and disappeared from the compay. Moira (Susanna Thompson), who’s every glance screams, “I know something you don’t know,” at first tries to play it off as an accounting mistake, ’cause to billionaires $2.6 million is nada. Then she confesses to have invested in a friend’s start-up that went under. Problem is by now Walter’s suspicious and has Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) – the hands down, best character on a show full of people who all take themselves far too seriously – investigate the missing dough a little more thoroughly. She follows the money trail to a warehouse in town where Walter finds…dun, dun, DUN…the wreckage of the Queen’s Gambit!
This leads us to our two big cliffhangers for the week. The first is Moira again getting into the back of a limo to hold some secret meeting with some shadowy figure, except he’s not so shadowy this time, he’s John Barrowman! Finally, “The Well Dressed Man” makes an appearance. They discuss The Hood and the realization that he’s not simply targeting the rich, but he’s targeting people on The List. Now the official name for the book Ollie got from his dad, and he’s obviously not the only one who knows about it.
Cliffhanger number two: Ollie gets arrested. “What?!” you ask. Well, when Daddy Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) comforted Laurel after the prison riot she mentioned The Hood rescued her wearing a ski mask and a guard’s uniform. This sends a light bulb off in Quentin’s mind realizing they should be looking for more than a man in a hood, because who would have ever thought he change his wardrobe. Looking back over security footage from Deadshot’s attack on the auction they see Ollie pulling a suspicious bag out of a trash can. It’s enough that Quentin arrests him for being The Hood, as well as some assault and murder charges to sweeten the conviction. It’s a shame too because Diggle had just warmed up to idea of being Ollie’s crime-fighting partner.
The end of this episode is where shit hits the fan. You don’t want to miss Arrow next week (Wednesday at 8pm on the CW) when it starts spraying the walls. Plus, DEATHSTROKE!