‘Arrow’ 1×04: “An Innocent Man”

Image property of The CW

To put it elegantly, sh*t just got real, ya’ll. I’m still kind of in shock about that ending—not because I didn’t expect it to happen, but because I thought they’d at least wait until the end of the first season for the cops to discover Arrow’s identity. I was just getting used to the idea of Dig knowing Oliver’s secret, and now Laurel’s police detective father knows too. (As if the guy needed another reason to arrest Oliver.) Of course, I’m sure Oliver will wiggle his way out of this mess somehow. After all, it’s only the fourth episode.

While “An Innocent Man” wasn’t as strong as last week’s episode, it showed that Arrow is capable of demonstrating consistent quality, which is what separates the hits from the Terra Novas. Oliver’s arrest was just the shocking end to an episode that delved deeper into Arrow’s dark side, which might be a little too free-rein. It’ll be good to have Dig as the well-armed angel on Oliver’s shoulder. Even Oliver himself seemed aware that he was getting a little too comfortable with the homicidal end of vigilante justice. He saw the horror in Laurel’s eyes when she had to stop him from killing a man during the prison riot.

I have to say, I didn’t love that Laurel kind of reverted to a helpless damsel during that scene. After last week’s ass-kicking, we know she can defend herself. Granted, her assailant did outweigh her by about 150 pounds, and it was necessary to the plot that Oliver see her being strangled so that he would snap and go full beat-down on that guy. I also didn’t totally buy into Laurel’s sudden doubt in the law because of all the help she got from Arrow on the Declan case. (Though by the end, her faith in the law prevailing over vigilante justice was restored.)

The strengths of the episode were in the the moments between characters, especially Oliver and Thea. But then again, I’m a sucker for a well-developed sibling relationship. I loved the scene where she gave him advice on how to win over Laurel. This exchange between them felt more real than many of their previous conversations, probably because he was actually able to be (mostly) honest with her, because it wasn’t really about Arrow. Even better was the fact that he actually took her advice (sort of), and it worked! (Sort of.) It takes a big person to admit that their little sister’s relationship advice was actually helpful. It looks like Thea was right when she told him, “I got mad relationship skills, bro.”

I also enjoyed the running gag of the new bodyguard. That poor guy didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he signed up to be Oliver Queen’s private security. The funniest line of the night had to be when the new bodyguard and Dig were in the diner after Oliver “went to the restroom,” and Dig looked up at the guy and just said, “That boy is long gone.” Have I mentioned how glad I am that Dig is back on Oliver duty? No one else can deal with him like Dig can.

Some other developments included Walter’s discovery of Moira’s nefariousness (which surprised me only because I thought Walter was involved in said nefariousness), as well as some appropriately dark island flashbacks. It turns out Oliver’s island mentor had taught him that to kill is to survive. Of course, he was talking about killing a chicken at that point. But you know what they say: chickens are a gateway murder to killing other things, like turkeys and endangered rhinoceroses.

What did you think of “An Innocent Man”? How do you think Oliver will get out of this pickle? Did you miss Tommy as much as I did? How excited are you for Dig to be Oliver’s new not-sidekick? (He was very specific about that.) Should they get matching outfits anyway? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, or tweet us @PopCultureNexus!

-L

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Posted on November 1, 2012, in Television and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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