Last week’s “Arrow” was not my favorite by any means, but this week, the show was back on its game and delivered what might have been its best episode yet, “An Innocent Man.” The episode picked up right where last week left off with Oliver rescuing Dig and letting him know that he was the man beneath the hood. But how would Dig react?
He didn’t react well. Dig took a few swings at Oliver and when Oliver suggested that Dig join him in his fight to right the wrongs, Dig called him a murderer (Ouch, but also true). Oliver returned home and Laurel was waiting and she was not happy that he’d disappeared after getting shot at. She told him that he was selfish and while she expects it, his family deserves better (Again, ouch). Oliver attempted to go to sleep, but had a flashback/nightmare to being on the island. The other archer brought him a bird and gave him a command in Chinese as Oliver stared at a picture of Laurel.
Unable to sleep, Oliver headed downstairs and found Thea watching the news. She explains that there’s a man named Peter Declan who was convicted of killing his wife and is about to be executed. Then she paused the TV and asks Oliver why he can’t sleep. He admits he was having nightmares about Laurel. Thea suggests that he try and show Laurel that he’s changed and let her know the person he is now (this was the first time that Thea was not the worst. I actually liked her a lot in this episode).
In the morning, a new bodyguard named Rob shows up to replace Dig since he quit. Oliver looks into the Declan case and finds out that his wife worked for a man named Jason Brodeur, who happens to be on his father’s list. Oliver leaves on his motorcycle, giving the new guy the slip and goes to see Laurel as Arrow. He uses a voice distorter (but she should still recognize him since he doesn’t wear a mask beneath the hood) and tells her that Declan is innocent and he needs her help. Laurel goes to see Declan and he explains that he and his wife were fighting because she’d gone to her supervisor Matt and told him the company was dumping toxic chemicals and he was worried for her safety.
Meanwhile, Moira shows up at Queen Consolidated (yes, I finally learned the name) because Walter was really late for their lunch date. He explains that there’s some money missing ($2.6 million, no big deal) and he was looking into that. Moira looks suspicious, but that seems to be her default setting. Laurel goes to see her dad and gets a look at Declan’s case file. The supervisor testified that none of that happened and that Camille never came to him with any information.
Dig is talking to his sister-in-law Carly and Oliver shows up with Rob in tow. He wants to know if Dig considered his offer. Oliver tells him the truth about his father’s death and his journals. He also tells him that Deadshot was the one who killed Andy (Dig’s brother). Oliver tells him that someone needs to stop the criminals and if it’s not going to be the courts or the cops, then it’s going to be him and hopefully Dig too. He excuses himself to the bathroom and Rob stands there awkwardly. Dig looks at him and says, ‘That boy is long gone.”
Moira tells Walter that the $2.6 million was her doing. She helped a friend with a startup company and she promises to take care of it with accounting. Laurel tells Joanna that she’s working with the guardian angel and Joanna is worried about her friend getting involved with the hooded guy. Laurel and Arrow meet on the roof and she tells him that the supervisor has already been questioned, but Arrow says not by him. Laurel asks why he’s hiding his face and he tells her it’s not to protect him, but people he cares about. She tells him that sounds lonely. He says it is, not today and then takes off (Seriously, between this and the ‘selfish’ scene from earlier, I’m pretty sure the writers just took lines directly from the “Batman Begins” script).
Felicity (yay, she’s back!) shows up in Walter’s office and tells him that firing her is a mistake because she’s the best tech person the company has. He’s confused and explains that he just wants her to look into Moira’s story for him. She agrees and then makes an awkward comment about how she’s not hitting on him (I love her). Arrow cuffs Matt (the supervisor) to the train tracks and demands to know the truth. He cracks pretty quickly and admits that there’s a file in his desk drawer. Oliver aims an arrow at his cuffs and Matt is able to free himself just before the train would have killed him.
Oliver has another island flashback and the other archer guy is eating and he’s not being very nice to Oliver. He implies that if he wants to eat too, he has to kill the bird. In the present, Arrow brings Laurel the file and she tells him that she always believed the law was sacred, but too many people are selfish and the city needs someone like him. Oliver heads home and Thea mocks him for smiling so much and asks if he wants proposal advice. Rob comes in and Oliver mocks him for not keeping up.
Detective Lance is not happy with Laurel when he realizes that she was working with the vigilante, but she defends her actions. She tries to get the evidence admitted, but the judge is not having it. The bad guys make a plot to kill Declan in jail and Laurel tells Arrow that there’s nothing they can do short of getting Jason to confess. Arrow tells her that he’ll get her confession. Felicity finds the information for Walter and explains that Moira put the money in an offshore account for a company called Tempest. There’s also a warehouse in Starling City that Tempest owns.
Carly tells Dig to stop moping and as they talk, he’s weighing his options and she insists that it can’t be wrong if he believes it’s right. Arrow is torturing Jason and overhears a phone call from his people about taking care of Declan. He heads over to the prison where Laurel already is with Declan. She’s trying to reassure him that her friend will find a way to help him. The plan goes into action and the guards are called away as cells are opened and prisoners start causing chaos all over the place. Oliver arrives in a prison guard uniform and ski mask and helps Laurel and Declan to safety, but then he’s overpowered by one of the bad guys. The guy turns on Laurel and starts choking her and Oliver flies into a rage and attacks the guy.
This scene was straight up fantastic. Laurel could tell that he was about to kill the guy so she tried to pull him off and Oliver was so lost in the rage that he nearly knocked her down. But here’s the thing. Their eyes met. Yes, he was wearing a ski mask, but these are two people who have been friends and lovers for years, but we’re supposed to believe that she didn’t recognize him in that moment? Sorry, no, I am not buying that, even with suspended television disbelief. It’s just unrealistic. But fine, she didn’t recognize him and then she tells her father that she knows the vigilante is a killer and she looked into his eyes and saw no remorse.
Walter goes to investigate the warehouse and it has a password entry. He tries “Tempest,” “Oliver” and “Thea” to no avail and then keys in “Robert.” That works and when he walks inside, he finds the remains of the Queen Gambit in the warehouse. Whoa…how did the yacht get from the bottom of the ocean back to Starling City? Pretty sure my jaw is still on the ground from that little revelation.
Jason’s bodyguard confessed to killing Camille so Declan is released. He thanks Laurel and then he’s reunited with his daughter. Meanwhile, something Laurel said about the vigilante being in a ski mask triggered something for Detective Lane. He goes to look at surveillance video again and he sees Oliver in the stairwell with his back as he’s rushing away from the party (uh-oh).
There’s another flashback and Oliver has to kill the bird because he’s starving. The archer guy can speak English after all and he tells Oliver that the word he’d been saying all along was “survive.” He explains that if he’s going to survive on the island, the bird will not be the last thing he kills and he also tells him that he needs to stop staring at Laurel’s picture or he’s not going to survive.
Back in the present, Moira gets into a limo and talks to the well-dressed man. He gives her a police sketch of Arrow and she wants to know if he’s afraid of the modern day Robin Hood. The well-dressed man calmly recites the names of people Arrow has gone after so far and Moira realizes that he’s not just targeting the rich; he’s targeting people from the list.
Dig shows up at the mansion and Oliver asks if he’s there to apply for the bodyguard position since the new guy quit. Dig explains he’s there for the other job, but he’s not going to be a sidekick. He’s going to make sure there are fewer casualties and that Oliver is not one of them. Oliver says he doesn’t need to be saved, but Dig insists that he does need someone to remind him of who he is because this is a war and war scrapes away part of your soul. The doors burst open and Detective Lance and the police arrive to arrest Oliver for a laundry list of crimes associated with being a vigilante, including murder.
That is how you do good TV, people. I loved the episode from beginning to end (minus the part where Laurel didn’t figure out that it was Oliver). Next week looks like it’s shaping up to be a huge episode. How is Oliver going to get out of this? Will Laurel figure it out now? Why is Moira hiding the yacht in a warehouse (and why is she so terrible with passwords)?
Programming Note: If you missed this week’s episode, CW is airing it again next Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 8:00 p.m. EST and then the next new episode will air Wednesday, Nov. 7. See you then…