It's that old familiar story: Girl meets Vigilante. Girl falls for Vigilante and justice and stuff. Vigilante saves Girl. Girl realizes that Vigilante is probably an insane killer...
That's the story we get to see in this week's Arrow, "An Innocent Man." We also get overturned death sentences, fights between law and justice, and John freakin' Barrowman! Check it all out in this Arrow recap.
Yes, Oliver Is Probably Insane. And Definitely a Criminal.
Think about it: Oliver spent five years in awful conditions on a remote island. But when he comes back to his paradise-like life, all he wants to do is shoot arrows? That's weird. And because Arrow is a good show, everyone -- possibly including Oliver himself -- realizes that the Arrow's choices are super insane.
Oliver at least has to face his own criminal insanity when Diggle wakes up. Turns out that Oliver is ready to offer his bodyguard another job -- sidekick. Citing Diggle's military experience as a big draw, the Arrow gives what sounds like a prepared mission statement about clarity and cleaning up corruption in the city.
Diggle responds by calling Oliver a murderer and a criminal. Then he runs away.
Yeah, that didn't go quite as planned
Oliver has no choice but to return to his opulent home. It's not much more fun there. Laurel is randomly waiting, apparently having arrived to make sure Oliver was OK after that assassination attempt. Oliver has, of course, forgotten about Deadshot by now, not to mention his traumatized family. Because of this, Laurel tells him how much he sucks and stomps off.
Oliver is tired of people telling him how much he sucks. Maybe if he stopped shooting everybody?
Finding Purpose in Insanity
Oliver's angst doesn't last long. While watching late-night TV with an unusually friendly Thea, Oliver learns the story of Peter Declan. This regular guy has been convicted of murdering his own wife, Camille, in their baby's room. His execution is mere days away.
This is all just sad until Oliver realizes that Camille's former boss is Jason Brodeur. Jason Brodeur is on the list. So obviously poor Peter Declan is innocent.
He is, as we soon find out in a cutaway to Brodeur and his evil henchman. But how is the Arrow going to intervene?
For once, Oliver chooses the law. Sort of. By turning off the power in her apartment and speaking in a weirdly deep voice, Oliver is able to confront Laurel and tell her to save Peter Declan. And because Laurel has never met a sob story she didn't love, the lawyer takes the case.
And there is a case: Camille Declan had just found out about Brodeur's toxic-waste dumping. Then she died.
Law vs. Justice
The law, unfortunately, isn't quite so excited by sob stories as Laurel Lance.
As we soon find out, Camille's supervisor, Matthew Istook, testified that the woman never came to him about the toxic waste. So there is no legal leg to stand on.
No problem! The Arrow doesn't really do "legal" legs anyway. Instead, he cuffs Istook to a railroad track and gets a file just before an oncoming train squashes the corrupt guy. (Don't worry, Oliver lets this one live.)
Alas, Istook's file still isn't enough to save Declan. Laurel's attempts to redeem the guy legally only manage to put her on Jason Brodeur's radar. And we know what this guy does to people on his radar... Meanwhile, Detective Lance is seriously pissed at his daughter for taking the word of a vigilante like Arrow and for taking a criminal case.
Does Laurel look at it this way? Not so much. Although she does question his need to hide his identity, she is still blown away by his desire to help and his Spider-Man style exits.
But none of that is going to help Declan's case. All that will help is a signed confession from Jason Brodeur. Now how could the Arrow get that...?
How to Get a
Before Oliver can threaten corrupt men into doing the right thing, he needs to make one more pitch for a sidekick. This is easier than you'd think, because all Diggle does -- when not failing to protect Oliver Queen -- is hang out in his sister-in-law's cafe.
Oliver finds Diggle there and repeats his offer. This time, however, Oliver is better-prepared to get Diggle on his side. Using Robert Queen's journal of names and the unsolved murder of Diggle's own brother (who, as it turns out, was assassinated by Deadshot), Oliver pitches a need to rid the city of bad people, preferably with Diggle's help.
Then he goes to the bathroom, leaving Diggle to realize that Oliver is totally right. Still crazy, sure. But right.
Lady Justice Is a Heartless B*tch. But What About Oliver?
Oliver doesn't have much time for these sales pitches though. He has to stop an execution.
The Arrow's first effort involves pointing his weapon at Brodeur and asking for a confession. Jason Brodeur calls the bluff (if he's dead, how will that help?), so Oliver shoots his hand. But then the vigilante intercepts a call indicating that Brodeur's henchmen are planning to murder both Declan and Laurel at the prison.
And they will do so with an old-fashioned prison riot.
Fortunately for the good guys, Oliver shows up just in time, donning a guard uniform and a ski mask to get into the facility. They all try to run away, but some of the thugs are too violent.
One of them manages to get hold of Laurel and commences with the strangling... Oh, bad idea, buddy!
Oliver goes a little nuts -- even by his own standards -- upon seeing this. Throwing Laurel out of harm's way, the Arrow punches the thug. And punches and punches and punches. Oliver only relents when police in riot gear arrive, necessitating a quick exit. But he spares one look at Laurel before he goes -- and she sees a killer in Oliver's eyes.
Talking to her father after the fact, Laurel reaffirms her commitment to the law. After all, there was no remorse in the eyes of that crazy, arrow-toting vigilante.
Oliver, watching from above, looks on with more remorse than should be possible.
Back on the Island of Killing and Stuff
Why the remorse? What made Oliver this way?
It started with a bird.
On the Island, Asian arrow guy (who I think is named Yao Fei), refuses to feed Oliver, offering the boy only a live bird. Oliver will not kill the animal, because he has never killed anything before. Instead, he just looks longingly at Laurel's photo.
But starvation always trumps sentiment. After awhile, Oliver chooses to live by killing. It's a tasty choice.
It won't be the only choice though. Yao Fei (who suddenly does speak English, the jerk) tells Oliver that he will have to kill repeatedly if he wants to survive. And sentiment -- in the form of Laurel Lance -- is useless.
It looks like Oliver learned only half of his lesson.
Hey, Detective Lance Is Smart!
Back in Starling City, both Oliver's sentiment and his ruthlessness are catching up to him. Detective Lance has learned from his daughter that the Arrow doesn't always dress like Robin Hood. So he reviews the tapes from the Deadshot killing. They reveal Oliver Queen pulling new clothes out of a trash can just before the assassin died.
So, while Laurel is happily reuniting Peter Declan with his little girl, Oliver is being arrested on about 80 counts of bad stuff. Including murder. That's not good...
Meanwhile, in the Warehouses and Limos of Injustice
The law has prevailed! That might not be a good thing, however, considering what's been happening over at Queen Consolidated during this time. Walter Steele, ever the diligent businessman, has noticed that $2.6 million went missing from a subsidiary. Moira tries to laugh this off as a gift investment in a friend's startup.
The investigations of super-techie Felicity Smoke (Yay! She's awesome!) reveal something else. There was no company, just a purchase of a warehouse. When Walter goes to investigate this warehouse, he is first shocked to learn that ROBERT is the security code. He is even more shocked to find the contents of the warehouse: the Queen's Gambit, Robert Queen's supposedly lost yacht.
The high-finance mystery only grows when Moira enters another mysterious limo for a consultation. This time she's talking to John Barrowman!!!
Barrowman's as-yet-unnamed character has realized a pattern to those taken down by the arrow. They are all connected: "He's targeting the list."
So what is the list? Why are these people connected? What is Moira's connection to them? Who is John Barrowman? And how will Oliver beat that murder charge? Share your theories below!
(Images courtesy of The CW)