by Ryan Rigley
Hot off the heels of last week’s cliffhanger of an ending, “Damaged” begins with a flashback to Oliver Queen’s time on that remote island in which the mysterious bearded Asian man (who saved him in previous episodes) is now teaching him how to shoot a bow and arrow. Suddenly, Oliver is kidnapped by a gang of masked men and shoved into a makeshift holding cell in the ground without any sort of explanation.
The present-day action on this week’s episode of “Arrow” focuses mainly on the conflict between Oliver Queen and Detective Lance, with Oliver attempting to dissolve any remaining suspicions that the detective may have about Mr. Queen and the hooded vigilante being the same person. But with video evidence of Oliver at the scene of one of Arrow’s crimes, it would appear to be a task easier said than done.
We join our hero at the Starling City police department where he is promptly finger-printed and interrogated. Moira and Walter, believing Detective Lance’s accusations to be false, storm into the interrogation room claiming that the police have no evidence on Oliver and demand that he be let go. In need of a good lawyer, Oliver tells his mother to recruit Laurel to their cause.
Although hesitant at first, Laurel shows up to the court room the next day acting as Oliver’s attorney. The judge promptly agrees to Laurel’s suggestion of placing Oliver under house arrest with a GPS tracking device strapped to his ankle. This, of course, comes as horrible news to Oliver, who decides to throw an inappropriately themed prison party while stuck at home.
Later, Diggle pays a visit to the Queen household and Oliver reveals to him that getting caught on camera was part of his plan all along. With hundreds of witnesses at his prison party to attest to Oliver being home all night, Diggle is tasked with dressing up as “The Hood” and putting a stop to an arms deal downtown. Meanwhile, Walter Steele tasks his head of security to move the wrecked ship that he discovered in a secret warehouse (in last week’s episode) to a secure location.
The next day, Oliver agrees to take a polygraph test in front of Detective Lance and his daughter, Laurel, in order to prove to them that he isn’t lying. In a flashback, we learn that Oliver was tortured by an English man (with a vendetta against the mysterious bearded Asian man) and his accomplice, Deathstroke. Back at the police department, Oliver passes his polygraph test with flying colors. However, Detective Lance still thinks that he’s guilty.
That night, as Oliver’s prison party rages on, Diggle (dressed as the hooded vigilante) disrupts the arms deal orchestrated by the next person on Robert Queen’s list, Leo Mueller. During the party, Laurel shows up and confronts Oliver about his time on the island. After showing her all his badass body scars, Oliver and Laurel make out. On the other side of the city, Walter discovers that the security guard that he tasked with moving the wrecked ship has been “killed in a freak car accident.”
Diggle calls Oliver to let him know that everything went smoothly, but Oliver is a bit preoccupied with the butler assassin sent to kill him. Luckily, Detective Lance manages to show up at the last minute and shoot the assailant several times in the chest. With reports of the vigilante being spotted downtown, Lance is forced to remove Oliver’s tracking device and drop all charges against him.
Laurel shows up with the results from the polygraph test, claiming that there was a flutter during one of Oliver’s responses. Realizing that Oliver could have lied his way through the entire test, Laurel declares that although the two of them are still very much attracted to each other there is no hope of them ever getting back together. At the Arrowcave, Diggle gives Oliver a speech about his lies hurting the ones that are closest to him and how he should be more aware of his actions. Oliver subsequently suits up and sets off to kill Leo Mueller.
Let me just go ahead and say that I am extremely excited to see what other secrets lie in wait in the form of island flashbacks. Deathstroke’s appearance on last night’s episode was a huge tease in that he never said anything and we were never really told who he was. But I, for one, am really glad that he wasn’t immediately killed off. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing a lot more of him this season.
Also, with Walter Steele now out of the picture (leaving on an extended business trip due to his wife’s dishonesty), what does that mean for Moira’s role in the series? We’ve known that she’s not exactly the caring mother that she initially appears to be since the end of the pilot episode, but have yet to really discover where her loyalties actually lie. Here’s hoping that we see the story of how the Queen’s Gambit (the wrecked ship) got all the way back to Starling City and what its significance truly is during next week’s episode!