‘Arrow’ Season 1, Episode 4: ‘An Innocent Man’ Recap

Published 2 years ago by

Stephen Amell in Arrow An Innocent Man Arrow Season 1, Episode 4: An Innocent Man Recap

At this point, Arrow has slid comfortably into what will comprise its routine. There’ll be voiceover, bits of archery-inspired heroics, a flashback or two, some mild flirtation between Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), and then things will end with a cliffhanger that is either tied to Arrow’s identity, or the larger conspiracy involving Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) and the apparent cabal of one percenters that had something to do with the sinking of the Queen’s Gambit.

This may sound like a complaint, but it’s not; it has actually proven to be a fairly successful formula, and for a young series like Arrow, sticking to what works is definitely a good bet. What’s interesting about ‘An Innocent Man’ (cue Billy Joel music) is the way it manages to build the basic Arrow story – his targeting of the corrupt in Starling City – around the other characters. In the review of the series premiere, one of the potential issues on the horizon was the fear that the other players might begin to feel unimportant or a distraction from the main story. So far, they’ve kind of existed as two parallel storylines with Oliver running himself ragged trying to find a way to manage both. Here, Ollie’s worlds collide, in a good way, so that the audience is still given plenty of Arrow action (now with dubious voice-changing technology), but the other characters don’t feel quite so ancillary.

Case in point: John Diggle (David Ramsey), who at the end of last week’s ‘Lone Gunmen‘ was dragged into the Arrow-lair so that Oliver could administer an antidote to the curare he’d been poisoned with. As soon as Diggle wakes up, Oliver proposes they collaborate, appealing to his sense of justice, the kind his late brother was denied, but Diggle isn’t ready to board the train just yet and seemingly rejects Oliver’s invitation – largely on the basis that Oliver is breaking the law and killing people.

Katie Cassidy in Arrow An Innocent Man Arrow Season 1, Episode 4: An Innocent Man Recap

And while the motivations behind Diggle’s decision to join are a little formulaic, it’s interesting to note that limiting the number of casualties is a key reason Diggle joins the team. And so, it’s no coincidence that through the flashbacks we learn how Oliver had to reconcile himself to the idea of killing to survive. Sure, it’s a leap to suggest that snapping the neck of a bird in order to eat would be the start of a guy who could kill humans (bad humans, but still) with almost zero hesitation, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right? Besides, the flashbacks also establish the fact that Ollie’s island friend can actually speak English, so that when Ollie recounts some of those five years during the next episode, they won’t have to include all those pesky subtitles.

The series so far has managed to string together threads from each episode that tie directly into Oliver’s adventures and eventual decisions, which helps to make them feel a little more organic and a result of an increasingly complicated situation, rather than a bunch of writers pushing a character in a certain direction. ‘Lone Gunmen’ led to Oliver’s desire to cut Diggle in on the quest, and we saw hints of what could turn out to be the Arrow IT department lead in Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) – who again provides some much-needed levity in her brief scene with Walter Steele (Colin Salmon), but it also opened his mind to bringing in others with a same thirst for justice.

So, with some additional prodding by his little sister Thea (Willa Holland), Oliver turns to Laurel for help, instead of the other way around. Arrow’s quest this week is to prevent the execution of an innocent man and, in the process, scratch another corrupt businessman off his list. Beyond some clunky dialogue in the exchanges between Arrow and Laurel, there’s a clear attraction on her behalf to a hunky guy in green who is ostensibly risking his life to make sure justice is served. Laurel even has a slightly overcooked monologue that sounds a lot like something Commissioner Gordon might say, where she seemingly comes to the conclusion that someone like Arrow is a necessary means to an end.

Susana Thompson and John Barrowman in Arrow An Innocent Man Arrow Season 1, Episode 4: An Innocent Man Recap

However, by the episode’s end, Laurel’s opinion of the hooded vigilante goes from wide-eyed wonder to utter disappointment, as his brutal beat down of a prisoner makes Arrow look to be less of a hero and more of a violent madman. Following the commotion at the prison, Laurel’s thinking on vigilantism is more in line with her father’s, which, for the time being, makes Diggle the only chance Oliver has to expand his group.

Elsewhere, since it’s likely they won’t be cut in on the secret anytime soon, ‘An Innocent Man’ finds some intriguing storylines for Walter and Moira to pursue. While investigating some missing funds – with the help of the aforementioned Ms. Smoak – Walter comes across a warehouse his wife supposedly purchased that happens to be holding the wreckage of the Queen’s Gambit. Meanwhile, Moira has a meeting with John Barrowman to discuss the vigilante and his targets – which, as Barrowman’s character points out, are a part of some list, and not merely some random targets based on their wealth.

So, Oliver is carted off to jail, his identity apparently exposed (though that’s clearly not going to stick) and, as we see in the preview, he’ll be telling a tale that involves Deathstroke next week.


Arrow continues with ‘Damaged’ next Wednesday @8pm on The CW. Take a look at a preview for the episode below:

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  1. wow did not expect him getting caught so early and cant wait to see death stroke next ep!!

    • me neither. and cant wait to see more of Capt Jack!

    • Agreed!!!

  2. His fake voice was a bit much though.

    • But don’t you think having a fake voice is more believable than him going around using his normal voice? – people like Laurel would easily recognize him if he talked in his normal voice (the way he did in the first three episodes).

      And besides, nothing’s as bad as Bale’s Batman voice “ghhrahhhghghrhhaaa!!” ;)

      • yeah i dont care what the fake voice sounds like, as long as its not his its believeable. thats one thing that i think is so stupid about superman and spiderman. opps! hes wearing a costume so now i cant recognize THE LOVE OF MY LIFE by his voice.

        • Right. I didn’t mind at all the fake voice. I actually applaud the writers for thinking of it and thinking that someone would actually be smart enough to recognize a person’s voice. This series seems to be getting better each week. When the news came out about this show I was very skeptical since it would be a CW series. I was thinking it would be something along the lines of “The Cape” show or I think that’s what it was called when it seemed alright but got cancelled. That show didn’t really give any “I can’t wait for the next episode” feeling for me but this show does and I am glad I stuck it out to check out the show. Now I am hooked, LOL.

      • But Bale’s voice is actually how Batman’s voice has been described in the comics.

        • Oh, it is? That’s funny, I don’t remember the comics ever describing Batman’s voice as sounding like someone with a soft tenor struggling beyond all comprehension to affect depth and gravel.

          • Well Ben Moore, the voice has often been described as a hoarse, grating voice or a cold growl. But yes, I guess your sarcastic rebuttal is kinda funny in retrospect to my response with picture evidence below.

            Here is the picture link for the Batman voice description from Knightfall


            • Here Ben Moore, Detective Bullock describes it as deep and rough.


              • Ben Moore. And here sir, it is described as a hard snarl.


                • And finally Ben Moore (although I do have more), we have Robin describing a voice similiar to what Bale uses again.


                  • I think you’re misunderstanding, Ignurant – Christian Bale’s voice didn’t sound anything like a snarl or a growl. It didn’t sound deep, rough, low, or cold. Bale does not have a deep voice, nor does he have a rough voice – it’s actually soft and vaguely soothing, which is why one of his big early roles was hitting the high notes in The Newsies. This doesn’t make him a bad actor, and it didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of Nolan’s films, but the guy was affecting a deep, rough voice…and he failed to do it to a satisfying degree.

                    So you’re saying Batman’s voice in the comics is described as being deep, cold, rough, blablabla, and I’m over here agreeing with you. The reality is, most people believe that Bale didn’t pull that off, myself included. But, you know, to each his/her own.

                  • Something tells me you have proved this point before… no?

      • lol @ ghhrahhhghghrhhaaa!!

        • How old are you really Jeffro? I find it hard to believe you are a man of 45(?) with kids. Pretty much cause I don’t believe it all.

          • why dont you believe it? is it something i said? (typed?)

    • It was a voice modulator.

  3. This episode was better than last week’s, but still not as good as the first two IMO.
    It started out kinda slow and a little too melodramatic, the action was lacking in this episode and Ms. Smoak stills bugs me a little (the whole socially-awkward-nerdy-thing she’s got going is gonna get old pretty quickly, I think), but that said, by the end I was shouting at my tv screen “It can’t be over!!! What’s gonna happen next????!!!!!” ;)
    Needles to say the clifhanger(s) ending was great and I can’t wait till next week to see how things work out.

    Great, great show.

    • i was doing the samething,this show gets better every wk,can hardly wait for the next show.

  4. love this show, yes its a bit formulaic but its entertaining and each episode improves on the last IMO. can’t wait till next episode it looks like we’re finally going to get introduced to a certain assassin named Slade. I’m excited to see what the do with him.

  5. While I did like and enjoy this weeks episode, I am slightly concerned with the speed at which the series is progressing. He has now been discovered, allegedly, by the cops, and that is a story line not easily put to bed. My concern lies in the it seems to be developing to fast, as if the writers want to get as much out as possible because they don’t know how long it will be on the air. I’m not crazy either about Oliver sharing his Arrow identity, although I know even Bats has Alfred. I need to see more of how Diggle’s role will play out and be developed before I conclud anything. I just don’t want to see the show burn bright for a season or two, and then fizzle out due to lack of intriguing Arrow stoylines. I guess what I’m saying in plain English is, I don’t want them to blow their load all in one season leaving little or nothing for the next several. I’m just thinking longevity for the series. The Walter and his wife certainly have some thing to work out, however, that will not sustain the show or the audience for long IMO.

  6. Dont get me wrong, I still LOVE the show, and it’s great. I just want to see it last as long as possible. Great show, great action, great cast, all around great! I can’t for each episode!

    • From what I know from the comics (and to be fair, it aint much) there are so many stories that there will be no problem finding somthing to write about. In this episode alone I noticed some hints as to where they may go in the future.

      I do get what your saying though, I was shocked that he got arrested so soon. Usually shows wont delve into that type of storyline until multiple seasons have past. So I say, good on them for changing it up. Gutsy move. Hopefully it will pay off.

  7. Much improvement from last week’s episode. The editing was a lot better.

    I was def missing Tommy Merlyn in this episode. I want a decent and believable transformation into the villainous archer.

  8. Fantatic Episode.

    They are not messing around. 4 episodes in (5 if you include next week), and already so much has happened and so much has been revealed. I expect him to wriggle his way out next week, but still, when you compare it to other shows that milk all the “secrets” and “questions” for multiple seasons, it is a breath of fresh air. Makes me wonder where they go from here?

    Guess I will have to tune in next week to find out.

  9. I really liked that he changed his voice while he was arrow. More believable for someone trying I hide a identity and I’m happy diggle joined his team maybe we can get rid of the voice overs which arnt as bad as I had thougt before.

    What’s with the queen yacht being in that warehouse!!!! Wonder if Oliver will find it. I hope so! And why does she even have it??

    Anyway this has become one of my favorite shows.

    • I beleive the first episode revealed that Mama Queen was responsible for the yacht crash. She prolly stored the ship to get rid of the evidence of tampering. Why she hasn’t got rid of or destroyed the yacht is beyond me.

    • This is just a guess, but I don’t think the ship was hit by lighting, or anything like that. I would be willing to bet their was a bomb on it, to kill his dad, most Lilly because his dad wanted out of the crime scene. So much like the mob, you don’t get out, you get killed. And i think mrs. Queen had a lot to do with it. Just some thoughts.

  10. And I guess this Star(ling) City is on the east coast instead of the west coast, since you can catch a train to Bludhaven.

    • I think it might be on the west coast. Remember, the yacht was was sunk it the north china sea. That is a long trip from the west coast. IMO.

  11. In my opinion this show is really good. It is an entertaining show that has me hooked. Some bits are melodramatic and there was less action but the advancement of supporting characters and plot is much appreciated. I am also glad that while many elements are reoccurring every week, a few twist here and there allow to keep the episode fresh and just barely pass formulaic.

    I hope Laurel changes more and have less melodramatic moment. I look forward to Diggle. The cliffhanger(s) are just….well I just cannot wait until next week.

  12. I’m not able to see it for a few days yet….Did they ever explain how he’s able to hide his identity with a hoodie and a little green makeup? That will only work if the light is right….I’d think anyway

  13. Can’t wait for next week. Kind of dissappointed that Deathstroke will only be in flashbacks but still, its Deathstroke. It would be cool if they brought Grifter into the show at some point.

  14. I liked the transition of this episode with Diggle’s character and Olie’s. Diggle taking on the role of a mentor to help Oliver become a more mature Arrow is something that was missing for me.

    I’ve been struggling trying to reconcile this Oliver with the Oliver before the New 52 and from the JLU show because this Oliver seems to be at peace with killing while I was under the impression Green Arrow doesn’t take lives. This episode explained that pretty well. I know killing the bird is not the same as killing a bad person but it cleared up the issue I was having. Since Arrow is just beginning, he thinks he is surviving and that means he has to take the life of the bad guy or someone who tried to kidnap him.

  15. I can see why people have reservations about it moving to fast, i have some of those as well. to be honest though i think its sort of refreshing. maybe get away from that clark kent amnesia syndrom and instead explore the idea of letting a few trusted people in. with that said I am worried they played thier cards to soon with regards to arresting him. I’m sure he’ll get out of it but still. you can sort of tell that this show is going to get heavy into the family intrigue side of things which i find sort of interesting so in terms of storytelling i think they’ll be fine, only time will tell.

    Two things though (if someone knows please correct me if I’m wrong) its been a long time since i’ve read the comics but i was under the opposite impression of @Rafter i thought Ollie never had a problem with killing, and second didn’t he tell a lot of people his secret, he mentored a bunch of characters like Roy Harper and Mia, i thought he was genreally pretty open with his identity with people he trusted. again its been ages since i’ve read the comics so i could be totally wrong

  16. Isn’t it obvious? Diggle is going to don the hood and make a scene thus proving that Queen isn’t the Arrow!

    Love this show, Can’t get enough!

  17. Mother Queen spent 2.6 million dollars to pull the family yacht up from the bottom of the south china sea. And hide it in A wharehouse across town,instering. Also about the 3:15 to Bludhaven,so were is the city located. I mean both Metrolpils and Gotham were east coast cities. But in Smallvile Met. was moved to Kansas and in Noalans Batman you got the idea that Gotham was near Chicago. Or I could totaly wrong but it’s A comic book anything is possible.

  18. does anyone know why DC makes up cities where as Marvel just has there stories take place in actual cities?

    • Because DC is supposed to be more fantastical. Marvel is supposed to be “the real world with superheroes.”

      • Yet lately things have been completely the opposite. DC’s felt more real world while Marvel has gone completely overboard (I mean that in a bad way) with their stories and characters.

        • That’s true, DC has sort of taken a page from older Marvel stuff and Marvel has just turned to complete crap. Not that there isn’t a lot of crap at DC, but at least there’s some stuff that I’m outright loving (Batman Inc., Wonder Woman) as opposed to only a few things that I’m even vaguely enjoying.

  19. I want Deathstroke to be a regular in this series…
    He and Oliver Queen have way too much bad blood with each other in the comics and I want to see that on TV (at least).