‘Arrow’ Season 1, Episode 5 Review – Interrogation Techniques

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am,

Deathstroke in Arrow Damaged Arrow Season 1, Episode 5 Review   Interrogation Techniques

‘Damaged’ presented an interesting challenge for Arrow in just its fifth episode, by addressing the remedial math it would take for anyone – police detective or not – to put together the fact that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Starling City’s resident vigilante reappeared/appeared at around the exact same time.

What’s challenging about this is it puts the lead in a situation where he’s asked to act like he’s acting (which is probably a lot harder than it sounds) and it essentially forces the episode to do without the usual Arrow-related adventure until the whole secret identity thing gets sorted out.

For the most part, ‘Damaged’ succeeds, but not just in the attempt to ease the Arrow narrative of its most logical burden. It also manages to increase the positives from last week’s ‘An Innocent Man,’ in which the supporting characters actually got to do some supporting. The cloud of reasonable suspicion surrounding Oliver is one that isn’t unfamiliar for the superhero genre. He’s covered in scars, he’s acting weird, and he’s been presumed dead for the last five years. But, in mounting his defense, Ollie (and the writers) wisely decide to play up his notorious past, and add some extra spice to it by informing Det. Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) the scars didn’t come simply from his time on Lian Yu, they were put there by people who tortured him.

It’s a double whammy of perception that – in addition to Diggle (David Ramsey) donning the Arrow ensemble and stomping some gangbangers and an arms dealer – sets Ollie free. He’s a billionaire party boy who’s also suffering from PTSD; there’s no way he could also be the city’s vigilante menace, right? What’s interesting about the episode is that it doesn’t gloss over the fact that Ollie likely is suffering from some form of psychological trauma as a result of his encounters on Lian Yu – which could prove to be a fascinating and important addition to this interpretation of Green Arrow.

This week’s flashbacks also helped to better flesh out how Arrow’s journey shaped him by introducing Oliver (and the audience) to the mercenary Edward Fyres (Sebastian Dunn) and, of course, Deathstroke. In typical flashback style, what exactly the two mercenaries are doing on the island remains a part of the larger mystery, but we are at least treated to a fairly exciting throwdown between Yao Fei (Byron Mann) and Deathstroke.

‘Damaged’ demonstrates that Arrow is intent on making Oliver and his alter ego something more than an uncomplicated superhero on a quest. There are unresolved (and unspoken) questions about him and the choices he makes, which at this point feel in line with this series’ interpretation of the character. So far, it’s been an interesting approach to what otherwise would have been a standard superhero yarn.

Stephen Amell Arrow Damaged Arrow Season 1, Episode 5 Review   Interrogation Techniques

Highlights from the episode:

  • “You know us billionaire vigilantes, we do love our toys.”
  • Deathstroke had both eyes. So what’re the chances he’ll be losing the right one in a later encounter with Ollie or Yao Fei?
  •  It was nice of John Barrowman’s ‘Well-Dressed Man‘ to apologize for putting a hit out on Oliver.
  • Laurel is apparently not a fan of fishnet stockings – or so she says, anyway.
  • Yao Fei manages to explain the Arrow color scheme rather logically.

Arrow continues next Wednesday with ‘Legacies’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview of the episode below:

TAGS: Arrow
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  1. Still getting better each week.

  2. I do hate the fact, my quick addiction to good television was not surpressed, usally it takes me 10 episodes to get addicted to a show, Arrow took just 2 episodes….sigh

    • really? 2?? i was hooked after the pilot.

      • i gots military training…was able to resist longer than your non-military training… :)

  3. This episode was good but I thought it could of been a little better. I was a little disappointed by Deathstroke even though I knew he would only appear in flashbacks. He looked great though, just needed more screen time.

  4. Deathstroke = pwned.

  5. I am still disturbed, perhaps even more so, by the fact that this Green Arrow IS a killer. No doubt! Several of his attacks were nothing but cold-blooded murder, even if the target was a bad guy and was warned to confess. This is not self defence, and little to no effort was made to apprehend the criminals. His lies are convincing enough (if we didn’t know better) to be doubly disturbing. He is a true vigilante and can never make it to hero without paying for his crimes. So what’s the point?

    Initially, I had hope for the show. It can be good and exciting. But my personal values are in conflict with the shows theme of glorifying a criminal. I had a similar issue with Smallville’s Green Arrow killing, or attempting to kill Lex Luthor. It doesn’t matter the “justification”, a killer is still a killer.

    • But it doesnt mean he will stay one. I think the arc will be him finding morals to go with his vengence through diggle and such.

    • doesnt really glorify him…hes not exactly being given the key to the city, theyre trying to arrest him.

    • also, who says heros dont kill. Who made that rule? Just cause batman doesnt, doesnt mean others dont, especially the marvel heroes.
      Youre saying heros dont kill but there really is no doctrine to heroism and in older times heroes would do whatever it takes including takes lives.

    • You still like The Punisher right?

    • I think having him kill is a key part in making this Green Arrow really stand out.. Not only does it present the morality conflict, and a deeper more well rounded character, but it separates him from Batman – which is important because of the many story beats ‘Arrow’ has taken from Batman Begins (which I love the fact they have created so many similarities, it’s what brought me to the show in the first place).

      Anyways, I absolutely love this show, can’t wait for it every week. Really seems like they have this show and its audience nailed down.

  6. I would like to state i called toture as a scenario in the first episode and no one belived me. Win one me in TVland.:)

    • Mr.Friday…For your win…you have won..BRAND NEW CAR.

      You have won a brand new 1988 Yugo 3-Door Hatchback. With simulated plastic seating. Plastic door handle…plastic tires.

      Comes equipped with Steering wheel
      Am Radio
      Hand Crank Windows
      Cup Holder

      Extra Options include
      Driver Side Wiper (Passenger Sold Seperately)
      Seat Belts
      Folding Rear pass thur hatch


      All This for calling Torture as a scenario!

  7. torture*

  8. I very much enjoyed last night’s episode and agree with Rao that each showing makes the series better and better. I also noticed, along with you, Kevin (and, I would imagine, many others), the clever asides and references that add spice and DCU intimacy to the series. I actually am enjoying the side stories more than the main narrative on a “deeper” level. This is not a criticism of the show, however, as I really do believe the people making the show have set up the adventurous surface to be fairly easily and familiarly navigated by the audience while investing the side plots and flashbacks with the bite…the kick of the series. To me, the current equivalent (the fairest comparison) would be “The Walking Dead”. Those that watch one or two episodes (or none at all) think it’s just a horror show involving zombies…boooooooooring. The viewers who invest themselves in the show each week and pay attention, on the other hand, know that its true strength lies in the interactions, the psychologies, of the characters. THAT is why they they keep coming back to TWD, and THAT is why I continue to watch “Arrow”.

    • Oh, and as for those who are turned off by Ollie’s more violent way of dealing with the criminal underbelly of his city, I agree that it is disturbing and uncomfortable…and fascinating. I will never take up arms in a secret battle against bad guys; I’m curious to see how someone who does (and does so without superpowers) handles himself in the “real world” of violence and dishonor that surrounds him nightly. It’s one of the many reasons comics and graphic novels initially interested me growing up…and now. Green Arrow has always been a blunter, more in-your-face force than MOST heroes (often including Batman). He WILL hit and even (though much more rarely in the comics, obviously) kill when he deems it necessary. That aspect of his character is actually quite comic-accurate…if somewhat highlight in the dark tone of the show.

    • This is exactly how Arrow is successful. It is the same kind of element in writing that made the Avengers successful to most- the plot was a simple arc but what elevated the Avengers over similar films was the side plot and characterizations that allow intimacy and what you described as a “kick” in the viewing. Arrow’s main plot for each episode is only a vehicle to set in place the characters and events to come while addressing logic and nostalgia for the source material while being entertaining.

      Personally I think this season is going to a special place. It won me over in the pilot- albeit with some caution to not raise expectation, but frankly each episode proves to be getting better than the last and now it is comfortably in a state where I can say this is one of my new favorite shows with only five episodes.

    • i agree. i’m more involved in the island stuff, and now the salvaged boat, than by the bad guy-of-the-week aspect of it.

      • Well Green Arrow has killed several times in the comics. He’s been kicked out of the Justice League for it.

        • I actually followed Green Arrow through the Justice League and that was quite some time ago. He seemed more along the line of the Avenger’s Hawkeye then. Apparently he has become more cold-blooded in recent years.
          Although the old comics were somewhat idealistic and absolute in their morality, I really don’t care much for the whole Nolan-esque philosophy of it isn’t realistic unless it’s dark and brutal. Sure the world is unfortunately many times dark and brutal, but the “hero” (if you call him that) should at least hope to stand for something better. I think that’s why they had problems with Superman. He had absolute values, he simply wouldn’t kill. Therefore it’s unrealistic. I think him being a super powered alien had little to do with it.

  9. Good episode last nights. Anybody notice that Diggle didn’t kill any of the gun runners? He used non lethal sttacks. I wonder if he will start teaching Ollie.

    And could someone tell me when did Yao Fei explain his green hood garb? What did say? Thanks.

    • Yeah, I missed that comment too, what did Yao Fei say?

      • Don’t think it was explained . . . but since there are literally TONS of people looking for him in a freakn’ jungle . . . . dressing up in all green makes about as much sense as Batman going out at night dressed in all Black.

        • Its never really stated, but when Ollie is talking to Edward Fyres, we see an old photo of Yao Fei in a green military uniform. I think Yao actually still wears that uniform in the flashbacks, but its been modified to better suit jungle survival. Thus, Ollie bases his costume on Yao, who made the original costume out of an old uniform.

  10. Another great ep hope we get to see deathstroke again and not in a flashback that fight scene was sickk

  11. On another note: Deathstroke looked pretty good, much better than on Smallville. But did it look more like a minor video game boss battle than a major villian?

  12. This show is awesome!!! one thing that makes me mad though is how everyone expects Oliver to act normal after being (presumably) alone on an island for 5 years. that is gonna take its toll on you mentally. but everyone is like “oh Oliver, your different, what is wrong with you?” no one thinks he could have problems and no one has really tried talking to him.

    its only a small complaint but i wish someone would smack his family and friends upside the head sometimes and say “hey, be a little more sensitive”.

  13. At least now i can say this show has peaked my interest enough to watch it after supernatural. I liked how he made the reference to batman in a way when he was talking to Diggle about his toys in his liar. I do agree with yall that Diggle will probably be the one to lead him to use non lethal attacks eventually. Deathstroke looked intersting even though i am wondering if there could be possibly several deathstrokes just or is this the one that is slad wilson. I only say this for how the villian on the island has a small army and wondering if we could see the original Deathstoke who has spawned a small group of men wearing the same suit.

  14. This show continues to build and get better every week. Last night was terrific. From what I remember in the comics, the green arrow killed and was a killer. I agree with Oliver’s methods. There is so much going on in the show, the sub-plots are just as good as the many plot. This show was just voted in a poll by TV guide to be the best new show of the fall.
    The only thing I would change would be to have the DCU villians stay around for more than one episode, other then that, awesome show! I agree with Archaeon and Nightwings comment as well.

  15. I think some of the villains aren’t just one offs. Take Deathstroke for example. I’m sure we’ll see Ollie square off with him on the island not to mention probably in present day as well. One of my favorite things is that the characters are there for more than to just direct us to the next action sequence. Honestly, the show has been fairly light on action for the last few eps but I think viewers don’t really care because the character and story development are so strong. Man, a successful live action Green Arrow television series AND its on CW! Who knew?!

  16. I have to say that this was a great episode, but there were a couple things that bothered me. I really didn’t like Deathstroke’s mask. It made him look like he had George Lopez’s head size, and he was wearing so much body armor that it made his fighting look awkward. I know that those aren’t exactly good reasons to not like the show or anything. I just hope they make some changes.

  17. So I had to watch this episode twice. On first viewing I enjoyed it, but I didn’t think it was anything special. I gave it an 8/10. I decided to watch it again, cuz I was just not seeing what everybody else was seeing, suffice to say, I see it now.

    This was the best episode of the series so far. I think my problem the first time around is that I was not grasping the point of the episode. In superhero shows it is just a given that there is going to be a suspension of disbelief for certain things; particularly the dual identity aspect and that nobody can seem to put the pieces together. So on first watch I kept thinking that this was a waste of time, cuz in the end he will prove to everybody that he is not “the hood” . But on second watch I realized this was exactly the point of the episode. The writers were acknowledging that people really should start to at least question if Oliver is Arrow, cuz there are just too many coincidences. It made the people in this world seem aware and competent (even Thea was questioning Oliver). So to this I say thank you to the writers, as this is an aspect of superhero storytelling that often gets swept aside, so good on them for facing it.
    I really enjoyed the double meaning in much of the conversations between Det. Lance and Oliver. Oliver kept saying that he is “innocent” and that he is “not who [Lance] thinks he is”. Clearly this was a lie, but there was an element of truth to it. Lance made Oliver out to be a menace, a criminal and somebody who has no care or concern for other people. To Oliver this was not true, he does not see himself in this way and does not think others should see him that way either. Oliver believes he is doing the right thing as he is protecting Starling City from those who are corrupting it. Does he go a little overboard sometimes? Sure he does. But to Oliver the ends justify the means and if nobody else is going to save the city, he is going to do it the only way he knows how. And if that means some criminal gets killed, especially after Arrow gave him a chance to right their wrong, then so be it. As Oliver said at the end of the episode, “they had their chance”.

    I also liked the interaction between Dinah and Oliver, especially their last two encounters. For one, there was a fishnet reference. For two, the reasons she doesn’t hate Oliver even though she has every right to, were very believable. Lastly, that she noticed Oliver’s posture change when he was taking the polygraph, and that there was a slight flutter in the answer to the first question. Ironically, the episode began with many people, including Oliver’s family, internally or externally questioning if Oliver could be “the hood”…except for Dinah. By the end of the episode everybody but Dinah believes that there is no way Oliver could be “the hood”. This sets up an interesting dynamic going forward.
    This had the best island story so far and every fight scene in the episode was top notch.

    Revised episode rating 9.6/10. And I’m looking forward to the next one.

    Ps. “you know us billionaire vigilantes…we do love our toys”. Loved Digg’s reaction when he went to the… Warehouse? Or Base? Or Basement? Or Lair? I dunno, but I refuse to call it the Arrow Cave…lol

  18. Excellent – easily the best episode of the series so far. I hope to see more like this.

    • indeed

  19. i was wondering what organization his mother refers to being under a;so could be reason the queens gambit was recovered was perhaps either ollies mom had it sunk or she is going ver it herself ti find the saboteurs. there are so many questions cant wait for the reveals lol I can you that ollies sister will be “speedy”as Oliver referred to calling her early in the episode. SO wanht if he knocks off some bad dudes. i say good. lol

  20. Oh, and for the next episode, is that supposed to be the royal flush gang – or something along those lines?

  21. I was thinking the royal flush gang but werent they only involved with the future nightwing DC universe?

    • They have been around for a long time. It’s just that, as time goes on, they change members for every new generation.

  22. I knew that Yao Fei guy looks familiar. It’s Ryu Hoshi himself!

    • Ryu Hoshi?

      • Check out Street Fighter the Movie. The one with Van Damme.

  23. I really like the show, and for that reason an able to convince myself that this is an alternate universe take on Green Arrow, however, I hate the fact they have gone down the Smallville route (the fact they called supes the blur) and are calling GA the Hood…
    Also, as much as I am a fan of vigilante killing machines, GA should not be The Punisher with a bow and arrow, he shouldn’t kill people….