What’s this? More Arrow episodes? I was ahead with stuff for once, so I figured I’d continue watching episodes so that it doesn’t take me fifty years to reach the seasons currently airing. Don’t expect this to be a regular thing–especially with Loki‘s premiere right around the corner.
At the beginning of the fifth episode, “Damaged,” Oliver Queen is in police custody after getting arrested last episode on charges that he is the vigilante archer. Moira Queen and Walter Steele believe these charges to be completely made up by Detective Quentin Lance, who has a grudge against Oliver for the whole “you got my daughter Sara killed” thing. Ollie insists that Laurel Lance has to be his lawyer–not so much for throwing Quentin off by having his daughter go against her dad, but because she’s someone who knows Oliver well enough to know he’s absolutely not the kind of person to go out and shoot bad guys with arrows. Hm. There’s a tense polygraph test, but Oliver’s new partner, John Diggle, wears the Hood’s outfit while stopping an illegal weapons sale, “proving” Oliver’s not the Hood. But inconsistencies in the polygraph have Laurel unsure about that. Oh, and an assassin tried to kill Oliver while he was under house arrest (more on that in a minute). Meanwhile, Walter tasks someone with moving the Queen’s Gambit–the sabotaged ship that sank, leaving Oliver stranded on Lian Yu–but that guy is killed in a suspicious car accident. Walter confronts Moira, and she warns him not to mess with powerful people. He leaves on a “sudden business trip,” and Moira confronts John Barrowman’s still unnamed character about the assassin he hired to kill Oliver in case the young man actually was the Hood. She says she’ll fuck him up if he messes with her family, but, you know, in a TV PG-13 way.
Up next is “Legacies,” dealing with dads. The Royal Flush Gang has been robbing banks all over, but Diggle takes interest when an off-duty cop is shot during a bank heist in Starling City. Dig wants Oliver to get involved, but the vigilante doesn’t think of himself as a hero and wants to focus on the root corruption in the city, not the “symptoms.” He eventually relents, and with Felicity Smoak’s help they find out that the gang is a family and that the dad lost his job after Oliver’s dad rudely fired him. Oliver wants to give the dad a second chance, but the more aggressive of the two sons demands one more heist. It’s during that encounter that the Hood meets his greatest enemy: a hard plastic shield that deflects arrows. In the end the heist is foiled, but the dad is killed by a security guard. Meanwhile, Moira is disappointed in Oliver’s constant disappearances, and Tommy Merlyn ask Thea Queen about how to woo a girl, but she thinks he has a crush on him. When she eventually realizes he’s into Laurel, Thea gets drunk and tries to kiss Tommy–something I’m very happy doesn’t happen. Thea apologizes, Laurel finds Tommy at least somewhat charming, and Oliver makes it up to his mom by taking her to the best burger joint in the city.
The flashback to the island during these episodes shows Oliver captured by armed soldiers and brought to Edward Fyers (Sebastian Dunn), who ran some kind of operation on the island. Oliver refused to give up information on Yao Fei, his archer friend–who finally got a name in episode 6–even while tortured by someone who looks a lot like Deathstroke. Yao Fei rescued Oliver and reconsidered his expectations about the playboy’s survivability. Oliver then hallucinated seeing his dad, Robert Queen, but didn’t end up killing himself like the memory ghost was demanding. He does find out that the book that Dad gave him before his death has hidden ink, revealing “the list.”
Let’s get to those references! “Damaged” had one that almost slipped by me: the district attorney who was only in one scene (so far) is Kate Spencer (Chelah Horsdal), who in the comics is the vigilante known as Manhunter. She’s not the first hero to take the name, as indicated by her first appearance in Manhunter #1 (2004), which was the third comic series with that title–relaunching titles is a thing comics do, so that’s why the most recent Green Arrow run was the 6th series with that title. Anyway, Kate never becomes Manhunter in Arrow, but that’s still a recognizable name.
“Legacies” had the Royal Flush Gang–a crime family who wore playing card themed masks. In the comics the Gang goes a bit more elaborate with their outfits, but that’s comics for you. They first appeared in Justice League of America #43 (1966), but they’re best known now for their appearances in the Batman Beyond and Justice League Unlimited animated series. Oh Ace, your ending was so sad… Anyway, smaller references include Tommy mentioning Coast City–hometown of Hal Jordan, Earth’s first Green Lantern–and Laurel mentioning Stagg Industries–probably run by Simon Stagg, archenemy of Metamorpho, the Element Man.
As for references in the flashback, a big one is Edward Fyers. The show show and comic versions are complete opposites–first appearing in Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #3 (1987), Eddie in the comics was a mercenary who started as an opponent to Green Arrow, but the two eventually became friends. When Oliver died in a plane explosion (he got better), Eddie became a sort of father figure to Oliver’s son, Connor Hawke. And now that we know Yao Fei’s name, I can talk about him! In the show he’s a mentor to Oliver who is on Lian Yu because of… reasons we’ll get too before the season is over; in the comics he goes by the (translated) name Accomplished Perfect Physician and is a member of China’s Great Ten superhero team. What, you thought other countries wouldn’t try to have their own Justice Leagues? He’s a relatively minor character, but he debuted in 52 #6 (2006), a great comic that was spread out over a year, one issue a week. Anyway, in the comics he had the superpower of manipulating his own voice to do a variety of things, so that’s one up on Black Canary’s canary cry, I suppose.
I don’t have much to say on these two episodes. Moira’s scheming led to her husband having to take a break from her, and I just don’t feel too sorry. Then the love quadrangle between Oliver, Laurel, Tommy, and Thea is only sort of interesting. The real reason I’m only doing two episodes this time is because next episode, we’re introduced to a major character from the comics and I felt that and the episodes leading to the mid-season finale would be better grouped together. I’ll have more to say next time!
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