Nov 8 2012 10:15am

Arrow Season 1, Episode 5 Recap: Truth and Scars and, Yes, Abs

Oliver is arrested in Arrow 1.05 Damaged*****SPOILERS*****

Last week’s episode of Arrow was a game-changer. Oliver found a confidante in Dig, who didn’t sign on to be solely a sidekick, Laurel started working with Oliver as Arrow (even though he makes her a bit uneasy) and then her dad swoops in and arrests Oliver.

Yeah, that’s where we left things: Oliver in handcuffs. Wearing a shirt.

(Need to catch up? Don't miss Tori Benson's thoughts on the pilot episode, Heather and Chris's episode 1.02 recap, or Chelsea Mueller's recaps of episode 1.03 and episode 1.04. Plus, read Jennifer Proffitt's report on the Arrow cast panel at NYCC!)

Will there be more ass kicking and maybe more skin in “Damaged”? Let’s find out.

We start this episode back on the island, five years ago. Looks like we’re in for another lesson in doing what you must to survive. Also, killing bunnies. For the record: I am anti killing bunnies, while Oliver (five years ago) is anti touching dead gross things. (I’m actually against that, too.)

Original Recipe Arrow and Oliver Queen in Arrow season 1 episode 5 DamagedWe do get to see Oliver’s first archery lesson, and know that he must have practiced since then. A lot. His missed shot leads to being captured. Dark places on the island should make for a great slow reveal on this show. It’s so new to me to want more backstory on a TV show, but I really am intrigued and eager for more flashbacks. Oh, Arrow, what have you done to me?

Detective Lance interrogates Oliver, trying to confirm he’s the vigilante, but our boy has all the answers. This only riles the detective more, because the rich kid who got his daughter killed is being slick.

Oliver’s parents show up to call off the interrogation. I suppose that’s the kind of power they have. I particularly enjoyed Oliver’s explanation about it being more than a vendetta, “He also thinks that I dress up in a green hood and shoot people. With arrows.”

Oliver demands to have Laurel as his attorney. This pleases me because it requires Oliver’s mom to go to Laurel and ask for help. When she says no that means Oliver has no attorney, because he refuses anyone but her.

Oliver and Laurel in court in Arrow 1.05 Damaged…but like Laurel would really leave him to fend for himself. She shows up at the bail hearing. But she does have him put on house arrest with a GPS ankle bracelet. Then she proceeds to tell him she knows he’s not guilty because the vigilante wants to help people and that just isn’t Oliver’s style. To which I reply: Someone’s got a thing for Arrow.

Oliver tells Dig that getting arrested was all part of the plan. He knew the camera was there, and wanted them to see him. He doesn’t want to talk about the potential jail time, but instead about The Plan. There’s an arms dealer in town to sell guns, and for Oliver that takes precedence over a little issue with the police.

Dig agrees to track the arms dealer, and Oliver gives him access to all his cool toys in the warehouse. Let’s just say Dig is impressed. I like that it feels more like a partnership than a sidekick deal. I know Oliver told Dig what to do, but it still felt more like a favor to me.

Oliver’s stepdad Walter is planning to take possession of the yacht remains. He’s after answers. I can’t wait to see how Moira reacts.

Laurel has to keep reminding Oliver that he isn’t the only one with something to lose when he acts impulsively. This time it’s his decision to take a polygraph test instead of accepting a plea deal. She always says it’s about his family, but we know it’s also about her. She gets hurt if she has to lose him all over again. Despite the glimpses we get of Oliver’s big plan, it’s hard to tell if he really is considering those closest to him.

Back on the island, we discover Oliver used to be an awful liar.

It’s heartbreaking watching Oliver be a good liar when talking to his sister in present day. She thinks he might actually be Arrow. He dissuades her by taking away meaning from a gift and making himself look more shallow. I wish he could be honest with her, too. I get why that’s not a smart call, but it’s so sad.

Amid the polygraph—which Oliver is acing—we flip back to the island where for his refusal to help (and those poor lying skills) we see how he received scars on his stomach. This is not how I wanted my ab fix.

Impressed to see Oliver admit to being tortured and, even more so, to say he was the reason for the detective’s daughter’s death by bringing her on the yacht with him.

Only Oliver Queen throws a prison themed party while on house arrest. That’s the impression he’s trying to give off. Dig reports back on where the gun deal is going down. Then Oliver suggests that Dig put on the hood.

Dig calls Oliver out: “I’m the one guy you don’t lie to.” Damn straight.

Laurel drops in to talk with Oliver. They go to his room to talk and she says she can’t remember the last time she was in there. Oliver, however, reminds her it was Halloween 2005. She came to apologize for her dad’s behavior. Oliver can’t understand why Laurel doesn’t hate him. She apologizes for being so focused on her own life and the effects of Oliver’s behavior and not thinking about what might have happened to him on the island. Now she is. She’s thinking about the torture and wants to see the scars.

Oliver and Laurel kiss in Arrow season 1 episode 5, DamagedKISSING! Oliver and Laurel kissing!

…and then she runs away. Ugh.

Dig as Arrow uses his hands. And it’s badass, though more people get away than usual.

Walter confronts Moira about the yacht and about her lying. She tells him it’s too dangerous for him to pursue this. The people involved are too dangerous.

Some assassin shows up to try and kill Oliver. WTF? Then Laurel’s dad comes to the rescue and shoots his attacker.

All charges are dropped against Oliver after the sighting of “the vigilante” across town while Oliver was partying it up. Plan worked.

Laurel confronts Oliver about his polygraph results, suggesting again that he might be Arrow. He tells her the reason that he doesn’t want people to know about what happened to him on the island is because he doesn’t want to change the way they look at him (truth!), because he fears that they will look at him as damaged (partial truth?).

Then Laurel says: “Oliver, nothing can ever happen between us.” Really? A guy reveals to you that he fears others will think he’s damaged and shy away from him and you follow that up with rejection. Laurel loses points here.

Upside, Oliver looks lovely in a fitted tee.

Walter is taking a break from Moira. He labels it as a business trip, but makes it clear he needs space from her.

Oliver tells Dig that his lying to his family and friends is all he thinks about, and it hurts him. It’s good to hear this, but it’s doesn’t make watching him break hearts any easier.

Oliver as Arrow heads to the new gun deal to finish things. I rather enjoy that all the guys with automatic weapons can’t land a shot, but the man with the bow and arrow has awesome aim.

* * *

What’s your take on Oliver and Laurel’s potential relationship? The kiss? Are we mad at Laurel for trying to be all “this is a bad idea” afterward? Hit the comments and let’s discuss.


While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. Her appreciation of Alexander Skarsgard is well documented. Bother her on Twitter — @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.

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Eilis Flynn
1. Eilis Flynn
You didn't mention The Well-Dressed Man (John Barrowman) and how he fits into the plot!
2. ChelseaMueller
I know, @Eilis. I'm not as invested in that side plot yet, and it's still feeling like such a small portion. You're right, though, I think he's going to become pivotal soon.

Was his inclusion in last night's episode a highlight for you?
Eilis Flynn
3. tlmfarmgirl
I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one with a growing addiction to this show!! And that lovely Canuck Stephen;) I was also squeeeee-ing at the kiss. It's helped me melt out out of the snowstorm I'm sitting in right now.
4. ChelseaMueller
@tlmfarmgirl - I was squeeing about the kiss, but was so worried they weren't really going to let them. Like someone would be at the door and stop them right before their lips met.
Eilis Flynn
5. Ezequiel
Being, well... a straight guy, I'll admit that I find our friendly neighborhood Arrow's abs slightly less interesting than the plot (which is fairly excellent). Gotta give them props for the scars though. Makes the difference between "rich kid" and "badass".

I honestly did not have high expectations for this show. I went into Smalleville wide-eyed and full of hope, and left just wishing Lana Lang had died horribly. I thought Arrow might be a repeat of this experience.

But oh, the pleasant surprise when the acting was good, the script mostly clever, and the plot reasonably intelligent! It's honestly too good to last. My only complaint about the show overall would be the monologues. Sounds like they let a teenager write them.

This particular episode made me very happy indeed. It was obvious from the start that the police would catch on in time. Instead of turning this into a drawn-out court case episode near the end of season three, having Oliver himself orchestrate his own arrest and subsequent "acquittal" reaffirms that he's not some guy with a lot of money and little sense.

It makes him look like the intelligent planner he would need to be to pull any of this off. It was nearly Whedon-esque genius.

Also reminiscent of Whedon is the tortured romance angle. I'm not a terribly big fan of this plot device, considering that most of our stories these days are nearly saturated in steamy-yet-impossible romances. Still, the scenes that depict this part of the story are well done. They achieve their goal and don't overstay their welcome. So far, I don't feel like any part of this show is dragging and I hope they keep it that way.

Alright, I've rambled enough. I would have left you girls to your man-ogling but none of my personal acquaintances are familiar with this show, so you're the lucky ones who got to hear all of my opinions.

I'm out.
Heather Waters
6. HeatherWaters
@Ezequiel -- We are always up for more opinions! And as Chris Morgan knows, a guy's take is always welcome as well. I haven't seen this episode yet, but I am quite intrigued by the Whedon comparisons...will have to catch up ASAP!-
Christopher Morgan
7. cmorgan

You are not alone sir, I've been surronded by the fine ladies here at H&H and their "man-ogling" for quite sometime. They welcome all of us and our non-ab appreciating quirks.

I too came to the show with the same hopes that I had once had for Smallville. In fact, one of the first things I noticed was that QueenMansion looked a hell of a lot like Luthor Mansion.

I appreciate the series from an action movie fan perspective. The plot isn't terribly deep, and the acting is acceptable. No one is phoning it in, and no one is going to 11 in terms of camp. I was incredibly thrilled to see TV Dresden back as the detective/Laurel's dad. While I haven't watched this particular episode yet, I'm eager to. I'm curious about this power-less DC Universe they have said they want to build, and REALLY want to see Gotham introduced. They've already hinted at Nightwings's city Bludhaven, so a guy can dream.

Again, fear not, you are welcome here, I've been here for a while now, it's nice to have another guy stop by from time to time.
Darlene Marshall
8. DarleneMarshall
Anyone catch Laurel's offhand remark about wearing fishnets? Shades of Black Canary! And what happened to Laurel's mother? (Cue ominous music...)

Good episode, with added ab wonderfulness. I think the entire series is rocking, and I'm now a committed and total Arrow fangirl. I'd watch it to catch the Green Arrow inside references, but the abs and the square jawline are a definite bonus. Best line in this episode may have been the homage to billionaire boys in masks and their toys--take that, Bruce Wayne!
Heather Waters
9. HeatherWaters
@darlenemarshall -- I REALLY hope Black Canary turns up sooner rather than later. Teasing is fun for now but it could get old for me--I'm the impatient type.
Christopher Morgan
10. cmorgan
See there are so many others besides Black Canary that I want to see. Sure that's who he marries, but they showed DEATH STROKE! Come on, at least give us Nightwing (see above). I could really care less about Huntress, I know she's supposed to make an apperance, but I'm more interested to see how they play with more of the villians. I'm still wondering if they are going to give Merlyn or Speedy a bow.

@Darlene, yeah really liked that comment about Wayne.
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