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By: Kyle Shultz

This episode, titled “An Innocent Man” at first glance, seems like its main focus is Peter Declan. Declan is the guy Laurel & Arrow are trying to get off of death row for being wrongly accused of murder. In my opinion, the title itself is the underlining theme of the episode, at least the word “Innocent” is. Not only for Ollie/Arrow, but also Dinah, and Diggle. These characters struggle with what is right and wrong throughout the episode, and how far you can stray from the path of the law before you become a criminal and lose your innocence. Last week we ended with a pretty big yet predictable cliffhanger, Ollie revealed his double identity to his bodyguard, John Diggle. This weeks episode began with that, & as soon as Diggle wakes up, Ollie appeals to his sense of justice & proposes they collaborate; but Diggle calls him a criminal and a murderer and rejects Ollie’s well intended invitation, largely on the fact that Ollie works outside the law and is killing people, with absolutely no remorse, though I’m hoping my “arrow to the shoulder” theory is still there.

Ollie finds out that Diggle has quit being his bodyguard, with a new man in Ollie’s protective service. We can tell that Ollie likes to have fun with him, and misses his old bodyguard. He finds Diggle at Big Belly Burger, and further tries to recruit his help. Ollie tells Diggle that there are powerful people in the city, and they’re making it impossible for regular people to simply be able to help themselves. There needs to be someone like Arrow to help those people find justice. Eventually after talking with his sister-in-law, Diggle admits he misses making a difference in the world. But he doesn’t want to do something that is wrong. Diggle accepts Ollie’s offer and will join him because Ollie doesn’t “know what war does to you.” Diggle is going to try to remind Ollie of whom he is and to keep him from slipping too far from his innocence.

During the episode Dinah and Arrow have a few exchange of words & Dinah keenly observes that Arrow’s path is a lonely one, and his attempt to recruit/enlist the help of not only Dinah, but Diggle as well, gives us evidence that he doesn’t want to be alone. Dinah loses her own innocence once she agrees to let Arrow torture a supervisor, Matt Istook, to get the file on Brodeur, the man who is responsible for the murder of Declan’s wife. Also in this episode, we actually saw Arrow use a device to disguise his voice while he was talking to Dinah, because obviously the ONE person that would recognize his voice, would be his ex-girlfriend, I enjoyed that bit.

The flashbacks in this episode show us that Yao-Fei gives Ollie a bird for food. Yao-Fei makes a hand motion saying that he has to kill the bird to survive; Ollie simply says he’s not killing a bird. We see that Yao-Fei is willing to let Ollie starve in an attempt to force his hand to kill the bird to eat, so that he doesn’t starve to death. He eventually kills the bird, right after whispering “I’m sorry” to the bird before snapping its neck. Yao-Fei says a word constantly throughout the flashbacks, and it’s in mandarin, so I’m not even going to try to spell it out, though in the episode Fei says it means “survive” and with that, he means to take away Oliver’s innocence in order to help him survive.

Dinah goes back to the person she was after seeing Arrow, disguised as a prison guard with a ski mask to break into the prison holding Declan captive, almost beat the living daylights out of this guy that almost choked Dinah to death. She gets him to back off, and looks into his eyes, and sees a violent madman instead of a hero or “Guardian Angel”. We then see Dinah’s face and she’s scared, Arrow is not the man she thought he was. Ollie eavesdrops on a conversation outside the prison between Dinah and her Dad, and that cues a flash back in which Fei basically says while holding a picture of Dinah he took from Ollie’s wallet, that he must forget her in order completely survive on the island, forget his loved ones. While this is going on, we get to see more of Felicity Smoak, Moira Queen, and Walter Steele, Moira’s husband. Walter notices $2.6 million missing from Queen Consolidated. Moira says that she took it some years ago to an offshore account, but Walter doesn’t seem to believe her. So he enlists the help of Felicity Smoak, a bubbly and quirky IT who thought she was going to get fired. Smoak tells Steele that the money was invested into an off shore account called “Tempest” that was used to purchase a warehouse within Starling City. Walter goes to the warehouse and finds out it secretly houses the wreckage of the Queen’s Gambit, the ship that “sunk” and eventually lead to the five-year disappearance of Ollie.

A couple of things that we did not see much of was Thea, she had a few lines, no appearance by Merlyn, & a VERY little appearance of John Barrowman’s character, who is a mystery in and of itself. So far he is just billed as “Well Dressed Man”, but from what we do see of his character, we see that he has some great influence as to why Moira is acting the way she does, so maybe she’s not 100% evil? Who knows, this show and everyone in it sure do have their secrets.

The episode ends with yet another cliffhanger. Quentin Lance is going over security footage of last weeks shoot out in the party, and notices Ollie get his suit out of a trash can, next scene we have Ollie getting arrested for obstruction of justice, murder and being a vigilante. I cannot wait to see how Ollie gets himself out of this one, next week’s episode has me more hyped already.

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