Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Oliver Queen pursued another corrupt businessman from his father’s little bad book of names in “An Innocent Man,” but the fourth episode of The CW’s Arrow also gave us a deeper look into our hero’s time on that island, more machinations from his scheming mother and the first consequences of two secret-identity revelations.
The last time we saw the Emerald Archer, he had taken his driver/bodyguard John Diggle to his secret headquarters to help him recover from one of Deadshot’s poisoned bullets and, in doing so, revealed his identity. This week’s episode picks up from there, with Dig angry and disappointed to learn that Oliver is the costumed vigilante. Arrow wants the badass ex-military man to join his quest, but John isn’t having it. In his eyes, Oliver is simply a murderer. In fact, Dig’s first reaction is to throw a punch and call Ollie a “son of a bitch.” “Maybe you did lose your mind on that island,” he growls. But Oliver insists he found clarity.
Later at the Queen mansion, Laurel drops by to make sure Oliver is OK post-shootout. The possible-future Black Canary still doesn’t know he’s Arrow, but she has noticed he tends to disappear. “I care about the lives of other people, Oliver.” A lecture from Laurel and John on the same night? Looks like it’s time for a bad dream.
Sure enough, it’s tossing and turning and flashback time. Back on the island, Oliver’s Arrow-esque rescuer seems poised to dish out a harsh lesson in survival, putting a bird in a cage next to Oliver and barking at him to do something. Eat, maybe? Yes, we learn later in the episode from another flashback. Kill or starve, Ollie.
Awakened from his dream, Oliver heads downstairs to watch TV with his sister, and learns about a local man named Peter Declan, who’s accused of killing his wife. He and his sister have something of a heart to heart. The next day brings a new bodyguard (Dig quit) and more news reports about the soon-to-be-executed Declan, whose wife worked for businessman (uh-oh!) Jason Broduer. Guess where Oliver recognizes that name from? It’s only a few minutes before Oliver gives the new bodyguard the slip and heads to his HQ.
Conducting some online research, he quickly pieces together the murder of Declan’s wife probably isn’t what it seems. Next we see Broduer himself, who reveals a plot to hide toxic dumping — man, these corporate guys are so evil! — and silence a whistleblower.
Oliver, meanwhile, is cooking up new arrows and thinking about getting Declan a new lawyer. I wonder if he knows someone? Dressed as Arrow and employing a Scream-style voice-disguising device, he pays a visit to Laurel, whom we learn keeps a gun in a drawer. He’s convincing enough that Laurel pays a visit to Declan in prison and decides to take the case. Later, she enlists the aid of her father, whom we’ve taken to calling Detective Dad.
Remember that intrigue with Mama Queen we mentioned? She drops by Queen Incorporated, where Walter (her new husband and the best friend of Oliver’s late father) tells her somebody has embezzled $2.6 million. Is she shocked by this? Not really. Later, she tells him she actually invested the money in a friend’s business. Walter does some more investigating courtesy of that IT girl Oliver had break into Deadshot’s laptop. Turns out Mama Queen actually used the money to purchase a warehouse.
But back to these other plotlines: Arrow didn’t want to take no for an answer from Dig. I mean, the guy was Special Forces or something, plus he’s pretty cool. He’d make an excellent partner, right?
Oliver was kind enough to remind us that Dig has a sister-in-law by saying, “Hello Dig’s sister-in-law Carly” when he drops by her restaurant. “I know who you are,” she says. “No, you really don’t,” Dig replies dryly. Oliver shows him the list of bad businessmen after telling him the truth about how his father died after the shipwreck. He also reveals that Deadshot killed Dig’s brother.
“It does need to stop,” he said of Starling City’s corruption. “If it’s not going to be the courts and it’s not going to be the cops, then it’s going to be me.” Pause. “And I hope you.” Dig doesn’t answer this time. He just sighs heavily, and then cracks a joke.
Laurel and Arrow have a superhero-esque rooftop meeting to discuss the case. She asks why he hides his face. He replies that it’s to protect “the ones I care about” (naturally). “That sounds lonely,” she says . “It can be … But not today,” he answers.
Arrow gets some new information after chaining one of Broduer’s boys to some railroad tracks, and drops of the file at Laurel’s place. She confesses she does, in fact, believe Starling City needs “someone like you.” Cue soft music. In the very next scene, Ollie’s sister catches him actually … smiling! Good times.
Detective Dad figures out Laurel is working with Arrow, and he isn’t pleased. Broduer isn’t happy to have Laurel snooping around (and trying to block the execution). His henchman launches a plan to off Laurel during her next prison visit. Didn’t he hear about her moves at that nightclub?.
Arrow gets to Brodeur, shooting an arrow through his hand after the jerk mouthed off. Broduer reveals he decided to speed things up by having Declan killed in prison – where Laurel is trapped after a carefully orchestrated riot breaks out. Arrow sneaks into the prison and saves Laurel from being choked to death; however, his tactics are so brutal that it seems Laurel is more troubled than grateful.
Now back to that warehouse Walter learned about. He drops by only to discover the wreckage of “Queen’s Gambit,” the boat Oliver, his father and Laurel’s sister were aboard.
Detective Dad was doing some investigating, too, zeroing in on security video of Arrow. He also spots footage of Oliver seemingly pulling a disguise out of a bag.
Momma Queen, meanwhile, has another limousine meeting with the Bond villain-esque mysterious maestro. They’ve noticed Arrow isn’t merely targeting businessmen, but rather people with something in common.
Dig has a heart to heart with his sister-in-law about how he misses making a difference. He complains that as a bodyguard he’s simply been babysitting “spoiled one-percenters.” She advises him to “go do something you believe in.” Later, he shows up at Oliver’s house to accept his offer. “You need someone to remind you who you are and not this thing you’re becoming,” Dig says.
But that lovely moment is spoiled by Detective Lance, who bursts into the mansion with several officers in tow to place Oliver under arrest for obstruction of justice, aggravated assault, trespassing, vigilantism and murder. In short, for being Arrow.