Luke Cage History: From Hero for Hire to Hollywood
TV, Comic Books
Deathstroke, Eddie Fyers, and even a subtle Batman reference! Yep, plenty of DC Universe moments to sink our teeth into from this week’s Arrow.
Last week, Starling City’s Detective Lance figured out that billionaire playboy Oliver Queen has been moonlighting as a green-hooded vigilante. In the episode’s last few minutes, Lance placed Oliver under arrest just moments after his former bodyguard/driver John Diggle had agreed to join Arrow’s cause. Meanwhile, Oliver’s stepfather discovered that Mama Queen may have been involved in the shipwreck that left her first husband dead and her son marooned on a remote island for five years.
This week, “Damaged” kicks off with a flashback to that island, where Oliver’s mysterious bow-wielding rescuer/protector teaches him to hunt for food. It’s the future Arrow’s first time holding a bow, and that first arrow goes way off target. Mysterious teacher guy isn’t too impressed. Nor are the black-clad, gun-toting commandos who snatch Oliver up moments and stick him in an underground cage.
Speaking of handcuffs and cages, that’s exactly where we meet up with Oliver in the present day, as he’s being fingerprinted and photographed at Starling City’s jail. In the interrogation room, Oliver insists, “I am not who you think I am,” but Detective Lance isn’t buying it. He contends Oliver has simply switched from “trust funds and yachts” to “bows and arrows” to hurt people. Let’s not forget, one of his daughters disappeared on that ship as well (we’re still not buying that she’s entirely gone, by the way) and Oliver has romantic ties to the other one. Oliver explains the security footage by saying he had simply found the hood in the stairwell and assumed it belonged to Deadshot. Everything else? “Coincidences.”
Oliver also insists on hiring a specific attorney: Laurel. You know, as in Dinah Laurel Lance. His mom tried to convince her to take the case but Laurel refuses because her father was the arresting officer and her romantic link to Oliver. So at his first hearing he begins to represent himself. BUT THEN! In walks Laurel.Thanks to her, Oliver iss allowed to leave jail … with a GPS anklet.
Oliver decides to throw a big house party (“Burning Man meets Shawshank Redemption” themed) presumably, to strengthen his carefree playboy cover and most likely to provide an opportunity to escape the anklet. Tommy Merlyn, whom we hadn’t seen much of in a while, is hanging at the Queen house as the party plan is hatched. But speaking of planning, as soon as he has a chance to be alone, Oliver is back to studying that book of businessman names.
He explains to Dig that he got arrested on purpose: He figured he’d be a suspect anyway so he’s trying to stay out in front of suspicions, clear his name somehow and have people never suspect him again. More importantly, they have a new target: an illicit arms dealer. He wants Dig to help track him. But how? “You know us billionaire vigilantes,” Queen smiles. “We do love our toys.” It’s no Batcave, but Dig finds Arrow’s secret headquarters to be impressive. “Oh, that’s sweet!”
Also this week, Laurel has an argumentative heart to heart about Oliver’s innocence and all of their family history. Speaking of family histories, Walter (Oliver’s step-dad) is still busy covertly looking into the story behind the shipwreck. Moira has another meeting with the guy who seems to be one of Starling’s evil businessmen. She insists that Oliver can’t actually be “The Hood.” There’s also a family moment with Oliver’s sister in which Ollie called her “Speedy” again.
The district attorney offers Oliver a plea with the idea that he’s suffering post-traumatic stress from his five years on the island. Oliver instead offers to take a polygraph — in front of Detective Lance. “He’s the one I need to convince,” he says.
Flashback time: It turns out there are a lot of commandos on that island. Oliver is dragged before their leader, Edward Fyers. Yes, as in Eddie Fyers, the DC Universe mercenary and sometime ally of Green Arrow created by Mike Grell. Fyers is after Queen’s mysterious protector, and mentions the island is named for the Mandarin word for “purgatory.” Ouch! Oliver won’t talk so Fyers invites someone else to come in to help convince him: Deathstroke.
Perhaps it’s that interrogation from Deathstroke that makes passing the polygraph so simple. Deathstroke was responsible for many of Oliver’s scars, maybe all of them. The cops know about the scars. He did admit there were other people on the island, and that they tortured him. “Have you killed anyone?” Yes, Oliver said. “When I asked your daughter to come on my father’s yacht with me.” Polygraph guy is convinced Ollie isn’t The Hood. Detective Lance is not.
At the prison-themed party, Oliver asks Dig to dress up as The Hood to take down the arms dealer. Yes, Spinoff Online commenters, your prediction last week was right! Dig is down for it, but, he insists Oliver never lie to him going forward. He doesn’t have a problem taking risks, but he wants to be part of all of the plans.
The guy Walter had helping him move the shipwreck debris gets killed in an auto “accident.” Walter is no dummy, though; he knows he must be onto something huge. Later, he confronts Moira, who warns him to stop nosing. Big, powerful, scary, shady people (not her exact words, but …) are behind it all.
Back at the party, Laurel asks to see Oliver’s scars. He tells her that thinking of her helped him get through it all. They kiss, but then she runs off. Later, she tells him she figured out he lied at least partially during the polygraph. Ultimately, she just can’t be with him romantically at least right now. Of course, in the comics, Fyers was at Green Arrow and Black Canary’s wedding, but this isn’t the comic book, obviously. Still, watching everything develop is definitely fun.
Back on the island, Oliver still hasn’t cracked from the torture. Just as Eddie gives the order to finish him off, the Chinese archer comes to his rescue. Deathstroke, apparently, can catch arrows in his hands (and break them!). After a scuffle, Chinese ex-military man and Oliver manage to escape Fyers’ crew.
Dressed as “The Hood,” Dig beats up some bad guys. Not long after, somebody breaks into the party and tries to kill Oliver. Detective Lance rescues him (just as the Chinese archer had rescued him on the island) and confirms that the Hood has been spotted elsewhere and that the case against Ollie is over.
Moira’s mysterious businessman friend probably sent that assassin, by the way. Momma Queen tells him not to come after her family again, or else. Walter decides he needs a break from his wife, and announces he’s leaving the country for a bit.
Back in flashback-ville, Chinese archer thanks Oliver for keeping quiet during the interrogation. He promises to lead Fyers, Deathstroke and the commando mercenaries away, and leaves Oliver with some major Green Arrow mythos-building words of wisdom about how the things that make it on the island are all green.
Dig gives Oliver a friendly lecture about how much his mission is affecting the people around him, people who care about him (as we see Laurel taking her drunken dad home from a bar). Oliver says lying to all of them actually hurts him the most.
The episode wrapped up with some action – namely, Oliver, back in costume as The Hood (Arrow … Green Arrow) wrapping up his business with the bad businessman.