‘Arrow’ Review: “An Innocent Man”
‘Arrow’ lets loose another shot with its third episode of the series “An Innocent Man,” as Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) enlists Laurel (Katie Cassidy) in helping prove the innocence of a man believed to have killed his wife, while Walter (Colin Salmon) investigates a mysterious embezzlement from the company.
Last week’s ‘Arrow’ episode “Lone Gunmen” saw Oliver finding himself tasked with taking down a deadly assassin known as Deadshot (Michael Rowe), while dealing with personal crises unresolved from his time on the island. So, what does the fourth episode of ‘Arrow’ bring? Does it hit the same bulls-eye as the first three episodes?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Arrow’s fourth episode, “An Innocent Man!”
Diggle wakes once more to see Oliver standing hoodless in front of him, and upon realizing the man to be the vigilante on everyone’s lips takes a swing at his employer. Oliver explains that he deliberately chose to reveal himself and his mission to save the city for the purpose of recruiting a fellow soldier like Diggle, but the man scoffs at the idea of Oliver considering himself a soldier, and declines.
Later, Oliver arrives home to find Laurel waiting for him, worried what happened to him after the auction shootings. Appalled at his selfishness, Laurel departs leaving Oliver to sleep, and dream of an island memory in which the hooded Asian man placed a captive bird in front of him while he eyed Laurel’s picture. Back in the present, Oliver heads downstairs to find Thea restless as well, as a story about a wife-killer due to be executed plays on the TV. As for Laurel, Thea advises that he simply be his (new) self to her.
The next morning Moira introduces Oliver to Diggle’s replacement Rob, as another report plays on the TV. It seems Peter Declan is due to be executed for the murder of his wife Camille, a former employee of Jason Brodeur, yet another name on Oliver’s list. After giving Rob the slip, Oliver sees that the evidence against Peter Declan was stacked too well, as we learn that Brodeur indeed set up Peter Declan’s wife’s murder.
Knowing that only she would be ambitious enough to take the case, Oliver appears as Arrow in Laurel’s home, and puts her on the case while masking his identity with a voice-changer. The next day, Laurel meets with Declan to hear his side of the story, that he and his wife had argued about her reporting her boss’s toxic waste dumping, when he found her dead the next morning.
Meanwhile at the Queen corporation, Moira arrives to Walter’s office after he forgot their lunch date, caught up in locating a missing $2.6 million from the company. Across town, Laurel pulls the case files on Declan from her father, learning that that the man’s wife’s supervisor flipped his testimony about the toxic waste in order to indict Declan.
Later, Oliver pays a visit to Diggle at Big Belly Burger, hoping to convince him that together they can do the good Diggle’s been wanting to do since leaving the service. Oliver brings him up to speed on the true story behind his father, as well as the fact that Deadshot most likely killed Diggle’s brother, and claims he only wants to right the wrongs of his family. Back at the Queen mansion, Moira finds Walter still investigating the missing money, and claims to have invested it years earlier in a start-up company.
Laurel meets with Arrow again on the rooftop, explaining that he’ll need the testimony of Matt Ishtuck to exonerate Declan, while questioning his need to hide behind a mask (you know, like all superhero love interests do). Meanwhile at Queen headquarters, Walter enlists the help of Felicity Smoak in tracking down what truly happened to the company’s missing money.
Oliver drugs Matt Ishtuck and handcuffs him to a railroad track (to Bludhaven!), saving him at the last moment from an oncoming train when he agrees to flip. Meanwhile in flashback, we see Oliver’s mysterious hooded benefactor refusing to share his food, and instead pointed him toward the living bird he dropped off earlier. Back in the present, Arrow drops off the exonerating evidence from Ishtuck with Laurel, who admits that the people need his brand of vigilante justice.
Unfortunately, the presiding judge and Jason Brodeur’s legal staff find the evidence isn’t sufficient to stay Declan’s execution. Even so, Brodeur believes Laurel will find a way to convict him, to which his enforcers plot to incite a riot the next time she visits Declan in prison. She first meets Arrow on the roof, explaining that nothing short of a confession from Brodeur will stop the execution now.
Back at the Queen tower, Felicity reports to Walter that the “Tempest” corporation Moira supposedly invested in has no records, only the purchase of a single warehouse. Walter investigates the facility on his own, guessing “Robert” as a pass-code to its entrance, and finds the recovered remains of the boat that sank all those years ago, the Queen’s Gambit! Meanwhile, Diggle sits with his sister-in-law at her restaurant, and muses that he needs to find a way to do something that makes a difference in the world again, even if it’s “wrong.”
Arrow pays a personal visit to Brodeur looking for a confession, but instead learns of the plot to kill Laurel at the prison. He races over to the scene, knocking out a guard to steal his uniform, as the cells fly open and a riot breaks out! Outfitted in a ski-mask and guard uniform, Arrow manages to secure Laurel and Declan, but not before tangling with Brodeur’s enforcers. When one nearly kills Laurel, Oliver savagely beats the man until she herself has to pull him off.
In the aftermath, Oliver listens from a rooftop as Laurel confesses to her father she was wrong about Arrow, that he was a remorseless killer after all. Oliver flashes back to his hesitation in killing the bird for food, before finally snapping the creature’s neck in desperation. In the present, Quentin Lance pores over the security footage from the auction, and manages to catch what appears to be Oliver retrieving a costume from a stairwell trash can!
With Brodeur arrested and Declan freed, Oliver remembers the island once more, as the mysterious man finally breaks his silence to explain that if Oliver wants to survive, he needs to let go of Laurel, given the way he’d been obsessively staring at the picture. Meanwhile in the present, Moira gets in the car of her own mysterious man (John Barrowman), who informs her that Arrow isn’t targeting the rich, but rather people on “the list.”
Oliver finds Diggle waiting for him in the Queen mansion, having accepted the hero’s offer on the condition that they create less casualties, given Oliver doesn’t understand the toll war takes on the soul as well as he does. Before they get anywhere however, Quentin storms the mansion and arrests Oliver on suspicion of being the Arrow!
Strangely, it's begun to feel that 'Arrow' might be stronger as a series without introducing DC character after DC character, if they tend to distract from an actual story. Instead, a "case of the week" format fits just right for "An Innocent Man," and offers up plenty of plot twists along the way. We like that Diggle seems to have joined Oliver's crusade, but he'll have to prove his innocence first! Next week will supposedly kick things up a few more notches, but for now 'Arrow' remains solid overall.
What say you? Did you feel that ‘Arrow’ hit the mark with its fourth episode? What did you like about “An Innocent Man?” Join us next week for another all-new ‘Arrow’ episode recap of “Damaged” on The CW!