Arrow 1.04 – An Innocent Man, or REALLY?

Previous Arrow entries: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3.

Oh boy.

Wipe away your tears, friends. The sun can’t shine every day. An episode that focused heavily on Oliver and Laurel’s relationship was bound to come along sooner or later. Apparently it was just a case of “sooner, and in the worst way”.

There aren’t a lot of good things to be said about this episode, but I am going to discover them and I am going to say them!

 

But first let me say that this felt like an episode without any soul. I think it’s because THERE WAS NO TOMMY. NADA. ZERO TOMMY. TOMMY-LESS. Really? REALLY? No Tommy at all? Who signed off on that decision?

This guy is a character on their show and they decided NOT to include him in en episode? Lunacy!

Bring me my bow because I have some threatening to do. Where they got the idea that it’s acceptable for Tommy to be absent for an entire episode I do not know, but it is NOT OK.

Basically, it was this:

John Diggle

Last episode’s cliffhanger was a poisoned John Diggle waking up to see that Oliver is “that hood guy” (as he seems to be called by everyone).

Oliver invites John Diggle to join his mission, but Dig’s not having any of that. He calls Oliver a “criminal” and walks right on out. Oliver points out to him that he might have taken him to his home, but that he brought him to the lair instead. (Well, he said “here”. I’m still waiting for him to call it a lair.) I don’t think he meant, “I could have left you for dead,”, but the alternative meaning is that he was actively seeking John Diggle to join him, which surprises me. Because as much as we might all be rooting for a certain young lady to join his team, Oliver really seems like the type to prefer to go at it alone as much as possible.

John Diggle tenders his resignation offscreen, officially recorded as him disapproving of the way Oliver spends his nights, “especially since they start with [Oliver] ditching him”.

Oliver is assigned a new bodyguard – Rob Scott. Oh, my poor, sweet Rob. He’s so adorably gung-ho, so naïve. It really made me angry how Oliver treated him so disrespectfully, not just by ditching him, but his snide comments, like “I feel safer already,” and “You’ve got to keep up.” I know he’s trying to come off as irresponsible, but does he really need to be such an asshole to everybody? I found it attractive, though, LOL. I’m getting all hot and bothered while I am yelling at him to be nicer. (I guess this is what it’s like to be Laurel.) Rob ends up quitting as well. That made me sad, because I would have welcomed him warmly to the cast. Now I just want him and Felicity to run off together.

Oliver shaking Rob was pretty funny:We next see Dig at Big Belly Burger, avoiding telling the truth to Carly.

I wasn’t sure we would see her again so soon, but this episode made it pretty clear that Dig eats at least a meal there a day (someone is a burger fan…or a CARLY FAN). Oliver shows up (I wonder how he knew he was there?), repeats the offer, drops the bomb that Dig’s brother (who has a name now – Andy) was killed by Deadshot, and gives him the full story about why he is doing what he’s doing.

The next time we see Dig, he’s eating at the BBB again, and it’s clear that he’s reconsidering his earlier position. He’s tired of the bodyguarding gig and wants to do some good. We learn that Carly and Andy had a son, which means there’s a little Diggle out there somewhere. Poor Carly – a single mother and a waitress at a place called Big Belly Burger. No wonder we haven’t seen her smile yet.

By the end of the episode John Diggle has agreed to join Oliver in his venture. He’s hoping that if he helps Oliver, here will be “fewer casualties”, including Oliver. Amen to that. This isn’t the first time that I’ve mentioned that, in my opinion, Oliver’s collateral kills are a little excessive.

“I’m not looking for anybody to save me,” Oliver protests. I think part of the reason he doesn’t want anybody to know is he doesn’t want anybody trying to stop him. He doesn’t want anybody in his ear making too much sense. Because Oliver is stubborn. He may have changed, he may be on a selfless mission. But his ego is still astronomical. And he is convinced that he is right and justified at every turn. And anybody who thinks he needs saving is wrong. And anyone who thinks what he’s doing or how he’s doing it is wrong, is wrong as well.

“Maybe not, but you need someone just the same. You are fighting a war, Queen, but you have no idea what war does to you. How it scrapes off little pieces of your soul. And you need someone to remind you who you are. Not this thing you’re becoming,” Dig replies.

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YES, BUT CAN’T IT BE THEA? WHY ISN’T IT THEA? IT. NEEDS. TO. BE. THEA.

I do like Dig’s insight here. Oliver, in his narration, has talked about being forged into weapon, becoming “something” else. But here we are talking about him losing his humanity in order to achieve his goals. The master soldier has no soul. That’s the price. I think we’ve already seen it, with the way that Oliver has been pushing everyone (especially Thea) away.

I like Dig a lot in this episode. But I still can’t help but resent that it’s not Tommy or Thea who is in on the secret. Tommy who, right? If you’ve only seen this episode, you don’t even know who the f- -k Tommy is. He wasn’t even mentioned.

Walter, Moira, Felicity

I am starting to really love Walter. I was so suspicious at first. I guess I assumed that Oliver’s instincts would always be right, so if Oliver didn’t like Walter, then Walter must be no good. But Walter IS good. And I love him and Moira as a couple. They are so sweet together. But there is trouble in paradise now. Walter is alerted to a missing 2.6 million dollars. Moira tells him that it was money she invested on a friend’s company that failed, but Walter is suspicious. So he asks Felicity to investigate.

Oh, and check out Walter’s glasses. I love them. I don’t know why they’re so colorful. But I love them.

I was definitely not expecting to see Felicity again so soon. But my darling girl was back and just as delightful as before. I particularly loved when she said to Walter, “I’m your girl”, and then felt that she had to inform him that she wasn’t making a pass at him. NEVER CHANGE, FELICITY SMOAK. YOU’RE A QUEEN. (Only not literally. Not yet, anyway. *crosses fingers* Oh, and can I just say something that I didn’t mention before – Felicity would be the perfect person for Oliver to end up with – if he has to end up with someone other than Thea, LOL – because she’s such an opposite of Thea. I mean, on one hand it would be great to see Oliver with some Thea-copy. But  on the other hand, him seeking someone completely different from her is perfect as well, because if he can’t have her, then why bother trying to approximate it?)

Felicity does some digging, and discovers that the money was actually used to set up on offshore LLC called Tempest. I don’t really know what an offshore LLC is, but the important part is that Moira is a LIAR. It’s essentially a dummy company, except that it purchased a warehouse in Starling City three years ago. Duhn duhn duhn!

(Felicity brings up the interesting question of Moira’s last name, which no one seems to know what it is. She’s married to Walter, so it seems like her last name would be Steele. But Quentin addresses her as Mrs. Queen in either the first or the second episode. Felicity thinks that she seems like a woman who would hyphenate. So is she Moira Steele-Queen? And if she is: HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS THAT LAST NAME?)

Oliver treks out to the warehouse and guesses the codeword that unlocks the door. It was Robert. (Moira being sentimental? Or is it because the contents of the warehouse were related to him. When Moira was talking to Thea about Robert in the last episode I had to ask myself if she was really involved in killing that man, because she seemed so loving when talking about him. I don’t know.) People guessing passwords in movies and on TV is sort of a pet peeve of mine. I mean, if it’s something that you are really trying to keep private, it just seems to me you wouldn’t make it that easy. Even if you’re lazy and don’t have a long, multiple-word password with capitol letters and numbers, I still think that you would know better than to pick your dead husband’s name! I’m not going to freak out about that too much, because it looks like it would have been fairly easy to hack or break into to.

And what’s inside?

The Queen’s Gambit. Aka the sunken yacht that killed Robert and Sarah and like 10 other people. That’s right. Whoever and Moira had it salvaged from the bottom of the ocean and brought to Starling City.

WTF?

WHY?!!!!!

We know the boat was sabotaged. But I don’t think raising it off the bottom of the ocean and bringing it home is the best way to hide the evidence of that! So, it seems to me, that they were searching it for something. Even that seems a little farfetched. Well, if they were looking for the notebook: sorry, Robert kept it on his person and Oliver’s got it now.

I think Walter probably has some questions for Moira right now.

And we see Moira meeting with Captain Jack in the back of his car. That’s right, John Barrowman is finally here. I’ve been waiting to use this GIF:

(You may recognize him as Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who?)Is John Barrowman’s unnamed character (referred to, apparently, as the “well-dressed man”) the same unknown man that Moira met with at the end of episode 2? He was holding what looked like the same notebook, so I am going to venture a guess and say yes.

He greets her with, “You look nervous, Moira.” An intimidating start to things. And if he is indeed the same man, she seemed rather afraid of him then, as well. He reveals that that hood guy isn’t just targeting the rich – he’s targeting “the list”.

We know that Oliver has a list of names, but it would seem these people have something more in common than just being corrupt douchebags. I had assumed (falsely), that Robert knew through his various business dealings that the people on the list he gave to Oliver were bad dudes. But apparently there’s more to it. Now, would Robert have been on that list if he hadn’t written it himself (or whatever)? Or would Moira have been on the list?

This plot is thickening like cooling cheese sauce.

Island Flashbacks

All of the flashbacks in this episode take place in the dwelling of the Chinese man. Oliver has his wallet with him. He pulls out a photo of Laurel (gag) and stares at it. He tells her that he’s sorry. Good, I say. It means he’s thinking about the fact that her sister died because he brought her on a yachting trip, and he’s not just like, “Oh my god Laurel I love you so much I just have to stare at this picture of you forever and ever.”

The Chinese man brings him a bird, which he obviously wants Oliver to kill, although it takes Oliver god knows how long to realize that, and even longer to get hungry enough to do it. I really love when he yells at the man, “I don’t speak Chinese!” Because I felt like in that moment we really, really saw the old Oliver. Not just the superficial stuff like the drunkenness and the womanizing, but the weak, privileged, self-indulgent man that he was.

The Chinese man notices him staring at the picture, and tells him that he in order to survive he has a lot more killing to do, and he won’t survive if he keeps staring at Laurel’s picture. He needs to forget her. BLESS THIS MAN. Obviously that’s not what happens, since Oliver tells Tommy in the pilot that he missed Laurel the most, although I think it was neck and neck with ice cream.

The Mess That Is Everything Else

Oliver heads home, probably more than little stressed about what John Diggle is going to do. He’s back in his suit, so I guess he went back to the Exchange Building to get it? If he stuffed it in a bag, it sure looks pretty good.

Laurel is waiting in the dark. Kind of hilarious, since he’s going to do that to her later. We learn that she heard about the shooting and came over to see if he was all right. (IT’S CALLED A TELEPHONE, LAUREL.) I guess she hung around, in the dark, alone in a house that is not hers, sitting there, waiting for him to get back. That’s not weird.

She’s angry, because his family was terrified that something had happened to him, but he just disappeared, and didn’t come back for hours.

We can kind of see the realization on his face.

He’s obviously not used to considering the effects his actions have on other people. I guess that’s what being on your own for five years will do to you. I’m even angrier at him than Laurel is, so as I see it dawning on him that he has put his family through hell, I’m hoping that it cuts him like a knife.

“Oliver, are you so self-centered that you don’t think that people who care about you are going to be wondering where you are after you all got shot at?”

BAM.

They really didn’t do me any favors by starting off an Oliver/Laurel-themed episode with a scene that made me really like Laurel.

Oliver is self-centered. He is a good person, but he is still a work in progress. And he is not very considerate of other peoples’ feelings. He’s so used to the idea of survival. He forgets that there’s more to life than just still being alive. He makes sure that Thea gets out of the building – that she lives – but he’s not thinking about the way she’s going to be feeling after it happened.

Oliver freely concedes that she’s right – but else can he do? Because she is right. She’s so freaking right that it hurts me.

“I made peace with your selfishness a long time ago,” Laurel continues. “But Moira, Thea, Walter – they don’t deserve that. They deserve better. Someone who doesn’t care only about himself.”

I like that she squeezed Thea’s name in here, and I like Oliver’s face as he’s considering what she’s saying and who he has been hurting. But I’m a little put off by the way she designates herself as someone who knows him better or is more used to his true self. I appreciate Laurel giving Oliver his well-deserved slap in the face, but I do not like her stepping in and mediating the family relationships. I guess I just feel like it’s more traditional that family are the ones you get to treat like crap because they’re family no matter what. It’s like Laurel elevated herself to that level, and pushed the family (aka Thea) out of it.

Oliver takes a deep breath, and sincerely thanks her for coming.

“I care about the lives of other people, Oliver. Maybe you should try it some time.” I think her self-righteousness got a little out of control with that last line. She walks away, revealing Thea standing in the back. It’s unclear how long she has been there or how much she heard.

It’s an artistic shot. One might ascribe meaning to it, if they wanted to. Laurel walking out, Thea having been there the entire time though Oliver didn’t realize it.  IT COULD ALL BE METAPHORICAL!

Now, last time we saw Laurel, she was leaving the courthouse with Tommy, which was probably just a few hours ago, coinciding with the shooting. Somehow she heard about the shooting – so she saw it on the news or heard it on the radio. Why was she watching TV when she should have been having sex with Tommy?!!!!!! If he had been with her when she found out, he would have come over to Queen Manor as well. So they had already parted for the night. And it was a Friday night, which means chances are neither of them had an early morning meeting or anything like that.

Boo!

Are you trying to tell me that not only was Tommy not in this episode, not only was it a festival of Laurel and Oliver’s relationship, but you’re actually going to take away my headcanon and Tommy and Laurel had lots and lots of sex after leaving the courthouse? Really? REALLY?

The only good thing is that she has obviously changed her clothes:

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But the more I think about it, the less significant it becomes. Because I doubt she was lounging around her house watching TV in her work clothes.

Thea is watching Oliver sympathetically and thoughtfully.

He’s sighing heavily, throwing his head back in recovery. The discussion with Laurel was obviously very unpleasant to him, although when I think about how his face looked after Thea said, “And you’re barely my brother” and huffed off, it really doesn’t compare.

Thea walks in slowly from behind him, sighs sympathetically, puts her hand on his shoulder, and says, “That was harsh.” OK, no, she doesn’t just put her hand on his shoulder, she sort of slides it along and then around to the other side as they both shift to face each other. The loudest sound during this part is literally the sound of her hand on his jacket.

There’s also something intensely sensual (I couldn’t even say why) about the shot starting with the back of Oliver’s neck. Even though we already know that Thea is there and that she’s walking towards him, there’s an anticipation created by showing the back of his neck that makes him seem vulnerable.

This is all extremely gratuitous touching. I think she’s basically got a “let me hold you, baby” mentality after watching Laurel rip him a new one. I don’t think I’m making a mountain out of a molehill when I say, “Holy crap, Willa. You’re not putting sunscreen on him. It’s just a sympathetic pat.” I guess she was checking out his guns. She really loves touching his shoulders and arms, if you’ll recall, and recall again.

She asks if he’s OK, and he replies, “Sure” in the most unconvincing way possible. I really hate this part because this is the first time that Thea has been present in a scene and Oliver’s focus hasn’t been almost exclusively on her. He’s looking off into the distance, still recuperating from Laurel.

She laughs, because she knows he doesn’t mean it. She’s back to looking at him like he hung the moon, which is nice. (Although not as nice as eye sex.)Things get a little better when Oliver says, “Second time tonight a friend of mine has taken me to the woodshed. Kind of tires you out.” I am not familiar with that phrase, so I just keep thinking about Oliver taking Thea out to the woodshed, and instead of lecturing her, they get it on. OK, so I just looked it up, and apparently “to take someone to the woodshed” means to punish them. The woodshed sex just got a little rougher.

But the actual best part of all of this is the famous quote from Cold Comfort Farm. I’ve never read the book and it has been a while since I saw the movie, but there’s this (senile?) old woman who always walks around saying, “I saw something nasty in the woodshed.” Now, it has been a while, so I can’t remember if there was an actual implication that she saw two people having sex or that the sex was incestuous, but when I saw a mashup with Bran saying that after he saw Jaime and Cersei (who are brother and sister) having sex, I remember thinking how perfect and appropriate it was. Unfortunately I can’t find it, through I tried to track it down. So, anyway, woodshed had incestuous connotations for me already.

But I lied, because the actual best part of Oliver saying that is the fact that he’s still thinking about Dig, too. So, Laurel left her mark, but she’s not the only reason he’s upset.

Remember this? Oliver has plenty to be distraught about.

Thea nods sympathetically. I think I have severely underdescribed the way she is looking at him. I think I shall call it “Adoration Manifest”. And the thing is, this expression on her face isn’t some sort of prelude to a smile. This expression remains on her face basically the entire conversation. And I think she’s trying to have this look on her face like “I’m on your side, brother” but it’s more of a “I want to get you on your back”.

THESE TWO ARE GOING TO KILL ME.

He’s still distressed and “not ok”, but he seems to cheer up a little once he starts joking with her:

Hint of a teasing smile.

He says goodnight in a way that is reflective of her goodwill but sort of dismissive. 

I think the issue here is that he’s just really, really tired. Stephen Amell does a good job of showing tired, because just watching this scene makes me want to go to sleep.

And Thea runs her hand down his arm AGAIN while he’s walking away.

Anybody else feel like she wants to say, “Take me with you!” I feel like her running her hand over his arm like that is a last-ditch effort to get him to sweep her into his arms and carry her up to his bedroom.

Sort of like this, but with less struggling:

And then she just stands there thoughtfully for a few seconds.Now, I love that Thea saw Oliver and Laurel having a moment, and then walked in and put her hands all over Oliver. A territorial move if I ever saw one. Did you also notice how close they are standing to each other? I almost wonder if Thea has decided to start off her conversations with Oliver by touching him so that she has an excuse to stand that close to him. Or maybe it has something to do with her trying to hold him in place, trying to get him to look at her and pay attention to her. Basically what I heard Thea saying with her body during this whole scene is “Me me me me me me me me me me me. Not her.”

And there was just a contrast between the Laurel/Oliver interaction and the Oliver/Thea interaction. Laurel chastises Oliver, and they stand far apart. Even when they step towards each other, there is still several feet of distance between them. Then we have Thea who approaches Oliver gently, touches him softly, stands very close to him, speaks to him kindly and sympathetically and almost in a whisper (and she even comments on the “harshness” of Laurel). It’s almost like she wanted to present herself as the pleasant alternative to Laurel.

The opposite thing happened in the club scene in the last episode (which was only technically the day before, and the last real one-on-one conversation we saw between Oliver and Thea): Thea looks over, sees Oliver and Laurel smiling and having a pleasant conversation, so she runs right on over there and causes hell. It’s like she’s saying, “Whatever you do, don’t confuse me with her. I am me.”

I find that interesting, but a part of me is confounded that Thea isn’t angry. She might have mellowed a little after the shooting, and after the conversation with her mother, but the issues that were present during that fight in the club still exist, and even more so, why isn’t she angry for the same reason that Laurel was angry? Maybe she saw that Laurel had said what needed to be said. I don’t know.

Redbanker commented in the episode discussion on the Oliver/Thea livejournal (let’s get that place going, guys!) that she felt like there should have been a hug during that scene, and I felt the exact same way. Thea is there, practically clinging to his arm for dear life, and Oliver just walks away. Let’s forget for a moment that their physical proximity and general body language in that scene was basically leading towards a hug, and let’s focus on the fact that Thea was in a shooting earlier that night, and that is not something that she’s used to, and he’s not even going to ask her if she’s doing OK and give her a hug? Really? REALLY?

I can’t with you right now, Oliver Queen.

We’re shown the first set of flashbacks to the island (which basically consist of him looking at Laurel’s picture) as if they’re Oliver’s dreams. But honestly, does anyone dream memories like that? I never have. He wakes up as if it was a nightmare. It is a nightmare. My nightmare!

Oliver comes downstairs and sits next to Thea on the couch in the living room. She’s watching the news. I’m impressed that she’s watching the news and not MTV. But I do seem to recall her having some disdain for the Kardashians. The Queens are culture snobs.

Oliver and Thea are both ridiculously over-dressed in this scene. Oliver’s got a bathrobe on even though he was sleeping in a shirt and pajama pants, which is practically the same as being fully dressed.

Less clothes, plz.

Thea’s wearing some ugly, baggy tee shirt.

More nipples, plz.

Her daytime PJs from last episode were prettier! The wardrobe department had treated us so well up until this point, with Thea’s sexy undone Catholic school girl uniform from the pilot and her visible black bra from episode 3. And now this wasted opportunity for Oliver’s arms and Thea in a camisole if not a lacy nightgown. God, I wear sexier stuff to bed!

The CBMOTW is a man named James Brodeur. He has been dumping toxic waste in the Glades. One of his employees was going to blow the whistle on him, so he had her murdered and framed her husband. The husband is about to be executed, and Oliver recognizes the name of James Brodeur from his list, so he figures out pretty quickly that the husband is actually innocent.

But first, Thea asks why he can’t sleep.

Urgh. That’s how I feel about that. Urgh.

Is his nightmare about Laurel because he keeps hurting her and letting her down?

Couldn’t it be: “Oh Thea, I dreamt that I was with Laurel instead of you! It was the worst nightmare I could imagine.”

Of course the first time he opens up to her and tells her the truth about something, it turns into a conversation about Oliver and Laurel and their stupid endgame relationship.

“So why don’t you make a play?” Thea asks.

Because the person he really wants is you, I think to myself.

“I mean, she did come all the way over here just to make sure you didn’t get shot,” Thea finishes.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. This is where we cross the line into Thea actually supporting Oliver/Laurel. The only way this will even be remotely OK is if it has something do with Thea having a crush on Tommy.

Or maybe…just maybe…not really….but maybe Thea is pushing Oliver and Laurel together now because she knows they’re not ready, so she’s hoping they’ll try again and it will be a train wreck, thereby ensuring that they never get back together again. It’s a risky move, but possibly a check mate.

Of course, it’s not as if I actually believe that Thea is being written as having that motivation, but as long as my playful theories don’t contradict canon I’m free to have some fun with that interpretation.

Oliver tells her that there are “reasons” why he doesn’t make a move.

And Thea precedes to list all of the complications that she knows about – the cheating, Quentin hating him, etc. Including, “And you basically being a jerk to everybody since you got back.” So she did slide something in there about herself, which he, rather visibly, chooses to ignore at first.I’d say this was Thea trying to discourage him, except that she gives him some good advice later on.

Oliver replies that those are the top ones, although I’m pretty sure that’s a lie and the top ones have more to do with that hood guy.

They exchange a smile about how much baggage Laurel and Oliver’s relationship has.

It really is a very, very sweet moment. There’s really something about the way she looks at him, whether she’s smiling or she’s angry. I’m pretty sure in her eyes somewhere there was a “you can kiss me if you want to”.

And even though Oliver turns his face away, he just seems so comfortable there on that couch. The most relaxed that we’ve ever seen him.

“I know that it might not seem like it sometimes, but I’m not the same person I used to be,” he says. And I’m pretty sure he’s saying it to Thea, since she just called him a jerk, and because of the way he’s looking at her. And Thea, stupid Thea, is the one who makes it about Oliver/Laurel right away by saying, “So show her. Be yourself. I mean your new self.”

I mean your new self.

This scene had some nice elements. I’m pretty sure it’s the longest conversation they’ve had, so that’s a plus. Oliver was obviously making an attempt to open up to her a little more. He threw his arm around the back of the couch, which inevitably made me think about the guy pretending to stretch and then dropping his arm down around his date’s shoulders. By stretching out like that, he was making Thea a part of his personal space. Honestly, I sit like that too, because I find it the most comfortable, but I don’t sit like that when I’m sitting next to someone!

But I really can’t love this scene, because even though it was between Oliver and Thea, it was about Oliver and Laurel. (And did you notice how the subject of Tommy never came up? Thea didn’t even list it as one of the complications in Oliver and Laurel’s relationship. I mean really? REALLY? I can’t even!) And also because it just came off very platonic to me. It’s the first scene between them when I haven’t felt the need to ask, “Are these two for real?”

But one thing can be said about Oliver and Thea’s first two scenes – no matter what they are talking about, there is something in their body language that just really makes it seem like they want to be together.

Joanna tries to get Laurel to go out again, but Laurel is busy. Joanna is chiding her, saying that she’ll never meet a man if she doesn’t get out a little. Um, SHE HAS A MET A MAN. HIS NAME IS TOMMY. Really? REALLY? I mean, I know Joanna doesn’t know Tommy’s name (!), but she knows who he is and that Laurel has been seeing him. I guess Laurel didn’t feel like telling Joanna that Tommy has reinvigorated his efforts, and now wants to be a man that she deserves, and wants to be with, and oh no it’s raining on my face. Laurel jokes that she might meet a man – she could get mugged on her way home. And Joanna says that she hopes he’s cute and single. Which of course leads into this scene:

Oliver realizes that he needs a lawyer’s help to get a stay of execution for the victim’s wrongfully-convicted husband. So he goes to Laurel, of course. He waits for her in her apartment. He turns off the power so that he can stay in the dark. (Not exactly a mugging, but I can’t help but think that it’s supposed to be ironic.) It’s a smart way to keep her from recognizing him, especially since his costume is hardly adequate in that department. He also uses a voice disguiser (is there another word for those things?). Though he counteracts all that when he decides to walk right up to her instead of keeping his distance. Although he does this weird thing where he walks behind her (he does it in a later scene, too), and Laurel just lets him.

She doesn’t even turn around she just lets him stand behind right behind her. I mean, I know why it was done: 1) so that we can see his facial reactions without it making it seem like she can see them, too, and 2) because it has a certain visual quality reminiscent of a beauty and the beast dynamic wherein she’s fascinated by him but afraid of him as well, and he’s drawn to her but unwilling to reveal himself. Neither of those reasons make sense in-story. And Laurel, with her self-defense training, is unlikely to let him circle her like some sort of predator. She’s going to keep her eyes on him.

I’m not going to lie: reason #2 is a type of love story and aesthetic/visual that appeals to me considerably. What the writers and directors were attempting to do with that scene was not lost on me – I was not immune to the effect, despite not being a deeply entrenched anti-Oliver/Laurel shipper. But I was also easily able to pick it apart and analyze the stylistic effects at work, which pretty much erased all of that. And I realized that what I was almost shipping in that moment was a sort of AU in which Arrow wasn’t Oliver, and there was no Tommy, and Laurel had never met this man before.

Laurel takes the case. She tells Joanna that it was that hood guy who put her on the case, and Joanna tells her she should be afraid of him and all that jazz, and then says that when she told her to meet someone, this wasn’t what she had in mind.

Laurel makes this sort of aw-shucksy face, like “Oops, but he is cute and single!” that really only lends itself to the interpretation that she’s already got a big, fat crush on Hoody.

And how about Joanna? I feel like she must be in love with Laurel or something, because she keeps trying to get her to go out with her, supposedly to meet guys, but then she’s got a problem with every single one of Laurel’s love interests: Oliver? Cheater. Tommy? Oliver Lite. Arrow? Dangerous criminal. Somebody’s standards are too high. (/joking)

Laurel and Hood!Oliver’s first rooftop meeting is probably the worst. First of all, it’s all romantic with the lights and the view and the light wind. Then she approaches him. He walks behind her like I mentioned before, although this time is a little different. I think this time he was afraid she would get too close to his face and recognize him. But then Laurel doesn’t turn around, she just leaves her back to him.

A summary on fastforward.

Katie Cassidy, I love her, but she is majorly, majorly over the top in this scene. She’s doing this girlish shtick, with Laurel all wide-eyed and bosom-heaving. Speaking in this just god-awful cheap romantic near-whisper.

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And just when you don’t think it can’t get any worse, it does, when she says, “That sounds lonely,” after he basically tells her about all the killing and torturing he does in the name of justice.

It’s like, I don’t know, they replaced her on the inside with Genevieve Cortese. (Sorry Gen, I couldn’t resist.) (/semi-witty but mean Supernatural joke.)

Do you remember how bad this scene was? Katie, you’re a much better actress than this. I can only assume the director just kept telling her “More! More!” like some crazed lunatic who thinks he’s directing Dracula and that it’s 1955. There’s a special ring in Hell for him.

And Laurel: Cool it, sister. What about Tommy? WHAT ABOUT TOMMY? You’re falling in love with this psycho vigilante when you’ve got Tommy on the line. Really? REALLY?

Hood!Oliver brings her a file later on. Laurel can admit that as a lawyer she never would have gotten that file. That she had always considered the law to be sacred but she’s seeing now how much a vigilante can get shit done. This is all making me do a lot comparison thoughts with Dexter. Maybe Oliver is a lot like Dexter. Maybe there is a legal way to get this done, but Oliver will reach a point where he is unable to give it up. Like Dexter, who has to start stealing cases from the police department even if they might have gotten a conviction.

I would prefer to see the law prevail. But sometimes it can’t. But Laurel can’t be so naïve that she didn’t already know this.

“I think there are too many people in this city who only care about themselves. People who are selfish.” Yeah, Laurel, that’s what the first sentence meant. “I think they need someone who cares about the lives of other people. Someone like you.”

The irony is so heavy-handed. But I can’t help but admire the way it all came together like that, and Oliver deserves the smile we see on his face under the shadow of the hood.

So, we’ve got Laurel who hates Oliver because she’s selfish, telling Oliver that he’s not selfish. I can just hear the Oliver/Laurel shippers squeeing right now.

We return to Queen Manor, where Oliver is lolling around the house, grinning like an idiot. Thea walks in, dressed like I don’t even know what. But the outfit doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination, does it? Tight pants, bare midriff, and another white shirt. With a heart made of bones? What? But I’m OK with the heart imagery and the bone imagery.

I think we’ve seen these pants before.

She pretends to be confused by the thing on his face, aka his smile. Pretty funny. Pretty darn funny. And accurate.

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Because as I was looking more closely at his smile, I realized how unfamiliar it was. And it reminded me again that Tommy wasn’t around, because so far Tommy is the one who has made Oliver smile the most – and Oliver actually laughed when they were talking about Oliver sleeping with Max Fuller’s fiancée at the rehearsal dinner.

“That’s cute,” he says.

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We’ve heard that phrase once before on this show. Do you remember? It was in the club scene in episode 3 when Tommy is saying to Laurel that her being out and having fun must be breaking some sort of law. “That’s cute, Tommy,” she says. It’s a flirty phrase.

A flirty phrase for flirty eyes.

“Why the grin?” she asks. She looks like she wishes it had something do with her.

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“It’s helping.” Oliver is delusional if he thinks it’s helping. Bruce Wayne had the good sense to know that a girl who is in love with Bruce is better than a girl who is in love with Batman. The same with Clark Kent and Superman. Sure, when Lois moons all over Superman it makes him feel better when she’s walking all over him as Clark, but if she’s not in love with Clark then there’s something wrong.

“I got mad relationship skills, bro,” Thea responds. Oliver doesn’t even lift an eyebrow at the idea that she might have dated enough guys to be an expert. But she does seem to be locking herself in as a future confidant, and someone he would seek advice from. I’m not a fan of the casual use of “bro”. “Let me know if you need trendy places to propose,” she finishes.

I like that she used the word “trendy”. It’s like she’s setting up Laurel and Oliver’s relationship as something run-of-the-mill or ordinary. She’s not going to help him plan some special proposal – she’s going to tell him what everyone else is doing. (And there’s the idea that she’s imagining Oliver proposing to her!)

And I like to think about that line being more about Thea touting her own relationship skills (as in, “I helped you so much that you’re on the fast track to marriage”) rather than entertaining the idea of Laurel and Oliver getting married.

“I think you’re getting a little bit ahead of yourself,” Oliver replies. “Little bit.”

GOOD.

Also, maybe Thea suggested marriage as a way of scaring Oliver off – provoking the commitment phobia that probably caused him to cheat on Laurel in the first place.

This was a really cute scene. Very brotherly/sisterly, very lighthearted and playful. The Oliver/Thea scenes in this episode weren’t very rewarding for a shipper going against the current, but we did get a glimpse of the harmonious relationship they could have once their issues are resolved, and, in my opinion, how much nicer that relationship would be than Oliver and Laurel’s.

But I have to complain that again this scene, though between Oliver and Thea, was very much also about Oliver and Laurel.

Stop hijacking our scenes, Oliver/Laurel!

It’s just RUDE.

Laurel has the evidence that the murdered woman went to her supervisor to talk about the toxic waste, but the judge won’t reopen the case. Which is ludicrous. There was more than enough evidence to stay the execution. Although it’s silly that this man is about to be executed anyway, since the murder was only three years ago. Death row is usually decades, isn’t it? Laurel is very angry, so she tells off James Brodeur, and says she won’t give up. Stupid, stupid girl. Dumb, stupid girl. It’s like she wants to be murdered. And what do you know, one of Brodeur’s guys concocts a plan to kill her during a riot at the prison while she’s visiting her client.

Oliver catches wind and sweeps in to save her, dressed as a prison guard. (We learn the name of another Starling City establishment: Iron Heights, the prison.) One of the inmates is choking Laurel,

and Hood!Oliver freaks out and beats him senseless, so much that Laurel has to pull him off, which causes him to push at her a little (though she doesn’t fall).

Apparently this little interaction puts Laurel off (despite the fact that he just saved her and her client’s lives). She had been fighting with Quentin over the goodness and trustworthiness of that hood guy (a fight she made considerably worse by lying to him and by insulting the police for failing to catch the right murderer), but she flies into her father’s arms at the end and tells him that he’s right: Hoody is a killer. “I looked in his eyes. It’s like he had no remorse.”

I don’t know if Oliver heard this conversation, but I think he got the general message from the way Laurel reacted to him. This is punctuated by the flashback scene when Oliver finally kills the bird. No, Oliver is not the man he was before – he’s a lot more violent. And the part of him that recoils at that violence is deadened and hardened.  (This isn’t just him punching paparazzi.)

I love love love that they’re exploring this dark side of him, that Laurel no longer has stars in her eyes about him or his vigilantism, and that he’s being called out again on some of his unnecessary killings. I need Oliver to not just have secrets, I need him to be damaged.

The “innocent man” is freed after one of James Brodeur’s bodyguards confesses. I don’t know why he confessed – maybe he was caught at the prison? The prison riot can be classified as a long action sequence, so even though I’ve seen it twice, I’m still a little fuzzy on it because I got bored and stopped paying attention. Apparently some Laurel fans are upset she was bested during the prison riot. I can’t even remember. It’s all just a blur. Wasn’t she outnumbered by a lot? She took Max Fuller by surprise last episode.

But the story is not over! When Quentin learns that the hood guy was dressed as a prison guard, he realizes that there might be something tangible on the security footage. And there is. Not just a lead, but Oliver Queen’s freaking gorgeous face in all its glory, running up the stairs. I believe it’s from the Stock Auction, when Oliver pulls his green arrow outfit out the garbage where he stashed it. Quentin doesn’t keep this to himself – he shows up with a posse at Queen Manor and arrests Oliver Queen.

END EPISODE.

While a part of me is simply delighted at the pace of the plot, at the jaw-dropping nature of this development, I’m 90% displeased. Oliver is being accused of being the hooded vigilante. Everyone is going to know that he’s being accused of that. The family was right there while it was happening, Walter trying to tell them to stop and Thea was crying desperately for Walter to stop them. They all heard that he is accused of various killings and vigilantism. And it’ll be all over the news. EVERYONE IS GOING TO KNOW. Even if Oliver can get rid of the evidence, disprove the charges, get out of a conviction, or even convince the police that it’s not him and that they’re mistaken. Even if he comes up with a perfectly plausible excuse for why he was holding the costume and running up the stairs. Even if he gets Dig to dress up like Green Arrow while he has an alibi. Well, the idea that he’s the hooded vigilante is still going to be out there. The next time Laurel sees Hood!Oliver, she’s not going to be able to help wondering if it’s Oliver. She’s going to be studying him. And the worst part is Thea. Because I was just dying for her to encounter the Green Arrow, whether he was saving her, or she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I really didn’t want her to know that it was Oliver. And even if she doesn’t believe that it’s Oliver, there’s still going to be a part of her mind that is considering it.

I prefer superheroes with a secret identity. I think that’s why I could never love The Avengers or any of those heroes as much as I love Batman or Superman. The secret identity is one of my favorite parts.

So, as much I have bemoaned the Oliver/Laurel in this episode, honestly, this was the worst part about it for me. I just feel like it changes everything, even if, ostensibly, it changes nothing on the surface after the actual court case is resolved.

And Laurel will probably be his lawyer. GAG.

I’m sure most of you know by now that there is an Oliver/Laurel kiss in the promo. I’m not going to talk about it, I’m going to wait until after I’ve seen the episode. But this looks a little familiar, doesn’t it:Like REALLY REALLY familiar?

One thing I can’t wait for, though, is to see Oliver just denying over and over and over again that he’s the Green Arrow. I just want to see the lies pouring out.

This entry wound up being pretty late again. I’m going to try better next week. Assuming I write another one. I probably will, since I’m still so obsessed.

And before you get too discouraged, remember the scene I alluded to above. And this:And this:And this:And this:And have a picture of Stephen Amell with a dog:And some lovely but extremely unflattering pics of Stephen and Willa:

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34 Responses to Arrow 1.04 – An Innocent Man, or REALLY?

  1. Beast of the Sea says:

    “OK, no, she doesn’t just put her hand on his shoulder, she sort of slides it along and then around to the other side as they both shift to face each other. The loudest sound during this part is literally the sound of her hand on his jacket.”
    Holy crud, that GIF. That does it, I think we actually do have a mole amongst the writers. Because that cannot be unintentional.

    “She’s back to looking at him like he hung the moon, which is nice.”
    Ah, a Spencer and Carly reference? 🙂

    “I think I have severely underdescribed the way she is looking at him. ”
    Random people seeing this screenshots will NOT think “brother and sister”. They just…

    …hey, wonder if it’s not the WRITERS that have our mole… Think Thea’s actor is one of us?! O_O

    ““So why don’t you make a play?” Thea asks.’
    I mean, look at her face. She looks like she’s thinking ‘Why don’t you make a play… for me?’

    “I’m pretty sure in her eyes somewhere there was a “you can kiss me if you want to”.”
    I’d say more ‘You know, I’m always waiting.’ JEEZ. And I thought Spencer/Carly was impressive.

    “With a heart made of bones? What? But I’m OK with the heart imagery and the bone imagery.”
    Speak of the devil! 😀 No, no, Thea, it was SPENCER wearing the spine shirt! Get your incestuous subtext props straight!

    ““Let me know if you need trendy places to propose,” she finishes. ”
    She looks like she’s suggesting places for him to propose to HER

    It’ll be interesting to see what comes next. Maybe they can pull it off…

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I got a good laugh out of your responses! I loved all of your references to Spencer and Carly. The series finale of iCarly is coming up this month, so the timing is very appropriate. (There have been some good Spencer/Carly moments since the last entry I wrote about them, but no single one made me feel like I had to write about it. Now I’m just nervous about how things will end.) I can’t believe that when I wrote about Carly and Spencer’s accidental date when that moon falls on them, that I never thought about the phrase “hung the moon”.

      When Oliver and Thea are getting along, they do remind me a lot of Spencer and Carly, though I hadn’t made the specific connections that you did. Carly rolls her eyes at Spencer most of the time, but when she looks at him like she adores him, it really is the same look we see on Thea’s face. That screencap does remind me a lot of the Spencer/Carly one from the Christmas AU episode, not that you’re making me think about it. You are 100% right that the Oliver/Thea one would not make a person think “brother and sister”. I’m a little in love with that screencap. And then Spencer wearing the bone shirt! They weren’t just bones, either, both shirts were spines/ribcages. “Get your incestuous subtext props straight!” LOL. Perfect.

      The way Thea looks at OLiver is just too much for me sometimes. There’s always an “I want you” in her eyes whether she’s angry at him or they’re getting along perfectly. I’m starting to suspect as well that Willa Holland (actress who plays Thea) is an Oliver/Thea shipper or at least so in love with Stephen Amell (actor who plays Oliver) that she’s no longer capable of acting and can only stare at him with longing.

  2. Paris says:

    So glad you wrote another wonderful entry! What the heck time is it where you are because I couldn’t sleep and got this at 3:30 AM! They are the best cure for insomnia though, aren’t they!

    I never thought much about the clothes they wore in the TV scene, but perhaps if they were too under dressed it would have been too much or too hot for TV (as they say.) Maybe the wardrobe/writers are also trying to signify them here as a bit more vulnerable like this then they usually are? She usually wears tight and revealing outfits, but when she sleeps she covers up. There is something symbolic here, but I am just too tired at this hour to really have my head make sense of it. It might look to contrived too if he would have come down shirtless and her in a tank or something. I thought them in there pj’s made them more “real.”

    My favorite part of that scene was that little gesture of Oliver throwing his arm around the back of the couch. That is how I thought of it too, of a guy trying to make his move. I don’t know, I guess it wasn’t a big deal for him to do that in hindsight, if your comfortable with someone you would do this no question. Maybe we were just so excited for anything in this episode we took what we could get. LOL.

    If he would have been sitting closer or she changed positions and put her feet on his legs or something, it would have been a different story. This episode still had some good Oliver/Thea moments, she always finds a way to touch him! I also liked how at the end of the episode the camera focuses the most on her expression of despair when she sees him in handcuffs, not his mothers or anyone else, just hers. I am looking forward to next week, let’s see if I am right and the scene where Laurel/Oliver kiss plays out like the scene with Oliver/Thea. I couldn’t get over how she is opening his shirt the way Thea did and looked at his chest, I mean scars! LOL!

    Thank you for another wonderful and thoughtful entry!

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I’m pleased to hear you enjoyed the recap! I think I posted it around 11:30 PM or so. I’m pretty sure it was before midnight, my time. I live on the West Coast. You must be far in the east to be so far ahead!

      You make a really good point about Thea dressing in a revealing or attention-grabbing way for the day/when she leaves the house, and then being more modest and comfortable in her pajamas. She’s starting to develop a secret-identity mindset already. I do like the idea that Oliver and Thea being dressed so drably as being sort of symbolic of them being real in that moment. Neither of them are putting up walls, symbolized by the clothes/masks they would wear out during the day. I’m pretty sure Oliver would never walk around the house shirtless because of his scars. But I don’t think it would have been contrived or too hot if she had been in a tanktop or pajama shorts, certainly not based on what we’ve seen between them already. So I was just bemoaning that a little. But it was a small complaint.

      I wish you hadn’t talked about Thea putting her feet on his legs, because now all I can think about is how much I wished that would have happened! In one episode of The Vampire Diaries, Jeremy laid his head on Elena’s lap. If they can do that, the least we could have gotten was this!

      I didn’t think about how the camera seemed to focus more on Thea’s reactions than Moira’s in that final scene, but it’s true.

      You’ll see the episode tonight, right? You’ll have to come back and let us know in a non-spoilery way just how much we need to prepare ourselves.

      • Paris says:

        I am so excited in Canada we are getting it tonight (even Stephen can’t figure out why that is) but Merry Christmas to me! I am sure there will be a download link for it, because anytime a show airs earlier in Canada I usually see it up, so I can post it here or tell you where it is if you would like me to do so.

        I can’t say I remember that happening in the Vamp Diaries, but I could see something like that happening on Arrow. There is a lot of fun and “innocent” things they could add in for them, that wouldn’t look so innocent to us.

        It would be cool if in the future Stephen and Willa did a movie together and were love interests. LOL! Or maybe they will start dating, isn’t that what happened on Dexter? Unless he is married, I have heard that rumor about Stephen and that he is gay…

        I am glad I am finally all caught up in reading all your Arrow reviews and all the great comments. I have gone back and left some additional feedback on the episodes too. I will probably be starting a tumblr or something cause I have to many bookmarks full of this stuff!

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I hadn’t thought about the fact that there will probably be a download available tonight for everyone. of course I always wait for the 720p web-dl, so I may have to wait several days like last week. It’s funny that even Stephen doesn’t know why you lucky Canadians are getting the episode tonight. I’m sure everyone would really appreciate you posting the download link if you find one.

          I always want people I ship to play love interests in other things. Preferably for them to just star over and over and over again in love stories. That was a nice thing about the 40’s and 50’s, those pairs like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that always starred together.

          It did happen on Dexter – Dexter and Deb are brother and sister and the actors who play them got married, but I believe they’re divorced now, just in time for Deb to think she’s in love with Dexter. So ironic.

          If Stephen and Willa started dating you would never hear the end of it from me. I would just be a happy, babbling mess.

          As for Stephen’s love life, it would seem according to this article that he’s not gay. I’ve heard those rumors too, but I think they’re due mostly to the roles he played on Queer as Folk and Hung. I know I was doing a bit of research about him and saw there was an article about him on After Elton, but when I looked at the article I realized that it was actually about the character he was playing on Hung. Not to mention the fact that there are rumors that every actor is gay. Literally. I’m not even kidding.

          I don’t know if he’s married or has a girlfriend. As far as I can tell, he said something on twitter that gave someone the idea that he was married, and that’s how that rumor got going. But I don’t know if he is married or not.

          A tumblr is a good way to keep track of things. Just make sure you tag consistently so that you can go back and find things.

          • Paris says:

            According to that interview, which is fairly recent, he doesn’t suggest he is married or gay. This part made me laugh, it makes him sound so vein but he is so true! “I judge a woman purely on how she looks first thing in the morning. That’s the critical point, right? You have to like what a person looks like first thing in the morning if you’re going to be in any sort of long-term relationship with them, because that’s how you’re going to see them most of the time. If it’s an awful experience, then it’s just not going to work.” So basically you have to get up in the middle of the night, check yourself and make sure you are all good for Stephen in the morning! There is a good chance they have a crush on each other (Stephen and Willa), they have a lot of close photos!

            What other social networks do we want? I would be happy and try to get some going. Or work with people on some. As I was telling you, I am a real web person! I used to like facebook pages back when you could have a message board on them, but now you can’t so that is kinda pointless for this, although you can still have people like it…

            Is Queencest going to be the official word? Like Wincest. I see other people have been using Theoliver, etc.

            As soon as I have the episode I will post!

            • Shipcestuous says:

              No one else has said anything to me, but I do think we should use “queencest”. I know I’ve seen tholiver once or twice, but if the vast majority of us use queencest then everyone else should come around.

              I’m not a fan of Facebook in general, but if you wanted to start a Queencest / Oliver/Thea page with links I think that would be fantastic. I know a lot of Facebook fan pages post stuff, but I think just having a page even if it wasn’t updated very often would be a great way of bringing other fans to us. We’ve got the fyeaholiverthea tumblr, the oliverxthea livejournal, and then I was thinking about creating that chatroom on chatzy, although I don’t know how often we’ll manage to get people on there. Just a thought.

  3. redbanker says:

    You are wonderful!!! and I got an honorable mentioned, I actually squealed. Excellent recap as always. Yeah I’m waiting to see the episode this week before freaking out completely but I figure there’s going to be a whole lot of writing going on afterwards. LOL. Thank you so much for reading my stories and reviewing they were wonderful. I don’t think you read my one for this episode though so if you need some positive reinforcement about the wonderfulness of Oliver/Thea you should check it out.

    Have a great one.

  4. aK says:

    Just in time! I was starting to experience withdrawal – THANKS for posting! 😉
    Yes, the glaring absence of Tommy was an outrage! I kept waiting and waiting for “blue eyes” to show up, but then the episode ended, and WHERE WAS TOMMY???
    Well, Ollie had been pretty busy running around as Arrow, so I guess he and Tommy didn’t have time to hang out. But they’d better make it up to us with a Tommy/Ollie-centric episode soon >=|
    I was nice to see Thea and Ollie getting along. It showed that if/WHEN Thea becomes Arrow’s sidekick Speedy, it’s very believable that they could work really well together 🙂

    2 more days to go…the promo didn’t look very encouraging for Queencest fans, but we shall see >_<

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I’m glad I was able to help curb your withdrawal. When you’re obsessed with someone, a week is far too long to have to wait for a new episode.

      An “outrage” is the perfect way to describe Tommy’s absence. I can think of a couple of ways they might have squeezed him in though I agree he didn’t fit in this episode the way he did in the others, but what really killed me was that Thea didn’t even mention him when she was talking about all of the baggage that Oliver and Laurel have in their relationship. That’s just insane.

      I desperately need an Oliver/Tommy-centric episode. I care about their friendship on the same level as I care about my romantic ships.

      Yes, I can see them working well together as the Arrow and Speedy, though I do sort of miss all the sexual tension of their fighting. 🙂

      I really don’t think next episode could be any worse than this one. Once the idea is out there that Laurel still has feelings for Oliver, whether she kisses him or not is just a detail. If Oliver’s in jail most of the time, he probably won’t have many scenes with Thea, though. But maybe one good one, with her really worried.

      • Paris says:

        In regards to me finding a similarity between this show and Cruel Intentions, are how both would “tease” one another, their wealth, and how they are both living at home. That is another thing that is cool about the show, he could have easily just moved out and got a condo. Also, how they tease each other.

        In episode 3 during the club scene, Thea is wearing sort of a choker necklace…Anyone else notice that. Perhaps foreshadowing Anonymous’ idea about that being part of her new costume.

        Not if, WHEN you do write your fic, please feel free to use the idea of Thea missing him so much she slept in his bed! Even that is something we might see on the show, could be innocent enough – Thea will be so scared one night that she has to crawl into bed with Oliver!

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I do like that Oliver hasn’t moved out, even though he’s 27. I live in fear of the day when he decides he wants an apartment in the city. We learned in this episode that Queen Manor, as I call it, is 20 miles from the city. That is really far. I’m hoping it was an accidental exaggeration.

          I see what you mean about their wealth and them both living at home has a sort of Cruel Intentions vibe.

          I could see Thea being so scared, especially in that giant house of theirs, that she wants to sleep in Oliver’s room. I could probably make that sound semi-plausible in a fic. I have some ideas floating around…

      • aK says:

        Maybe Thea didn’t mention Tommy because he and Ollie are just that close (well, for now…) and she knows it. No matter what, they’d never be baggage to each other. I’m kinda’ sleepy right now, so I’m not sure if that makes sense. But, like, Ollie hasn’t really been treating everyone else well (in their opinion), except Tommy. Oliver has changed, and Tommy knows something’s up, but they just picked right up where they left off. True friendship 😉
        I think it would have been funny if they’d had Tommy stroll into the mansion (like he lives there; he seems part of the family enough anyway) just as Ollie was being escorted out. And he’d be all, “What’d I miss? Oh, bro, what’d you do this time?”. But I suppose that would have diminished the intensity of the scene 😛
        Anyways, if they’re going to focus more on Oliver and Laurel now, and we don’t see Thea and Tommy as much, then I’m just going to imagine Thea and Tommy running off and doing fun things together while Ollie and Laurel wallow in their drama, heh 😛

        • Shipcestuous says:

          I absolutely love everything you’ve just said. I’ve changed my mind about having to kill you because you love Tommy too. It’s clearly much better having a Tommy-loving buddy. 🙂

          The idea that Thea didn’t list Tommy as a complication in Oliver and Laurel’s relationship because Tommy is too important to Oliver to be reduced to that is the only thing that comes anywhere close to an acceptable explanation for why he wasn’t mentioned.

          Tommy was so suspicious of Oliver’s weird behavior at first, and so observant, I thought for sure that he would be the first one to find out or figure out. But if John Diggle was the first to find out, I hope they’ll at least continue to show Tommy as knowing Oliver well enough to realize that something is up. I don’t just want Tommy to be a convenient way for Oliver to maintain his fake persona.

          Tommy strolling in while Oliver was being arrested asking what he had missed and what Oliver had done now would probably be one of the funniest things to date on the show. A big part of me is really sad that they didn’t go that route, but it was a pretty intense scene, so I can see why they didn’t take a comedic approach. I still think they could have managed it, if Tommy walked in just after the police, but before Quentin started listing the charges and handcuffing Oliver.

          Thea and Tommy off doing fun thing is the perfect headcanon. Until I learn otherwise, if they’re both offscreen that’s what I’m going to imagine!

          Thanks for all the ideas and the Tommy love!

          • aK says:

            Phew, that’s a relief. If you’d killed me I wouldn’t be able to drool over Tommy anymore 😛
            Let’s wear our love for Tommy on our sleeves proudly, woo! 😉
            I’m going off topic…uh, Thea x Oliver forever! Queencest rules!!! XD

            • Shipcestuous says:

              LOL.

              Tommy being awesome and loveable is always on topic, in my opinion.

              Did you see about the chat? We’re going to have an Oliver/Thea chat this afternoon/evening at 5:00 PM pacific standard time, 8PM eastern standard time. Here is the URL for the chatroom: http://xat.com/xat185627050

              You don’t need to register or anything. I hope you’ll come if you see this in time and are free then.

  5. Paris says:

    The new episode was really good. Here is a screenshot to get you excited! (http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_md3ikkYm5r1r39gsao2_1280.jpg)

    I am a girl of my word, here you go! S01E05 new episode not airing till tomorrow in the US! (http://www.rlsbb.com/arrow-s01e05-720p-hdtv-x264-dimension/)

  6. redbanker says:

    Okay, I’ve seen it, I downloaded it last night, and it’s good. The Laurel/Oliver kiss isn’t as bad as I thought it would be and we do have a quality scene between Oliver and Thea. I’m contemplating writing my version of this episode in my AU verse, but I have a research proposal due on Sunday so I don’t know if I’ll have time. I can’t wait to hear your recap.

    • Paris says:

      I think this must have been one of the episodes where Willa hurt her ankle because in this episode too, she is sitting a lot! There was also a special quick scene at the end where Thea is next to Oliver on the couch and making sure his icepack is on ok. My eyes are now tuned to catch ANYTHING and EVERYTHING with them touching or in small spaces together, lol!

  7. anonymous says:

    “Bring me my bow because I have some threatening to do. Where they got the idea that it’s acceptable for Tommy to be absent for an entire episode I do not know, but it is NOT OK.”

    I would have liked to have seen Tommy. However, including him into the episode would have been hard. Even though Chloe (a.k.a. Lois Lane – I refuse to believe anything else) was one my absolute favorite characters (possibly THE favorite) on “Smallville”, there were some episodes where she didn’t appear because he presence wasn’t needed for the particular storyline of that episode. Some non-Chloisers thought this obviously meant that she was going to get killed off because she wasn’t in the comics and therefore her death would catapult Clark and Nois into their iconic…snore. But, there were episodes where Lana never appeared. And some fans thought these episodes were episodes were just fantastic…without even realizing that Lana never appeared until much later. So, seeing an episode and realizing that a character isn’t there might be good.

    “Oliver shaking Rob was pretty funny:”

    Hee. I think everybody at TWOP got a laugh at Diggle’s line.

    “YES, BUT CAN’T IT BE THEA? WHY ISN’T IT THEA? IT. NEEDS. TO. BE. THEA.”

    But Diggle finding out first is actually a GOOD sign, given the inspiration of The Dark Knight series:

    John Diggle: Alfred Pennyworth.

    Dinah Laurel Lance: Rachel Dawes.

    Tommy Merlyn: Harvey Dent. (Possibly)

    Thea Queen: Selina Kyle. (For at least one obvious reason.)

    “We know that Oliver has a list of names, but it would seem these people have something more in common than just being corrupt douchebags. I had assumed (falsely), that Robert knew through his various business dealings that the people on the list he gave to Oliver were bad dudes. But apparently there’s more to it. Now, would Robert have been on that list if he hadn’t written it himself (or whatever)? Or would Moira have been on the list?”

    Some have suggested that Barrowman’s character is actually Bruce Wayne. But Bruce Wayne is not someone who would join a a group of “corrupt doucebags”. However, he did join Ra’s al Ghul’s group before he understood what they were really about. If he is Bruce, then maybe he’s working with Moira to ferret out more members of the group while keeping their names from the public.

    The only problem I have is that I can’t remember what their conversation was like in the second episode. If it can only be regarded as something evil or criminal, then he probably isn’t Wayne. But if it it can be looked at in hindsight as two people possibly conspiring against a group that they’re a part of, then he might be.

    “The Chinese man notices him staring at the picture, and tells him that he in order to survive he has a lot more killing to do, and he won’t survive if he keeps staring at Laurel’s picture. He needs to forget her. BLESS THIS MAN. Obviously that’s not what happens, since Oliver tells Tommy in the pilot that he missed Laurel the most, although I think it was neck and neck with ice cream.”

    Well, we don’t know if he kept looking at the picture in his wallet or if he just put it away and tried to forget. There’s so much we don’t about his island life. My thought is that he he did put the picture away…which led to him picturing Thea growing up and falling in love with her. I know this happened show. You can’t make me not think it.

    “Are you trying to tell me that not only was Tommy not in this episode, not only was it a festival of Laurel and Oliver’s relationship, but you’re actually going to take away my headcanon and Tommy and Laurel had lots and lots of sex after leaving the courthouse? Really? REALLY?”

    Or…maybe they didn’t have lots of sex because Tommy wants to start over and have a real relationship. Laurel was awake because she was so sexually frustrated she couldn’t sleep. Which totally adds to the scene. Tommy isn’t acting quite like Tommy and Oliver is being a jerk. She’s frustrated that Tommy won’t give it up, but can’t really get angry with him because he’s being sweet. But Oliver is acting like a jerk…so she unleashes all her frustration all at once.

    “Things get a little better when Oliver says, ‘Second time tonight a friend of mine has taken me to the woodshed. Kind of tires you out.’ I am not familiar with that phrase, so I just keep thinking about Oliver taking Thea out to the woodshed, and instead of lecturing her, they get it on. OK, so I just looked it up, and apparently ‘to take someone to the woodshed’ means to punish them. The woodshed sex just got a little rougher.”

    Heh. But what I took from that scene was that both Diggle and Laurel are in the friend zone. He not only consideres Diggle a friend (YAY), but he also considers Laurel one too (double YAY). While it’s possible to have someone who’s a friend become even more than a friend, the writers could have not focused on the “friend” angle and just used another word. The fact that they used friend in this context seems to suggest that the writers aren’t shipping Oliver/Laurel. And it definitely seems to tie into the possibility of the symbolic switch. Oliver has switched Oliver and Laurel, but he is still in denial that Laurel is now his sister. So, right now she’s classified as a “friend”. When he finally realizes, he will put her in the “sister” box and have much sexual fun with Thea…the “lover”.

    “This is where we cross the line into Thea actually supporting Oliver/Laurel. The only way this will even be remotely OK is if it has something do with Thea having a crush on Tommy.”

    But there is another interpretation. I Want My Beloved to Be Happy – http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy

    Chloe did this several times on “Smallville” when it came to Clark.

    “He threw his arm around the back of the couch, which inevitably made me think about the guy pretending to stretch and then dropping his arm down around his date’s shoulders. By stretching out like that, he was making Thea a part of his personal space. Honestly, I sit like that too, because I find it the most comfortable, but I don’t sit like that when I’m sitting next to someone!”

    If they had been watching a horror movie, the subtext would be even more obvious.

    “He also uses a voice disguiser (is there another word for those things?).”

    Voice changer. Green Arrow in “Smallville” also used one.

    And there is also new technology that I saw demonstrated in a video where a device around the neck takes nerve impulses and turns them into speech. So, you don’t even need to actually talk for the device to actually work. You just have to mimic talking. So, it could be possible to take that technology and add some additional software to get freaky voice changer.

    “I prefer superheroes with a secret identity. I think that’s why I could never love ‘The Avengers’ or any of those heroes as much as I love Batman or Superman. The secret identity is one of my favorite parts.”

    And secret identities are just…fun. But it’s also interesting that you brought up Oliver’s ego earlier, because my thoughts on superheroes now make me think about how much they resemble spies.

    It all started when I read a roleplaying game forum where someone was trying to get a supers (not superhero) game together. And they started listing what they didn’t want: code names, costumes, secret identities. Now some of the complaints were understandable. When they thought costumes, they only thought of spandex, which is really only an artifact of the artists trying to draw as quickly as possible. But completely disallowing code names was a bit weird because the Air Force has call signs and even the Mafia has all sorts of weird monikers. And, realistically, having a secret identity has become much harder with increased surveillance. But it’s still not impossible. Think about all the serial killers who have never been caught.

    But later, I read a “Covert Affairs” interview with Piper Perabo and Christipher Gorham. It was mentioned that they met a CIA officer whose wife still didn’t know what he did. It was then that I realized that with all the complaints that if superheroes actually existed, they couldn’t possibly have secret identities, was a BS. We actually have a group with some degree of “secret identity” in the real world.

    And recently, I was watching a series about spying (the CIA specifically) and it had an acronym that explained why people spy. But it’s just as applicable to superheroes: M.I.C.E: Money, Ideology, Compromise (or Coercion.), and Ego.

    Money: Booster Gold (at least how he first appears), Spider-Man (Peter Parker photographs Spider-Man)

    Ideology: Batman, Superman, Spider-Man.

    Compromise: Suicide Squad. (Supervillains who have been captured and are forced to take on missions for the U.S. Government. Have explosives devices that detonate if they try to run. Suffice to say that not all of them make it.)

    Ego: Booster Gold, Captain Amazing (from “Mystery Men”)

    “I’m sure most of you know by now that there is an Oliver/Laurel kiss in the promo. I’m not going to talk about it, I’m going to wait until after I’ve seen the episode. But this looks a little familiar, doesn’t it:”

    This reminds me of something that happened on “Smallville”. Clark/Chloe had many moments that were duplicated (poorly) by EradiClark/Nois. One was a kiss Clark and Chloe had in the fifth season finale “Vessel”. However, by that time the series had gone completely off the rails by trying to convinve EradiClark and Nois were ICONIC! and had “tru wuv”. But “Arrow” seems to get that Oliver/Laurel just don’t work. So, maybe the series is trying to draw parallel and say, “See? This Oliver/Laurel kiss is a mere shadow of what Oliver/Thea could be.”

    • Shipcestuous says:

      But Diggle finding out first is actually a GOOD sign, given the inspiration of The Dark Knight series:
      John Diggle: Alfred Pennyworth.
      Dinah Laurel Lance: Rachel Dawes.
      Tommy Merlyn: Harvey Dent. (Possibly)
      Thea Queen: Selina Kyle. (For at least one obvious reason.)

      I can roll with this. In fact, I love it so much I can’t breathe. If only the CW had the balls to be a little bit more like Christopher Nolan.

      That theory about John Barrowman’s character being Bruce Wayne is kind of delightful, although the most recent episode pretty much sunk it.

      Well, we don’t know if he kept looking at the picture in his wallet or if he just put it away and tried to forget. There’s so much we don’t about his island life. My thought is that he did put the picture away…which led to him picturing Thea growing up and falling in love with her. I know this happened show. You can’t make me not think it.

      LOL.Never stop thinking it – promise me! I can definitely see it happening that Oliver tried to forget about Laurel, and so he thought about Thea instead, which he considered a much safer thing to think about. And then accidentally fell in love with her. And now that Laurel is back in his life, he’s just projecting all the feelings he developed for Thea onto her, because he thinks they are feelings for Laurel BUT THEY’RE NOT. Yes, perfect.

      Or…maybe they didn’t have lots of sex because Tommy wants to start over and have a real relationship. Laurel was awake because she was so sexually frustrated she couldn’t sleep. Which totally adds to the scene. Tommy isn’t acting quite like Tommy and Oliver is being a jerk. She’s frustrated that Tommy won’t give it up, but can’t really get angry with him because he’s being sweet. But Oliver is acting like a jerk…so she unleashes all her frustration all at once.

      Good headcanon. When I can’t seem to spin something, I can always rely on you to see it in a better light!!! I can definitely see Tommy not wanting to have sex because he wants to start the relationship out on a different, stronger foundation than “lapses”. Laurel can’t fall asleep because she’s too sexually frustrated? YES. And then Laurel ranting at Oliver is at least half leftover feelings about Tommy. Yes, I can work with this.

      The fact that they used friend in this context seems to suggest that the writers aren’t shipping Oliver/Laurel.

      I wish. I would love to consider his use of the word “friend” significant, but I just felt like it was him being respectful of Laurel and what he has put her through. I also thought it was characteristic of Oliver speaking in very general terms with everyone so as not to have to open up too much or reveal too much about how he really feels. Well, in terms of the writers, I can’t consider it significant. But in terms of the character of Oliver and what is technically canon, I guess we really can look at that moment and say that he called her a friend and categorized her with John Diggle.

      But there is another interpretation. I Want My Beloved to Be Happy

      I do like that interpretation. But I wouldn’t feel able to properly apply it unless Thea had already somehow made a go of trying to have Oliver and had failed. I suppose we could consider the incest alone enough to stop her. It is a better interpretation, but it’ll never be as satisfying as if Thea hadn’t been so supportive.

      It was then that I realized that with all the complaints that if superheroes actually existed, they couldn’t possibly have secret identities, was a BS. We actually have a group with some degree of “secret identity” in the real world.

      Too true. And people in movies/tv are a lot more suspicious than people in real life are. In general, I don’t think it would be all that difficult to maintain a secret identity. Especially if you had someone in on the secret.

      And recently, I was watching a series about spying (the CIA specifically) and it had an acronym that explained why people spy. But it’s just as applicable to superheroes: M.I.C.E: Money, Ideology, Compromise (or Coercion.), and Ego.

      That is just as applicable to superheroes. Fascinating. I think Ego is almost always a factor.

      But “Arrow” seems to get that Oliver/Laurel just don’t work. So, maybe the series is trying to draw parallel and say, “See? This Oliver/Laurel kiss is a mere shadow of what Oliver/Thea could be.”

      I hope so! The similarities are absolutely mindblowing. I think a pretty compelling argument could be made for the idea that the Oliver/Laurel kiss is staged EXACTLY like the Oliver/Thea scene from episode 2 to create subconscious Oliver/Thea subtext. I wouldn’t expect the typical viewer to notice the parallels, but I feel like anyone who has seen episode 2 more than once or giffed that scene or discussed it like we do here would notice. It’s kind of like the parallels we wished for with a Tommy/Laurel scene that ends in a sex, and an Oliver/Thea scene that starts out exactly the same way and then just gets cut of.

      • Paris says:

        I noticed the parallels of that scene as soon as I saw the promo for the Laurel/Oliver kiss. It didn’t even faze me that they were going to kiss, I just said oh ya – that is like the Oliver/Thea scene – you dirty dog you!

    • Paris says:

      I always look forward to your informative posts Anonymous. You really know a lot about this stuff. I am thinking about getting a forum going, it would be interesting to have people like you there because I am anxious to know what else you have watched and you spin on things.

      I liked what you said about the “friend zone,”and how he will put Laurel into the “sister” box and have much sexual fun with Thea…the “lover”.

      Unless they are trying to make a big love triange with Tommy, Oliver, Laurel. During that scene Laurel says to Oliver “we can never be together,” this made me happy but scared at the same time because it is almost like the writers are trying to make some Romeo/Juliet thing out of them…

      That scene when they are sitting on the couch – I mentioned before that it they could have gone in the direction of Thea putting her feet over Oliver or something. There is a lot of “innocent” or “playful” things they can do with them, that most people wouldn’t take a second look at. I also mentioned why they were possibly dressed the way they were – I put that in a comment on here. I believe I said how it is basically scrapping them down so they are not wearing any persona, they are just natural.

      Interesting what you said about CIA and how it is applicable to superheroes.

      It is neat how they included that picture explanation in this episode, unless they are just trying to say how much Oliver truly loves Laurel. I am like you and would love to believe that he put the picture away and thought of Thea.

      Check out my other comments if you ever get a moment Anonymous, that I made in reference to you for the other episodes, I would love to know what you think.

      • Shipcestuous says:

        I think you’re right, Paris, about the Oliver/Laurel scene in 4.05 and the writers attempting a Romeo and Juliet thing, unfortunately. I consider Laurel’s “we can never be together”, from a meta standpoint, to actually be the biggest Oliver/Laurel thing to happen to date. You can just see the writers setting up some tortuous, drawn out love story. Star-crossed was the first thing that came to my mind, so your Romeo and Juliet comparison just confirmed my worst fears because it seems like you had the exact same impression.

        The line itself “we can never be together” has so much substance to it, because she could have said, “We don’t belong together”, or “We will never work”, “It’s not right for us to be together”, or “I’m attracted to you, but I don’t love you anymore, Oliver,”. You know, that sort of thing. But instead, the words she chose imply that the circumstances/the literal facts of their history are the only things that are keeping them apart. It’s exactly the same reason I didn’t ship them in the pilot – the obstacles keeping them apart are just not good enough for me to ship it.

      • anonymous says:

        “I always look forward to your informative posts Anonymous. You really know a lot about this stuff. I am thinking about getting a forum going, it would be interesting to have people like you there because I am anxious to know what else you have watched and you spin on things.”

        Thanks! The only problem is that I’m not a member of things like Livejournal or Tumblr. I didn’t get to the chat because when I checked my email, the chat had already happened. 😦

        “Unless they are trying to make a big love triange with Tommy, Oliver, Laurel. During that scene Laurel says to Oliver ‘we can never be together,’ this made me happy but scared at the same time because it is almost like the writers are trying to make some Romeo/Juliet thing out of them…”

        Gah. I hope not. And I think that episode might be more anti Oliver/Laurel than it seems to be at first glance. Oliver’s plan is predicated on knowing that Laurel will eventually agree to be his lawyer and how the polygraph will affect her father. And it could be that the “flutter” about Iron Heights prison was something Laurel was supposed to notice based on her conversation with him near the end of the episode. The episode shows why he and Laurel do not work. He’s using her to manipulate her father, which is a rotten thing to do. And it also shows a cold calculation and definite premeditation.

        However, his lies to Thea don’t seem premeditated. And they are flimsy as hell. Thea notices that the hozzen is in the shape of an arrowhead and Oliver tells her he bought at the gift shop at the airport in Beijing. Thea could try to call the airport (the Queens have the money) and start asking questions. Ask enough questions and the story will fall apart. Or (VERY unlikely) he did actually pick it up and the airport. But it doesn’t really matter about the truth of the object. Why would did he have picked out that particular object to give to her? When Thea points out that its in the shape of an arrowhead, for a half a second Oliver looks like he’s like he never made the connection about the object’s shape. My take is that Oliver subconsciously wants Thea to know
        that he is the vigilante.

        “Check out my other comments if you ever get a moment Anonymous, that I made in reference to you for the other episodes, I would love to know what you think.”

        I’ve already responded to a couple. I can’t remember which ones they are right now. Too tired.

  8. Shipcestuous says:

    Just another notification for good measure about the Oliver/Thea chat we’ll be holding tomorrow (Saturday, November 10th) at 5PM Pacific standard time in this chatroom: http://xat.com/xat185627050 Hope to see you there!

    • aK says:

      Gah, missed it this time. Will try to join in another time. Thanks again for the invite! 😉

      • Shipcestuous says:

        It went pretty well. We’re definitely going to hold another one, probably next weekend, I think, on Friday night or Saturday night. Hopefully you can make it then. If you remember, check back and I’ll have posted about the exact time and the URL of the chatroom again.

  9. So I just found this! UGH, I’ve been so busy I actually missed your fantabulous recap. And a fanfic?! It’s like Xmas lol. I’ll leave a detailed comment on both later, but just wanted to thank you for continuing to do this!

    BTW, apparently we are getting some hate on Tumblr now. Which I take as a good thing–haterade is always as sign of success lol.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Thanks so much! I can’t wait to hear what you think.

      And, the hate IS good news, LOL. If the shippers weren’t making such a splash, no one would care. In fact, I’m quite pleased about that news.

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