Arrow 1.05 – Damaged,or Can I Ice That For You?

OK, so, previous recaps are here: episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, episode 4.

And if you didn’t check out my Oliver/Thea fanfic, please please please read it (if you want to) and review/comment. It’s here.

In other introductory business, I have started a tumblr! I’m a long time lurker over there, but I thought the hour had come for me to have an account. So my tumblr is here, and I am going to focus on the same interests as this blog – the same subject (brother/sister incest shipping), and the same pairings you’ve seen here, plus a whole lot of other ones. I am always going to publish my fanfics and my meta/essays/commentarys/recaps here, but I hope my tumblr will serve in a nicely complementary/supplementary fashion. Please consider following if you hang out over there. (And do not fret: my URL is x4ashes4ashes not “incest-blog” or “brother-sister-sex” or “sex-sex-incest” or something like that that you might be embarrassed to be associated with.)

My failure to write an entry for episode 5 of Arrow before this was actually not due to content of the episode as much as what was going on in my life, which is why, instead of picking right up with episode 6, I am going to cover the important highlights of 5 first.

My recap on episode 6 will probably go up in another day or so. At first I was going to make it all one entry (and the title would have been perfect, because it would be me icing Thea’s emotional boo-boo), but I decided it would be better to separate them.

Episode 1.05 Damaged:

If you’ll recall, 1.05 picks up after Oliver has been arrested. (It has been a while, I know.) Quentin is interrogating Oliver, and we learn that Oliver’s story to explain away the security camera footage of him pulling out Arrow’s costume is to say that he found the duffel, thought it belonged to the shooter (Dead Shot, from 1.03), and then found the hood inside. Oliver having Tommy throw his welcome-back-bash in the pilot in a building across the street from CBMOTW (corrupt businessman of the week) Adam Hunt’s offices is also a point against him, but Oliver insists that those are both coincidences, as well as the fact that the police can’t find the hood that Oliver claimed did not belong to him. The coincidences are going to start adding up against Oliver sooner or later, but as we all know, today was not that day. Two coincidences really isn’t quite enough to go on. (Even if Oliver’s story about finding the duffel is as flimsy as toilet paper.)

Oliver insists that Laurel represent him. (GAG!) But his reasoning is that Laurel will be able to talk her father out of his irrational vendetta against the Queens. (What Quentin really needs to find out is who sabotaged the yacht – that’s the person who really killed his daughter Sarah.) Given that Oliver is essentially using Laurel to get through to her father, I really don’t mind too much that she ends up being his lawyer.

Oliver sends Moira to convince her. Laurel resists at first, but I think Moira’s line about Oliver being “so smitten” with Laurel because of her idealism is what finally convinces her. (Gag again.)

And of course we get plenty of ironic lines about how the charges are ludicrous and Laurel “knows” that Oliver can’t be “this guy” because helping people isn’t really his style. I’m not a particularly big fan of Laurel’s character, but I hate the way they’re setting her up for this huge face plant when she finds out that Oliver is Arrow. I also hate the way they seem to be keeping Laurel and Oliver apart by showing Laurel as having this (mostly false) assumption that Oliver doesn’t care about other people. As if that’s the biggest reason they’re not together, when it’s really a fake reason. (The implication being that Oliver and Laurel really should be together.)

Both Tommy and Thea are present for Oliver’s first court appearance.

(I know the CW works with a limited budget, and I am overall very impressed with the polished look they have managed with this show, but they needed to make the courtroom a little bit bigger because it looks like a child’s playhouse.) Tommy is sitting in the second row, behind Moira, which is totally lame. What? He’s not good enough for the laughably small front row? There’s a spot open right next to Walter! Thea is sitting in between Moira and Walter, which I think is pretty cool. Moira has her secrets, but this is a real family, and Walter is a real stepdad to Thea. (She was only 12 when Robert died, remember.)

There is a brief moment when Oliver enters the courtroom, looks at his family (and to me it looks like he’s mostly locking eyes with Thea), and Thea stares at him fearfully. I think he really hates that she has to see him here. And of course she’s terrified.

(I guess the first four times were not enough.)

I really like that that Tommy and Thea were present, because I feel like it would not have made sense if they were not there. I’m especially impressed that they were included because the camera never closes in on them or pays any special attention to them. We don’t get any reaction shots from them. Which is kind of silly on its own, but because of that, I’m impressed that the director had them be present at all.

And Tommy dressed up for court today!

Laurel strolls in, fashionably late. I feel like Thea and Tommy had mixed feelings about this:Laurel arranges, against Oliver’s desire, for him to get an ankle monitor and be put under house arrest. I’m assuming it’s because he wanted jail to be the perfect alibi that he protests. Someone as skilled as Arrow could probably get around an ankle monitor. (Ankle is a weird word. I’m just now realizing this. English doesn’t typically have wild k’s like that.) Well, to get around this, Oliver has to throw a party instead, so he can have hundreds of witnesses.

“Come before Oliver Queen gets off.” This is what he tells Tommy that he wants the invitations to say. ROTFLMAO. Dirty, Oliver! Very dirty. (And right in front of your mother!) Fortunately he and Laurel only kiss.

Of course he goes to Tommy to plan the party, because that’s Tommy’s thing. This also happens to be Tommy’s only real scene. It’s like they only want him for his party planning skills! I bet that’s what he thinks to himself when he’s crying alone at night.

So, I understand why Oliver needs to have people over – so that he can point to dozens of people who saw him and such and such time – and not just people who know him, but strangers who have no need to lie for him. But his idea of a prison-themed party is all Oliver’s wicked sense of humor. So I like that touch.

Tommy doesn’t think a party is in good taste “given the circumstances”. Whoa, when Tommy doesn’t want there to be a party, maybe you should listen! Oliver insists that he doesn’t want anyone to think that he’s worried about this. Of course, we know that he’s probably got something up his sleeve and so he truly, genuinely isn’t worried. But he’s come off as such the asshole that he is, because his family and friends are terrified for him.

Once Oliver gets alone with John Diggle, we finally get some insight into his thoughts. The perfect and infallible Oliver Queen of course knew that he security camera was there. He planned on getting arrested! Now, I knew he would find a way to get himself cleared of all of the charges, but I never for once thought that it was all part of his plan. But as he points out, Arrow shows up just as Oliver Queen returns. Eventually someone was going to get suspicious. He’s just nipping it in the bud. Smart. It also makes fun in such a delicious way of the fact that Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent’s appearances and disappearances and their correlations with Batman and Superman’s appearances and disappearances are never noticed. Of course, I think his camera-footage plan might have been a little bit better, because why is Oliver Queen digging through a garbage can?

Of course, the second part of the plan is that John Diggle is going to dress up like Arrow and make an appearance in town while Oliver is accounted for at his party. (I speculated that might happen, so I feel pretty good about that, because I’m usually pretty bad at figuring out what’s going to happen.)

I love that in the scene where they plot this out John Diggle calls Oliver out on the fact that he is putting his family through hell. Someone tells Oliver this like twice an episode, but sometimes it’s like he still doesn’t get it.

“Well you know us billionaire vigilantes, we do love our toys,” Oliver tells Diggle after asking him to track an arms dealer.

TRUTH.

Diggle has a little too much fun going through Oliver’s devices at the lair.

I kind of wonder how Oliver hasn’t raised any flags purchasing this stuff. Bruce Wayne had the cover of the Applied Sciences Division, and if you’ll recall, sometimes he had to order tens of thousands of each thing in order for it not to look suspicious. It seems to me that if Quentin wanted to prove that Oliver was Arrow, he might be better off researching how Arrow got all of his gadgets.

One of the other cliffhangers from 1.04 is Walter discovering the Queen’s Gambit (aka the Queen family yacht) in a warehouse. In this episode he asks his head of security to move it to another location. BUT HOW? I am really bewildered as to how Moira got it into the warehouse in the first place. It’s not like a yacht will fit in the back of a truck! I mean, I would think you’d need to haul it hanging from a helicopter or something. I just don’t see how it could be done without someone seeing it happen.

The D.A. (or assistant district attorney) trying Oliver’s case (her name is Kate Spencer) is kind of a firecracker.

I’d love to see her and Quentin happen. (I really need a ship for him.) She’s not happy with him because he arrested Oliver without consulting with the lawyer side of things. (I’d probably know more about all of this if I watched Law and Order.) I don’t know if we’ll ever see Kate Spencer again, but I hope so, because the potential is there.

She offers Oliver an EXTREMELY generous deal if he pleads insanity, but Oliver says that he wants to take a polygraph in front of Quentin. I’m not really sure why Oliver is so focused on convincing Quentin that he’s not guilty when he knows that he’ll be able to acquit himself using John Diggle. But the polygraph goes forward.

Laurel wants Oliver to take the deal (apparently she doesn’t have much confidence in her lawyering skills, since we know she doesn’t think he’s guilty) for the sake of his family and friends. She reminds him that he’s not the only one who has something to lose. Thank you, Laurel. Towing the John Diggle line. Of course, the way she says it makes it seem like she’s talking mostly about herself. (More gagging.) I’m starting to think Laurel uses Oliver’s family as a pretense to discuss how she’s feeling.

Oliver looks properly thoughtful afterwards, like a scolded puppy. But he always looks like after getting told off. It never lasts.Quentin questions Oliver about his scars during the polygraph, and gets Oliver to admit that he wasn’t alone on the island. He says that he lied about being alone because he didn’t want to talk about what happened.

In the flashbacks to the island, quite a bit happens. Chinese man (who actually has a name – Yao Fei) is teaching Oliver how to shoot the bow and arrow while they gather food. Oliver goes to retrieve an arrow and is captured by the military men. He is taken to a tent and questioned by a man who introduces himself as Edward Fyers. His accent is very ambiguous, so I’m not sure where he is supposed to be from. He shows Oliver a picture of Yao Fei (except well groomed and in a military uniform – he cleans up nice!) and asks Oliver if he has seen him.

Oliver denies it (good, old!Oliver, very good!), but Edward doesn’t believe him. He tells Oliver that he is a poor liar, which is so ironic because he’s having this flashback while fooling a lie detector test. Fyers brings in a man known as Deathstroke to torture him. Death Stroke wears a freaky mouthless mask. We saw one of his masks in the pilot:

Eventually Yao Fei comes to save him, very grateful that Oliver has kept his mouth shut.

It was easy to assume when Oliver volunteered for the polygraph that he had already been trained to fool it. This is nothing new on TV. During the actual polygraph scene, we see him lie about several things, including claiming that he had never been to Iron Heights prison (which is where he saved Laurel in 1.04). Quentin asks Oliver if he has ever killed anyone. He hesitates, and I thought he was going to admit to having killed someone on the island (perhaps in self-defense, since he has just admitted that he was tortured there) which I thought would have been a really smart move because it would have made Oliver look like he had just given up everything he had to hide, but instead Oliver manipulates the situation and Quentin’s emotions by saying that he had killed someone – Sarah – and then he leaves the room.

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It was interesting move, although not necessary to confuse the polygraph results since we already have seen that he can pass a polygraph at will. I liked this, because it made Oliver look very dark. Yes, of course he feels guilty about Sarah’s death, we know this, but the way he uses that against Quentin in this scene, and manipulates him and Laurel, is very ethically questionable. But we already know that Oliver is an ends-justify-the-means type of guy.

We only really get one substantial scene between Oliver and Thea in this episode, but it’s a very good scene, so I’ll take it. And even though we got three scenes between Oliver and Thea in 1.04, they were mostly about Laurel, so this scene is a major improvement over that.

Oliver is supervising set up for the party, and he asks Thea to tell them to move a keg. He calls her “Speedy”, and I know from tumblr that I am not the only one who heard “sweetie” the first time. (see: GIF above) He makes a callous joke about not being able to go out there because of the ankle monitor.  Thea, naturally, doesn’t think this is very funny. (Oliver, why are such an asshole? Although I feel for him, because the stronger his reassurances that he’ll be acquitted, the more suspicious he becomes.)

He can tell right away when she doesn’t crack a smile that she’s upset (although I would think he might have been able to figure that out using COMMON SENSE.)  The expression on her face is the same one that I make when I’m really displeased but too passive to tell anyone about it.

He comes and sits down beside her on a chaise by the pool. “Hey…all this stuff? It’s going to be fine, I promise.” I like that he took the initiative to comfort her, and didn’t just ignore her. I’m sure it would have been easier for him to wait until the charges were dropped rather than engage in what could be a very difficult conversation, but I think seeing Thea like that really triggers something in him.

“Yeah, well, when you and Dad left on the yacht you promised me I’d see you in a few days…which didn’t happen,” Thea responds. Well, she’s got him there.

Oliver is affected by her fears (probably more so than we’ve seen him be so far in this episode), but he tells her, “This is different than that. I didn’t do any of this stuff – you know that. Right?”

But Thea doesn’t know that: “You’re out all the time. You have those scars. And since you’ve been back you’ve been acting really weird.”

Let’s take a moment to celebrate the fact that aside from Quentin, Thea is the only person who doesn’t assume right off the bat that Oliver is innocent! Your knowledge of your brother is showing, Thea. Of course, she is less than pleased by this idea, but that may be mainly due to the fact that she thinks he’ll be convicted. And while the hooded vigilante has been painted as a violent criminal, let’s not forget the fact that Laurel thinks very highly of him without knowing all that much more about him than anyone else does, and remember that she commented to Oliver that Arrow was actually trying to help people – which means she assumes that Oliver knows this about Arrow, the same was everyone else. Quentin hates the hooded vigilante because he hates vigilantism (and let’s not forget that the fact that he has to see the bodies, maybe even tell their families). Someone just watching the news is not going to be dealing with the same emotional component. So I like to think that Thea is the only one capable of imagining Oliver doing something good like this.

What I really hate is that we never get to see Tommy’s take. Tommy, who knows that Oliver chose to have the party at that location by Adam Hunt’s offices (probably without giving any particular reason), who was with Oliver (and semi-conscious) when he took out those kidnappers in the pilot, who saw him speak Russian out of nowhere, and who seemed highly suspicious about all of it at first, so much so that he asked Oliver what happened to him on that island, and Oliver replied, “A lot” in a way that made it seem like he was basically telling Tommy to stop asking questions. On the other hand, it seems to me that Oliver has been able to maintain his fake persona best in front of Tommy. Tommy saw him pretend to lose the fight in Max Fuller’s club, has seen him partying it up, was there for the fake phone call from the Russian model. So maybe some of Tommy’s suspicions have been put to rest.

“None of this makes me some Robin Hood wannabe,” Oliver replies to Thea. He keeps his eyes intensely on her the entire time, but she avoids looking at him for the most part. I like it, because we know he’s studying her, trying to make sure that she’s swallowing his lies, and she’s looking away because it’s awkward for her to discuss her suspicions, and maybe because she knows that looking at his face will sway her.

“You gave me this,” Thea presses, lifting up the hozen. (I love that she had it with her. Was she planning on confronting Oliver about it? Or does she just always keep it on her person?) “I mean, it’s an arrowhead,” she points out. NICE ONE, THEA. Girl is sharp. I remember noting with some delight that he had given her something shaped like an arrowhead because I thought that it meant he wanted that gift to be coming from the whole him, not just the half of him that he’s going to show her. But I never thought about the fact that it might make her suspicious later on. Plus, I really love the continuity, because that gift might have never been mentioned again. I really wish she would throw the term “reconnecting” back in his face, because he has been failing epically at that.

I really want to punch Oliver in his gorgeous face during this next part, because he sighs and takes this tone like he pities her. Excuse me? Your little sister, your magnificent little sister, is seeing through all your shit and you decide to cover up your lies with a new lie that hurts her feelings? Sometimes I just think about how these two could have it all I want to cry.

“Oh man,” he begins. “Thea, I bought that in the gift shop of the Beijing airport.”

LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE. I do not believe that for one second. A stone in the shape of an arrowhead engraved with Chinese? It’s like his time on the island summarized in one item. And through all that misery, he had to have held onto things that represented the people he loved.

But even if he did buy it in the airport in China, come on. It’s still in the shape of an arrowhead, isn’t it? It still has Chinese characters on it. (And what I wouldn’t give to know what they say. Hopefully something sexy.)

It’s hard to tell whether Oliver is actually thrown. We’re supposed to see him as such a good liar that the director and Stephen never show him without his facade, even for the benefit of the audience. He’s quick with his lie. But the camera is on Thea right after she tells him, so maybe he did have a moment where he was like, “Oh, shit.”

Thea fingers the hozen quite a bit. It’s hard to tell exactly what her reaction is. I’d like to say a part of her doesn’t believe him. But she also seems hurt and disappointed and a little angry.

God, I hate this. She was on to him, and now he’s making her feel bad and stupid and silly for having suspicions.

“Now I’m sorta happy I didn’t buy you the shot glass with the panda on it. Because then you’d be worried I was panda man,” Oliver jokes.

And I love the look on his face, because it’s like he’s trying to be flirty but he’s not too good at it, and he’s making a stupid joke and watching her, just hoping that she’ll be charitable and laugh at it. He really needs to see that she’s not hurt anymore, that she has forgiven him for telling her that the present he gave her meant more than it really did.

Also, I need to see Stephen Amell in a giant panda suit.

And a vigilante dressed up as a panda would rock so hard.

I bet Oliver is also glad that he did not buy Thea a shot glass with a giant panda on it because he’s always getting on her case for drinking. That would be ironic.

Thea grants him a smile, but I think it’s more of a self-deprecating bitter grin. “You know, I knew you couldn’t be this person,” she tells him. Did you, Thea? Because I don’t think that you did. “I just, I can’t lose you again.” Not “I don’t want to lose you again” but “I CAN’T LOSE YOU AGAIN.” Can’t. My poor girl. And she just stares him down, totally honest, totally vulnerable. Thea Queen, ladies and gentlemen. I won’t say she never gets on our nerves, but she loves with her whole heart and she’s not afraid to say it. She’s the only open one on this whole show. That’s why she’s always getting hurt – she leaves herself open to it. She wears her heart on her sleeve. Bless her for it.

“Deal,” Oliver says. I hope this means he’ll never get married.

Oliver makes an announcement at the party that the nearest neighbors are six miles away, so noise isn’t really a concern. It guess when he said it was 20 miles to Starling City he wasn’t exaggerating. It would drive me crazy having to commute that far every day, but I guess people in larger cities are used to it taking that long to get somewhere. I suppose it doesn’t really matter whether you’re coming from the other side of town or 20 miles out of town – both will take 30 minutes. I just get so worried that Oliver will decide he wants a penthouse in town or something and move out of Queen manor.

Oliver doesn’t really clue John Diggle in to the fact that he’s going to be dressing up as the Hood until right when he needs to do it, so Diggle points out quite rightly that he doesn’t expect to be safe but he doesn’t like to be played, and Oliver needs to realize that he’s the one person Oliver doesn’t need to lie to. I like John Diggle a lot. He’s got a good head on his shoulders. He makes so much sense and I think he’ll be a good moral compass for Oliver. But as I have stated about a billion times, I’d prefer Tommy to be the guy in this position. But I guess it’s possible to view Tommy as more of a versatile character (with a more versatile position in the show, seeing as how he has relationships with all of the other main characters), and Diggle as more of Oliver’s sounding board. Not that I want to reduce John Diggle to a prop, because I don’t. But, well, I guess I resent that Oliver/Diggle seems to be the most popular slash ship, and while I don’t slash ship it, I would much prefer Oliver/Tommy to be the more popular one.

Diggle starts walking out angrily, and Oliver asks, “So am I going to jail?”

And Diggle says, “No, man. I’ve got to stop an arms deal.” It’s probably my favorite thing that he has ever said, and John Diggle has said a lot of good things. He’s so over Oliver’s shit, but there’s something good and important that needs to be done and he is damn well going to do it.

Laurel shows up to the party (Quentin is there as well, but NO TOMMY AND NO THEA?!!!!), so Oliver invites her up to the privacy of his bedroom. Laurel can’t remember the last time she was up there, but Oliver does: Halloween, 2005. They were getting ready for Tommy’s party (or did he say Tawny, because that’s what I hear every time?) Wait, that’s two years before Oliver disappeared. I guess Oliver’s bedroom is not where they spent their time.

Laurel remembers the fishnets she wore (foreshadowing!) and Oliver flirts with her (gag) by saying she looked good in them. I think it’s the first time Oliver has actually flirted with her. I DO NOT LIKE IT.

Laurel has come over to apologize for her father’s behavior during the polygraph, and to explain to Oliver that Quentin didn’t just lose Sarah, but also their mother after he threw himself into his work. She wants Oliver to understand. And Laurel says that it’s part of the reason why she became an attorney – her father ran to the law and she followed. (Except in the pilot we learned that she had always said she was going to go to law school.)

“Why don’t you hate me?” Oliver asks. “You should.”

Laurel explains to him that she did (which we saw: do the words “you should have died instead of her” mean anything to you, Oliver?), but today was apparently the first time she had ever considered what might have happened to him. I find that hard to believe. But I suppose she’s mostly referring to the torture. She apologizes for not asking him more about the island, and she tells him that she needs to see his scars. Right. “Scars”. Yeah, so do we all. All the ladies want to see the “scars”.

Oliver unbuttons his shirt. She looks him over. He talks about how there was a time that he wanted to die but in the end there was something that he wanted more. I’m going to assume that he means “to live” and not Laurel, but either way this leads into a kiss. Laurel definitely initiates it, but Oliver begins responding long before she actually puts her lips on his. There’s no point in us having any illusions about this. She pulls away after the kiss starts getting pretty intense, and Oliver says, “You don’t have to go,” in a rare glimpse of the real him. Overall: YUCK. But…

I think any Oliver/Thea shipper noticed the parallels with their scene from 1.02 right away.

Parallel 1: Location. Both scenes take place with both characters standing in the middle of Oliver’s bedroom.

Parallel 2: The Shirt. I can’t say if they’re the exact same shirt or not (the one from 1.02 seems like it might be a little darker), but they’re both similar enough that I literally cannot tell if they are the same or not. (Oliver is in costume for his party, dressed up as a man incarcerated, but black and white stripes and orange jumpsuits were both an option.)

Parallel 3: The ladies want to see the scars.

Parallel 4: The way the lady opens up the shirt more to get a better look, and her hands hang on the edge.

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We also see remarkably similar looks on both girls’ faces.

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I feel like those are enough parallels to make anyone watching closely think of the earlier scene.

I mean, the shirt! THE SHIRT! It’s ridiculous. The costume designer – I’m back to thinking that she’s a shipper.

And now, the contrasts:

Contrast 1: This scene ends in a kiss. Then we have Laurel fleeing. Completely different from the first scene, in which we see Thea reaching out to Oliver, desperate to be closer to him.

Also, I’m not saying this is what’s going on, but one of the best ways to get inappropriate love stories in under the radar is to present them through parallels. One of my anons and I have discussed this at length in the comments for my earlier recaps.

Contrast 2: Oliver’s demeanor. Think about the Oliver/Thea scene. He’s angry, right? He never meant for her to see the scars, he’s annoyed (“Don’t you knock?!”), he tries to hide from her, and is overall very aggravated when she manages to get a look at them and confronts him about not talking about the island. With Laurel, it’s almost like he’s with a doctor. Oh, you need to me to take my shirt off? OK, doctor. Obviously, there was a quite a bit of intended sexual tension for the scene (though an acute lack of actual chemistry), but it also seemed very easy for Oliver to show Laurel the scars. I know I’m wearing my shipper’s goggles, but maybe the reason it was so much harder with Thea (aside from the fact that she didn’t already know about the torture), was just because of how much better she knows him. And how much she, unlike Laurel, wants to know everything about what he has been through. Maybe he knows he can’t just open up to Thea a little, she wants him to be all in.

Walter’s head of security dies trying to move the Queen’s Gambit, so Walter finally confronts Moira. He’s very hurt that she has been lying to him, and feels the need to question everything now. Understandable. I love Moira in this scene, because she completely ignores the fact that she has been lying to him and just tells him to stop looking into this because it’s not safe for him. I’m sure she has been lying to him to protect him, and I bet she’s got a lot more to feel guilty about, she can’t really be bothered to feel too guilty about these protective lies.

John Barrowman’s Well-Dressed Man killed the head of security and sends an assassin to take out Oliver because he believes, thanks to Quentin, that he is indeed Arrow. Oliver is extremely lucky that he opens the door on the assassin while he is still assembling his gun, because a few seconds later and the assassin could have shot him right through the door or right after opening it without Oliver ever having known he wasn’t just talking to a caterer. They struggle, and Oliver is holding his own just fine but it’s a rather evenly matched fight, when Quentin comes in and shoots the assassin. I LOVE IT. Now Oliver has to feel weirdly indebted to him, and Quentin’s probably got a lot of mixed feeling about it as well.

Tommy is present during the next scene, but like the courthouse scene, we don’t get any reaction shots and if you’re not paying attention you probably wouldn’t even notice that he was there. (I wonder if some dialogue or reaction shots were cut for time.)

Oliver is sitting on the couch, with Thea right next to him, and she is helping him put an ice pack on his hand, but his hand is resting on his upper thigh. You know, because he can’t do it himself or something. ON HIS UPPER THIGH. I mean Thea is basically groping his crotch and Tommy is just off to the side holding his drink like Thea isn’t molesting her own brother five feet to his right. I’m seriously not sure why Thea needed to be the one to put the ice pack down on him, so I’m very happy about it. And if you pause it just right, Oliver is smiling at her and she’s looking at him and it’s just like: SEX.

I know I referred to the earlier scene between them as the only “substantial” one, but in terms of “oops, sexy”, this one wins.

Also, Tommy is holding something. It kind of looks like a gun or maybe a radio. What is this mystery?

So, after letting go of the icepack, Thea runs her hand up Oliver’s arm really slowly. We know she loves those arms, and she’s really milking this moment for every possible touch. I love how much I get to question Willa Holland’s acting choices. Then she sort of leans back on the couch in a way I can’t really describe, but it gives me all these husband and wife feels.

I mean, do you see this? Are you watching closely? JUST LOOK AT HER. She’s just like “these arms belong to me.”

Oh, and aside from the fact that there was lots of touching, of course I am not going to ignore the romantic trope of the woman nursing her wounded man. That sort of scene is always best when they’re not together yet anyway. It’s even better when he’s not wearing a shirt, but all in good time. Especially if she becomes a vigilante by his side.

Also, there’s some editing continuity errors in this scene. As you know, they film each scene several times, mostly to do with camera angles rather than actors making mistakes or trying out different things. And sometimes things change between each take. For example, in the scene from the pilot when Oliver finds Thea at his party, sometimes Thea’s hair is tucked behind her ear, and sometimes it isn’t. And in this scene, the position of Thea’s hands change. The distant shots aimed directly at the couch show her hands on her lap, but the closer ones from the side show that one her hands in resting between her and Oliver on the surface of the cushion, so basically an inch from Oliver’s butt. Thea, you can hide nothing from me!

Also, the episode is called Damaged, referring, of course, to Oliver’s trauma. And here we have Thea treating his physical injury. Maybe she’ll be one to heal his emotional injuries as well.

Oh, and this isn’t going to mean much to most of you, but a lot of Spencer/Carly comparisons have come up. Both brothers are 10-12 years older than their teenaged sisters, both brothers live with their sisters despite being late 20’s, both siblings pairs are the get-along-well/friends type vs. ill-humored banter and rivalry. Both sisters look at their brothers like they’re the best thing on the planet. And in just odd sort of coincidences, we have Spencer’s skeleton shirt vs. Thea’s skeleton shirt, we have the sisters playing nurse, and then this whole ice pack private parts deal just really put me over the top so that I had to mention it.

Quentin removes Oliver’s ankle monitor and announces that that the vigilante was seen in The Glades.

I feel so bad for Quentin. I mean, yeah, he has been a total dick. But Oliver was guilty, and he just saved Oliver’s life, and now he has tell a room full of people that he was been wrong about all of it.

Everyone’s eyes are on Quentin while he’s talking, except for Thea, who is staring intensely at Oliver.

At least, that’s what it looks like to me. Because of where everyone is standing, it’s a little hard to tell. I wonder if she notices that Oliver is not particularly surprised or particularly excited (because he already knew it was coming). I think Oliver played it a little too cool. Wouldn’t an asshole billionaire playboy be a little more excited that he’s off the hook?

Moira says:“I’m very sorry for what has happened to your family, Quentin, but would you please get the hell out of my house.” HBIC. Of course, she might still be implicit in the yacht going down, which means she is partially responsible for Sarah’s death.

Poor Quentin. Such a bad day for him. It’s no surprise that Laurel has to drag him out of a bar, drunk as a skunk, later on. I am so happy that he has Laurel. Can you imagine if he was alone?

Moira confronts the Well-Dressed Man. We’ve seen her mostly be scared of him up until this point, but now that he has tried to have Oliver killed, mama bear is coming out to play. He is respectfully apologetic, but not quite apologetic enough. Moira says, “I have been the good soldier. I’ve done everything you asked. But if anyone in my family gets so much as a paper cut, I will burn your world to ashes.” Bam! You’ve been Moira’ed. HBIC.

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.

.

.

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We also find out that she had the yacht salvaged secretly. What are you up to, Moira?

Yao Fei gave Oliver some mysterious leather bag full of god knows what. It’s the last flashback. WHAT IS IN THERE?

Laurel comes to visit Oliver in his bedroom one more time. She waves the polygraph results around. Apparently, she and Oliver visited Iron Heights prison on their 8th grade field trip. (Oliver said in the polygraph that he had never been there.)

Um…their school went to a prison on a field trip? Starling City…just no. Also, how does the son of a billionaire go to the same school as a cop’s daughter? Also: very interesting that Oliver and Laurel have known each other since middle school, if not earlier. It’s going to be a lot easier to cast Laurel into the sister/friend position if they’ve known each other that long. I had been wondering how Laurel ever ended up dating him, but it makes more sense knowing that she has known him since he was a kid. Was Tommy also at this middle school? Crossing my fingers for a yes.

Well, Laurel notices that Oliver fluttered on that question. Which, and I don’t really understand how, leads her to understand that he lied on that one, which means he might have lied on all of them. (Even though she gives several perfectly rational reasons for why he might have fluttered – he was nervous and didn’t want to admit to having been to the prison, he had forgotten, etc.).

“What happened to me being too selfish to be a masked crusader?” he asks.

“Oliver, I saw your scars!” I don’t really follow, Laurel. But I guess knowing what he went through on the island has made her realize that he might have changed.

Oliver says that he doesn’t talk about what happened to him on the island because if people knew they would see him differently. “I don’t sleep. I can barely sign my name, let alone aim a bow and arrow.” Gosh, I don’t know whether to admire what a skillful liar he is (particularly by using emotional manipulation), or to just be disgusted.

It would seem Laurel buys it. She moves on: “After last night, clearly we’re still attracted to one another.” Like I ever believed she wasn’t attracted to him. Ha. “Oliver, nothing can ever happen between us,” she finishes.

“I know,” he says.

WTF. Now, I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I do not want these two together, but they’re not making any sense. They can’t be together why exactly? What I hate even more is how melodramatic it all is. This isn’t Romeo and Juliet. You’re not star-crossed lovers. You’re not fated to love each other but never be together. What is this bullshit? Like there’s this force keeping true love apart. Sorry, I’m not sighing over that.

While I’m worried about the weird components the writers have decided to add to this love story, I guess I should just take pleasure in the fact that they’re just making up reasons not to be together, so clearly they don’t really want each other all that badly. Laurel was basically like, “Not gonna happen,” and Oliver was just like, “Gotcha.”

Oliver has apparently told John Diggle everything. I’m glad he’s realized that he can talk to him. John Diggle says, “So you lied to her? Or maybe you just told her a version of the truth.”

A version of the truth? No, John Diggle. You used to make sense and say smart things. What the hell is this “version of the truth” business? That’s not a thing.

“I told her what she needed to hear. She was getting too close,” Oliver responds.

“The sad thing is I think you actually believe that,” Diggle responds, back on track. “I think things didn’t go down exactly as you planned. You didn’t count on so many people having questions. Doubting you. You didn’t think about what happens when you lie. Especially when you lie to the ones you love the most. When you were stuck on that  island, plotting your grand plan to save the city, I don’t think you stopped to consider the effect it would have on the people in your life. Or how it might hurt them.”

Yes, he’s back. John Diggle: teller of how it is. I love him calling Oliver out on this. And I think he’s right. Not just about Oliver being inconsiderate, but about the fact that things didn’t go exactly according to plan, and people like Thea had questions.

“You’re wrong,” Oliver says. “I think about it all the time. And just to be clear: not being able to tell my family the truth – it doesn’t hurt anyone worse than it hurts me.”

.

.

I’m not sure if Oliver’s response was written to make Oliver look better, or if he genuinely means all that. I do think it hurts him. But I still don’t think he quite gets what he’s putting Moira and Thea through.

John Diggle’s little speech plays over several scenes. Laurel getting Quentin from the bar. Thea, reading an article on line about Oliver’s return and handling the hozen. (Which, in my opinion, very much makes her look like she’s less than satisfied, especially since the part about “having questions. Doubting you” is going during that part. I can’t wait until she decides to follow him, or something.)

And then of Walter, telling Moira that he’s going on an indefinite business trip to Melbourne. I AM SO SAD ABOUT THIS. I have liked Walter and Moira as a couple since 1.03 when we saw them talking at the stock auction. But I never realized how much I care about their relationship until Walter decides they need some time apart.

The final scene is Oliver taking out the arms dealer. He just shoots him with an arrow. I’m going to assume he kills him. This is some dark scheisse.

And that is episode 5. Keep your eye out for my recap of episode 6, which should be up within the next day or so.

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17 Responses to Arrow 1.05 – Damaged,or Can I Ice That For You?

  1. redbanker says:

    HOT DAMN!!! Girl I’ve been waiting for this!!! I’m stoked about the chat I will try my hardest to be there. I’ve got one more major paper to write for the semester and it’s due on the 3rd, but I should be able to take a break for the chat. You’re recap of this episode is right on!! The two scenes between Oliver and Thea were way too short but did make up for quality what they lacked in quantity. I can’t wait for episode 6. You’ve got to come over to the LJ to make comments I feel like I’m the only one over there lately. I will totally start following your tumbler. Have a great one.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I didn’t watch 1.06 until rather recently, so that’s why I haven’t been over to the LJ to participate in the episode discussion. I know there are enough shippers to make it lively, we just need to figure how to get them over there!

      Good luck with your paper! I hope you can spare a few minutes to come chat with us. It’ll make a nice break!

      Thanks for the comment. It makes me so happy to hear that you enjoy reading the recaps and look forward to them. I really need to get them done closer to when the episode has just aired so that everything is fresher in everyone’s minds.

      I’ll see you on tumblr!

  2. redbanker says:

    OH yeah BTW what show is Carly and Spencer from I’ve heard you mention them before but never heard of the show?

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I can’t believe I didn’t say what show they were from! When I mentioned them in the first recap I linked to the article I wrote about them which had the show in the title, but this time I just did pictures and names, so my bad. They’re characters from iCarly, the kids show on Nickelodeon. Not at all the same kind of show as Arrow, LOL.

  3. redbanker says:

    One last thing sorry LOL I got the stomach flu Sat and was in bed all day yesterday so I’m still a little out of it. Have you watched Revolution. Cause the Miles/Charlie shippers are taking over this fandom they are uncle/niece and their chemistry is pretty crazy not to mention the show rocks. Of course it’s written by JJ Abrahams and Eric Kripke (Alias and Supernatural) so how could it not. Anyway I think you would enjoy it.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I am so glad that you made this comment, you have no idea. I tend to ship brothers and sisters (if the title of this blog didn’t make that obvious), but my second favorite type of incest ship after that is actually uncle/niece, although all of my favorite uncle/niece ships are ones I made up myself, LOL. I do watch Revolution, and have shipped Miles and Charlie from the start (despite the fact that I really don’t like Charlie all that much). I have almost sought out fanfiction a couple of times, but never did, and have been completely removed from any fandom interaction. Knowing that there are a lot of Miles/Charlie shippers makes me incredibly happy. They do have crazy chemistry, and are the most important relationship on the show. Eric Kripke just can’t write families, LOL.

  4. aK says:

    Aw, shucks; I’d been holding up well despite there being no ‘Arrow’ on last week, but then I saw the screencaps of Tommy and I melted! So. GORGEOUS!!! X) My 2 cents: I’m gonna’ say he was holding a remote in the “ice pack” scene.
    No pressure, but I hope your next post has even more Tommy screencaps…with Thea. Hee 😄
    Also, if it’s gonna’ happen, I hope they don’t drag Thea slowly finding out about Ollie’s secret too long. I mean, how awesome is it gonna’ be when they finally become a brother-sister team (I hope I’m not jumping ahead of myself, but with all the foreshadowing, dear writers, please just make it happen and don’t pull some melodramatic twist just to be “deep” >_<).
    Thanks for the post! Love ya! ;D

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Thanks for reviewing so dutifully! I always love hearing from you, and bonding over our mutual affection for Tommy. He killed me in 1.06, so I’d be surprised if it wasn’t just screencaps of him and no words, LOL.

      I can’t wait to see them as a brother/sister team, but assuming the show is renewed and holds steady, I think there is plenty of time for that, and I don’t want Thea to find out before she gets a chance to run into the vigilante, just like in my fic. Probably without the flirting and the nudity, though, unfortunately. I share your concerns, though. It could be awesome, or it could be bad.

  5. redbanker says:

    BTW sorry this is driving me crazy, what does HBIC stand for?

  6. redbanker says:

    Okay I know this is for Arrow, but did you watch Revolution last night. Unfuckingbelievable. So good. I won’t spoil it if you haven’t watched it but it rocked. I can’t believe there’s going to be a 4 month hiatus. I mean really!!! It’s the first major hit NBC has had in like forever and they’re giving it a 4 month break, someone please explain that shit to me cause I just don’t get it.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I haven’t watched it yet so I’m glad you didn’t say anything. I’ll reply to your comment with my thoughts once I’ve finished it. A 4 month hiatus? I knew they were burning through episodes pretty quickly, but I’m not sure taking the show off the air for that long is a good idea. I know long hiatuses have killed shows before.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I finally watched Revolution (I’ve had a busy week!). WOW, what an episode. I can’t believe we have to wait four months for more. This probably the first time I’ve been really, really excited the next episode. Hearing there are plenty of other Miles/Charlie shippers just makes me even more excited. Their scenes in this episode were great.

  7. anonymous says:

    “Tommy doesn’t think a party is in good taste “given the circumstances”. Whoa, when Tommy doesn’t want there to be a party, maybe you should listen!”

    Yes. And it also shows you his hidden depths that he tries to hide.

    “Diggle has a little too much fun going through Oliver’s devices at the lair.”

    Who wouldn’t? 🙂

    “Oliver is supervising set up for the party, and he asks Thea to tell them to move a keg. He calls her ‘Speedy’, and I know from tumblr that I am not the only one who heard ‘sweetie’ the first time.”

    That’s what it sounded like when I heard it too. I can imagine the director saying, “Stephen, we need to do another take. It doesn’t sound like ‘sweetie’ enough.” I’ve becomer pretty sure that they know what they’re audience REALLY wants.

    “It’s hard to tell whether Oliver is actually thrown. We’re supposed to see him as such a good liar that the director and Stephen never show him without his facade, even for the benefit of the audience. He’s quick with his lie. But the camera is on Thea right after she tells him, so maybe he did have a moment where he was like, ‘Oh, shit.'”

    This was my take. I think he gave her the hozen, not realizing it was an arrowhead. His subconscious wants her to know to real him, not the person he pretends to be. But at this point he still won’t listen to it and has understandable (but incorrect) fears that Thea will won’t really understand. And this also serves as a fantastic counterpoint to his actions regarding Quentin and Laurel because it that instance he had to make the conscious decision to manipulate their emotions in such an underhanded way.

    “But, well, I guess I resent that Oliver/Diggle seems to be the most popular slash ship, and while I don’t slash ship it, I would much prefer Oliver/Tommy to be the more popular one.”

    Here’s how I view it: Both ships are miles above Oliver/Laurel.

    “Laurel remembers the fishnets she wore (foreshadowing!) and Oliver flirts with her (gag) by saying she looked good in them. I think it’s the first time Oliver has actually flirted with her. I DO NOT LIKE IT.”

    But I don’t mind the flirting because during the scene it just feels a off and it comes off as still more conscious manipulation rather than honest flirting.

    “Then she sort of leans back on the couch in a way I can’t really describe, but it gives me all these husband and wife feels.”

    It’s a very sexy, self-assured pose. And if you showed that gif to people who absolutely no knowledge of the series they would probably assume that Oliver and Thea were a couple.

    “Everyone’s eyes are on Quentin while he’s talking, except for Thea, who is staring intensely at Oliver.”

    It’s not just that. It’s that Thea looked straight at Oliver with a confused look right after Quentin said the Arrow had made an appearance. I think that the idea that Oliver had been at the mansion while the vigilante had made an appearance didn’t make sense to her. The two facts could not be reconciled because she was sure he was the vigilante even though she had the earlier conversation with him. Which means that she both silently supports his mission and likes touching him in sexy ways.

    “A version of the truth? No, John Diggle. You used to make sense and say smart things. What the hell is this ‘version of the truth’ business? That’s not a thing.”

    Well, it could be that he’s talking about half-truths. From his perspective, some of what Oliver said to Laurel might seem like that. But Diggle also doesn’t have the audience’s near omniscient perspective. He isn’t privvy to the parallels we’ve been allowed to see. If he was, he be able to come out and say what we already know: “Oliver, you’re in love with your sister.”

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I can imagine the director saying, “Stephen, we need to do another take. It doesn’t sound like ‘sweetie’ enough.” I’ve becomer pretty sure that they know what they’re audience REALLY wants.

      LOL. You know, I’ve noticed that Stephen is the only one who makes it sound like “Sweetie”. When Colin Donnell says “Speedy”, then that’s what I hear. So, I think you’re right. It’s a ship tease, LOL. Must be.

      This was my take. I think he gave her the hozen, not realizing it was an arrowhead. His subconscious wants her to know to real him, not the person he pretends to be. But at this point he still won’t listen to it and has understandable (but incorrect) fears that Thea will won’t really understand. And this also serves as a fantastic counterpoint to his actions regarding Quentin and Laurel because it that instance he had to make the conscious decision to manipulate their emotions in such an underhanded way.

      That’s genius! I do think he gave her something in the shape of an arrowhead because he unconsciously wants her to know everything, but the point you made about that being juxtaposed with his manipulations of Laurel is just too good. With Laurel he’s trying to control everything that’s going, and with Thea he’s just out of control and he doesn’t even know it.

      But I don’t mind the flirting because during the scene it just feels a off and it comes off as still more conscious manipulation rather than honest flirting.

      I hadn’t really thought about it that way, and that really helps. Because it did come off as very odd.

      Here’s how I view it: Both ships are miles above Oliver/Laurel.

      LOL. Accurate.

      It’s a very sexy, self-assured pose. And if you showed that gif to people who absolutely no knowledge of the series they would probably assume that Oliver and Thea were a couple.

      I really think they would assume that they were a couple. And I think “self and self-assured” is the PERFECT way to describe the way Thea is when she leans back in that scene. Sexy, because caring for Oliver and putting her hand on his thigh has gotten her all hot and bothered, and self-assured, because she’s the one next to him in that moment, and she knows they’ll always have each other.

      It’s not just that. It’s that Thea looked straight at Oliver with a confused look right after Quentin said the Arrow had made an appearance. I think that the idea that Oliver had been at the mansion while the vigilante had made an appearance didn’t make sense to her. The two facts could not be reconciled because she was sure he was the vigilante even though she had the earlier conversation with him. Which means that she both silently supports his mission and likes touching him in sexy ways.

      Yes to all of this. You’re right that she isn’t just looking at Oliver – she’s confused because she does think, deep down, that he is the vigilante. And I thnk she’s checking to see his reaction because she wants to know if he’s surprised. Which he isn’t. And which probably confirmed for her, somewhere, deep down, that is the vigilante.

      I need John Diggle to tell Oliver that he is in love with his sister. I think that would be perfect for the season finale, LOL.

      • anonymous says:

        “LOL. You know, I’ve noticed that Stephen is the only one who makes it sound like ‘Sweetie’. When Colin Donnell says ‘Speedy’, then that’s what I hear. So, I think you’re right. It’s a ship tease, LOL. Must be.”

        I don’t think we can make any other conclusions. There’s just…so much of it. It can’t be still be coincidence.

        “I really think they would assume that they were a couple.”

        This reminds me of something that occured with “Smallville.” Someone ran a little experiment with one of the episodes from one the early seasons. The names were blanked out so that no one could hear the names. A high number of respondents said that Chloe was Lois Lane. You know, even though she’s blonde. A fact that anti-Chloisers considered a big, big deal. And even if the hair color was a big deal, it was revealed that she was not a natural blonde.

        I bet if someone did the same kind of experiment for “Arrow” and took out some of the identifiers from one of the episodes, there would be some people who would start thinking, “Is she supposed to be Black Canary? She’s worn a choker. She’s a younger than she is in the comics, but she’d look great in fishnets. If she’s Dinah, why is she always in Oliver’s home? Is she living there? Were they childhood friends and her parents died or something? Did she have a crush on him when she was younger? Some people say the lawyer is actually Dinah. Lame. Because Oliver and ‘Dinah’ don’t even look like they wanna screw.”

        “I need John Diggle to tell Oliver that he is in love with his sister. I think that would be perfect for the season finale, LOL.”

        Yes. A thousand times yes.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I loved your review but I’m an avid archer and it wouldn’t be that easy to track arrows. First I’ll start with the shaft.he used carbon arrows which are the most common. Although they can be thick or thin his are quite average and an order wouldn’t stand out of those. Most arrows have to be cut down to the size of the user too so that eliminates that factor in tracking. Although buying broad heads (the pointy arrow tip for killing) in a city would be uncommon we saw him make his own, although he did have some store bought ones.and it would be simple enough to pay for those in cash outside the city where hunting is more popular. Now for the fletchings or the feathers on an arrow. Arrows can come fletched or you can fletch them yourselves.either way a good archer goes through a lot of those so it would not be suspicious to buy a lot at once. All in all hunters, not target shooters, go through a lot of arrows and it wouldn’t be hard or suspicious to buy dozens of them. Although buying 100 broad heads would be suspicious buying 100 arrows wouldn’t be.

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