Arrow Season 1 Review “An Innocent Man”

Last week’s cliffhanger ending took an unexpected turn at the start of this week’s episode of Arrow, “An Innocent Man.” As we had seen last week, Dig came out of his poison induced haze and saw Ollie as the Arrow. Instead of being relieved to see Oliver safe and sound, Dig reacted from his moral center and took a swing at Oliver, calling him a criminal and a murderer. Where one might have expected a guy like Dig to immediately be on board with Oliver’s mission to fight the wealthy criminal elite, Dig rejects Oliver’s ideology and walks out on him entirely.

For a moment there, I was not sure if Oliver would kill or threaten Dig to keep his secret identity safe. I want to believe that Ollie wouldn’t attack an innocent man, but he isn’t exactly emotionally stable and we’ve seen him kill lower level thugs for the sake of his secret before. If he believed that his mission was more important than any single person, what would he be willing to do to protect that?

I’m happy that Dig did end being more important to Ollie than his secret identity and that Dig was conflicted about turning Ollie in right away. Dig immediately quit his job as Ollie’s bodyguard, but as we saw from his dialogue with his sister-in-law, he had already been struggling to find the value in putting his life on the line for wealthy brats.

Ollie tracked Dig down and for the first time since his return to civilization, Ollie told someone a little bit of the real truth about his time on the island. When Dig finally came back to Ollie, it wasn’t to accept Ollie’s offer as originally presented, or to become his sidekick. Dig realized that he had to become the sheath to Arrow‘s sword of justice so Ollie could save the city with fewer casualties and reduce the risk of Ollie being killed in the process.

When Ollie wasn’t hilariously ditching his new bodyguyard, Rob, or trying to woo Dig to a life of superhero crime fighting, he was taking down the next criminal on his hit list, Jason Brodeaur. This followed the same pattern that most of his previous hits have, only with a lot less action. The height of the action here came during a prison riot, but that was too chaotic a scene to showcase the kind of cool choreographed fight scenes we’ve seen on Arrow before.

To be honest, I like the Arrow when he’s kicking people in the face more than when he’s turning out the lights to deliver secret messages to Laurel Lance. Ollie can be both serious and funny, but in his Arrow outfit, that sort of ambiguous tough guy talk can sound a little silly.

Ollie ended up brutally punching a man repeatedly in the face because he couldn’t control his rage after the man attacked Laurel. After he stopped punching the prisoner, there was a look on Laurel’s face when her gaze met Ollie’s that made me wonder if she recognized him for a moment. Laurel told her father that she had been wrong about the masked man and that she agreed that he was a killer with no remorse – that statement would take on an entirely new layer of meaning if she had a suspicion that the Arrow could actually be Ollie.

Steele’s investigation into Moira Queen’s Tempest investment led to a few surprising, but not entirely unexpected developments. Apparently Moira had secretly used 2.6 million of Queen Industries’ money to pull up the remains of the shipwrecked boat that Ollie and his father were on. Her motives remain unclear, but she met with the Well-Dressed Man again, and this time their conversation revealed that both he and Moira were familiar with Robert Queen’s list. The Well-Dressed Man was worried that the Arrow was specifically targeting the people on Queen’s list, and I’m dying to find out what the both of them will do when they realize that they’re right and that Ollie is the hit man.

Our hero’s secret identity doesn’t seem to be a very well kept secret anymore. Ollie didn’t exactly take the best precautions to hide his identity in the first place, relying mostly on a dab of dark face paint and a hood to hide his alternate persona. Still, I didn’t expect that so many people would find out the truth about Ollie in only the first few episodes of Arrow. Only a little while after Dig found out what Ollie was doing at night, Detective Lance stumbled upon footage of Ollie mid-costume change, giving him enough evidence to arrest him.

In a sense, I appreciate how Arrow has approached this secret-identity business with a dose of reality. With modern technology, a hood, painted face, and voice changer (in sexy-voice-mode, no less) wouldn’t be enough to keep his identity hidden for very long. I expect that Dig will have something to do with how Ollie gets out of this arrest, but I’m very curious to see how Arrow plans to get Ollie back into the secret crime fighting business after being found out so early in the game.

  • Hi Dyanamaria! Another great review! I understand what you’re saying about Dig, but I wasn’t really surprised by his initial reaction. Dig has shown himself to be a man who genuinely tries to do the right thing, and despite the fact that Ollie is trying to make the city better, he (Ollie) is in fact going about it the wrong way. Basically, the ends do not justify the means. I would’ve been disappointed in Dig if he had immediately hopped on Ollie’s train. I liked the fact that he had to argue it out for himself. On the one hand, Dig wants justice. Not just for himself but also for all the other people who are being stepped on by the wealthy. On the other hand, how that justice is achieved is just as important to him as the justice itself. He struggled with his decision, and the conclusion he reached was not so much to save the city the way Ollie is going about it. His conclusion was to help Ollie save himself. And in that process, Dig may be able to help Ollie realize that the journey to redemption for the city is also a journey to redemption for Ollie. And just as an aside, I don’t think Ollie ever considered killing Dig. Even if Dig hadn’t agreed to help him, I don’t think Ollie was worried about him turning him in either. Especially after he explained what he was trying to do and why.

    I’m still not sure how I feel about Laurel yet. She seemed to be perfectly fine with bending the law when she thought she was in control of the situation. But when it became evident that she wasn’t in control, she had a change of heart. Her character confuses me. It didn’t make sense to me for her to determine that the Masked Man was a remorseless killer, when he’d obviously gone to the prison to save her. Yes, he was beating a man, but that was also the man that was trying to kill her. And yes, Ollie has killed low-level thugs, but to be fair, they were trying to kill him at the time.

    I’m interested to see how Ollie gets out of his arrest. I don’t remember from last week, but I don’t think Ollie changed in the hallway. From what I recall, he grabbed his bag and ran out. But I could be wrong. I agree that Dig is probably going to play a big part in Ollie’s release because I don’t see it happening otherwise. I am also wondering what is going on with the Well Dressed Man and Moira. If Steele gets too close though, Moira is likely to become a widow again. Well Dressed Man doesn’t seem to have any qualms about having people killed.

    And is it wrong that I want to see more of the Well Dressed Man just so I can have John Barrowman on my screen every week? Great review and I’m looking forward to next week!

    • Anonymous

       Thanks Jessica – you’re right about Dig’s reaction being completely in line with his character.  I guess I was more surprised that in a superhero show, they didn’t have the really-cool-side-kick-guy jump at the opportunity to support a vigilante hero, but I LOVED that they didn’t go that route.  I love Dig, I’m so excited to see what they plan to do with him that won’t turn him into a side-kick (I told my husband that I was hoping Dig would end up being one of the Green Lanterns… pre-ring of course… but he thought I was being ridiculous, so we’ll see.)

  • ptjackson

    I really enjoyed this episode, as I have enjoyed all the others. But, I have to agree with Jessica about Laurel – her leap to the conclusion that Arrow is a remorseless killer is quite the stretch. 

    I can’t wait to see more of this story as it all unfolds!