Arrow 1.05 “Damaged” REVIEW

Episode 1.05
Writers: Wendy Mericle and Ben Sokolowski
Director: Michael Schultz

THE ONE WHERE: Oliver is on trial, accused of being the Starling City vigilante known as the Hood. Placed under house arrest, he enlists Dig to take on justice-dishing duties – and recalls an encounter with a vicious group of international mercenaries that occurred during his five-year island exile…

THE VERDICT: I’m A Millionaire Playboy, Get Me Out Of Here! Gratuitous bunny-skewering aside, the island flashbacks prove the most engaging part of this episode, with the reveal of the balaclava-clad soldiers of fortune delivering a genuinely surprising twist. DC mainstay Deathstroke is brought to the screen with mixed success – the visual of the mask is surprisingly faithful to the source material (well, if you don’t count the number of eyes…) and nudges the show’s aesthetic closer to comic strip, but he’s very much presented as a lackey here rather than the ultra-intelligent schemer of the DCU. Finely choreographed fight sequence with Yao Fei, though – one of the better scraps we’ve had in the series. Elsewhere the episode channels the kind of glossy courtroom drama that American TV loves, though the occasional scene veers perilously close to daytime soap. Stephen Amell brings an effective sincerity to Oliver’s confession of emotional damage and there are some interesting circles of deceit beginning to surround the central character as he fights to preserve his secret identity by duping those closest to him.

STAR TURN: Britain’s own Sebastian Dunn impresses as Edward Fyers, oozing a cold-eyed, charismatic, impeccably cultured sense of threat. Hopefully that’s not the last we’ll see of him – he certainly has a long and conflicted history with Green Arrow in the comic books.

TRIVIA: The creation of Mike Grell, Edward “Eddie” Fyers debuted as part of the acclaimed Longbow Hunters arc in 1987. Fellow DC icon Deathstroke the Terminator first appeared in The New Teen Titans 2 in 1980, the work of Marv Wolfman and George Perez. This isn’t his first live action incarnation – he’s previously added some mercenary-flavoured menace to episodes of Lois And Clark and Smallville.

DID YOU SPOT?: Laurel references the time she wore fishnet stockings. Black Canary, her DC alter-ego, is famed for her taste in crime-fighting hosiery.

BEST LINE:
Lance: “You’re a dangerous menace who doesn’t care about who he hurts, except now you’re doing it with bows and arrows instead of trust funds and yachts.”

Read all our Arrow reviews.

Arrow airs in the UK on Sky1