Arrow Review: ‘An Innocent Man’ Reveals Oliver Queen’s Darker Side

Arrow CW PilotLast week’s finale had Arrow revealing his secret identity to Dig, whom happens to be his bodyguard. Dig, in turn, decided to say “screw that noise” to Ollie’s one man war on crime and quit his day job. This perfectly sets up An Innocent Man,” which further shows Ollie’s descent into madness.

Ever since the pilot, Arrow has done a great job of showing Oliver’s dual identity. Much like Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen is a playboy billionaire by day, and a vigilante by night. His mask isn’t the one he sprays on and covers with a green hood, but the face he displays to his not-so-adoring public as the once-missing son of a rich industrialist family.

Ollie’s no stranger to internal monologues about his war on crime, but his conversation with Dig further shows Ollie’s intention to rid Starling City of crime in any way he sees fit. He doesn’t just disregard the law, he throws it out the window. Nothing is beneath him in his quest not only for justice, but for vengeance.

He may never mention revenge, but it’s there. It’s in his eyes, and in the way he almost murders a guy with his bare hands. He may be driven to rid the city of its rich, criminal element, but he’s also doing it for himself. He’s riddled with guilt for what his family has been a part of, and wants to fix those mistakes with the blood of those who helped bring his family down.

“An Innocent Man” not only does a great job of showing Oliver for who he has become, but the beginnings of how he got there. This week’s island flashbacks showed Oliver being forced to kill a bird in order to eat. He refused at first, but when hunger got the best of him, he did it. It may have been just a bird – a kinda cute one at that – but it was the first time Oliver had ever killed something, let alone by snapping its neck with his bare hands. It’s said that it always gets easier after the first kill… and if Oliver’s transformation shows anything, it’s the truth in that statement.

Dig, being an important player in the life of Oliver Queen, returns to duty by the end of the episode. He decides to help Oliver, but not in the way one might think. Dig realizes that Oliver is at war – both with crime, and himself – and knows what war can do to a person. He’s there to help Oliver keep what remaining humanity he has left.

It’ll be interesting to see where things will go from here, especially since the next episode promises to reveal more of what exactly happened on that island that made him so cold and bloodthirsty.

Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Is Oliver really not all there? Chime in with your thoughts!

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Marlan Moore is a freelance writer just getting his feet wet in this pond called the Internet. He hopes to one day write for film, TV, and comics, but until then, he is the managing editor of Inside AX - Anime Expo's official news and review site. His favorite drink is Thai iced tea, but he could really use a root beer float right about now.