Arrow Review: “Damaged”

DC/WB’s breakout show fires off a somewhat weaker entry this time around, as Ollie plots to shake suspicion from himself. We do, however, learn more of his tortuous origins, we see the complexity of his plans, and we get a glimpse of Deathstroke.

Title: “Damaged”

Cast and Crew
Director: Michael Schultz
Writers: Wendy Mericle, Ben Sokolowski

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green arrow
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Willa Holland as Thea “Speedy” Queen
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Colin Salmon as Walter Steele
Roger Cross as Hilton
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Annie Ilonzeh as Joanna
Christie Laing as Carly Diggle
John Barrowman as Well-Dressed Man
Jeffrey C. Robinson as Deathstroke
Byron Mann as Yao Fei
Jason Bempong as Gang Leader

Full cast and crew information may be found here.


Ollie’s arrest is part of an elaborate plot to throw suspicion away from him. And speaking of elaborate plots, this episode reveals a little more about the Arrow’s origins on that island.

High Points

The few scenes of heroics were well-handled. In terms of acting, Ramsay’s Diggle makes a more interesting hero, frankly, than the lead. Of course, Ollie’s developing backstory could make him a far more complex character, if the writers don’t get Lost in the various plots, and Amell rises to the challenge.

Glad to see Deathstroke. I hope the original, idiotic explanation for his abilities gets casually left out of the series.

Low Point

So, Oliver stages an event that will lead to his arrest, throws a party so he’ll have witnesses, sends someone out to play the Arrow (because the police apparently know for certain there’s only one hooded vigilante, and they also have concluded a millionaire couldn’t hire someone to impersonate him), and then immediately has all charges dropped. The lead detective personally unlocks his electronic bracelet.

It’s a good thing Ollie’s ruse staged to throw attention away from himself doesn’t look exactly like a ruse staged to throw attention away from himself.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 Finding Ninjas instead of Pirates on a deserted island shows some originality.

Effects: 5/6. The effects generally look good, though the establishing shot of the island obviously involved CGI.

Story: 4/6 I found the plot flawed, though the backstory shows the potential for Ollie to reveal greater depth than previously shown.

Acting: 4/6 This ep had a lot more of the soap opera than usual, a little more Lost.

In total, “Damaged” receives 28/42


Do any of the regular viewers want to write future “guest” reviews? The show has a strong following, and might be ideal for occasional guests, who may have a different perspective to share.

12 replies on “Arrow Review: “Damaged””

  1. I wouldn’t knock the dropped charges bit too much. The hooded vigilante showing up while Ollie is under house arrest would be enough to cast a reasonable doubt given the very thin evidence in the first place. I would expect the DA to drop the charges in such a case to avoid going to trial prematurely. Nothing stops the charges from being refiled if better evidence turns up later.

  2. I just checked Wikipedia about Deathstroke. He got his powers in a military expirament; what about that would be bad for TV?

    • The traditional explanation is the experiment gave him access to 90% of his brain, instead of the 10% the rest of us use. But since “you only use 10% of your brain” is nonsense, the explanation would be as annoying here as it was when Heroes used it.

      Pet peeve of mine. Obvious fantastic elements are fine. Junk science that people actually believe is not.

  3. I found this one to fall a little short also. It was alight, but lacking on the action/revenge angle.

    I did enjoy the backstory on the island, almost to the point where I would have had slightly more of that, and slightly less of the legal mess (and I doubt it’s the end of that … for now anyhow).

    I hope they’re not writing themselves into corners already…

  4. About the sister:

    Does anyone else think “Speedy Queen” sounds like a franchise of some sort, or maybe a kitchen product? “If you act now, we’ll also send you….”

  5. Still enjoying this show very much. I actually like that they’re setting up that the police are NOT incompetent clods!

    Who the heck is Deathstrike? I’ve not read the actual comics.

    I wouldn’t mind doing reviews. I’ve done some before!

    • Deathstroke (originally, incredibly, the Terminator, before that name got attached to some other guy in pop culture) is…. Long story short, a military-experimented guy, basically a kickass superNinja who often works for hire. Marv Wolfman and George Perez created him in 1980.

      He’s also the more-or-less acknowledged inspiration for the goofier and more famous Deadpool character over at Marvel.

      As for reviews, how about next ep’s? Contact me at the_timeshredder (AT) rhymes with snotmail dot com and I can send along a template, and then print it– with your name or handle attached, of course.

      • I meant who was Deathstroke in the episode… I must’ve missed that or… something? Not known what to look for?… unless it’s who what’s his name turns into.

        Will email you; a lot of places like to toss me in spam, my emails come from freakzilla dot com.

  6. I do like the direction they’re taking with the ethical ramifications of Oliver’s actions. Not only are there a lot of consequences to his friends and family from the charade, but even when he is the Arrow there’s a lot of moral ambiguity about the extent to which he’s really a good guy. I’m wondering how long it is before the Arrow crosses the line by killing an innocent or a bad guy who didn’t deserve it.

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