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Arrow Episode Recap - Damaged - Season 1, Episode 5

Synopsis: The guest villain this week for Oliver Queen – aka Arrow – is Deathstroke, but he’s not around long enough to get used to his Halloween-style mask and the local corporate villain is around even less while more of Oliver’s time on the island is revealed in the flashbacks.

Arnold Karate teaches Oliver how to kill little bunny rabbits who aren’t paying any attention to a man aiming a bow and arrow at them.

Details: Thankfully, we don’t automatically pick up from last week’s dropoff and open instead with the first flashback. But that’s bad news for a poor little bunny on the island, who is just sitting there, minding his own business and chewing his wad of leaves or sticks or mud or whatever it is that bunnies chew with those teeth when an arrow takes him up, up and away to Happy Bunny Land where he can forever multiply. Also, sorry kids, no Easter this year. The bunny-shooter, we discover, is not Oliver, but rather his caveman island mentor who is still nameless at this point so we will give him one – Arnold Karate – due to his likeness to Pat Morita, the actor who played the second Arnold in “Happy Days” and also starred in “The Karate Kid”. Arnold Karate teaches Oliver how to shoot an arrow but, apparently, not how to avoid being ambushed by three island thugs – Larry, Moe and Curly – shortly before the first flashback ends.

Next up is Angry Police Chief Wiggum Lance, who goes through his usual frothing-at-the-mouth motions with Oliver for a few seconds before we learn – much to our surprise – that Oliver’s ex-girlfriend Laurel apparently has amassed an extensive professional resume on LinkedIn and there is no question that she is both qualified and experienced to be a criminal defense attorney in a high-profile case involving a billionaire playboy accused of being a vigilante murderer. No question. Plus, it works better for the ratings, so – yay!

Once Laurel is confirmed as Oliver’s legal defense counsel, the verbal warfare scenes begin on cue and these angst-laden sarcastic humor battles are expected to last well into 2019 or eternity. One or the other.

Next, Oliver admits to Diggle that, actually, you see, he planned on getting caught by the police. Yeah, that’s it. It’s all part of his master plan. He’s a genius, you know. Leo Mueller is this week’s local bad guy, a German arms dealer – you’d think those Germans would have learned their lesson with guns – and Oliver gets the brilliant idea of having Diggle replace him as Arrow and mess up the deal Leo has with local gangs and simultaneously be witnessed doing the messing up so as to clear Oliver from being identified as Arrow.

Walter confronts Moira about the existence of, oh, you know – that yacht in the warehouse that everybody thought was at the bottom of the sea! – and then leaves for Australia after his chief of security is mysteriously killed in a car accident. Will we see Walter ever again or will he stay Down Under conversing with the koalas, wombats and platypuses? Who knows and we’re unsure if anybody genuinely cares.

Laurel, Oliver and Angry Police Chief Wiggum discuss legal semantics, Oliver’s potential insanity defense and who gets to pay for the steak dinner at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse when the case is over.

The second flashback introduces Deathstroke as a torturer for the island kingpin and Deathstroke either had a horrible tricycle accident as a kid or else cut himself shaving as he wears a two-tone Halloween-style facemask to cover his true identity and is dressed in what appears to be the leftover smelly laundry pile. After Oliver fails to accurately answer some questions – a sort of island version of a polygraph test – he is handed over to Deathstroke for torturing. Deathstroke tortures him and is about to kill Oliver when Arnold Karate busts in to save the day – yay! Arnold Karate and Deathstroke tumble around for a bit before Arnold knocks Deathstroke down and takes Oliver with him back to his caveman cave.

Oliver takes a real polygraph test – against the wishes of his legal counsel from the law firm of Ex-Girlfriend & Partners – and sorta passes. Later, he has a private meeting with his legal counsel where he shows her his scars and tats from his island vacation and then there is the inevitable kissing – a clear conflict of interest!

An assassin posing as the hired help attempts to ambush Oliver in his house while he is on house arrest but Angry Police Chief Wiggum shoots the intruder – thus saving Oliver’s life – and setting up, we’re certain, many interesting and snark-laced lines of dialogue for future episodes into 2013.

The final flashback shows Arnold Karate handing Oliver a pouch of magic fairy dust to heal his torture wounds and then sealing him off in his caveman cave while he goes off to lead Deathstroke’s insane clown posse on a wild goose chase and with so many loose ends to tie up, the finale has Diggle giving Arrow a lecture shortly before the other story lines are knotted up [Angry Police Chief Wiggum gets drunk, Arrow takes care of Mueller, etc.] and everybody gets ready for next week’s soap opera mess of story lines.

The Poop and Skinny: Two voiceovers this week – Arrow’s and Diggle’s – aargh!! Apparently our fruit cake basket didn’t get delivered to the right address last month. Unlike last week’s local bad guy whose last name was a hockey reference, this week’s local bad guy is named Leo Mueller and has never played hockey in the NHL. The flashback island now has a location – North China Sea [as opposed to the more touristy South China Sea] and a name – Purgatory [and we’re absolutely sure that nobody on the writing staff has ever seen the “Apple Dumpling Gang”]. All scenes involving Oliver’s sister Thea are overly sappy and melodramatic and are to be avoided by all males in the 18-49 demographic.

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