I’m not sure Oliver knew how much of the truth he spoke when he told Laurel he was damaged. Then again, I think it’s a theme, this episode, with damage going left and right.
First of all, there’s his asking for Laurel to represent him. Some damage done with this, though it’s not restricted to their past history. After the polygraph, I think she’s hard-pressed to trust him ever again, until he mentions his damage. Does she believe him? Maybe. But it’s things like this that made me wonder what they were doing with this relationship. Lying, I think, is also a theme in this episode.
Take Walter. He asks the head of security to move the Gambit, the guy dies in a car accident, then he can’t really get a straight answer (or at least one he believes) out of Moira, culminating in him leaving the country at the end of the episode, ostensensibly to look after ‘holdings in Melbourne’. Now, I have no doubt that the holdings exist, but I think we all know he was using them as an excuse to get some space after realizing he can’t trust his wife. That really hurt both of them, I’m thinking.
Lance is quite aggressive in his pursuit of a conviction, and is quite brutal toward Oliver, inflicting as much damage as he can while not laying a finger on him. I think, though, that Oliver ‘confessing’ to ‘killing’ Sara, as well as losing the case because the polygraph and the appearance of the Hood while Oliver was being attacked at home during a party might have driven Lance to drink. It’s kinda hard to stay mad at him while watching Laurel drag him out of a bar, I’ll admit that much.
Speaking of the party, I was kinda surprised that Tommy objected, given how he was adamant about giving Oliver a welcome home bash, but I think it could be him trying to be that better man for Laurel. But the party was not only an alibi for Oliver, but also yielded a mention of fishnets (not to mention the first Lauriver kiss, present day, after a scar reveal) and Thea asking about her ‘souvenir’ that she got from big brother. This kind of layering is so much easier to see in retrospect, but the showrunners are very good about making every second count.
The attempted assassination of Oliver gives us not only an indication of just how vengeful Lance really is, but also shows us that Moira still has a spine. Even as scared as she might be of Malcolm, she tells him, in no uncertain terms, to leave her family alone now that it’s been ‘proven’ that Oliver knows nothing. I love Moira. I miss Moira.
And then there’s the growing relationship with Diggle. I loved seeing Diggle poke around the Foundry to help Oliver out. His reaction to finding out that Oliver was setting up Lance for a fall without telling him helps me really understand Season 3 a lot better. “I’m the one person you don’t lie to!” As much as Diggle annoyed me in this last season, this helped me remember why he might feel that way. Thank you, Season 1.
Last but not least, I’ll mention the island. Oliver learning archery was a great moment. 🙂 I have to say, I liked Yao Fei before, but this scene really made me love him. Which job do you really want, Oliver? Then hunting gets interrupted by kidnapping. And torture.
I loved how they juxtaposed the polygraph and the torture. They were both horrible for different reasons, though at least Oliver was able to walk away from the polygraph. The torture was simply brutal, and I was very glad when Yao Fei managed to rescue him, again. True, he traps Oliver in their hideout to keep him safe later, but at least he has good intentions. Right?
So, damage. Across the board. This episode just made me hurt. But in a good way. Ready for the next one.