Following last week's disappointing waste of Deadshot, An Innocent Man handles the fallout from that episode's revelations. Arrow (the 'green' seems disingenuous, since his costume is as dark a shade of green as one can get) lugs his poisoned bodyguard, Diggle to safety, revealing his secret identity in the process (and not the only time he does so during the episode). Intimidating as it might be, the green hood isn't quite as effective as Batman's Cape and Cowl. Maybe Ollie needs to get himself a pair of glasses – the humble specs have done wonders for Superman for many years now. Should've gone to... sorry.
While he attempts to convert Dig to the cause (every decent superhero needs a sidekick) Ollie attempts to free an innocent man from death row. He brings the case to Laurel's attention (just call her Dinah, or Black Canary already) sneakily appearing in her office like Batman did for Gordon (or, more aptly, Katie Holmes) in Batman Begins. Thankfully his superhero voice is a little more restrained than Bat-Bale's, merely settling for a more gruff version of himself. It's daft in its own way though, making him sound like a recording of Jigsaw in a Saw movie. It works for him though, earning Laurel's trust and putting a smile on moody Oliver Queen's face for once.
Nice as it has been to see China White and Deadshot, easing off the freak of the week format does wonders for An Innocent Man. At this stage, it's better to concentrate more on our fledgling hero than his villains – maybe let us care about this version of Green Arrow before pitting him against a (semi) famous villain like Deadshot. That's not to say that the show can't still be faithful to the comic books – there's a lovely little wink to the DC Universe as Arrow threatens to introduce an interrogation victim to the “10:15 train to Bludhaven”. Every week there seems to be a little something for the fans, and it's lines of dialogue such as this which give us hope that Green Arrow is in good hands. Also promisingly, Colin Salmon has a little more to do this time around, as he begins to uncover some of Ollie's shady activities.
Back on the island, Flashback Ollie learns a few lessons in the way of the Arrow from his mysterious captor/mentor. As usual, the flashback sequences of the show remain the most interesting for now. The main plot is beginning to sway that balance, but there's still work to be done. Maybe a bit less glum torture (this episode sees GA pin a man's hand to the wall with an arrow) and more swashbuckling. The addition of Dig as his sidekick might just help Ollie lighten up a bit. He's certainly at his most tolerable when toying with his bodyguards. What he really needs is a rube like Green Lantern to bond with and teach a few life lessons to. For now though, Dig will do.
Next week, on Arrow: John Barrowman!