- "Do you want to know why I don't talk about what happened to me there? Because if people knew, if you knew...you'd see me differently. And not as some vigilante guy. As damaged. I don't sleep. I barely eat. I can barely sign my name, let alone aim a bow and arrow."
- —Oliver Queen to Laurel Lance
After Quentin Lance arrests Oliver for murder, Oliver tells Moira the only lawyer he'll allow to represent him is Laurel. Laurel takes the case, which puts her at odds with her father. Oliver offers to take a polygraph in front of Lance, but things get tense when Quentin asks him if anyone else was on the island with him. Oliver flashes back to when he got his second scar, courtesy of Billy Wintergreen.
The episode starts out on the island, where Oliver is being taught how to shoot an arrow. While retrieving a rabbit that Yao Fei shot dead, he is captured by armed men wearing black. Back to the present, Oliver is taken to the police station, booked and then interrogated by Quentin Lance. The questioning is soon interrupted by Moira and Walter demanding Oliver be set free and not say anything until his lawyer arrives. Oliver is let go, but tells a distressed Moira that he will only let Laurel defend him.
In the courtroom for his bail hearing, Oliver insists on representing himself and assures Judge Moss that he's innocent. However, The DA, Kate Spencer, moves that bail be refused, as Oliver could escape during this time. Laurel comes in, objects, suggests that Oliver be tagged with a GPS bracelet, confined to his home. As Oliver starts to object, the judge agrees and assigns bail. As the spectators leave the courtroom, Oliver thanks Laurel for coming to his help, and she says that they both know he couldn't be the vigilante because The Hood is trying to make a difference, which isn't Oliver's style.
Back at the manor, an officer attaches the bracelet to Oliver's ankle. Oliver has decided to throw a prison-themed rave on the estate grounds in celebration of his coming freedom. Tommy warns that it's not a good idea, but Oliver wants to make it clear that everyone knows that he isn't worried.
At home, Quentin confronts Laurel about her new client. He insists that Oliver got Sara killed, but Laurel points out that he's biased and that he's letting that guide his prosecution of Oliver. Her father doesn't believe it, insisting that even the evidence is solid, but Laurel tells him that Oliver wasn't the one who killed Sara or drove off Quentin's wife. As Quentin storms out, Laurel tells him that he's not the only one who misses them.
Diggle visits Oliver in his room and asks what he's up to. Oliver says that he knew the security camera was in the stairwell, and he figured out that someone would eventually review the footage. He set the whole thing up so that he could divert suspicion from himself, since someone would eventually tie the appearance of The Hood to Oliver's return to civilization. John points out that Oliver is putting his family through hell, but Oliver insists that the mission comes first. He shows John an Internet article on Leo Mueller, a German arms dealer who has stolen military weapons and is bringing them to Starling City to sell to street gangs. John wonders how Oliver plans to go after Leo when he's under house arrest and Oliver asks him to just shadow Leo for the time being. He sends John to the hideout where he gets some transponders from Oliver's collection of high-tech equipment.
Walter meets with Josiah Hudson, the head of Queen Consolidated's security, and tells him, off the record, that he has an assignment for him. He explains that he found the remains of Robert's boat and wants Josiah to move them to a secure location. When Josiah wonders what's going on, Walter admits that he doesn't know yet.
The DA calls for a meeting with Laurel and her client and brings in Quentin. Kate explains that Quentin bypassed her office when he arrested Oliver, and that she's willing to let Oliver make an insanity plea. Oliver refuses, insisting that he's sane, and says that he'll undergo a polygraph test. It isn't admissible in court, but he'll do it in front of Quentin to convince the sergeant that he's innocent. Laurel talks to him privately and says that he should take Kate's deal. All Oliver will agree to is to accept the deal if he fails the polygraph test. Laurel is satisfied for the moment, but warns him that he's not the only one with something to lose.
Back to the past, the three men take Oliver to a camp where more of their kind are loading crates. They take him to a tent and leave him, and the camp leader, Edward Fyers, introduces himself. Oliver introduces himself and says that his family will pay a reward for his return. However, Edward says that they'll get to that and shows him a photograph of Yao Fei in a military uniform. He asks Oliver if he's seen the man and Oliver claims that he hasn't. Edward isn't convinced and says that Oliver should think on how he's going to suffer as he calls in his acquaintance, a man in a black and yellow mask.
As the workers set-up for the party, Oliver comes out to chat with Thea Queen. He tells Thea that everything will be okay, but she points out that he's been acting weird ever since he came back. She reminds him of the arrowhead that he gave her, but Oliver says that it's just a coincidence and that he bought it at an airport gift shop. Reassured, Thea says that she knew Oliver couldn't be a killer and worried that she'll lose him again. Oliver promises that she won't.
Moira goes to see Malcolm Merlyn when he summons her. She tells him that the charges against Oliver are false, but he wonders if there is something that Oliver has to hide, and warns her that they need to know if her son is hiding something.
Oliver and Laurel meet with Quentin and the polygraph technician. After calibrating the machine on Oliver's truthful answers, Quentin first asks Oliver if he was at Iron Heights Prison and then if he's the vigilante.
Edward demands to know if Oliver has seen Yao Fei as his torturer waits patiently.
Oliver says that he's never been to Iron Heights Prison and that he's not The Hood. The polygraph technician confirms that he's telling the truth and Quentin starts to ask Oliver about the island. When Oliver doesn't answer, the torturer cuts several lacerations on his chest.
Quentin asks Oliver if he was alone on the island and Oliver admits that he wasn't. He explains that people were there and tortured him and he didn't want to talk about it. When Quentin asks Oliver if he's killed anyone, Oliver says that he killed Sara by inviting her onto his father's yacht. Rattled, Oliver takes off the leads and walks out. The technician tells Quentin that Oliver told the truth and Laurel asks if her father will be releasing him. Quentin refuses, saying that he can tell that Oliver is guilty of something, whether he will admit it or not.
That night, Oliver throws his party and greets the guests, inviting them to make as much noise as they want. Quentin watches from the crowd as Oliver goes inside and meets privately with John. John has Leo's current location from the transponders and Oliver says that The Hood will stop him, but not Oliver. John realizes that Oliver set the whole thing up so that he'd have a perfect alibi while John dons the costume and goes after Leo. Oliver admits that he wasn't expecting John to have to stop an arms deal and John says that he's okay with the risk. What he doesn't like is Oliver lying to him, so Oliver apologizes. John tells him that he'll stop the deal.
Laurel comes to the party, and asks to see Oliver privately. He takes her to his bedroom and she apologizes for her father's behavior. Oliver says that he understands why Quentin is angry and that Quentin has every right. Laurel interrupts, telling Oliver that after Sara died, Quentin threw himself into his work and drove his wife away. Since then, Laurel has been so focused on her family that she didn't realize what Oliver went through. She asks to see his scars and Oliver opens his chest to reveal them. He tells her that there were times when he wanted to die but that the fact that he wanted something more kept him alive. They start to kiss but then Laurel pulls away and runs out.
When Oliver says nothing about Yao Fei, Edward wonders if Oliver was telling the truth. He tells the torturer to kill his prisoner, but Yao Fei breaks in and knocks Edward and the guard out. The torturer is a tougher opponent, catching an arrow in mid-flight, and the two men fight it out. Yao Fei finally gets the upper hand and takes Oliver out.
As Leo cuts a deal with a street gang for his weapons, the lights in the warehouse go out. As Leo and his men drive away with the weapons, John (as The Hood) takes on the gang members and knocks them out.
Walter summarily calls Moira to his office and tells her that he knows Moira recovered Robert's yacht and had it shipped to Starling City. He tells her that Josiah was killed while moving it to a more secure location and accuses Moira of lying to him. She warns Walter that he's on a dangerous path and that the people behind it will stop at nothing.
John calls to tell Oliver that he's disposed of the gang, but Leo escaped. A waiter knocks at the door, reminding Oliver that he has to be at the party. When Oliver comes out, he realizes that the waiter has a gun and is going to kill him. They struggle and Quentin arrives just in time to shoot the killer dead. Quentin takes Oliver downstairs to meet with Moira and Walter. Moira, realizing the killer works for Malcolm, makes the best of the situation by suggesting that Quentin accusing Oliver of being The Hood made him a target for criminals. Quentin gets a call from the station and removes the GPS bracelet from Oliver's ankle. He explains that multiple witnesses placed The Hood across town busting up a street gang and he's been told that all charges against Oliver have been dropped. As he leaves, Oliver thanks him for saving his life.
The next day, Moira bursts into Malcolm's office and demands to know why he's targeting her son. He says that he had to take steps to dispose of Oliver if he was their enemy as Quentin claimed. Malcolm apologizes, assuring Moira that it's clear her son isn't the person who is after them. He does admit that he had Josiah killed to protect their secrets. Moira warns him that while she'll do whatever he asks, she'll destroy him if he ever touches her family again.
At the manor, Oliver finds a pouch that he dropped on the bedroom floor.
Yao Fei takes Oliver back to the cave and admits that he's impressed that Oliver didn't break under torture. He reminds him to breathe, gives him the pouch, and runs out. When Oliver tries to follow him, Yao Fei sets off a deadfall, sealing the cave mouth.
Laurel comes to see Oliver and tells him that she studied the polygraph results. She realized that Oliver lied when he said that he hadn't been to Iron Heights Prison, because they visited it together on a field trip in the eighth grade. She figures that he might have forgot until she looked at the readings and realized there were several suspicious flutters. Laurel wonders what else he lied about and Oliver says that he doesn't like to talk about what happened on the island because people would consider him damaged. He claims that since returning he can't sleep, barely eats, and can't sign his name much less use a bow and arrow. After a moment, Laurel says that they're clearly attracted to each other but that nothing can happen between them. Oliver agrees and Laurel gives him the polygraph results as she leaves.
Later, Oliver and John go to the hideout and Oliver defends his decision to keep Laurel in the dark. John doesn't believe it, figuring that things didn't happen the way Oliver planned and that those close to him are questioning his answers.
Walter packs up and leaves the manor. As he goes, he tells Moira that he's taking a long business trip to Melbourne and doesn't know how long he'll be gone. Though this was just a cover story for him needing to spend time away from Moira after finding out she had the Queen's Gambit salvaged and lied about it.
John asks if Oliver has considered how his plan would affect his friends and family.
Laurel tracks down Quentin, drinking in a bar, and takes him home.
Oliver says that he's all too aware of the effects of his lying and explains that it hurts him worse than anyone else. He then dons his costume, tracks down Leo and breaks up his second attempt to sell the arms. After taking out Leo's men, The Hood tells Leo that he had a chance and blew it and that Leo failed the city.
Preparation ran from August 13 until August 21, 2012. Shooting ran from August 22 until August 31, 2012.
- Laurel mentions using fishnets on Halloween, referencing the fishnets which were incorporated into her Black Canary costume in the comics.
- The title refers to Oliver's conversation with Laurel about the island changing him and making him damaged, both physically and mentally/emotionally.
- This episode marks the first of numerous time Laurel's mother is referenced, before later appearing for the first time in "Dead to Rights".
- Whilst Oliver is being photographed for police records, the placard he is holding has the numbers 73 1941. This is in regards to Green Arrow's first appearance in More Fun Comics, issue #73, which was released in 1941.
- Oliver's line "You know us billionaire vigilantes, we do love our toys" is a subtle nod to Batman, also a billionaire vigilante.
|Arrow season 1|
|"Pilot" • "Honor Thy Father" • "Lone Gunmen" • "An Innocent Man" • "Damaged" • "Legacies" • "Muse of Fire" • "Vendetta" • "Year's End" • "Burned" • "Trust but Verify" • "Vertigo" • "Betrayal" • "The Odyssey" • "Dodger" • "Dead to Rights" • "The Huntress Returns" • "Salvation" • "Unfinished Business" • "Home Invasion" • "The Undertaking" • "Darkness on the Edge of Town" • "Sacrifice"|