After being arrested by Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) on suspicion of being Starling City’s new vigilante, Oliver (Stephen Amell) denies any assistance Walter (Colin Salmon) and his mother (Susanna Thompson) can offer and demands the only lawyer he can trust to defend him – Laurel (Katie Cassidy). Believing in Oliver’s innocence, and sure the self-centered rich boy she’s known her entire life is no do-gooder, Laurel agrees to take the case even if it means squaring off against her father over the man he still blames for the death of Laurel’s sister.
Despite being put under house arrest with a GPS anklet to track his movements Oliver continues working down his father’s list by targeting an arms dealer about to unload military grade hardware to the highest bidder. Diggle (David Ramsey) agrees to shadow the arms dealer as Oliver passes a lie detector test to help prove his innocence to both Laurel and her father. On the night of the arms deal Oliver throws a traditional Queen bash and the mysterious vigilante, with Diggle taking his place under the hood, makes a very public appearance on the other side of town.
Walter’s continued investigation into the discovery of the boat leads to the death of a member of Queen Industries security team by Moira’s mysterious friend (John Barrowman), who also makes an attempt on Oliver’s life when he believes he might be Green Arrow. The friction over the discovery, and Moira’s refusal to offer any sort of explanation creates a rift between husband and wife. “Damaged” also provides more flashbacks into Oliver’s early days on the island include his capture by an armed group searching for the mysterious bowman (Byron Mann) who saved his life. Unwilling to give up his only friend on the deserted rock he finds himself at the mercy of the leader of the mercenaries (Sebastian Dunn) and their interrogator – Deathstroke (Jeffrey C. Robinson).
Although the more monochromatic design of Deathstroke looks a little goofy, the flashbacks provide most of the episode’s action this week (aside from the episode’s final scene) as Oliver has to momentarily hang up his bow as part of his plan to distance himself from the city’s new savior. There are still places where the show’s writing could be tightened-up, but this week’s episode, which focuses much more on character and ongoing themes than baddie of the week, is the strongest of the series so far.