Arrow has returned from a month-long hiatus. Time to quit slackin’ off, Oliver Queen!
Plot Summary: Roy and Diggle attempt (and fail) to take down a new criminal who is out to take over the Glades. The team is a little concerned that there has been no word from Oliver since his fight with Ra’s, but they aren’t losing sleep over it because Oliver has proved himself to be a survivalist on literally every occasion. However, Thea becomes increasingly worried over Oliver’s absence and asks Malcolm and Roy respectively to look into what might have happened to Ollie. Malcolm decides to investigate the site of the duel to find out who won the duel.
In Hong Kong flashbacks, Oliver and Maseo plead with Amanda Waller for her help in finding Tatsu (who you may recall was kidnapped in the last episode,) but Amanda has other priorities on her mind. She orders the two to steal another serum for her, one that will neutralize China White’s super-virus. Oliver and Maseo take down most of China White’s thugs and obtain the serum, but Oliver lets one guy get away, much to Amanda’s chagrin. Oliver explains to Maseo privately that he planted a GPS tracker on the guy who got away, which may lead them to Tatsu’s location.
Back in present-day Starling City, Malcolm pays a visit to the Arrow team and brings along Ra’s sword with Oliver’s blood all over it as proof that Oliver no longer lives. Malcolm then goes to Thea and insists they leave the country and never return, much to her confusion.
The new criminal attempting to take over the glades, Danny Brickwell, plots to destroy evidence collected against imprisoned street enforcers so that they will be released from jail and right into his posse. Diggle and Roy attempt to stop him but things just don’t go as planned and Felicity interferes to ensure that the two of them make it out alive. The group argues over whether or not Felicity made the right call and Felicity storms out, announcing that she is quitting because the team can’t hold it together without Oliver. Afterward, Felicity and Ray Palmer have their first fight: Ray is testing pieces of the A.T.O.M. suit and Felicity, still in a fragile mental state, argues with Ray as to whether or not it is safe or right for him to do this.
As Brickwell’s plan succeeds and a large group of men are freed from jail, Laurel dons a new Black Canary suit and attempts to get the situation under control. And Maseo is seen hauling Oliver’s body to a cabin in the mountains, so that Tatsu can “bring him back to life.”
Episode Review: As I believe I’ve mentioned before, this season is somewhat lackluster and unfortunately this episode is no exception. Guys, seriously. The most exciting and interesting stuff happened in the HONG KONG flashbacks, and I tell you every week how boring the Hong Kong flashbacks are, so you know that is saying something.
This episode also struck me as feeling scattered. I had a really hard time keeping up with the main plot because it was uninteresting to me and just seemed like a plot device to have the Arrow crew break up without Oliver and to show off Laurel’s new Black Canary moves and suit. Can’t forget about Ray Palmer and his A.T.O.M. suit which might steal the show any day now, too.
Speaking of Ray, his characterization was a little off to me in this episode. In the past, Ray has been really observant and consistently in tune with Felicity’s emotions. He often cheers her up and tries to be helpful or do nice things. In this episode he pretty much ignored the fact that Felicity was obviously crying in her office and she was just trying to talk him out of doing something dangerous because she cares about him. It was kind of lousy of her to talk about what his deceased fiancée would have wanted to him to do, but for me it’s hard not to feel bad for Felicity here. What happened to the sensitive Ray from previous episodes?
Finally, I cannot even tell you what is going to happen with Tatsu the necromancer (?!!) Super confused on that one. The most logical explanation I suppose would be a Lazarus Pit, which goes along nicely with the Ra’s al Ghul plot. However, Stephen Amell (the actor who plays Green Arrow) has said that while Lazarus Pits may appear in the show, they will not be used to bring Oliver back to life. So that theory goes out the window. I don’t have anything else.
Danny Brickwell, aka “Brick” is a character in the DC Comics Universe, first appearing in the New Earth comics. His background here in Arrow seems to be consistent (as far as I can tell) with the comics- building up and taking over street gangs, dealing drugs, and finding new territory to “take over.”
Worst Writing in the Episode: This honor goes to…Malcolm Merlyn! Terribly inconsistent characterization here. Why is Malcolm motivated to go talk to Diggle, Felicity, and Roy? Shouldn’t he be thrilled that Ollie is dead and I dunno, move on with his life? I literally see NO reason for him to go visit the Arrow crew once, let alone twice. Sure, you could say “well Thea asked him to look into it!”
But Malcolm is a pretty sharp guy, not much gets past him. You can assume that he’s been waiting with baited breath to see if Ra’s or Oliver was victorious. Andthe fact that Diggle and Roy are running around town without a certain green-hooded friend seems like a pretty obvious outcome to me. And he didn’t seem to have much difficulty finding the grounds of the duel and already knew that Ra’s would leave his weapon behind if victorious. I do not understand, guys. He’s a great villain (albeit I’m a little tired of him being dead and then not-dead and all that) so why reduce him to running petty errands and try to make people cry? That seems like pretty low-level villain work to me.
Overall Episode Rating: This episode gets a solid C from me!