You know, I’d swear that these episodes are getting longer each week if I didn’t know the run time of them. I constantly feel like there are so many things going on that these reviews get longer and longer every time!
Plot Summary: Oliver awakens from a nightmare in the cabin where Maseo had brought him for Tatsu to tend to his wounds. It becomes obvious that there is some tension between Maseo and Tatsu and that they are no longer “together” as husband and wife. In Starling City, Black Canary takes to the streets to fight crime, but is not exactly great at it and requires backup from Roy. Because the Arrow isn’t around, Danny Brickwell wasn’t taken down last time and has now become a huge threat to the city. The city mayor along with a couple other key people, including Captain Lance representing the police, Laurel as the DA, and Ray Palmer (with Felicity) representing an investment in the city’s future, get together and discuss what to do. Brickwell and his men storm the building, and while there are no casualties, Brickwell’s men take a few of the aldermen hostage and demand that the police permanently vacate the Glades.
Diggle and Roy are able to track Brickwell’s vehicle where he and the hostages are on route to an unknown location, and Laurel and Roy head out to intercept the vehicle, free the hostages, and take Brickwell down. Unfortunately, Laurel finds herself shaken up over the whole thing and Brickwell proves to be too much for her and Roy. Brickwell kills a hostage and gets away with the rest. Ra’s sends a few League members to track down Oliver’s body, and Maseo kills them and cuts himself to make it look as though Oliver inflicted the wound and escaped.
Meanwhile, Ray ponders the aftermath of Brickwell’s earlier attack while Felicity patches him up. Captain Lance starts asking around about why Sara hasn’t called him yet when the Black Canary is clearly in town, and Laurel calls him while disguising her voice to get intel on the hostages. Felicity shows up to make amends with everyone and helps track the hostages to the holding location. Felicity also procures Ray’s helicopter for Diggle and Roy to use while Laurel frees the hostages. She gets into a sticky situation with Brickwell and barely escapes. Even though the aldermen have been rescued and there is no need to further comply with Brickwell’s demands, the Mayor believes that they should do as Brickwell asks because he will target more council members and still poses a threat.
Malcolm Merlyn approaches Thea several times during the episode to harass her about packing her bags to leave like he’d requested. Thea denies his requests, even when he tells her the “truth” (a very nice-sounding story about how he fell into the League of Assassins in troubled times, then had a falling out with them and now is marked for death.) Thea doesn’t buy it and insists that they stay in the city. At the end of the episode, Thea runs into the DJ at her club who asks her if the rumors about her leaving town are true. After she tells him they are untrue, he makes a phone call in a different language to Maseo, telling him that Maclolm is not leaving town.
In this episode’s Hong Kong flashbacks, Oliver and Maseo go to a swanky nightclub where they have tracked the GPS tracker that Oliver planted on China White’s guy last episode. The two quickly find themselves at gunpoint and hauled into the back room to see China. Oliver is surprised to discover that Maseo has cut a deal with China—he stole the counterpart serum from Amanda Waller to give back to China—in return for Tatsu. China tests the serum and discovers that it is a fake, and Oliver, Maseo, and Tatsu use the element of surprise to their advantage to make a run for it. Later, as the happy family is reunited with their son, Oliver pulls Maseo aside and asks why he wasn’t in on the plan and why Maseo used a fake serum. Maseo replies that he did not know the serum was a fake, and that Amanda must have switched the serums knowing that Maseo would try to pull something like this.
Review: There sure is a lot of stuff going on in this episode! First, I’m a little surprised that Danny Brickwell has stuck around. We’ve seen a lot of villain-of-the-week types this season, although it does follow that if Oliver wasn’t around to take down Brickwell he would still gain power. I wonder how long it’s going to take Oliver to show up back in Starling City (or is it Star City now?) It seems like he could be back as early as next episode. It would actually be nice to get Oliver back and clean house in this messy, messy city.
I find the Malcolm and Thea relationship a little amusing. It seems that Malcolm is appeasing Thea for now, but I’m wondering how long that’s going to last before he just gives her mind control drugs again and makes her leave with him. It’s pretty hugely inconvenient for him to stick around when Ra’s might come after him, and he knows it. Again, we’ve been over this: Malcolm is not a dim bulb. He knows his neck is on the line right now.
Laurel is still a total bitch. The elaborate lies to cover up Sara’s death are starting to get a little ridiculous and her father is beginning to feel hurt that Sara won’t return his calls or come to see him. Also, I actually felt bad for the criminal Laurel interrogated to find Brickwell’s location. I understand that she’s working for the greater good, but it’s so corrupt for a DA to tell a prisoner “I can charge you with anything I want” and write down a bunch of lies on their record. It’s also selfish of her to KNOW that she doesn’t have the strength to protect the city and get innocent people killed in her line of misguided duty.
This leads us to the question of whether or not Ray Palmer is really doing the right thing with his ATOM suit. Is he really going to be any different than Laurel—someone with the will but without a way to protect the innocent? I dunno, man. Maybe Black Canary II, Red Hood, and the ATOM can all form their own crappy Justice League and sorta protect the city from some harm.
I’m kind of wondering what will happen between Tatsu and Maseo…but not really. They’re dealing with a lot of dangerous people, dangerous serums, and their family and kid is right smack in the middle of all of it. It seems to follow that tragedy of some sort will befall them and they’ll separate. I guess we’ll have to find out…next time.
Episode Rating: I give this episode another solid C! I am also sad to report that M83’s “Midnight City” (a great song) was not played anywhere in the episode.