Wanted: one Emerald Archer. After his mother’s dramatic and shocking death last episode, Oliver Queen is missing. Unfortunately, Starling City and Ollie’s family and friends need him now more than ever, what with Slade Wilson and his army of enhanced thugs lurking, to say nothing of the sinister Sebastian Blood about to take over as mayor. If that’s not bad enough, Sara Lance has fled town and Roy Harper is our of commission. Yep, it’s squeaky bum time for Team Arrow, so read on to find out how bad things can get. As always, heaping helpings of spoilers await!
Not So Quick Summary: Moira Queen’s funeral is juxtaposed with Blood’s inauguration in one of those montages with somber music. Walter Steele is on hand along with Thea Queen and the Lances, but Oliver is not. Felicity is crying at the reception even though she didn’t like Moira, but Diggle points out that she’s crying for Oliver, not for herself. Isabel Rochev isn’t above talking some smack at such a sad time, telling Felicity and Diggle that maybe Oliver will come to their funerals. Thea tells Walter that she’s angry at her brother not for missing the funeral, but because he never warned his family about Slade despite their experiences on the island together.
Laurel Lance’s “daughter of a cop” sense is tingling, and it’s warning her about Blood. She tells her dad about her misgivings, and even though he’s wary about trusting her, seeing as doing so before caused him a considerable amount of grief, she reassures him that she’s right this time because … well, she’s not drunk! Meanwhile, Blood gets a call during his first day on the job from his “father” (that’d be Slade), and Felicity and Diggle bemoan their dwindling supplies of snake venom to keep Roy conked out. They’re also running out of people to ask about Oliver, though Diggle says he knows a person.
How about Amanda Waller? Felicity has computer envy at the A.R.G.U.S. headquarters, so you know they have some good tech. Waller tells them they haven’t been looking in the right place, because Oliver is at his lair. No, his other lair.
Isabel visits Thea at Verdant to pile on some more bad news: since Queen Consolidated owns the building the nightclub is in, she’s getting evicted, and has only a couple of days to vacate the premises. In the mayor’s office, Laurel drops in on Sebastian, ostensibly for help with a case, but really to plant a bug. She and her dad are able to sweet talk a reluctant police tech to read Blood’s files, and they find a smoking gun: he had a press release expressing his sorrow at Moira’s death before she was actually killed.
At the backup lair, Oliver is doing what he does second-best, which is to blame himself for everything that’s gone wrong. He’s taking it to a new level now though, planning on turning himself in to Slade so that their vendetta finally ends. He actually thinks he’s the “one more person that has to die” even though we know Slade was likely talking about someone else. Felicity challenges Oliver by mentioning that she became something more by refusing to accept her fate, but he dismisses her with a line about how the essence of heroism is to die so that others can live and says there is no other way.
Walter isn’t having any better luck convincing Thea to stay in Starling City, but Oliver finally goes home and wants to put in his two cents. He actually wants Thea to leave, saying that he loves her and wants her to keep her pure heart. With that out of the way, Ollie calls Isabel and tells her that he’ll be at the pier tonight, alone.
You didn’t think he’d turn himself over to Slade without one more chance to wax poetic about his failures, right? Perish the thought! As Oliver muses about how he should have died on the boat so that none of this would have happened, he’s taken out by a tranquilizer dart. When he comes to, he’s angry to see he’s back at the Arrow Lair with Diggle and Felicity, but that turns to surprise when he sees Laurel is there too. She confesses that she knows his secret because Slade told her and does her best to convince him that committing suicide by super villain will only hurt Thea and his friends even more. After that doesn’t work, she plays her last card, stating that she has proof Blood is working with Slade. The light bulb goes off in Ollie’s head, and … aw yeah, we’re getting back to super hero time!
Before that, Oliver decides to crash Mayor Blood’s dinner and confront him about working with Slade. That goes poorly, as Sebastian figures Slade made good on his promise to deliver City Hall. And besides the mirakuru army is only going to damage the city enough to get its people ready for his leadership. That makes perfect sense if you’re a psychopath.
As Thea leaves home, Team Arrow gets ready to spring into action again. Felicity has a plan to trap the army of faux Deathstrokes in the sewer system, and when Laurel asks to help, Ollie tells her she needs to stay safe and let the original three teammates handle things. Blood puts on his skull mask and gets ready to lead the army, but Diggle is busy planting explosives. There’s a brief discussion about trying not to kill them, but Arrow reasons that they’re not really men any more since they’re hopped up on mirakuru. Don’t tell Roy you feel that way! And in this week’s adventures in foreshadowing, we see Thea not able to board her train yet and Officer Lance recognizing a collar at the station as one of the escapees from Iron Heights.
Arrow’s fight with one of the mirakuru men goes badly until he’s saved by Laurel. Ah, but who’s going to save Diggle from Isabel, now looking a lot like Ravager? There are Deathstrokes at the station beating up Lance and causing chaos at the train station too. Felicity has her hands full keeping tabs on it all, but there’s a call coming through from S.T.A.R. Labs.
Oh, and there’s a whole squad of them that have Arrow and Laurel cornered, though he uses an explosive arrow to cause a cave-in of the tunnel they’re all in. Ominously, the rest of Slade’s army is on the march.
Meanwhile, on the Island: The new plan to get back at Slade is to use an old submarine to strike at the Amazo. That depends on the Russian being able to get it operational again, which he does.
There are torpedoes on board, but there’s also some bad news: they need to be manually operated from inside (wait, what?), meaning a suicide mission for someone. In the present, this would surely be Ollie, but in the past, it’s Peter who steps up, figuring he’s dying from radiation poisoning anyway thanks to Ivo’s experiments on him. Oliver commends him on his bravery, saying he’d never be able to do something like that. Maybe not yet, Peter somehow says without winking at the camera and breaking the fourth wall.
The torpedo apparently hits the mark, but Oliver finds that the safety he sent Sara to isn’t so safe. We have to go back! I saw that on a show about an island once.
Final Thought: We were due for a slightly less dramatic episode after last week, and that’s exactly what we got. This show and the next one seem to be all about maneuvering pieces into place for the season finale, and that process began to pick up the pace in the final few segments. All we need now is to see Malcom Merlyn show up (he was in the scenes for next week) and find out exactly who will stand beside Arrow when it all goes down. Can’t wait!