When last we left our intrepid heroes, things had just gone from bad to worse. Slade Wil..."/> When last we left our intrepid heroes, things had just gone from bad to worse. Slade Wil..."/>

Arrow Review – Season 2, Episode 19: The Man Under the Hood


When last we left our intrepid heroes, things had just gone from bad to worse. Slade Wilson revealed his plan for creating an army of mirakuru-powered super criminals and told Thea Queen the identity of her real father. He also had Isabel Rochev seize Queen Consolidated, and just for kicks, he gave away the secret identity of the Arrow to Laurel Lance. Oh yeah, and Roy Harper left town. But just sitting around and taking it on the chin isn’t Arrow’s style (and it really isn’t the Canary’s style), which means only one thing: it’s time to fight back.

Not So Quick Summary: We begin with Team Arrow engaged in some breaking and entering. Ironically, they’re busting into the Queen Consolidated applied sciences building, one that belonged to Ollie until last episode. Felicity reveals that she has an electronic skeleton key that can hack any digital lock (SPOILER: plot point red alert!), and after incapacitating some guards and dragging them to safety, Oliver and his merry men and women blow up the building. Ever the cheerful optimist, Ollie announces that destroying all that tech will only delay Slade.

Laurel grapples with her knowledge of Oliver’s dual identity as she visits her dad in prison. Back at the Queen mansion, things are glum. After Isabel’s power play, the family stock is basically worthless, and the only hope for hanging onto all of their assets is if Oliver, Moira and Thea all sign off on the creation of a new trust.

That could be a problem, as Thea is missing — as is Roy, for that matter. Before Ollie can rally the troops, they discover that Deathstroke is waiting for them there. Slade fends off Sara, shrugs off some bullets from Diggle and beats Oliver in a pipe fight, saying, “Don’t forget who taught you how to fight, kid!” True to form, he leaves them battered but alive.

Next stop: the hospital, where Oliver and Sara have made up a story about a motorcycle accident. The trouble is, a doctor tells Laurel he’s never seen scarring like the kind Sara has (there’s no HIPAA in Starling City, obviously), and she starts to put the pieces together about Canary. No dummy, that one.

Oliver tries meeting with Thea to get her to sign the papers, but all she can think about is how she tried to kiss her half-brother (that’s be the late Tommy Merlyn) before he was killed by their mutual father. Yep, that is messed up. And the news is no better back at the Arrow Lair, where it’s revealed that Slade made off with Feliciy’s skeleton key. See, he needs it to break in and steal the gear he needs from the S.T.A.R. Labs warehouse where Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramon barely escape with their lives. The future cast members of The Flash shoot Slade with some futuristic looking gun, but that only stuns him, and he makes off with what he came for right before Arrow and Canary show up.

Felicity checks in with her tech friends, who make her grumpy by saying that Barry Allen “gets lots of visitors. Iris is there a lot.” If you’re a comic book fan, you don’t need me to tell you what that’s all about. Anyway, it seems Slade took a fancy multi-person blood transfuser that can incubate the mirakuru outside his body, or something like that. The only way to track it is to wait until it’s being used, but Ollie figures that’s okay because they can catch Slade when he’s weak from the process.

While they’re waiting, Oliver tries confronting Isabel and finds out that she and his dad were, um, more than friends back in her intern days. In fact she says Daddy Queen was ready to leave Moira until Thea hurt herself, deciding to leave Isabel hanging. Elsewhere, Larry Lance is attacked in jail by a former collar with a grudge, the news of which interrupts Laurel’s meeting with the Arrow where I think she was going to tell him that she knew his secret.

Maybe she can tell dad? Nope. In a very Dark Knight-esque speech, Larry says that burying the realization that Arrow is a real person is what allows the hero to be what Starling City needs him to be. She respects his wishes, but as she walks away and watches him with Sara, you get the idea there might be some bitterness because of the prodigal daughter thing.

Oliver tries meeting with Thea again with time running out for the trust papers to be signed. Naturally, Slade starts using his machine, and it seems Ollie might have a decision to make until he turns and finds that Thea pulled the “Batman disappearing on Jim Gordon” trick on him. He suits up and rides to Slade’s lab, where he finds a bunch of criminals hooked up to a very ominous looking machine. Yet it’s not Slade hooked up and supplying his PED-laced blood — it’s Roy!

Slade and Isabel say they found Roy in a shelter in Bludhaven and recommend he not be removed from the machine. Oliver shoots out the power supply, then holds his own in a battle of bow versus gun and sword, even flooring Slade with a special explosive arrow. And just when it looks like Isabel is going to get the drop on him, Diggle shows up and puts two slugs through her back.

Ollie escapes with Roy and grabs a sample of the mirakuru, figuring they can do what Ivo told them was possible five years ago and synthesize an antidote. Felicity enlists Caitlin and Cisco to help, and the show ends with Thea leaving home, Laurel hugging Oliver, and Slade still staggering around. But it appears some of his henchmen did finish the process, and … did he use it to save Isabel too? Uh-oh.

Meanwhile, On The Island: What are the freighter escapees going to do with Ivo (or as we like to call him now, Stumpy)? He bargains with them to avoid torture by saying he can help them fight Slade, because he knows how to reverse the effects of mirakuru. All he asks in return is a quick death. After telling them that the only sample of the cure is in a safe back in his former quarters on the ship, he asks Sara to kill him. She wavers, but Ollie doesn’t, stating that once you kill someone, it changes you forever, and he didn’t want that for her. Good thing she’s not going to become an assassin or something, right?

Final Thoughts: Much as I dislike the idea of a “cure” for mirakuru, it’d be hard to believe Team Arrow could stand up to dozens of juiced up guys, so this is a logical turn for the story to take. It still feels like there’s something big over the last four episodes for Laurel, but I honestly don’t know what that might be. Next episode looks like a hunt for Roy as he goes on a rampage, so hopefully someone gives him the cure first. Then they can, I don’t know, teach him how to shoot a bow or something.