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It’s that time of year, and I for one, am thankful that ‘Arrow’ is continuing its upward trend this season with another great episode, advancing almost all the plot lines of the season, and getting some real crowd-pleasing moments in too. Throw in the return of Thea to the show, and this was definitely not an ‘Arrow’ episode to miss.

The episode centered around Oliver finally being arrest by the FBI for being the Green Arrow, which they supposedly have definite proof for now. Oliver is taken into custody just after a Thanksgiving food drive in front of his son, which really pisses him off, but there is not much he can do about it because he wants to clear his name honestly, and not escape and be a fugitive, which would essentially make William an orphan. Meanwhile Cayden James and Black Siren are back in the mix, attacking two different targets to get the ingredients for a massive bomb. During their second heist, they are met by Team Arrow led by Dig who has been given Curtis’s experiment treatment for his nerve damage, which does not work as promised, leaving Dig open to take a beaten from a thug and then be taken to the hospital, while the rest of the team is unable to stop Black Siren from escaping with her prize. At this point Diggle finally comes clean to Felicity about what happened, and she is not pleased to be left out of the loop, Despite Dig’s protests, she tells Oliver, who visits Dig in the hospital and they have it out, with Diggle saying he should never have put Oliver’s family before his own, and Oliver saying it was a mistake to ever let Diggle be the Green Arrow.

As the team tries to figure out what target James is going to hit, Oliver is arraigned and set free on $5 million dollar bail, provided by Felicity from the start-up money that was supposed to go to HELIX Dynamics, another component in the building tension between her and Curtis. They too have it out this episode, with Felicity angry that Curtis tested their prototype on Diggle, while Curtis is annoyed that Felicity named the company without consulting him, and has been making all the decisions as though she was in charge and they were not partners. Of course, they eventually make up, but Curtis is not happy about her spending their start-up money. Soon enough the team realizes that James plans on hitting Starling Stadium, and though Oliver tries, he cannot convince the owners to cancel the big Thanksgiving concert (with Billy Joel!) that is about to start. And with Diggle still in the hospital, Oliver rejoins the Quiver Crew as the Green Arrow to stop the bomb. While the team battles James’s fake police officers and helps the people inside flee, Oliver goes alone to defuse the bomb, finding instead James waiting for him, assuring him THIS bomb is a fake. James set the whole thing up so he could have words with Oliver, who he claims is responsible for the death of his son, though Oliver has no idea what he is talking about. James flees with cover from Black Siren, and the team returns to HQ, learning that James recorded them fighting with the “fake” cops, though the videos leaked to the press are lacking that detail, making it seem like Team Arrow was actually beating up real police officers. And to make matters worse, the vote on the Vigilante Bill occurs right after the videos are released, the timing clearly all part of James’ plan and the bill passes, forcing Mayor Oliver to make a public speech saying he will follow the will of the people and instruct law enforcement to hunt the rogue heroes, and also continue to deny he is the Green Arrow. The FBI agent meets him right after, claiming she knows what he is up to, but has to go back to DC, but will be back for the trial.

In the end, Oliver visits Diggle and they make amends, Diggle saying that he had secretly wanted to be the Green Arrow for some time now, and the Dominator attack last year when they forced the group into the fake reality showed Dig’s true desires, as Diggle was THE Green Arrow in that world. Oliver apologizes for putting Diggle in a tough spot, but says he will only be the Green Arrow until Diggle is ready to take the position back, which could be some time because the doctors say the steroids and continuing to go out and fight have now affected Jon’s spine, and if he is not careful, he could be paralyzed. The episode ends with Thea FINALLY waking up, and Dig, Oliver, William, and Thea having a quiet Thanksgiving in her hospital room, with Oliver saying that despite everything, they do indeed have a lot to be thankful for.

Other happenings this episode, Dinah and Lance exchange confessions, with Lance saying he had another chance to shoot Black Siren and did not take it, and Dinah revealing that the Vigilante is her ex-partner, and she is still struggling with that information. Also, Oliver lies to William about going out again as the Green Arrow, which you know will have some serious consequences down the road.

BOW-STRING THEORIES:

  • Thea returns! Although this does mean there will be 5 random episodes this season where she is absent, hopefully, they’ll find a better way to pull that off than what they did last season.
  • Who could Caden James’ son be? My first thought was Roy, who the world believes to be dead, but I suspect it will be something more twisty than that. Hopefully, it is a character we all know and remember and not some random target Oliver took down like Prometheus’s father last season.
  • So will James’s big bomb be used in the mid-season finale, or saved for the season finale?
  • How long will Dig be out of commission? And if he does return, does that really mean Oliver is done as a vigilante? And at what point do Curtis and Felicity ask Team Flash for help fixing Jon? Seems like it would be right up their ally.
  • Are they planting the seeds of Oliver being known as the Green Arrow and still being able to be the mayor? The FBI agents words about real heroes not hiding in the shadows and Oliver’s reaction to that certainly makes me think they might be going in that direction.

All around, great episode. At this time in the year there is always the worry about filler or bridge episodes, and this felt like a lot more than that, though it did leave a few cliffhangers going into the next episode, the Crossover, which you know are not likely to be explored or resolved while Oliver and company are out fighting with the heroes of ‘Supergirl,’ ‘The Flash,’ and ‘Legends of Tomorrow.’ Still, very excited for that cross-over! See you back here soon!