Mr. Queen’s Hood
Another week, another ‘Arrow’ recap, and it is an especially exciting episode as it happens to also be the 50th episode of the show, and what a long way it has come. Getting into it…
The show picks up right where last week left off, with Nyssa holding Ollie and Roy at arrow point asking for Sara’s whereabouts, and letting them know that Sara had come back to Starling City “for the league” 2 weeks ago. She surprises Oliver by immediately asking if an arrow killed Sara, and then leaving. Oliver, ever suspicious, tasks Roy with following her while he heads out for quality Thea time.
Thea informs Oliver that she has plans now that she is back, and investors. She wants to buy back the foundry from Queen Consolidated and reopen Verdant. It’s the only mention of the family business in the episode, as we did not see the corporation or it’s new CEO Ray Palmer in the entire hour. Not to mention the fact that Felicity is off on “The Flash” this week, leaving the Quiver Crew without its resident hacker for most of the episode.
To knock out the Hong Kong flashbacks quickly, Waller has tasked Oliver with hunting down an older man and killing him, and while being watched by what some may call his mentor (named Maseo), Oliver kills the man, and takes his keys, which have a USB flash drive on them. Long story short, against Maseo’s wishes Oliver opens the flash drive on a computer, and demands a meeting with Waller, wherein he tells her he knows the old man was Fyer’s handler and that Fyer had been ordered to shoot down that Ferris airplane from Season 1. It’s shocking only in that we learn Fyer was working with Waller, who explains that taking down the plane was not about hurting the Chinese government, but was actually about taking out someone flying on the plane, Oliver’s future nemesis China White. Waller finishes by saying China White is now in Hong Kong, and she wants to know why.
Back in the present, Laurel is visiting Sara’s grave when Nyssa arrives. She offers Laurel condolences, they argue about the person Sara became because of Nyssa’a influence, and then Nyssa tells Laurel that she is not worthy to wear Sara’s jacket (which Nyssa had given her).
Nyssa then heads to a safe house, and Roy calls in her location. Oliver meets her there and we learn it was Sara’s safe house. While there, Nyssa fills in Oliver on the fact that Sara came to Starling City looking for Malcolm Merlin, who Moira Queen had told the League of Assassins was still alive. She explains that Merlyn had been a member of the League, but had been allowed to leave as long as he followed a strict moral code. His ‘undertaking’ and taking out all those lives in Season 1 had negated his deal with the league, and they were out to kill him, and were actively hunting him all over the world.
Using a paper with ‘ghost ink’ from Sara’s boot, and some help from Detective Lance (still not in the know about Sara’s death), the team heads to find a man named Jansen who Merlyn had prevented from being deported a few years ago. They quickly learn Jansen is dead, and see Merlyn there. The man escapes, but not before Oliver tags him with a ‘tracking arrow’ that uses a program Felicity wrote to track targets.
Back at the Verdant basement HQ, Oliver tells Laurel that Merlyn is alive and a suspect, and that he got him with the tracer arrow. Laurel is pissed that Oliver didn’t kill Merlyn while in his sights. Oliver then sends Roy to keep an eye on Thea in case Merlyn contacts her, and has Diggle activate the tracking program, which led to my favorite exchange of the night:
Diggle “You have Felicity monitoring the tracer arrow program from Central City?”
Oliver “She said an idiot could run it.”
Diggle “I will try very hard not to take that personally”
While Team Arrow uses the tracking system, Nyssa and Laurel have a powwow outside, both agreeing Merlyn should be put down, and Laurel encouraging Nyssa to do it by whatever means necessary. Also during this time, Roy meets up with Thea at Verdant (to keep an eye on her), and he offers her his help in fixing the place up. They flirt, but attempt to remain platonic, and we all know it is only a matter of time before they’re back as the angst-y whiny couple from last season.
The Arrow and Diggle track Merlyn to an air conditioner factory, but Oliver finds no trace of the man. Merlyn calls him at that moment, compliments him on the tracking idea, and says he wants to meet up, but in a “venue less conducive to conflict,” which means a face to face (mask less) visit, with no other associates. They meet in a plaza, and Malcolm claims he did not kill Sara, saying that Ras Al Ghul has a blood bounty on his head, and the stupidest thing he could do would be to kill love of Ras’ daughter’s life. He goes on to tell Oliver about the night he saved Thea from Slade’s men, and how he’s only back to protect her. He finished by swearing on Thea’s life he did not kill Sara. Oliver believes him, which is good, because The Arrow has a no killing policy now, and no one deserves it more than Merlyn.
Soon after, Thea and Oliver go for coffee, and Oliver asks her about the attack at the train station the night she left and wants to know if she saw Malcolm Merlyn there. She claims she did not see who saved her, and pretends to still think Merlyn is dead. While Oliver is trying to be more honest with her, it appears Thea has now joined the lying game, though why she hides her relationship with her father from Oliver at this point is unclear.
Back at HQ, Nyssa returns, and after getting the update, asks why Oliver didn’t kill Merlyn after their meet up. Oliver tells her that Merlyn didn’t kill Sara, but Nyssa doesn’t believe that, even when Oliver explains that Merlyn is only back in town to protect his daughter, Oliver’s sister Thea. Armed with that knowledge, Nyssa heads out to kill Merlyn herself, and when Oliver moves to follow, Diggle stops him, saying that though Oliver doesn’t kill now, Nyssa does, and no one deserves to die more than Merlyn for his actions in the ‘undertaking.’ Roy agrees, nodding along in the background.
Unfortunately for Roy, as he later escorts Thea out of Verdant, they are attacked by Nyssa, and he is handily taken out with a tranquilizer dart while completing one of his fancy acrobatic moves. (one cannot help but wonder if he would have been more effective a bodyguard if he hadn’t done that flip move off the car) Nyssa kidnaps Thea, who strangely offers no resistance.
Everyone looks for Thea, eventually through various means spotting a purple smoke signal in the Starling City skyline, which Laurel explains to Oliver is a means the League uses to communicate, having been told that conveniently enough by Sara last year. While she is relaying this information, she is also filled in on Merlyn being Thea’s dad, which slightly changes her opinion of the situation, though not by much.
At another factory, Thea hangs suspended with Nyssa below her. Oliver shoots her free, catching Thea and telling her to run while he battles Nyssa. Eventually Merlyn joins the fight, and we get a fun Arrow and Merlyn vs. Nyssa fight, which culminates in Merlyn shooting arrows to pin Nyssa to the wall. As he’s about to kill her, Oliver stops him, and holds Malcolm at arrow point. Nyssa demands Oliver kill Merlyn, while Malcolm accuses Ras Al Ghul of killing Sara, claiming the man had motive because Sara was a “degenerate” that “stole his daughter’s heart.” Malcolm moves to leave, and Oliver hesitates, clearly not wanting Merlyn to escape, “You may not have killed Sara, but you’re still a murderer,” he explains. It is then that Merlyn points out that “No prison can hold us,” as they were trained by the League and can easily escape from any cell. Merlyn leaves, and Oliver takes Nyssa back to HQ.
Nyssa and Oliver argue, with Oliver ending the conversation by claiming protection over Merlyn while he is in Starling City, basically telling the League and Nyssa to back off. She warns Oliver that he made an enemy that night. And right after she leaves, Felicity is back, just in time to do nothing.
The episode wraps up with Nyssa visiting Laurel at the Wildcat gym, basically seeing potential in the woman, and saying she might be worthy of Sara’s jacket after all. We cut to Detective Lance leaving a heartbreaking voicemail for Sara, making us wish Laurel would just tell him already, and then we go back to Verdant where Thea offers Roy a gig as her assistant manager, and saying once again their relationship is purely platonic. She then takes a call from Malcolm and thanks him for taking care of her.
The final scene of the night takes place at what we can assume is the League of Assassins HQ, where Nyssa fills in a man who we can also assume to be Ras Al Ghul of everything that has transpired. Ras tells Nyssa that “Sara was never really one of us,” and is more interested in Oliver’s protection of Merlyn. The episode ends with Ras saying “Oliver Queen courts war with us.”
Da da daaaaaa.
* Does Thea know Oliver is the Arrow? They hinted around about it at the end with her expressions and reactions to Roy, and I see no reason Malcolm would keep it from her. It would also explain why she is hiding her knowledge of her father from him.
* Is Malcolm just a great liar? Did he really kill Sara? And why is he really back in Starling City? I honestly don’t buy that he’s just a great dad, not yet at least.
All in all, this week was a pretty good outing for the show, and I’m excited to see the League of Shadows versus the Quiver Crew in the coming weeks. I did miss Felicity, but it looks like she won’t be making too many trips to Central City now that she and Barry Allen have decided to stay friends. Looking forward to see where they go with Merlyn now that Oliver is ‘protecting’ him. See you next week!