Felicity not happy. Smoke out. 

After the long winter break, ‘Arrow’ has finally returned, and with an episode that really delivered after the game-changing events of the mid-season finale.

Getting into things, after the ‘previously on’ section reminds us all of Thea killing Sara, and Merlyn blackmailing Oliver to fight Ras Al Ghul, a duel that ended in Oliver’s “death” (in quotes because we all knew it wouldn’t be permanent), ‘Left Behind’ opens with a car chase scene through the streets of Starling City, with Captain Lance heading up a multiple police car pursuit of a truck with armed gunmen within. The criminals get desperate and start shooting at the cops, and at another truck driver, who swerves to avoid the fire, and blocks the police. No worries as in comes Arsenal riding the Arrow’s motorcycle, clearly trying to fill in for his mentor while they wait for Oliver to return. The criminals comment on the fact that they are being chased by a red archer, before seeing a green archer perched above them. Diggle, dressed in Oliver’s costume, shoots at the truck with his bow, but as all notice, he’s not that great of a shot. In the end, Diggle and Roy manage to capture one of the criminals, but the rest manage to escape.

Flashback to Hong Kong, which is the only place we’ll see any action from Oliver Queen in this episode, and we see Amanda Waller debrief Maseo and Oliver after the events of last month’s episode, the woman having no sympathy for Maseo’s kidnapped wife Tatsu. She explains that China White’s group needs the second half of the Omega weapon, the Alpha, in order to make it work, and she tasks them with stealing the Alpha vial from the Hong Kong military complex. Maseo and Oliver dutifully obey, with Oliver grappling into the building first and finding the Alpha, with Maseo and a few ARGUS men joining him inside. They almost make it out undetected, but they are soon attacked by China White’s Triad men, and a shootout occurs. Maseo tells Oliver to get the Alpha out of the building, but on his way out, Oliver is confronted by a Triad member. Oliver has the man beat, but ends up letting him go, a sight that Maseo and the ARGUS team see, and report to Waller. Once Oliver gives Waller the Alpha, she expresses her anger that Oliver didn’t bring the man in for questioning. After she leaves, Maseo confronts Oliver about it, and Oliver tells Maseo that he put a tracker in the man’s pocket, a tracker which should allow them to follow the man back to China White and Tatsu. Maseo tells Oliver he owes a great debt to him, a fact that will play out later in the episode.

Back in the present, the Quiver Crew returns to the Arrow Cave to try to figure out who the armed gunmen were, and also to check in on the search for Oliver, headed up by Felicity who seems to be only one at this point (it’s been 3 days since they last saw Oliver) who still has hope that he survived the duel with Ras Al Ghul. Shortly afterwards she heads to Palmer Technologies, where Ray is testing out a piece of the A.T.O.M. armor, and requests her help with a chip he’s having issues with. She is clearly unhappy with the idea of helping Ray become a vigilante, especially in light of Oliver’s disappearance, but Ray reminds her that good men like the Arrow and the Arsenal are out there doing it, and without the armored suit that Ray will be equipped with.

At City Hall, Laurel and Captain Lance prosecute the man brought in by team Arrow, putting the man away without bail, but also learning he is a part of a larger organization. Later at the courthouse, Laurel overhears the man’s lawyer talking to someone on the phone, assuring them his client would never talk, which of course disgusts her and provides another rationale to her of why vigilantes are needed in Starling City.

Back at the Arrow Cave, Diggle returns after asking Lyla to use ARGUS to help search for Oliver, while Felicity tells the team about the criminal Danny Brickwell, aka “Brick,” who appears to be the leader of the gang that stole the truck the night previously. They discuss Oliver again, and Diggle tells Felicity she needs to prepare herself for the possibility of Oliver’s death, a fact that she won’t accept, as she reminds everyone that Oliver has beaten death many times before.

We then cut to a run down warehouse where we meet “Brick” (guest star Vinnie Jones), who is disciplining one of the guys involved in the truck heist. Seems they had decided to take on the job without Brick’s permission, and the boss wasn’t happy about it. Brick sportingly offered the man a chance to live, telling him if he managed to best him with a gun he could escape, but Brick easily managed to take the guy down, leaving his remains for the rest of the gang to get rid of.

Meanwhile, at the Merlyn Manor, we see Thea and Merlyn train, with Thea really showing off how far she has come with her combat skills this season. She takes a break to answer a text on her cell-phone, which Malcolm reprimands her for, before she explains she is searching for Oliver and is worried about him. Malcolm then tells her he’ll use his contacts to look into the matter.

Felicity helps Roy and Diggle track Brick to the warehouse where he beat down the man, but the gang has already left, leaving only bloody remains and burnt pieces of paper behind. However, the papers have strange numbers on them, so Diggle takes them back to the Arrow Cave for a closer look. But when the group arrives back at HQ, they find Malcolm Merlyn waiting for them. He asks if Oliver has returned, and assures them that if Oliver hasn’t check in by now, he’s dead, and confirms it by telling them ‘The Demon’s Head does not take prisoners.” He leaves and Felicity shoots down the notion, still adamant that Oliver is alive. Laurel shows up with the M.E. report about the dead gang member, and she agrees with Felicity, and urges the group not to lose hope.

At that moment Merlyn is doing some investigating of his own, and arrives at the mountain where the duel took place (which is surprisingly closer to Starling City than one might think considering how fast he gets there and back again). He finds the bloody sword Ras used to kill Oliver, and takes it with him. Later, he returns to the Arrow Cave and presents the sword to the team, explaining that Ras always leaves the weapon behind as a memorial to the fallen warrior. He tells them to test the blood to confirm what he is telling them, and then admits his own sorrow that Oliver failed, as it dooms him as well. To which we get the darkest Felicity moment of the hour, in which she coldly tells him ‘Good,’ as she knows Oliver’s death was Malcolm’s fault, and tells him that he is responsible for everything that happened. Merlyn leaves, and the team confirms that the blood is Oliver’s, and we can see Felicity start to break, finally believing that Oliver is dead.

Roy heads upstairs to booze his sorrows away, which is when Thea walks into Verdant and see him drinking alone, commenting that she’s never actually seen him drink before. She tells Roy that she knows he’s the red archer running around with the Arrow, and asks if Roy can get the Arrow to help search for Oliver. Roy is clearly unhappy with continuing to keep Thea in the dark, but he agrees to ask. He then heads back downstairs where Diggle is relentlessly going over the numbers on the burnt paper, trying to keep his mind busy with tracking down Brick and figuring out his plan instead of focusing on Oliver, claiming that the numbers seem very familiar to him. Roy and Diggle discuss where the team goes from there, if they should keep being vigilantes, as Felicity heads off to work at Palmer Technologies. Once there, she instigates a debate with Palmer about why he shouldn’t be a vigilante, and how his dead fiance Hannah would not have wanted him to spend his life doing this. Palmer is pissed that Hannah was brought up, and Felicity tearfully leaves, unable to contain her emotions.

Diggle figures out that the numbers on the paper all correlate to cases against criminals the team has brought in for the past 8 months, and realize that Brick is trying to steal all the evidence that would put the gangsters away (most of whom are the brawny muscle type thugs), hence forcing the courts to free everyone as there would be no evidence against them. Roy and Diggle head down to the evidence warehouse to stop the plan, and run into Brick and his thugs, who have already loaded everything onto a truck. A big shoot-out begins, with Diggle eventually going toe-to-toe with Brick. Diggle attempts to shoot him in the head, which Brick admires, but ultimately Diggle is beaten down by the brawny gangster, only saved by an arrow from Arsenal. Brick and his men jump into the truck and head out of the warehouse, but before Roy and Diggle can pursue, the garage door slams shut, allowing Brick’s crew to escape.

Back at HQ, Felicity tells the guys that she closed the garage door remotely, she was worried that Brick and his men would kill Roy and Diggle, and she knew they would not stop chasing the criminals. Diggle is pissed, and says if they are going to continue their crusade, they all need to trust each-other. Felicity tells them she’s done, as “There is no this without him.” She leaves, turning the light off as she goes, leaving Diggle and Roy in darkness.

Felicity then heads to Palmer Technologies, where she apologies to Ray for her words earlier. However, she does tell him that in the past 3 months she’s lost two friends, and she can not handle anyone else getting hurt. So if Ray wants to become a vigilante and put his life in danger, she won’t help him.

Back at the Arrow Cave, Laurel is telling Diggle that the criminals all went free, that they couldn’t hold them without the evidence. Diggle catches her up on what Malcolm Merlyn told them, and admits that he always considered himself Oliver’s bodyguard, and that he failed him this time. He and Laurel share a nice moment, but it’s clear the wheels are moving in Laurel’s head. As when we see her next, she has all the Canary equipment and gear laid out in front of her, clearly thinking the city still needs a vigilante, and if Oliver was dead, she could step in.

At the Queen Apartment, Thea comes home and is surprised to see Merlyn there, who tells her they are in grave danger and need to flee Starling City. At Brick’s HQ, he calls all the criminals he helped free together, showing them the evidence and claiming he will return to the DA the evidence for anyone who won’t follow him, essentially blackmailing an army of thugs to follow his lead. He then tells them of his plan to take over the Glades. While on the streets outside, two of the thugs are ambushed by Laurel dressed as the new Black Canary, who states “I’m the justice you can’t run from.”

Meanwhile, during the episode we kept getting flashes to the mountain where Oliver’s body lay. A hooded man takes the corpse (?) and drags it across the snow, to a wooden shack, where he pulls back his head and reveals his identity, Maseo. He still owed Oliver apparently. He asks for help, revealing Oliver’s dead body, saying he had no one else to turn to. Once inside, we see that it is Tatsu’s house, and that she and Maseo seem to be somewhat estranged. She performs some kind of magic (I don’t think she had a portable Lazarus Pit in the house, so that theory goes out the window), and the last shot of the episode is Oliver waking up.


* Will Laurel officially join the Quiver Crew/ recruit them to help in her own vigilante enterprises? Or will she be more of a loner?

* Was Oliver ever actually dead? Could he has been in some sort of shock-induced Coma? How did Tatsu bring him back to life? Does it have some link to a Lazarus Pit?

* Could Brick some how be linked to the League of Assassins? Could taking over the Glades be part of some convoluted plan by Ras Al Ghul to bring in Merlyn and Thea?

All in all, not a bad episode to return with, and I’m looking forward to see how they get Felicity back on board with the team efforts, as even when Oliver returns she may not be thrilled at the idea of helping him continue to put his life on the line. Comment below if you guys noticed anything about the episode I missed!