The Arrow gets a sharp reaction from Captain Lance.

‘Arrow’ had a lot to accomplish this week, and the set-up for the end of the season made ‘Public Enemies’ one of the better episodes of the season. Almost everyone had something to do (minus Merlyn, who’s only scene was a shot of him looking at the news on TV about the Arrow).

The episode picks up right where the last began, with Maseo firing an arrow into the mayor, killing her on the spot, and then taking aim at Felicity. Fortunately, Ray pushes Felicity out of the way, taking the arrow in the chest, while the rest of the group evacuates the room, with Captain Lance furious that the Arrow was taking shots at the mayor.

Felicity goes with Ray to the hospital, where she stays by his side through his surgery to remove the arrow, being in the room with him when they doctor tells them that Ray has a blood cot, but he is too weak at the moment for another surgery. His options are either A to wait, which might allow the clot to go to his brain and kill him, or B risk the surgery and potentially suffer brain damage because of it. He chooses option C, which is to introduce nano-bots into his system, tiny robots that would be capable of shrinking the clot and removing it altogether. The doctor vetoes this option, as Starling County Medical does not allow experimental procedures, but Ray is adamant that it would work, as he designed the nano-bots himself. Felicity is torn, even more so when her mother arrives to offer comfort and support, although even she fails to convince the doctors to allow Ray’s procedure. Her mom gives her the courage to take a risk, and Felicity retrieves the nano-bots and injects Ray, saving his life as the blood cot disappears. Recovering from the procedure later, Ray tells Felicity that he loves her, but she cannot return the sentiment, stammering for a bit and then leaving the room. Her mom sees her face and at first thinks her daughter and Ray had some “hospital sex,” (Felicity’s disgust at this was classic) and then Felicity tells her what happened, to which her mother replies that she still loves Oliver, and that Felicity has to choose between Ray and Oliver.

Thea and Roy have just finished celebrating being a couple once more, lying in bed watching the news when they see the announcement from Captain Lance that the Anti-Vigilante Task Force has been re-established in reaction to the Mayor’s death, and the Quiver Crew immediately reconvenes to figure out what to do next. Oliver decides he needs to hit up a new source to help him hunt down Maseo, and he makes contact with Nyssa, convincing her to help by asking what she thought Sara would want her to do. Nyssa finds Maseo has been working out of a warehouse building (aren’t they always?) and Oliver, Roy, and Laurel (with Diggle nearby on sniper patrol) head over to take down the League goons and stop their Arrow impersonation. Unfortunately for Oliver, after his group impressively takes down a number of League thugs, Ras Al Ghul himself enters the fray, telling Oliver that his choice is to becomes the next Ras or spend his life in a cell. In that moment we realized Ras has alerted the SCPD of the Arrow’s location, and what seems like every cop in the city is swarming into the warehouse. The Quiver crew barely escapes, after an excellent chase sequence through the building and the streets, with Laurel being saved from her father and his men by Nyssa, Roy having to shoot a few cops (flesh-wounds) in order to make his way out, and Oliver being saved by Diggle’s van skills and some non-lethal shots into the SCPD police cars.

The group reconvenes at the Arrow Cave, Oliver apologetic that they are all in that mess, while Laurel goes to confront her father. She and Captain Lance have many show-downs during the episode, all of them amounting to Laurel trying to convince her dad to trust her and the Arrow, to remind him that there is an impostor out there, and the Arrow was not responsible for shooting the mayor. Captain Lance doesn’t care, his anger at being kept in the dark about Sara and betraying his own code to allow a vigilante in the city overriding any sense he once had. Matters get worse when Ras kidnaps Captain Lance, and reveals to him that Oliver Queen is the Arrow, a fact that Lance admits he somehow, deep down, always knew. Laurel visits him again after Lance learns the news, and he tells her that he knows Oliver’s secret, and that he has been blaming Oliver for Sara’s death since the shipwreck, only now it is two-fold. Laurel is about to call and warn Oliver, but Lance says he’s already got men everywhere out to arrest Oliver, including his apartment and Verdant.

Thea and Roy are having a drink at Verdent, discussing Roy’s pain and how he almost wanted to be caught by the police and go to jail, as he is still haunted by the cop he killed last year. Oliver enters and apologizes to Roy, claiming that he gave him the mask so they would work with the police and help Starling City. The moment is interrupted by SCPD barging in and charging after Oliver. He escapes and makes his way to the last safe place he knows, Diggle’s apartment, where they watch Captain Lance announce the Arrow’s identity to the rest of Starling City in another press conference.

The Quiver Crew convenes in Diggle’s apartment, Felicity especially hoping that Oliver has some master plan to restore his identity and save the day, but this time, Oliver is out of ideas. He has not idea what to do, save one thought that he does not share with his team. He leaves the apartment and goes straight to the SCPD Station, walking in and handing himself over to Lance. The team visits him (the meeting being set up thanks to Laurel’s connections) and demand to know what he’s doing, but Oliver says Ras left him only one choice, to tell the truth, and that the truth can be a powerful thing. The group is pissed that he made this unilateral decision, but he orders them to let it be, as the terms of his confession was that the rest of them would be left alone.

Felicity meets with the group down in HQ, where Diggle tells them to leave as it is no longer safe (tying into the rumors that HQ will be unused during the final 4 episodes of the season), but the group agrees that were Oliver in their position, he would make an attempt to save them, regardless of the consequences. Meanwhile, Lance is personally overseeing Oliver’s transfer to prison, having a heated conversation with the man that included accusations of how his return from the dead only brought misery and suffering to Starling City, that he saved no one, that because of him the city got Merlyn, Slade, and Brick, and countless deaths occurred such as Moira, Tommy, and Sara. Lance ends by telling Oliver that he is not a hero, he’s a villain. In that moment they hear arrows being shot at the armored man, and even though Oliver swears he ordered his team to stand down, it is clear it is team Arrow attacking the van. The van stops and Lance throws open the doors ready to fight, when the Arrow lands before him, claiming that he apprehended the wrong man. The hood is pulled back and Roy is standing there in Oliver’s gear, sacrificing himself for his mentor. End of episode.

In this week’s Flashbacks, the woman Oliver thought was Shado turned out to be her twin sister Mei, who takes in Oliver and the kid, but demands answers for why Oliver knew her sister, as her sister and her father had been missing for 3 years. Oliver lies to her about it (as he is wont to do), but she figures out he knows more based on his tatoo which just happens to match one Shado had, and which Mei has a picture of. Mei calls the cops, but instead Waller’s people begin shooting up her apartment, crashing in once Oliver pulls everyone down for cover. Luckily, Maseo and Tatsu followed Waller’s men, and save the day. Before he leaves with Maseo’s family, Oliver tells Mei what little he can about her family, ending by telling them they have died. She cries in gratitude, saying he has no idea how good it feels to finally know the truth about what happened to her family.


* Could the tiny nano-bots that Felicity injected into Ray tonight, robot describes as able to “shrink” his blood clot, play into his (god-willing) soon to be revealed ability to shrink down to the size of a atom?

* I believe in the comics everyone knows Oliver Queen is the Arrow, and I like that the show is playing around with this concept. It kind of makes him more like Iron Man, but I wonder how this could work in a dark and gritty show like this, and how Oliver could possibly keep his associates safe if all of the criminals in town know who he is.

*Why doesn’t Oliver take the mantle of Ras al Ghul and then dismantle the organization once the old Ras is out of the picture? Wouldn’t that be the simpler thing to do?

* They mention Felicity’s father once again, and that he would be arrested on the spot were he to show up in the hospital. Who could this man be? Could he potentially be part of HIVE, the super-villain group rumored to arrive in Starling City next season?

A lot happened this week, and it makes me slightly sad that we have to wait two weeks to see how they pick up the pieces from here. Will Roy end up in prison? Could Detective Lance actually believe Roy is the Arrow? Or is he left without a choice because of the clear evidence Roy presented? Either way, it feels like ‘Arrow’ the show is finally back on track this season, and I’m looking forward to the final episodes of the season to see where they go from here.