The Quiver Crew loses their lair and their Arsenal.
Returning after the game-changing events of episode 18 (wherein Captain Lance charged Oliver Queen with being the Arrow, and Oliver turned himself in, followed by Roy going all Spartacus and telling the police he was the Arrow), tonight’s episode picks up right where that episode ended, with Oliver returning to SCPD with Lance, yet remaining handcuffed because Lance does not believe Roy is the Arrow, especially after already knowing that Roy was Arrow’s sidekick, the red-hooded Arsenal. Fortunately, Laurel charges into the police station and demands Oliver’s release, claiming that her father cannot hold 2 men for the same charge, especially when there was no evidence against Oliver, outside of a supposed confession that only Captain Lance heard.
Oliver immediately visits Roy in one of the interrogation rooms, demanding to know what he was thinking. Roy explains that the guilt over killing the police officer while under the Mirakuru fog last year still weighed heavily on him, and at least now he feels he is atoning. Oliver tells him that the city still needs him, but Roy points out that the city needs Oliver more. And so Oliver returns to the Arrow Cave, furious that Felicity and Diggle cooked up this plan with Roy.
Meanwhile, a new villain hits town robbing the Starling City National Bank, one who shoots deadly plasma blasts from his eyes (later nicknamed Deathbolt), a man who everyone assumes is one of Central City’s new metahumans, come to town now that the Arrow is locked away. While Oliver would like to hunt down the man, Felicity reminds him that Captain Lance is still watching his every move, and he is not allowed to go after anyone at the moment. So instead they enlist the help of Ray Palmer, whose suit makes him more ideally suited (no pun intended) to deal with the threat than the unarmored Arrow. And it was fortunate that they had Palmer and his labs to work out of, as a furious Captain Lance raided the Arrow Cave, storming past Thea, Oliver, Diggle and Felicity who were conversing upstairs in Verdant (Thea demanding to know if Oliver was behind Roy turning himself in, which he wasn’t). Lance knows the lair is below Verdant, and thinks he has Oliver at last, but Felicity and Diggle were one step ahead of the man, having wiped the place clean of fingerprints, save Roy’s. But Captain Lance is determined, and next visits the Queen apartment, where he pisses off Thea by rummaging through all of their stuff, and then throwing it in her face that Roy was getting hurt because of her brother.
Ray, for his part, is excited to work with Oliver and company, currently his only gripe in life being that he told Felicity he loved her and never got the sentiment returned, though he did tell Felicity that it was ill-timed, as she had just saved his life and he had thousands of nano-bots sourcing through his brain, potentially disrupting his judgement. (For those slightly confused, as I was, I believe that in the chronology of episodes, the time when Ray/Felicity visited Central City in this week’s ‘The Flash” seems to be before Ray got hurt and said I love you to Felicity, (meaning it took place right before ‘Arrow episode 17), which explains why they were still the lovey-dovey couple with no issues). Ray’s first outing against the meta-human does not go well, as his suit’s energy blast just seems to charge up the villain, and he only escapes by blasting his jets and flying away before the man finishes strangling him. Oliver coaches him that he cannot just rely on his suit, he has to trust his own instincts, and anticipate what his enemies are going to do. The scene does have it’s amusing moments though, notably when Oliver asks if Felicity worries this much when he goes out on missions (and she replies there’s no way for her to answer that without getting in trouble), and when Oliver quips that’s there was a good chance of Ray and Felicity being related, as they both have that quirky personality and tendency to ramble on when nervous.
Thea goes to visit Roy, but while he has promised never to lie to her again, he just can’t explain why he has to do this for Oliver, but he assures her that he does love her. Captain Lance was not far off when he warned Thea about Roy’s safety, as we do see Roy get attacked, the inmates wanting revenge on the Arrow, but during the attack he does manage to take out his assailants fairly quickly, though not without taking a few cuts and bruises himself. Oliver finds out from Thea what happened and immediately decides to break Roy out and keep him safe, but Diggle and then Felicity have words with Oliver, and convince him that he needs to learn how to let people help him, and that at this point in time, there’s nothing he can do for Roy without just landing in a cell next to him. Felicity also points out that at this point, the Arrow is dead, gone, Oliver cannot assume that mantle anymore, and she understands how hard that must be for him. Oliver relents, unhappily, and instead puts his efforts toward catching the metahuman, the group figuring out that the man has to drain electricity to charge himself, and Felicity heading out to put trackers in the power plant. As is typical, she chooses the very plant where the villain is hiding, and Felicity is captured, with Deathbolt answering her phone when the crew calls to check on her. Ray suits up, but knows he still is not ready. Luckily, he has a remote control for the suit, which Oliver uses to control the suit’s movements during the fight. All is going well, with Ray just a passenger along for the ride, until the connection is broken during the violence, leaving Ray to fend for himself. With Oliver urging him on over the radio, Ray steps up, and takes down Deathbolt, saving the day and proving he really is a hero in the process.
The victory is short-lived however, as we see another attempt on Roy’s life is brewing in the prison, with a shiv being handed around as prisoners are being led back to their cells. Roy is aware of the danger, but he is pulled out of line by an officer with a warning, who then stabs Roy in the stomach with the shiv once the other prisoners have left. Roy collapses, and the next scene we see has Captain Lance at Thea’s apartment, telling her that Roy has died. Oliver arrives and is devastated by the news, with Lance twisting the knife by telling him he only has himself to blame. Oliver meets up with Diggle and Felicity, who apologize to him for going along with the idea, and for lying to him, as Roy steps out from the shadows, the death just a ruse. The cop who stabbed him was an ARGUS agent, with a blade laced with a chemical that would make it seem like Roy was dead, the idea being that with Roy “dead,” there would be no one for the police to go after, as the ‘Arrow’ would also be dead in their eyes. Oliver asks what Roy plans to do now, as he is dead, and we are informed that Roy is leaving Starling City, to start life anew somewhere else. The gang tearfully says goodbye to their youngest member, and Roy asks them to tell Thea what happened, so she doesn’t still think he was dead. As Roy drives off, Felicity stays close to Oliver, and Ray, who came along to say goodbye, notices their closeness, and we get the impression that he’s beginning to realize why Felicity did not return his “I love you.”
Ray flies Deathbolt to the pipeline in Central City, where he and Cisco converse about the metahuman after locking him up. Cisco realizes Deathbolt was not in Central City on the day the other metahumans were created, meaning he got his powers in another way, and would be the first villain on the show to do so. Back at the Queen apartment, Thea drinks wine to mourn Roy, not having been informed of his resurrection yet, and turns in shock to see Ras Al Ghul standing in her living room. They exchange words, and then they fight, Thea aware that Ras wants to hurt her to get to Oliver. She puts up a good fight, but in the ends she is knocked down, and Ras runs his sword through her stomach, similar to how he “killed” Oliver earlier this season.
In tonight’s mediocre flashback, Maseo, Tatsu and Oliver find cover with an elderly woman, a friend of Maseo and Tatsu, and Oliver leaves to confront Amanda Waller and find out why she is attacking them. Instead he finds ARGUS overrun with military men, and Waller making her own escape, explaining that General Shrieve had taken over her base, and directed the efforts to kill Oliver and the Yamashiros. She warns Oliver that Shrieve intends to release the Alpha-Omega virus in Hong Kong as a blow to the chinese government, and tells him that Shrieve has a vaccination for the disease. Oliver tells the Yamashiros what’s going on, and the three head out to steal the vaccine, intending to save their family. After breaking into his base and retrieving vials of the vaccine, the three decide to take action to stop General Shrieve, and save the people of Hong Kong.
– Should Thea survive the stab wound (whether by a Lazarus Pit or the same Queen willpower that saved Oliver), would she not also fit into the prophecy about the next leader of the League of Assassins having survived the sword of the previous Ras? Is that the end game here, to have Thea take up the Ras mantle? I sincerely hope not, but it would make a certain amount of sense.
– Captain Lance needs to get over himself, I’m hoping his guilt at Roy’s “death” might help him see the error of his ways, especially since he is only driving Laurel further and further away. My long shot theory? He’ll come around, but only as a result of a talk by his other daughter, Sara, who I predict will come back from the dead soon, and help her father see the light (that way she’ll be back alive just in time to join the new spin-off)
– Could Roy be leaving town to join the new spin-off? They could have kept his inclusion quiet so as not to spoil ‘Arrow,’ but I would not be surprised if they announced Colton Haynes was joining ‘The Atom.’
– How are metahumans being created if not by the events in Central City that gave Barry his powers? Is this setting up mysteries for next season? Maybe a little group known as HIVE is experimenting on folks, and turning them into super-humans through science?
Lots going on this episode, as ‘Arrow’ continues to up its game and prepare for its finale. They have a lot of story lines to tie up, and a lot of status quo to either permanently change or else restore before season’s end (will Oliver get Queen Consolidated back? or the Queen manor? or the lair? Will we see the Arrow again, or will the identity and suit be retired, potentially to be replaced by a new costume and the moniker ‘The Green Arrow?) Stay tuned for the final stretch of episodes!