Jumping right in, this was undoubtedly one of the most tense and action packed episodes of the season, and also one of the most uncomfortable for anyone who is a fan of the characters and the team. The divide between Team Arrow and their former members is growing ever wider, the Laurel of it all continues to be an ever-expanding problem, and and lines were crossed that are going to be hard to come back from, though I fear the show might still try to give us that “happy ending” by the season finale, which will be hard to earn after an episode like this.
So the main story of the episode really revolves around the fact that Star City is dead broke, and soon will have to shut down essential services because of all the money Cayden James extorted from Oliver, around $70 million dollars. And of course, with James now dead, there is no guarantee of retrieving the money he promised to return, even though he let Oliver know exactly where it would be in Corto Maltese. Sadly for Oliver, he believes it will all work out and promises to return the $70 million in 2 days, and is foiled when his accountant returns with news that the bank account in Corto Maltese was cleaned out.
With a little Felicity help, Oliver learns Black Siren stole all the money, so everyone is now on the lookout for Black Siren, who holds the keys to the city’s future. Of course, Team Dart (what I’ve dubbed the B-Squad with Dinah, Curtis and Rene) has been solely focused on finding Laurel due to Dinah’s demand for vengeance, and is one step ahead of Team Arrow, investigating the alley where Dinah shot Laurel, and finding a tire print that they try to use to track down whoever helped her escape. When Team Arrow has the same idea and arrives in the alley, they find Dinah’s footprint and assume Team Dart has Laurel, so they pay a visit to their former team members, with Felicity hacking their security so they can barge inside and demand Laurel, causing the first major confrontation/ stand-off of the night.
As Rene and Oliver butt heads and push each other around (literally) we learn that Dig believes that Vinnie might still be alive if Team Dart had not walked into James’s trap, and we learn Oliver still holds a grudge for Rene betraying him. Rene meanwhile, plants an audio bug on Oliver during their confrontation, right before Dig launches a smoke round that incapacitates Team Dart long enough for he and Oliver to check the base to make sure Laurel is not there and then the team leaves, knowing they caused major damage to their already fragile relationship with their former allies.
Meanwhile, we learn that Quentin Lance has taken Laurel to a remote cabin to recuperate from her gunshot wound, the villainess a lot more docile both because of her wound which is affecting her sonic scream and because it appears she genuinely does not want to hurt Quentin, even if she pretends that is not the case. Lance continues to try to reach out to her, and there are signs he may be getting through, but she continually reminds him that she is not his real daughter, and he should get used to that. Eventually, Thea figures out what is going on with Lance, having guessed he was lying about something at work earlier and follows him to the cabin.
After they talk, they all call Oliver and work out a deal (based almost entirely on Quentin’s belief that Laurel can be somewhat trusted) that has Laurel return the money to Star City after Oliver helps her escape the country (and Black Canary’s vengeance), with Lance later deciding to join his “daughter” to help her start a new life, where she does not have to be a villain.
As the Quiver Crew heads out to the cabin to collect Laurel, Dig spots a tail in his mirror and they realize they are being tracked by Team Dart, who overheard everything about the deal and is not surprisingly unhappy about it, not believing Laurel will really give back the money, and Dinah not wanting the woman to escape before she is able to kill her. Felicity finds the audio bug/ tracker and they toss is out the window as Dig does some maneuvers to lose the B-Squad, and they make it to the cabin without being followed. Curtis however, has another plan for tracking Oliver and company, as he reluctantly activates the prototype chip in Diggle’s arm to send out a beacon they can follow, which causes considerable pain to Diggle and leaves him not at 100% functionality in his arm, which royally pisses off Felicity, who cannot believe Curtis would mess with their prototype and hurt Diggle at the same time.
Knowing Dinah and company are incoming, Oliver tries to get everyone out the door and Laurel on her way, but they are too late, as Dinah and company arrive just as Lance and Laurel are getting to their car, with Rene blowing up the vehicle. Of course, a fight ensues as Lance and Laurel flee into the woods. Oliver is tasked with battling Curtis and Rene on his own as Diggle is taken down by Dinah (his arm still malfunctioning), and even Felicity joins the fray at one point to try to help Diggle, though she is knocked aside. Dinah leaves Diggle down for the moment and chases after Laurel, and Curtis sees her do this and leaves the Oliver fight. Needing to follow as well, Oliver does a finishing blow to Rene, knocking him into a tree, and attempts to catch up.
Dinah catches up with Lance and Laurel, and though Quentin tries to protect Laurel, he is battered by Dinah and knocked aside, leaving Laurel at her mercy. And just when Dinah is about to kill her, Curtis catches up and delivers a pep talk about how they are not killers, and this is not justice, and killing Laurel against the wishes of her teammates makes Dinah no better than Oliver, which gets through to Dinah, and she lets Laurel live. Sadly, Laurel manages to summon one quick sonic scream to knock everyone down and she flees, just as everyone else catches up, and they all realize Rene was seriously injured in his fight with Oliver.
In the episode aftermath, Rene is in the hospital, and Curtis and Dinah wait sadly for news. She thanks Curtis for pulling her back from the brink, and agrees true justice is arresting Laurel, right before they get the news that Rene’s gunshot wound from earlier in the season re-opened during the fight, and he needs to be taken to a hospital that can better treat him. Dig and Felicity show up to see how Rene is doing but they are rebuffed, angrily, by Curtis and Dinah who say they want NOTHING to do with Dig, Felicity and Oliver anymore. Oliver meanwhile has to face the city officials and let them know that the money is gone, but he promises to do everything he can to make it right. And at SCPD, where we know the police chief and now, a DA are in the pocket of Diaz, it appears they are still going after Oliver Queen, and with police support, they may, at last, have a solid case against him once more. Lastly, we see Laurel appear in Star City, claiming to have been kidnapped 2 years ago and asking for help for her injuries, telling the bystander her full name of Laurel Lance.
- Does this mean Curtis and Felicity are no longer partners in their company?
- Are people really going to buy that Laurel is “the” Laurel Lance, the one they made a shrine to after they all saw her funeral?
- Does this mean Rene is out of the show for awhile?
- What is the point of any of the “security” systems they put on their bases if they are always so easily compromised?
- What could possibly happen to re-unite these teams? I’m still pulling for Oliver’s “death” at the end of the season as the only thing big enough to get everyone to put aside their difference.
Lots of action and angst this week, and it suited the show fairly well, though I will say a lot of lines were crossed rather quickly, but I enjoyed the fact that they continually brought up how a lot of the character decisions were based on the fact that Black Canary looks like the Laurel they lost, which meant they might be going easy on her unnecessarily. Oliver seems to have regressed a bit on his “forgiveness” of Rene, but it could have just been a show they were putting on, but it also seemed strange that the two teams were so stand-offish at the beginning of the episode when things were not as tense last week. Ah well, still an enjoyable episode, and I look forward to seeing what next week brings.