Legion contributor Andrea Levine is recapping and reviewing Arrow for us this season. Follow her on Twitter @wysefyre!
United. That’s what this week’s Arrow is all about. It’s about everyone coming together to save the city and themselves. But before that can happen, we need an inciting incident and secrets to be revealed.
Before we get into the heavy stuff, let’s visit with Oliver and company (I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to make that reference) over at Sebastian Blood’s old campaign office. Here’s where Oliver tells the team he’s running for mayor. Everyone’s reactions are priceless. “How are you qualified?” “Why you?” “You’re not a politician.” You can feel the love. [Sidenote: I know Oliver isn’t the most book smart person around, but how stupid do they think he is? Sure, he can be oblivious, but he’s got brains. He’s proven that time and time again. As much as I enjoy the jokes at Oliver’s expense (and Amell’s derp face), I’m getting a little tired of them putting him down. End rant.]
Anyway, Oliver is a little disappointed in the team’s reaction so he and Felicity show them the other surprise – Arrow Cave 3.0. And it is sooooo pretty. It’s spacious and thanks to Cisco and S.T.A.R. labs, full of high tech equipment. If you’re going to have a Cave, this is what you want, with the exception of the occasional power issues. It’s also there, the team gets an alert – two SCPD detectives were shot and killed.
Oliver heads over to SCPD to talk to Quentin, who’s currently going out of his mind because there aren’t enough resource to help expedite the evidence found at the crime scene. Oliver tells him about his mayoral plans and asks for an endorsement. I can’t tell if Quentin is serious when he says sure, but then he gives Oliver the evidence, because he knows Oliver has the resources to handle it.
After Oliver leaves, Laurel contacts Quentin and brings him to Sara. She promised him no more secrets. Watching Quentin look at Sara is just heartbreaking. He knows something is wrong. Laurel is convinced Sara needs more time. Sare speaks. “Who am I?” Too bad that was a rouse to attempt to strangle Laurel. Quentin saves her. Sara needs more time aka Laurel’s new mantra.
The evidence Oliver was given was a sim card. On it is the location for the cop killers. Turns out they’re also cops. They been taking the drugs they confiscate during busts and reselling them to the dealers they took them from. It’s a smart play. I can respect the theory behind it.
Oliver goes to Quentin to fill him in, and also lets him know they’re setting up a sting operation, using real drugs procured by Thea. Gotta love those old drugs connections. Quentin insists on accompanying them. He doesn’t believe cops are behind this.
It’s a shame when he finds out how wrong he his. At the warehouse where the sting is taking place, the dirty cops arrive and have all kinds of neat toys, which silence Black Canary’s sonic scream and net Diggle. The cops retreat, but Quentin is noticed. He knows they’re cops and he is not okay.
Oliver brings Quentin to the Arrow Cave. He explains the weaponry used by the dirty cops came from the anti-vigilante task force he reinstated last year. There were about 40 cops. Spotty power slows down Felicity’s ability to start going through records, but Quentin gives her unrestricted access to the SCPD’s network, making her search easier.
Quentin asks to meet with Damien Darhk. He’s done some digging on Damien and knows he used to be a part of the League of Assassins. He wants to know if anything can be done for Sara. In a rare display of sincerity, Damien, speaking as one father to another, says putting her down would be the best thing to do. What came back isn’t Sara.
Over at the Arrow Cave, Oliver is doing the salmon ladder, making Felicity, and countless fans, very happy they have that again. Oh! And she has a likely candidate for the dirty cops – Liza Warner (Rutina’s character, so yeah, it’s her). Thanks to the SCPD network access, Felicity turns on every cop camera in action to try and find Liza. Instead, she and Oliver find Quentin talking to Damien.
Oliver is furious. He goes to confront Quentin at his apartment. This is a beautiful scene between the men. Oliver talks about how Quentin used to look at him with such contempt and how he held himself as better and more righteous than Oliver, and he was right to until tonight. Quentin tells him how at first, Damien seemed to be someone who just wanted to help. He had resources and money and they needed that. By the time, he realized who Damien was it was too late. He threatened Laurel. At which point, Oliver calls him out on hiding behind his family. Laurel can take care of herself. Quentin is part of the reason Oliver wanted to run for mayor. He’s always wanted to show him the type of man he really was, but instead he’s found out who Quentin was, and he doesn’t know what to do. With that, he leaves.
He and Thea share a sweet moment at the campaign office. They reminisce about ball games and fans uniting when a homer was hit. That’s what he wanted to do for Star City. He wanted to unite them, but now he thinks the city might be beyond saving.
Quentin’s feeling that way too. He goes to visit Sara with the intention of killing her. The thought of doing it is destroying him, but he probably would have done it or at least, taken a shot, had Laurel not shown up to stop him. He breaks down. I’d love to know what Sara thinks while watching all of this unfold.
Quentin leaves and is ambushed by Liza and her cops. Laurel sees them as they’re leaving and tries to stop them, but she’s knocked out. Quentin is taken to the SCPD Contraband Disposal Facility. Only he can give them access to all the drugs in there waiting to be destroyed. Liza gives a little speech about how she’s not a dirty cop, just a desperate one. Quentin gives them access, because he’s no dummy. He knows Felicity will be looking for him and his access will trigger an alert to her.
Team Arrow arrives at the facility, and they’re ready for the cops. They manage to take almost all of them out, but Liza gets a cord around Oliver’s neck and a blade in his side. It takes Quentin making a speech about how they’re all desperate and willing to do horrible things, but he’s got to believe there is hope to get her to release Oliver and turn herself in. She still believes in justice.
Oliver pays Quentin another visit at his apartment. He asks Quentin to be an inside man for Team Arrow and stay close to Damien. As long as Quentin truly meant what he said about hope and believing and all that jazz, then Oliver trusts him. And with that, Team Arrow gets another member.
The next day, Oliver goes to the campaign office to find it filled with interns. Playing on her popularity as a successful club owner, Thea put out a blast on social media, and the people came. She also wrote him a speech for his press conference.
At the press conference, Oliver announces his candidacy. He knows he’s an unconventional choice, but “After five years in hell, I returned home with only one goal. I wanted to save my city. And with your help, I can.” Way to bring it full circle, Arrow writers. With three sentences you remind us of the beginning and show us how far Oliver has come. That’s the good stuff.
While Oliver is speaking, we are shown what other people are doing. Damien Darhk is receiving a mysterious package. Laurel is watching Liza at SCPD. Quentin is going to Damien. And Felicity is listening to Ray’s final recording (get to that in a moment).
Later, Laurel goes to bring Sara food. But guess what? Sara has escaped.
For our flashback, Oliver takes the woman to a cave and tells her how to survive. He also tells her he’s going to need her to do something unpleasant for him, and then he heads back to the camp. After informing Conklin that he lost another guy to a landmine, Conklin grows suspicious of Oliver and demands to see the woman’s body. He also points out Oliver has a darkness inside him that he’s terrified of.
Oliver takes him to the cave and there’s the woman, seemingly dead. Conklin is satisfied, and leaves Oliver to dispose of her body. Oliver revives the woman, using some kind of trick he had learned on Lian Yu, and Conklin finds Oliver’s A.R.G.U.S pack in the woods and realizes Oliver is not what he seems.
Other points of interest:
~ Felicity thinks Curtis is pranking her phone. She’s been getting messages and traced them to his workstation. Curtis swears he’s innocent. The messages are computer code from 2013. He would never do that, but he does figure out the code is something Ray wrote. He finds a recording of Ray’s last moments. Felicity doesn’t want to hear it or deal with it. It’s too painful for her. But Curtis tells her about how he lost his brother some years ago, and he would give anything to hear something new from him. This convinces Felicity to listen to it. Ray apologizes to her and she cries. (I did too).
~ Quentin gets to show a slightly lighter side when he jokes to Felicity about having enough evidence to put Team Arrow away for 25 years, but he won’t.
~ Oliver still doesn’t know about Sara’s return because Laurel doesn’t want to deal with his judgment until she’s back to normal. We all know how that’s going to work out.
~ Thea almost ruins the engagement surprise. She doesn’t know Oliver didn’t propose and asks why Felicity isn’t wearing “it”? Thank goodness, Felicity has no clue what she meant.
Is anyone surprised Sara got out? I doubt it. Given how Laurel was treating her, I’d probably help her bust out if I could. I keep wanting to like Laurel, but it’s so hard. She has her moments, but she feels so one note no matter what she’s doing. I can’t figure out what it is. We keep getting glimpses of who she can be, but it feels like even when she is written as complex, she is being given only one extra layer, nothing more. Maybe the storyline with Sara will help deepen her and make her connect better.
What do you think? Who’s excited for Constantine to arrive next week?