Legion contributor Andrea Levine is recapping and reviewing Arrow for us this season. Follow her on Twitter @wysefyre!
Human Target picks up with the search for Rene still going strong. Team Arrow is on the hunt and they’re not afraid to bust heads to get intel. The most they’re able to get is Tobias Church is located somewhere near the water.
They head back to the Arrow Cave and are greeted by Diggle. Evelyn is quick to figure out Diggle is Spartan. Finally, they let her have a small moment. Diggle had Lyla call in ARGUS to help look for Rene, but not luck. Maybe it’s because Diggle is back or something else, but Olive leaves everyone uncharacteristically optimistic about finding Rene.
Rory and Evelyn search warehouses on the water. They find one with a large amount of blood on the floor. Felicity checks cameras in the area, and finds a van leaving that warehouse about 40 minutes before Rory and Evelyn arrived. She tracks it.
Rene has been tortured fairly extensively, and is now being forced to dig his own grave. While he’s digging, he asks Church why? Why is he torturing him? Why is he in Star City? What’s the point of all this? Stupidly enough, Church answers. He’s torturing Rene, because Rene and team Arrow pissed him off, and he came to Star City for the waterfront. He wants to create a single, massive drug operation, and as soon as the Green Arrow is out of the way, he’ll get started.
Naturally, this is when Oliver makes his big appearance and engages Church’s men. However, Church runs. That was a little odd, but Rene says Church ran, because he doesn’t need to fight the Green Arrow. Somewhere in all the torture, Rene gave up Oliver’s identity. I don’t know what the deal was about this scene, but it rang very false. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought Rene was turned and now working for Church with how that delivery went down.It was either poorly acted or worded or both. But we move on.
Church knows the mayor is the Green Arrow. All of Oliver’s people need to be given extra protection. Diggle sends for someone with a special skill set to help out, and then goes to debrief Rene.
Rene doesn’t want to talk to Diggle, but eventually he opens up. He remembers snippets of what he heard and saw while being tortured at the warehouse, and is able to put Church’s plan together. Once Oliver is dead, Church plans on gathering the leaders of several different cities, and beginning to make his criminal empire a reality. Since Church will only put this plan into action after Oliver is dead, that’s what they will give him.
Oliver goes to City Hall. He’s been having problems securing a vote from a councilman about approving expanding affordable housing in Star City. Councilman Kullons will not give his vote and he’s the one needed for the ordinance to pass. Oliver tries to appeal to him, but Kullons expresses concern over capitalist cronies, like the Queens, coming in and buying up all the land, pricing out the people the land is supposed to be for.
Thea and Oliver are shocked to learn their family took part in this, but after a little research, it’s discovered Kullons is also guilty of this. He used shell corporations to cover his tracks, but Oliver was able to track Kullons’ involvement. He confronts Kullons with this, and locks up Kullons’ vote. As Thea and Oliver leave City Hall, happy about their victory, Oliver’s security detail is gunned down. Thea is gotten to safety, but Oliver is hit with multiple bullets.
Quentin holds a press conference announcing Oliver’s death, but we all know that’s a ruse. How else would we even have a show named Arrow? Oliver was never at City Hall. In his place was Christopher Chance, aka the Human Target. He basically specializes in getting killed.
With Oliver “dead,” Church puts his plan into play. After his first run-in with Prometheus, he went out and got a “freak” of his own to protect him. This freak is also responsible for “killing” Oliver. He’s on hand when Church goes to the airfield to greet all the crime heads he’s gathered. Good thing, because Team Arrow, including Curtis, Diggle, Rene, is there to greet them.
Rene goes after Church. For a while, it looks as though Rene will be able to extract a little revenge from Church, but one of his cronies launches a missile and separates them. Church gets away, tries to hide in a plane hangar, only to run into Oliver.
Finally, Oliver and Church have the showdown we’ve been waiting for. It’s the fight that Oliver should have had with Damian Darhk. It’s a great fight, and in the end, Oliver is victorious. Church will be sent off to prison.
Or will he? On his way to being transported, Prometheus takes out all the cops accompanying Church. Church tries to cut a deal with Prometheus, offers up Oliver’s name, no one else knows. Prometheus accepts the name, then kills Church.
Oliver is brought before three members, including Anatoly, of the Bratva. He’s asked questions about his family.He has no family. He is only Bratva. He’s accepted into the Bratva. Later, there’s a celebration for him. One of the men, Viktor, tells Oliver he will never truly be Bratva, and threatens to end Oliver.
During the party, Oliver sees a woman being harassed and led outside. He follows, and it’s a trap for him. Men outside attack Oliver, but they’re interrupted by a stranger, who makes quick work of the men. Anatoly comes out, and thanks the man. As the man leaves, he pulls off a mask and reveals himself to be Christopher Chance.
Other points of interest
~ The cat is out of the bag on Felicity and Billy Malone. After getting a little afternoon delight, Billy tells Felicity he’s gotten a promotion to the Anti-Crime Unit. Felicity seems uneasy, leading Billy to ask if Oliver knows about them. Sure, he does.
No, no, he doesn’t. Oliver finds out from Chance. Chance had to be Oliver for the day, and that included speaking to Billy about joining the Anti-Crime Unit. Billy casually mentioned it to Chance. Oliver talks to Felicity about it. He’s ok with her moving on, but is hurt she didn’t tell him. He wants her to be happy. Felicity didn’t want to say anything until she knew if her thing with Billy was real. She’s still figuring it out. Oliver tells her to go be happy and he’ll try to move on, possibly with Susan Williams who had slipped Chance as Oliver her number, too. Even though they both agree the door to Olicity is closed, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a window open.
~ Rory has become the audience mouthpiece. He’s the guy that points out all the ludicrous things, such as how many people have access to the Arrow Cave. Thank goodness for Rory.
~ Rene was dishonorably discharged from the Navy because his team was bringing in a prisoner with information. The prisoner wouldn’t talk, so Rene thought he’d get the info “Wild Dog” style. He failed and was booted out.
~ Felicity wearing Chance’s Oliver mask, saying, “You’ve failed this city” is the highlight of the episode. Seriously. We need more goofy moments like that.
~ Thank you, Curtis, for the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys comment. Also, what did you tell your husband about how you sustained your knife injury?
~ For those of you who thought Susan Williams was up to no good, congratulations, you’re right. Even though she’s agreed to give Oliver a month to prove what he can do, she’s still snooping around. She meets up with a contact, and he provides her with intel on a possible connection between Oliver and Chance. It’s a photo of Oliver in Russia during the missing five years.
~ Before Church is arrested, he fills Oliver in on Prometheus’ existence.
~ Shout out to Wil Traval. I watched Human Target back in 2010, and I really enjoyed Mark Valley’s portrayal of Christopher Chance. I’m really glad to see Chance live on, and Traval is a solid job of portraying him. I hope this isn’t the last time Christopher Chance visits Star City.
As much as I enjoy learning about Oliver’s missing years, I feel Arrow is at its best when it’s less focused on the flashbacks. The flashbacks are nice, but lately, they’ve been a little too on the nose about their relevance to whatever is happening in that week’s episode. In Human Target, we get a short flashback, and an important connection, but it’s not super obvious until the end. Meanwhile, the story we’re given is focused and tight. The B-plot is important, but doesn’t overshadow and helps contribute to the A-plot. This is what I want in my shows, and more importantly, this is where Arrow is strongest. Oliver alone is good, but Oliver with Team Arrow is better.