Welcome back, Arrow-heads! A little catch up on things pertinent to this episode: Diggle is still looking for Deadshot, and has asked for the help of his government agent friend Lyla to help find him. Roy has sworn off going out to fight crime on his own for Thea, but is still helping Ollie gather intel on his quest to fight crime. And in those island flashbacks, Ollie’s been reunited with Sara Lance, but that reunion involves her kicking him in the face. So, let’s see what’s going on…
Crime and Crimestopping, Interrupted. Ollie gets some intel from Roy about a exchange for counterfeit bills, and Roy offers to help out. That offer is met with a “just hang around outside the meeting and note anyone leaving” from Ollie, while Ollie deals with the criminals inside the meeting place, with Diggle doing oversight. While Ollie takes down the criminals, two bad things happen: Roy gets arrested by Quentin, and Diggle gets tasered by some ARGUS agents. He wakes up to find himself under heavy guard, and we see who brought him there: ARGUS head Amanda Waller, who has a problem. Their mutual acquaintance Lyla has went missing in Russia while searching for a lead on Deadshot. Waller can’t send in an extraction team without causing an international snafu, so she suggests Diggle go and retrieve Lyla, and if so bring Oliver Queen for help. So add Waller to “people who know about Ollie” list. When he returns to Arrow HQ, he asks for a few days off to find Lyla, talks about how she’s his ex-wife, and Ollie offers his and Felicity’s assistance.
Going to Tahiti…via Russia. Ollie, Felicity, and Diggle go to Russia under the pretense of a trip to Tahiti with a stopover in Moscow. They get an unexpected extra passenger is Isabel, who thinks they’re going on a business trip. And after the staredown between Ollie and Isabel that got interrupted by Felicity at the start of the episode, that plane ride looks to be a cold trip to a cold destination (which warms up later on). Well, Diggle and Ollie talk to some shady sources who know Lyla is being held in a high-security gulag, and know that breaking her out will be next to impossible. So Diggle decides to find her by letting himself get arrested and thrown in the same gulag. And while he’s in one of the prison’s punishment chambers, he runs into a familiar face: Deadshot. Diggle realizes the only way he’ll get out with Lyla alive is to team up with Deadshot in the planned escape. And what’s Ollie and Felicity up to during this?
“What happens in Russia, stays in Russia.” Ollie and Felicity pick up some needed supplies, like a police truck and some clothes (with some extra add-ons that become important later) while Diggle is chillin’ with Deadshot (please refer to the comment section below for your “boos” to that joke) in the gulag. While waiting, Isabel drops by to enjoy a quick drink, a quick talk, and a quick sexy time with Ollie. Felicity comes by his hotel room as Isabel is leaving and puts together what’s happened. She’s a bit hurt by this, and Ollie becomes very aware of that. Much later on after they get home, he explains its best for him not to get involved with “someone he could really care about” (and considering his track record so far with women, that’s a legit concern). She just says he deserves better than Isabel. And Ollicity shippers just caught the heavy vapors.
Tonight is going to be a gulag break. So after an awkward drive with Ollie and Felicity, they arrive at the gulag and put their plan in motion. Lucky for them, Diggle and Deadshot have found Lyla as those special uniforms get put to use, by the explosives on them that blow an opening into the gulag (and probably kill a few Russian guards with it). They all drive out, and Diggle takes Deadshot out of the escape wagon to talk. Diggle lets Deadshot live because he agreed not to kill him if he helped in the escape. Before he leaves, Deadshot offers up something regarding the death of Diggle’s brother: Deadshot didn’t miss his target and accidentally kill Diggle’s bro, because Diggle’s bro was the target! He doesn’t know who hired him, but he leaves a clue in who might have hired him: something called H.I.V.E. And after they all get back to Starling and Diggle and Lyla have a make-up and make-out session, Diggle decides to use his smart phone to Bing more info on H.I.V.E (hello, opportune Bing product placement!).
“I forbid you from breaking up with him.” Roy gets picked up by Thea, and gets good news in Quentin letting him go thanks to them both seeing they’re part of the super-not-so-secret vigilante support team. Then Moira’s attorney pops by the club to offer Thea some advice, like to stop dating a felon while her mother is currently about to go to trial. Thea tries to do that in the clumsiest way, and gets saved by Moira putting a visit together between Roy and Thea. She doesn’t care who Thea’s dating, and tells them both to stay together. Great motherly advice from the person who let one husband be killed and another husband be imprisoned, both by the same psychopath.
Searching for a miracle. While Slade is recovering from his gnarly face and body burns with some help (and rather loaded dialogue) from Shado, Ollie gets to meet doctor Ivo, who explains why he’s there on the island. Ivo is interested is a “final solution”-type weapon the Japanese were making during WWII: a serum that makes cells regenerate and gives them super strength. The only shipment of it went missing around the islands, and Ivo wants it. Sara appears and seems to want to help Ollie escape, but when he radios Slade and Shado, she seems to have been helping Ivo find Ollie’s friends so they can be hunted down. And Ivo wants him alive to find “the graves”, and also knows who Ollie is. At least Sara got Ivo to keep Ollie alive, so that should lessen the blow of Slade and Shado about to be killed. You think?
–Comic book connections: H.I.V.E. is known in the DCU as the Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Eliminations. Guess who was also connected to H.I.V.E. in the comics? One Slade Wilson. And Amanda Waller you probably know in a different iteration from the Smallville show, and head of the DCU’s Suicide Squad.
–Speaking of Waller, she’s played by the actress who played Naevia in the last two seasons of Spartacus. So yes, we got Crixus and Naevia on the same show (just in different time periods for now).
–We get a hint as to how Ollie got that Russian mafia cred (if you saw the opening recap that is): that bearded prisoner on the Amazo got saved by Ollie.
–No Laurel this week. Let’s just assume she took enough of those pills to take an extended nap for a few days and move on.
–Another news report about that particle accelerator, just in case you forgot about that mystery hero popping up later this season…
–Something bad’s going to happen to Shado that’s going to turn Ollie and Slade against each other, isn’t it?
–Isabel really has no hangups or need for a relationship over that quick nighttime fling with Ollie it seems. At least she was polite enough not to keep him from missing his secret gulag break-in with some pillow talk.
–Ollie’s retort regarding Isabel’s knock on Felicity’s short skirts: “Her skirts aren’t that short.” Oh, so Ollie has noticed that? Also, scuttlebutt and Isabel think Felicity got her big promotion because she’s sleeping with Ollie. I’m sure some of you readers are going, “if only…” right now.
–Lyla thanked Diggle for “coming for her” at the prison after they slept together. See, that’s a double entendre right there, with…ok, I’ll stop now.
–“That’s the thing about honor, John: you just can’t turn it ‘on’ or ‘off’.”
–“We have no word for ‘optimist’ in Russia.”
–“Hey, what happens in Russia, stays in Russia…even if it makes no sense whatsoever.”
So what do you think? Leave comments and theories below and come back next week for “State vs. Queen”…