Welcome back, Arrow-heads! Slade’s been upping his campaign on Ollie big time, by laying some truth bombs on people. He’s told Thea about her real dad, and Laurel about who the Arrow really is. Besides that, he’s shanghaied a bus full of prisoners for part of his master plan. And also, since Ollie was busy trying to recover Thea, he gave over temporary control of the family company to Isabel, who immediately seized control and revealed herself to be one of Slade’s conspirators! Plus, Quentin’s in prison, Thea wants nothing to do with her family, and Roy has skipped town. So, now what?
Felicity’s Plan. Its nighttime as Team Arrow is riding in a van dressed all in black, heading to Queen Consolidated’s Applied Sciences building. Why? To blow it up, of course! The idea is to put a serious clinch to Slade’s plan to recreate mass amounts of Mirakuru by destroying the devices he needs to do it. The building’s blown up, luckily with no one inside, and it seems Slade’s big plan has hit a snag. But Roy is still missing, and Ollie has to save whatever assets Isabel hasn’t gotten to by getting some papers signed by Thea. I’m sure she’ll be happy to do that right now.
Deathstroke Pays A Visit…or Two. While the team heads down to Arrow HQ to discuss Slade related issues, they find Slade’s already there waiting for them. They get into a big fight, where Sara has to get hospitalized, and wonder why he was there. Felicity finds out the skeleton key is missing, and with it, can break into anywhere. Where Slade goes is the only other place with the equipment he needs: a STAR labs facility in town. Deathstroke almost kills everyone inside, except for a few scientists, Caitlin and Cisco, working inventory and quick enough to escape using some of the lab’s tools to do it. Felicity knows the duo from her visits with comatose Barry Allen, and we find out he’s being taken care of exclusively by STAR Labs, and being visited frequently by a woman called Iris, who had a “thing” with him. Boy Felicity, you do know how to pick them.
“Because you’re important to me.” We get to watch Laurel deal with that secret of Ollie being the Arrow in a way that’s very surprising given the crap she’s been through all this season. So she puts in some leg work and stakes out Verdant, and follows what looks like Ollie and Sara on their trip to STAR Labs. She calls Arrow to see him, and almost lays out who he is, until she’s called about Quentin being attacked in his cell by a con he busted. She goes to the prison to see Quentin, but before she says anything about what she knows, he tells her not to say it. More to the point, he doesn’t care anymore and that he’s willing to face jail time because of all the good the Arrow is doing. So Laurel talks to the DA and tells her to get her dad out of jail or face some serious lawsuits about him being wrongfully imprisoned from her after she quits, and after some veiled threat from the DA about picking your battles, blah blah blah, it looks like Quentin’s a free man and a cop again. Later on at Verdant, while Ollie’s sullen about how fractured his family is, she just hugs him and doesn’t mention anything about the Arrow. I gotta admit, I got choked up a bit there.
Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah! Besides Laurel keeping secrets, a few more get let out thanks to Ollie losing control of the company. Moira mentions that Isabel had a fling with Robert Queen many years ago when Isabel was an intern at the company. “Yeah thanks for bringing that up NOW, Mom”, Ollie thinks as he confronts Isabel about this. But Isabel is under the impression Robert was going to run away from the family to be with her, and when Thea took a nasty spill off a horse, he stayed and left Isabel. Then, she met up with Slade, trained really hard, and joined his act of revenge against Ollie, who she has escorted out of her building. And here I was hoping she was just evil as opposed to a jilted ice queen mistress bent on revenge, but, oh well. But, Ollie discovers from that conversation Robert always knew about Thea, and later on while Thea is taking her things out of the mansion, tells her about that. Ollie’s hoping Thea hears that despite what Robert knew about her, he cared enough to be her father. All she hears is that someone else she loved lied to her, which is unfortunately true. Maybe not the best thing for her to hear right now is another person lied to her, Ollie, especially since she’s not past the “both of my parents are mass murderers and my family lied about that” phase of dealing with things.
The Roy Brigade. Ollie gets another pivotal decision to make when going to see Thea about signing papers to secure their assets and oh nuts, Felicity just called to mention that stolen device is revving up. So, off he goes to find it, and finds those freed prisoners all laid out on tables, being pumped full of Mirakuru blood…from an unconscious Roy! And look, Slade and Isabel stop by to tell Ollie how he screwed up again by letting Roy go, and how they found him despondent in a homeless shelter, and not resisting being turned into a super blood donor. Ollie shuts down the blood pump and fights the two of them, firing a few explosive arrows into Slade’s chest, and Isabel getting a couple of bullets in the same place by Diggle. So, sleeping Roy’s dragged back to Arrow HQ to be treated until he wakes up. Say, um, wouldn’t it be a good idea to make sure those prisoners are dead before you go, Ollie? No?
The Doctor Is Out. The flashback to the island takes us to the plane hideout, as Ollie and Sara discuss what to do about the injured Ivo. Anatoli suggests carving him up, but Ivo claims to have a cure for the Mirakuru which he’ll give up for a quick death instead of a slow death from that gangrenous infection from his severed hand. He experimented on synthesizing Mirakuru, but also created a cure for it as a result. He gives them a safe key that will open his safe on the freighter where the cure is, and instead of Sara doing the deed as asked, Ollie kills Ivo. Then Ollie asks if anyone knows how to pilot a submarine. Um, what?
Army of the Damned. What Team Arrow learns that Ollie and Sara know, is that they did have a chance to cure Slade, but opted to kill him instead. With this threat of super powered baddies, Ollie decides to find a cure for the Mirakuru, so Felicity visits Caitlin and Cisco about doing that with a vile of the stuff. They better work quick, because Slade’s super army is waking up from their treatment, along with a transfusion of his own blood, the now not dead Isabel! So now crazy Isabel is super crazy Isabel. Terrific.
–Comic book connections: We get more Flash-related connections than Green Arrow ones this week. Based on the comics, Caitlin Snow may become less of a helper than a threat if her future appearances take her down that road, Arthur Light’s weapon is another callback to a Flash villain, and Iris is someone pretty pivotal in the life of Barry Allen. And unless you accidentally saw a spy pic from the filming of the season finale like I did, expect Isabel to appear as another DC villain.
–So in case you’re wondering why we spend so much time with Caitlin and Cisco (and that awkward introduction speech by Felicity about who they are), its because they appear in The Flash pilot (and series if it gets picked up, which at this point no news on that) with the – SPOILERS — awake Barry Allen.
–If to remind us how really screwed up Thea thinks things are, she mentions she once made a pass at her newly discovered half-brother Tommy, who got killed by her real dad. Really, it might be a good idea to let her be for awhile. That’s a metric crap-ton to deal with.
–Really, just threaten the DA with a lawsuit and a guy who aided a vigilante can be released back into his job? I probably wouldn’t have an issue against it if it wasn’t half an episode ago. Kind of makes that whole arrest last episode seem really pointless now.
–Great moment with Ollie deciding to just kill Ivo while he lays out why he became who he is. Ollie’s all “Yadda yadda, who gives a crap, here’s two in the chest for you”.
–Oh hey, callback to earlier this season with Felicity having that electronic skeleton key to bust into the Applied Sciences building. And really, can’t you hide something like that in a safer place than your own HQ? It opens EVERYTHING!
–Laurel also hears about Sara’s scarring after her tussle with Deathstroke. So at least she’s putting together that Sara isn’t also who she’s pretending to be.
–“Barry’s in a coma and he’s already moved on.”
–“It says ‘Thea Queen’. Who’s she?”
–“I can’t believe I’m a bomber. I wonder if I can list that in my resume under ‘special skills’.”
So, what did you think? Leave your thoughts and theories below as we return next week for “Seeing Red”…