ARROW Season 3×14, “The Return” recap

18 Feb


Welcome back, Arrowheads! So, Thea knows about Oliver being the Arrow! Quentin knows about Laurel being the Canary and Sara being dead! While Quentin might be off to get a drink (which, uh-oh), Ollie and Thea go off to train on Lian Yu! Also, we find out in those five years missing, Ollie has been back to Starling City, but for what?

Going Home, The Past. Why is Oliver (and Maseo) being brought back to Starling City by Waller? Well, China White is selling off the Omega virus to the highest bidder, and one of the bidders is Peter Kang, a Triad member and someone who works at Queen Consolidated. So that’s why Ollie is alive, but Waller warns he won’t be if he tries to contact his family. He does have some time before breaking into his company’s building to observe Thea, still dealing with her father and brother’s death by talking to their grave…and scoring some drugs. Tommy shows up to put the kibosh on that, and that still ends better than Laurel dealing with a drunk on the job Quentin around the same time.

Later that night, Ollie is sneaking around Robert’s office to steal intel on Kang and finds private documents for him and Thea. He gets the data, the documents, and sneaks out just as Felicity Smoak walks into the office. And he kinda likes her too. Awww. After giving the data to Maseo, he takes a stop by the Merlyn mansion (and security guys Diggle and his brother) to check on a party being held there. He tries to shake down the drug dealer he saw earlier to stop dealing to Thea in an isolated part of the mansion, and immediately is recognized. So, Ollie kills him, and leaves his body behind. After the police arrive, he gets to witness an argument between Laurel, Tommy, and a very drunk Quentin, and then Maseo shows up to take him away.

Ah the good old days when all of them were relatively sane/alive.

Ah the good old days when all of them were relatively sane/alive.

Maseo needs him to help out break up that meet, but all Ollie sees is the damage he’s left behind and wants to stay, Waller and the mission be damned. Ollie sees that video message from his dad, and its all about the Undertaking and how he can save Starling from his father’s sins. So, he shows up at that meet to bail Maseo out of a bad situation, and retrieves Omega and captures China White. As much as he thinks he’s done, Ollie is told he had to be debriefed in China by a Colonel Shrieve, and afterwards, he can go wherever he wants. Yeah, right.

Going Home, The Present. On Lian Yu, Oliver and Thea are sparring together and talking about how things seem to be better now that he’s come clean about being the Arrow with her. He wakes up in the middle night, saying Sara’s name, and Thea asks why no one told her she died. And before he can answer who killed her, he steps away from the campfire for some quiet time. That “quiet time” takes Ollie to Slade’s cell for a quick visit. But all he finds is an open cell with a dead ARGUS guard in the bed. That’s really bad.

Object Lesson. Before Ollie can ask how Slade can escape and Thea can ask “Slade was a prisoner here?”, Malcolm calls up. He sprung Slade to help Ollie regain that killer instinct for the eventual rematch with Ra’s al Ghul. Really, you two, you trusted Malcolm, what did you expect? Well, they get around the graves of daddy Queen (and get Thea a gun buried in there) before Slade pops up to knock them out. They come to in the same cell, and there on the other end, is Slade. He’s going to fake their deaths for the public and leave them in that cell to die. Clearly he hasn’t reflected well in his time locked up.

Who wins this race?  Probably not the guy with bad depth perception.

Who wins this race? Probably not the guy with bad depth perception.

And The Truth Will Set You Free. Ollie figures Slade will make his way to the plane that brought them there to escape, so he thinks of a plan while Thea says he’s lying about what happened to Sara. Turns out Thea has another use for Ollie: being able to slide her arm through the bars (albeit with a dislocated shoulder assist) to hit the button to open the cells. They get out and rush to the plane, but have to stop when one of Ollie’s island booby traps ends up injuring him. Thea says whatever it is he knows about Sara is distracting her, which is no good if both of them hope to stop Slade. So he finally tells her what Malcolm made her do to Sara, and her reaction is pretty much what you expect when you hear your dad drugged you and made you murder a loved one.

Three-Way Fight. Slade apparently thought it best to wait to leave, because he ends up attacking the two again. Only thing is, he didn’t know about Thea’s training and after a scuffle with both Queen siblings, is facing Thea holding a gun at his head. He tries to goad her into pulling the trigger, but Ollie tells her that this is exactly what Malcolm wants her to do. Then she shoots Slade…

"(humming X-Files theme)"  "Stop it, Thea!"

“(humming X-Files theme)” “Stop it, Thea!”

“How many people can Oliver Queen lose before he’s no longer Oliver Queen?” Before we get to Slade’s fate, let’s discuss Laurel and Quentin since the flashback earlier comes back here in the present. Laurel planned to leave Starling for a big law firm, but Quentin’s drunken but true words about her making an effort to help people, puts her into the legal aid office we saw her in back in season one. Now, Quentin’s about to take a drink over Sara’s grave, and Laurel is there to talk him down from it. But he’s still upset about Laurel lying and now running around as the Canary, so Quentin’s not happy with her at all. And that’s the optimistic family reunion of this climax.

Slade gets locked back into his cell (sporting a bullet wound to the arm from Thea) and tells Ollie he may have lost his sister (and who knows who else) to what Malcolm has done. Ollie and Thea get home and discuss not telling Laurel about what they know right now, and like the devil, Malcolm appears to agree. Oh Malcolm, you picked a bad time to show up. Not only is Thea mad about having Slade loosed on her, but now she knows what Malcolm did. She lays it flat out that while she’ll accept his help in the battle against Ra’s al Ghul, you can forget about calling her daughter anymore. Malcolm gives Ollie a look of “You told her that?”, to which Ollie gives a look of “Hey, YOU did that to her, ***hole, so YOU deal with it”. Ollie just mic dropped Malcolm, y’all.

–Comic book connections: Shrieve is known for his connection to the Creature Commandos, which would be weird to see in this show. I mean, we’re still comprehending a speedster in this show, people.

–So who wins best and worst wig this week (I’m going with Quentin in my worst box)? Go!

–Kind of nice to see Thea verbalize what I’m sure we’ve all been thinking about Malcolm in that last speech, that for all his talk of protecting Thea, he’s all about himself. Sure, she was dumb enough to trust them, but he was doubly so for setting her up like that and not expecting it to bite him in the butt.

–You think we would get Moira in this flashback, but nope. We did get Robert though in that video message, though.

–Who do you think Oliver was talking about in the other not helpful prisoner of Lian Yu? UPDATE: Unless I’m wrong about the recent crossover with Flash, it’s Boomerang who was that cellmate.

–“You have a choice to make…whether or not you want to keep your hand.”

–“Oh, you’ve really come a long way.”

–“What kind of psycho would put that there?” “Me!”

–“I really need to learn to stop talking to myself.”

So that’s it for now, but come back next time for the recap of “Nanda Parbat”…

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