Last week’s episode was rough for Arrow: though The Arrow “defeated” Brother Blood with Laurel’s help, Laurel still found herself fired from her job with the District Attorney’s office because of her alleged pill addiction and Roy was stuck dealing with the effects the Mirakuru was having on his system. The episode ended with an unlikely alliance forming between Roy and The Arrow.
This week begins with a man having been arrested for holding up a convenience store. Though the metal detector goes off, he claims it’s from a knee replacement he had done years ago. Though he seems harmless enough, things begin to change once we meet his short-lived cellmate: Ben Turner (aka, Bronze Tiger), a man with ties to The Triad. The man tells him a quick series of instructions which confuses Turner, who tells him they don’t have a way to get out easily. Suddenly, the man begins to cut himself open, revealing weapons that were hidden beneath his skin, including Turner’s infamous three-pronged claws. When an officer comes in to check on the now unconscious cellmate, Turner attacks him and escapes.
In another empty warehouse, Roy is training with The Arrow using the same water slapping method Shado used with Oliver when training him to shoot back on the island. Though Roy is getting annoyed at the seemingly pointless task, Oliver tells him that strength isn’t the point – “controlling it is.” Frustrated, Roy smashes through the bowl and the table underneath. When he pulls back, Oliver notices his shaking hands before Roy can hide them in his signature red hoodie. Oliver then explains that he’s seen this happen before, explaining that after he became unrecognizable, he couldn’t be stopped until Oliver put an arrow through his eye.
Back on the island, Oliver and Sara are trying to hunt down a missing Slade, tracing him back to the graves. However, Sara warns Oliver that they can’t tell Slade how Shado really died because they have no way of knowing how Slade could react to the confession, regardless of how guilty he feels. “Love is the most powerful emotion and that makes it the most dangerous.”
In the Queen Mansion, Moira finds Thea sitting alone and Thea confesses that she’s worried about Roy because she doesn’t know how to help him. However, Thea brushes off her mother’s concerns as she tells her she needs to go to her dinner with Walter while trying not to get her hopes up for a reconciliation.
Back at her apartment, Laurel startles to someone pounding on her door. She gets defensive when she sees it’s her father but her guard falters a little bit when he tells her he’s there because he misses her. “For a long time, it was just you and me,” he reminds her. Though she brushes off his attempts to have dinner tonight, she agrees to dinner tomorrow.
Underneath Verdant, Diggle is questioning Oliver about Roy’s progress. He admits that he’s seen the Mirakuru affect someone before, admitting that he knows more about it now and won’t let it get out of control again. Their discussion is cut short when Felicity’s systems catch an alert put out by Iron Heights about Bronze Tiger’s escape and murder of ten guards.
Bronze Tiger, meanwhile, makes it to his meeting spot with the man who helped him escape prison. Though Turner is skeptical as to why he’d break a stranger out of prison, he quickly reveals that he’s going to need Turner’s skills to help him steal something. Turner’s skepticism grows as he warns the man that his target is dangerous but agrees nonetheless.
Oliver and Roy continue their training in the abandoned warehouse. Roy’s frustration is growing as Oliver tries to continue teaching him control. “Let me try hitting something that’ll actually hit back!” He pleads to let Oliver go out with him for one night, claiming it would all be “easier to take.”
At her dinner with Walter, Moira is surprised to find another guest joining them. As the conversation quickly slips into politics, both Walter and his guest admit they’re afraid of what will happen if Sebastian wins the position for mayor, claiming he could bankrupt the city in eight months with his policies. Moira quickly deduces they’re trying to get her to run for mayor but she’s skeptical after the events with The Glades.
On their dinner date, Laurel finds out that her father tricked her into going with him to an AA meeting. She’s furious, claiming that “not one person in that room knows what I’ve been through.” Though Quentin tries to convince her to join him she refuses and walks away.
Back in the abandoned warehouse, Roy is feeling dejected while Oliver receives a call from Felicity about a report from the police about a dead architect with claw marks. Felicity notes that designs for Malcolm Merlyn’s house were stolen as well and Oliver decides to look into it with Roy. In one of the most memorable lines from the episode, he turns to Roy and asks, “Do you have one of your hoodies?” Roy responds with a perfectly delivered, “Do you seriously have to ask?” In the Merlyn mansion, they pause briefly at a picture of Tommy. Roy begins getting closer to the truth until they hear a noise from underground.
In the Merlyn’s garage, Bronze Tiger and associates find a prototype for the earthquake machine The Undertaking used to wreck The Glades at the end of season one. Though Oliver tries to fight him for the machine, Roy ignores Oliver’s warning to not engage anyone and attacks the driver, not stopping until Oliver forces him to. Unfortunately, Turner manages to escape.
Frustrated with Roy, Oliver vents his issues with Felicity and Diggle. Though Diggle is furious he took Roy out there with him, Felicity quickly gets them back on track and Oliver gives her a watch from one of Turner’s men, hoping it’ll help them trace them back to a lead they can follow. Oliver confesses that Slade’s downfall was his fault because he didn’t tell him what happened to Shado and when Slade found out, he flipped. He admits that he’s trying to prevent the same thing from happening to Roy in order to erase some of his guilt.
In another flashback, Sara and Oliver make it to the graves to find it empty once again. Though they’re frustrated by their lack of leads, Oliver finds calculations on the wall, similar to when Fyre was on the island and planning his attack on the planes. It then clicks that Slade is planning on blowing up the freighter.
In present day, a panicked Roy comes to Thea, warning her that she needs to take her family and leave town. When she doesn’t understand why, he grabs her, his panic increasing when she tells him that he’s hurting her. He fearfully apologizes and runs off, leaving Thea confused behind him. During another training session with Oliver, Roy admits that he told Thea she needed to leave town. An angry Oliver tries to reason that Roy can’t bring her into their situation but Roy reacts negatively, stressed about all the constant lies he’s had to give his friends. Oliver tries to get him to calm down but Roy won’t. “Go ahead, put another arrow in me,” he provokes. When Oliver tries to stop him, Roy attacks him and flees.
Meanwhile, at Joanna’s new firm, Laurel greets her former coworker happily, worried when it seems like Joanna is trying to get her to not want the job. Joanna admits that her bosses have heard from the Bar Association that there is currently an investigation going on to decide whether or not Laurel can still practice law post her arrest. Because of this, Joanna’s bosses can’t hire her. When Joanna tries to help Laurel, she tells her that she needs “time to process.”
Moira and Walter have another meeting about Moira running for mayor. When Thea walks in to their conversation, Walter admits that he’s trying to convince her mother to run. Thea admits that, “as a newly minted voter,” it doesn’t seem like too far-fetched of an idea for her mother to get elected.
Post his fight with Roy, Oliver returns to his underground lair. While Felicity patches him up, Oliver admits to Diggle that he can’t let what happened to Slade happen again with Roy. Their conversation is interrupted, however, by a phone call from Thea. Apparently, Laurel decided to process the news of her potential disbarment at Verdant and Thea is worried about her. The team shares a tense look after last week’s claim that she wouldn’t get in their way again but Oliver goes upstairs anyway. When Thea tries to get Laurel to leave, she insults the younger girl. When Laurel admits that she’s getting disbarred, their annoyance turns to concern as Thea gets Laurel to a cab and Oliver makes a quick call to someone claiming “I just ran into Laurel and something’s wrong. She needs you.” However, as Laurel’s leaving the bar, a man slips a vial back into his suit jacket, hinting that she could potentially be drugged.
Shortly after, Moira heads to Verdant to ask Thea what she thinks about her potential campaign. Though she fears the events of The Undertaking will ruin her campaign before it even starts, they have a touching moment as Thea tells her, “Instead of punishing yourself because you think you destroyed the city, why not start by saving it?”
At the loading docks, Bronze Tiger and the man revealed to be Milo Armitage are talking money. As Turner watches the money enter his bank account, Armitage reveals that he is getting paid much more by a man hoping to destroy another town in a similar way The Glades were destroyed. While they think their business is done, The Arrow swoops in and sends an arrow into Armitage. Though he is attacked by Bronze Tiger, Roy comes from around the corner and tackles him off. Using the distraction, Armitage sets off the earthquake device despite Oliver’s pleas not to. Oliver tries to destroy the trailer but can’t.
Deciding he needs Roy’s help, he tries to get Roy to stop attacking Turner long enough to help him. When he won’t listen to The Arrow, he makes a hasty decision and reveals himself to Roy. Using his obvious love for Thea, Oliver gets Roy to calm down enough to help him get through the trailer enough to place an exploding arrow in there to destroy the machine. Roy turns to Oliver, shocked he’s the one that’s been behind the hood the entire time. In the best moment of the episode, he tells Oliver, “Last year, you saved my life. And I don’t mean from the guy who kidnapped me. I mean you…you saved me. You gave me purpose.” The two shake hands as their alliance is solidified and Oliver reassures him, “We’re just getting started.”
Back at the lair, Felicity and Diggle worry about Roy knowing Oliver’s secret. Oliver admits that he “wasn’t thinking about the consequences,” only that he needed Roy’s abilities. “The arrow couldn’t get Roy to think about Thea, but I could.” In a flashback, Sara and Oliver find Slade just as he’s starting the missle launcher. Though they try to stop him, Slade refuses, pulling a gun to Oliver’s temple. On his knees, Oliver tries to get Slade to think about Shado. He tells Slade that she loved him. Using her memory, Oliver calms Slade down. While Slade panics about what’s happening to him, Oliver reassures him they’re going to get off the island. “We’re going to take the freighter,” he promises.
Walter shows back up at the Queen mansion after an email from Moira. She admits that she wants to “be known as something other than Malcom Merlyn’s pawn” and therefore is going to run again. However, she expresses that she’s worried about someone finding out that Thea is Malcolm’s daughter. She tells Walter that she needs to make sure “he won’t be a problem for us,” when she confesses that her OB knows the truth.
In prison, Turner gets yet another visitor. Amanda Waller wants to recruit him because of his “singular talents,” and the use she could get from them for a special unit – “actually, it’s more of a squad” – she’s putting together. He’s intrigued.
Apparently having had enough time to process Oliver’s secret identity, Roy and Oliver head down to his secret lair. Though Roy fearfully jokes about how Oliver is going to kill him now that he knows the secret, Oliver somberly turns to him and tells him that Thea can never know the truth. When Roy asks just how many people know, Oliver admits “too many, but these are the only two that matter,” as he introduces Diggle and Felicity. A quick exchange between the new team provides a glimpse into the wonderful chemistry the fans get to experience as the season develops as Roy asks, “Does this team have a name? Like, Team Arrow or something?” When Oliver responds with, “We don’t call ourselves that,” Felicity quickly jumps in with, “I do! Occasionally…” “Stop.”
However, in the most shocking twist of the night, Laurel finally stumbles her way back into her apartment, falling off the edge of her couch. Through her blurry vision, she makes out the fuzzy shape of her sister. “Sara…” she gasps before she passes out.
Arrow airs on The CW every Wednesday at 8/7c.
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