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The season premiere of Arrow started in an old, familiar place: the island of Lian Yu, where Oliver has fled after the destruction of The Glades by Malcolm Merlyn. Diggle and Felicity have followed him - the city of Starling needs him back. Oliver agrees to come back, but not to put on the hood. Oliver comes back to his mother, Moira Queen, in prison, and his sister, Thea Queen, owning his old club, Verdant. Roy, Thea’s boyfriend, encourages her to visit her mother, but she resists because she believes Moira has just as much of The Glades’ blood on her hands as Malcolm Merlyn.
There’s a new group of vigilantes in Sterling, four gun slinging honorless “heroes” whose most recent success was assassinating the mayor during a charity event. Laurel happened to be at the charity event, and when Oliver shows up to investigate, Laurel tells him she’s decided not to continue their relationship because she feels she betrayed Tommy. Oliver, too, feels he betrayed Tommy by becoming a killer.
Queen Consolidated is in danger of being taken out of control of the Queen family. Isabel Rochev is threatening to purchase the last 10% of the company’s stock, giving her 55% of the company and Oliver only 45%. During the meeting, the four masked vigilantes attack. Oliver resists taking them out, afraid he’ll cause suspicion. The vigilantes escape, but not without Oliver getting some information he can work with about their identities.
While Oliver is visiting his mother in prison, the masked vigilantes attack Verdant and abduct Thea. Oliver shows up later, heads down to the Hood’s lair, where he, Felicity, and Diggle find information about one of the vigilantes and a group they’re related to called Standing Strong, a church related therapy group for survivors of the destruction of The Glades.
At the church, the now-unmasked vigilantes are arguing over Thea and what to do with her when suddenly the Hood shows up and saves her. He’s careful not to kill any of the vigilantes, to honor Tommy and himself.
The next day, Laurel finds Oliver at Tommy’s grave. She concedes to staying away from Oliver - their lives are intertwined whether they like it or not, and while they don’t have to date, they can be there for each other.
Thea finally takes the time to visit with her mother, where she told Moira she almost died and wanted to forgive her mother before anything worse happened.
Oliver and Isabel meet again, and before Isabel can start threatening to purchase stock in Queen Consolidated again, Oliver introduces his white knight, his step-father, Mr. Steele. Earlier that day, Mr. Steele had purchased the remaining 10% of the company, keeping it away from both Oliver and Isabel.
That night in The Glades, Roy gets off the phone with Thea and finds some muggers assaulting a young woman. He moves to attack them, but before he has the opportunity, a masked vigilante different from any one he’s seen before shows up and beats the muggers, saving the young woman’s life. Before Roy can stop her, the blonde, masked vigilante disappears into the night.
Back at the Hood’s lair, Felicity shows Oliver a new bow she had made for him. Oliver decides he’s going to raise the hood once more, but this time, under a different name.
New episodes of Arrow air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Image: The CW