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After last week’s heavy focus on Diggle’s backstory, this episode tried to give closure to Oliver and the Huntress after season 1’s “The Huntress Returns.” Opening with a quick action sequence, Oliver and Sara barely catch a fleeing Frank Bertinelli after a failed attempt to catch him by the SCPD. However, as Frank faces off with The Arrow, he thinks Helena has finally gotten someone to kill him. His concerns about Helena coming back increase after another conversation with Det. Lance and they decide to be careful. Back at the foundry, Team Arrow fills their new people in on Helena’s dark past and her relationship with Oliver.
On a happier note, Laurel is at a meeting for AA and voluntarily - she’s actually at her second meeting for the day because she refuses to let herself fall back into her old patterns. After her turn sharing about her problems, she gets a call from her old boss and heads back to the District Attorney’s office - it turns out that Adam wants her to be the lawyer against Frank Bertinelli.
At Verdant, Roy and Thea are sharing a cute moment until he gets pulled away from her on official Arrow business. They’re tracking a lead and Oliver wants Roy to come with him because they think he might be ready. However, after they manage to track down the car, Roy gets shot and loses his temper, pulling the man out of the car and only backing down from trying to attack him after Oliver mentions Thea’s nickname, Speedy (and comic book fans everywhere lose it!). They make their way back to the foundry and while Roy tells Oliver that while he thought he was getting a nickname, Oliver tells him that he’s worried about Roy’s control and that it’s probably best if he stays away from Thea for the time being. Roy, in one of the most casually heartwrenching moments of the show, quickly and honestly tells him, “I can’t.”
Their moment is interrupted, however, when Felicity’s newsfeed shows Laurel back with the DA and taking on Bertinelli. Oliver and Sara are worried for her safety and Sara goes off to see her while Oliver stays behind. Diggle finds him a little later and confronts him about his feelings for Helena. After a failed meeting with Laurel, Sara finds the two and is less than nice about the “baby arrows” and worries whether his past with Helena is going to cost Laurel her own life. Oliver reminds them that he created Helena and therefore has to save her and asks Sara to stay behind.
At City Hall, Laurel is amused to see Oliver but tells him that she’s not backing off on the Bertinelli case. However, they’re confused when Frank walks in the front...until Helena shows up and Frank seems almost content to see her. She quickly realizes he’s wearing a wire and when Helena and her henchmen start attacking, Oliver tries to escape with Frank and Laurel. Unfortunately, only two escape and Laurel’s left on her own inside.
Det. Lance, already on the scene, is enraged even further when he finds out Laurel’s boss, Adam, was behind the scene in the first place as he tried to capture Helena. Though they make Oliver and Lance leave their headquarters, Lance decides to take matters into his own hands and calls the Arrow, something Oliver has to play off when Lance notices his phone ringing at the same time. He calls Felicity and tries to reach Sara but is annoyed to find out she didn’t listen to him and went out to find Laurel.
Inside the courthouse, Sara has found Laurel and is keeping watch on her. The two share a sisterly moment when Sara stops Laurel from breaking her sobriety pledge and Laurel admits to the Canary that she’s reminded of her sister and how strong she must’ve been to endure everything she did to survive. When they try to escape, however, Laurel stops, not ready to leave behind all the other hostages. When Oliver warns her to not engage Helena, the two decide to not listen and head back to the hostages.
Distracting Helena with a sonic device, Laurel and Sara manage to sneak in. Laurel begins to untie some of the hostages while Sara takes on the Huntress. Unfortunately, their battle turns almost deadly as Sara gets launched out of a window, leaving Laurel upstairs and alone. She quickly becomes Helena’s bartering chip and she makes a deal with Oliver and Sara to exchange her for Helena’s father.
The five of them (with Lance lurking in the shadows) meet up in a sketchy alleyway after Sara, Oliver, and Lance help break Frank out of police custody. Though Frank and Oliver try to reason with Helena that it’s not too late for her to change, she tells him it’s too late because she’s already gone. Her chance to shoot is cut short, however, when the SCPD intervene. Though Helena manages to escape, Sara finds her and the two continue their fight. Sara gains the upper hand quickly and only stops from killing Helena after Laurel makes her stop. Distraught, Helena crawls over to her father’s body and is upset when she realizes it wasn’t her who killed him.
Now in custody, Oliver goes to visit Helena and she’s much more subdued. She admits that she’s not sure what to do now that the cause that kept her going is over with her father’s death and Oliver admits that he’s had to change a lot, too, especially after failing her. They share a final moment and it’s a nice bit of closure for the Huntress story line.
Back at the DA’s office, Laurel finds out that Adam wasn’t necessarily authorized to give her the job back and therefore, she wasn’t really rehired by the DA in the first place. However, she uses the hostage situation as blackmail and manages to keep her job, quoting the Huntress as she leaves. “Once you let the darkness in, it never goes away.”
It’s the final scene, though, that kicks off all the action that the cast has been promising to come at the end of this season. Thea, heartbroken after finding Roy with another woman after his failed attempt to break up with her, asks Oliver why everyone in her life - minus Ollie - lies to her. Though he tries to comfort her, she leaves and is found walking the streets by Slade. Accepting his offer for a ride, she gets into the car and we hear the menacing Slade Wilson from the island making his return.
Arrow airs on The CW Wednesdays at 8/7c.