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Be prepared: this episode was appropriately titled “Seeing Red” for a reason - though I’m not sure if you’ll be seeing much through your tears.
The episode starts off with Diggle and Felicity in the basement watching over Roy’s unchanging condition. Though they’re worried about him, they’re not sure what he can do while he’s comatose. When Diggle steps out for a minute and returns, however, the duo finds Roy awake but gone. Though they try to call out to him, he rushes out after trashing the foundry. Felicity calls Oliver and Sara to come down to the foundry, interrupting their romantic evening alone.
At the Queen Mansion, Moira is giving an interview about her plans for the city. She’s charming the reporter but the good mood is cut short when Thea comes in to tell her that she can’t use her club. Though they excuse themselves, Thea storms off when Moira reminds her that she signed a contract. Furthermore, Moira is faced with a touch decision when her campaign advisor reminds her that she either has to choose to be mayor or a mother, but not both.
Meanwhile, Team Arrow is running a search party for a missing and dangerous Roy. Felicity catches a police report about a man in a red hoodie attacking several men. When the team follows the lead, they come up with nothing. Sin, out and about in Starling, is not so lucky. When three men try and come to her rescue for Roy, he injures them, too, with Sin caught in the crossfire.
Back at Verdant, Thea’s annoyed. While they’re preparing for Moira’s campaign rally later, Thea doesn’t understand why Diggle is shadowing her so intensely but Oliver simply cites Slade Wilson still being at large. She doesn’t buy it but walks off. Meanwhile, Sin shows up as well and confesses to Sara that she saw Roy but doesn’t know exactly what’s going on with him. She thinks it might be related to the drug he was injected with around Christmastime.
Moira is determined to solve her own problem. She heads to Sebastian’s campaign headquarters to confess that she’s made up her mind: she’s dropping out of the race. When Sebastian asks why, she admits that it’s because she’s not willing to risk her daughter. He understands and explains that she’s doing the right thing because he is going to “change this city. A new day is coming. A better day. For all of us.”
In the foundry, the team is struggling to find Roy until Sara gets a call from Sin. She’s watching as Roy heads into the clock tower. Though Sara and Oliver try to stop him, he’s impenetrable behind the mask of the mirakuru clouding his senses. He seriously injures Oliver and flees, leaving the duo to watch as Roy attacks two more police officers before he runs off.
At her club, Thea expresses her annoyance at Diggle’s constant lurking. Instead of getting bothered, however, Diggle just tries to reason with Thea about her mother, trying to convince her to give Moira another chance. Their talk is interrupted when Thea notices Roy on the news. They go off to see Sin who finally confesses that something’s wrong with Roy. Thea’s desperate to save him.
Moira and Oliver stayed behind at Verdant, however, and she tells him about her plans to drop out of the race. Oliver convinces her to stay in the race because it would be good for her and Thea’s relationship, as weird as it seems right now. “I know about sacrificing the people close to me for the good of the city,” he admits. Moira, in turn, admits that she’s known about his own secret for a while now but tells him how proud she is instead of admonishing him.
At the rally downstairs, Moira’s prepared to drop out until she changes course at the last minute with some encouragement from Oliver. Though Thea gives a quick speech in favor of her mother, the team quickly realizes it was a thinly veiled message for Roy to come find her. Oliver takes a quick dosage of drugs in an effort to fend off Roy, which turns out to be a good thing. Sara, using a gun taken from Oliver, shoots Roy in the leg after he pushes Sin and Thea out of his way. Though he begs her to kill him, Oliver gets him down with three doses of the Tibetan snake venom.
Downstairs, the team cares for Roy but still aren’t sure what to do about him with the excess mirakuru in his system. Sara and Oliver shuffle off for a conversation of their own as she explains that she’s not what he needs. She’s too dark for him and that’s not what he needs right now, she claims as she ends their relationship and leaves.
Back upstairs, Oliver shows face with his mother and Thea. Still annoyed, Thea stalks off but the two follow her into the limo. Confronting Oliver for knowing about Roy, the three of them agree it’s time to stop keeping secrets from each other. When Moira goes to tell her kids about Malcolm still being alive, they’re stopped when a car hits them.
Barely conscious, Oliver wakes up to find himself tied and his mother and sister in a similar situation to Shado and Sara’s at their return to the island. Though Oliver tries to explain what really happened, Slade’s too upset to hear anything beyond what his hallucination of Shado says. Moira picks up that Slade was on the island with Oliver and though Thea’s confused, she’s beginning to catch on. Instead of forcing Oliver to make an impossible decision or sacrifice himself, Moira decides to sacrifice her own life for the lives of her children. Slade puts his gun away and turns around, seemingly appearing to spare Moira. Unfortunately, he quickly turns and slides his blade through her heart, quickly killing her. Slade spares Thea and Oliver and unties the younger Queen as she runs to grieve over her mother.
In a final flashback for Moira, she and Oliver are sharing a touching moment. Having just paid off the young girl Oliver impregnated to tell him she lost the child, she’s trying to convince him it was for the best. Though Oliver’s not quite convinced, he still appreciates all the support she gave him. They share a hug and touching “I love you’s” before the screen flashes to the Queen children mourning their slain mother.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.