Picking up with our heroes a few months after the events of the season 2 finale, Lyla is heavily pregnant. Team Arrow is working together pretty seamlessly to put away various bad guys in Starling City. Ollie, Digg, and Roy (who now has his own schmancy costume) do the heavy lifting, while Felicity coordinates from what I can only assume is Starling City’s version of Radio Shack. The team takes down an arms dealer, then steps back while Laurel puts the guy away. Papa Lance is supposedly out of the field, now that he’s been made Captain. He’s used his clout to disband the vigilante-hunting taskforce and issue a thank you to the “heroes.”
All is not sunshine and roses, however. A new mini-boss is in town, and he’s taking over the criminal underground. Werner Zytle calls himself Vertigo, and he has a new formulation of the ever-present super drug. This one makes the user hallucinate his own worst fear, which seems like a poor choice for a street drug, but what do I know?
Meanwhile, Ollie finally gets it together and asks Felicity out to dinner on a real, honest-to-God date. He has to make a quick pit stop on the way to take down a minor thug in the tunnels, but other than that, it’s actually going rather well. That is, until Vertigo uses a rocket launcher to take out the restaurant. Felicity is injured, and you can already see the “it’s too dangerous for her” wheels turning in Oliver’s head. As it turns out, the thug in the tunnels was just a means to tag the Arrow with a tracer so that Vertigo could find him later and, as previously mentioned, take him out with a rocket launcher. Ollie chases after Vertigo and gets drugged. He hallucinates a fight with his own image (surprising approximately no one). Papa Lance swings in with the save, but his heart is still giving him issues and he winds up in the hospital.
It takes a bit, but Team Arrow figures out Vertigo’s plan. He’s going to take out the three remaining crime bosses in Sterling City, all of whom happen to be at a prize fight this evening. Ollie benches Digg on account of his impending fatherhood. Digg is mightily ticked, but quickly has other issues on his hands.
At the arena, Roy goes for the massive bomb hidden beneath the building, while Ollie goes after Vertigo himself. Felicity talks Roy through disarming (and finally just freezing) the bomb mechanism while Oliver is left taking on several minions. The fight isn’t going Ollie’s way until the tide is suddenly turned by the appearance of none other than the Black Canary herself! The bomb is disarmed, Vertigo is out for the count (hah!), and once again, the city is saved.
Backing up a bit to the B-story, Oliver has a meeting with the shareholders of Queen Consolidated in a last-ditch effort to get his company back. He makes a passionate speech to the board, but he outshone by someone else who wants the big chair: Ray Palmer. Ray has a plan for Starling City (called “Star City”) and numbers at his disposal that he shouldn’t have. It may have helped that Felicity inadvertently gave him hacking tips when he stopped by Radio Shack earlier in the day. Oliver loses the company and Felicity is wildly unamused with Mr. Palmer.
Later, everyone converges on the hospital to welcome Baby Diggle into the world. Ray seeks out Felicity to offer her a job (and beg her to remove the plethora of farting porcupines that she’s implanted on all of his tech). She declines, but I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before she’s back at Queen Consolidated.
Oliver and Felicity have the conversation that’s been building since Vertigo interrupted their date with a mild explosion. The break-up is absolutely killer, but my props to Felicity for being the one to walk away first. Stay gold, girl! As Oliver watches her leave, his phone rings. Barry Allen is in town and needs advice (properly establishing how the timelines of Arrow and Flash match up).
Oliver’s Flashbacks: Ollie’s trying to escape Waller and whoever else has been holding him in Hong Kong. This marks his tenth unsuccessful escape attempt. Waller says she has a specific purpose in mind for him, and a better idea of how to keep him in line. She rehomes Oliver with the guard who’s been in charge of catching him this whole time. The guard tells him that Waller will kill his wife and daughter if Oliver escapes again.
Because this episode didn’t have enough going on, we skip over to Laurel and Sarah having a sisterly “I’m so glad you’re back in town” rooftop meeting. Sarah doesn’t reveal why she’s in town, but she asks Laurel not to tell Quentin just yet. Laurel agrees and heads home. Before she can leave herself, Sarah encounters a man with a voice-disguiser just off-camera. She obviously knows him, as she asks what he’s doing here. His response is to put a few black arrows through her chest, sending her off the roof and right into Laurel’s path. Laurel cradles the dying Sarah in her arms as the episode ends.
I loved this episode, but wow if the last 10 minutes weren’t just brutal. Yes, we could all see that Oliver was going to push Felicity away. What I didn’t see coming was Sarah’s death. I gathered that Laurel becoming Black Canary was going to be the endgame, but that was a much bigger and faster twist than I anticipated. Well done, Arrow. Well done.
- Felicity: “Well, we’ve already exhausted every topic one would normally talk about on a first date, and a second date, and a third date, and every date, actually. And I’ve already seen you shirtless. Multiple times. Shirtless, all the time.”
- Oliver: “Don’t ask me to say that I don’t love you.”
Things to Ponder:
- So, given that he’s been promoted to a series regular (and that the arrows were black), I’m going to theorize that Malcolm Merlyn was responsible for Sarah’s death. Thoughts?
- Did anyone else notice that the prize fight was sponsored by Ferris Air?
- My love to both the writers and Emily Bett Rickards for Felicity’s subtle breakdown after Oliver benches Digg. She saw the writing on the wall, which gave her the impetus to lay down the law to Ollie at the end of the episode. Well played.
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