Team Arrow’s nightly crime-busting is brought to a halt when they discover that the drug-dealing gang they’ve come to take out has already been dealt with – rather permanently. “Guilty” is written in blood on the floor, and there’s only one surviving gang member left. He lives just long enough to gasp out “Paco,” which is fortunate; otherwise it would have been a short episode.
“Paco” is Emilio Ortega, another dead gang member. So much for that lead. Where he’s found is a little more interesting. Ortega is hanging in Ted’s gym. Laurel is able to vouch for Ted’s whereabouts, as the two were having dinner together around the time of death. On the other hand, the gang members were all beaten to death by a leftie with brass knuckles, a description which happens to fit Ted. It’s the same M.O. as the murder of another criminal six years ago.
Oliver tracks Ted to his own lair, where he finds brass knuckles, another dead gang member, and Ted himself. After a magnificent fight in which Ollie finally pulls out the boxing glove arrow (!!), Ted admits that he used to be a vigilante, but locked up his lair after the death six years ago. Now he’s being set up to take the fall for these new murders.
The new body leads Team Arrow (plus Ted, minus Roy) to the Zanzibar. The new vigilante is waiting for them, wearing Ted’s old gear. Of course, it was all a trap to get Ted arrested by the SCPD. Without actual evidence to hold him, the DA’s office (read: Laurel) sets him free without charges. The new guy is Isaac Stanzler, Ted’s vigilante apprentice (think Roy with possibly even more anger issues). Isaac is the one who killed the drug dealer all those years ago. Ted cut him loose, but the gang found and tortured him. Now he’s out for revenge against Ted.
Meanwhile, Roy’s been having nightmares about killing Sara. The nightmares feel more like Mirakuru memories, though, so he asks Felicity to test him. There’s nothing left in his blood, but Felicity says that Sara’s autopsy showed that the arrows that killed her could have been thrown. The DNA evidence is inconclusive, though. Roy tells the rest of the team, including Laurel. Laurel is shocked and angry, and Digg wants Oliver to kick Roy off the team. Hey, look guys! It’s a parallel!
Back on the mean streets, Isaac kidnaps Ted and Laurel. Laurel manages to get word to Felicity, who sends Oliver and Digg after them. Digg gets taken out of the Epic Episodic Fight pretty quickly, leaving Oliver alone to rescue Laurel from her now-crashed car and take care of Isaac all at once. Roy shows up and has Oliver’s back, then asks his mentor not to abandon him.
Oliver teaches Roy a meditation technique that he learned in Hong Kong (see below). Roy realizes that his Mirakuru-hazed memories aren’t of killing Sara, but of killing that cop last season. He walks out of the lair, visibly upset.
Across town, Laurel admits to Ted that she wants to train to become a vigilante, and Isaac Stenzler and his guards are taken out by a hot, if scary, redhead.
In this week’s Hong Kong flashback, Maseo and Ollie are stalking one of China White’s couriers. Ollie gets made and runs after the guy, but the chase ends with the courier getting hit by a car. The envelope that Maseo and Ollie need has disappeared at some point on the run, but Ollie doesn’t remember seeing the courier ditch it. Maseo’s wife Tatsu teaches Oliver a meditation technique to help him remember where the envelope went. It works, and Ollie and Maseo are able to retrieve the message – “Contact Li Kuan Hui.”
Honestly, this was a middle-of-the-road episode for me. It wasn’t bad, by any stretch. In fact, watching Oliver interact with a former vigilante and try not to make the same mistakes was one of the stronger stories we’ve had this season. I think it was just that the Bad Guy of the Week story with the Culebras just didn’t grab me as much. I kind of miss the episodes that tied into a much larger villain story. I get that we needed Ted Grant’s background, but let’s get back to who killed Sara and why Merlyn is in town, shall we?
Arrow 3.06 Episode Recap and Review: Guilty
Roy: “I need you to test my blood.”
Felicity: “For what? And don’t say STDs because that would be crossing a line.”
Oliver: “Mine’s bigger.”
Things to Ponder:
- Are we officially calling Roy “Arsenal” now? ‘Cause I know a lot of people who have been waiting for that.
- How much longer are we going to be able to keep Papa Lance in the dark about Sara?
- Have we all seen the promo images of Laurel’s Canary outfit? Thoughts?