Oliver and Felicity are settling back into life in Star City, but it’s not without its own set of issues. Team Arrow saves the city’s water supply during the obligatory episodic thug-fight. (In my head, episodes of Arrow are mapped out like an old-school RPG. “Team Arrow encounters BAD GUY. Fight?”) Thea’s rage issues seem to be getting worse, and Oliver has definitely noticed.
He’s taken enough time off from worrying to make sure that his girlfriend has a packed lunch and a new Love Fern to take to her first day of in-office CEO-ing though. As it turns out, Palmer Technologies isn’t doing a whole lot better than Queen Consolidated was. The shareholders have had the new sidekick-to-be (don’t act like you don’t see it coming) run a fancy algorithm to figure out how many people Felicity needs to fire in order to keep the company running. Ms. Smoak is officially Not Amused.
Also in the not-Glades part of town, Oliver and Thea are having a lovely brunch with Jessica Danforth and her daughter, Madison. Jessica is one of Moira’s old and dear friends, and has decided to take up Mo’s mantle as Mayor of Star City. She wants the Queen kids’ support for her not-campaign, and they’re both onboard. Of course, because this is Arrow, the campaign press conference kicks off with gunfire and a kidnapping attempt. Oliver saves Jessica, but loses the almost-kidnapper. Oliver gets hit by a truck for his pains, but buys its windshield in order to get the kidnapper’s prints. (We learn that the kid’s name is Lonnie Machin, but it takes Team Arrow a while to get there.)
Machin gets a visit from Damien Dahrk, who is not exactly impressed with the kid’s efforts thus far. He gets a good villain speech out of Dahrk, along with a promise that he won’t be getting a third chance.
Team Arrow follows their leads to the abandoned Palmer Paper factory. Thea rages out and breaks the arm of a mouthy homeless guy. Oliver has serious words with her back in the lair, but Thea will have none of it. She flips out on Oliver and throws him across the room. He finally breaks down and tells Thea what Malcolm said about the Lazarus Pit, that she might come out a little broken. Thea storms out, as Thea has been wont to do over the last three previous seasons.
Meanwhile, Jessica Danforth and her daughter have been in protective custody this whole time, but Madison is getting antsy. Jessica allows her to go to the library to study, as long as she takes a contingent of unnamed extras in police uniforms that are no doubt shortly to add to the Star City death toll. Oh look! We were right. Madison is now in Machin’s clutches, which seriously ticks off Dahrk. He’s a Big Bad, but he’s a villain with honor, and kids are off-limits. He tells Machin to clean up his mess and get the heck out of his city. Darhk tells Quentin Lance where to find Madison and tosses out a casual threat to Laurel, just to give us a hint as to why Lance is still working with this guy.
Quentin passes the information off to Oliver so that Team Arrow can swing in to save Madison from Machin, who is well into crazy-eyes territory at this point. Mid-fight, Thea ends up using Machin’s own super-powered taser against him, lighting him on fire. It would seem that one villain en flambé is enough to get Thea to realize that she needs help.
Machin survives, which we learn when the police are called to a wrecked ambulance. Machin is missing, the EMTs have been killed, and he’s left the Anarchy symbol written on the site of the vehicle. Charming. I’m sure we’ll never have to worry about him again, right? Right.
All of the fuss and furor have convinced Jessica that running for mayor is a terrible idea. Fortunately, both she and Quentin have made a point of saying that Star City needs someone to fight for it out in the open, rather than in the shadows like the Green Arrow. With their words ringing in his ears, Oliver decides to run for mayor himself!
Back at Palmer Tech, Felicity has had just about enough of firing people and being bullied by the shareholders. She shuts them down and brings in Curtis to say that she’s hired back everyone and they have a revolutionary idea that will bring Palmer Tech back from the brink. (Okay, so she doesn’t actually have an idea yet, but at least she’s bought them a little time to get one.)
Thea and Laurel tell Oliver that they’re going to go on a spa vacation to figure out everything that’s happened in the past week or so. Of course, by “spa” they really mean “Nanda Parbat.” And by “figure out everything” they mean “talk to Malcolm and incidentally see if they can resurrect Sara.” Natch. Well, the CW has made no secret that we’ll be seeing the other Lance sister in the Legends of Tomorrow!
You guys, I really hope we’re going to be seeing Jessica Danforth again. Not just because she’s played by Jeri Ryan (who should be cast in pretty much every hyper-competent blonde role ever), but because if we don’t, this particular episode is going to look extremely contrived. “Hey, Queens! Here’s this dear, old friend of your mother’s whom we’re going to kick around for a while for the sole purpose of getting Ollie to think about running for mayor! Kthnxbye!” I need a little more character development there before I’m cool with that. Fingers crossed.
I also need to know a lot more about how Quentin ended up going to the Dark Side (Darhk Side?). We’ve had threats to Laurel’s life before, and Quentin is well aware of her new vigilante hobby. Surely there has to be more going on there than just “we’ll kill your daughter.”
See you next week! Same Arrow-time, same Arrow-channel!
Arrow 4.02 Episode Recap and Review: The Candidate
Oliver: “It’s one of the benefits of your girlfriend inheriting a multi-billion dollar conglomerate. We have money now.” (You know, in case the audience was still wondering about the cash flow thing. EXPOSITION!!)
Things to Ponder:
- If Oliver becomes the mayor, can we get a scene of him giving himself the key to the city just because Barry got one?
- Is Curtis supposed to be a slightly more sociable version of Moss from The IT Crowd, or is it just the hair, outfit, and computer know-how that are throwing me off?