Before I get started on this recap I have to strongly recommend any Arrow fan who isn’t already following star Stephen Amell on Facebook to do so immediately. Today he posted a 22-minute Q&A with fans and graciously answered a good number of them with sincerity and while I’m sure the urge was great on a few occasions, refreshingly very little sarcasm. So if you want to see a star be as cool as you hoped all of them are in real life, there you go. Now on to this week’s episode!
Starling City is in chaos as Slade’s men are destroying all they encounter. Arrow and Laurel try to escape the cave-in he caused to trap some of Slade’s army and Diggle is fighting for his life against Ravager-edition Isabel, until Felicity knocks her out with the Mystery Machine. (Gold star if you catch the reference).
Laurel gets her first shot of using Arrow’s bow and explosive arrow (for freedom!) and they reunite with the rest of Team Arrow. Meanwhile, Officer Lance is rallying the police at the station after taking down a Slade Soldier and after a season of harassment, the Lieutenant finally comes to his senses and gives Lance his detective badge back and approves Lance’s plan to reach out to Arrow. This was a nice nod to the first season where Lance was nearly obsessed with nabbing Arrow only to come around and realize Arrow was trying to help Starling City.
Felicity finally has some good news for the gang. S.T.A.R. Labs was able to create a Mirakuru cure and a carrier is on his way. Laurel tells Oliver the city needs him more than she does right now as Laurel heads to the police department. Another Slade Soldier pursues her, but with no Arrow to save her, it’s time for the return of Canary.
I didn’t think she’d be back so soon, but it does make sense to have her return for the big showdown with Slade. Laurel drops the pretense and acknowledges that she knows Sara is Canary. Sara tries the seeking sympathy route again saying that she’s too damaged to be a hero, but Laurel has a more effective pep talk than Oliver and Sara rushes off to the aid of a mother whose daughter is trapped in a burning building. With Laurel knowing Oliver is Arrow and Sara is Canary, does anyone else think Sara’s time/life is limited so Laurel can become Black Canary?
Speaking of siblings, Thea is in the train station where another Slade goon is going nuts. She’s about to be really sorry she didn’t take an earlier train when a slew of arrows takes the goon down. Oh. They’re black arrows. That’s right. Malcolm Merlyn, aka. Thea’s real daddy, is back. He wants to explain everything, but for now he needs to protect his daughter. Thea isn’t ready for this reconciliation at all.
Back on the island it’s a lot of standing in place as Ollie goes to the Amazo to rescue Sara. I know they were helpful early on, but I don’t see the island flashbacks being all that interesting once Ollie’s confrontation with Slade (hopefully) wraps up next episode. The flashbacks have been the weak link of the series this season because the writers did a better job of making current day Oliver more than Batman-lite in addition to fleshing out the supporting cast. They could scrap the flashbacks now and I’d be perfectly fine.
In the present, Slade is content watching Starling burn, but Sebastian Blood is beginning to think this deal is getting worse all the time. Sure, he didn’t mind a little mayhem, but just enough to make him look good for saving the day. Not the wholesale slaughter Slade is creating. Slade’s men beat Arrow and co. to the S.T.A.R. carrier leaving Arrow to wonder if he’s no better than the criminals he apprehended who failed Starling City. I miss Amell’s Christian Bale voice with that catchphrase!!
One awesome pep talk by Felicity rolling down Arrow’s rogue gallery (Count Vertigo, Malcolm Merlyn, The Clock King, The Triad) and Oliver’s head is back in the game. And Blood calls to say he wants to give Oliver the Mirakuru cure. I commend the writers all the time, but I’ve gotta call them on this one. I don’t see any way that Slade lets the one thing that could take him and his army down out of his sight. Arrow and Diggle get the cure as Blood threatens to reveal Oliver’s identity if he exposes Blood. No worries on that end there as after Arrow and Diggle leave Isabel arrives and promptly puts a sword through his chest – Moira Queen style – for giving up the cure.
Cure in hand, Oliver is reluctant to try it out on Roy for fear it could kill him right until Amanda Waller’s ARGUS crew arrives to block off the city exits . She’s got a drone coming to wipe out the city unless Arrow can stop Slade’s army before dawn. So yeah Roy, sorry if this doesn’t work and all…
Malcolm is still trying to convince Thea they’ve got to get to safety and tries to bond by mentioning how both of them have lost everything, a tactic that greatly upsets Thea, who finally gets the handle on that whole releasing the safety and shooting a gun. But at who? My money’s on random Slade soldier, but more surprising things have already happened on this show.
Next week: The season finale! Slade and his army against Arrow, Canary, Diggle, Roy (?) and Starling City’s finest. What are you hoping happens?
Photo credit: Jack Rowand/The CW