Oliver knows he’s been gone too long and eager to get back to Starling. Tatsu isn’t too keen on the idea especially since Oliver can barely walk without a limp. He invites her to come along and she gets as far as seeing him off on a truck. Tatsu’s life is too complicated still and she isn’t sure of her place in it. I’ve noticed there’s been no mention from either Tatsu or Maseo on their son so I’m thinking we’re in line for an gut-wrenching emotional flashback soon.
The Glades are fully under Brick’s control, but Team Arrow are working overtime to try and put an end to his reign of terror. During a confrontation at a diner, one of Brick’s henchmen asks Arsenal if he’s that “Red Streak.” “Wrong city.” It’s such a quick throwaway line, but how much fun is it that we’ve got TV shows featuring Green Arrow and The Flash? CW, you can find some room on the schedule for a Green Lantern spin-off, can’t you?
Merlyn is relentless training Thea and trying to get her to think like a killer. Playing with swords to defend herself is one thing, but Thea won’t bring herself to kill anyone creating a dangerous problem when one is preparing to face the League of Assassins.
This week, we get a flashback much further than our usual five year span to 21 years ago when Merlyn was still just a pompous businessman with a wife and young son before he became a pompous businessman who dabbles as an archer assassin with no wife or son and nearly destroyed the city. He comes checking in on Tommy who should be asleep, but was worried. Merlyn promises nothing will ever happen to him as he does a quick magic trick to pull a quarter from Tommy’s ear. The happy moment is short-lived though as police officers tell Merlyn his wife, Rebecca, has been killed in the Glades. Merlyn’s friend has a picture of the guy believed to have killed her and Merlyn goes after him and kills him to get some measure of revenge.
In a hilarious moment, Lance meets Arsenal in the alley and despite the mask and voice distorter, instantly recognizes him as Roy. Just don’t look too closely at Oliver anytime soon there detective. Lance found a file implicating Brick’s gun in all of his murders and the first victim was Rebecca Merlyn. Uh-oh. Even worse, Merlyn’s been spying on the Arrowcave thanks to a camera he placed on Felicity’s computer and now he knows who really killed Rebecca and vows revenge.
Team Arrow considers sending Merlyn after Brick, ironically using the same strategy Merlyn used against Ra’s al Ghul and Oliver, before writing it off as crazy talk. Felicity figures out they can find Brick’s exact base of operations in the Glades via his crew’s walkie-talke frequency. Arsenal and Canary give it another shot, but Brick again proves more than their equal. Before he can finish them off, they’re saved by Merlyn who wants to talk.
Merlyn proposes an alliance. Roy is willing to consider it, but Felicity is adamant that there’s no way Oliver would stand for this if he were still here. With the two sides established, it’s time for Diggle and Laurel to cast their votes. Do they make a deal with the devil?
No deal Merlyn. What Team Arrow does instead is start rallying their allies in the Glades so Roy reconnects with Sin (while dodging the whole Sara question) and Laurel hollers at Ted Grant. Interestingly, Felicity doesn’t bother asking Ray how he’s coming along with his Atom suit and Diggle doesn’t ask Lyla for some assistance from the Suicide Squad. Course with the movie coming next year, the Suicide Squad may be off the table for the show going forward, which would be lame…
Arsenal and Canary return to Brick’s headquarters and he cockily is happy to take them down again, but they’ve got some backup with Sin, Ted and the rest of the Glades population tired of living in fear and ready to face off against Brick’s army. This segment recalled last year’s season finale. It’s amazing how far the show has come now that this city brawl is just past the midpoint of this season.
Arsenal, Canary and Diggle are more than holding their own while Ted goes after Brick saying he’s Wildcat. At first, Ted fares better than both Arsenal and Canary, but Brick soon overpowers him and leaves him for dead. Canary gets distracted and tends to Ted and it’s a little unclear if Ted didn’t survive the fight since Laurel took his mask off.
Merlyn corners Brick in an alley and he finishes what Wildcat started laying Brick out. He takes Brick’s gun and prepares to kill him when Arrow (!) emerges and tells Merlyn not to kill him. Merlyn blames Brick for everything that went wrong in his life and says Thea will never forgive him for killing again. Arrow tells Merlyn to give her a reason to forgive him.
Lance gets a call and he speeds out to the Glades where Arrow has Brick under custody making his first public appearance before news cameras telling the people of Starling he’s sorry for leaving, but he won’t leave again.
As the dust settles a major problem finally starts coming to fruition as Sin tells tells Lance that whoever is dressed like Canary isn’t Sara. Merlyn comes to Thea’s to tell her he didn’t kill Brick and he’s changing for the better.
Before they can celebrate, Oliver (credit Amell for selling Oliver’s injuries so well) comes in apologizing for his absence as he was out with a friend in Bludhaven and got arrested. Thea is delighted to see her family members together for a change and goes to make tea. Oliver tells “Archer Palpatine” that he wants to learn the ways of the League of Assassins so he can be prepared to defeat Ra’s al Ghul and save Thea from the League. Sadly, Merlyn doesn’t give Oliver some cool new Sith Archer nickname.
Oliver finally returns to the Arrowcave. Laurel’s not there, but the rest of the gang is and he thanks them for saving the city and holding things together in his absence. They show him Ra’s sword and ask how will be defeat him when he returns for a rematch. Oliver drops the Merlyn training bombshell and Felicity is ticked. She storms off to clear her head and when Oliver tries to calm her down she breaks down exactly how meaningless his declaration of love was and says she doesn’t want to be a woman he loves anymore. That dagger may have been worse than anything Ra’s can do to him.
Next week: Arrow and Black Canary team up to face Count Vertigo.