Just when it looked ‘The Flash’ ran off with the Best Comic Book Show of the Week crown, ‘Arrow’ neatly hit the target resulting in the week’s best one-two punch since the ‘Flash vs. Arrow’ and ‘The Brave and the Bold’ crossover.
Picking up from last week’s semi-cliffhanger, Maseo isn’t satisfied after killing the mayor and unleashes a few more arrows. Ray manages to get Felicity out of the way, but the arrow goes through him instead. In the Internet age it’s probably impossible, but there’s no suspense here since CW already announced Ray will be starring in another ‘Arrow’ spin-off. It’d be a stretch to think this attack would kill him and all, but just that hint of doubt would be great. By the way, has anyone seen Wildcat?
The up close and personal attack was more than enough for Capt. Lance, already enraged over Arrow’s lies about Sara’s death, re-establishes the anti-vigilante task force to bring Arrow down. And if necessary, Lance gives the green light to shoot to kill Arrow. Laurel tries to get him to change his mind, but Lance will only rein in the task force if she’ll tell him who the Arrow is under the (green) hood. No deal daddy! This does little to restore their broken trust though.
Hoping to stop the League of Assassins from committing further bloodshed in his name, Oliver reaches out to Nyssa for help. She gives him the League’s Starling City base of operations, but won’t go as far as to side with him against her father exile or not.
Arrow, Arsenal and Black Canary storm the League’s base and get into a brawl with Maseo and some of his minions. Just as Team Arrow takes them down, the Demon’s Head himself — Ra’s al Ghul — emerges and tells Oliver he will either take his place or be stuck in a cell just as a police helicopter spots them triggering a massive citywide manhunt for Team Arrow.
This felt much more satisfying than first season Arrow on the run from police episodes as Lance had a personal stake in bringing Arrow and his associates down and he didn’t care who got in his way, including Laurel. As Team Arrow splits up, Arsenal takes down his pursuers in non-lethal fashion with his arrows while Diggle picks up Arrow in the van. Lance corners Laurel and before they both have to take an action they’d regret, Nyssa disarms Lance and helps Canary get away.
Felicity can’t help in the manhunt effort as she’s at Ray’s bedside. The doctor advises he has a blood clot, but the surgery could kill him. Ray has another suggestion — using some of his miniature nanotech to enter his blood stream and bam, no more blood clot. The doctor won’t conduct the experimental procedure so it’s a good thing Felicity’s smoaking mom Donna is back to give her a pep talk about taking chances for her man so Felicity decides to use the nanotechs on Ray herself. Not surprisingly, he’s fine if a bit hopped up from his recharge, but when he tells Felicity he loves her, she quickly leaves out in a panic. Donna speaks for the audience in saying Felicity loves Oliver and that’s why she couldn’t say it to Ray. Hopefully we establish a new love interest for Ray soon as this kind of rejection would turn most nice guys into seriously bitter super-villains.
Just to further screw with Oliver’s life and give him little incentive to remain in Starling, Ra’s has his men kidnap Lance and drop the biggest of all bombshells left — Arrow is Oliver Queen. Not cool, Ra’s. Not cool.
Laurel returns to Lance’s office to try and talk him out of this vendetta, but the mention of Sara’s name sets him off as he tells Laurel he knows Oliver is the Arrow. Laurel’s poker face? Not so good. Even worse, Lance didn’t bother waiting for her to talk him out of it as he’s sent police to Verdant and all of Oliver’s other stomping grounds.
Roy confesses to Thea he almost welcomes being caught to face justice for killing that officer and Oliver apologizes for bringing him into this world just as the police arrive forcing Oliver to get back on the run. Hiding will prove a bit difficult as Lance announces on TV that Oliver is Arrow and he’s issued an arrest warrant for him.
Team Arrow manages to avoid the Starling police who are doing a terrible job of tracking Oliver’s known associates and rally at Diggle’s. They want to know Oliver’s plan, but he’s got nothing so he does the completely unexpected move and turns himself in at the police station.
The Hong Kong flashback was interesting this week. Too often this season, the flashbacks feel like an afterthought, but tonight it tied in stronger to the current events. Oliver sees a ghost, or more specifically his dead lover Shado’s twin, Mei. For some reason, Oliver lies when Mei asks about his connection to Shado. Mei has been distraught after three years of hoping to get some word about her father and sister and says she needs closure. Oliver is kind of a jerk for not telling her the truth, but as he goes to shower (conspicuously not closing the door all the way) Mei notices Oliver’s Shado tattoo. Since he lied about his bond with her sister, Mei doesn’t trust him and calls the cops. Apparently they were busy though as a pair of Waller’s assassins come shooting up the place. Oliver’s fighting prowess is improving, but he’s not fast enough to prevent getting held at gunpoint. Thankfully, Maseo and Tatsu make the last minute save and are reunited with their son.
Before they go, Oliver tells May her family is dead. To Oliver’s surprise, Mei is relieved to hear the truth and tells him he has no idea how powerful the truth can be. Words to live by.
Present day, Team Arrow heads to the police station uninterrupted as Laurel was able to get them some time alone with Oliver. It was a bit bizarre to watch them walk on in without getting metal bracelets as well, but Oliver explained he made a deal to give them full immunity.
None of the team approves of Oliver’s plan, but he asks them to just follow him a little further until it’s over. That doesn’t sound ominous at all.
Back at Verdant, the team contemplates their next move, but Roy is tired of talking and has a plan in mind as he knows his mentor wouldn’t let him rot if the roles were reversed.
In the police armored truck, Lance finally gets to lay in to Oliver for everything. Paul Blackthorne has killed it this season and this may have been his best scene yet complete with this tremendous monologue:
The police caravan gets interrupted and as Lance emerges from the truck, Arrow hops down to reveal himself as Roy Harper, who completes the effect by using the voice distorter before unmasking. Still, didn’t Oliver already make a deal with the police to grant Team Arrow immunity? Clearly the writers considered that so it’ll be interesting to see how they get out of this corner.
Beyond the Roy as Arrow development, the writers now have to top this episode, which hardly seems like an easy task, but they’ve proven up to the challenge before so it’ll be interesting to see where the season goes from here.