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Arrow recap: Season 1, Episode 21

In which everyone learns something new about everyone else

Posted on

Arrow Recap
Diyah Pera/The CW


TV Show
ActionAdventure, Crime
run date:
Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey
The CW
Current Status:
In Season

This week’s Arrow was all about lessons: Moira learned that she couldn’t trust Malcolm. Oliver learned that he needed Dig. Felicity learned that she can hold her own in an underground casino but still needs Arrow to save her. And everyone learned a little bit more about acting! (Watching Katie Cassidy’s dance toward greatness is its own special reward: one step forward, two steps back.)

“The Undertaking,” written by Jake Coburn and Lana Cho, begins to pay off on some of the season’s longest arcs: Walter re-enters. Moira is revealed to her son. Oliver comes clean to Laurel. It’s narrative-by-numbers from several weeks off — the season finale is in a few weeks, if the whir of increased momentum didn’t give you any indication — that does nothing to downplay the narrative’s appeal. Dig and Ollie scowl at one another! Then make up!

From the top:

An accountant named Harold is making a call about a “special deposit” for a “special client” — something something Cayman Fidelity. The unexpected movement of an elevator cuts the conversation short. Who’s there? It’s Arrow! He dispatches the guards with a few punches and a nifty twirl of a suitcase and then does his usual menacing act with the exhorting scoundrel…who is unfazed. “You think you scare me more than the people I work for?” he asks. What people? What work? Questions for another recap. Arrow knocks the accountant out cold, grabs his laptop and slips back to the lair.

Felicity is on-hand at HQ to de-encrypt the files, since Oliver wants all of the money returned to its rightful owners. She snarks, as she does, but she also notices that Oliver is testier than usual and reminds him that he needs to patch things up with Dig, who split once he realized he would get no help tracking down Floyd Lawton. Oliver should just apologize but he can’t(/won’t) because of his strong sense of vigilante pride. He exits, leaving her to huff, “I wish someone would send me off to the Caymans.”

At Queen Manor, Moira argues with an insurance company: They’ve decided to pay out Walter’s life insurance, since he’s been missing for six months. She’s not having it and Thea overhears her distress. (Did Thea get dirtier?) She’s all, “I know we haven’t talked about Walter in a while” — it’s been at least eight episodes, right? — “but I miss him and I’m here for you.” It’s touching but also too touching. Did Thea get sensitive?

Flashback! Malcolm and Moira are gabbing like old friends. Robert, the deceased Queen patriarch, enters the gabbing. They’re all so friendly. And then Moira is shushed out of a smoky afternoon meeting between plutarchs. Not to worry: Someone is at the door, and that someone is Walter, with papers in hand for Robert to sign and calling Moira “Mrs. Queen.” Back in the meeting room, Malcolm is holding court about how sick he is of trying to “force the city’s worst to do what is best.” It’s getting none of them anywhere. The Glades is still rotting from the inside and it’s infecting the rest of the city. But what if? What if there was a way to level it and start fresh? Madness! But ah: Malcolm-the-God-complex has heard word of a new project from Unidac Industries. And it’s only five years away from a prototype…

NEXT: Laurel and Dig mourn their broken relationships