It may seems like things are back to the “old times” Felicity remembers fondly at the start of “Restoration,” but that would be a surface-level look at the state of Team Arrow at this point. Diggle and Oliver are out in the field together, but there’s still a cavernous gulf separating the two of them while Diggle continues not to trust the best man at his wedding.
And so the title of the episode is telling even in these opening moments. “Restoration” is about the attempts to restore the show’s core friendship. But it’s about more than that. The episode is about Laurel’s desperate ploy to restore normalcy to her life, even if that means bringing her sister back from the dead. It’s about just how much of a person is restored when they return via the Lazarus Pit, a question Thea has to ask about herself and Laurel must consider for her sister.
And it’s also about a metahuman who can create deadly playing cards from his tattoos. So maybe there’s a little room for some non-restorative plot points. Let’s take a look, though, at how the dual efforts in Star City and Nanda Parbat played out:
Felicity may be excited by the OTA (Original Team Arrow, that is) being on their own for the night’s adventures, but the impassioned mistrust Diggle still holds for Oliver is apparent the moment they return to base. Diggle leaves to go home to his family the moment a group hangout is suggested, leaving them with the cyanide capsule-filled tooth of a Ghost to examine. (It doesn’t hurt that Felicity was once an aspiring dental hygienist.)
But Diggle is paid with a surprise visitor at his apartment from an A.R.G.U.S. agent Lyla called in a favor with months ago. He’s found the woman who hired Floyd Lawton years ago. This is Diggle’s first lead in two years of investigating his brother’s death, and so he decides to tail this woman, who just so happens to be in town.
She’s here to see Damien Darhk, having brought him a tattoo-toting metahuman for his latest job. He wants the Green Arrow and his meddling friends dead, and those killer cards this meta can graft from his body seem like a reasonable option.
This meta ambushes Oliver at a crime scene while Diggle is also hot on the tail of the H.I.V.E. woman, Mina, who hired the cardslinger. But both members of Team Arrow almost face death while going at their respective missions alone. Oliver’s fight with the soon-to-be-named-by-Cisco Double Down ends in the Green Arrow fleeing the scene with a card stuck in his bicep.
And Diggle is caught in a firefight as the H.I.V.E. agent escapes. The two dejected vigilantes return to base, only to be met with the fire of Felicity’s fury. She sits the two of them down for a serious real talk and demands that the two of them settle their differences before they’re allowed to leave the lair. She heads upstairs to enlist Curtis’ help while the two hash out their friendship.
While Diggle’s feelings are completely understandable, Oliver doesn’t let his friend off easily. He gets why his friend lost faith in him, but he doesn’t understand why he hasn’t been given the chance to prove he’s changed, that he can be the man Diggle once trusted. It’s a fraught and tense moment that David Ramsey and Stephen Amell play so well that it’s tough to imagine anyone not wanting the two of them to reconcile.
It appears they start to, as Diggle invites Oliver back to his apartment to tell him the truth about his H.I.V.E. suspicions. He hands Oliver his conspiracy notebook, which includes a photo of Mina, who Double Down happened to mention. They’re able to track her phone to a location where she sits waiting for them. Because she’s dead.
WANT MORE? Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.
Yes, Damien was displeased with Double Down’s initial efforts and with Mina’s lack of respect for him. So he uses one of Double’s cards to kill her (though not before she mentions Phase 3, aka “Genesis”) and threatens Double Down with the same fate unless he makes good on his promised Green Arrow slaying.
So while two-thirds of OTA are chasing down a literal dead end, the other third comes under threat. Felicity has been checking in with Curtis, who has been busy working on the world-changing technologies they promised the Palmer Tech board. (A $200,000 pair of HD contact lenses and a communications device that spontaneously explodes are his best leads so far.)
She asks Curtis to look into the bicep-slicing card from Double Down to figure out what it’s made up of and then, more importantly, how they can track it back to its source. Luckily, and unluckily, for them, that source has found them, as Double Down appears, demanding the Green Arrow’s location.
NEXT: Never bet against Team Arrow.