Can someone you know be so deceptive, behave so out of character, that they’re beyond redemption? That’s one of the questions facing Oliver and the gang on tonight’s Arrow, which forces Quentin into one of the worst situations a father could imagine (though it’s doubtful any dad could even fathom what Quentin faces).
Laurel and Thea have brought Sara back from Nanda Parbat, but she’s still in feral mode, so Laurel has chained her sister up in the basement and begun to treat her like a rabid pet. They’re still keeping Oliver in the dark (Laurel doesn’t want to deal with his judgment for her actions), which allows the rising Queen to initiate his run for mayor.
And what better place to do that than the site of a corrupt alderman’s office? Yes, Oliver has purchased Sebastian Blood’s old stomping grounds with the intention of turning them into the home base of his mayoral campaign. It doesn’t hurt that the place has a secret elevator to what had previously been Blood’s lair because Ollie has, with some generous help from Cisco and S.T.A.R. Labs, transformed the dingy underground dwelling into Lair 3.0.
The massive superhero playground is a vigilante’s dream, with massive room for strategizing, special cases for costumes (wouldn’t it just be easier to have those things hanging on a rack somewhere?), and more than enough tech to keep Felicity’s fingers working on every case.
It just so happens she has one for them as the rest of the team is being introduced to their new digs. Two cops were shot down at the site of a drug bust, and Oliver wants to take up the cause. He approaches Quentin about it, also revealing his mayoral aspirations and his desire for Quentin’s endorsement. Quentin isn’t so keen on the idea, but he is willing to help if it means discovering who took out the members of his force.
Their hunt at the crime scene reveals a SIM card Felicity uses to triangulate a potential location for the killers. Upon investigation of the nearly abandoned building (and here is your weekly reminder of just how abandoned this city seems to be), they find a locked up room full of Star City PD gear and weaponry.
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Worried that cop killers are on his force, Quentin begrudgingly teams up with the team to draw these possibly dubious cops out into the light. Recognizing a pattern of drug busts, Oliver has Thea connect with one of her old contacts for, oh, just a questionable amount of cocaine, which they lay as a trap for this mysterious group.
They take the bait, and the ensuing fight is a bust. The group, which is later revealed to be using equipment for the once-defunct, now-reactivated vigilante task force is armed and trained well enough to fend off the group of, well, vigilantes. Everyone makes it out alive, but the group, led by task force member Liza Warner, reveals the shaky ground it stands on after the fight. Liza believes they are not criminals (despite the whole multiple murders thing), and doesn’t want them to kill Quentin, instead hoping to make him a solution.
And being the “solution” for an uncontrollable splinter group is the last thing Quentin needs. Laurel brings the poor man down to her basement where she reveals Sara is back from the dead. Almost immediately he’s able to see what Laurel refuses to acknowledge. This isn’t Sara, and she’s only causing him more pain when he knows this cannot end well. (Paul Blackthorne sure knows how to deliver the heartbreak, mixing all of Quentin’s fury, sadness, shock, and maybe even a sliver of happiness to create a few potent, powerful moments. It’s horrific to watch this man grapple with the unthinkable reality of the scene before him.)
This revelation leads Quentin to seek out assistance from the one man he would most like to free himself of: Damien Darhk. He knows Damien is wrapped up in all things mystical, and with the knowledge that she was revived via the Lazarus Pit, Quentin hopes the despicable new crime lord of Star City might help. But his only help is advice, from one father to another: Put Sara back in the ground, because this is no daughter of Quentin’s.
So the status of one daughter is dubious at best, and the closest thing he’s had to a son who he now harbors great rage for, Oliver, is lying in wait at his apartment. He saw Capt. Lance’s meeting with Damien while Felicity scanned the city for Liza and her troupe, and Oliver is not pleased. He believed Lance to be better, until tonight. However, as Ollie soon learns, Quentin’s dealings with Damien extend far beyond tonight.
NEXT: Settle things with words, not arrows [pagebreak]
Quentin reveals how Damien originally came to him and appeared to be just what the city needed, a caring angel there to help. But he soon showed his true face to Quentin, and only under threat of Laurel’s life has he continued to interact with him. And in the episode’s most powerful scene, Oliver bites back, telling Quentin to stop hiding behind his daughters and that he decided to run for mayor partially to prove to Quentin what type of man he was. He just didn’t expect to find out what type of man Quentin could be.
Lance isn’t having a good night, and it only worsens from there. Heeding Damien’s advice, he attempts to kill what may or may not be his daughter but, of course, can’t, especially after Laurel appears while he has his gun pointed at Sara. He breaks down, and as the two return home, emotionally spent, their long night becomes longer when Liza attacks.
She kidnaps Quentin and takes him to the SCPD contraband center, which requires the captain’s authorization to enter. She and her group are going to take what they can for profit and then book it out of Star City. Thankfully, Felicity is able to locate Quentin, and Team Arrow swoops in, now prepared against the task force’s defenses, and strikes.
They are much more successful this time around, subduing everyone until Liza breaks free of a trap arrow and stabs Oliver. She threatens to kill him, and it takes one hell of a speech from Quentin to talk her down. He, of anyone in this group, knows there’s still good and a sense of justice in her, and, for once, talking works. She lets Oliver go and allows herself to be taken into custody.
Oliver pops in again to Lance’s apartment after the night, where the contrite captain reveals he’s going to turn himself in. But Ollie has a better idea in mind. He trusts Quentin enough to want to keep him close to Damien, closer than anyone else has been able to get. They can use him to take Darhk down, and so as Oliver announces his plan to run for mayor to the city, he begins to look for ways to reunite Star City however he can.
Blast from the Past
Just as Quentin is brought face-to-face with a loved one he thought dead, so, too, is Felicity forced to reconcile a similar, albeit digital, situation. Curtis has been hard at work at the office, not just trying to determine who the Green Arrow is, but also looking into the odd code on Felicity’s phone. What she thought was a prank he was pulling on his new boss is revealed to be something else, two-year-old code stemming from Curtis’ workspace, which, of course, Ray Palmer once used.
Curtis is able to trace the code back to a prototype Ray had, as well as a last message from Ray that is password-protected. The security behind it is too powerful for Curtis to force his way through, and Felicity wants little to do with the final words of her former boss and, as she reveals to Curtis, the man she loved.
He can’t quite understand. He lost his brother six years ago, and he would give just about anything to hear something new from someone he thought long lost. (ASIDE: I would just like to take this moment to say Echo Kellum has been a phenomenal addition to the cast. As someone who can share that sentiment of jumping at the chance to hear something fresh from a departed loved one, I can say he hits this scene out of the park with such truth and believability, showing a side of Curtis we haven’t yet seen. END ASIDE) Felicity eventually gives in and reveals the password to him, which means when she returns to Palmer Tech she will have quite the audio message waiting for her.
Unfortunately not waiting around is Sara, who Laurel discovers has freed herself from her shackles and fled her temporary prison.
On the Island
Oliver frees the woman he was instructed to punish last week, but one of his fellow soldiers doesn’t quite trust Oliver’s assertions that he killed the woman. So he asks to be taken to the body, suspicious that drugs are starting to be stolen and their fellow men are dying conveniently after Mr. Queen appeared in their lives.
He takes the soldier to a cave where the woman’s body rests, without a pulse, and it’s enough to convince the doubting soldier. It’s all a ruse, however, as Oliver used a handy trick to make her only appear dead.
But just as he slips by one obstacle, another appears in his path. The soldier who demanded proof took a stroll while Oliver “disposed” of the body, only to find his backpack full of communications gear. Sadly, we’ll have to wait to see how Oliver gets out of this one.