Arrow recap: You Choose, You Lose
Oliver is torn between Diggle and Laurel; Tommy decides he's had enough
Arrow returned after a two-week hiatus tonight with an episode that, well, felt a lot like it was trying to cram two weeks’ worth of storylines into one hour. From the hunt for two deadly assassins to some major romantic developments, a lot happened during “Home Invasion.” But did any of it really leave an impact? Let’s assess:
When we last left Arrow, Oliver told Diggle he would help him take down Deadshot. Diggle, it seems, plans to hold him to it. During a workout sesh, he tells Oliver that they need to act before Deadshot makes any more widows out of wives. (Yeah, about that…During their talk, we see Deadshot take aim at another target — a politician, who I’m guessing had a wife who is now a widow). Oliver promises they will, but it will take some time since Deadshot is on another continent.
Meanwhile, the ever-crafty Felicity hones in on Deadshot’s whereabouts — hey, he’s headed back to Starling City! — by hacking into a federal agency database, which, she says, “Kind of makes me a cyber-terrorist, which is bad because I really don’t see myself fitting in well at Guantanamo Bay.” Oliver wryly tells her, “Don’t worry, Felicity, they don’t send blondes there.” And Felicity responds, “I dye it actually.” Then, after a beat: “I keep your secret.” Oliver has been warned, and he actually seems amused about it. Afterward, Diggle sets off to get more info on Deadshot, while Oliver goes to meet Laurel for lunch, which everyone obviously thinks is a terrible idea.
On the Island: Shado is planning to rescue her father and stop Fyers, but Slade warns her it won’t be easy, especially if they’re both infiltrating enemy territory. Shado says they need a cover. She suggests Oliver. She thinks he can protect them with a bow and arrow, but Slade isn’t convinced Oliver is up to the task. In fact, Oliver isn’t convinced Oliver is up to the task. But Shado doesn’t back down. She tells Slade that Oliver will learn to hit a mark by sundown — and if he doesn’t, she’ll go with whatever plan Slade suggests. Game on!
Back in Starling City: Diggle goes to see his friend Lyla to get an update on Deadshot, but she doesn’t bite. Apparently, she found out Deadshot killed Diggle’s brother, and now she feels used. She thinks Diggle wants her to use her agency to draw out Deadshot so he can avenge his brother’s death. Lyla warns Diggle to stay out of the case.
Meanwhile, Oliver goes to pick up Laurel for lunch, but she says she’s too busy to leave work. On his way out, Oliver meets Laurel’s new clients: A couple who were conned out of their life savings — and their adorable 7-year-old son’s college fund — by a financial advisor named Edward Rasmus.
Laurel warns them that Rasmus is a dangerous man, and we find out just how dangerous he is when he sends an assassin to shoot both the clients at their home later that evening. Luckily, Laurel’s clients’ young son, Taylor, manages to escape before the assassin can shoot him too.
NEXT: Oliver, Tommy and Laurel have a slumber party…
Later, a shaken Laurel decides to take temporary guardianship of Taylor. After hearing Laurel’s clients were killed, Oliver goes see her, and ends up running into Tommy. He lets it slip that he met Laurel’s clients when he stopped by her office earlier to pick her up for lunch, which probably wouldn’t have been a big deal, had Laurel actually told Tommy about said lunch. Actually, who am I kidding? This is Tommy we’re talking about. It probably would have been a big deal either way.
Back at the lair, Diggle reveals to Oliver that he doesn’t just want Deadshot arrested. He wants him dead. “Then tomorrow night we cross Floyd Lawton’s name of your list,” Oliver tells him. Oliver instructs Felicity to look into Edward Rasmus’ finances to try to link him to the man who killed Laurel’s clients.
Cut to the precinct, where Roy stops by to see Detective Lance to talk about the Hood. Lance isn’t really interested in what he has to say, though. When Lance leaves, Roy swipes a police radio off his desk. Least secure police precinct EVER.
At Laurel’s apartment, Tommy tries to comfort Taylor by telling him what he went through when he lost his mother. He assures Taylor that his parents will always be there with him, and Laurel is impressed. “You constantly surprise me, Merlyn,” she says. The heart-to-heart is cut short by a knock at the door. It’s the assassin posing as a police lieutenant. Laurel smartly asks him to hold up his badge, and when he does, she realizes that it begins with a zero. She tells Tommy that lieutenants’ badges don’t begin with zero. By the time she pieces it together, though, it’s already too late.
The assassin shoots his way into the apartment and inches closer to Tommy and Taylor, who are hiding behind a couch. Before he can hurt them, Laurel comes out of her room with a rifle. “You know my father’s a cop, right?,” she says. Apparently, reading badges isn’t the only thing she learned from her dad. Laurel fires at the assassin only to realize her rifle has just one bullet in it. (So close, Laurel. So close). To make matters worse, she misses. Luckily for her, Arrow swoops in and knocks the gun out of the assassin’s hand before he can take another shot. However, the assassin still manages to shoot his way out of the apartment, fleeing through an open window.
Later, Lance tells Laurel that he wants her, Tommy and Taylor to go into protective custody, but she insists the Hood is all the protection she needs. Lance is not convinced (which is really annoying because Arrow has done a much better job of protecting Laurel than Lance ever has), so Tommy comes up with another idea. “What about Oliver?” he says, noting that the Queens have more security than the president. I have to hand it to Tommy for putting aside his petty issues with Oliver to keep Laurel and Taylor safe.
NEXT: Oliver has to choose between Laurel and Diggle…
Tommy, Laurel and Taylor show up to Oliver’s doorstep, where Diggle introduces them to their bodyguards. Oliver doesn’t stick around to make his guests feel welcome — he has to leave to deal with Lawton. This doesn’t sit well with Tommy, who angrily tells Oliver that the only reason they came to his house was so they could be under his protection. I see his point, except it’s a bit unreasonable to make demands of your host after you invite yourself over. And to think, I was just starting to like Tommy again.
Anyway, Oliver goes back to the lair, where Felicity is babbling on and on about the plan to take down Deadshot, when they get an alert about Rasmus. Apparently, the financier is on his way to the airport to skip town. Felicity tells Oliver he can only take out one target: Deadshot or Rasmus, which really just means he has to choose between Diggle and Laurel.
So, who does Arrow choose? Rasmus. He decides to stop him from leaving town, while Diggle secretly watches as Lyla and her posse of undercover cops wait for Lawton. Lawton, as it turns out, didn’t take the bait. Instead, he takes out the cops. Diggle goes after Deadshot, but he gets the drop on him. Deadshot decides not to kill Diggle because he’s not getting paid for it, which doesn’t really make sense since he’s a cold-blooded assassin. Why would he let a man who was after him walk away just because he wasn’t getting paid to take him out? I understand that the door needed to be left open for Deadshot’s return — and for Diggle’s vengeance — but this plot point just seemed way too convenient.
Deadshot ultimately knocks Diggle out and leaves the scene. Later, back at the hideaway, Diggle accuses Oliver of choosing Laurel over him. Wait, didn’t they have a very similar fight right before the hiatus? Can’t these two just work it out?
On the island: Shado teaches Oliver how to shoot an arrow with instructions that are full of subtext. “Give into your senses,” she tells Oliver. He does exactly that and kisses her (that was quick!). Apparently, he’s not a bad student after all. The kiss doesn’t last long (or at least not as long as we would have all liked it to). Oliver pulls away, and tells Shado he’s still too in love with Laurel to pursue anything new. When Shado asks Oliver if Laurel knows how much he loves her, he says that she doesn’t, but she will when he gets back home. Can I just point out that Oliver has dated at least two women since coming back to Starling City? And yet, he couldn’t finish a kiss with Shado on the island? Okay.
NEXT: Oliver and the assassin go head-to-head…
Meanwhile, back at the Queen mansion, Moira tells Laurel that she liked who Oliver was when he was dating her. For awhile, I thought maybe the series had moved away from the Oliver/Laurel love story, but after this episode, it seems like we’re headed right into it. Oliver arrives to tell Laurel that Rasmus was arrested after the vigilante made him confess to all his crimes. Laurel is notably pleased to hear the vigilante came to her rescue yet again. With the threat over with, Tommy is ready to go home, but Moira insists they spend the night, if only so little Taylor can get his beauty rest. (He certainly deserves it). Tommy tells Laurel it’s up to her. Laurel decides to stay and Tommy looks like he’s about to have a nervous breakdown.
At the precinct, the assassin poses as a lawyer and visits Rasmus, who warns him to leave Taylor alone (apparently, Arrow really got through to him). But the assassin doesn’t intend to listen to orders. Taylor saw his face, so he needs to be taken out, just like Rasmus. The assassin puts strong pressure on Rasmus’ forearm and tells him he’ll be dead in 15 seconds.
Meanwhile, Roy ditches a very confused Thea to go after the vigilante when he hears a message about his whereabouts on the stolen police radio. He goes to the scene only to be cornered by Lance, who apparently set the whole thing up to get his radio back. Does Lance really have nothing better to do? Like, I don’t know, maybe protect his daughter? Regardless, Lance realizes that Roy admires the Hood, so he takes him to the police morgue to show him the body of a man who was killed by the vigilante. He warns Roy not to trust the vigilante. Naturally, Roy doesn’t listen. Later, he tells Thea that his recent near-death experience changed him and he wants to do more. He’s convinced his life is somehow connected to the Hood’s. Always the supportive girlfriend, Thea decides to help Roy find Arrow. “I can tell this means the world to you, and you mean the world to me,” she says. How long have they been dating again?
Back at the Queen mansion, Laurel tells Oliver that she can see he has truly changed and the two hug it out. Tommy secretly watches them, probably seething in anger. Suddenly the lights go off. Oliver instructs Laurel and Tommy to stay with Taylor while he goes to check things out.
Downstairs, the assassin has fired his way into the mansion (not sure how no one upstairs heard the noise, but we’ll go with it).
Oliver manages to take him by surprise, but the assassin isn’t one to give up easily. They spar, when suddenly, the assassin asks Oliver what happened to him on the island. Wait, did I miss something here? How does the assassin know that Ollie is Arrow? Either way, Oliver doesn’t seem bothered. (He probably should be, right?). He kills the assassin with a fireplace poker and then passes out.
Later, Oliver tells the cops that one of his bodyguards killed the assassin, and Tommy backs him up.
NEXT: Two breakups after the jump…
With the cops dealt with, Tommy wastes no time pointing out that Oliver still loves Laurel. Oliver tells Tommy he has nothing to worry about. He can never be with Laurel because of what he does as Arrow. Oliver promises Tommy that Laurel will never know his secret, but that’s not enough for his ex-bestie. Tommy thinks if Laurel did find out about Oliver’s secret identity, she would choose him. And he’s definitely not okay with that.
The next morning, Laurel says a teary goodbye to Taylor, who is going to live with his grandparents. But it’s not the last goodbye of the day. Tommy tells Laurel he’s not sure he can give her the kind of commitment she’s looking for. I know we’re supposed to feel bad for Tommy here, especially because he makes himself out to be the bad guy so Laurel can be free of him, but it all seems quite selfish. After all, he’s only leaving Laurel because he can’t deal with the fact that she might choose Oliver over him someday. Also, everyone knows you can’t breakup with a girl on her birthday, Valentine’s Day, or the morning after she’s almost killed by an assassin.Speaking of breakups, back at the lair, Diggle tells Oliver he’s done with him (again). Let’s see how long it lasts this time.
Finally…on the island: Oliver, Shado and Slade get an unexpected visitor: Yao-Fei. Slade wants to know how he escaped, and Yao-Fei informs him he didn’t. Something is clearly off, but before they can figure out what, Fyers’ men show up and corner the group, and Yao-Fei tells Oliver that his time on the island is over. Does this mean Yao-Fei has been playing them all along? Or is he playing Fyers? I’m hoping the latter. Either way, it’s a great twist.
Like I said, a lot happened in tonight’s episode. But the best of it, at least for me, happened on the island. How about you?
Line of the night: “I wear a hood and put arrows into criminals, so when it comes to complexity, I grade on a curve.” —Oliver, about his complicated relationship with Laurel
What did you think? Do you want Oliver and Laurel to get together? Do you think Ollie and Shado are truly over? (If they are, I hear Slade is available). Are you ready for Tommy to embrace his inner bad guy? Hit the comments and let me know.