Oliver and Laurel get together; someone else discovers Arrow's real identity

By Nuzhat Naoreen
May 09, 2013 at 03:17 AM EDT
The CW
S1 E22
  • TV Show

Is Oliver ready to hang up the Hood? In tonight’s penultimate episode, he certainly seems tempted to do so. After months of struggling with his double life, Oliver realizes that the key to his freedom — and maybe even a relationship with Laurel — lies with destroying The Undertaking. Speaking of Laurel, the two finally get it on. But was it everything you had hoped it would be? (You know, assuming you actually cared about them enough to hope for anything).

We’ll discuss below, but first, let’s dial back to the start of an episode, which — with its two exits, one hook-up, and non-stop revelations — both set the stage and raised the stakes for next week’s finale.

As The Undertaking approaches, the Dark Archer is busy tying up loose ends. The episode kicks off at a lab inside Unidac Industries, where DA kills pretty much everyone in sight, including his go-to seismologist Brian Markov, and two unsuspecting scientists, who just moments before were planning to grab a drink after work. Needless to say, their work day ended with a not-so-happy hour.

At the hideaway, Diggle and Felicity give Oliver an update on Moira. The duo have been tracking her for the past few days to get intel on Walter’s abduction and The Undertaking, but Mrs. McQueen hasn’t made a single misstep. Oliver decides he’ll just have to confront Moira himself, but Felicity isn’t on board with the idea. “The last time the vigilante paid your mom a visit, you got shot and I got to play doctor with you,” she says. Then, after realizing what she actually said, she does a a face-palm, and adds: “Ugh, my brain thinks of the worst way to to say things.” That it does, Felicity. Her little spiel however doesn’t sway Oliver, who decides to move ahead with his plans.

Before cornering Moira, Oliver stops by the club where Laurel is waiting for him. She wants to know why Oliver said he still has feelings for her. Oliver doesn’t give her a straight answer, but it doesn’t matter. Laurel is ready to admit that she has feelings for Oliver too. Too bad Oliver shuts her down. Again. He tells Laurel that nothing has changed, that he hasn’t changed, which is really just a harsher version of, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Ouch.

Back at the Queen mansion, the family welcomes Walter home. Moira tells him there’s a big brunch waiting for him, but he excuses himself to lie down. Apparently, he’s not quite over the whole “my wife had me kidnapped” thing. Fair enough.

Later, Moira watches a news report about the lab massacre and runs off before Oliver can talk to her.

NEXT: Fyers reveals his plan…

Flashback to the island: Oliver, Shado and Slade are transported to Fyers’ camp, where Yao Fei is waiting for them. Slade is pissed that his ex-partner led Fyers straight to them, but Yao Fei says he had a good reason. Apparently, Fyers was planning to fire up his entire force just to eliminate the trio. Yao Fei thinks they have a better shot at survival this way. Meanwhile, Oliver spots a familiar face. It’s the guy he found bound in a cave earlier this season! You know, the one who claimed to be a lost student and begged Oliver to free him? Apparently, Oliver was right not to help him. The man was working for Fyers all along. As Fyers watches, his minion radios air traffic control and redirects a plane toward the island. Oliver points out that a commercial airliner can’t land on the island — which, as it turns out, won’t be an issue, because Fyers plans to destroy it.

Back in Starling City, Det. Lance and his partner are trying to figure out why the copycat archer would massacre a “bunch of lab nerds.” Lance wants to know what the scientists were working on, but his partner informs him that the copycat archer killed everyone who knew anything about the project.

Meanwhile, Roy continues his quest to find the vigilante. He snaps photos of Lance and his partner as they chat outside of the lab (sorry, but how exactly are these pictures to help him find Arrow?). Anyway, Thea points out that the cops don’t seem to have a clue about the vigilante’s whereabouts, and Roy realizes they don’t know what the cops know. (Spoiler alert, Roy: They don’t know anything. Ever).

At the mansion, Oliver asks Moira who took Walter. She acts clueless, but Oliver presses forward. Before he can get a real answer however, someone breaks in and shoots them with tranquilizer darts.

Shortly after, they wake up in a dark room where they’re tied down to chairs. Suddenly, “Arrow” shows up and tells Oliver that he has failed this city. And here I was hoping to get out of this episode without having to hear that dreaded catchphrase…

Flashback to the Island: Fyers breaks down his end-game: He wants to destabilize China’s economy by shutting down all air travel in and out of the country. To top it off, he’s going to make Yao Fei claim responsibility for the soon-to-be downed airliner. When Yao Fei refuses, Fyers shows him what’s at stake. After punching Oliver, Fyers shoots Slade in the leg and Shado in the shoulder.

In Starling City, Thea shows up at Lance’s precinct under the guise of CNRI. She eavesdrops as Lance tells his partner that Markov made a couple of calls to Merlyn Global. Armed with this info, Thea rushes to Roy’s place to tell him about the copycat archer’s possible connection to Merlyn Global. Roy doesn’t get it. “We’re looking for the Hood, not some wannabe,” he says. Oh Roy, just go back to taking pictures of cops. Thea patiently explains that the guy with the black arrow seems to hate the guy with the green arrow, and if they find one, they might be able to track down the other.

Meanwhile, Moira begs “Arrow” (a.k.a. Diggle) not to hurt her son. He tells her he wants to know about The Undertaking. He hits Oliver, until Moira finally admits that Malcolm Merlyn is planning to level The Glades with a device that can supposedly cause an earthquake. The device was invented by Unidac Industries, which explains the killing spree earlier in the episode. “Arrow” wants to know how Moira got involved in something so sinister, and she explains that she inherited the problem from her husband.

NEXT: Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity go undercover…

After “Arrow” releases them, Moira rushes over to Oliver, who pushes her away. He limps back to the hideaway, where Felicity fusses over his bruises. Oliver asks Felicity to dig up everything on Unidac Industries. She tells him that Queen Consolidated acquired Unidac seven months ago. “That’s when we met,” adds Felicity, who just can’t help herself. They reason that the Dark Archer is working for Merlyn. Oliver decides they need to find the deadly device before either Merlyn or The Dark Archer can set it off. Felicity tries to hack into Merlyn Global’s mainframe to hone in on the location of the device, but she can’t infiltrate the system. “Unless I can waltz up to Merlyn’s mainframe and plug in my tablet directly, there’s no way of getting that location,” says Felicity. Oliver responds: “Then we waltz.” Cue hijinks!

Flashback to the Island: Yao Fei slips a knife into Oliver’s hands before going off with Fyers to tape his confessional. Meanwhile, an assistant type tells a long-legged woman in stilettos (we don’t see her face) that the plan is underway.

At the precinct, Lance interrogates Tommy about Meryln Global’s connection to Unidac. As Tommy leaves, he runs into Laurel, who’s there to have lunch with her dad. Later, Lance asks Laurel why she and Tommy broke up, and she says it’s because of Oliver. After Laurel rattles off all the reasons why Oliver is the worst, Lance surprises her (and me!) by admitting that Oliver has changed since coming back from the island.

Guess which crime-fighting trio has watched Ocean’s 11 one too many times? To get into Merlyn Industries, Oliver sets up a meeting with Tommy, while Felicity poses as a delivery girl. Meanwhile, Diggle gets a gig in the Meryln surveillance room, and drugs his hungry co-worker with a laced order of Big Belly Burger. Since they can’t actually “waltz” right up to the restricted mainframe room, Oliver and Felicity go through the elevator shaft. Oliver instructs Felicity to hold on to him tight as he prepares to swing to an entrance. “I imagined you saying that under different circumstances,” she says, earning a look from Oliver. “Very platonic circumstances.” While this escapade — and the elevator music that accompanied it — felt a little out of place in an otherwise serious episode, it was worth it for this line alone.

Once inside, Oliver leaves for his meeting with Tommy and promises a frazzled Felicity he’ll be back to escort her down the elevator shaft before security shows up.

NEXT: Oliver has an epiphany…

So, how annoying is Tommy? He goes on the offense as soon as Oliver walks into his office. Oliver however manages to brush off his insults and stick to the topic at hand: Laurel. Oliver is there to repair their relationship — just like Laurel had asked him to do in the last episode. Oliver tells Tommy he can’t be with Laurel. When Tommy says he doesn’t want to be anyone’s “consolation prize,” Oliver reminds Tommy that Laurel chose to be with him and that he couldn’t handle it.

Meanwhile, Diggle tells Felicity that security has showed up, and that she needs to get out of the mainframe room. The only problem? She hasn’t finished downloading everything she needs.  Oliver is on his way to help Felicity, when he’s sidetracked by Malcolm Merlyn, who decides to join him in the elevator. He finally ditches Merlyn in the lobby, but before he can go back upstairs Thea stops him. Oliver wants to know what Thea — and Roy — are doing there, and she admits that they’re trying to find the vigilante. Oliver introduces himself to Roy as Thea’s disapproving brother and warns him not to mess around with The Hood.

Meanwhile, Felicity gets stopped by a security officer. He asks to see her ID when Diggle shows up and says she’s one of Merlyn Jr.’s jilted bimbos. While Diggle drags her away, Felicity shouts, “But I love him! He’s my man!” That’s right, Felicity! It’s all about committing to the part.

Later, Roy tells Thea he wants to stake out a Vertigo dealer, on the off chance the vigilante might show up to the scene. Thea however is done being the supportive girlfriend. She reminds Roy that Oliver asked them to stay away from the Hood, but Roy is too cool to care. He calls Oliver a wimp and that really sets Thea off. During their argument, Roy tells Thea that he lost someone in his life, but he won’t reveal who it is. He says he wants find the Hood so he can learn to be more like him and never face losing someone again. And yet, he’s perfectly willing to lose Thea when she asks him to choose between her or the Hood.

At the mansion, Moira tells Walter she had him abducted to save his life, but he doesn’t care. He hands her divorce papers and walks out. So is that it for Walter? Or do you think we’ll see him again in the finale? I certainly wasn’t expecting him to depart so soon after his return.

Back at the precinct, Lance gets a lead…sort of. His techie tells him that though he wasn’t able to crack the Merlyn mainframe, he was able to find someone else who was trying to do the same. He IDs Felicity as the other hacker. That can’t be good.

At the hideaway, Oliver has a realization. He doesn’t need to cross names off a list to right his father’s wrongs; all he needs to do is destroy The Undertaking. When Diggle asks if that means he’d hangup the hood, Oliver tells him that he came back from the island to stop Merlyn’s plan. So, in other words, yes.

NEXT: Oliver and Laurel get together…

Armed with this new epiphany, he goes to Laurel’s place to tell her he’s done pulling away. Then, for good measure, he adds that she knows him better than anyone, and she’s more important to him than anyone. This pretty much does it for Laurel because the next thing you know she’s all over him. (Side note: Is it summer in Starling City? Why is she wearing shorts?). Now, there’s been a lot of debate about whether Oliver and Laurel actually have chemistry, and if there was ever a scene to sway you one way or the other, it’s this one. For me, the speech and the song selection (Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” is definitely my jam) really worked, but I can’t yet say I saw any crackling sparks between the duo. (In fact, they didn’t even seem completely at ease with each other).

But nevermind what I see; what really matters is what Tommy sees. And Tommy sees everything. He shows up outside of Laurel’s place, only to find her covering all the bases with his former bestie. And this, kids, is why you should always close the curtains.

Angry Tommy is a great closing shot, but the episode isn’t over yet.

Diggle calls Oliver to tell him that Felicity has tracked down the device. Oliver sneaks out of bed and suggests they tag team the mission. He asks Diggle to handle the device, while he goes after Malcolm Merlyn.

Flashback to the Island: Yao Fei tapes his confession, while Oliver, Slade and Shado watch. After he’s done, Fyers shoots Yao Fei in the head. (Now, that I really didn’t see coming). Afterward, Fyers’ men inform him that the plane they plan to bring down is within range.

Diggle realizes that the device is gone, while Arrow confronts Merlyn. Merlyn says a trojan on the mainframe — something Felicity added at the last minute — tipped him off to the fact that someone was tracking the device. The two go head-to-head, but Malcolm manages to get the upper hand. He kicks Arrow until he’s unconscious. As the hood falls back, Malcolm realizes that Arrow is Oliver.

So there you have it. Though this episode could have just as well been the finale, we have plenty more to look forward to next week. In the meantime, hit the comments and let me know what you thought of Oliver and Laurel’s hook-up, Yao Fei’s death, and that final game-changing scene.

Episode Recaps

Billionaire Oliver Queen — under the vigilante persona of Arrow — tries to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society.
  • TV Show
  • 8
  • TV-14
  • 10/10/12
Complete Coverage
Available For Streaming On