Arrow recap: 'Doppelganger'
Roy Harper returns!
Welcome back, Roy Harper! It’s been two year since Colton Haynes last graced our screen as Oliver Queen’s former sidekick, and I didn’t realize how much I missed him until his first scene in tonight’s episode, which reunited him with Thea Queen. Just based on the fan service alone, I think this might be my favorite episode of the season because it draws on some of the show’s strongest and oldest relationships (and also sidelines most of the new recruits).
The episode’s title refers to both the Roy story line, which sees Thea don the hood again to rescue her man from Diaz and his army of corrupt cops, and to Earth-2 Laurel, who makes her grand public introduction as this Earth’s newly freed Laurel at the top of the hour. Right after Oliver’s lawyer informs him that she found a way to get the charges against him dropped (Did anyone else forget he was currently being investigated?), he has to rush to the precinct to deal with Laurel, who is busy hamming it up for the cameras. You know Quentin wanted his daughter back, but I don’t think this is what he had in mind. Oliver, Thea, and Quentin aren’t too happy with Laurel’s charade, but they have no choice to go along with it because Laurel threatens to out Oliver if they don’t. And the moment Dinah finds out what’s going on, she has herself assigned to the case.
Unfortunately, Oliver’s lawyer Jean’s motion to have the charges dismissed is denied when the D.A. reveals that he has another star witness to testify against Oliver: Roy Harper. This news shakes all of O.G. Team Arrow since they didn’t even know where Roy was hiding. The fact that the D.A. has him lets them know that whoever murdered Cayden is still pulling strings.
It doesn’t take long for Felicity to locate where the cops are keeping their new star witness. Oliver and Diggle recon the building and learn that Roy is currently being tortured. As they observe the hotel, Oliver brings up how guilty he feels for Roy being in this position, and Diggle uses that opening as a way to bring up the fact that Oliver still hasn’t relinquished the Green Arrow mantle back to him. This conversation doesn’t go anywhere beyond this point because, as Oliver later tells Felicity, he’s honestly not sure why he hasn’t given Diggle the hood back yet. (Alas, if only Oliver were self-aware, he could simply say “Because I’m the main character of the TV show.”)
Anyway, because it’s Roy, Thea throws on the red hood for the first time in ages and infiltrates the hotel in order to free him. Her presence is detected quickly and a S.W.A.T. team starts converging on her position as Oliver begs her to retreat. Thea refuses to leave Roy behind, so Oliver has no other option but to forcibly remove her from the room before she winds up in a battle she can’t win. Even though her first outing as Speedy in over a year doesn’t go well, I’ll admit it was great seeing Willa Holland under the hood again. She’s my favorite character on the show, and I love that she got an opportunity to play a more active role in the main action. (Next: The reunion)
Thea is far from happy with Oliver forcing her to leave Roy behind. When they return to the bunker, Thea reveals just how much pain she’s been in since Roy left: “There are times when I feel my life completely fell apart when Roy left.” The show has been preparing us for this moment since Thea woke up from her coma and first mentioned Roy. And it’s definitely easy to understand why Thea feels this way, too, since having watched all six seasons, we know how much Roy meant to her. Oliver, who feels guilty for not being able to protect Roy, understands it too, and even suggests that Thea run off with Roy once they get him back.
By this point, Team Arrow has figured out that Diaz is behind all of this because they realized the cops who were guarding Roy are on his payroll. This episode is the first time we really get a sense of what kind of villain Diaz is — and he’s okay, I guess. Diaz’s plan to take over the city seems very convoluted, but it looks like Kirk Acevedo is having a good time chewing the hell out of the scenery in front of him as he delivers a grandiose speech about family after he has his men and Anatoly bring Laurel to him. He’s pissed that Laurel betrayed “the family” by stealing the money, but he’s willing to give her another chance to make it up to him.
After her meeting with Diaz, Laurel returns to Quentin’s apartment, where he and Dinah are hard at work on figuring out how many cops are crooked. Oliver and Thea soon join them there, and Laurel gives them the 411 on Diaz and where he’s keeping Roy. They don’t know if they can trust her, but it’s their only move at this point. So the team prepares to infiltrate the casino and save Roy.
Thus, we arrive at tonight’s long-take fight scene, which was fun as usual. As Oliver and Diggle take out Diaz’s men, Thea chases after Diaz, who is trying to flee the scene with Roy. Up until this point, it wasn’t entirely clear just how rusty Thea is, but that becomes much clearer in her bout with Diaz, who comes very close to killing her. Thankfully, Oliver arrives in time and saves her. Although Thea manages to save Roy, Oliver isn’t able to apprehend Diaz because the cops arrive on the scene, there’s not enough time, and Oliver is incredibly outnumbered. He has no option but to grapple-hook out of there.
Because her tip turned out to be true, Oliver tells Laurel he’s willing to give her a chance to become their Laurel — which is a shame, because as soon as she leaves, Diaz texts her good work. Meanwhile, the newly reunited Thea and Roy, you know, reunite as a member of the League of Assassin spies on them from a nearby roof and reports back that she has found the heir to the demon.