Now, let’s head to Star City, where Dragon, a new player in town, is stealing parts for military-grade 3D printers, and John’s still hiding his hand tremor.
And hey, here’s Lyla! We learn how she feels about John’s new role: At first she felt like he did when she took over for Amanda Waller, but now she says it suits him. In fact, it suits him so much, she beckons him to the bedroom.
But he makes a pit stop to give himself a quick injection from the case that’s not locked or even very carefully hidden in the living room. Yo, John, I’ve currently got Christmas gifts in more secure hiding places. Be more circumspect! He discovers he’s all out of his drug when an anonymous text pops up on his phone, saying, “No more this week.” How did John’s dealer time that so perfectly??
The next day, John heads to his dealer’s lair, where a roomful of people are hard at work manufacturing various illegal substances. He finally meets the boss, Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo), who sizes John up and says, “I wouldn’t want to mess with you.” Ironic foreshadowing! Diaz says they have to be careful with distribution because they don’t have FDA approval yet (ha!) but approves selling some to John.
Later at the Arrow Cave, the team gets an alert about a robbery at Palmer Tech, and when they arrive, John’s shocked to see that Dragon is none other than Ricardo Diaz. (Also, John shoots a trick arrow that seems to make airbags inflate, which works surprisingly well.)
Now that they know his name, the team learns that Diaz/Dragon has been out of a prison for a month, his double life sentence having been overturned due to technicalities. Also, his stolen printers can be used to manufacture cheap, high-end designer drugs, cutting out the middle man.
John’s clearly distracted during this conversation, and why wouldn’t he be? If they stop Dragon’s operation, adios tremor drugs. But he tells the team he’s just rattled because Dragon’s got the drop on him.
And then oh thank God, John heads home and tells Lyla about the tremor and the drugs, which he describes as an experimental steroid. He asks if A.R.G.U.S. is working on anything that might help him. Lyla is as horrified as we are that he’s knowingly endangering his team and wants to know what happened to the moral man she married. He tries to say it’s the same thing as the ethically gray choices she has to make at A.R.G.U.S., but she’s angry that he’s willing to let Dragon continue racking up bodies until John finds another solution for the tremors. The night ends with tension in the Diggle/Michaels household.
The next day, the team’s frustrated at the lack of useful intel on Dragon until John offers an address for his base of operations, saying he got it from a “contact.” Felicity gives John the briefest of quizzical looks before the team rolls out.
When Arrow and Co. arrive, Dragon rather quickly sacrifices his operation (and all his men) by kicking over a barrel of something flammable and setting it on fire. John watches in horror as the flames race toward a huge supply of his “experimental steroids.” He finally tears himself away just before the whole place blows.
Back home, John tells Lyla how tempted he was to run straight into the explosion to save the stash. But a quick cuddle with his wife and adorable son (justice for baby Sara!) rights his equilibrium, and he tells Lyla he needs to go apologize to a few people.
Cut to another domestic scene: Felicity and William are happily playing a video game when Oliver arrives home and hugs William a little tighter than his short trip would warrant. William reports that Felicity let them have rocky road ice cream for dinner, and he got an A on his bottle rocket science project. Glad school’s going better for him!
Felicity stepped in because William was getting sick of Raisa, and she makes sure Oliver’s okay with her being there. Oliver cradles her face and says he’s glad. Aww! Also, his trip reinforced his belief that quitting the vigilante business was the right decision for him and William.
When John texts Felicity with a request to swing by the bunker that night, she takes a raincheck, and the newly formed family head to the roof to watch William demonstrate his sweet bottle rocket skills.
This leaves John with an audience of Dinah, Curtis, and Rene as he tells them his secret, including the rock bottom he hit that night. He sincerely apologizes for betraying their trust. (Public figures offering crappy apologies for their behavior, take note! This is how it’s done.)
Rene realizes that John was having problems when he was injured on the bridge in the premiere, but in the end he says that John’s saved him far more than he’s endangered him. Curtis is just angry that John didn’t ask for his help with the tremor issue and jumps right into science talk.
After the duo leave, John offers Dinah a special apology, and they promise not to keep any more secrets. But she walks away with her supposedly dead, now-meta boyfriend’s origami token in her hand. And left alone, John stands in front of his Green Arrow costume as his hand shakes.
Arrows for your quiver:
- Best dinnertime ice cream? I say peanut butter cup and will die on this hill.
- What a huuuuuuuuuuge relief that they didn’t drag John’s secret out any longer. Now we can focus on a cure or rehab or whatever comes next. Unfortunately, Dinah seems to be picking up the “I’ve got a potentially dangerous secret that I really should share” torch that Team Arrow so loves.
- Manu Bennet simply oozes charisma and danger as Slade/Deathstroke, but it’s still slightly uncomfortable for me to see Oliver embrace him so wholly after Slade’s previous acts. In fact, everybody on Team Arrow’s demonstrating an incredible capacity for forgiveness this season.
- I mean. Kane’s totally going to kidnap William, right?