If the episode’s title didn’t give it away, “Crossing Lines” is all about, well, the wayward members of Team Arrow making some risky, line-blurring decisions in pursuit of the greater good — or at least, what they perceive to be the greater good. In other words, it was just another day in the world of Arrow. Let’s dig in.
We begin in media res with a bloody Oliver holding a shiv and facing down some guards, who are similarly bloody and injured. From there, the episode jumps back and shows us how we got to this point. In the wake of getting Officer York booted, Brick decides to hold up his end of the bargain (or at least pretend to) and tells Oliver that a man named the Demon is the one he wants to talk to about Diaz and the attack. With York gone, Brick even offers to arrange a meeting between Oliver and this mysterious Demon. (Start taking bets about who the Demon is because it’s almost definitely someone we’ve met before, but I can’t guess who it might be).
That night, Brick arranges for all of the cell doors to open, which gives Oliver and his new sidekick a chance to make their way to the Demon’s cell. Spoiler alert: the Demon isn’t there, but Bronze Tiger is and he’s waiting to kill Oliver on Brick’s orders. Even though he’s still injured from, you know, stabbing himself in last week’s episode, Oliver makes quick work of Tiger and his men, and then forces Tiger to take him to Brick, who is in the mess hall doing something (If you’ve watched any show or movie before, you can guess what Brick’s up to).
Along the way to the mess hall, Bronze Tiger points out Oliver’s flawed heroism; Oliver stabbed himself to save York, but he’s clearly willing to stab Bronze Tiger because he views him as nothing more than a criminal (even though Tiger did actually save Lyla while he was part of the Suicide Squad). Since the show began, Oliver has had a black-and-white view of criminality: if you commit a crime, you’re bad and that’s it. But now behind bars, he’s being forced to reevaluate his views, which is frankly an unexpected yet welcomed development.
The trio makes it to the cafeteria, where Brick has set up a fight club because even he can’t avoid a cliché. Short story short: Oliver enters the ring and faces Derek Sampson. By “faces” I mean he wrecks Sampson, breaking (or dislocating? I don’t know how this all works) both of his arms in another example of the brutality of the show’s prison fight sequences. Oliver’s ruthlessness in the fight reminded me of how he carried himself in season 1.
From there, Oliver scales the cafeteria and confronts Brick, who is surrounded by crooked guards and reveals that the Demon is actually on Level 2. Realizing the only way to get what he wants is to visit Level 2, Oliver attacks all of the guards with a shiv and essentially gets his wish. He crosses a line once again to get what he wants. We’ll see next week whether or not it was worth it.
NEXT: Goodbye Agent Watson