Leave the Glades
A thug is chasing a woman through an alley when Laurel/Black Canary comes to seemingly save the day. Unfortunately for Laurel, the thug gets the upper hand pretty quickly and things are looking pretty bad for her until Roy shows up at the last second to actually save the day. Naturally, Roy thinks they need to talk.
Back at Arrow HQ, while Roy is suturing a knife wound on Laurel, he asks her what the hell she’s doing in the Black Canary uniform and Diggle comes in shortly afterward asking the same thing. Her reasoning is that she can strike fear in criminals by posing as her sister. Yeah, though I’m pretty sure the criminals are going to notice at some point that Black Canary suddenly a much less competent fighter. Nevertheless, she seems to think that she made a compelling argument somehow and leaves.
The next day, the mayor of Starling City calls a meeting with the Aldermen, Captain Lance, Laurel, Ray Palmer and Felicity to discuss their next move against Brick. Before they can plan anything however, Brick storms the place and kidnaps the Aldermen and orders his goons to kill everyone else. While Brick makes his escape, Palmer, Laurel and Captain Lance fight off the goons (though with some noticeable difficulty from Laurel and Palmer).
While going over the damage caused by Brick’s assault, Captain Lance talks with Felicity and asks why the Arrow never showed up to stop Brick. Felicity finally breaks the news to him that the Arrow’s gone. Lance has a hard time believing this especially considering how he’s heard Sara is back in town as Black Canary (due to him STILL being left in the dark about Sara’s death). Naturally, this bit of news visibly surprises Felicity.
After Laurel interrogates (and basically threatens to kill) one of Brick’s henchmen, she’s able to learn where Brick is holding the Aldermen and informs Diggle and Roy. The two are about to suit up and ask Laurel to do Felicity’s usual job of monitoring them from the sidelines but she insists on going into the field thereby forcing Diggle to stay behind and monitor. So the guy with Special Forces training is staying behind while the woman with a couple of months worth of kickboxing lessons goes out to fight armed criminals? I can’t see how this could possibly go wrong.
When Roy and Laurel go to confront Brick, things go pretty much as you’d expect, including Brick tossing Laurel like rag doll. Brick makes his escape once again but not before Roy shoots him with an arrow. Unfortunately, Brick doesn’t take this well and out of revenge kills one of the Aldermen on the spot.
In the aftermath of the Alderman’s death, the mayor gets a call from Brick saying (after quoting Shakespeare for some reason) that he wants to make his ransom demands in person to which the mayor reluctantly agrees. Once the mayor, Captain Lance, and Palmer (why he’s here is anyone’s guess), show up at the meeting, Brick demands that the cops vacate The Glades in 24 hours or the remaining Aldermen will be killed.
Meanwhile, Felicity finds Laurel so she can be the latest person to try to talk her out of her new Black Canary identity. It turns out Laurel is way ahead of her on that front as she (rightfully) feels responsible for causing the Alderman’s death. Felicity quickly changes her mind when she gets a call from Captain Lance asking for help in rescuing the hostages and suggest enlisting the Black Canary (yeah that makes sense).
Back at Arrow HQ, just as Roy is about to admit defeat, Felicity makes a “surprise” return with Laurel and rallies the team. Laurel calls Captain Lance posing as Sara, whose disguising her voice courtesy of some techno babble from Felicity. I’m not really sure why the techno babble is necessary since I’m pretty sure voice disguising machines have been around for some time (or at least in the last two Scream movies). Anyway, Laurel/”Sarah” presses Captain Lance for information on the hostages so they can find them better. All he’s able to tell her however is one of them has a pacemaker. That’s more than enough for Felicity who traces the pacemakers GPS signal (wait pacemakers have GPS? Why?).
Team Arrow storms the location thanks to a helicopter Felicity borrowed from Palmer. Laurel and Roy go to rescue the hostages while Diggle stays behind (again!) to pilot the helicopter. Thankfully Laurel actually proves herself somewhat competent this time and the hostage rescue is successful, though Laurel does have to jump out a second story window and grab the helicopter’s ladder in midair (sure why not). Despite the rescue, however, the mayor decides to give in to Brick’s demands anyway, effectively making The Glades a war zone.
While Palmer serves as a frequent background character for this episode, he continues to ask for Felicity’s help with his A.T.O.M. project. She finally changes her mind at the end of the episode and fixes a crucial part of the suit that has been vexing Palmer for the last couple of weeks. So, now it appears the A.T.O.M. project is back on track (thank heaven the suspense on that subplot is over).
Oliver is still in the cabin with Maseo and Tatsu and very much recovering from his wounds. Oliver talks with Tatsu and notes his surprise that she and Maseo are still in contact though she insists they aren’t. Maseo tells Oliver that he plans to leave the cabin once the snowstorm passes and return to The League of Assassins. Oliver tries to talk him out of it and warns him that Ra’s al Ghul will kill him if he finds out he saved him. Maseo tells him Oliver he should be more worried about how Starling City is doing without him.
Oliver and Tatsu discuss trying to talk Maseo out of rejoining with The League but Tatsu says it’s pointless and that he still blames himself for “what happened” indicating that there was a significant falling out between the once happy couple. My guess is their son died somehow since we’ve yet to see him in present day though clearly it’s going to be awhile before we know for sure.
Just as Maseo is about to make his leave, several other members of The League show up at the cabin and Oliver and Tatsu try to hide. The assassins say they came to retrieve Oliver’s remains for Ra’s al Ghul but they were nowhere to be found. Maseo tries to play it off like he’s looking for Oliver too but the assassins don’t buy it and start attacking, though Maseo and Tatsu dispatch them pretty quickly. Maseo puts a cut on his neck to make it look like he got wounded by Oliver and leaves the cabin.
Thea and Merlyn
Thea stops by the nightclub and finds the DJ (whose name is apparently Chase) from earlier in the season walking around the place (crap, I was afraid this guy was a recurring character). He tells her that he didn’t want to risk any of Brick’s goons stealing his gear from the club. He tries asking her if she’s been avoiding him since their kiss (can’t imagine why she would do that) though she insists she isn’t.
Meanwhile, Merlyn is less than happy to find Thea isn’t packing to leave Starling City like he told her to last week. Surprisingly, Thea grows a brain cell for once and points out how ridiculous it is that he expects her to uproot her life without telling her a single detail about why she’s doing it. He tries to giving her the usual (and incredibly vague) “you’re in danger” shtick but Thea flat out refuses to go anywhere until he tells her the truth.
Merlyn finally decides to sit Thea down and reveal to her “the truth.” He admits he’s being targeted by The League because of The Undertaking but lies and says Thea’s also at risk because of her association with him which she believes. However, she still refuses to leave saying that she’s not afraid of them (spoken like someone who’s never met them before) and tells Merlyn they should confront The League head on.
Back at the club, she finds Chase there again for some reason. He says that he heard she was leaving town but she assures him she’s not going anywhere. Once Thea leaves, Chase makes a phone call and surprisingly starts talking in Arabic. He tells the voice on the other end that Thea and Merlyn aren’t leaving Starling City. The voice on the other end is revealed to be Maseo, who says that he will inform Ra’s.
Oliver and Maseo have tracked Tatsu to a Triad owned nightclub. The two aren’t there for very long before they get taken to a backroom at gunpoint and find China White waiting for them. She was already expecting them to show up because as it turns out Maseo made a deal behind Oliver’s back to exchange the Alpha in exchange for his wife. Maseo gives the Alpha vial to China White but it’s revealed to be a fake and a shootout ensues.
Oliver, Maseo, and Tatsu are able to make their escape but when they get back home, Oliver is still plenty angry at Maseo, especially over him using a fake vial without telling him. Maseo tells him however he didn’t know the vial was fake and figures Waller knew what he would be up to and secretly switched the vials. Oliver is even more angry with this revelation but nevertheless, Tatsu thanks Oliver for his help in saving them.
I wanted to like this episode, but this may very well have been the weakest episode so far this season. This episode seemed to confirm that even the writers seem to think they made Laurel into Black Canary too quickly as she spent the majority of this week stumbling through her knew superhero duties while Roy is forced to pick up the slack and Diggle is inexplicably forced to sit out of the action. Even worse, the subplots didn’t feel like they went anywhere either. The Ray Palmer and Thea story lines just seemed to backtrack to where they were last week and the resolution to Tatsu’s kidnapping in the flashback felt rather anticlimactic. Despite all the problems I had with this episode, I’m still going to give the show the benefit of the doubt, though my patience is starting to wear thin.
There is hope things will get better however, as it appears that Oliver will be making his return next in “The Uprising.”