Call for Reinforcements
Once again we pick up almost immediately from where the previous episode left off. Roy has identified himself as the Arrow and is taken into custody. While Captain Lance isn’t happy about it, he has no choice but to let Oliver go given Roy’s rather convincing confession (it’s at this point that I have to question how Captain Lance has avoided being suspended given that he “falsely” accused Oliver of multiple homicides on national TV). He reluctantly uncuffs Oliver but not without promising him that this isn’t over.
Meanwhile, at Palmer Technologies, Felicity and Ray finally address the awkwardness between them after Ray said “I love you” to Felicity in the previous episode (that somehow went unmentioned during their recent visit to Central City). Ray decides to backpedal on that declaration claiming that he wasn’t thinking straight and while that temporarily solves the problem it’s clearly only a matter of time before this issue is revisited.
Back at the police station, Oliver gives Roy a visit in the hopes of talking Roy out of going to prison in his place. Unfortunately for Oliver, Roy’s not budging on this one. Not only does Roy feel he owes Oliver, he still feels guilty over the cop he killed last season and feels that he legitimately belongs in prison.
Back at Arrow HQ, Oliver immediately declares that he wants to break Roy out of prison but that gets quickly put onto the back burner when they find out on the news that two bank security guards were killed by a meta-human with laser vision. As if things couldn’t get worse, Captain Lance shows up with a warrant to search the place and it doesn’t take long for him to find the secret basement (so are there no cops investigating the double murder at the bank?). Captain Lance is all but ready to handcuff Oliver on the spot but the only prints found at the scene are Roy’s (Felicity and Diggle apparently took the liberty of wiping off everyone’s fingerprints at the scene except for Roy’s).
While Oliver is able to avoid jail time yet again, Diggle points out that the cops will be watching his every move and that Oliver will have put a hold on all of his Arrow activities indefinitely. Left with no other choice, Oliver reluctantly decides to ask Ray for his help in dealing with the laser-eyed bank robber. I will admit, Ray’s reaction to teaming up with Oliver is pretty hilarious (“So it a team-up? High five!”).
Meanwhile, Thea pays a visit to Roy in prison. It ends up being a pretty short visit because Roy doesn’t want to lie to Thea about what’s going on, so he instead opts not to say anything to her and quickly heads back to his cell.
A.T.O.M. vs. Deathbolt
Now that Arrow HQ has been discovered by the cops, the team instead meets up with Ray over at Palmer Technologies. It doesn’t take long for Ray to identify the laser-eyed guy as a career criminal named Jake Simmons (better known as Deathbolt in the comics) whose last known whereabouts were unsurprisingly in Central City (more on that later). Oliver is ready to go after Deathbolt but Ray rightfully points out that the Arrow still can’t risk being seen by the cops, so Ray goes out as the A.T.O.M. instead. Ray and Deathbolt quickly engage in a fight scene which unsurprisingly doesn’t work out so well for Ray, who barely escapes with his life by flying away at the last second. Back at Palmer Technologies, Oliver chastises Ray saying that he was lucky to make it out of the fight alive. He also not unreasonably warns Ray not to be overly reliant on the suit and trust his instincts more.
Back at the prison, Roy ends up getting into a fight with some inmates presumably put away by the Arrow. Even without the arrows and the red hood, Roy still manages to show how bad-ass he is by taking the inmates out single handedly (though not without one of the prisoners slashing him across the back). When Oliver finds out about this, his first instinct is to try break Roy as he originally intended but Diggle and Felicity manage to talk him out of it for the time being.
Once that’s over, Felicity goes to the power plant to run down a new lead on Deathbolt. Unfortunately, shortly after her arrival, she is confronted by Deathbolt himself whom she stupidly doesn’t recognize because he’s wearing sunglasses (hey why not this is a DC show). For some reason, rather than just killing her, Deathbolt decides to take Felicity hostage. Ray decides to rescue Felicity as the A.T.O.M. and rigs the suit so that Oliver can take control of it once the fight with Deathbolt starts. This works out well enough for a little while but some serious blows from Deathbolt cause Oliver to lose control of the suit and it’s up to Ray to take care of Deathbolt. Just as it looks like Daethbolt is about the finish him off, some encouragement from Oliver inspires Ray to fight back and knock Deathbolt out in pretty awesome fashion.
The team gets little chance to celebrate their victory however, when they’re informed by Captain Lance that Roy was killed while in prison. Oliver is initially furious that he wasn’t able to save his sidekick but Diggle and Felicity reveal to him that Roy had actually faked his death (this requires some pretty serious suspension of disbelief but okay). Now that everyone in Starling City (besides most of the main cast of course) think Roy/”The Arrow” is dead, the team is confident that all the police and media attention on Oliver will stop (though I doubt Captain Lance will let Oliver off that easy). The downside is now that everyone thinks Roy is dead, he has to leave town and part ways with Team Arrow. I’m not sure how permanent Roy’s departure from the show will be but the was an admittedly bittersweet scene to watch.
Meanwhile in Central City
Ray makes a quick visit to Cisco in Central City to drop Deathbolt off at the S.T.A.R. Labs prison. While there Cisco notices something unusual about Deathbolt’s arrest record. As it turns out, Deathbolt wasn’t even in Central City the day the particle accelerator went haywire, which begs the question as to how Deathbolt even got his powers in the first place.
Oliver, Maseo, Tatsu and Akio are now in hiding from Waller and A.R.G.U.S. and are busy planning their next move. Oliver decides the best course of action is to find Waller before she has a chance to find them. Once Oliver makes his way to an A.R.G.U.S. compound, he finds a disheveled and wounded Waller there waiting for him. She informs him that General Shrieve has been holding her hostage for awhile and has been the one targeting him and Maseo’s family. As it turns out, Shrieve plans the unleash the Omega virus on Hong Kong and pin it on the Triad because he sees China as a military and economic threat. Shrieve’s team has also developed a vaccine to use on themselves once the virus is released. Now that she’s gotten all the exposition out of the way, she tells Oliver to get far away from Hong Kong.
When Oliver informs Maseo and Tatsu of the current predicament they decide to steal the vaccine from Shrieve. They break into the compound where the vaccine is being kept surprisingly easy and their plan to swipe the vaccine goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately, they have only enough vaccine to inject themselves and Akio. Oliver plans to try to stop Shrieve’s plan by himself but Maseo and Tatsu refuse to let him go at it alone and insists on fighting with him.
While Thea is busy grieving over the loss of Roy (whether or not she knows he’s still alive isn’t clear), she gets an unexpected visit from Ra’s al Ghul. His plan is to use Thea as leverage to force Oliver to accept his offer once and for all. Thea tries to fight him off as best as she can but things go as well as you would expect and she is killed by Ra’s.
I’ve got to say, this episode was a little weird to watch, considering that Oliver didn’t have one fight scene this week. On the plus side, this gave a couple of supporting characters a chance to shine (Roy and Ray in particular). I get the feeling, the writers used this episode to test the potential for an A.T.O.M. spin-off and based on what I saw here, I’m all for it.
The problem I have here though is Roy’s exit. It was handled okay enough but there was almost no buildup to it and it ended up feeling incredibly rushed. It also doesn’t help that I’m not fully convinced that he won’t just end up coming back by the season’s end.
Next week, we’ll see Oliver take the recently departed Thea to Ra’s al Ghul’s infamous Lazarus Pits in a desperate attempt to bring her back to life. Will Thea come back the same as before or will she become something far more sinister? Find out next week in “The Fallen.”