Curse Your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal!
The episode opens inside Diggle’s apartment where Andy is seen opening a safe to get a gun. Diggle catches him and Andy is forced to say that he was approached by Merlyn to help bust Damien out of jail and he isn’t sure what to do.
Later at Arrow HQ, the team ponders what Merlyn’s alliance with Damien could mean down the road but Oliver insists the only thing that matters is making sure Damien doesn’t get his hands on the now reassembled idol. Oliver then confesses that he had previously seen the idol on Lian Yu (until this moment I admittedly had no idea this was the same one) and is adamant that the security be improved so that Merlyn can’t get to it. Diggle thinks that it’s a good idea to have Andy act as a double agent and despite Oliver’s understandable skepticism, he agrees.
Oliver and Laurel then attend the newly elected mayor Mrs. Darhk’s victory speech, who vows to make the city great again (ignoring the blatant Trump inspiration there, I can’t point to a single time that Star City hasn’t looked like a Robocop-esque satire of Detroit). It is worth noting however that despite Ruvé running unopposed, Oliver still got 48% of the vote through write-in ballots. Ruvé then makes a surprise move by offering to appoint Laurel as the new district attorney.
Oliver and Diggle are then seen staking out a missile shipment thanks to some intel from Andy while Laurel and Thea look after HQ. Oliver, Diggle and Andy are able to save the shipment but Oliver gets the feeling that it was too easy. Sure enough, despite the supposed security upgrades to the lair, Merlyn and a couple of his old League goons still find their way in pretty easily and steal the idol.
Afterwards, Thea decides to scour the streets to look for Merlyn while Diggle tries to see if Andy can tell them anything helpful. Once Oliver and Laurel are alone though, Oliver admits to being suspicious about how easy the missile job was and wonders if Andy might be playing them. Laurel says that while it’s not outside the realm of possibility, he needs to be absolutely sure before he makes an accusation.
Laurel meets up with Captain Lance to discuss her job offer. Captain Lance naturally thinks it’s a bad idea since not only would it mean working for the enemy but she would likely have to give up being the Black Canary since the District Attorney is now under 24/7 protective detail after the events of the season premiere.
Team Arrow then gets a tip from Andy saying that he has seen Merlyn at a box factory. Once they get there though, Oliver gets shot at by some booby trapped arrows and Andy gets hit trying to protect him. He tells the team to go on without him since Merlyn is likely now on his way to bust Damien out. Sure enough, Merlyn presents Damien with the idol but he is angered to find that there’s a piece missing.
Afterward, Diggle is patching up Andy, who now says his cover with Merlyn has been blown since he had to have been seen fighting alongside Team Arrow and figures it’s only a matter of time before Damien kills him. Diggle tells Andy that it isn’t time to panic just yet since they still have a piece of the idol hidden away somewhere and that he hid it personally. Oliver of course thinks telling Andy this was a bad idea but Diggle still believes Andy to be trustworthy.
Back at Diggle’s apartment, Oliver catches Andy suspiciously searching around the place. Oliver then accuses Andy of working for Damien the entire time and demands to know what he has planned. Diggle then shows up and threatens to shoot Oliver if he doesn’t leave immediately.
When Oliver and Diggle make their way back to Arrow HQ, Diggle is still furious at Oliver. Oliver brings up the fairly damning evidence against Andy, pointing out that his tips so far this week have come back to bite them in the ass and the little matter of him ransacking Diggle’s apartment shortly after finding out about the missing idol piece being hidden. Diggle dismisses all of this though and accuses Oliver of simply being a control freak and still acting out his bitterness over Felicity leaving him.
Laurel tells Oliver that she intends to turn down the ADA job but Oliver thinks she should reconsider. He reminds her that being Black Canary was never her primary goal and that she only did it to work out her grief over losing Sara but since Sara’s not dead anymore, it might be best if she helped out Star City as a DA instead. Laurel does indeed appear to have a change of heart but then the team finds out there’s an extremely bloody riot going down at Iron Heights. The team suits up for what Laurel says will be her last mission.
Unfortunately, the mission goes horribly wrong since shock of all shocks, Andy has been betraying the team to Damien (dun dun dun!) and gives him the missing idol piece, much to Diggle’s horror. With Damien’s powers now restored, he freezes them all and reveals that he knows all their secret identities now (and the last horse finally limps across the finish line) and brutally stabs Laurel in retaliation for Captain Lance’s betrayal. He then calmly walks out of the prison taking Merlyn, Andy and about 50 Iron Heights prisoners with him.
Time of Death 11:59 PM
Oliver takes Laurel straight to the hospital and she’s taken into surgery. The surgery appears to be successful and she’s taken to a hospital room where she’s visited by the rest of the team, including Felicity. Eventually they all decide to go wait outside with the exception of Oliver. She expresses regret that things never worked out between them and says that she hopes he’ll eventually be able to patch things up with Felicity. She then asks Oliver to promise her something, though it appears that we’ll have to wait to find out what that promise is. She then begins to have a seizure and despite the doctor’s best efforts, she dies at 11:59. Then to really to hammer home this emotional blow, Captain Lance shows up about ten seconds later to check on her. One look from Oliver tells him the bad news and he collapses in grief.
Oliver tries to come up with a plan to take on Reiter’s men but Taiana is still hesitant about the prospect of having to kill. Oliver then notices her looking at a picture of her and Vlad from when they were kids. He says that he also used to look at a photo of Laurel to help him cope with life on the island but says that if he kept dwelling on the past, he never would’ve survived and she won’t either.
Oliver and Taiana are able to to kill most of Reiter’s men and free the prisoners. Once he has evacuated the prisoners, Oliver then blows up the tunnel, trapping Reiter and what’s left of his men inside. Taiana is disgusted with Oliver for essentially burying people alive and Oliver confesses that he doesn’t think Laurel would like what has become of him. They then make a pact that if one of them doesn’t make it then the other will tell their family what happened to them.
Reiter meanwhile kills two of his guys to give power to the idol.
I got to hand it to the writers, I never actually thought they would have the balls to kill somebody important this season and even if they did I certainly never expected it to be Laurel when the season started. This could’ve been a decent twist if it wasn’t so heavily foreshadowed, especially with Oliver bringing up her picture in the flashback for no reason. Also, killing Laurel on her supposed last mission is really just one step over the “killing a cop just two days before retirement” cliche. This might not have been so bad if it weren’t for her last scene. Her last words felt like the writers acknowledging that once Laurel didn’t really work out as a love interest for Oliver in Season 1, they had no idea what to do with her afterward so she continued to serve little purpose for two more seasons and then they just decided to kill her off once she showed signs of actually becoming an interesting character. Then her encouraging Oliver to get back with Felicity felt like the final insult to her character since even with her death scene, the show is still all about Olicity, which clearly hadn’t been focused on enough this season.
These last three episodes have been extremely frustrating to watch and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy for Arrow to be going on hiatus.
Come back in three weeks as Team Arrow gets to work avenging Laurel’s death in ‘Canary Cry.’