written by Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
Last week we learned who Damien Dahrk was and that Oliver has returned to the Arrow life; rebranded as Green Arrow. This week we see him in action with the rest of Team (Green) Arrow taking down some of the bad guys. It highlights a bit of the conflict between Oliver and Thea who has a much more aggressive style than Oliver would like. They get into a bit of an argument back at "the cave" and Thea shuts down the conversation to go get ready to meet an old friend of their mom's Jessica Danforth. Don't worry they'll get back to her aggressive behavior, after all the pleasantries are over. During their breakfast with Jessica and her daughter Madison , she feels that like the Green Arrow has stepped up to replace Arrow (little does she know its the same person) she has decided it was best to take up the mantle of her good friend (their mom) and try running for mayor. This is met with a bevy of "Are you nuts?" but she feels its the least she can do. Skip ahead a bit and during her announcement for mayor a gun starts firing and everyone flees the scene, except for Oliver and Thea who take action and find that the gun was a sentry used as a distraction to get Jessica alone. Her helper trying to get her out of the building is in fact Lonnie Machin, AKA Anarky and using his tazer sticktries to capture her. Oliver manages to stop him but slips away in the process.
Meanwhile Diggle has a heart to heart conversation with Laurel that he knows that the Ghosts are actually a part of HIVE but still wants to keep it a secret until he knows how to stop them. Its a tough secret to keep but one Laurel now keeps.
While all that is going on in the field, Felicity starts as Palmer Industries CEO and is already butting heads with the rest of the board, cutting wages and trying to save the company from going under. Unfortunately she finds out that the current climate does not allow for her to keep everyone employed and she is forced to start laying off people, a job she so sorely hates. It's made slightly easier by the very intelligent, Curtis Holt (DC comics fans will know him as the man who becomes Mr. Terrific) who appears to be on the same tech savvy intelligence level as Felicity. They make for a good team despite the job they are tasked with doing and he admits he didn't want to do this at all, he was hoping his algorithms that they are using to determine who to fire would show ways to not only save everyone's job but give them raises as well. This allows himself and Felicity to bond and make him out to be a smart kind guy who just happened to be tasked with giving out some bad news just like her.
I enjoyed her interactions with Curtis Holt and thought it was cool to see her really trying to make a difference and not come off as some bossy girl CEO that the boys don't want to listen to, she is a very smart person that the boys dont want to listen to. It highlights how those with the best intentions often get shut down by everyone else when they try to impose real change.
When Felicity gets back to her "Arrow" life she finds particles that are only used at a Palmer Papermill she had to shut down as part of the downsizing. When Oliver and Thea go looking for answers Thea pushes her luck trying to get information and breaks a guys arm. Oliver is furious and tells her to leave. This time when they return, they have it out like all superhero adults do, with a big fight. From here the truth about what Malcolm said to Oliver about her leaving the pit a changed person is revealed to Thea, upset she runs away leaving the rest of the crew somewhat stunned. I enjoyed the tension that was created here even if it was a little predictable. any time family or loved ones join the fight there is always the "I told you this would be too much for you." speech.
Meanwhile after the stunt Anarky pulled to stop Jessica from running for mayor he tries a new tactic in getting her daughter instead. This is a move Damien is not a fan of. He finds it to be cheap and not worthy of the classy attacks his organization is known for. Only the finest crimes for him! Damien tells Captain Lance about the ordeal and tells him where to find the girl. Once again the menace of Damien is intense and is really a highlight of the show now. Lance takes that information and gives it to Oliver as a test to prove he is really out there to do some good.
Here is where we get a great battle between Anarky, Oliver and Thea. the two of them manage to take him down, but not without Thea kicking him into some chemicals and using his tazer weapon to light him on fire, Oliver quickly saves him by puncturing a water pipe. Madison is safe and Anarky is brought to justice. unfortunately not for long. He escapes custody and tags the transport van with his new "A" for anarky logo. Not the biggest deal considering we have Damian as our main bad guy, who lays down the law like no one's business. He had connections to Damien but having him loose didn't really do much because who cares really?
Felicity, refusing to lie down, calls another board meeting and banking on the strength of her and Curtis' smarts reverses layoffs and says that he has a product that will make this company great again and everyone will be able to keep their jobs. This is a total lie but one she is willing to live with because she believes in him. Hopefully she is right. I liked her sticking to her guns and despite what others said still wanted to do something good for the company, if they gamble and lose at least they tried.
And finally behind Oliver's back Laurel taken Thea to go back to Ra's place in the mountains to help gain some perspective but Laurel also has something else up her sleeve. Oliver also has a little something up his sleeve as well and one that could prove interesting as the season goes on that will put him and Daimen on a collision course for sure.
As for the flash backs. Oliver is told to infiltrate a group that has made camp on the island. and thats about all that happens, he manages to worm his way in and be part of a kind of militia group that has workers employed in farming something quite likely to be so kind of drug. Again we only get some small tidbits and im sure they will have a more flashback heavy episode in the future, probably around the mid season finale mark.
It was an episode of feuds and and fights, lines were crossed, new villains made and new decisions hatched. Overall a lot of things were put into motion just on a small scale but maybe it will lead to bigger and better things. It was an interesting episode and the wheels seem to be spinning instead of stalling so here's hoping they continue the momentum and not burn out half way through only to regroup at the end like some 22-24 episode shows tend to do.