Arrow Recap: Alliance, a Tiger, a Mayor, Oh My!

TremorsThis week on The CW’s Arrow, Oliver labored to hone Roy into a useful ally, Moira fielded a surprising proposal and Laurel made a beeline for rock bottom.

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The biggish bad this week was Ben Turner aka Bronze Tiger (though tigers are never bronze, Felicity notes), who gets busted out of the clink to steal a prototype earthquake device from Malcolm Merlyn’s home. The Arrow, with super-strong Roy Harper in tow, intercepts Ben, but because of Roy’s propensity to pummel goons ad nauseum, Ben winds up getting away, with the quake-maker.

At the Arrowcave, Oliver frets to Dig and Felicity that he saw Slade Wilson in Roy’s eyes. Oliver says that if he can somehow learn from his past mistakes with Slade to reach Roy, his five-year island nightmare will have been worth it. Later, when Roy indicates that he clued Thea into the earthquake threat, Arrow chastises the lad and urges him to learn to control himself. Roy, though, seems unable to, and questions Arrow on how he can keep secrets. The fellas tussle a bit, ending with Roy lobbing Arrow across a room.

Toward episode’s end, Oliver interrupts the hand-off of the earthquake machine, only to get Bronze Tiger’s blades in his back. Roy appears from the shadows to whale on the wannabe Wolverine, except the Would-Be Buyer of Vague Ethnicity triggers the device inside a shipping container. Oliver needs Roy’s strength to access and destroy the machine before it activates, so, taking a cue from his island days — how he invoked Shado’s name to stop Slade from sinking their only way home — he reveals himself to Roy and urges him to save the day, to save the city, to save Thea. And after Roy does just that, he seems relieved-slash-delighted that Oliver is Arrow. When Roy remarks on how Oliver saved his life and has now given him purpose, Oliver notes, “We’re just getting started.”

Oliver then introduces Roy to the Arrowcave and the rest of Team Arrow (stop calling it that, Felicity!), and they welcome him aboard. Meanwhile, Amanda Waller visits Ben in prison to invite him to work off his sentence as a member of a “squad” she is forming….

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Elsewhere in the hour:

* Moira meets Walter for a dinner date only to realize they have company — a friend of Walter’s, Mark Francis (played by Nicholas Lea), who feels her out for a mayoral run against Sebastian Blood. Walter cites Moira’s 43.6 percent forgiveness rating with the people of Starling City and how folks love “redemption stories,” but it’s words from Thea — that it’s time to stop lamenting how she destroyed the city and start saving it — that push Moira to go for it. Now, what to do about OBGYN Dr. Gill, the only one who knows Thea’s damning paternity secret…?

* Quentin tries to trick Laurel into attending a something anonymous meeting, but she is having none of it. Later, she reconnects with her old CNRI pal Joanna, hoping to land a job, only to realize that she is damaged goods, her legal career destined to be deep-sized. That news sends Laurel to Verdant and into many martini glasses, but Oliver shows up to stop her sloshing sesh, hustle her into a cab… and then phone someone, saying: “She needs you.” Stumbling into her home, Laurel passes out briefly, then sees (or “sees”?) her sister Sara. Question: Did I see a creepy guy eyeballing Laurel at the club? Will he, like, try to attack her, Sara swings into Canary mode but dies, spurring aimless Laurel to carry the baton? Is she headed for a very “special” rehab?

* In island flashbacks, we saw Oliver resolve to tell Slade about his role in Shado’s death, but Sara advises him not to. Instead, to waylay Slade’s aforementioned mission to launch a missile at the freighter, Ollie spins a yarn about how Shado loved him (though perhaps not in that way) and wanted Slade to get back home to his son — and the ploy worked. For now.

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Notable quotables:

“Do you have one of your hoodies?”
“Do you have to ask?”

“When I found out who you really were, I ‘processed’ my way through a pint of mint chip.”

“Does this group have a name, like ‘Team Arrow’?”
“We don’t call ourselves that.”
“I do! Occasionally.”
“Stop.”

What did you think of “Tremors”?

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60 Comments
  1. Zorkel says:

    Fantastic episode. Can’t wait to see the Suicide squad down the line.

    • Leo says:

      I respect some people’s hatred to Laurel, the character but when you start addressing about Katie Cassidy’s real life, how there are rumours to her acting like a diva on set, how she’s not loved by the cast, I can’t accept that. That’s bullying.
      I love Katie and I root for her character always.
      Anyway, great episode! Now let’s see those BrOTP fanfics between Oliver and Roy?

  2. queerbec says:

    Ollie also mentioned to the team that Slade’s enmity toward him was because he found out about Ollie being responsible for Shado’s death, but not from Ollie himself. Ollie tells the team that perhaps if he had told Slade when he wanted to and not have Slade find out from someone else, then things might have turned out different. Thus, Ollie’s decision to be truthful to Roy, when challenged about it.

  3. Alichat says:

    Hmmm….yeah…..Laurel still bores me to tears.

    • Tess says:

      She is the lone sore spot in an otherwise awesome show. I really hope the writers don’t kill off Sara to allow Laurel to take over her persona just because Laurel’s the Canary in the comics – I think it would be more of a shock and perhaps even an enjoyable surprise for the many of us who dislike her character if Laurel was the one to be sacrificed rather than Sara. Laurel has no reason to suddenly become a butt-kicking vigilante, not even if Sara is killed off, since Laurel has already believed her sister to be dead and that didn’t spur her to go all action hero nor did the death of Tommy or her mother leaving her – so what could possibly happen now to make sense that she would take that role on? Sara still seems to have more purpose than Laurel to the story, and what would be the point to have shown us that Sara’s alive and well only to kill her off?

    • Lena says:

      I agree completely. I fast forward all of her scenes.

      • Isobel says:

        Same, also Oliver and Sara had years of training and Roy has the mircuru to explain their butt-kicking, how are they going to make lawyer Laurel into a kick-ass fighter, and how long will it take?

        • ann says:

          This! it would take 5 years at least so sometime in season 8 or so, she may not be killed in the fight. I want Laurel gone!

          • Patrick says:

            There is a lot, and I mean A LOT of internet speculation that Katie Cassidy is not beloved by the cast and crew on Arrow. Various social media accounts seem to back this up (the rest of the cast and crew frequently pop up in each others’ accounts, while Cassidy doesn’t show up, and never mentions the others). Anywhoo, the whispers are that Cassidy thought she was irreplaceable, and has been acting like a diva. The PTB are going to writer her out, and were scrambling this past summer to think of how to get rid of her.

            It WOULD involve playing with the accepted mythology/backstory of Green Arrow, but Laurel/Katie Cassidy is so very unpopular that the fan base would throw parties to celebrate her passing.

  4. V says:

    What happened to Sin? She was in last weeks episode? Will she be back for more?

  5. Mike says:

    Fantastic episode besides Laurel. Weren’t these last 3 episodes supposed to make us sympathize with her and generally make us like her more, because that failed. She’s by far the weak link in acting, storyline and just about everything else. She also looks terrible, either she went really method with the weight loss and stop needs to step in.

    • Lena says:

      Laurel scenes just irritate me tbh. She is the only thing I didn’t like about this episode.

    • Alan says:

      if these episodes were supposed to make me like and sympathize with laurel they failed very badly, now she just looks even worse in comparison to her sister.

    • V says:

      What I don’t understand is that most of the fans hate her. Why do the producers keep shoving her down our throats? I get that she is supposed to turn into the canary but can’t they keep Sarah as the canary.

  6. enri says:

    Great episode. Just hoping there is a hail Mary pass and Laurel dies and Sara continues to be the canary. Thanks for doing the summary Matt.

  7. Tom says:

    To answer your question Matt, I think that creepy guy in the bar works as a contact for the League of Assassins and was waiting for Oliver to contact Sarah.

  8. Lilacs26 says:

    Is it just me or is Tvline not putting up recaps lately like I watch the shows but I like to read them anyways and read the comments and also comment on them. But I checked there’s no supernatural recap or originals I mean I think they got lazy with not putting up the recaps becuz I really love the recaps to comment on and see what people thought of the episodes. I hope Tvline gets back on top of it. I love reading the spoilers and all but I also go to Tvline for the recaps of my shows

  9. Laura says:

    Matt, during the last quote when Oliver says “stop” Diggle is saying “whatever” at the same time. Makes it even funnier. Great recap! Wish you did them more often for Arrow, one of my favorite shows right now.

  10. Sheldon W. says:

    Solid ep. The shift from Canary Sarah to Canary Laurel is about to begin – right after little sis get her to clean up…

    I love Felicity Smoak!

    Great to see Green Arrow and Speedy together, at last. The Christmas color superheroes. About time, says I!

  11. Jenner says:

    Any episode that features the Salmon Ladder is ok by me.

  12. James D says:

    oh hell yes Suicide Squad. this show just keeps getting better. plus Red Arrow joining the team can’t wait for the next episode. good stuff from Katie Cassidy btw i’m actually enjoying her arc this season, but she seriously needs to eat a couple of cheeseburgers she looks unhealthily skinny

  13. Great episode! I love Sara, and am excited for her return and for Laurel to find out the truth about her. I was under the impression Quentin tells Laurel about her in an upcoming ep though, so maybe Laurel thinks she imagined the moment at the end of the episode? Regardless, I love the Lance family and look forward to their interactions. All the Team Arrow stuff was spot on, as always. I love that Oliver divulged more information about Slade and the island. As much as I’m not super invested in Roy, I’m happy to see him in the know. I’m also really happy to have Walter back! He’s one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to (hopefully) see more of him as Moira goes forward with her campaign. Oh! Also! Great Oliver x Felicity moments- from the “pride” comment to her getting what he was talking about in regards to Shado and Slade, and Laurel. I just love their development.

  14. GildedRose says:

    Fantastic episode. As always Team Arrow (ha! Nice show shout out there) steals the show. I swear, Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle are the highlight of every show. Is there ever enough of them? Toss in those stunts and the action and the villains and the show can’t miss like 90% of the time. I love that they’ve expanded the team to include Quentin and so far I’m enjoying Roy. There’s potential there. The developments with Moira and Walter and Krycek(sorry X-Files dude, I don’t remember what your name is on this show!) is a really great development and even Thea is getting something more interesting to do with Moira. The Suicide Squad sounds awesome and deadly. Looking forward to Sara’s return and next week’s ep.

  15. Walrus says:

    I know we’re missing a wheelchair, but does anyone else see Felicity becoming Oracle? And not to nit pick but shouldn’t it be wail vs whale?

  16. MagicThings says:

    It was a fantastic episode! I really enjoyed it though I must disagree with the majority here: I liked all of Laurel’s parts in this episode. I’m glad the writers are working towards fleshing her out. I think part of the issue with Laurel’s reception is the fact that she can be a bit uppity and self-righteous with her lawyering so I’m glad she’s (probably) going to get disbarred, which will push her closer to becoming the BC. Also, I do hope her stylists change her hair soon; it’s so odd how Sara’s the blonde and Laurel is the brunette. KC is a stunner as a blonde but these brunette locks age her and make her look washed out and dreary. Glad to see Walter’s back. I’m firmly rooting for a Walter/Moira reunion though I am hoping dearly that said reunion doesn’t involve the pair of them up to dastardly deeds just to get Moira elected. I fear for the life and/or reputation of this mysterious OB/GYN. I’m not the biggest Roy fan; I’m bummed the essentially made him a “metahuman” of sorts. Part of Green Arrow and Speedy’s appeal (besides the obvious similarities to Batman & Robin) is the fact that in spite of not having super powers, they hold their own. Last season and this season, Arrow didn’t have to use super powers to protect the city; just hard-work and unflinching dedication and while I’m not saying Roy won’t put in the same effort, it’s just not the same with him having such a handy failsafe.

  17. Tsuki says:

    Personally I was thrilled by the “Markovia” shout-out. I had to go look it up again but I remembered it had to do with Terra (from Teen Titans). I wonder if we’ll ever see that mercenary grace our screens.

    • Alan says:

      well her brother geo force was already on the show last season, he was the lead scientist on the earthquake machine project, malcolm killed him though so i wouldnt get too excited.
      also that wasnt the first time markovia has been name dropped, there has been at least one company with markovia in the name that has had signs in the background a few times from what i have noticed.

      • tsukikomew89 says:

        Well apparently I’m not die-hard enough to catch all the little name-drops. It struck me as “HEY MARKOVIA” last night instead of a passing remark.

        • Alan says:

          oh dont worry i didnt catch them either, the weekly column that i read about the show listing all the connections to the comics did and im just relaying the information.

  18. Claire says:

    TEAM ARROW OFFICIALLY LIVES
    This was such an incredible episode — and after last week’s less than stellar piece — this was edge-of-your seat fantastic! There were more people in this episode than usual and it was really HOPPING!

    Street punk Roy came through loud and clear, and it was fun to watch Arrow trying to figure out how to get through to him. In the end it was a REALLY RISKY move and one that I was really surprised he took given Roy’s unstable nature, but Arrow revealing himself as Oliver did make sense. This shows where having “love” as a grounding force can make all the difference, that and trust. Oliver senses that—learned that from the past. He really took the lesson to heart that he learned from Slade and the island and that was really well played by and thought by the writers.

    Slade was wonderful as always and watching Oliver try to hang onto that last thread of friendship was bittersweet. Nice, because it is their friendship, but something you know will soon be coming to an end.

    Looping back around to Oliver giving Roy his real identity, the lone example we have thus far of him giving another unhinged character that leverage was Helena. He tried to help her, but her grounding force is pure revenge and hatred—so now she uses Arrow’s identity as leverage and has become more frenemy (the only reason the ‘fr’ is there is fro the simple fact that she HAS NOT spilled the beans … yet). However, I don’t think we’ll get this type of relationship from Roy. That scene after the explosion was really well done and so sincere. I think it meant that much more to Roy that the Arrow was in fact Oliver rather than just some stranger. It was Thea’s disapproving older brother who saved him and gave him a purpose. Two solid points of connection — LOVE for Thea and RESPECT for her brother.

    I was SO happy to see Walter make a return and even better, Moira and Walter together (well working together at least). Moira for Mayor! Why not! Krycheck and Walter as well as Thea managed to convince me. And SHOCKER—Walter knows about Thea! and I know there was distinct dun dun DUUUUUN! following Moira’s last statement to Walter about her baby doctor. What. Are. They. Up. To. Dear, lovable Walter is not a conniver … insert worried face.

    Mystery man at the bar with a VIAL — He didn’t kill Colonel Mustard, but WHAT was he up to! After tumbling it around on Tumblr, and a quick rewatch, you can see he is on the security feed Felicity pulls up when checking on Laurel. The two theories tossed around is that he is either with Slade, or with Nyssa. Seeing as how the latter shows up next week, I’ll go with a Nyssa henchman. But what’s with the vial?

    Someone mentioned Laurel is actually the “same attitude but with a glass” and I can see this! Maybe that’s why I actually liked her in this episode because she is truly acting the bitch — it all gels rather well. I don’t know where they are headed with her character, but if it is evil, I think I can roll with that. A while ago I had binge watched Supernatural, and when I realized that KC was in it, I went back to look at one of the episodes and saw she was Ruby! (this was during season 1 of Arrow when I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like Laurel, but I liked that Ruby) Well tonight it all clicked—maybe she just does evil better. Well, it worked in this episode at least, because having her attack Thea and Felicity made her totally unlikable, but I LIKED it! And calling the police on her sister (as we learned last week) — again, a badness that I might be able to wrap my hands around. Maybe

    Lastly, things people are tossing around — the killing off of Sara and Thea. I hope neither occur. I really like Sara as BC and her few scenes with Felicity have really shined — I want to see more of these two. And Thea, I like her. She doesn’t do much in the story lines, but I see potential and I think that comes from her relationships with Oliver, Moira and Roy (something I have never seen with Laurel).

    This episode was about gaining control — tremors in the hand, in the mind, in the soul, take your pick. “Roid”, Slade, Laurel, they are all losing control. Not that Felicity and Oliver can ever be controlled, but now that “Roid “ is in the foundry maybe he can at least be supportive of St. Diggle of the Glades — someone else in the foundry who can help him deal with Felicity and Oliver. Who am I kidding, I am really hoping for some snarky comments from these two regarding the F/O factor. Oops, my Olicity is showing.

    Finding truth in the reveals — Arrow/Oliver to Roy (somewhat surprised it was this early, but at the same time, not) and Sara to Laurel (I DID NOT see this coming AT ALL). Beyond the literal reveals, are the figurative reveals as well, and we are getting quite a few of those with Oliver opening up to Team Arrow about the island — openly talking about it, I am so happy about this, another milestone — I did notice though that he still has not mentioned Dr. Ivo by name.

    Fun Things!

    Hellooo Suicide Squad

    “These are the only two that matter”

    For as much attention as the salmon ladder received on twitter, I am
    surpassed it didn’t get a trend of its own and
    will not be at all surprised if it shows up under “Guest Starring” in the beginning credits.

    For as much as this group gets thrown and tossed, I’m kind of siding with Felicity in thinking they should invest in an X-ray machine!

    Okay, I will admit to hitting rewind a few — not for the salmon ladder, for the “Pride!”

    Angry face Oliver

    Felicity finishing Oliver’s sentences.

  19. Lisa says:

    Anyone else notice Laurel was reading a book called “Awakening Intuition” when Quentin dropped by …………….

  20. Sebastian says:

    Roy finally working with Olly is neat, can’t wait till they get him an actual costume.
    Sara and Oliver should’ve let Slade blow up the ship, kinda stupid to stop it. I love the suicide squad, and think that putting it on tv is a great idea, sort of, but the way they introduced it, with the not-very-wally wall changing “unit” to “squad” was really bad sounding. Also, hope the squad gets a spin-off, cause I don’t think they should be crossing paths with Oliver’s team much, if at all.

  21. Cee says:

    I was happy to see Nicholas Lea show up. Usually when he shows up on a show I watch that means some thrilling subplot is coming. Fingers crossed!

  22. Ram510 says:

    This was a very solid episode, still a little sleepy compared to how the season started.
    I thought it was funny how michael Jai White had to hold back on the martial arts due to Amell not being a true martial artist. But it was still a cool scene

  23. Rich Abey says:

    Superb episode yet again. Really makes me wonder why the hell am I still watching SHIELD?
    Felicity made my day again, what with her short but hilarious comments/quirks. And way to go with the twists! It’s just week after week of superb plot twists…the only other shows that maintains such a pace & consistency of plot twists is Person of Interest. So well done ‘Team Arrow Writers’!
    P.S. Superb review Matt!

  24. Mikael says:

    I hope that Roy can drop the red hoodie now, it’s a little too “red/blue blur” from Smallville, but I like that Arrow, unlike Smallville, actually has evolution (going from the Vigilante, to the Hood, to the Arrow.) I only wish Diggle had more to do, and I hope they don’t kill Sara. I love her as Black Canary.

  25. noel says:

    I loved the episode!! I mean, I’m not the biggest fan of laurel but I think KC did a great job and she’s obviously losing weight to add to the character’s emotional pain or whatever. I loved Felicity!!!

  26. clearhaven says:

    Lol according to Digs, “Secret society has a new member” :) Great episode!

  27. arnaqueur says:

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    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

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