Arrow Recap: The Best Slade Plans...

I did not want this episode to end.

As Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim promised, this week’s episode, which largely split the narrative between Starling City flashbacks and present-day Lian Yu, was a compelling but also fun Easter egg-filled “love letter” to viewers.

HOME | In flashbacks, Oliver was charged by Waller with infiltrating Queen Consolidated — his family’s own company — without revealing himself, to get the skinny on a business associate who’s in the market for the Omega bioweapon component. While in Starling City, Oliver spies Thea at his and their father’s grave… to meet with a drug dealer. Tommy crashes the buy, then warns Thea not to attend his “21 and over” birthday party.

Later, Oliver sneaks into QC, where on the computer network he sees files his father labeled “For Oliver” and “For Thea.” He downloads them onto a thumbdrive and — after witnessing a young blonde staffer in glasses admire his photo on a desk (“You’re cute”) — makes tracks for Tommy’s party, where we spy Diggle and his brother Andy (Bones‘ Eugene Byrd) in bodyguard mode. There, Oliver spies a bit on Laurel, and then he tails Thea’s dealer and ultimately snaps the punk’s neck/pitches him over a railing.

In the aftermath of the dead body being found at billionaire Tommy’s party, alcoholic SCPD Detective Lance rails at daughter Laurel for apparently still having a thing for “rich bad boys,” something he thinks her dead sister Sara’s ill-fated boat trip with Oliver Queen would have “cured.” This is an ongoing theme on their side of the flashbacks, as Quentin thinks Laurel is copping out on her mission to “help people” by moving to San Francisco for a job at a tony law firm. By episode’s end, Laurel is seen leaving CNRI (gosh, remember that?) and agreeing to “just dinner” with Tommy. (And we all know how that goes.)

Oliver was led away from the crime scene by a gun-toting Maseo, who dissed his pal’s choice of disguise. “I pulled the hoodie down to cover my face,” Oliver argues. Maseo retorts: “That disguise wouldn’t work even if you smeared grease point on your face.” Noted.

Later, Oliver uses a tablet at the Queen manse to play the video file on the thumbdrive, in which Robert admits to “fail[ing] the city” and forming alliances with terrible people whose names he has listed in a book. “You can right my wrongs,” Robert says. “You can save this city.” (Hmm, good motto.) Coupling that sentiment with what Maseo advised him earlier, about stopping the bioweapon from taking innocent lives, Oliver shows up at China White’s auction in time to save Maseo’s bacon and then secure the Omega. Alas, Oliver’s servitude to A.R.G.U.S. is not over. General Matthew Shrieve (played by Marc Singer) and his pet ferrets arrives to say that Oliver must first be debriefed in Hong Kong, and from there he can write his own ticket.

AWAY | In between The Returntraining sessions with Thea on Lian Yu, Oliver decides to pay Slade Wilson a visit at the subterranean A.R.G.U.S. prison… only to find that his mortal enemy has escaped, set free by Malcolm in the name of forcing Oliver to regain that killer instinct. In their first scuffle, Slade ends up gaining the upper hand, and then locks Oliver and Thea in his cell. During their umpteenth discussion about Oliver dodging Thea’s questions about Sara’s death, Oliver realizes that his sis being a “tiny” thing might get them out of their jam. One arm dislocation later, Thea is able to reach through the bars and release the lock. Then, whilst on the hunt for Slade, Oliver finally comes clean about Sara’s death, how Malcolm drugged someone to kill Sara without even realizing what they were doing: “You killed Sara.”

Thea launches into some self-flagellation but gets interrupted by Slade, who sneaks up and pulls a gun on her. Thea wrests the weapon free, and then she and Ollie take turns whaling on the baddie, until at one point Thea has the option of putting a bullet in Slade, execution-style. Lest she turn into the killer Malcolm wants her to be, she only gives Slade a flesh wound before they return him to the prison. Arrow Recap DeathstrokeStill, Slade points out to Oliver that Thea is “lost,” “touched by darkness” courtesy of Malcolm. His father, his mother, his sister… maybe that “girl with the glasses”…. Slade wonders how many loved ones can Oliver lose before he ceases being Oliver Queen?

HOME AGAIN | Returning to Starling City, Oliver advises Thea not to reveal the Sara story to Laurel. Malcolm, meanwhile, is none to happy that Thea knows — but then again, Thea isn’t his biggest fan anymore. In the name of besting Ra’s, she says through gritted teeth, “I will be your student, your partner, your solider… but never again will I be your daughter.”

Speaking of chilly father/daughter relations: We see Lance at Sara’s gravesite, clutching an unopened bottle of booze, when Laurel approaches. He wonders how he’ll ever tell Dinah about this. Awkward. Mom already knows, Laurel admits.  When Lance taunts his daughter about being late for her “shift” as Black Canary, she reminds him of how he years ago encouraged her to “help people,” adding, “My life was headed towards that mask!” But what hurts Lance most is that with her lies she has broken their trust, their bond, the one thing they always had as their family endured heartache: “I don’t know how you could do that to us,” he moans. Laurel suggests he put the bottle down and hit a meeting — and he agrees. Just not the same meeting as her.

What did you think of “The Return”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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144 Comments
  1. tonnie says:

    Kind of over the show shifting on Laurel. Like every character has treated her so badly, especially this episode. And now she’s FINALLY called black Canary and its used as an insult by her own dad? Like wtf

    • Sara says:

      Loved it!! As MG said this episode was a love letter to the fans and Lance was saying to Laurel what we’ve been feeling/saying.

      • Anna says:

        Yes Yes!! Lance said what we’ve all been thinking. You lied to your father for months Laurel; how can you think that’s not going to have repercussions.
        Loved the little Felicity and Oliver moment; nicely placed in there. And it was great seeing Diggle with his brother. Ahh, so many easter eggs for us; this truly felt like an episode for the fans!

        • lichcoin90 says:

          I never disagreed with the fact keeping Sara’s death a secret from Quentin was a good idea. My comment was aimed at “notanseladams” because the way she phrases her own comment irked me. But i do agree that what does with her choices have future repercussions. What I don’t like, is people that like to bash her just because they think Laurel is an easy target to direct that hate.

          Sure, it’s easy to say “it’s life, not always easy, what’s done it’s done”. But i disagree. The past is never done. It’s what mold us into the people we end up becoming. Sooner or later, one way or another, your past has way of affecting your decision-making. And there are people that have experienced much less than Laurel as far as traumatic experiences go and still fail to get out of their depressions. Laurel is doing the best she can with the hand fate (or the producers) draw for her. Has she and will she make mistakes? Of course. Will she regret not telling her father the truth sooner. Most likely. But are we without mistakes to make us better on the long run? Because that’s what the producers have been aiming for her: the long run and the slow burn for her journey to become the Black Canary. And whether or not people can see it, as far as origin stories for the show goes, she has the most realistic one, right down to the pace and based on her experiences as well as her interactions.

          Remember, patience is a virtue.

          • James Wilson says:

            I completely agree. I have been reading comics since the1960’s and I don’t remember an origin story of the Black Canary. This is a good origin story and I am intrigued by it. It makes sense that something happened that caused her to fight crime the way she does. Many heroes started the same way. Look at Batman/Bruce Wayne and other heroes that were victimized early in their lives. How many cops became cops because something happened in their lives? Your past does indeed shapes you and you cannot escape. Those who forget the past will keep making the same mistakes in their lives.

          • Jill says:

            @James Wilson
            The original Black Canary was a florist Dinah Drake, trained by her father detective Richard Drake and who married Larry Lance, a Gotham City police detective. She joins the Justice League when he is killed. Her daughter, Dinah Laurel Lance, is the one who has the sonic cry, cursed by The Wizard.

            The Black Canary from the comics was a martial arts specialist and it was her line about fighting ‘so that no woman should be hurt at the hands of men’ (the line Sara came on the show with) and had a foster daughter Sin.

            They pretty much gave Sara everything that the Black Canary had in the comics except the name.

            The impression left was that Sara fights crime because she knows what it’s like to be abused (presumably from after the boat sank) while Laurel even said that she likes fighting because it’s only when she beats up people that the rage inside of her quiets. Sara learned to fight by the League of Assassins when she was 21; Laurel took boxing lessons at 29 while keeping her full-time job.
            They made sure we’re stuck with Laurel now as the Black Canary but her backstory and motivation pales beside Sara’s.

        • Jim says:

          Let’s not forget that at the beginning of the season, Quentin couldn’t run 10 seconds without grabbing his chest & going for his pills. Had she told him then, it would have killed him. Only lately has he been stronger. She could have told him sooner, but not right away.

      • Yup. I woulda liked Quentin to have been even harsher and meaner to his self-deluded daughter.

        • lichcoin says:

          And would like for you to swear under oath that you would act far better than Laurel if you also experienced the boatload of crap she has been taking for the last 8 years of the chronology of the show. But you won’t do that because you CAN’T put yourself on her shoes. So you go on hating her because it’s easy to hate her by your own standards. Self-deluded daughter, you say? More like self-deluded “fan”.

          • Anna says:

            At the end of the day Laurel decided to lie to her father about the death of his daughter. She made that decision and now she needs to live with the consequences. That’s the fact.
            She also can’t use the last 8 years of her life as a crutch, at some point she needs to accept it and move on. It’s life, it happened, nothing is going to change it. The decisions she makes now will determine her future. Lying to her father may not be the best way to go about it. A father who has been there for her through her problems, and, it appears, the only family member who wants to be a part of her daily life.

          • moname91 says:

            Laurel is not using the past 8 years of her Life as a crutch. How easily you Laurel haters forget that Lance lied to her about Sara being alive and how many times was she there to help out her alcolholic dad? Ollie continuously lies to Laurel and tries to Control her. Why??? I really hate the 180 the show did with Ollies feelings in regard to Laurel to appease the Olicity fans. Even throwing in a Felicity moment when according to the chronology of the show she wasn’t even a blip on the radar. In season 1 Ollie was in full stalker mode following Laurel’s everymove. There was no indication whatsoever of those feelings in the Flashback episode, again the writers giving in to Olicity fans. However I have noticed that the Laurel bashing on several sites is getting a lot of backlash and I still hold out hope that the writers will continue to build Laurel’s character and make her stronger and more in Control of her own Life. I like the directions it’s going. I like her blossoming friendship with Felicity, but personally I hope that neither of them winds up with Ollie.

          • OK, I so swear. :)

      • fan1am says:

        I loved this episode and even with Oliver revealing the truth about Sarah’s deat: the brother-sister bond remains strong. I think Oliver should have told Thea the whole truth about taking responsibility for Sarah;s death,

        With the flashbacks, I still am confused on how Oliver escaped the Island, only to be endentured in Hong Kong.

        And since Slade is jailed on the island- why has the property stole been returned to Oliver and hi8s sister?

        • BBussey says:

          Fanlam — Oliver didn’t escape the island. He was rescued from the sinking Amazo by Amanda Waller and brought to Hong Kong.

      • M says:

        I’m really amazed that we see Quentin in the flashbacks — drunk, angry, missing work and having to have Laurel come collect him out of a bar in the middle of the day because of Sara’s death the first time — and people are STILL railing against her for lying to her father about Sara this time. Yes it was misguided and wrong but to have lived through the experience of seeing someone like that, it makes you a bit hesitant to tell them heartbreaking news. It makes you want to protect them from ever going through a living hell again. With Quentin developing a heart condition, Laurel really couldn’t trust if he was going to cope properly.

        Besides, Oliver spends every episode lying to someone about something in order to protect them, and he hasn’t gotten even a fraction of the hate Laurel has. He just told Thea about Sara, and even then, Thea had to drag it out of him. He’s not getting railed against for it.

        Laurel has made poor choices but she is human, not the Devil Incarnate. JFC.

        • lizzie says:

          not only did she lie to him she IMPERSONATED her sister in front his face. Quentin had EVERY right to be angry. it’s ok to luv a character, but let’s be realistic. If Felicity had done that, much as I love her character, I would call her out on it

          • brandi says:

            I agree with you Lizzie. I think the whole situation was ridiculous. I’m glad she finally told him and I’m glad he didn’t just get over it. I thought last week when she told him and he hugged her he was going to be ok with it. I get that he needed her comfort and to comfort her, but I thought there is no way he can be ok with her lying this whole time. She is totally getting what she deserves. I don’t want their relationship to be ruined forever, but I’m glad they didn’t just hug it out and move on like she hasn’t been lying to him for months about something so serious. She didn’t borrow his credit card and lie, she lied about his daughter being dead and as you mentioned impersonating her. To him.
            As for Oliver telling Thea about her killing Sara, it’s about time for that to. Malcolm is the most horrid person. I still don’t understand why he had to make her kill Sara. He claims he knew Oliver would jump at the chance to save Thea from Ras, but also that Oliver could never win against Ras. Was that the point?
            I’m glad these two major secrets and then last week Thea finding out Oliver is the Arrow are out. It’s not a soap opera it shouldn’t take years for secrets this serious to come out.

    • Sarah T says:

      I thought it was well done as it kind of does “speak” for the fans. Plus, I don’t think this will last forever. Probably wrapped up by season end so I’m good with that. Loved tonight’s episode. Tons of Easter eggs for the fans. Liked that Slade brought up Felicity in the “how many people can Oliver Queen lose” speech. Well done!!

    • Jill says:

      Every single person has been telling Laurel how wonderful she is, from Raoy to Diggle to Dinah to Ted Grant to Felicity trashing Sara to prop Laurel, to Oliver telling her the city is in good hands with her. Even Quentin had to be dragged down in the flashbacks to show what a wonderful daughter Laurel is.

      The Laurel propping has reached ridiculous proportions.

      • GirlvsTV says:

        I think they hope if they TELL us how awesome she is enough times, we’ll actually start to believe it.

      • Rob Watkins says:

        Yet again I disagree with you. Quentin’s drinking during that time is well known. The character wasn’t dragged down to prop Laurel up. It was used to juxtapose the present. The Laurel bashing has gotten ridiculous.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          What Rob said.

        • John NYC says:

          Very much this. The circumstances of his wrecking his marriage and being a drunk are very well set out fro m early on in the show.

          One of the many growth and redemption cycles the show is running.

          But even with redemption he’s always going to be a drunk and his daughter has to keep that in mind.

        • murley says:

          I agree. I was actually thinking at the end when Laurel was saying they should attend a meeting that this show has done a great job with the addition recovery storylines both for Quentin and Laurel. I like that they don’t forget about the fact that it is an ongoing struggle versus a problem that gets fixed. It was interesting to be reminded of where Laurel and Quentin’s relationship was compared to where it is now.

        • Trish says:

          It’s gotten ridiculous according to whom? The people that enjoy her? Fans get to dislike or like any character they choose and as often as they choose. Who are any of you to dictate otherwise? It’s not going to silence anyone. Most certainly not me.

          • murley says:

            Of course you can dislike a character. But if a person claims that pre established character history (for example Quentin was a drunk who ruined his marriage) was suddenly invented simply to make Laurel look good that is a little ridiculous. Those scenes are totally consistent with what we have known about Quentin from day one. Not every single thing that happens on the show is proof that Laurel sucks. I find Laurel a little self righteous and self important and at times last season she was downright unbearable. I feel as though she is being slowly redeemed. And her scenes with her father are her strongest in my opinion. I also liked her when she was with Tommy. I would say I have a reasonable, non ridiculous amount of dislike for Laurel :).

        • Ella says:

          Well said. I love Laurel. The Olicity fandom makes me ill.

      • Sal says:

        THIS. SO MUCH. This is like the ‘let’s praise Laurel for stuff she hasn’t even earned’ season. I’m so over it.

      • Linda P says:

        Agree. Even when it’s about “Sara” it’s really only about Laurel. Laurel only think about herself. Why have the writers made her so self absorbed? Last week she even called herself a “hero”. I’m tired of Laurel. Let her have her own spinoff.

    • Sam says:

      I’m sorry but she deserved it. Laurel did a terrible thing keeping Sara’s death from him – for selfish reasons just because she didn’t want to lose anyone else. They’re not the worst selfish reasons but still selfish. She deprived him of having the chance to bury his daughter and say a proper goodbye. Laurel needs to suffer the consequences.

  2. Heidi says:

    Tommy and Slade! Bring them both back!

  3. Oliverette says:

    I really enjoyed this episode. Slade is awesome. So glad Oliver finally told Thea everything. She needs to know about Malcolm, furthermore, Malcolm is nothing but a backstabbing demon whom they shouldn’t put any hope into his helping them. I’m loving these flashbacks. We’re finally seeing how Oliver shut down and became a weapon. Quentin is mad as he11 at Laurel, and she deserves his wrath. This 1 was so much better than the last few.

  4. Eric7740 says:

    OMG!!! What an amazing episode!!! I loved every minute!!! Thea was amazing! Oliver was amazing!!! Queen siblings together, AMAZING!!!

  5. This episode was indeed perfection, I did not want for it to end. I would’ve loved more Diggle but good seeing Andy alive. Thea and Oliver were a dynamic duo they will definitely make a cool superhero team! Lance was reading everyone in this episode, loved it. That scene with Oliver and Felicity was beyond belief, kudos to the writers for sneaking it in. Aaah I could go on forever :)

  6. Alichat says:

    I enjoyed everything about this episode except the Slade moments. And that’s mostly because he immediately went into “Shado Shado Shado” mode. It’s what bored me to tears about him when he was terrorizing Starling City. Luckily his bits were small. Loved seeing Tommy, and the little Felicity moment was sweet. Had no idea Diggle’s brother was a squint!?! And how much of the budget did they spend on Lance’s wig, because it was 100 times better than the ones we see on Amell’s noggin.

  7. jimmyu says:

    When are we getting the rest of the Creature Commandos?

  8. James D says:

    I wasn’t as satisfied with it as I expected to be. I don’t know why maybe because it was a long day and i sort of tuned out don’t know? loved seeing Manu again though really wish he was on every episode he’s the best. enjoyed the flashbacks particularly Beastmaster :) Marc Singer is great. Glad Ollie told Thea but I hope this doesn’t break her trust in Oliver I really enjoy seeing them together now that his secret is out. is next episode the one with the big game changing ending or is it the one after?

    • Arsenal says:

      The next episode: “Nanda Parbat” is supposed to have the game-changing twist.

    • John NYC says:

      “hope this doesn’t break her trust in Oliver”

      The way she lit into Malcolm at her apartment it’s clear she’s firmly with her brother after knowing the truth regarding Sara’s murder.

  9. Drew says:

    Great episode. I really enjoyed seeing Tommy and Slade again. Slade is creepier now than when he was juiced up. Less blind rage and hints of the Slade that was once Oliver’s friend, but twisted into something bad. Nice.
    I wish there was a way to see more of Tommy. Maybe he could spin off as some version of Deadman or the Spectre or something like that.

  10. Dean says:

    Great episode loved Maseo’s jab about grease paint probably what inspired Oliver to wear it before the mask. Slade unfortunately was still fixated on Shado, but he did raise a point about Oliver and loved ones being his humanity anchor. In a way Malcolm is a dark reflection of what Oliver could be Malcolm lost his wife, Tommy and now Thea and with no loved ones his motives are unpredictable. Captain Lance was right in being pissed off at Laurel the show constantly shows how secrets can screw up relationships. Can’t wait to see the end game of the season.

  11. Jess says:

    This was a great episode. I did not want it to end. It reminded me how much I miss Slade and Tommy. I’m glad Oliver told Thea the truth about who killed Sara. Quentin was so angry at Laurel, it’s gonna be interesting to see further interaction between them. Can’t wait for next week.

  12. Gordon Rick says:

    Last weeks episode was IMO the worst of the year. This weeks episode easily was the best. I really bought Thea as a fighter this episode (lessons are paying off). Stephen Amell was his best trying not to tell Thea she was the killer, you could see him struggling with it. Any episode where Laurel is not fighting is a plus but her interactions with Tommy were a treat. I thought they made a great couple. Maseo telling Oliver using a hood for a disguise was stupid was sooo funny. Maybe there is hope after all.

  13. Riana says:

    Willa Holland and Paul Blackthorne both blew it out of the park in the episode especially since each was basically playing two characters (Although Willa has the edge since Paul played bitter drunk Quentin and bitter sober Quentin)

  14. Homer says:

    Wouldn’t have this been a perfect episode to include Moira? I could’ve used a flashback with the much loved Susanna Thompson!

    • Jill says:

      They asked her to come back but Susanna Thompson turned them down. After shooting Canaries, Caity Lotz turned down any future Arrow appearances too, and Manu Bennett said he would only come back again if it didn’t interfere with his other work.

      There seems to be something about the way Arrow treats it’s actors…..

      • Drew says:

        That is reading a lot into things. Of course Manu would only appear if it didn’t interfere with other work. That doesn’t mean anything. Actors turn down appearances for all sorts of reasons, whether personal or professional. Where did you hear that Caity has turned down any future appearance?

        • Jill says:

          I think it was in her twitter.

          • Drew says:

            I went through her tweets all the way back to before the premiere and I don’t see anything but excitement over Arrow. I saw a picture of the “Sara Lance” sign on her trailer when she was filming “Canaries”, but nothing that showed any sign that she was done with the show for good or had a bad experience. Quite the opposite. And the writers have said that they still want to tell more of Sara’s backstory.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Please.

      • Crest says:

        The Arrow writers only favor Stephen Amell and Emily bett Rickards treating everyone and their characters like crap. they deserve this cold shoulder.

    • MP says:

      Yes! It would have made the episode perfect! I kept waiting to see her. It was still my favorite episode of the season thus far, and I think the best one, too.

  15. Dj says:

    Willa has been amazing. Thea’s development has been the best thing about this season.

  16. Jill says:

    I liked Thea finally learning the truth about what Malcolm did, although it still makes zero sense why he would have Thea kill Sara if he wants to protect her from Ra’s. Don’t put her in his sights to start with.

    I liked Quentin getting angry at Laurel for lying to him for months and not giving him the chance to bury Sara.

    I’m glad to get Tommy back, I just wish it was more than about propping Laurel yet again.

    I thought the Felicity flashback was cheap fan pandering. Do Olicity or don’t do it MG, but stop treating the viewers like idiots.

    I thought the vids Robert left were ridiculous. Why would he take Oliver with him on the boat if he was afraid he was going to die? It spoiled the raft scene from the pilot episode.

    Marc Guggenheim said this was a love letter to the fans but I ended up disappointed yet again. What is it going to take to get back the Oliver/Diggle/Felicity interactions that made the show so remarkable int he first two seasons?

    • Alison Tabour says:

      Bring back team Arrow: Oliver, Felicity & Diggle. Please.
      Great to see Slade. Best bad guy ever.
      Not even remotely interested in next week and Ray’s ATOM. I saw a preview of his suit and I felt bad for him. He looks rediculous.

      • Linda P says:

        Agree about Team Arrow. This show is losing its heart, what with trying to bring in so many comic book characters too quickly. Have to disagree about Slade. I’m really tired of him and was hoping Thea would kill him and get it over with. That ATOM suit was so bad, I didn’t know whether to laugh or feel sorry for the guy. Please, hurry and let all these other DC characters have their own spinoff.

    • Rob Watkins says:

      It does make sense. Malcolm wanted Ra’s off his back so he used Thea to kill Sara, knowing that Oliver would’ve stepped in to protect his sister. Malcolm flat out said he knew Oliver would take on Ra’s. Unfortunately, he was counting on Oliver to win the deathmatch.

      Robert thought he might be in danger, but he was taking the Gambit to stay off Malcolm’s radar. The video didn’t spoil that speech from the pilot at all.

  17. First episode in quite a while I’ve enjoyed. Well done.

  18. Good episode. Was a lot of info in this if you really were watching. Some arcs ended, some continued, a few possible new arcs begin or hinted at. Great work to Willa, Steven, and Manu.

  19. murley says:

    Great episode. I loved seeing Slade and Tommy again and it reminded me of how much I loved Laurel and Tommy together. I thought the most interesting thing that is worth noting in the video message was when Robert Queen talked about how he aligned himself with terrible people using the excuse that he was protecting his family. But what use is family if you lose your soul… Something along those lines. This seems to be a total parallel to what Oliver is doing now- aligning himself with Merlyn to save Thea. Letting the end justify the means, the same thing Merlyn does. That and the convo with Slade about losing Oliver Queen really drove home the question of Oliver’s identity that’s been building this season.

  20. Briggs says:

    Oh, geez. Where to start? Well, the flashbacks were fun. Kinda disappointed Susanna Thompson didn’t want ot come back for them, but we got Colin Donnell, so I’ll take what I can get. :) Speaking of which, I pretty much knew Tommy was a big brother for Thea during Oliver’s time away. No surprises there, though him trying to be responsible while having his own debacheries was a hoot. :) The nod toward the Laurel/Tommy relationship at the end of their flashbacks was a welcome reminder of past events. “It’s just dinner.”
    .
    Thea being a drug-addled brat again wasn’t as hard to deal with this time. Maybe it’s the fact that I knew she got better through the series. Her bringing flowers at the end might not mean that she was fully turning over a new leaf, but at least she appeared to have a new respect for the ‘dead’ (in Oliver’s case).
    .
    And, ooooh, Oliver. Love you, buddy, really do. And boy, was I hurting for you, here. No wonder you waited to come back. Hearing Lance say that after having killed a drug dealer… ouch? Yeah. And Maseo’s words on the ‘disguise’ *might* have been a bit heavy-handed, but then, my vision might be colored by too much time spent in forums, lately. I’m cutting back, now, so I’ll be better able to enjoy the show.
    .
    The message from his father was a nice call-back to season one, when he told Diggle about how the names on the list were important. And you *know* that message to Thea is going to come back up. I have a feeling I know what’s on it, too. Robert may not think he is, but I feel he’s an honorable man who made some very bad decisions, and I think that his message to Thea will reflect that.
    .
    And how cool was it seeing Andy Diggle, this ep? As always, Diggle moments are awesome, and this week we got a double shot. Now that there’s a name to go with the face, moving ahead with the H.I.V.E. storyline will be a lot more relatable.
    .
    Did not expect to see Felicity in flashbacks, but it was great to see that, even just glimpsing her, Oliver still thought she was adorable. which, she is. :) I had a moment of annoyance that they went there, just because I was so sure they wouldn’t, but once I got over myself, I liked it. And now his going to her in season one makes more sense, because QC has to have multiple tech gurus, and I always wondered why he went to her and not the others with the laptop. Maybe this is why?
    .
    Oh, the Lance/Laurel scenes. Both past and present were painful. I knew this was going to go badly. I just knew it. In the past, he’s upset with her because he thinks she’s doing things that will cause her to go the way of Sara (while battling his own demons – hello, alcohol!). In the present, he’s angry because she didn’t let him properly mourn Sara when she initially died. Yeah, this is going to end in the worst possible way. Again, as I knew it would.
    .
    I found myself trying to figure out how the Shreve guy fit in, then found out what was up through info from people more comic book geeky than myself. I admit to maybe having heard of him in passing, but I have no real expectations, here, so this will be interesting. Wonder what Oliver is going to do, given all the new information he has now. It’s still two years until he decides to come home…
    .
    Oh, and the scene at the foundry was cool. Still liking this team-up between Oliver and Maseo. I wonder how it ends.
    .
    Ah, the island. I always kinda liked the island, not sure why. Maybe I’m into survivalist stories? The island stuff was always interesting for me. And seeing Thea, who has obviously never camped a day in her life, deal with the concept of roughing it was just so funny. :) Fun did not last long once we found out what Malcolm wanted to accomplish by sending them to the island. I’m just going to treat things like geography as arbitrary, since this is a superhero show and details just shouldn’t get in the way of telling a good story. LOL Let’s not think about how long Slade was free to roam the island before Oliver and Thea got there. Maybe he watched that training scene in the beginning? Who knows?
    .
    I’m torn. What’s more painful: the arm dislocation, or finding out you killed someone you really liked while under the influence? The second one probably wins, just because Thea was already pretty cool with physical pain via Malcolm: “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” Her words to him later hit a mark, though I had trouble reading his expression. Did he seem, I don’t know, *proud* of her, even if he didn’t want to be? Do we *want* to venture too far into Malcolm’s twisted mind..?
    .
    Slade was awesome in this ep. He never really wanted to kill Oliver, it was more about making him suffer, and this made that perfectly clear. Why bother locking him up if all he wanted was for him to die? The only thing that’s changed is him being cured of the Mirakuru. Now, does their little talk mean Oliver is going to be more honest with the people around him? Time will tell.
    .
    Next stop: Nanda Parbat. I’m so ready. :)

  21. harperrush says:

    Loved most of this episode. Nice tie ins with the characters, loved seeing Tommy again, cause of all the characters, I could have seen him becoming an ally of the Arrow. Laurel, I try and try to sympathize with her. Yes, she’s been through a lot, yes, she’s had it rough, but ya know, the whining has to stop sometime. She treated her dad like he couldn’t handle things when, he’s been through worse (Sara’s first death, his wife, his alcoholism, being busted to beat cop) and you don’t seem him whining and acting like Ophelia on the way to the river. Though how he hasn’t figured out Oliver is the Arrow yet, makes me doubt his detective skills. Loved Ollie and Thea’s bonding, but really was hoping she’d blow out Merlyn’s kneecaps when they got home just for kicks and giggles. And who doesn’t love Slade (Manu Bennett’s) and his unrelenting “I’m gonna get you kid” even when he’s in a cell. John Barrowman is pretty flawless and plays Merlyn with a panache that really displays the banality of evil. But I still wanted his kneecaps blown out. Overall, a good episode and I must say, one of the better ones in what to me, has been a bit of a disappointment of a season. And by disappointment, I mean there hasn’t been a plot twist i haven’t predicted. Looking forward to next week with more mayhem and bad guys.

  22. cpar says:

    I look forward to The Flash and Arrow every week. (btw, Grodd looked amazing) Arrow has amazingly upped the storytelling this season over two excellent seasons in the vault. One criticism, I understand dislocating Thea’s arm to reach that button to push shows her toughliness, but couldn’t she have taken off her sneaker and whacked it? Just sayin’.

  23. scotlore says:

    I am confused about the entire Ros Al Ghul / Malcolm Merlyn storyline.
    Malcolm has run from Ros Al Ghul every chance he’s gotten. He fled the city as soon as Moira told him she’d tipped off Ros to Malcolm’s whereabouts in her efforts to keep Malcolm away from Thea.

    Then Malcolm sets up Thea to kill Sara, one of Ros’ assassins, and then he uses that to manipulate Oliver into going to fight Ros in his/Thea’s place.

    Malcolm has demonstrated pretty clearly that he would rather run that face Ros, so why would they take any kind of instruction or training from him?

    And now that Thea knows the truth about her involvement in Sara’s death, Malcolm has nothing to hold over Oliver so why don’t they just turn against him? This is entirely his problem.

    Oliver could get a message to Ros’ camp surely to tell him that the Arrow lives but has turned against Malcolm. Problem solved?

    • onelastemperor says:

      Thea is the one who killed Sara, and Oliver is the one who took the blame, Ra’s will kill them both, no matter what they say about Malcolm……..so they kinda need Merlyn to help them defeat Ra’s)

    • GirlvsTV says:

      Yeah, this season’s Big Bad arc makes no sense at all. As you have just proven, if you stop and actually think about that storyline for a minute it completely fall apart. Oliver’s decisions around this feel especially OOC to me. I miss the days when he was able (or even at least made an attempt) to outsmart the bad guys. I really hate the writers turning him into a moron simply because the plot needs him to be one right now.

      • raisenofool says:

        Yes. It seems like there could have been alternative ways to bring the LoA into the plot without killing sara or whammy-ing thea. Everyone’s decisions after both sara and Oliver’s death make no sense. there have been times when i’ve rolled my eyes during arrow in previous seasons but I don’t gripe because it’s a comic book show. Well now it’s ridiculous. Part of the appeal of a “non-super” super hero is that they are methodical and out smart the bad guys. Well that’s not happening- Oliver is getting shoved around in the name of protecting the “ones he loves” all the while people are killing the ones he loves. I’m still confused about whether they plan to kill Ras anyway. There’s a lot of “you have to be a killer” and then “no I’m not a killer” talk happening. If they’re going to kill someone, killing Malcolm makes the most sense. Just saying. Meanwhile sara is still dead. BTW I’m glad that Thea finally told Malcolm to step off but her speech seemed really selfish. “How could you do that to me?” What about sara? It’s like no one actually cares that she’s dead. And Laurel saying “I was always headed toward that mask” is heavy handed nonsense- there’s been too much of that shoved at us. And it’s still not helping.

    • Dj says:

      I think next week episode could explain a lot about why they can’t just turn Malcolm over. Seeing that it looks like Thea does turn him over to Ra’s. My guess is Ra’s will still want Thea to be killed for killing Sara and Oliver for surviving their battle to the death. The reason why they would take training from Malcolm is because he is a former LoA member who knows how Ra’s thinks, how he trains, how he fights. It gives Oliver inside information he didn’t have before.

  24. ruby says:

    So everyone is glad that quentin was harsh on laurel for lying. Omg. laurel haters are so hypocrite. I mean in the flashback ww saw how quentin was after sara’s death. He was miserable. Laurel was afraid of telling him and she got her reasons. And she was brave to tell, even if late. So oliver lies to thea and laurel. And that is more understandable? Because he is a man? Because he is the arrow? Ok. Double standards here. Oliver told thea that she killed sara, not because he was brave to tell. thea made him tell. Big difference between laurel and oliver. And surprise! He will continue lying to laurel. Because he fears the consequences. So hate on laurel but then hate on oliver too.
    Other thing that annoyed me was slade mentioning felicity. She became the damsel in distress now and love interest. She became what laurel haters hated on season 1. Im gald that my fave has her own arc. Your fave does not have it. Lol and the fan pandering is just awful. Besides that the episode was great.

  25. Cate53 says:

    Not enough Felicity in this episode for me. Maybe I’m alone but I don’t really care for the flashbacks and the Island is tedious! However, it was cool seeing flashback Starling City with Tommy, druggie Thea and drunk Det Lance. It was time Thea knew the truth about Sara, Quentin too. However, not surprising both are a little pissed about it

  26. Ella says:

    I think I’m done. I just can’t bear that, even with a great episode about Ollie and Thea’s time on the island vs Slade and several flashbacks, they’re still catering to the fangirls. I’m seriously disappointed that they managed to sneak in a moment for Olicity fans in the flashback AND a moment for them in the present when Slade asked about Felicity (despite the fact that he kidnapped Laurel and worked out that it was an elaborate ploy the moment Felicity stuck that needle in his neck) and BUPKIS for Lauriver fans. In the flashbacks, at that time in the show, Oliver loved Laurel more than anything and it would have been nice to have a little consistency there with his reaction to seeing her at Tommy’s party. It’s so sad that they’ve completely shelved that relationship, even in flashbacks, to placate one part of the fandom. I’m truly sad and I’m not sure I can stand to watch a once great show deteriorate like this. On a singular, positive note, I laughed out loud at Maseo’s dismissal of Oliver’s “disguise”.

    • Sal says:

      It’s not placating a part of the fandom. It’s called character evolution. Oliver loved Laurel once, now he loves Felicity. Simple. Stop saying something is ‘pandering’ just because it doesn’t go your way.

    • brenna says:

      Actually, at that point in the timeline, Oliver had been with Sara yet again on the island and had a relationship with her before she “died again.” He didn’t talk about Laurel much with Sara other than Sara telling Oliver about Laurel tricking her. I always thought he held onto Laurel’s picture that first year because Sara had “died” and he felt extreme guilt over how he had treated Laurel and he wanted to get back and make it up to her. No one questions that he cares for her, I’ll just never see them as an epic love given their history and present.

    • raisenofool says:

      I absolutely see your point. The way it was written gives that impression. On Stephen Amell’s part, I think he did a good job reacting to seeing her.

  27. Pat says:

    Another great episode! I am so glad that Oliver finally told Thea about Sara. I loved the flashbacks but that wig on Oliver is horrendous. Also, again Slade blaming Oliver for Shado’s death, when will he get it through his warped head that he is the one who killed her? I just wished that they had killed him because of what he did to their Mother. Oliver should have been the one to do it and not Thea. I understood Laurel’s reasons for not telling her Father about Sara’s death because he was in the hospital after suffering a heart attact at that dark time but she let to much time go by after that and she should have told him. Now she is suffering the consequences of her actions but I really hope that time will heal these wounds for the both of them. They really do have a close Father/Daughter relationship and I want that to continue.

  28. BBussey says:

    I’m curious as to whom is buried in the fourth grave, which is the one that Oliver extracted the pistol from. We will find out within the next two seasons.

  29. Emmy says:

    This was definitely one of the best of the season, which is good considering last week was the worst. I really hoped they would reveal that Tommy was alive at the end, but I was happy with the scenes we got of him. It was really nice to see him with Thea. And laurel was actually tolerable in the flashbacks. I still want Tommy to come back soon. I didn’t mind the little Felicity cameo, it was really cute. But it would have made more sense if they explained it. Like she noticed someone log in as oliver queen and decided to check things out…

    Also, Quentin and Thea were both fantastic. And it was really cool that we finally got to see andy (and I love that actor!)

  30. @Matt Webb Mitovich, I wonder how many people got your Beast Master reference?!?! LOL, “and his pet ferrets”.

  31. Ashley says:

    Loved this episode! I thought it was fantastic. It brought a lot of things together. And it was cute to see the add that Oliver/Felicity moment in the episode, when you think that in the beginning, Emily was only meant to guest star once or twice and now look. But I especially love the feeling that the true OTP for the show is Oliver and Thea. Their relationship being core this season is fantastic, especially now that she knows everything.

  32. JRM says:

    So tired of Laurel. The whole story with her makes me miss the character of Sara more and more…

  33. Amanda says:

    I wanted this episode to go on for at least another 1/2 hour…. it was excellent. I usually get a headache from constant flashback sequences, but these were so well crafted to leave those of us with faulty memories feeling in on the story. Loved it. I have always liked laurel, maybe because I am a sober alcoholic I have a soft spot for her whining and wanting to be more than she can be. I also dislike Felicity-her constant worries look grates me. I guess it takes all kinds to love a good T.V.

    • herman1959 says:

      Yes, I agree that this episode filled in a lot of gaps – not just for the original fans, but for newbies like myself – so can we now stop the constant flashbacks, PLEASE?

      • Sal says:

        I think we’ll always have flashbacks, right up until we reach the point where Oliver was rescued from the island in the season 1 pilot, and even then I wouldn’t be surprised if they still used flashbacks as a story device. It’s kind of a crutch now.

        • herman1959 says:

          I was so hoping that they would show him being rescued last night, but no go. Sometime soon, the show needs to get there so we can all move on to keep things from getting stale (some posters are already complaining).

          • Drew says:

            People have been complaining about the flashbacks since season 1. They’re not going anywhere. The whole series is based around the idea of seeing him as the Arrow, while flashing back to see how he became this person. It’s a five year journey for him. We’re only in year three. Settle in. It’s going to be a while.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            Yep; flashbacks are part of the show’s DNA. Dollars to donuts, Oliver lands somewhere else after Hong Kong, before he gets found. He always speaks conspicuously vaguely about his “missing” years to allow for that.

          • herman1959 says:

            In reply to Matt’s reply: O.M.G.!

          • John NYC says:

            “Oliver lands somewhere else after Hong Kong”

            Yes, he’s got a LOT of body ink to account for that hasn’t been as of yet. (And probably more than a few scars as well…)

  34. redjane12 says:

    Your pun in the headline amused me more than the entire episode. What a drag… Terrible flashbacks and pointless trip to the island again…

  35. Ally says:

    loved this episode, like you said Matt I didn’t want it to end. While they were in the cell Oliver said that there was one more inmate but he wouldn’thelp. who is that?

  36. Sam says:

    What a waste of a brilliant character like Slade. I was so excited for this episode because this season has been really bad so far and I loved Slade last season but this was weak AF. He’s a trained soldier and Thea manages to get the drop on him. Unbelievable. I wish there was no flashbacks and it just concentrated on Oliver/Thea and Slade on the island. This show is almost beyond hope.

    • John NYC says:

      Her training took him by surprise, he even commented on that. His focus on the very competent threat he had before him, Oliver, is logical.

  37. brenna says:

    Once again, I loved the scenes with Oliver and Thea. The fight scene with Oliver, Thea and Slade was great. (I was hoping Slade would regain some of his sanity though.) Merlyn was back to his compelling bad self. The short scene with Felicity was a nod to how she makes Oliver smile. That was cute. Glad they had a quick scene with Diggle and Andy. I know all the drama is building to the ending episodes, but I’ll be glad when the anger between everyone is not quite so overwhelming. It has been my experience that grief makes you love the ones you still have even more. That has not been the case with everyone on this show. In the midst of the danger, we need at least a little love and light back please! I hope Oliver and Thea stay close.

  38. Derek117 says:

    Best episode of the Season! Because it was a “throwback episode” to Season 2–and also shows what is so wrong with Season 3. Slade is the Villain that this season has been missing: as written, Ra’s barely registers as a character; Malcolm is evil–but the writers are so obviously in love with Malcolm/John Barrowman that he’s more of a Black Sheep Uncle; and, the Villains of the Week are, well, weak. So, having Slade back gave the episode a real threat, an edge.

    Also, the Island clearly represents the place characters go to discover themselves–first Oliver, then (maybe) Sara, and now Thea: who learned a character-changing truth (she killed Sara) AND her heroic potential–she spared Slade’s life. Good work, Arrow Writers!

    The episode also gave little time to Felicity, Diggle, and Roy & Ray were absent. This also helped the episode have a feeling of tightness. And, confirms for me that the Arrow Writers are at their best when they don’t try to spin too many storylines/characters. Hopefully, it’s a Lesson Learned–that will help them somehow salvage what’s left of an otherwise bleak Season 3.

    Finally, I’ve notice (in looking at the other comments) the Laurel “issue” surfaced again with fans. And I’m way beyond the point of thinking Laurel is, through NO fault of Katie Cassidy, a distraction to the show. She’s just a polarizing character, and it’s the writers fault. IMO, the best thing that can be done with Laurel is less and less screen time. Send her character away for at least half a season, then bring her back with strong & positive storylines.

    • raisenofool says:

      I agree. Send her away to get more training. It would help make everything more believable. To accept things the way they are now is too much to ask of people’s imaginations.

  39. Kay says:

    Good episode. I liked Laurel in this one because she wasn’t trying to be BC and Katie Cassidy has really good chemistry with the guy who plays Tommy. Those Tommy/Laurel moments were so good! I’m sad that he died. They could have been great together. Thea/Tommy was bittersweet because we all know he is her brother and he’s trying to fill the void left by Oliver. Really great scenes. Loved all the Oliver/Thea scenes on the island, although Slade was underused. Bit disappointed there. Not enough Diggle or Felicity but what we did get was a real treat. We finally saw Diggle’s brother Andy (YES! I hope this means we’re gonna get to H.I.V.E soon) and that glimpse of Felicity was so cute and reminded me of the Felicity I love so much. She’s been missing this season so far because she’s too busy trying to prop Ray’s story. I hope she gets her own story soon too. And I liked that it didn’t retcon Oliver and Felicity’s first meet. It was nice.

    • Sonic says:

      Tommy/Laurel have no chemistry, but coming from an Olicity fan, I guess we all know why you would say that

      • Kay says:

        Actually I was a Tommy/Laurel fan long before I liked Olicity. They only grew on me throughout season 2. But coming from a Laurel/Oliver fan, you would comment on that wouldn’t you? Please. LOL.

  40. Liz says:

    Laurel’s journey and actions totally feel right to me. I might not agree with what she did, but it doesn’t feel out of character or annoying.
    On the other hand, I know this thread is for Arrow, but Iris on The Flash to me is so more annoying. She’s jealous, spiteful, short-sighted, and wishy-washy. And I totally hate the character. I never feel that way towards Laurel. I definitely feel like the writers and producers of Arrow have a way better handle on expressing Laurel as a character.

  41. Arsenal says:

    The best way for me to describe this episode is: lackluster and flashback-dominant with some good moments sprinkled throughout. The best one was when Oliver killed the drug dealer. My reaction: “Wow, that was unexpected.”

  42. Jenn says:

    All, those bashing Laurel please STOP!! Lest we forget Sara slept with her boyfriend and got on that boat of her own free will, CHOSE to keep her family in the dark when she first came back, again got with Oliver. Was free to come and go as she pleased with the League of Assassins no less! Laurel was left behind to clean up her mess time and time again! Yet it’s always SAINT Sara…

  43. Luis says:

    As the season progresses, I find the story line I am most drawn to is Thea’s journey. Willa Holland has basically been a placeholder for 2+ years as other core characters have been developed. Now, “Arrow” writers are bringing Thea to center stage and Willa Holland is stepping up big time. Her portrayal of Thea this season, particularly over the last four weeks, has been a delight to watch. We knew the pain that would descend on Thea when the full horror of Malcolm’s actions was revealed to her, but Willa’s reactions and the evident pain she displayed were spot on. I am fascinated to watch where this journey will take Thea over the remainder of the season. Now that Thea has been introduced to the darkness that lies within her, will she look to Oliver as an example of how that darkness can be channeled to become a force for good, or will she follow the example of her father Malcolm? I think it is an open question at this point, although I will admit I am kind of rooting for her to follow the darker path – I think it would be a much more interesting path for the show to follow. Here’s a wild thought – Thea, as penance for killing Sara and to save Oliver and/or Malcolm, ends up joining the LOA as Ra’s newest student. How about that?

    • Dj says:

      I thought last season that the two best characters on the show were Slade and Sara and they both have been missed this season. But Willa has really been a joy to watch and Thea arc has been the best part of this season. Who knew a hair cut would make her awesome.

  44. Trish says:

    Did I miss it or did Matt completely disregard the two Felicity tid bits? Oliver and Felicity almost meeting when she worked at QC and of course Slade’s mentioning of Felicity as a callback to the season 2 finale? Hum. Yeah, not only did I SEE those moments and REMEMBER THEM, I enjoyed the hell out of them. There. It’s been mentioned.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Correct, you missed it.


      “…after witnessing a young blonde staffer in glasses admire his photo on a desk (“You’re cute”) —…”

      “Slade points out to Oliver that Thea is “lost,” “touched by darkness” courtesy of Malcolm. His father, his mother, his sister… maybe that “girl with the glasses”…. “

    • Sonic says:

      Crazy Felicity/Olicity fans, if the whole article isn’t about her. They are not happy.

  45. Seahawks 12th Man says:

    Really liked this episode i like where its going so far, i might be wrong but there was a lot of back-flash scenes in this episode. and i don’t know if it’s only me but i think Thea looks better with longer hair. Just my opinion lol.

  46. Fred says:

    I kinda feel ‘meh’ about this episode, it wasn’t as great as I hoped. I usually never complain about flashbacks in Arrow (except last week, I wish they would’ve showed Sara’s backstory. Now I’m afraid they’ll never get to it…), but this week had too much flashbacks. I missed Moira. Slade was a little annoying by mentioning Shado over and over. For the first time in this series I felt like Thea was a little bit annoying (at least in present day). And Oliver being in Starling City felt very forced, with him watching everyone.

  47. Calla Lilly says:

    Slade ruined last season for me and his appearances yesterday sucked too. ALL he does is whine and b*tch about Shado! She DIDN’T LOVE HIM! His whole vendetta against Oliver because of Shado DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE! How can people like him???????????

  48. Sheldon W. says:

    I thought too many of the Easter eggs were too, too on the nose (You can save this city? Really?). Otherwise, it was pretty good. Paul Blackthorne deserves all kinds of kudos for his work in the ep. He was stellar.

  49. Nicole says:

    Can I nominate Willa Holland for honorable mention in this week’s Performer of the Week? I thought she did a great job showing how much Thea has changed and how strong she has become since the flashbacks in this episode. The Queen siblings are really great together (I don’t want her on team Arrow but I do like them fighting together).

  50. Luis says:

    So many thoughts and emotions. The trivial first – loved the wig on Paul Blackthorne; if he’s lost too much hair to go that way naturally, it’s a damn shame. The flashback shout-outs to Diggle and Felicity were cute, as far as being Easter eggs for the fans. Nice meeting brother Andy (and always happy to see Eugene Byrd working!); a good reminder that the H.I.V.E. mystery is still hanging out there tantalizingly for the future. The Felicity flashback was, frankly, cute but unnecessary; mooning over a dead guy’s picture? As a trope explaining Oliver’s return to SC, it seemed to stretch credibility. Why, of all places, would Chin Na Weh be auctioning the Omega off in SC? Why would she risk smuggling herself back into the U.S.? The line about the hoodies and the greasepaint was good, though. Always nice to see Collin Donnell; Tommy is sorely missed. To the more substantial – could Malcolm be any more of a sociopath, sending Ollie and Thea to Lian Yu and then releasing Slade/ The man’s gone round the bend. I loved seeing Oliver and Thea working through the issues between them and then teaming up to bring Slade down. Thea has grown immensely as a character and Willa Holland deserves strong congratulations. Oh, Manu Bennett, we miss you so. The lack of a strong villain this season only emphasizes how wonderful Bennett performed last season. Just a taste of Slade left me wanting so much more. I personally liked the by-play between Lance and Laurel; the bitterness and estrangement in Quentin’s voice was palpable and beautifully played by Paul Blackthorne. Lance’s next scenes with Oliver and Felicity should be delightful. Looking forward to “Nanda Parbat” but find I am confused as to exactly what the writers and EP’s are building towards; S2 was far more straight forward in terms of objectives and momentum. Looking forward to the first live look at the A.T.O.M. armor, but I want to see some shrinkage and soon! For me, “The Return” was one of the highlights of an uneven season.