Arrow Recap: Better Off Dead — Plus, New Clues About Felicity's Dad?

This week’s Arrow was greater than the sum of its parts, since the timing of Ray’s hospitalization kept Felicity on an “island” while a citywide manhunt was underway for the Arrow — and then Oliver himself.

MATTERS OF LOVE AND DEATH | After Mayor Castle got shot dead by Maseo, Ray took an arrow for Felicity, resulting in a thrombus. To attempt surgery right away would be to risk Ray’s life, while to wait could result in brain damage. Ray, though, has some nano-tech that might save him, but the (remarkably unimpressed, unfazed) doctor says that hospital policy forbids experimental treatments.

Visiting Donna Smoak gives her daughter a pep talk, saying that it’s up to her to inject “those nano-thingies” into her boyfriends — and to that end, Donna later distracts the doc with “back spasms” while Felicity slips Ray the nano-tech. A few convulsions later, Ray is fit as a fiddle… and telling Felicity that he loves her. Felicity doesn’t know what to do with that admission, even though it came from a “brilliant” Doctor Who fan who looks like a “Disney prince,” but Donna knows why: because Felicity is in love with Oliver, something her mother deduced five seconds after seeing them together. But, Felicity notes, Oliver is “terminally unavailable” — especially as the target of a manhunt that neither Donna nor Ray caught wind of via the news or gossip among the orderlies…?

Speaking of….

NO, YOU HAVE FAILED THIS CITY | A rampaging Lance has issued first-degree murder warrants for the Arrow and reinstated the anti-vigilante ask force. Oliver needs to track down Maseo and stop  the frame job, but Nyssa — spurned daughter or not — will only go so far as to deliver an address. That leads to a rooftop fight with Maseo and others, which is quickly enough interrupted by Ra’s… who brought hovering police choppers with him. Oliver escapes, Roy gets left behind (again, but turns up A-OK later), and Laurel gets cornered by no less than her own Daddy, but Nyssa pops up to waylay the captain.

If only Lance’s woes ended there. Soon after, he is abducted by Ra’s, who arms the captain with the Arrow’s true identity and the fact that Oliver and Sara used to hang out on Lian Yu. Lance later resurfaces at the cop shop where he argues to Laurel that this whole “masks” thing started with Oliver Queen. And while he denies that the sole reason for his vendetta is Sara’s death, Lance does see some irony in the fact that it was his youngest daughter’s boat trip with Oliver that ultimately led her to the League of Assassins. (As for him knowing Oliver’s secret, Lance says what we hoped to hear: “On some level, I think I always knew.” Whew.)

Lance wastes no time outing Oliver to the entire city — leaving Oliver, in his mind, no option but to turn himself in, which he does in trade for full immunity for the rest of Team Arrow. “I’ve been through far worse than prison,” he tells Diggle et al. Since they followed him this far, through so much already, he implores them to “follow me just a little further, until it’s over,” believing as he does that Ra’s al Ghul’s only remaining play is to tell the truth. Team Arrow, however, has other ideas….

Inside the prison transport, Lance lashes out at Oliver, recounting all the misery (e.g. Slade Wilson) he brought back from the island with him, and all of the loved ones (Tommy, Moira, Sara…) who died as a result. Shooting down Oliver’s mission statement, Lance posits, “Saving people isn’t really your specialty” — rather, the city may have been better off if Oliver died on the island! Ouch. Over the past two years, “You made us liars, and victims,” Lance continues. Thus, “You’re not a hero. You’re a villain.” The harangue is cut short by an attack on the transpo, by Roy, who using Oliver’s costume and voice changer declares himself to be the Arrow — to what possible, sensical end, I can only wonder — and surrenders.

IN FLASHBACK… | Picking up where the last Hong Kong flashback left off, Oliver has bumped into Shado…‘s twin sister, Mei, who provides him and Akio shelter at her place. Oliver tries to pass himself off as a med school pal of Shado’s, but his matching tattoo tells a different tale, so Mei calls the cops. Baddies come calling instead, but Oliver (with an assist from Maseo and his wife) survives the assault. Afterward, he admits to Mei that he very much knew — and loved — her sister, and that both Shado and their father, Yao Fei, are gone. Mei, having spent three years not knowing her family’s fate, thanks Oliver for resolving this mstery, no matter how tragically, once and for all.

A FEW WORDS ABOUT FELICITY’S FATHER | As with Donna’s first visit, he came up. And again, we were only given crumbs. But hey, with raindrops you fill buckets. This time, Felicity finished Donna’s sentence, “If your father were here…” with “…he’d be arrested,” which is, you know, something. Also, Donna gave us a peek at her ex’s value system, in that he’s the type to “take a chance” when it comes to loved ones. And lastly, Papa Smoak apparently tinkered with electronics kits when Felicity was a moppet.

What did you think of the episode “Public Enemy,” Donna’s advice for Felicity, and Roy’s sacrifice there at the end?

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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133 Comments
  1. Drew says:

    …I don’t know. The episode seemed like a dream sequence or something, with no logic or reason. Captain Lance is being portrayed in a way that makes him completely unsympathetic and petty. Nothing that Oliver or the others did made sense… Even the scene with Thea and Roy in bed seemed disjointed. Didn’t she show up at his place a couple of weeks ago? Was this a continuation of that? It felt like it.
    Lance is hunting down everyone who works with the Arrow… But he doesn’t go for Felicity, despite the fact that he knows her by name and knows exactly where to find her for the entire episode.
    The city’s outrage over the Arrow felt odd and unearned, which made the outing of Oliver feel fake and robbed that moment of any real emotional impact. But this is really the case for this entire season. Ra’s isn’t intimidating because he isn’t better than everyone else. They are just made lesser around him. He and Ray sounded really cool when they were first announced, but both turned out to be kinda lame. This season lacks the edge of the previous two. But at least maybe Ray’s new nano-tech will finally make him shrink and make him less of an Iron Man-meets-Robocop ripoff.
    Two questions: first, how was Laurel holding her own against a LoA assassin?!
    Second, can we start a new drinking game. Every time Felicity gets choked up, take a drink. But have the hospital on standby, because it is every friggin scene she is in this year! Her crying lost all impact episodes ago. Now I just want to bash my head into a wall when she starts to tear up. She is so whiny now!

    • ? says:

      Yeah, it’s great that the producers of this show have like three spin-offs in the works, but I really feel they need to focus on the original a bit more ’cause this episode was a total mess continuity-wise, logic-wise, and as far as the characters behaving like themselves. Just like a lot of the most recent episodes have been, too. I know it’s just a CW show and I’m perfectly willing to suspend my disbelief when it comes to superheroes, but shows like this have to have their own internal logic that they stick to and and also have to not insult the viewer’s intelligence. Every criticism you’ve leveled at this episode is spot on, and especially Laurel not getting laid out by a League assassin and Lance not going after Felicity.

      • Drew says:

        And last week with Ray electrocuting Roy and Oliver just walking away. You can say that mistakes will happen, but that was a huge mistake that someone should have noticed before the episode was aired, but maybe they are spread too thin now.

    • Shelley says:

      I’ll agree with you about Lance, overly dramatic with hate for the Arrow. But, this episode goes to show what lengths Ra’s would do to make his point with Oliver. Almost like he is all knowing and the best manipulator of the city’s police. Oliver looks like he will have his day with the truth. As for Diggle, Roy and Felicity I was elated they went to be by his side. They know how selfless Oliver is. Next week’s promo looks awesome. Looks like Oliver gets tortured. I loved Donna.

      • Drew says:

        But Ra’s didn’t come off as a great mind in my opinion. He came across as kinda silly, with everything falling into place around him simply because the writers needed it to happen. A couple of weeks ago, the city was begging for the Arrow. Within five minutes, the police and the media turn against him as though they didn’t know what he was to begin with. Was everyone drugged or something? Nobody supports the Arrow at all? The officers in that city must get tired of being jerked around based on Lance’s family drama.

        • Shelley says:

          This entire season has shown contradictions from episode to episode. So what’s another one to be so bad. This season has been reaching to extremes of believability. That’s for sure. But, I liked it.. The team came together. To support Oliver finally. Maybe, the nano juice makes Ray shrink. Ra’s seemed in control to manipulate everyone except the team.

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            I just realized this show has a Roy, a Ray and a Ra’s. Amazing I don’t make even more typos.

            Oh, and for everyone’s scorecards: Lance goes in the “Raysh” al Ghul column.

          • herman1959 says:

            Possibly, the reason that Lace and Ra’s al Ghul both use the same pronunciation is that the actors have similar natural accents (British and Australian), whereas, Oliver and everyone else use the more rounded pronunciation because they’re North Americans. This episode was sort of over the top and unbelievable, but I enjoyed it.

        • B says:

          Thank you. I was wondering why it doesn’t occur to anyone that Quentin is ridiculously black and white in his press briefings–on either side. Also, shouldn’t he have more questions? He’s just created this narrative in his head of what must have happened, through his rage-induced haze, that he can’t realize that he could learn so much if he just listened to the answers.

          I was compelled to yell at Lance and the city at that last point. Most of the villains have NOT come to Starling because of the Arrow. Slade, yes, but Malcolm? That was always going to happen. They need to make Lance a little more believable in the next few episodes for me. I get it if he’s not totally for Oliver, but this vendetta is beyond ridiculous and undoes all the development since the pilot.

          • Dennis says:

            I think the biggest problem or one of them with Lance. He was just demoted and suspended. This episode he is the big police superintendent. They played off of them working together to often. Lance was a cop who always worked off the book regardless of the Arrow… got to love Comcast because I had to go online to see the preview. But if you watch Flash. It had a 1 minute preview Which included a lot of Oliver and crew. On the preview post, a lot of comments are thinking that. This all may change. Flash will change the timeline. In doing so it can effect Sara and the others. She is in the preview. Did she get healed in the pool or is it the time line change. Oliver is wearing league gear in the preview to.. Sara is on the spin off so they have to bring her back.. Although it isn’t flashbacks like were thought. But Larual announced herself as the black canary. So what will Sarah be??

        • Alichat says:

          “But Ra’s didn’t come off as a great mind in my opinion. He came across as kinda silly, with everything falling into place around him simply because the writers needed it to happen.”

          This. I am so bored with Ra’s Al Ghul I would rather bleed out of my eyes than watch him on my tv prattle on about how powerful he is, how people do not tell him no, how Oliver is the perfect person to take over the League even though he doesn’t want to and since he doesn’t want to Ra’s will ruin Oliver’s world because torture is exactly what you want to do the the guy you want to hand the keys to the kingdom to because no, no, there’s no way he will be bitter about it or angry and suddenly decide to take those keys and then run your empire into the ground. No…that would never happen. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………. Honestly….what does the League do exactly? Are they hired killers? Do they just randomly assassinate? (yes….cause that’s what they are doing now) How can Ra’s be so certain that after Oliver takes over the League, he won’t just dismantle the whole organization and throw it all down the toilet. Or just hand it over to Nyssa once he’s given the reins?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Ha, I tried to keep an eye on Canary during that fight since I had the same question/wonderment, but with the editing and everyone wearing dark leather, I was unable to deduce her exact moves.

      • Drew says:

        It looked like she and Roy both held their own, making me wonder if one of them should be the next Ra’s instead. Both of them should have been flattened in seconds.

      • Shelley says:

        She’s had some training with Nyssa, quite helpful, even though it’s been just a couple of weeks. Ha

        • kath says:

          Did you notice that Laurel and Ray are now in the opening montage, and Feliciyt and Diggle aren’t any more?

          I think the writers have forgotten what many of us want to watch on this show.

          • KT says:

            You are right! I had to go back and watch this. Never a good sign…

          • Ab1973 says:

            Yep, they removed Felicity and Diggle from the montage. Completely insane. (Although they have kind of ruined Felicity this season, the woman needs to stop crying every single episode.)

    • Jlz says:

      To answer your first question re: Laurel. She’s been training with Nyssa.
      To answer your second question. No thanks, I’d rather drink alone. Bash away.

    • Diane says:

      I had the same response to this epi. I think we should get the Flash to run back in time to start of season 3, let it all be a dream sequence.

    • I think Oliver needs to get the Flash to run him back in time to the start of season 3 and leave Ray and Ra’s out of it.

    • Briggs says:

      For you. Her crying lost all impact *for you*. If you’re going to state your opinion, at least make it obvious that it *is* your opinion. Some of us really enjoyed this episode, you know…

      • brenna says:

        I really enjoyed it too. A definite move forward in all the storylines.

      • Dmac says:

        As this is a comment page and where people are sharing their opinions isn’t it obvious without having to call it out. Not be snarky just asking?

        • Briggs says:

          It’s an issue if it’s stated as if it’s a fact. That was my point.

          • Ab1973 says:

            And that is your opinion. One does not need to preface every statement on a message board with “imo.”

            And she’s whiny as heck this season. She’s cried to near-cried in almost every episode.

          • Briggs says:

            1. My original comment was aimed at Drew.
            .
            2. If you really hate the show that much, as evidenced by your many posts, why are you still watching? Waste of time, in my *opinion*.

      • Becky says:

        Briggs: You’re like the Ana Gastever judge on The Good Wife who makes everyone say, “in my opinion” everytime they open their mouth. All of these comments are opinions, you don’t need to state it every time. It’s silly.

        • Briggs says:

          I’m not insisting on that wording. But other people having been using the wording ‘I think’ or ‘I feel”, which is far more appropriate for an opinion section. Of course, it’s called a comment section, so that makes it far less specific. My point being, opinion should not be stated as fact, and that’s what Drew did.
          .
          In relation to the law: They kind of have to be specific in their wording, or the entire case could be thrown out on a technicality.

          • Drew says:

            Everyone here besides you seems clear on the context of what I said. Therefore it is the opinion of this commenter that such disclaimers are not necessary.
            Since more people have commented to support my side of the argument than yours, I shall consider the voting closed on the matter.

      • Drew says:

        It is only your opinion that I was stating my opinion. So you should clarify too… In my opinion.
        Seriously, we’ve been through this before. Every single person here is stating their opinions and until I declare myself a god whose words are without question, I think it is safe to assume that I am just stating my opinion. I will not begin every comment with a disclaimer. Get used to it.

        • Briggs says:

          Then be more careful in your wording, because that’s how you came off.

          • Drew says:

            You know what? I changed my mind… It wasn’t an opinion. It was a fact and if you disagree, you are simply wrong.

          • Briggs says:

            And now you’re stamping your foot like a five-year-old.

          • Drew says:

            Stamping my foot? No. Taunting a silly idea? Yes. This isn’t group therapy. I will not begin every statement with “I feel”, nor will I be lectured to like a kid in school. If you want to disagree with me, cool. Do that. But stop grading my papers unless you plan to buy me a car if I get straight A’s.

          • Briggs says:

            Oh, good, you’re old enough to drive? That’s a relief. I thought I’d have to call your mother.

    • zappp says:

      Agreed. There’s no continuity, the characters act differently according to what the plot requires of them, and I know I was supposed to care the city was hunting them, but I just couldn’t. Laurel can now fight LoA? Sure. She jumps without hesitation off the side of a building? Sure. What happened to this show?

      • Sil says:

        Oliver had her by the arm while he repelled down by a cable via arrow.

        • zappp says:

          She still jumped without hesitation off the side of a building. I know Oliver took her by the arm, but it still bugs me.

      • iceonthefringe says:

        I’m not a physicist but i’d imagine that jump would be enough to seriously hurt her arm- since he caught her in mid air before coming to an abrupt stop.

    • Ab1973 says:

      Yeah, maybe Quentin can streeeeeeeeetch Moira and Sara into being somewhat Oliver’s fault, but Malcolm is the whole cause of everything related to the Undertaking, which included what happened to Robert, Sara, Moira, and Oliver, and Malcolm was doing his thing to destroy half the city when Oliver was still DoucheyOllie. This show is so nonsensical now. And the whole Ra’s plot still makes zero GD sense.

      Notice they replaced Felicity and Diggle in the opening with Ray and Rag Pampers? Lovely.

    • shellybot says:

      I guess Nyssa’s lessons are paying off

  2. Shelley says:

    What a wonderful episode. I haven’t said that much this season. Thank you Arrow.

  3. Sasha says:

    Oh good grief! That was quite the hour. Love Mama Smoak.

    What puzzles me is that why doesn’t Captain Lance realize he’s putting Laurel in danger too…you know like being an accessory to murder (since Ollie is being arrested for murder)?

    • Drew says:

      Because apparently he can grant his own daughter immunity… Or something. Maybe he worked out a deal with the DA’s office…
      None of it made sense.

      • Sasha says:

        You’re it doesn’t make sense…i would like it too.

        By the looks of the preview i think Lance will come around once he sees Roy sacrificing himself for Oliver.

  4. Mama Smoak knows! Can’t wait for her next stint on the show. Hopefully she’ll have scenes with Lance and Oliver!

    Also does the LOA cart those fancy fire pits around or can you rent them from somewhere? If so, how much is the deposit?

  5. GirlvsTV says:

    Did I miss where Capt. Lance actually had hard evidence that Oliver was the Arrow? Enough to arrest him on? Other than R’as word, I mean? Cause if so it doesn’t really matter if Roy gets caught in the suit because there would be evidence that Oliver was also the Arrow.

    I honestly was tuning in/out a lot so I might have missed a scene.

    • Drew says:

      Speaking of no evidence, on what grounds could Lance possibly suspend Thea’s assets?! She wasn’t even included as an accomplice.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        I grappled with that one, too — but I could see a judge signing off on it, to limit a “most wanted” man’s escape options. Kinda like when in a bail hearing…? Then again, Everything I Know About Law I Learned From TV.

        • Drew says:

          I can see them maybe getting a warrant to search the club (apparently they didn’t get as far as the basement!) But I honestly don’t know how they can render someone pretty much penniless based on the fact that someone in their family may or may not have committed a crime. That seems weird to me.

  6. Josh says:

    Ergh, please enough with Ollicity or Feray(???). Can Felicity be Felicity again? Not “girlfriend sidekick”…

  7. @tvneuroepi says:

    Are we supposed to forget that Lance already knows Roy is the Red Arrow or Arensal or whatever we’re supposed to call him?
    Who cuts/edits the promos has already given so much away about what’s next making tonight’s episode conclusion underwhelming.

    **Spoilers for anyone who didn’t see the Arrow PaleyFest trailer or yesterday’s Flash trailer. Lance walks through Team Arrow’s cave and says something along the lines of “I got you now, you SOB.” So it’s safe to say Lance knows Roy is covering for Oliver. I don’t even want to start with Arrow’s new suit.

    • Ing says:

      If you look carefully in the future of the season teaser, you see that Oliver is wearing a costume like Maseo’s, with the shiny studs or buttons, and NO MASK.

      • Sil says:

        Did you see he had an arm thing on his left hand, not a glove. I wonder if Ra’s injured him when he tortured him, shown in the promo of next episode.

        • @tvneuroepi says:

          Thanks, Ing. I know – that was what I didn’t want to get started on. It takes the suspense about of knowing what’s next. I suppose there is still the mystery of why he’s wearing it.

        • @tvneuroepi says:

          Good observation Sil. I have to go back and looK for that.

  8. Deena says:

    What was The Flash reference from I think Capt Lance? I saw it mentioned on twitter but I missed it.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      He listed that “freak” (or some such word) “from Central City” when listing all of the “masks” Oliver has spawned.

  9. Ryan says:

    Has there been talk about an emotional goodbye in 65? Roy going to prison?

    • Mena says:

      Arrow is rather predictable in their writing where a character is killed every season. It sure looks like Roy is the one to be sacrificed.

  10. Jeffrey Ehondor says:

    I thought lance knew Oliver was the arrow. I’m so confused

    • Mena says:

      He told Laurel he thought he was all along, just didn’t want to think about it. The ability to deny all knowledge if anything ever happened.

      • Jeffrey says:

        So why is lance always mad at Oliver. Its not like he knows he is the arrow

        • Ashley says:

          He cheated on one daughter with another and took her on a doomed boat trip (not Oli’s fault it was doomed, but you know, fatherly rage and all that).

  11. Heidi says:

    I dunno. I have to make comparisons between Arrow and Flash. The continuity just isn’t with Team Arrow, nor is the acting. The writers seem to blow hot and cold; to me they need to stop with the flashbacks as its really muddying the plot process. The Flash does flashbacks right in that they only use them to move the story along. These continued fb’s in the Arrow just halt the story. Between the Flash and Arrow, Flash takes it by a full length in keeping the viewer intrigued. Sadly, I just watch and think “Can we move this along now?”

    • Drew says:

      I would actually have to say that the flashbacks are the highlight of the season this year. The story with Tatsu and Maseo is far more interesting than Ray and Ra’s.

  12. James D says:

    decent episode. I feel like it wasn’t the best choice to go with this arc though bringing in Ra’s feels out of place to me I know with the connection Arrow has with the LOA it would seem like the logical choice but to me this season hasn’t felt grounded like the previous seasons It’s probably just me. I do like the arc given to Papa Lance even if it seems disjointed which it kind of is and it certainly doesn’t shed a sympathetic light on Lance but holly cow Paul is such a fantastic actor that scene with him confronting Oliver was seriously intense so well acted. Other than that I didn’t hate but I didn’t love it either I agree with some other comments It was a mistake to start so many spinoffs it’s taken away from this show IMO. BTW I was digging Ray Palmer at the start of this season but now I kind of wish he would go, and I can’t believe I’m saying this because I loved her for most of this shows run but he can take felicity with him. the writers have completely ruined her character. Not every show needs a love triangle fellas especially this show.

  13. Ashbash says:

    Random thought but could Felicity’s father be the Blue Beetle. I know in the comics she was supposed to be the Blue Beetle’s step mom but with the way Arrow puts a twist in everything I wouldn’t be surprised if he was revealed as Felicity’s dad.

    • kath says:

      They were going to use Ted Kord, Moira talks about him a couple of times in s1, but DC didn’t give them permission to in the end.

      From the way Felicity talked about her father being arrested, and Donna said he would do the injection, I wonder if he’s someone who went against the law for something he believed in.

      • harper58499 says:

        Her dad has to be Anarchy. I’m calling it now. He fights for what he believe’s in, is all about the gadgets and a wanted criminal.
        Also, he’s brilliant, explaining Felicity’s brain power.

    • JC1 says:

      She wasn’t Blue Beetle’s stepmom. She was Ronnie Raymond’s (aka half of Firestorm) stepmom.

  14. kath says:

    The best things about this episode were that Paul Blackthorne finally got a chance to do some really acting, and the delightfullness of Charlotte Ross’ Donna, even though the script didn’t do her justice.

    I also liked Roy sacrificing himself for Oliver, and to make amends for his cop-killing.

    But….. the Oliver/Felicity/Ray triangle is now just bad soap opera except it. never. ends. If I have to hear one more person tell Oliver that he really loves Felicity, or tell Felicity that she really loves Oliver, I’m going to scream. 13 episodes is far too long.

    Why didn’t the doctor just use warfarin to clean out the thrombosis? Even Barry knew about it last season when he saved Oliver using rat poison.

    Why is Lance going after everyone on the Arrow team except his daughter? Why doesn’t Laurel tell him that the decision to lie about Sara was hers, and not Oliver’s or anyone else?

    What does it matter that Oliver didn’t tell Lance about being on Lian Yu? Not to mention, Ra’s lied about Nyssa saving her there.

    Why is Maseo trying to kill Felicity? Surely she’s worth more to Ra’s alive than dead, seeing as he knows about Oliver’s feelings for her.

    Why did Ray stand up after knocking Felicity down, so he could conveniently be shot by MaseO? Why is he still like he’s in a completely different show?

  15. Sarah says:

    Its a disjointed mess.

  16. m3rcnate says:

    Another “meh” Arrow episode. Ruining the Felicity character by having her be just a hot chick stuck between two handsome billionaire vigilantes, crying a bunch and being…well a 16 year old. Ahhh…Shado has a twin huh? What a coincidence…

    Overall this show is about a 100th as fun to watch or interesting as The Flash. Laurel is just starting to be less annoying and they go and flip Felicity into being the ranty-crying-girlfriend in a love triangle chick role. Overall, if i didn’t have anything better to do i think i could just wait until the season was over, torrent the rest of the episodes and binge watch them on a boring rainy sunday and when next season roles around basically do the same thing every time there is a cross-over event. Unlike Flash which i watch borderline live and anticipate and love to watch.
    .
    Its the real flip side of the coin of a show that has most stuff planned out and has a overall 5 season plan…if the result of said plan is garbage (like i’d say lots of this seasons character development and plot lines are) they cant just scrap it and start fresh in a new direction. They cant just add a bunch of new characters (aka fresh blood) and start some new story lines. They built this spider web full of tangled story lines and easter eggs and plot points and they have to see it through.
    Biggest problem with the show in my mind? You cant start a show with a big cast, a bunch of really great characters, and then slowly kill 50% of them off leaving only like 7 main characters. Oliver’s mom was a great character (dead), Tommy was a great character (dead), Sara was a great character (dead), Deathstroke was a great character (gone) and Shado (dead). Also now the amount of people that know the secret is basically the entire cast (in fact probably the entire cast). So they chopped down their cast to just the people doing Arrow (vigilanty) stuff who know his secret identity. That plus your show only being as good as your main villain (Ra’s is very underwhelming IMO and none compare to Deathstroke).

    • iceonthefringe says:

      Yes I agree. This is still my favorite show which is why I care so much that I don’t enjoy it as much anymore. Not because there are things that have happened that I don’t “like” (a lot of people get up in arms and blame the writing when things don’t go exactly how they might like) but because there are narrative mistakes that have been made that make no sense. Number 1, Sara being killed for absolutely no reason other than to push Laurel forward. Yes you could say it was done to bring about the conflict with the LoA but that could have happened without her dying. It’s almost to the end of the season and I’m not over it. And as for Laurel, it is obvious, especially with this episode that they are going to shove this character down out throats no matter what. Seeing her suit up with the rest of team arrow cheapens everyone else’s “identity” and transformation. It takes me right out of the show. There are some other minor issues too, like using Felicity and Olicitiy to prop up nonsensical situations and give them inflated drama ( like Oliver telling Felicity he loves her before his duel- so we all would be thinking about that instead of- why is he doing this anyway? or Felicity telling Laurel she’s more special than sara) I could go on but I don’t want this comment to be a bash fest- this is still my favorite show and I hope it gets back on track, A vigilante and his accomplices fighting crime- i’d be thrilled to see that little notebook again!

  17. Ing says:

    Lance had already revealed that he recognized Roy while he was dressed as Arsenal, a while back. So now he’s going to believe that the kid rather than the billionaire marooned on an island with paramilitary thugs is the mastermind behind it all? Not buying it. I was hoping Ray would shrink he and Ollie into nothingness right as Lance’s men close in on the arrowcave. This may have ramifications for Flash too, now that Lance can backtrace Laurel, Diggle and Felicity’s movements and charge them as accessories as they are all outed.

  18. Hmmmm says:

    They are forcing Felicity and Oliver down our throats way too much. They are so over done at this point that I don’t think I ever want them in a relationship. They’ve ruined them before they even had a real chance.

    • Briggs says:

      I wasn’t under the impression you ever did.

    • Emmy says:

      I am an olicity fan, and I also think they forced it this season. It was too much too soon. I don’t think it’s ruined their chance but I do think they need to, for lack of a better word, back-peddle on it a little bit. Sometimes, and I think this is one, the slow burn is the best option.

      I do however think this season is improving and is gearing up to have a pretty kick ass season finale, and I’m not worried about them turning things around next season. This season has not caused any irreparable damage.

      • Ab1973 says:

        Why would next season be any better, when the showrunner and writers will all be the same?

        • Emmy says:

          Because, the last couple of episodes have shown a lot of improvement over the rest of the season. And I guarantee you, the writers are aware that people haven’t been happy with the direction of this season and it’s not like they don’t have it in them to be good writers/showrunners…they’ve done great before. This season has just been a rough patch.

          • Ab1973 says:

            Not exactly true. It used to be Guggenheim and Berlanti and Kreisberg. Berlanti and Kreisberg are now Supergirl and The Flash, respectively. This was Guggenheim’s first year as showrunner. He’s going to be showrunner again next year. Meaning next year is going to suck just as bad.

          • Emmy says:

            Or, he will learn from the mistakes of this season and it will be better…I’m hopeful, since it has shown improvement. And a lot of tv shows have off seasons and manage to bounce back. And in my opinion, it’s not like this season has ruined the show it has just seemed off but I feel that the integrity of the show is still in tact. Nothing that has been done this season is irreparable.

          • Ab1973 says:

            He hasn’t learned anything so far this year.

  19. stor says:

    I honestly think three problems really hit this show hard this season. 1. The Flash/Another spin off show. I think Arrow has gotten put on the back burner and is more of an after thought. 2. The writers are really bad at romance writing. That was obvious during season 1 and still there in the Flash. Felicity’s character has been slaughtered this season. 3. No real villain. They chose Ras but didn’t really know what to do with him. In the end, the problems I saw season 1 I’m seeing again. Marc G has his fingers in so many pies when you include the comic stuff too that it’s hitting the show hard. Arrow is the foundation but it still needs support.

  20. On the one hand I really like how much they’re beating the idea that maybe Oliver should become Ra’s, with the city turned against him and Quintin even calling out stuff not related to the framejob. On the other hand we traded in really weird choreography from last week for just giant leaps of logic this week. I mean I’m still watching and I am in general enjoying stuff but it seems like there hasn’t been enough applied logic to the details of the big ideas.

  21. Chris says:

    I thought this episode was great. I thought it was totally in character for everyone. Lance has been betrayed, and he feels like a fool for ever stepping away from his original thinking that vigilantes shouldn’t get to roam free. Why didn’t Lance go find Felicity? For the same reason he didn’t strong arm Laurel. He wants the Arrow. It is highly emotional for him right now, and it’s not really about the others. Besides, she did nearly die in that attack from the impostor Arrow. Going after Felicity at that point might have been messier than just hunting Oliver like he truly wanted to do anyway. What was he gonna do? Hold her hostage? And why wouldn’t the police go after the Arrow on the manhunt? The mayor had an arrow shot through her chest!

    The media is simply reporting the news. The city hasn’t turned against him, and they didn’t show that. They showed the police hunting them and Lance giving press statements.

    Ra’s is gonna feel rather silly though when he meets Batman and wants him to take over, but whatever. I think they’re portraying him rather well. I appreciated that he nearly killed Oliver (because he shouldn’t have been able to win), and if he believes his time as ruler is drawing to a close and if he’s going by the prophecy, then why wouldn’t he pick Oliver? It’s what their legend says. It doesn’t matter what Oliver wants to do with the League. It’s his job to find an heir.

    The only thing I don’t care for too much are some of the China flashbacks. AND I would strongly like Malcolm Merlin to get what’s coming to him. Him living and staying in Thea’s apartment instead of either dead or trapped in a cell next to Slade only seems like contrived writing to me.

    I really would like Ray to shrink. Honestly, I think it makes more sense that Ray would want to be an Ironman type character rather than shrink down (especially a guy that big, he could fight some crime!). He didn’t have to be “Atom” if they aren’t gonna be true to what the character actually does. That being said, I was so overly impressed by how well Ray’s suit looked while it flew and fought Oliver. It was awesome.

    And as far as Felicity crying, she does sometimes, but she is such a strong character. Just because she has some drama because she’s in love with complicated Oliver and Ray almost died BECAUSE HE PROTECTED HER, doesn’t take away from how awesome she is. She’s not the typical female lead. She is not a character that deserves to be belittled. It’s not like she’s Lana from Smallville or doe-eyed Iris from The Flash. She is a hero. Haters gonna hate.

    And if you don’t wanna see drama romance, then stop watching The CW. Seriously. It’s what they live for. The only thing more appropriate than launching ships would be hiring beautiful people.

  22. Eirene Wee says:

    Wow! Yes greater than the sum of its parts! If Felicity’s dad were the I…man or some superhero then suddenly it falls into place. She’s not just a super smart geek who’s also gorgeous and has a hot mama and is Arrow’s love interest (among many) … Suddenly she’s got credibility … She really does belong to Arrow’s world. I like where this episode’s going if this is where the hint to her heritage is taking us… I also loved the flash backs in this episode which helped to put things into perspective…,

  23. Briggs says:

    Poor Ray. The woman he took an arrow for, the woman who performed nano-surgery on him, who he told he *loves*, doesn’t say it back. In fact, she stammers and leaves him in the room alone. Who wants to bet that hurt more than the arrow?
    .
    Meanwhile, loved Donna just as much the second time around. She didn’t even stop at Felicity’s or a hotel to drop off her luggage. :) And her words of wisdom spoke of her *emotional* intelligence, which Felicity got some measure of, even if it doesn’t help in sorting out her own emotions. I had a feeling things were going a little too well for Ray and Felicity…
    .
    Oh, and Felicity’s dad is on the run from the law? That’s new.
    .
    Captain Lance, hon, I love you. But personal vendettas do not belong in your professional life. Did it ever occur to you to wonder *why* Ra’s was so willing to tell you who the Arrow was? No? It should have. It really should have.
    .
    His treatment of Laurel wasn’t any better. I get that he’s angry. But it’s not like Sara didn’t get on that boat all by herself. It wasn’t entirely Oliver’s fault, and quite frankly, her second death wasn’t his fault at all. But to Lance, *everything* is Oliver’s fault.
    .
    Now all of Starling knows who the Arrow is. I wonder how this is going to play in future seasons. I’m at least hoping for a season five, so I want to know how Oliver is going to function as a vigilante in a city that knows his name. And who wants to bet Malcolm will try to make off with Thea again to protect her from the Arrow’s enemies?
    .
    Nyssa saving Laurel wasn’t too big a surprise, if only because Laurel had asked her to think of ‘what Sara would want’ her to do. Obviously, that’s going to include saving Sara’s sister. Now, are we ever gong to see Nyssa actually *training* Laurel?
    .
    Roy ‘sacrificing’ himself makes sense if you remember that he’d told Thea he still felt guilty over the cops he’d killed while under the effects of the Mirakuru. Now, whether this brings about an even worse fate for Roy Harper remains to be seen.
    .
    The Hong Kong flashbacks were a bit slow this ep, but I was glad that the Yamashiros were reunited, and that Mei got some closure on Shado and Yao Fei. Was it just me, though, or were her words about having no closure hitting just a bit harder because Oliver might be wondering if his family was feeling the same way about losing him and his father? Especially after that visit to Starling a few eps ago? That could have contributed to his sadness, somewhat.
    .
    Two weeks? Really? CW, stop with the hiatuses!

  24. Pat says:

    I can honestly say, that last nights episode was a hodgepodge of a mess. Lance is so bitter over Sara’s death, so he cannot think straight. Please, end the Ray storyline. He looks and acts like he would make for a fine prince in Once upon a time. Maybe standing beside Cinderella if they ever bring her on. My God, the only way to salvage this mess is to have Barry, The Flash, come back and reverse the timeline.

  25. Anna says:

    I don’t usually mind the flashbacks, meaning I’m usually indifferent about them, but this episode they really bothered me. They didn’t add anything to the story, except giving Shado a sister. This is only relevant if this sister turns up again, being important to… something. Really, it felt like the flashbacks were interrupting the “flow” of the narrative. They took away screentime from more important stuff. At this point, I’m really done with the flashbacks. I don’t need to know everything that happened in those 5 years (or the 2 remaining ones) and I feel like, as I already said, that it doesn’t really add anything to the story. I think Oliver’s backstory has been established now. All that stuff would’ve been awesome to know in season one, but now I feel like I would just like to see what happens NOW, not what happened 5 years ago.

  26. Emmy says:

    I thought this was one of the best episodes of the season….things seem to slowly be getting back on track with this show. Yes, I would have liked it for Felicity to be a little more interactive with Team Arrow but I thought overall it was a pretty solid episode. I do however think it would have been cool for Lance to arrest Roy, Diggle and Felicity and that be the reason for Oliver to turn himself in (Plus, seeing Mama Smoak’s reaction to her daughter getting arrested would have been priceless)…but that’s just what I would have done if I were a writer on the show.

  27. Zack says:

    So the cat’s out of the bag with Oliver’s secret identity. And no matter how hard they try, there’s no way to realistically make it a secret again (just like the whole pictures on the internet deal). Honestly, I think that he will ultimately take Ra’s al Ghul’s offer, and set off to reform the League of Assassins into something positive and good. Kind of like a private army of super assassins for when the heroes bite off more than they can chew. Plus, we already know that the league can control itself and not kill, because they didn’t kill during the battle with Slade. The only problem is that if that happens, there is no more Arrow. Hence, I wonder if season 4 of Arrow is actually going to be season 1 of Atom. Rather than create an entire new spin off (because 3 superhero shows going at once wouldn’t really be able to keep the momentum going I think), make Atom a sequel to Arrow in a kind of seamless way, so have the last couple episodes make a smooth transition, with Ra’s al Ghul/Oliver training Atom/Ray to take over, and then having season 1 of Atom pick up as though it were season 4 of Arrow.

  28. cyrano says:

    I liked this episode. While this season has been uneven, I’m loving where I think its heading. Presently I feel its either Lance or Roy who could die @ d end of the season. Who does Lance come back from all this hate? Obviously Oliver is not going down for the ‘crimes’. How does Lance get satisfaction? Maybe he doesn’t. In the ensuing fights with LoA, he dies. Maybe that’s the spur that sends Oliver to kill Ra’s and become the new Ra’s. On the flipside Roy could die as he is willing to do pretty much anything to Save Oliver and Thea so this could be it. Frankly I want it to be Lance because there would be more drama, especially with Laurel. Also people need to calm down a bit. If you’re watching the show and expecting it to play out the way you want and its not. Its not the writers fault. Temper your expectations and watch the show for what it is. Its been brilliant. Yes, it was very random to kill Sara, but we haven’t seen the season as a whole so we don’t know how it all comes together. Maybe it does. Just be patient.

    • 134sc says:

      I agree. This season has been different. TPTB are relying on the emotions of the characters to further the plot. With that comes an erratisim to the story that we just haven’t had in the last two seasons. I am now watching Arrow for what it is (this season) and honestly its been pretty good. Some of the dialogue they’ve written for Lance since he found our Sara was dead has been fantastic. I really understand his motivations. You can’t look at him in a vacuum, all 3 seasons has lead to this.

  29. brenna says:

    Wow. What an action packed intense episode. I really enjoyed it. I loved seeing Diggle, Felicity, and Roy be there for Oliver. It should have been more like that when he returned from being dead! The action scenes in the present and in the flashbacks were fun. I like Flash, but Arrow is still my favorite. Sometimes things this year have been inconsistent, and the identity issue for all of them hasn’t been that fun, but everything seems to be gearing up for a great end to the season. Mama Smoak was awesome as usual. The episode had more of a balance of action, drama, and some funny moments. (The cop showing the young picture of Oliver was LOL, and a few other things were.) Capt. Lance is way too angry, but we’ll see what happens. I watch to be entertained and I was. Thanks show!

  30. brenna says:

    I also liked ALL of the characters last night, except, sadly, Capt. Lance! But I still have hope for him.

  31. Amber says:

    Where was Diggle and Felicity in the intro? They replaced them? Are you kidding me?

    Please get Ray off this show. He is dragging it and Felicity down. Felicity should have been working the comms instead they had her play nursemaid to Ray’s hero journey. She is Team Arrow and that is where she belongs.

    Mama Smoak. I love you and I’m glad to see you and Felicity needs you more.

  32. Luis says:

    I’m sorry, but didn’t Quentin recognize Roy as the Red Arrow just a few weeks ago?
    Quentin, for a police captain and veteran detective, “I think I always knew” is pretty damn weak tea.
    I was wondering how Ray could show up in Central City just two weeks after being at death’s door – I should have guessed the answer would be ridiculous. At least we got the groundwork laid for the shrinkage.
    Felicity, this is bordering on ridiculous. Make a choice already and stick to it – have some self respect.
    Why shouldn’t Laurel be able to handle an LOA assassin after just a couple of weeks training with Nyssa? She seems like a pretty fast learner to me.
    One of these days, Oliver is going to leave Roy behind somewhere and he’s not going to come back for half a season.
    Why shouldn’t Shado have had a twin sister? I can’t wait for next season and Oliver’s adventures with the Russian mob.
    I was ready for an “I am Spartacus!” moment with fifteen different Arrows standing in the road.
    Suspension of disbelief is one thing; smack your head stupid is another. Watch it, guys.

  33. 134sc says:

    I have decided to watch Arrow a little bit different from here on in, because the TPTB are giving us different tension then previous seasons.

    So with that in mind, this is the best episode of the season. At least for me anyway

  34. Gerald says:

    I loved this episode because Felicity couldn’t say she loved Ray back.
    Loved the reveal to Lance that Sara was with Oliver on the Island. The look on Lances face… This was Paul’s best episode.
    I don’t think Lance can go after Felicity because he has no evidence, and he knows she is not the one in the streets fighting like a vigilante.

    My biggest problem with this episode. How was Roy not just swimming in Oliver’s Arrow costume?

  35. Ab1973 says:

    This entire season has been so unbearably stupid, and has turned the characters so stupid, that I am surprised there are enough brain cells between the characters and the writers to keep basic brain functions like breathing working.

    Merlyn comes up with his whole convoluted plan to kill Sara knowing (as he later flat-out stated) that Oliver could never kill Ra’s. Everyone just accepts Merlyn’s statement that the LOA would blame Thea, even though Merlyn is an accomplished liar AND HIS WHOLE PLAN HINGED ON THEM THINKING THE LOA WOULD BLAME THEA. Laurel refuses to let anyone tell her father that her sister is dead.

    Oliver dies (-ish). Oh, but he survived a sword to the chest and a 60-foot fall because of WILLPOWER. Brick comes in, and a city that has plenty of cops to launch a full-scale manhunt against Arrow gives up an entire section of that city to Brick, a known criminal, because he threatens some city councilmen. Then Oliver returns and decides to get sword training from Merlyn, a guy he’s beaten and who is himself terrified of Ra’s, because somehow getting trained by the guy who would get beaten by the other guy will allow you to beat that other guy? And Merlyn’s video of Thea killing Sara was literally the only reason she was in danger, so she was continuing to be in danger every day because of the guy you are continuously getting training from?

    Roy hates Merlyn. Wait, Roy thinks Merlyn just wants to help. Double wait, Roy hates Merlyn. Thea intelligently turns Merlyn over to the LOA…Oliver goes on a suicide mission, with Diggle, to save Merlyn. Then STICKS MERLYN ON THEA’S COUCH.

    Now Ra’s wants the guy whose butt he kicked in 45 seconds, who doesn’t kill, and who absolutely does not want the job, to take his place…because of a prophecy. Oh but wait, in this episode he said he “chose his heir well.” Hey, moron, you just said it was a prophecy, meaning you didn’t choose jack.

    Quentin finds out Sara’s dead. Blames all the people Laurel told not to tell and goes after Oliver, blaming him for (1) Sara’s own decision to get on the Gambit; (2) the Gambit going down (which was MERLYN’S FAULT); (3) not telling him Sara made it to LIan Yu, which was Sara’s place to tell, not Oliver’s; (4) stuff related to the Undertaking, which was MERLYN, and for which Oliver bears less than zero blame, in fact Oliver did everything in his power to stop it. Oh, and Oliver/Arrow has saved Laurel AND Quentin, numerous times, in situations that did not start because of anything whatsoever to do with Oliver (hello Dollmaker, among many, many, many others). Oh, and Quentin, and his living daughter Laurel, and his dead daughter Sara, were ACCESSORIES TO ARROW’S CRIMES.

    It never occurs to Quentin to wonder why Arrow would restart killing people, including trying to kill Felicity, even after he sees other bad-looking guys with bows and arrows and is KIDNAPPED by a guy surrounded by ninja-looking dudes. So Quentin is now unbearably stupid. Which makes him part of this absolutely unbearably stupid, NOT BRILLIANT, season of a once-good show called Arrow.

    No ending, none, zero, can make this anything but 23 episodes of some of the worst, and stupidest, writing that has been allowed on television in years.

  36. ian says:

    Are we supposed to believe that all of this happened in one night? From the killing of the mayor last episode (when it was dark) to Roy surrendering to the cops, still at night?

  37. Laura says:

    Since Felicity is a Dr. Who fan, wouldn’t her face melt when she sees Malcolm Merlyn?

  38. paddington says:

    a lotta things starting to mk sense. .lotsa positives thn negatives.Im amazed tt fans of the arrow jst suddenly focus on too much negatives.yes sme episodes aren’t as great hweva its a show..even S1 started to mk sense much later…just wait ..watch and try gt the idea whr the show is heading. Arrow still leads the way..Yes Flash is great hweva u cn judge a show after 2-3 seasons. First z always great.

  39. Gail says:

    I wonder how they will make it seem logical for Felicity to go to Central City with Ray, which I believe happens on the next new Flash episode on April 14. Doesn’t seem the ideal time to go on a trip.

  40. autumndreamer76 says:

    Why did Donna need to distract the doctor for? The doctor isn’t in the room 24/7 with Ray. As soon as he left Felicity could’ve injected Ray with the nano-whatever stuff.

  41. Look Sara followed Oliver, her sister’s boyfriend, on that boat and the fact that Lance can’t face that is really getting old. All that Sara had to do survive still began with her conscious decision to go away with Oliver. Whenever a Lance feels grief I guess it means Oliver/Arrow can be their whipping post, remember how Laurel behaved.

    In September Lance was proud to work with the Arrow and now everything is the Arrow’s fault. Didn’t the Arrow save Lance’s life just last week? I tell you Flash needs to run back in time to fix this mess.

  42. Flick says:

    I, for one, really enjoyed the past few eps! I feel like both Arrow and especially The Flash are peaking at the right time. Kinda enjoying everything (logical or not). Heck, if I can’t wait for the next episode, they’re doing SOMETHING right!

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