Arrow Sara Escapes

Arrow Recap: Secrets and Lairs

Some might say that this week’s Arrow was a bit on the snoozy side — I mean, for all the pre-season hype the flashbacks are moving at a positively glaaaaaaacial pace — but some needed and well-deserved character work was done, and nicely at that, by series vet Paul Blackthorne.

After all, Quentin Lance had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. For starters, “No More Secrets” Laurel led him to where she had hidden Sara, the daughter he has said goodbye to twice already in his lifetime. And though Laurel believed she was delivering the greatest gift in bringing Sara back, Dad countered, “This isn’t back…. This isn’t my daughter,” shackled to a wall like the feral post-mortem beast she currently is.

So rocked is Lance that he turns to the man he’s already ill-advisedly involved with, Damien Dahrk, for some perspective from the onetime League member on how to take the edge off post-Pit depression. “Father to father,” Darhk answers, letting slip an innnteresting bit about his personal life, “If it was my daughter, I’d put her down.”

Lance goes to do just that toward episode’s end — “I’m sorry, baby, you’re just not her,” he tells the familiar-but-straaaange young woman before him — but Laurel stops him, after which her father breaks down sobbing.

Were that Quentin’s only woe, though!

No, he also learned that some members of the anti-vigilante task force he resurrected during Oliver’s absence have gone rogue, stealing drug shipments for resale. Their leader, Liza (True Blood‘s Rutina Wesley), insists they are not criminals but victims of a “dying city” out to provide for their own. After a first disastrous run-in with this well-equipped crew, Team Arrow ultimately comes away with a win, though it was a close call as Liza got the drop on Oliver. Thankfully, Quentin was able to talk down the bad cop with a rousing speech about believing in the city, yada yada.

The third strike for Quentin was dealt by Oliver, who in monitoring cop cams saw the detective meeting with one Damien Darhk. In a very tense scene between Blackthorne and Stephen Amell, Quentin started, “You don’t get to pass judgement on me!” But oh, yes Oliver now does. “You always held yourself up as better than me, and you were. Until tonight,” Oliver stated. When Quentin attempts to explain how he before he knew it he got in too deep with Darhk, who then threatened Laurel, Oliver roared back, “Stop hiding behind your daughters!” Lance would later set out to turn in his badge, having failed his city, but mayoral candidate Oliver instead beseeched him to stay on and be their man on the “inside” with the elusive Darhk.

Elsewhere in the episode:

* Yes, Oliver announced his run for mayor, with a speech penned by Thea. And he’ll be running his campaign out of Brother Blood’s old HQ, upstairs from which is one totally suh-weet new lair.
COMMENTARY: I try not to be “that guy,” but the “cash flow” problem on this show is getting just silly and downright inexplicable. Felicity took money from Palmer Tech to “kickstart” Oliver’s campaign? The same Palmer Tech that desperately needed to fire a buncha people, yet she wouldn’t let them? And all the new toys upstairs, were those donated by the STAR Labs peeps, leased…?

* Felicity’s phone kept acting up, and Curtis recognized the code it was running as being old code of Ray’s. Curtis then found an audio recording of Ray’s last words, which Felicity eventually found courage to listen to: “I’m sorry, Felicity, This is my fault.”
COMMENTARY: For the love of Zod, if some itty-bitty Ray is trying to contact Felicity, can’t he just like hop up and down on her keyboard and tap out a message? This is dragging.

* Damien received a mysterious, ornate box…. Sara escaped.

* In about 75 cumulative seconds of Lian Yu flashbacks, Oliver faked his killing of the woman (does she have a name yet?) he actually saved. And then Richards discovered the radio/computer gizmo Oliver uses to check in with ARGUS.

What did you think about this week’s Arrow? Excited to see Constantine next week?

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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77 Comments
  1. James says:

    Great episode! Loved that scene with Oliver and Quentin, great acting by both. Paul really shines when he acts alongside strong actors, that’s why his scenes with Laurel fall short and miss the mark. Are they redeeming him so he could die, I truly hope we don’t lose him this season. I think we can all confirm that Laurel should be in that grave 5 months from now. Once Sara is resorted what is Laurels purpose other than being canon in the comics.

    • Joe says:

      Laurel needs to be written off the show agreed…

    • DarkDefender says:

      After Sara becomes the white canary (purified soul courtesy of Constantine) and joins TLOT, they will still need a black canary and they have built up Laurel so much (and defended that choice) that I doubt she dies. But it is looking more like Quentin may end up 6′ under. Let’s hope you are right and we keep daddy Lance.

    • Liz says:

      I actually think Quentin will be in the grave which is a shame because his scenes with Oliver were really great tonight. I wish it was Laurel because she just adds nothing to this show anymore but the writers aren’t that brave to kill her off.

    • suzyque says:

      I’m really hoping it’s Laurel in the grave. I laughed out loud at her terrible fall when she got tasered last night. She can’t even pass out convincingly.

  2. Midnight says:

    So basically Felicity is embezzling funds so she can watch her boyfriend work out.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      …plus ~$25K/kilo for the cocaine I can’t imagine they will ever get reimbursed for…

      • Joe says:

        Wouldn’t they have Felicity’s money as CEO…probably seven figures, p!us thea’s malcom money, plus Barry owns star labs essentially…

        • Anna says:

          Exactly. Felicity as CEO has a salary, and therefore, is earning. Oliver running is something the city needs–no one else will step up, and the city needs leadership (suspension of disbelief and all). Ray would have supported Oliver’s run for mayor, so it isn’t that farfetched to pitch that to the board since he was meeting with the mayor and the city’s leadership in the last season. Also, Felicity would have been earning at least six figures as VP for all of last season as well.

          Yeah, the show seems to have forgotten that Thea is still a billionaire. Well, maybe just a multi-millionaire because of inheritance tax, but still.

          (Felicity didn’t fire anyone–she hired them all back.)

    • Morgan says:

      Felicity is arguably the worst CEO in recent television history, and so far it seems like all she does is embezzling funds, lie to the board, and then lie to the board some more!
      That said, John Constantine guest starts next week and I am excited for him! More than I am excited for Arrow, these days…
      …even though this was a good episode! :-)

      • Sarah T says:

        I don’t think Felicity was embezzling funds, I think it was more of a donation from Palmer Tech (and as someone mentioned above, not too far fetched given that the city DOES need a mayor and there have not been any successful candidates to date).

    • Anon says:

      proving once again…..Felicity is simply awful

    • Diane says:

      Pretty sure Felicity has a salary…. Like most CEOs.

    • Liz says:

      It’s probably her own money seeing as she’s CEO. But anything to hate on Felicity right?

  3. GirlvsTV says:

    This episode was really boring. I’m glad Oliver finally told Quentin off though. I don’t give two flips for Quentin or Laurel, so the stuff that was supposed to be emotionally effective registered as a “meh”. And I totally agree about the money thing, it doesn’t help that they keep referencing that Felicity/PT is paying. for. everything. And isn’t it illegal for a company to fund a political campaign? Lol, maybe Felicity set up a Super PAC. That’s why she’s been too busy to fix her phone.

  4. herman1959 says:

    Stephen Amell’s acting was on spot tonight – not something I’d usually say – when it could have been so easy to over-act that big scene with Paul. Speaking of Paul, he was everything in this episode! The writers should continue to give him good material or let his character go.

    • Joe says:

      Laurel is just an incredibly stupid and selfish human being…thanks to her her dad is even more of an emotional wreck than he was, and her zombie sister is roaming the city…and of course Oliver is going to have to bail her out…again…seriously Laurel has the decision making process of a child…

      • Rob Watkins says:

        You wouldn’t resurrect a family member if you had the opportunity? All she heard was a warning from Malcolm, but she has been with Thea for months. While Thea is having issues, she’s dealing with them.

        • Joe says:

          Difference thea did not die…Sara was a one year old corpse… malcom warned her and Nyssa who loved Sara, and understood the pit, was absolutely against it to the point of destroying the pit afterwords…and do you think anyone on team arrow would approve…Laurel did not think of anyone other than herself, as usual…she has the thought process and impulse control of a 10 year old…

          • Rob Watkins says:

            It’s magic, it’s not like science with predictable rules, and so what if Malcolm warns her? He’s MALCOLM! He knows about the pit’s restorative powers, but he had never seen someone resurrected from the dead. In a world with super powers and magic, is it really that hard to think that there might be a solution to her issue?

            Yes, she thought of her self, heaven forbid. Her sister whom she loved was dead. What annoys me most about this whole situation is the contradictions of the detractors “They killed off the wrong sister”. and when Sara is brought back, sure enough, Laurel gets knocked for doing so.

            How many approved of Oliver’s decision to bring back Thea, but ultimately went along with it?

  5. Jimmy says:

    I really wish they would dispense with these flashbacks. They add absolutely nothing to the overall story. Beyond that, I thought this was a pretty good episode. The confrontation between Lance and Oliver was some damn good acting by both men.

  6. Tobias says:

    Felicity really bawled when she heard Ray Palmers voice… Did she really love him that much?

  7. Lurk says:

    The Lance and Oliver scene was kickass awesome. The new lair is also kickass. Thea reminiscing about her druggie days was kickass. Oliver and Felicity interacting over the salmon ladder was kickass. And Laurel… Needs to have her ass kicked. Christ she just sucks.

  8. Drew says:

    Lance continues to inch his way toward that grave. Making up with Oliver and wanting to make things right does not bode well for him.
    I like that nobody has faith in Oliver running for Mayor. If he had any competition, I’m sure he would lose. At least they acknowledge his failures… I wish they’d do the same for Felicity who is bombing as boss of Palmer Tech.
    I am getting annoyed with the way Oliver’s fighting skills have tanked over the last couple of seasons. Does he ever actually win any fights anymore? Is a bigger team making him lazy?
    The Sara stuff is compelling enough, even though it is an obvious McGuffin to get Caity on the spinoff.
    I like Thea. Her joking about the good old days of drugs and partying in high school, and Diggle’s reaction were priceless.
    Felicity is slow. Seriously, could they be making her look and dumber? First, not recognizing that something is up with her phone (Who is this woman and where is Felicity Smoak?) and then not just giving the dude the password so he could investigate. Also, how dumb is he for not figuring out Ray’s super dumb password. These are the geniuses on the show?!
    I thought they played some interesting notes with Damien this week. He wasn’t just eeeevil, he was kinda human. That makes him creepier.
    The show still has some recovering to do. Flash is beating it, hands down. That said, it could be worse. It is better than last year (though it is early) and better than most comic book shows on TV. It is just a wide gap between the Arrow of seasons 1 and 2, and this season. I want it to get back there.

    • Liz says:

      Sadly they’re intentionally writing Felicity this way because the plot to find Ray isn’t happening for 2 episodes. So her character is being sacrificed for the sake of plot. Not surprising. It’s frustrating though and it’s not only happening to her. Oliver is getting his ass kicked every week and not really doing much in the field because they have to make the others shine now. It’s so lame and obvious. I’m really disappointed in it.

      • Melissa says:

        I agree with you, I’m so disappointed with this thing (the villain of the week always beating the Green Arrow, then someone of the team goes there and saves his ass). I know they want to show us that right now they are a team, but he supposed to be the hero (the main character). Meanwhile, Oliver scenes are good and he is finally doing some stuff outside the lair.

        Oliver Queen 10 x 0 The Green Arrow

        • Liz says:

          I’m trying to accept the bigger team but I refuse to at the sacrifice of Oliver’s abilities. Making him stand there or zipline just so others can do a stunt is just plain wrong considering this is a show about Green Arrow. He needs to be doing all the kickass stunts and everyone else should do less.

      • Drew says:

        I think that Team Arrow eventually needs to be trimmed back. Possibly just to Oliver and Thea. Black Canary eventually needs to become her own thing (sometimes working with Green Arrow and sometimes with the Birds of Prey), so maybe she can spin off or something. Diggle shouldn’t be raising a kid there. Felicity should go to prison.
        I just think you’re right. They need to boost the team, so they’ve taken Oliver from being an amazing fighter in season 1, to making him kinda pathetic now.
        I really hate when characters don’t do obvious things because the story demands that they put it off. The classic “I could tell you this vital piece of information, but I won’t because that needs to happen later” thing. Felicity is supposed to be rebounding from a horrible year of writing last year, but they’re just making her look bad again.

        • Liz says:

          Felicity should go to prison? Lmao, oh Drew! I’ll never agree with you about Felicity (although I do think they need to write the CEO stuff better, it’s sloppy) but I 100% agree the team needs to be trimmed back. They’re trying to make them all equal and it doesn’t work because Oliver has been doing this for 8 years now. Laurel doesn’t really fit on the show anymore anyway and Thea is more of a sidekick role. The chemistry of the whole team is just off. It’s not right.

  9. Grace M says:

    Is anyone else getting tired of all these flashbacks? After four seasons, it’s getting annoying. Do we really have to every little detail of where Oliver was and what he was doing (and for who), every minute of those MIA years? In the first two seasons, it was fine and let us know he met up with Sarah again, but seasons three and four? Cut it out already, or least not do so much of it. Please….

  10. m3rcnate says:

    First time I’ve seen Stephen have an Oliver rant where he played it subtly and didn’t over-act. Nice.
    .
    The episode was pretty good, I agree about pacing issues (taking so long to stretch out Ray, w/e is going on on the island, etc) and some other issues (cash flow).
    .
    Here is the thing though, I am having 10x more fun watching The Flash, even the worst Flash episode is at least twice as fun as the average Arrow episode now-a-days. Back in season 1 and 2 of arrow I feel like I was so pumped all week to watch the newest ep, and I’d watch it and think it was badass and felicity would be funny (and hot) and Diggle would be cool and Oliver would be killin dudes as The Hood. Don’t really feel that anymore (except Emily Bett is still smokin hot).
    .
    So are we not gonna talk about Oliver being stabbed and then the next day walking around normal in a suit running for mayor? Or what? He was stabbed in the back with a big blade at least a few inches deep, you are telling me he throws some island herbs on that and it is healed or what? :-/

    • DarkDefender says:

      They just brought back Sara (and Thea) from the dead and you question a minor stabbing? No organ damage unless she turned the knife and plunged it deeper into him. Plus he’s the Arrow and that good enough for me.
      ;-)

      • m3rcnate says:

        They haven’t established any quick healing in this show except with the pit’s waters which not only have they not established Oliver has some of, but the pit has been destroyed from what we can tell (and Malcolms reaction). Sooooo…a 3 inch knife wound from a 1-2 inch wide blade straight up in the lumbar area of his back, just an inch away from his spine? That isn’t a “heals in 2 days, i’m up walking around in no pain” type situation.
        So now, not good enough for me. It is the tiny details like this that make certain shows hard to watch. When they get the small details right a show feels so much more authentic and detail oriented.

    • Amy37 says:

      Exactly. There not paying as much attention to the details anymore as they used to in season one and two. Storylines aren’t coming together and the viewer just gets lost. I used to jump up and down my bed every morning Arrow was airing, now I’m bored while watching it.. somethings definitely going wrong.

  11. blah says:

    On the financial side of things, Arrow season 4 has unfortunately turned back into the badly written uneven show we all wanted to love. The only saving grace is that after 3 years and lots of plot contrivances the writers were able to luck into a situation where Laurel fits in with the rest of the original team Arrow. So despite all the poor writing the chemistry of the core 5 fighting bad guys is fun enough to tune into every week.

    That new base was giving me some serious power rangers flashbacks with all the suits lined up next to each other. Man i’d love a montage of the team suiting up backed by terrible music simply for nostalgia’s sake

    • Liz says:

      I disagree. I actually think the chemistry of the 5 of them is missing and it doesn’t feel right, especially after seeing the original three the previous week which just works so well. This episode only highlighted it even more for me.

      • GirlvsTV says:

        ITA. There is a chemistry void in the new team and seeing OG Team Arrow back together last week only highlighted that for me. I don’t know if it’s that the scenes with all of them together is the issue (because I liked the Thea/Dig and Thea/Oliver scenes) but something is just ‘off’ with the dynamics.

        • Liz says:

          I just feel like there’s too many of them now and they’re trying to give focus to everyone and it messes with the pacing of things. I can’t explain it well but it doesn’t feel right. They don’t feel like a cohesive unit like Oliver, Diggle and Felicity did.

          • Rob Watkins says:

            Both of you are so wrong, five people is hardly a lot, and I can’t stress this enough OTA is Oliver and Diggle. Felicity didn’t join the team until halfway through the season.

    • Polly says:

      While I did enjoy most of the storylines this episode, TA fights are definitely what I’m most excited about every week and I wish they’d invest more screentime in those fights like they did in the previous seasons as they’re absolutely kicking a** toghether.

  12. Mo says:

    No one is going to mention that clearly Felicity has a suit (and maybe a secret identity or at least a code name) in the works (or maybe finished, judging from Thea’s comment). Any guesses?

  13. Azerty says:

    This is the 2nd time Damian Dhark heavily imply he has a kid / a daughter. This week with Lance, last week after Anarky kidnapped the girl. This is not very subtle. Whoever she is (best theory Felicity. Or maybe Oliver’s baby momma?) I am sure she will pop up at some point and will play a big part in the story.

    • herman1959 says:

      If D.D.’s daughter is Oliver’s baby momma, he’s also the grandfather of Oliver’s son…COMPLICATIONS! I’d like to see it, though.

    • suzyque says:

      The writers recently said in an interview that Felicity is not Darkh’s daughter — though they could be lying. I’m still hoping they were lying when they said after the premiere that they hadn’t figured out who’s in the grave yet.

  14. Pat says:

    Liza says they are not criminals, so how does she justify the killing of two police officers who were shot down in cold blood, oh yeah she uses the words that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, so I guess in her mind that makes it ok. I was always leaning towards Thea being in the grave, but now I think it will be Lance. Last night some of his words and actions seemed to be the start of his farewell departure from the show. Overall, the episode was ok for me but not as exciting as it was last week. I was wondering how they were going to work Constantine in the show and seeing the previews for next week it looks great. Who else could try and get Sara’s soul back, so this is fantastic how they will be calling on his help.

  15. Amy37 says:

    Snoozefest. Geez, Arrow better improve quick cause this is getting ridiculous. Arrow is sinking and has been sinking since the incredible season 2 in my opinion.

  16. obriensg1 says:

    The lair owed a lot to Star Labs according to Felicity. Which makes sense. That place is huge and they only use 3 connected rooms. Lots of unused equipment and computers lying around they could donate to Team Arrow.

  17. Ashley says:

    I enjoyed the episode, but the scene where Liza was strangling/knifing Oliver and Lance talked her into surrender is really bugging me. No way a person who just shot one or two fellow officers a few days prior is just going to suddenly give up and go to prison because Lance made a good speech.

    Did anyone else not buy that? It’s bugging me way more than the money thing. Though I wish Palmer Tech would have a miraculous breakthrough that brings in a ton of cash so it’s not such an issue.

    • herman1959 says:

      The way that Liza just turned bugged me too because the happy ending just didn’t fit.

    • John NYC says:

      One slight way is the shooting of the two officers was a spontaneous action and one the came to regret since then as she thought about it: and Lance pushed those guilt buttons.

  18. I still think Lance is the one that puts whoever in the grave, and I’m guessing Laurel will be the one in said grave due to Oliver’s comment about him hiding behind his daughters.

  19. Liz says:

    Aside from the Quentin and Oliver scene which I feel was long overdue and very earned, this episode was so boring I wanted to switch off. I’m so done with Laurel and her hostile body language/frowny judgmental face at everyone and everything and keeping Sara locked in a dark basement was probably the final straw for me. DONE. I love Felicity but using her to help find Ray is removing her from the team yet again. This happened last season. Oliver keeps getting bested by the villains every week and he’s barely doing anything out in the field when he used to do this all by himself. It’s just weird and doesn’t feel like his show anymore. Not enough Diggle. Bored dot com.

  20. brenna says:

    There were some great moments in the episode, all of Oliver’s encounters with Lance were excellent acting by both men. And yay for the salmon ladder scene!! I’m really loving Season 4, but this was my least favorite episode this season. I’m really ready for Sara and Ray to go on over to LOT so that Arrow can get back to the Arrow story and not so much setting up for LOT. Having said that, I’m looking forward to next week.

  21. Eric says:

    I feel like I’m in the minority here, but I enjoyed this episode. I loved that confrontation between Ollie and Lance. It was so long coming and it was nice to see Ollie let him have it. Stellar work by Paul Blackthorne and Stephen Amell. I feel like people have it out for Laurel and no matter what the writers do, she can’t win. I feel like we are in a Skylar White/Lori Grimes situation and I definitely don’t think the hate her character gets is worth it. For all the gripes about money and some realism, people seem to think it would be totally fine for Laurel to just throw on the Black Canary costume and be a martial arts master. Come on.

  22. Dj says:

    This episode has me even more convinced that Lane is in the grave. Darhk is going to find out Lance is working with the Arrow and kill him.

  23. Polly says:

    Best epsiode so far this season. I’m bored by the flashbacks, I FF them (or most parts, anyway) but the rest was great and very enjoyable. I didn’t love all the Sara cliffhangers the past three episode, we all know that she’ll be fine (and the city will probably be as well), however, it seems they’re actually going to deal with the situation next episode, and I’m excited about that.
    The fighting scenes – while I think they could actually “win” a few more fights, I like their team dynamic (and when you think about it, 2/4 team members out in the field only had months instead of years of training).
    Overall, I think this episode was just very well balanced and the highlight was definitely the Ollie/Lance scene.

  24. How many algorithms did smart guy run, and *none* of them found “password”? I don’t think so.