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?