This week on The CW’s Arrow, while Oliver was away, the new recruits got to play… with fire. Once the smoke cleared, which team member was left in the lurch?
I was not a fan of this episode. It felt 90 minutes long. I “get” what it was trying to do, but I don’t think it was done terribly well. And there is just something about the new collection of recruits that hasn’t “clicked” for me yet, not enough that I am greatly invested in their need to “belong,” to “succeed.” And certainly not as a ragtag, questionably attired group operating independent of their seasoned leader.
Oliver’s primary goal this week was to spring Diggle out of a maximum security federal prison, at Lyla’s request. Done well, and cleverly, that is an episode unto itself. Instead, Oliver smuggles himself inside via a laundry cart, and the only wrinkle he runs up against — Dig was moved to gen pop — is remedied in seconds. Surprising Dig in his cell, Oliver gets a nice speech about how, as his “brother,” “Anything that happens to you, happens to me,” as he states his case for busting Dig out against his wishes. The gents then use a nifty “antimolecular compound” to fizz a hole through the floor and slip out through some tunnels, before getting airlifted via a harness Oliver slips Diggle at the last second.
Back at the lair, Diggle and Lyla properly reunite (“If you wanted to make your own decisions, you wouldn’t have gotten married,” she smiles), while Oliver takes stock of the mess that was made in his absence. Namely….
A thingamabob that Team Arrow (minus Rory/Ragman, who can’t bring himself to work alongside Felicity) had earlier stopped a Church henchman from “stealing” gets checked into the evidence locker at the SCPD, while deputy mayor Quaetin and DA Adrian carefully look on. Church then uses a gizmo from outside to get the box humming, before it explodes a hole into the SCPD wall, allowing his minions to loot the place, and its many weapons.
On the heels of this incident, Felicity tracks down and appeals to Rory, acknowledging his still-tender wounds but suggesting they each need a means to move past the Havenrock tragedy and how it still distinctly haunts them. “We both want to move forward,” she says. “And we could really use you.”
Sure ’nuff, Rory resurfaces at the lair just as the team is out-voting Felicity in favor of venturing out sans Oliver to stop Church’s gang from attacking the Anti-Crime Unit bunker where Adrian is currently grilling one of their arrested goons. Ragman, Mr. Terrific, Artemis and Wild Dog infiltrate the bunker and ward off Church’s men well enough, though Curtis takes a dagger in the back and Wild Dog gets KO’d and eventually is hauled away to be tortured. That’s when Oliver returns from the prison break, vowing to not “write off” Rene but find him — wherever he is.
In flashbacks, meanwhile, Oliver played drunk to get thrown into a Russian jail alongside one of Kovar’s associates, squeeze information out of the guy and then snap his neck like the “Bratva devil” he is. “You trust us, now we trust you,” Anatoly later says. “The third test is over. You are now Bratva, family.”
What did you think of the episode “Penance”?