Arrow‘s Thanksgiving-themed episode on Thursday was stuffed with dramatic developments — including the reveal of a Big Bad’s true beef and the return of a smiling face.
The holiday started off lovely enough for Oliver & Co., as he segued from a successful food drive to the unveiling of the (very quickly constructed) new police precinct. It was during the latter ceremony, though, where FBI Agent Watson showed up to arrest the mayor, in front of his son and the public, on charges related to his (alleged!) activities as the Green Arrow.
Watson seems to have a “smoking gun” to make her case this time around, but the prosecution declines to show it at the pre-trial hearing. Oliver however is let out on $500,000 bail, which Felicity conveniently has handy courtesy of her start-up’s angel investors. (Speaking of which, Felicity and Curtis trade righteous indignation later — she’s aghast to learn he experimented on Diggle, while he’s upset about the name and mission selection — though they ultimately make peace.)
Diggle appears to be on the mend thanks to Curtis’ tech-based treatment of the tremors, and yet during a scuffle with Black Siren and Cayden James’ other muscle, he pulls up lame. Afterward at the hospital, it is revealed that the illegal steroid he juiced up for a bit there did great damage to his compromised nerves, putting him at risk of paralysis. The harrowing setback sets the stage for Diggle to not just come clean to Felicity (who was busy welcoming Oliver back to town when the rest of the team got lopped in) but also Oliver, who for the first time ever is not just mad but “disappointed” in his No. 1. Diggle does a bit of venting, about how he had been asked yet again prioritize Oliver’s family over his own. But later, when cooler heads prevail and Oliver apologizes for putting Dig in the latest pickle, John shares that when the Dominators last year showed his dream life, he was the Green Arrow. So when Oliver later invites him to reclaim the hood once he is fully recovered, Dig is touched.
Oliver did jump back into the Green Arrow suit in the interim, as the team aimed to stop Cayden James from exploding a thermosomething bomb at a Billy Joel (featuring Billy Joel footage!) concert. Oliver learns, though, when face to face with the Helix founder, that there was no actual bomb. Rather, James simply wanted a meeting with the Green Arrow, whom he blames for costing him his son — though he stops short of getting into the specific of his loss, nor does a cursory snoop by Felicity and Curtis turn up anything more than a name.
In the short term, Cayden James scores a big win by pitting Team Arrow against fake cops, which makes for damning news footage that effectively skews the public vote in favor of the anti-vigilante bill.
Oliver would lie to William about his Green Arrow encore, and apparently plans to keep doing so until Dig is healed, which while wholly understandably for the show (and more pressingly, for next week’s crossover event), came off a bit icky for me. Since William seems to be holding Dad to his promise, how will Oliver ever return to the vigilante gig full-time? Maybe during the crossover he brings back a Samantha Clayton from another Earth…?
Or… might Aunt Thea, in tandem with Oliver’s girlfriend Felicity, offer the lad the stability he needs? Because in this week’s final scenes, Oliver learns that Thea has emerged from her Lian Yu coma, thanks in part to her long-ago dunk in the Lazarus Pit. And as the hour comes to a close, she is treated to a hospital bed-side Thanksgiving dinner by her dutiful nephew, as Oliver gives thanks for all that he has in his life right now.
Next stop: Barry and Iris’ wedding! (After taking down a team of ninjas, that is.)