This week on The CW’s Arrow, the first major phase of Cayden James’ grand plan delivered collateral damage, in the form of Oliver’s relationship with his son. How did William react to discover his dad’s lie?
As James uncorked a widespread series of “hack-cidents” upon Star City, killing (among others) Captain Pike and a councilman, Oliver put Quentin back in charge of the SCPD to coordinate the set-up of analog “safe zones” throughout the city. (Initial turnout was low, with people afraid to venture out, but Oliver did a televised presser to nudge everyone to safety.)
Many of James’ attacks targeted routes out of the city, including the tunnel that William’s school bus was taking to a field trip. Trapped in the tunnel and with explosions sparking all over, William led his classmates out the back of the bus and in the direction of safety, before getting cut off from everyone by falling debris. Arriving on the scene with an upgraded Spartan, Oliver sought out and freed William, then hurried him to safety in the nick of time. Looking at Green Arrow’s face, William realized, “Dad?”
As he got a ten-cent tour of the bunker afterward, William called Oliver out on his deception — that he returned to being Green Arrow in the wake of Diggle’s injury, and even after he healed up. Against Felicity’s initial advice, Oliver let William have some time to himself there in the bunker, while he, Diggle and “NTA” (Curtis, Rene and Dinah) went into the field to defend one safe zone from James’ men. As Felicity ran Overwatch for the mission, she explained in detail to William, as he looked on, the importance of what Oliver does — and how damn good he is at it.
“Heroes don’t always make it home, I never forget that,” Felicity noted, with a glance at Laurel’s suit. “Oliver hasn’t always been truthful, he’s not perfect, but he makes his sacrifices — and so we have to make ours… You can worry, but you have to believe he’s going to be OK. That’s the only way this works.” Felicity’s counsel spoke to William, who as the mission came to a successful close, had to remark that Dad is “pretty badass” as Green Arrow.
Later, Oliver called a “family meeting” at… wherever it is he lives now… to tell William he is “terribly sorry” for lying about suiting back up, and that despite his reasons he truly has “no excuses.” But from here on, he promises “no more secrets or lies,” and if William wants him to hang the bow back up, he will “The city needs you, and I get that now,” William responded. And as for the fear of losing another parent, “It’s different now — I have Felicity,” he said. “I understand why you have to go out there.”
Elsewhere in the episode:
* Making an appointment with the mayor as “Ben
Linus Henry Gale,” James explained that his vendetta has to do with a wayward arrow from Oliver hitting and killing his son a year ago. Thing is, Oliver realizes, he wasn’t even in Star City at that time he was out recruiting Dinah. Much of the episode was spent waiting for an off-screen Alena using some utterly cockamamie method of learning what was on the damning flash drive James received, but she came up empty.
* NTA got tipped off to an attack on the subway system by Vince, who explained to Curtis that he was a double agent, working undercover with James’ team. When Curtis came clean about the source of the actionable intel, Dinah A) reminded of her ex’s track record and B) chided Curtis for pulling an Oliver Queen by not telling her right away. But by episode’s end, Vince had proven himself again (by alerting everyone to the safe zone attack, and saving Rene’s life during same).
* As James declared it time to move onto the next phase of his operation, the fact is that despite the team’s big win defending the safe zone, time had run out on the terrorist’s first nightly deadline — so Oliver had Thea wire $10 million, as instructed, lest the thermowhatever bomb go off.
What did you think of the episode “We Fall”?