Ish got real, y’all. Real sad. And real boring, I’m sorry to say. Last week was actually an easier recap, so this is even shorter than that one, and here’s hoping this week is better. I’m still here for this show.
We got a dream sequence where Oliver is all, “Yeah, you know what? I’m gonna stay here and screw this city because I only know ONE thing, not two. Solve your own problems, Thea Queen, I’m about to smear this pink lipstick.”
I may have paraphrased most of that dialogue, but I had to. It was probably the only time this episode I smiled. So of course he coughs up blood because it has to suck balls to be Oliver Queen or else we all turn into pumpkins.
Same, Miss Smoak. SAME.
Oliver wakes up and stumbles over to Tatsu, who is rocking a smoky eye and brewing him some penicillin. I would watch this show. It’s like Himalayan ER. Or House, because Maseo is pretty cranky.
Oliver thanks Tatsu, and she credits the snow, the cold, and Maseo, who asked her to meet him. Maseo is leaving when the snow stops, and tells Oliver he should care more about what Starling has become in his absence, and less about what the LoA will do to him.
Girl running from a dude in an alley only to get saved by Laurel as Fauxnary. She immediately gets pwnd and then saved by Arsenal, who knows at least enough to save the banter for AFTER you beat up the bad guy.
Roy takes Laurel back to the Cave for some stitches and a talk, and his delivery of “you have a law degree” when he points out the holes in Laurel’s skill set is fighting with Digg’s fabulous “Laurel, what the hell?” to be my new text message notification.
Proving again that John is the voice of the fandom, he says she’s “certifiable” if she thinks she can wear her sister’s mask, and she tries to justify this mess by saying that the city needs a visible hero, and that since Oliver is gone and Sara is dead, she’s all they got.
At QC, Felicity is in the office 3 hours early so she can brood in peace
and STILL Ray manages to crash her pity party. He’s meeting with the Mayor about the situation in The Glades so of course she needs to go because that’s what VPs do, they go EVERY PLACE THE PRESIDENT DOES. He mentions he could help in other ways, but
she still won’t fix his chip.
She huffs that “nothing
you can do or say will change my mind” and this is when I know she is
definitely changing her mind. Never play poker, Arrow writers.
Thea’s at Verdant & runs into Creep DJ who is briefly skeezy and when he leaves, by Malcolm,
who is annoyed that she isn’t packing.
She can’t leave without
knowing about Oliver, and she doesn’t know why he wants
her to go. Malcolm tells her she’s not ready for the truth, and she’s
all BYE THEN and stalks off. Oh Merlyn, no one ever prepared you for a milennial. When he gives up and gets in the car, Roy sees him go.
There’s a meeting about something with the mayor and Brick is an asshole and I am already done with this plot, I care so little.
What I do care about is that Maseo and Tatsu are no longer together, and I SHIP IT. Damn it, you two, get your shit together. Oliver is like the handsomest marriage counselor ever, but the odds don’t look good.
There’s a flashback to Tatsu’s rescue from China White in a club. All you need to know is it’s successful, and even tho Maseo gave them the real Alpha, it ended up being fake.
Brief convo between Quentin and Felicity where he points out that the Arrow didn’t show, but Sara was back. Felicity immediately realizes it’s Laurel.
More Laurel unsuccessfully lawyering.
More interesting is Roy, who is my new favorite person as he confronts The Magician himself in Thea’s apartment. Turns out someone other than Felicity is willing to mail a truthigram to Mr. Merlyn.
He tells Malcolm that he is “poison,” he won’t let him take Thea anywhere and that she will find out about Sara. Once she does, Roy assures him as one in the know, Malcolm will lose her forever. Merlyn holds up his hand and un-invites him from the convo because he’s not family, but I’m still glad someone had the balls to call him out on his utter dickishness to his only living kid, and that that someone was the man who loves her.
Felicity heals Ray and I’m not ready to see these two together. It’s too soon and feels gross. The takeaway is he tells her he’s not trying to fight crime only for Anna, but for the people he cares for. Ugh. OK, fine. God please let this arc end soon and be replaced with a significantly less gross arc.
Laurel and Roy are suiting up when Diggle arrives. She won’t stay safe in the Cave and let him go with Roy. She knows she’s not her sister, but she thought Digg would understand.
John asks Roy to stay close to her, but when they go to save the alderman Brick kidnapped (yeah, that’s happening), Roy and she screw up and don’t capture him, and Brick kills one of them just to make a point. POINT TAKEN.
Back at the station, Quentin talks to Laurel about her sister because YES, he still thinks she’s alive and yes, Laurel STILL says nothing. Brick calls and wants a parlay with the mayor because Shakespeare. This would totally happen IRL.
At Thea’s, Malcolm tells Thea just enough truth to hook her. Basically the story of his wife, but you know, omitting the part where he got her brother killed.
Felicity comes to see Laurel and no, it’s not a dream sequence. She saw the news and knows she suited up as the Canary. Laurel has a very nice monologue about how Felicity needn’t worry about her anymore because the death of the alderman made her realize she’s not “strong enough to fight for Sara.” So OF COURSE the next thing Felicity says is what Ray told her, that maybe they fight for those still alive. It was well acted, well-written, and I bought into NONE of it. Zero.
Go figure, and I can’t really say why, but when Arrow is at its best I lose myself in the characters. I forget that I am watching a show, and this entire setup felt so contrived to me that I was painfully aware that this scene was written this way to pull in these specific four characters (Felicity, Laurel, Sara, and Ray via quote) to give them a commonality and a unity of purpose, and it was hammered home a little too hard for my taste. EBR and KC approached this from radically different acting schools. If Emily had chosen to play her sadness bigger, or Katie had downplayed her lines some, this could have been great. Instead in comparison with Oliver and Tatsu’s tragic, permeating sadness at the change in the man they once knew, this felt harsh and overdone. Not to mention THIS:
At the parley, Brick takes waaay too long to ask the Mayor to move all cops out of The Glades so he can crime in peace and no one knows why Ray’s there.
At the cabin, Oliver tries to convince Maseo to stay with them and Tatsu sweetly tells him she still loves him, no matter who he thinks he has become. There is a split second where Maseo breaks his blank stare and blinks during their kiss, and I scream out loud. These poor babies.
Maseo sees the LoA outside the house and when they open the door, Oliver and Tatsu are hiding and he is warming his hands. Maseo tells them that Oliver was there, and that he was about to leave to follow his trail. When they get suspicious and try to check the house, he kills them.
In the Cave, Digg and Roy drink Oliver’s good vodka and Roy asks if they can’t do this without Oliver.
Cue Felicity and Laurel, who come down the steps. Felicity admits being wrong, she’s back in, and says that it’s up to them to protect their home. Laurel tells them that the Mayor is going to pull out of The Glades. My takeaway: Laurel still doesn’t believe Oliver is dead, but there are for sure live people that might appreciate a save.
Next up: the clubbing of a baby seal. HAHA NO J/K Laurel uses recordings of Sara’s voice that Felicity fed through an algorithm (et tu, Dr. Frankenstein?) to up the ante on asshole behavior to Quentin and get intel about the case. She cries when he says he doesn’t know what he’d do if something happened to her. GOOD.
Felicity hits Ray up for his helicopter. This is more Ray than I really needed to see. Just steal it. Turns out Diggle knows how to fly, and he takes Roy and Laurel to the (all together) a warehouse in The Glades where Brick is holding the aldermen. When Oliver gets back, he should just set fire to all warehouses in The Glades. Roy and Laurel do somewhat better this time and free the aldermen, but when Laurel is cornered by Brick, she escapes by kneeing him in the junk, then throwing herself out a window and grabbing onto the helicopter ladder as it flies her away, and just HAHAHAA NOPE.
Just…no. Ah, show. You kill me.
Props to her stuntwoman, tho.
At the cabin, Maseo leaves Oliver and Tatsu behind despite their (and my) pleas.
Because my heart isn’t broken enough, Laurel hangs out on a fire escape and uses the voice recordings to have an entire conversation with her dad as Sara. He tells her that the Mayor is still pulling out of The Glades and maybe they can go have Chinese food and talk? When she avoids him, he calls her on it. To his concerned “are you okay” she answers, “I’m fine, Daddy” in Sara’s voice and it is actually beyond fucked up.
If lying to Thea is wrong, lying to Lance is goddamned criminal. This is a decent man who has endured car chases, shootouts and a high-pressure job and his ticker is still going. F#CKING TELL HIM.
At Chez Thea, she tells Malcolm that he taught her to fight and not be scared, and she thinks he should take his own advice. Malcolm gives in for perhaps the first time in his life, and tells her that they’ll stay. His smirk at the end is deeply disturbing, because there is now no doubt in my mind that he meant to stay and this is all a setup. Malcolm doesn’t brush his damned teeth without a plan B.
Felicity gives Ray back the keys to his helicopter, plus his (now fixed) chip. If she helps him, she says, he may not end up dead. Yawn. K. Moving on.
Finally, Thea’s at Verdant and finds Skeezy DJ, who tells her he was in there for “some of his music files” he needed for another gig and boom just like that we know he’s shady because WTF are those files on a floppy? When Thea leaves, he makes a phone call to… Maseo, informing him that The Magician is still in Starling. The worst thing about this news is that I can almost guarantee we’ll be seeing him and his boy-band headsuit again.
That’s it for this week! Next week, Oliver returns, and the tug-of-war between this show and my feels continues. Thanks for reading! For more shenanigans, follow me here or on Twitter @conniebv.