I actually could not make myself watch this episode again, so now I’m running late and I am just gonna bite the bullet. Forgive me if I gloss over a ton of shit that I just do not care to get into, and an advance warning that this is rampantly anti-Ray. A LOT. I thought about going back and editing some of it out, but I gotta be me-so you’re getting an advance warning. 🙂 If you want to know why I feel this way about this character, read this excellent meta or this one here.
It’s Dyla’s wedding drill! Oliver feels good that he’s early but just like his life in general lately, he’s deluding himself and is actually late. This is an issue because Lyla booked a photo session which he missed, but problem-solver Diggle offers to Photoshop him in.
Felicity walks in in one hell of a red dress, poses to let her Boo take an eyescape and absentmindedly reaches behind her to pull Ray along.
We get to see Palmer meet Digg, and the only way it could have ended better is if he snapped his neck and he and Lyla danced their first dance on his corpse like a human bear rug.
Oliver is on his best behavior, making nice when Digg gets a call. The officiant just got deployed, and OH NOW RAY HAS TO MARRY THEM THAT IS A PERFECTLY NATURAL DEVELOPMENT SHUT IT. Yep, he’s a minister, and he’s coy about why but I don’t care why. Ray cracks jokes, people laugh and find him funny, I don’t get it, and Oliver looks sad and lonely. Wednesday.
Dyla and Theroy cut a rug while the Arrow writers toss Lauriver a bone. Oliver compliments Laurel’s dress and cast, and she tells him about her new (female) trainer. Oliver wants to ask more but she tells him today isn’t about that. Felicity shows up with the bouquet she caught and Laurel congratulates her and leaves. Felicity and Oliver have a brief convo about her bringing Ray as her plus one, and again, Oliver is supportive and tells her that if she’s happy (”Very,” she lies), then that’s all he’s ever wanted for her: a good guy and a normal life.
Suddenly the team’s phone alerts all go off and I am mesmerized by Roy’s, who has what seems like an alien abduction going off inside his suit. It’s the news about The Arrow becoming a killer again. Cue double takes!
Wedding scene: Four whole minutes. Put THAT in your scrapbook.
Later that night and one fabulous costume change from the new Mrs. Diggle, the group gathers in the Foundry to watch what I have to assume is the only TV any of them own. If the mayor speaks we don’ see it. Lance tells the reporters they think it’s The Arrow, Laurel is like “Unsubstantiated, bitches! D.A.’s office takes a hard pass!”
Then for some reason, Ray speaks. I mean, IN WHAT UNIVERSE? Like, I am sure I have seen news reports of crimes committed in Washington state, but I have never seen Bill Gates on the news being like, “You guys, I’m gonna take care of this. ON IT.” So basically Ray is like,
because he’s a genius and I’m sure that makes sense to him, except the premise is ridiculous and NO. But let’s play along with the superhero show.
Felicity is upset because she didn’t see this coming, and the Team think the LoA is behind this, trying to raise public sentiment against the Arrow (so far, so good!). Digg wants to know what he can do, but Oliver is like “What you can do is go to Fiji and get sex drunk, dismissed” and just this once, Diggle prioritizes his family life and he and Lyla leave to get in their limo.
But they’re not alone in their limo! Amanda Waller has no soul and I think it’s pretty safe to say no idea of romance, because Floyd Lawton is in there, waiting for them. Suicide Squad time!
They get to A.R.G.U.S. and Amanda gives them their mission: there’s been a terrorist attack at a Kasnian hospital, and US Senator Joseph Cray, whose pet project it was, is caught and needs to be extracted. Digg won’t let Lyla go alone, and when he asks Waller who besides them and Deadshot is going, it’s one of my fave Arrow villains ever: Cupid!
In the Arrow Cave, Oliver is moping the best way he knows how: training shirtless in front of Felicity.
For once, she doesn’t spare him a glance, plugged into every camera signal she can hack her way into (cover your baby monitors) trying to find “Evil Arrow”. So far, no luck. Roy shows up with info of a huge drug shipment that “Fake Arrow” would likely show at, and although he offers to suit up, he stays behind at Oliver’s request because “It’s the League.”
SS troops through the woods while Cupid fantasizes about her wedding and the strong babies she and The Arrow would make. Strong AND crazy! Lawton tells the assembly that “love is a bullet to the brain” and people like them don’t get to have families, though Lyla and John disagree.
When Lyla tells John that the mission only involves getting the senator out, and not the hostages, he asks if that’s her talking, or Waller. Lawton smirks at their disagreement and Digg snaps that he’s not him. “I wasn’t always me, either,” he mutters.
***FLASHBACK ALERT*** Floyd Lawton shows up home after a military deployment. His wife is happy to see him and introduces him to his adorable daughter, who looks about 3. Lawton tells her that he missed her every day, but the little girl is scared of him. You can see the dismay on his face, and his wife tells him that she just doesn’t know him yet, and needs time. ***END FB***
Oliver is headed to the warehouse, where Felicity has seen the Fake Arrow headed. Oliver gets there in time to shoot an Arrow into his shoulder (just to hold him still!) and unmask him, but it’s not R’as. Two more jump out at him and for a while there, it’s like the beginning to the best slashfic ever. A voice tells Oliver that it’s useless, as when one falls, two more will rise, and it is Maseo. Oliver tells him he can’t believe in murdering all these people to prove a point.
Turns out Maseo is fine with the murdering, but it’s the semantics that bother him. This is a persuasion, he tells him, because R’as sees something in Oliver. So really, it’s like a bouquet of corpses. Oliver won’t embrace it, and tells Maseo he should know him better. Maseo is like “Ok wevs I kill all day every day it’s all the same, really” and poofs his way out like “C U BRAH”.
That night, Ray is flying around in his Atom suit and catches Oliver on patrol. He scans his face and has software that IDs him.
The next day Felicity walks into the office and gets called to task by the same self-unaware dumbass who has conned her compliance with whatever ridiculous trick he pulls out his ass almost every scene they’ve been in together since his character debut. I made a personal promise to try not to use a single Ray pic this recap, so you get gifs to express my emotions.
Ray tells Felicity that she is insulting his IQ because of course, this is all about him and what she did to him and how he feels. Not like, MURDERS.
Now Oliver might be a hardheaded tree, but at least he isn’t a walking spleen like this egocentric load. Hey genius, you never once questioned why your VP was okay with helping YOU make a super suit?
Ray tells her it all makes sense now, and that he basically x-rayed him with the suit he never told her he got working, and using her facial recognition code he “borrowed” that he ALSO never told her about. MINUTIAE. Dick.
It doesn’t matter that she vouches that Oliver didn’t kill anyone in almost two years and that she knows him better than almost anyone. What Ray gets from this is that she has feelings for him (which is for his purposes, irrelevant), and even though she follows up her immediate “Yes” with denials and assurances that it’s over, he mocks the idea that he’s “supposed to trust her” now.
He tells her he hasn’t held anything back from her since the moment they met (UM YOU STOLE HER TECH, he hasn’t even been honest in the last 24 hours), and that he thought they could be partners in his mission and in life (I wonder what designerTHAT dress-bribe would have come from). When Felicity says she wanted that, and still does, it convinces no one. She asks Ray what he’s going to do, and he answers that he’s going to honor the promise he made to the city and “bring the Arrow to justice.” So, add Starling city to the list of things Ray’s about to catfish into long-term commitment. My hate frees me.
In Kasnia, the Squad moves into the hospital.
***FB ALERT*** In a truly disturbing scene, Lawton makes a bad sandwich. No really, he’s been drinking and shouts at his little girl because she doesn’t want to eat. His wife shows up and points out what we all suspect: he’s not sleeping, drinking too much, and can’t hold a job. She wants him to talk to someone, but instead he erupts into a fit of violence, pulling a gun on her in front of the baby, and when he snaps out of it, horrified, she calls the police on him. ***END FB***
Oliver and Roy are in the Cave comparing the fake vs. real Arrow-arrows (they’re identical) when Felicity comes in and unloads Palmer’s entire season-long character arc in one panicked rant. I am a little jealous of Oliver, because this doesn’t even take 30 seconds. Oliver understandably uses his loud voice to ask when she was going to tell him about someone pissing on his vigilante turf, but she says that’s not what’s important: Palmer is going to tell the police who he is. What are they gonna do?
At the police station, Ray is telling his theory to Laurel, WHO I GUESS IS THE POLICE NOW? I mean, I’m just a caveman here but don’t you report crimes to actual cops? For all the good it does him. Laurel tells him Oliver was exonerated two years ago, calls his digital images unreliable and his testimony “uncorroborated.” Ray then proves once more that there is no belt to low under which to hit by bringing up that she is defending Oliver because they dated and are old friends. Laurel’s face here is gold.
Also creepy: how does Ray know she trained with Ted Grant? Does he just randomly data-mine? He guesses she is the Black Canary, too. He is like a . In any case, Laurel basically tells him to f*ck off in legalese, and he says he’ll “just have to seek out justice on [his] own” because he really is a self-entitled sh*t. I love me some Brandon Routh, but I have never wanted to watch a hero fail harder in my life.
Kasnia.The senator tells one of the hostages that everything will be okay. The SS shoots their way in, killing all the bad guys, and Lyla tells him that they are there to get him. He gets upset, saying that this isn’t how it should have happened, and pulls a gun on them, because they shouldn’t have come. All hell breaks loose as more men show up to fight them, and Lawton tackles Cutter, taking a bullet for her. This leads to a great scene where Cutter transfers her affections to him, and he considers dying as an alternative. When Diggle goes to treat his bullet wound, he sees Lawton’s tattoo, and the name of his brother.
Lyla tries to radio out, but her signal is jammed by Sen. Cray. It turns out the kidnappers are mercenaries he hired to stage the hostage situation so he could defuse it and become a hero, then run for President.Now the hostages are witnesses, and he needs to erase the evidence, starting with them.
Ray is in his office smirking with self-satisfaction when Oliver walks in with his hands in his pockets because OLIVER HAS BALLS THE SIZE OF MOUNTAINS, Y’ALL. He responds to Ray’s smug “Arrow” with “Super-suit” and it is so perfect I want to take the writer who wrote that to a nice steak dinner. It turns out Oliver booked an appointment specifically to broadcast how few fucks he gives about the fact that Ray is hunting him. He heard from Laurel, and tells Ray that he didn’t kill those people, which Ray says Felicity told him, but he scoffs at the idea of an impersonator, saying he “hates it when that happens.”
He once again hits below the belt by insinuating that Oliver is unhinged because of his “5 years on a deserted island,” and Oliver admirably doesn’t react, saying only that Felicity told him the truth, and he “should trust her judgement.” Ray says he can’t do that, because his FREAKING MASSIVE GENIUS of a girl’s brain was broken by her “emotional attachment” to Oliver and she doesn’t see him for what he is: magma-hot millionaire crime-fighter.
Oliver again chooses not to engage, telling him he has “no idea what the city is up against,” and as he walks out, Ray says something that’s supposed to be ominous but isn’t because he might as well be wearing diapers now.
Kasnia. Digg and Lyla are in a room watching the building be rigged with explosives. The mercs mean to bomb the building and leave the senator as a lone survivor. Lyla questions what they are doing, and at John’s assertion that they accepted a mission like soldiers, reminds him that they are also parents.
She tears up at the possibility of orphaning their baby girl, and Digg admits Lawton may have been right. At that moment Lawton and Cutter come through the hall. When Lyla tells Lawton they won’t make it out, he looks at her tear-stained face and tells her that they will, and she and John will go home to their daughter.
***FB ALERT*** Lawton is in jail, and gets a visit from a nameless woman (a ‘drone’ from a ‘hive’) who is posting his bail in exchange for his “skills,” i.e., killing people. At first he refuses on account of his family, but upon finding out that his wife has a restraining order on him and that he will never see her or his daughter again, he takes his first assignment: Andrew Diggle. ***END FB***
At the Foundry, Felicity sits, exhausted and on edge when Oliver comes back in. He tells her it didn’t go well, and that Ray is “stubborn” (at which Felicity rightly scoffs) and “unstable” (same thing, but not so rightly this time) and Oliver tries to impress on her that he built himself a suit to seek out a killer, and that’s not normal.
Oliver comments that “He’s gonna be next,” and Felicity tiredly comments that he would like that. Oliver recoils (”Excuse me?”) and they settle in for the no-holds-barred type of fight you have when you are truly at the end of your rope and stop watching what you say. It’s heartbreaking, raw, and not a little overdue. Felicity tells him that he never wanted her to be with Ray, and all the talk about wanting her to be happy “was just talk.” Oliver says that it’s not true, and that he meant what he said-until he found out Ray was like him, a person with a um, crime-fighting vocation. “You deserve better,” he says gruffly, his voice breaking on the last word, and although he is hurt and speaking from the heart, so is she, and she calls him out.
“What I deserve is to be with someone who isn’t scared of being happy,” Felicity says. The blow is surgically precise and it hits the mark.
Oliver turns away from her, and she pushes what she thinks is her advantage: that Ray told her that he wanted a partner in his work, his mission, and his life, and he wants to be “a hero AND a human being.” Oliver’s face hurts me, y’all, because he does want all those things, but let’s face it: this is one pragmatic sonofabitch, and not a SINGLE. DAMN. THING. in his life so far has shown him it is possible to love someone (with the exception of John) in his hero life without things going tits up, and he just isn’t willing to risk her. He takes his opening, and with such uncharacteristic bitterness that it makes me shudder, says that it’s because Ray hasn’t realized yet “that he can’t be.”
He looks at her right in the eye and reminds her that he never said he didn’t want to be with her. “I said I couldn’t be with you AND save the city…and neither can Ray. He’s just too new at this to know it yet.” OUCH YOU GUYS. They have served the truth tea to each other and it is bitter.
A beeping on Felicity’s screen interrupts them, and Oliver asks her to have Roy meet him (I guess it’s okay now for Roy to fight LoA?) at Maseo’s probable next target, a power plant.
At the power plant, Roy reports no one there, and he’s kind of right. It’s just Ray in his super-suit, saying things that I don’t care about and blasting them with whatever the hell. Oliver shoots at him but the arrows bounce off. Ray blasts Roy into a fence, knocking him out.
Another blast knocks Oliver over, but when he is about to gloat his victory, Oliver takes a flechette and kills his power, incapacitating him. Oliver holds him at arrow-point and says that he asked him to back off, and he didn’t. Ray says to go ahead and kill him, show Felicity the kind of man he really is.
Oliver immediately puts his bow down and says that he “has nothing to prove to her, but you do. She chose you, so trust her.” He helps Ray up, turns his back and walks away because I guess Roy can find his own way home. Damn, Oliver. At least throw a blanket on the kid.
Kasnia. The Senator is apologizing to the people he’s about to kill when Digg, Lyla and Cutter come bursting in the door. He threatens to blow them up, but then notices there are only three of them as Lawton starts shooting from the roof. They evacuate the hostages and run out, but when Cutter asks how Lawton is getting out, he confesses he isn’t, and reassures John that he and Lyla will get back to their daughter, but he needs to cover their escape. As the timer counts down, Lawton takes out a picture of his family and is looking at it when the building blows up.
Felicity shows up at Palmer’s office and there’s the obligatory pat “I’m totally sorry about not trusting you when I should have trusted you” apology and she asks him if he was sincere about the partner thing. Of course he is, because this is absolutely not like those scenes in horror movies where a couple says they’ll be together forever and then 5 min later one of them is beheaded. Nope.
At Casa Diggle, Lyla tells John that Sen. Cray paid off the hostages. John confesses that he is quitting Team Arrow, because of Sara. Lyla says that he is doing good work, not like her with Waller and that she resigned from A.R.G.U.S. because she wants Sara to be proud of her. “I’m proud of you,” John says, and they hug.
In the Foundry, Felicity is literally smelling the roses when Oliver walks in. She is leaving for a meeting Ray has with the mayor, but not before she gives him a kiss on the cheek and thanks him for proving her right.
There is pretty much ZERO animosity on Felicity’s part after what became a pretty heated discussion. Why is that? Oliver has proven to Ray (and through him to her, although he claimed she didn’t need it) that he is a man of his word, and that he respects her decisions. Now that he knows what Ray is, Oliver doesn’t agree with her choice, but he trusts in her to work it out. Felicity can’t help but to take note of this and store it away for future reference. And for Oliver’s part, he now knows that Felicity is wholeheartedly committed to the idea of being a full life-partner to a hero, and that she will do it even if the hero is not him, and that’s got to be food for thought as well. A definite corner, subtly turned.
John walks in and when he asks Oliver what he missed, Oliver says, “Oh, not much,” AND HE IS RIGHT. They must have touched base before he came back in, because Oliver knew he was in Kasnia, and about Lawton. Diggle briefly tells him that he was right, and that doing what they do “having loved ones at home is complicated,” as he pours them vodka from Oliver’s stash.
I missed his response my first two viewings, but Oliver answers “The things that matter always are,” and I can practically hear the water smoothing this particular stone. The two partners toast, “To Floyd Lawton.“ Digg asks if he found his impostor, and that they need to do so before he arrows any more criminals. “Or before he starts putting them in innocent people,“ Oliver answers.
At the mayor’s office, Laurel, Lance, and Felicity listen to Ray tell the Mayor that he “has it on good authority” that the Arrow was set up. I am not really sure why Felicity has to be there, but that’s because I am STILL not sure why Ray is there. Neither is Lance, who gripes about Laurel’s suggestion to call a press conference.
As the Mayor tells them she is tired of listening to them, she gets an arrow through the heart and I am a little jealous, because she doesn’t have to sit through any more Raylicity. We see Maseo in a building across the way, dressed in a green Arrow hood and aiming through the window-straight at Felicity.