Warner Bros. went a little crazy with the movie news today, but nary a word was heard on Green Arrow’s appearance on the big screen. That’s fine. We’ll continue to join the Emerald Archer on The CW’s Arrow. The action takes a bit of a backseat to the drama in this week’s episode, which makes sense considering the shocking conclusion of their season three premiere. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of fighting, feuding, and flying out of buildings to be found, because if it’s one thing Arrow does better than most it’s balancing heroic action beats with strong character dynamics, even when the team is bidding farewell to one of their own.
Hit the jump for our Arrow recap.
Let’s start out five years ago in Hong Kong, shall we? Long-time Arrow fans were likely pleased to see a familiar face from the show’s past during tonight’s flashback. Yamashiro (Karl Yune) accompanies Ollie to a roof where he’s setting up to snipe a target for Waller, but Ollie stops when he recognizes Tommy Merlyn (Welcome back, Colin Donnell!). He refuses to shoot, obviously. Tommy’s there looking for Oliver, but Ollie’s supposed to be dead, so Waller wants Tommy dead as well before her new secret weapon is revealed to be alive and well. The only way around the hit is for Waller to hire another hitman to kill Tommy.
An unseen hands jabs Tommy with a syringe and knocks him out. Tommy comes to on a chair where a masked man interrogates him under harsh lights. The man says that he hacked Oliver Queen’s account in order to lure someone from the Merlyn family there for ransom, and that Queen is well and truly dead. Surprise! It’s actually Oliver and he’s totes fine. Yamashiro acts as Hong Kong police to “save” Tommy and send him home. It was a nice little side story for Tommy, but didn’t seem to do much beyond that, other than establish the working relationship between Queen and Yamashiro.
Now, back to the present where Team Arrow is dealing with the startling death of Sara Lance. At the defunct club Verdant, Roy, Felicity, and Ollie arrive to find Laurel watching over Sara’s very dead body. In a sad start to a rather somber episode, Laurel shares memories of Sara with Oliver, saying that she wants to catch who did it before breaking the news to Quentin.
When Oliver can’t seem to get ahold of Thea, he takes his mind off of her whereabouts by investigating the rooftop crimescene (in plain clothes). Amell actually does a fairly good job in his detective portrayal, and it’s a nice change of pacing and plotting from their usual.
Quentin calls the Arrow to fill him in on the arrival of yet another archer in Starling City, whose existence Oliver & Co. are all too aware of already. Roy’s going over the evidence (because he doesn’t have much else to do) while Felicity examines Sara’s corpse and confesses to being jealous and in awe of the warrior. For those of you (including myself) who were wondering if a member of the League of Assassins took out Sara, Ollie straight up says it wouldn’t be them since they don’t kill their own. At a dead end, they try to get some info out of A.R.G.U.S.
Once Arrow learns from a local thug that the murderous archer is sporting a hockey mask, the team soon learns that only one archer wears a mask: (Simon Lacroix/Komodo) Say hello to Matt Ward! Felicity tracks him down, which leads to Arrow chasing Komodo down in a fun motorcycle chase/street duel. Unfortunately, Arrow gets the worst end of this exchange, leading Laurel to take matters into her own hands. She questions Komodo’s latest target, Erlich Kelso (Patrick Gilmore). She gets rough with Kelso and finds out about a deal for an oil pipeline with AmerTek, just before an arrow pierces Kelso’s heart.
Speaking of heartless (ha!) Felicity chastises Oliver for his callous nature, but Ollie says that he has to stay strong and lead so that others can grieve. There’s a plethora of solid character work going on in this episode, with Sara’s death catalyzing the lot(z) of it. A particularly strong moment for Amell came when Oliver admitted that he realized that one of these days, the life that he’s chosen will be the end of him. Too bad Felicity wants more out of life than hiding.
As if things weren’t heavy enough, Roy finally speaks up and hands Ollie the note from Thea. He apologizes and Ollie seems to be holding it together (at least until next week). Good thing, too, because there are rich people to save!
Newcomer Ray Palmer’s making the rounds at his pledge event and speaks to the rich and powerful. He pledges to give away half of his net worth towards rebuilding Starling City (as Star City), and will only take $1 for his salary that year. Good plan, until Komodo busts through a window and reels in the AmerTek CEO. Arrow and Roy take him on in full view of the public (some of the sound work is a little distracting, but the stuntwork is excellent as always as the hooded archers dive out of one story and back into another, floors below). Finally Komodo and Arrow get a chance to talk, archer to archer. They exchange a couple of cool trick shots, but Arrow gets the better of it until Laurel shows up with a drawn gun. Oliver, betting on Laurel’s thirst for vengeance, has already unloaded the gun (does no one check these things first?). In a bit of a surprise twist, Komodo says he was drunk in Bludhaven two nights ago and couldn’t have killed Sara, because that would be too neat and tidy, right viewers?
Laurel’s clearly shaken by the whole ordeal, so she shows up to apologize to her father and confess what’s been going on, but she’s worried by his need for medication.
Near episode’s end, Team Arrow gathers around Sara Lance’s gravesite, where she’s now actually buried. They toss in handfuls of dirt to say goodbye. Laurel’s upset that Sara won’t get a proper burial and that no one will know who she really was, but Diggle says that they’ll know, and that he and Lyla are naming the baby, Sara, so they’ll never forget. Diggle also says he’s back on the team at least until they find the killer, while Oliver is off to find Thea and bring her home.
We’re left with parting shots of Laurel looking at Sara’s black leather jacket (strong foreshadowing here for those of you who are in the know), Diggle looking over his newborn baby, Roy trying to call Thea, and Felicity showing up at Palmer’s office, saying she decided that she wants more out of life. Bad news for those of you who ship Ollicity: as if last week’s brief flirt with this relationship wasn’t heartbreaking enough, it looks like she’s now setting her sights on Ray Palmer. Whether it’s just to make Ollie jealous, or if this is the beginning of a new romance is anybody’s guess.
Cut to DC-favorite fictional local: Corto Maltese, where a Kendo skirmish is taking place in a mansion’s lobby (as you do); the victor is quickly revealed to be Thea as Merlyn cheers her on. Cool. Looks like we’re traveling to Corto Maltese next week!
Quips and Quivers:
- Laurel: “Right now, I know that a bar is the last place I should be.”
- Quentin: “You okay? You look like someone peed in your cornflakes.”
- Felicity: “I always envisioned her as this sort of Amazonian warrior. Invincible.”
- Felicity: “THAT is a Cobalt-encrypted work station, you better not be using it to Tweet!”
- Laurel: “Imagine how rare homicides by bow and arrow are!”
- Quentin: “You don’t have to take these kinds of risks, you understand? Pretty sure your sister’s got that covered for both of you.”
- Komodo: “So you’re the Arrow. Thought you’d be taller.”
- I’m pretty ecstatic that the Arrow voice is gone, for now.
- So obviously the person who killed Sara was more than likely Komodo OH WAIT! Yeah, don’t jump to conclusions just because you recognize a name in an upcoming episode’s promo, kids.
- Laurel: “You took the bullets out of the gun!” Yes, Laurel, and thank you for explaining it to us.
- Oliver: “Oliver Queen is dead. He’s rotting at the bottom of the ocean.”
- Oliver: “John, I don’t want to die down here.” Diggle: “So don’t, Oliver.”
- Malcolm Merlyn: “Well done.” Thea: “Thanks, dad!”