Welcome back, Arrowheads! It’s time for another fun-filled week of Emerald Archer adventures! Last week saw Oliver finally building a new team. But, of course, there are a few hiccups along the road. I’m guessing this episode will include a few more. And it looks like the Arrow world is finally going to feel some flashpoint backlash! Let’s just get started, shall we?
We open with Oliver pursuing a criminal to show the team how the job works. As it turns out, this particular criminal is in possession of Star Dust, a highly potent drug, and Oliver wants to find his supplier. When Oliver gets aggressive, the team wonders if he’ll kill again, while the criminal quickly gives up his supplier -- a man named Derek Samson.
Back in the bunker, Felicity explains how the exchange of information works while Rory adjusts to his role on the team. While Felicity analyzes the drug, Rene offers his street smarts to help Oliver’s mission, but Oliver still doesn’t believe any of them are ready. He heads off alone to stop an armed gunman, but it turns out to be a cop, who tells Oliver about the dirty deeds of Prometheus.
Meanwhile, Lyla visits Diggle, who has been arrested for his commander’s crimes. Dig catches Lyla up on what’s happened, and she assures him that she believes his innocence. We also get our first mention of John Jr., which is just weird to be quite honest. Back in his cell, Dig is less than pleased with his cellmate. You might know him: a little anti-hero by the name of Dead-freaking-shot (freaking added for emphasis)! Okay, I know we’re all super upset with Barry for screwing up the timeline, but dammit if I’m not incredibly excited that Floyd Lawton is alive in this version!
Back in Star City, Oliver argues with his security detail about their presence in general (that man has never been good with bodyguards). Thea shows Oliver a news reporter slamming his decision to appoint Lance Deputy Mayor. Naturally, Oliver is pretty pissed that Thea went against his wishes and offered Lance the job in the first place. He tells her to fix the mess she just made.
In a Russia flashback, Anatoly tends to a wounded Oliver. He reminds Oliver of his mission and tells him that, in order to kill Kovar, he has to trust Bratva. Considering recent events, Oliver is understandably hesitant to do so. Anatoly asks Oliver to follow him, claiming that what he shows him will change his mind.
In Star City, Rene and Evelyn decide to go rogue and “gather intell.” They sneak into a warehouse, which turns out to be a Star Dust manufacturing plant. Evelyn wants to call Oliver and wait for the Green Arrow to come help, but Wild Dog is tired of sitting on the sidelines. Deciding that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission, he heads in to stop the drug lords on his own. Eventually, Evelyn joins in the firefight. Things seem to be going pretty well for the duo ... until, that is, they accidentally kill Samson.
Back at city hall, Oliver meets his new DA, Adrian Chase (and may I say, winky face!), who is incredibly pissed off. He tells Oliver that he’s been building a case against the Star Dust manufacturers and was going to try to flip Samson, but now a vigilante in a hockey mask has killed him (*cough* Wild Dog *cough*). In the bunker, Oliver is, of course, incredibly pissed with Rene. He tells Rene that trust goes both ways, and, if he can’t trust Rene, then they’re both wasting their time. Rory, to his credit, is just adorably confused by the power dynamic. (Guys, he’s only been here one episode, and I already love him!)
Meanwhile, Thea meets with the reporter who slammed Oliver. The reporter apologizes for pushing too far and being a little harsh. Thea asks her to walk back her statement and reveals that she appointed Lance without Oliver’s knowledge. Wilson, the reporter, promises to update the story. Yeah ... somehow I think this situation is going to go from bad to worse.
Back with Diggle, Lawton explains how he survived the building explosion but eventually got apprehended again. Dig tells Lawton about reenlisting, which is pretty surprising. They seem to strike an agreement to be civil to one another and decide to play cards. (Come on, guys. Stop acting like you shouldn’t be best friends! It’s not like Deadshot really killed Andy. Or have you forgotten that you did that, Dig?).
In Star City, a coroner examines Samson’s body, but, before he can finish, Samson wakes up and kills him. In the bunker, Curtis is adorably awkward around Rory. During their awkward exchange, Rory lets slip that he’s from Havenrock, which leaves Curtis and Felicity floundering. After Rory leaves, Curtis asks if Rory knows that Felicity redirected the missile to Havenrock, and apparently he does not.
The team gets an alert from Starling General, where Samson is on a rage-induced rampage. And bonus: it seems the not-zombie drug lord can no longer feel pain. Oliver shows, and they fight in typical Arrow fashion. Samson seems to have the upper hand, but Oliver manages to escape.
In the Arrow Cave, Felicity explains how not-zombie Samson (which has a nice ring to it) was in a chemical state when the coroners pronounced him dead, i.e. Rene didn’t murder him. Oliver tasks the team with finding Samson before he can hurt anyone. Oliver asks Felicity and Curtis to find a way to reverse the effects of the chemicals. Rene volunteers his help, and the team thinks Oliver should take it, but he’s still not ready to trust Wild Dog to follow orders. He heads off to meet with the DA, leaving the team disappointed.
Back in Russia, Anatoly reveals that the other recruits were criminals and that the Bratva bell exercise was to bring them to justice. Still, Oliver isn’t willing to trust the organization just yet. I’m sensing a theme here ... Anatoly tells him to trust the process so that he can use Bratva to help him stop Kovar.
In the present, Dig finally tells Lawton that H.I.V.E. never actually wanted Andy dead. He also lets slip that he killed Andy in the end (so I guess he does remember). Naturally, after years of hatred from Dig, Lawton takes this opportunity to twist the knife just a little.
Meanwhile, at City Hall, Adrian updates Oliver on the Samson situation and asks Oliver to get a judge to authorize a search warrant. Of course, Oliver agrees. Adrian tells Oliver that, 12 years ago, Oliver stole his girlfriend. Thankfully, Adrian doesn’t hold grudges. Thea shows up and tells Oliver that she thought the situation was handled, but (as I predicted) that weasel Wilson twisted her words around to make it seem like Oliver doesn’t know what’s going on in his own administration (although, to be fair...). Thea apologizes and promises to take full responsibility by handing in her resignation.
Down in the bunker, Curtis urges Felicity to tell Rory about her connection to Havenrock. He reminds her that secrets don’t seem to work in their business and tells her to trust that Rory will understand. Elsewhere, (not-zombie) Samson meets with his henchmen and plots his dirty undertaking. Apparently, he wants to take on Church by creating an army of chemically-enhanced soldiers.
Later, Oliver vents to Felicity about his mayoral and Green Arrow problems. Felicity tells Oliver that his team’s failings are on him. If he could just learn to listen to and trust them, the team would function better. Felicity gets an alert about a Samson break-in, and Oliver heads off to find his recruits for back up. (Freaking finally!)
Lyla visits Dig, where he tells her to stop trying to prove his innocence. He tells her that he needs to pay for what he did to Andy. She urges him to let her help him, but he says that Andy’s killer needs to be brought to justice, just like he wanted when he thought it was Floyd. Lyla says that the situation is different and reveals the Lawton actually is dead and has, apparently, been in Dig’s head this entire time. (Noooooo!) Still, Dig wants to pay for what he has done and tells Lyla to stop fighting for him.
Back in Star City, Team Arrow bonds down in the Arrow Cave. Oliver apologizes to Rene for not trusting him. Felicity tells the team what Samson stole, and they realize that he plans to build a super army. Oliver tells the team that it’s time for them to go out into the field, but the intense moment is ruined (read: made hilarious) when Curtis yells “Suit up”. Seriously, I love these recruits!
In the warehouse, Samson kills a cop and prepares to make his super soldiers. Thankfully, Oliver and company (yeah, I said it. Sue me!) interrupt him and face off with Samson and his henchman. After a hilarious costume commentary exchange between Rory and Curtis, Oliver, Rene, and Evelyn continue their fight. Curtis sets the bomb to take out the chemicals while Oliver incapacitates Samson. #Teamwork
After the fight (and a hockey mask nod to Amell’s role as Casey Jones), Oliver finally trusts the team enough to take them to the real Arrow Cave. You know, the super cool one that Cisco designed. Back in Russia, Oliver is finally initiated into Bratva (which weirdly involves a lot of cutting).
At the mayor’s office, Adrian congratulates Oliver on apprehending Samson (with help from the Green Arrow and his new team, of course). Thea tries to hand in her resignation, but Oliver refuses to accept it. He calls a press conference and tells the city that he trusts his team and their decisions. It’s not a far cry to assume that he means both teams. He also officially announces Lance’s position as Deputy Mayor and tells him that he’s the right man for the job. Thea talks to the reporter and tells her that she won’t get away with playing her again. (Welcome back, Badass Thea.)
Down in the Arrow Cave, Felicity finally tells Rory about what she did to the missile. Rory doesn’t respond but is clearly shaken by the news. In the final moments of the episode, Lyla comes in and tells Oliver that she needs him to break Dig out of prison.
I think this might actually be my favorite episode of the season so far! I am loving this new team more and more with each episode, from the power dynamic between Rene and Oliver to the hilariously innocent exchanges between Rory and Curtis. There was a light tone to this episode that I really enjoyed. I think that, if the show continues with this evolution, it might just gain back some of its lost viewers! I also have high hopes for the new DA. Hopefully he’ll be an additional ally for Oliver in the mayor’s office instead of another adversary.
But we need to talk (*cough* Berlanti) about the writers playing with my emotions in this episode, especially in regard to Floyd Lawton. How dare they give us hope and then just snatch it away like that! Seriously, not cool! All-in-all, though, this was a fantastic episode. Keep it up, Team Arrow!
That’s all for now, Arrowheads. Until next week, keep your bows at the ready and send us your reactions on Twitter!