Arrow has almost gotten to their finale, but first, they have to deal with the “Missing.” The news, good for once, is talking about Adrian Chase being behind bars. Quentin, Thea, and Oliver are in his office celebrating his new 70% approval rating. With the major threat dealt with, Quentin goes off to read Rene the riot act for not making it to the hearing for custody of his daughter. We also learn that today is Oliver’s birthday, and Thea teases him for having dinner plans with Felicity. Thea is also still moping about being such a dark and evil person.
Oliver goes to Felicity’s and sees the door ajar. There’s a shape near the door, and… let’s just say Curtis finds out why it’s not a good idea to give a surprise party for a martial arts/action hero type. There’s even a cartoony Green Arrow cake, which is amusing. Curtis has a new gadget to help Dinah with her Canary Cry, but she hasn’t shown up for the party. Lyla and JJ are in Chicago, visiting family, and Diggle tells Oliver all is well on the family front. Quentin shows up with a gift, and reports that Rene is not home with newspapers piled up at his door. Aside from that, there’s nothing but good news and plans for their “summer break,” which seems like an in joke for the end of the season. I guess bad guys take summers off in Star City. Oliver’s wild summer plans include buying socks. Oliver and Felicity even get a few quiet moments. With everything going that well this early in the episode, you know badness is coming.
After the party, Felicity and Curtis are on the phone, and he’s being not at all subtle about pushing for Felicity and Oliver to get back together. Their banter is interrupted when Curtis gets to Dinah’s place and sees the front door broken. He goes in to check on things, and shows why he’s better in the lab than in the field. Felicity hears him getting captured by people we never really see.
Diggle and Oliver respond to Felicity’s call and check the place out, carefully, guns drawn, much better than Curtis did. They find signs of a struggle and Curtis’ phone, but no sign of Curtis or Dinah. With these ominous developments, they reassess their idea that Rene skipped out on his custody hearing. Chase is still in his cell according to Felicity, and Oliver finds a clue that points to Talia al-Ghul. Oliver tells Diggle to get everyone else to safety. You know it’s bad when the superheroes need protective custody.
Oliver goes to Chase’s cell for an utterly unproductive series of threats and smirking. Then he goes back to the Lair, which is mostly empty aside from Felicity with a really big gun. She must have been raiding Diggle’s stash. Everyone else is supposedly safe with ARGUS, but Oliver wants Felicity to stay with him to help find Dinah, Rene, and Curtis. Felicity is a bit freaked out at this idea. Oliver is worried about his son, William, who we saw apparently getting grabbed by Chase a few episodes ago. Then they get worse news- Black Siren is no longer in ARGUS custody. Chase is fighting dirty.
Thea and Quentin complain about being bored in the safehouse. The agents protecting them go down like good little redshirts and Quentin gets a really nasty shock. They never did tell him about Black Siren, who, of course, is the Earth 2 version of his dead daughter Laurel. We’re lucky that supposed heart condition of Quentin’s that everyone seems to have forgotten about didn’t kick in and kill him. Siren is accompanied by Evelyn/Artemis, and is mockingly cruel to Quentin.
Oliver and Felicity (not sure bringing her is a good idea, but then, nowhere seems safe right now) get to the safehouse, meet with Diggle, and realize who the bad guys were. Still think not telling Quentin was a good plan? Oliver decides he needs to do something unpredictable, since Chase knows everything Oliver is going to do, so he tells Diggle and Felicity to get out of town. When you’re under attack, dividing your forces is generally a bad plan, a basic tenet of tactics which Oliver seems to have lost track of.
Oliver goes back to Chase’s cell and beats on him. He also pulls a gun on him, which is pointless, since they both know, and even talk about, the fact that Oliver won’t kill him. Chase continues to smirk through the threats, mentions he’s being transferred to Idaho tonight (Idaho is safer?), and tells Oliver he needs to release Chase before then or everyone they’ve captured will die. So, now we have a deadline to make things more tense.
Locked in the back of a truck, Thea tells Quentin about the multiple Earths and dopplegangers. She also points out that, in a world with metahumans and alien invasions, this really isn’t all that unbelievable. Their scene ends with Black Siren and Artemis telling them, ominously, that they have a surprise for the captives.
Diggle and Felicity debate what to do next as they drive out of town. Oliver stalks through the Lair, alone, looking at the wall of costumes. With everything going on, I don’t see why Oliver’s still in civilian clothes. If nothing else, the costumes are armored. And, for the record, I’m still annoyed there’s no spot for Roy’s costume. Or Wildcat’s, come to that. Oliver is being stalked, and he ends up having a confrontation with an unlikely person who has come to help. As they play the “Why should I trust you?” game, Felicity and Diggle get captured in a really badly done car crash scene. Cars do NOT explode when they hit something, and random dirt ramps do not make Dukes of Hazzard style jumps happen.
Oliver and his ally of convenience go to the scene of the accident, and find nothing useful. It just gives them a new place to argue about methods, means, and how far they’re willing to go. Their debate gets ended when the Marshals call Oliver (why Federal Law Enforcement is reporting to a city mayor, I’m not sure) to tell him they’re moving Chase.
Quentin and Black Siren have something of an argument. She might actually be feeling bad about capturing her father’s lookalike. She makes a really weak argument for her side of the case. As this goes on, Chase taunts Oliver more while he’s being prepped to be moved. Oliver then gets a phone call that puts even more pressure on him.
This finally spurs Oliver and his “friend” to attack the Marshals and let Chase go. Chase takes off (of course he knows how to fly a helicopter). Oliver goes back to the lair, where he brings in another odd choice for an ally. The two others don’t get along at all, and Oliver basically tells them they need to knock it off.
The prisoners, oddly absent Dinah and Rene, are chained together on what I believe is Lian Yu. Chase, Black Siren, Artemis, and the horde of ninjas are all there. Oliver is apparently elsewhere on the island, making another deal for more help.
Flashback Theater is Oliver being tortured by Dragonov. It’s a good excuse for Dragonov to be shown as utterly evil, and Oliver to hallucinate some of his dead friends. Eventually, he escapes. Again, I think this was irrelevant and they could have used the screen time for something better.
What I liked: The birthday party was entertaining, and I like that Oliver and Felicity aren’t growling at each other anymore. I’m also glad Diggle said he and Lyla were good, and that Rene actually did apparently have a good reason for not making the hearing. The Green Arrow cake was funny, and I was amused by the in-jokes about summer break.
What I didn’t: If they’d been really clever, they would have said Lyla was in Central City, not Chicago, as we saw on this week’s Flash. As desperate as things are, there is NO good reason for Oliver not to have contacted Team Flash, Roy Harper, Katana, or Wildcat (if he’s alive, and no, I’m not letting that go). Even on the island, when Oliver goes making deals with the devil, he ignores someone there that could be helpful, and not much worse than the collection he already has. Flashback Theater really needs a holiday, or to be done with completely. And I still want to know what happened to Vigilante.
I really wasn’t hugely impressed with this episode. I’ll give it a very low 3 out of 5.