As happens a lot, Arrow gets a new voiceover as the season moves forward. It’s still Oliver, but now he’s talking about the current circumstances of his incarceration, and ends it with “Now, I am Inmate 4587.” The episode opens with Oliver in a new, smaller cell, doing pushups. The abusive guard, who finally gets a name (Peter Yorke), pulls Oliver out and mocks him about being a “hero.” It sounds like Yorke took Oliver’s vigilante career personally, as an insult to law and order. Yorke also seems to be from the school that supervillains are the costumed heroes’ fault. Oliver’s only real response to the taunting is that his wife and son were attacked and that he’ll do anything to protect them.
Stanley, Oliver’s sidekick in spite of Oliver’s best efforts, welcomes Oliver back to General Population, where he really shouldn’t be anyway. The guy who attacked Oliver has been moved elsewhere in the prison, and Oliver can’t get any more information from him about Diaz. Stanley has been asking around, which Oliver isn’t happy about, but Stanley has gotten cocky about being Oliver’s “friend.” Points to the makeup crew, Stanley is still bearing the bruises from Brick and company beating on him. Oliver ignores some of Stanley’s more extreme solutions to “do things my way.”
The rest of the former Team Arrow is toasting Felicity’s return, with much wine. Somehow, I wouldn’t have pegged either Rene or Dinah as wine fans. Diaz has been missing for five months now, and everyone is puzzled as to why he’s come back now. As they discuss possible plans, Rene brings up the new Green Arrow, which earns him threats from Dinah and irritated protests from Felicity, who also is still bruised up from last episode. The new mystery hero is actually notable for his absence from this episode.
The Longbow Hunters, a group of assassins, show up and attack a secure facility. Oddly, they spare the guard in the lobby. The original Longbow Hunters was a limited series from the 80’s, which first introduced Shado. Later, it was a group of killers, but the only one that seems to have made the jump from the comics is Red Dart, although none of them get names in this episode.
Diggle briefs an ARGUS team about the break in, which was apparently at one of their sites. They stole a very powerful battery, that has a lot of potential uses. Felicity and Curtis are not at the briefing, which Curtis is fine with but Felicity is offended about on his and her own behalf. ARGUS’ Deputy Director Bell sits in on the briefing, and then makes sure to tell Diggle that he sympathizes about the Diaz situation, but it’s not an ARGUS matter. Which really makes me wonder what ARGUS does, officially. Has that ever been defined? Earlier, I thought they went after supervillains, but if that’s the case, I think Diaz qualifies at this point. Felicity then begs Diggle to let her be part of the investigation, and he wisely refuses.
Laurel gets a visitor at work in the form of Dinah. Dinah isn’t happy about Laurel skipping out on her protective detail. It’s very clear they aren’t friends, and that the news of the Longbow Hunters being in town rattles Laurel. Laurel also protests that she did care about Quentin, and she’s not the same person she was before.
In the prison, Oliver goes to Brick for information on Diaz, which seems like a weird choice. Why should he expect any cooperation from the villains he put in there in the first place? Brick seems amused, and comes up with a test to let Oliver prove his worth. It’s not going to be anything good for the former archer.
Curtis and Felicity bicker about her hacking activities, and Curtis ends up helping in spite of himself. They do make a good team, and Curtis is better in the lab than he’s ever been in the field. Felicity has some reasons for not wanting to wait around for ARGUS, and is very passionate about it. They trace the battery to a potential new location, and decide that, since they’re sneaking around on their own in violation of everything they’re supposed to be doing, they might as well get Rene in trouble, too. The three of them get to the base they’ve located, argue a bit, go inside, and get a very unwelcome surprise that wasn’t at all what they expected. Their stunt ends up getting them lectures and threats from Diggle, who is very pissed at them, with reason. Felicity complains she isn’t being told enough, but gets told, again, she’s not part of the investigation.
Oliver and Stanley plot what to do next about Yorke. Stanley gets Oliver thinking, and he comes up with a plan. He improvises a clever weapon and he and Stanley learn a bit more about Yorke. Dinah let herself get distracted, which she really should know better than at this point. Laurel has managed to slip away.
Curtis is working on some of what they recovered from the Longbow Hunters, which is taking a while. He and Diggle working on the case gets interrupted when Felicity storms in, acting like a punished kid. She and Diggle are not getting along at all. Things get tense, with some harsh words on both sides. Diggle tries to puncture some of the denial Felicity’s living in, and that goes as well as you’d expect.
Oliver gets pushed by Brick, Bronze Tiger, and Samson. He tries to get around the way they want him to do things, and Brick lays down some specific rules for Oliver. Oliver tries to do the right thing by Yorke, but the guard is just as friendly as usual. I applaud Oliver for trying.
Diggle tries to patch things up with Felicity, and explain why he’s not carrying on Oliver’s legacy. The man makes some good points, but doesn’t even bring up the biggest issue. With Star City’s anti-vigilante laws, Diggle would get hunted down, and it’s not like it would be hard to figure out who the new hero is given the obvious differences. Felicity makes some good points for her side, and then they get interrupted when Curtis comes in with another clue about what the Hunters are up to. Felicity and Diggle come to a temporary truce.
Laurel is surprised when Dinah tracks her down, and, despite Laurel asking how that happened, we never get a good answer. They alternate between sharing information and bickering with each other. Neither of them have made any steps towards reconciling. Laurel gives an impassioned speech and goes in. A frustrated Dinah rolls her eyes and follows.
Things kick into high gear as there’s actions at both locations. ARGUS doesn’t quite get what they expected on the train, and the Dinah/Laurel duo meet unexpected resistance. I will say, who those two end up fighting seems almost custom designed to counter them, and I didn’t, but should have, see it coming. The ARGUS fight goes badly, and Diggle has to make a command decision. Felicity doesn’t end up doing what she’s supposed to, and Curtis has to pick up the slack. Dinah and Laurel seem to give up on their quarry awfully easily, letting them run off.
Felicity and Diggle end up talking again, and it’s calmer than last time at least. But Felicity has made some decisions and walks off, leaving behind Curtis and Diggle. Brick leans on Oliver about living up to their deal. Laurel and Dinah have a scene that finally involves them talking, not yelling or sniping at each other.
The main show wraps up with Oliver putting a truly unique spin on Brick’s task that no one saw coming. Brick seems quite amused by it. It’s a bit weird when the guards start actually acting like guards, not the mob of onlookers in a fight scene. Felicity has chosen a very odd ally in her renewed quest to get Diaz, and I don’t see how this is going to work at all.
Flash-Forward Theater continues William and Roy’s adventures on CGIsland. We learn a few things about William that are a bit surprising, but I’m glad the show is handling right. William isn’t happy about returning to the scene of his mother’s death, but is following up on a quest from Felicity. He and Roy make a discovery, and it’s not at all what I would have expected. William is lost, but Roy seems to know what’s going on and has a new destination in mind for them.
What I liked: Diggle and Curtis are at least trying to adapt to their new reality. Felicity is sticking to her beliefs, not convenient but speaks well of her. Oliver was very creative in his interpretation of Brick’s task for him.
What I didn’t: I’m beyond done with Diaz. He’s annoying, smug, and has been hanging around far too long. He needs to get put in his place, and that place really needs to be someplace else. Felicity has some unrealistic expectations about her life. The guards’ sudden change of heart and Felicity’s choice of ally makes no sense. After such a big buildup, it was weird to not see the new Green Arrow at all.
It’s good to see Roy again, but I really didn’t need to see Lian Yu again, so I’m calling that sequence a wash.
I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5. I really, really hope they get rid of Diaz soon.