Written By:Speed Weed & Keto Shimizu
Directed By: James Bamford
Series Episode: 76
Airdate: November 18, 2015
Guests: Lyla Michaels Diggle ( Audrey Marie Anderson ), Andy Diggle ( Eugene Byrd ), Alex Davis ( Parker Young )
Flashback Guests: Taiana [finally no longer “Unnamed Woman”] ( Elysia Rotaru ), Baron Reiter ( Jimmy Akingbola ), Conklin ( Ryan Robbins )
Special Appearance: Damien Darhk ( Neal McDonough )
Special Guests: Ray Palmer/The Atom ( Brandon Routh )
The Federal government decides to bolster Star City Bank with an influx of cash, and in their infinite wisdom, they use an ambulance as the “armored” car to transport it. As the Benjamins wave out the windows, a group of Ghosts attacks, stopping the car and getting the drop on the driver. Before they can handily crack the super-secure glass, they are interrupted by a Canary cry. Team Arrow skillfully takes the goons down, but not before one manages to set an explosive on the cash, burning it all instead of stealing it. In the middle of it, Thea feels a twinge of the ol’ bloodlust returning, nearly shish-kabobing one of the ghosts.
The team tries to rationalize what H.I.V.E.’s plan is and Oliver reasons that they want Star City to be a husk of a city with a weakened police force to use as a global base of operations. Diggle asks Felicity if she’s gotten anything more off of the tooth he pulled from a ghost back in the premiere, but she’s got nada. Oliver suggests Ray Palmer might be able to help. As the team disperses, Diggle shows Oliver the file on his brother’s criminal background, anger flowing. Oliver tries to pump the breaks, thinking there might be more to this than meets the eye.
Ray pops by the loft to help Felicity with The Tooth. She wonders why he hasn’t publicly revealed he’s alive and taken back his company. Ray’s not feeling it so much and wants to jump right in on her problem. Either dealing with biochemistry as part of his nanotech development or some geeky hobby — but really able to leap sci-babble problems in a single TV writer’s stroke — Ray recognizes the DNA issues and determines that a compound was likely used to degrade the DNA. A compound used to that could only come from one shop, Wolfman Biologics.
Campaign Manager Alex goes over Oliver’s upcoming appearance at a local Patrolman Benevolence Association gala for the cops. He and Thea have some sexy civics banter about Oliver’s position with the police force. She gets a call from Malcolm but won’t take it. They move on to Oliver’s proposal for a “hippie, crunchy” program to clean up the bay, which he thinks will provide jobs and help revitalize a neighborhood to offer a bright spot to the rest of the city. Cynical Alex be not sold, Mr. Mayor-Hopeful. Oliver has to take a call from Felicity, as Alex and Thea guess whether Oliver can see that they are a thing. He’s too busy nearly blowing their cover as superheroes by referring to his kid sister by her lifelong nickname “Speedy” and saying they have to go. Perhaps she will end up being Red Arrow after all.
Team Arrow shows up at Wolfman Biologics with Green Arrow standing lookout and Spartan taking point inside with Black Canary and Speedy. Some ghosts want to crash the party and GA and Speedy tend to them while Diggle and Canary search for the compound. Laurel finds it but is attacked by a ghost who thinks it’s wise to just start introducing bullets in a lab with a bunch of chemicals. Spartan drops him with a shot, allowing Canary to go free. For reasons not entirely clear, he decides to unmask this one particular ghost for an ID and, lo and behold, it’s his brother, Andy, moving pretty damn good for a dead guy. Naturally, Diggle is shocked, buying time for Andy to run away.
Back at the bunker, the team tries to make sense of Andy being alive. Oliver plans to pull Andy out of H.I.V.E. and see if they can help him, but Diggle bristles, wondering why Oliver. Because family, jackhole. He might not be heavy, he may be his brother, but he’s a bad man, and Diggle wants no part of him. Felicity suggests that the ghost who didn’t take the shot on Diggle back at the lumber yard during the premiere might have been Andy. No, Andy is dead, as far as John is concerned.
Lance meets with Damien Darhk, who tells the captain that there’s a thought Quentin set up his meeting with Darhk last week so that Team Arrow could follow and confront him. He warns that threatening Laurel’s or Sara’s lives is not the worst thing he can do to Lance. On the way out, Lance gets a peak at a conveniently located Post-It note about Slip 52 at the Starling Docks.
At Laurel’s, Thea is getting ready for the PBA event when another Malcolm call buzzes in. She picks up to say she’s not talking to him when he slides in from the other room. Obviously not happy to see him, she wonders what he wants. He asks her if the effect of having killed his men has started to wear off on her bloodlust, but she’s cool. She’s got this. He hands her a folder with information on a pedophile, offering a sacrificial lamb for her to take down. Thea shoves the file back in his face, telling him to leave or she’ll call the cops on him.
At the PBA event, though Diggle still poses as Oliver’s bodyguard in public, Oliver says there’s a security detail and John can relax. Yet another Team Arrow members gets a bit lippy about their extracurricular activities in public, as Felicity quips about Oliver in a tux being better than his nights in leather hitting people. A passerby takes this to maybe mean Mr. Queen’s sexual proclivities. Oliver jumps onstage to offer his speech about appreciating and supporting the police force. Afterward, Lance offers up that the Green Arrow’s speech was more rousing and Oliver wonders if GA should publicly endorse him. Quentin chuckle! Lance tells Oliver about Darhk confronting him and also about the note about the docks. Meanwhile, at the bar, Laurel gives Diggle an ear and a shoulder, stating that as kooky as things are with his brother Andy it’s not to dissimilar to what she’s experienced with Sara. She says he has an opportunity to heal the part of him he lost when he thought Andy had died. Recalling having to tell his nephew that his father was gone, he’s not sure how he can heal.
Damien Darhk presents himself to Oliver to offer some suggestions on the campaign. Oliver plays into Darhk not recognizing him as Green Arrow and listens, but he questions how Darhk can help him win an election in which he’s running unopposed. Darhk says they can work together for the city. He oh so kindly presents that Oliver’s plan for Starling Bay should be dropped. When Oliver asks what happens if he refuses, Darhk asserts that he won’t be unopposed in the race.
Felicity berates Oliver for considering working with Darhk. Oliver is worried Lance has lost Darhk’s trust and that this is an opportunity to have someone else on the inside to accomplish their goals. She argues that he can’t effectively run for mayor if he’s also pretending to be Darhk’s stooge. Oliver is more concerned about taking Darhk down and freeing Andy, but she reminds him that he chose to campaign for election to offer hope and inspiration in ways the Green Arrow can’t.
Thea and Alex are out on a date and he gets a phone call. As he steps away a soused jackass tries to put the hardcore press on picking up Thea. She’s not having it and suddenly starts beating the crap out of the guy, throwing him into a drink cooler and wailing on him. Alex comes back, stunned, and she nearly turns on him as he tries to stop her. Meanwhile, at home, Diggle holds his phone, trying to build up the courage to call Carly and let her know that Andy is alive. Lyla offers support and John admits that he can’t believe Andy’s alive but briefly considered the possibility when The Flash and metahumans appeared and when he learned about Thea and the Lazarus Pit. Oliver shows up and tells Diggle about Lance’s info on the docks and that Andy might be there. John doesn’t want anyone to risk themselves for Andy, but when Oliver insists that he’s going, Diggle says he’ll go to but that Laurel and Thea shouldn’t join them.
At the docks, backdropped by some odd crate configuration that gives the place the feel of a shrine, Darhk has a bunch of new ghost recruits lined up. He has them take a yellow pill made from the Wolfman compound that not only scrambles their DNA but also makes them compliant to Darhk’s commands. Green Arrow and Spartan have a pretty clean vantage point on top of some container crates, but might as well have been sitting in lawn chairs and cooking on a hibachi for all the cover they had. It doesn’t take long for one of the ghosts to spot them and the group opens fire. Andy menacingly orders them only to kill “the green one.” GA and Spartan get all up in the mix with the goons, but one manages to explode a grenade near Oliver that temporarily takes him down. Diggle is able to get them out of there.
Felicity helps patch up Oliver back at the bunker when John insists he and Oliver have to talk in private. Diggle wants Oliver to give up on Andy, but Oliver can’t. He needs to hope, ya big galoot. Oliver needs to believe people can come back from the darkness for his own sake. Diggle reveals Felicity told him about his plan to work with Darhk and calls him on how taking him out from the inside is just fighting in shadows again. Something something something Dark Side. You’ve got to fight him out in the light of day, Diggle protests.
Ray is continue to work on The Tooth at the loft when Felicity returns and comments on Oliver and Diggle arguing about the not-so-dead Andy. Ray questions if he should know what’s going on, but Felicity takes another stab at convincing Ray he needs to come back to life publicly and take back his company. He tells her he’s not keen to do that because he doesn’t want to go back to what he was doing before. After reviewing the last six months of live via the internet, he doesn’t feel that he’s really left much of a legacy; even the Star City naming honor is kinda busted given the state of the city. He needs to a reason, a purpose in life for coming back. Turning to The Tooth, he’s fascinated by the compound used on the DNA, but there’s nothing there to help. He turned focus on the construction of The Tooth itself and found traces of sodium fluoride once used in drinking water, tracing the use to a defunct mental institution.
The team suits up to hit the institution. Diggle asks Oliver how he feels about hitting the ghosts, but Oliver reveals he’s going after Andy instead. Diggle tries to convince Laurel and Thea that this is a bad idea, but they aren’t having it.
Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Speedy infiltrate the institution. To figure out which ghost is Andy, the team deploys some infrared cameras designed by Curtis Holt that should help idea people under masks. (Yeah, that might not come back to haunt them at some point.) Oliver sees that they aren’t just housing recruits here but using it as a staging area, loading some crates marked “G6.5” — “Genesis” program, anyone? — for some purpose other than deadly BINGO, thank you, Felicity. Oliver wants them to ID Andy first before engaging anyone, but too late. Both Speedy and Canary are discovered and let slip their fury. One of Thea’s attackers is Andy and they take an elevator ride sponsored by UFC to another floor. After a brutal fight, Speedy tags him with a tranq arrow and requests help to get him out of the building.
GA is fighting a significant group of the ghosts in a courtyard outside when a certain red, black, and blue-clad warrior puts in an appearance from the skies. The two put on a hell of a show, but Oliver insists he’s got these guys. The Atom rockets off to try to help Canary, who is now with the conked-out Andy. Thea, for some reason, is wandering the halls of the institution and runs into none other than Damien Darhk. He recognizes the League fighting style in her and asks how Malcolm is doing. As he tries to put his magical life-sucking whammy on her, Darhk is shocked to find it not working. Instead, he takes some of negative effects of Pit from Thea, giving her a chance to escape. Back outside, Oliver takes a bunch of arrows to some guys but one last one gets the drop on him, gun pointed. Before the ghost can take the shot, Spartan puts him down. Diggle says he came to help out his brother, “the green one.” (Beginning to sense a new title for the show here, folks.)
Back at the bunker, Diggle thanks everyone for helping to get Andy back, including Ray. Ray’s happy to be useful again and Felicity wonders if that means he’s coming back to the company. Ray waves that off and says he needs to find out what he should be doing with his life now. Diggle is going to talk to Andy in lock-up, hoping that Oliver was right. Oliver tries to one-up him in the right hoping department by saying he’s going after Darhk in the light.
Thea invites Malcolm to Laurel’s. She needs his help and not his bent-ass plan for her to kill a bunch of criminals to curb her bloodlust. She tells her father about her encounter with Damien Darhk and how his power helped to take away some of the bloodlust. She wants to find a way to use his power to permanently take it away, and she wants Malcolm’s help to do that. With a puckish grin, he’s all too willing.
John visits Andy in their lock-up cage. He wants answers, dammit! He wants the truth! Somehow, he manages to perfectly toss the folder on Andy through the bars and across the cell with the simplest flick of the wrist. Andy picks up the file, leafs through it, and turns to his brother. He admits that everything in there is true. Then, he turns away. Meanwhile, at the bay, Thea arrives and asks Alex if he could offer her some patience regarding her anger. Oliver holds a presser to announce his bay plan with media and Damien Darhk in attendance. Not even thinly hiding the focus of his speech toward Darhk, he proclaims that the fight to save their city must be held out in the open, in the light of day. He assures people that he will not stop fighting for their city. Darhk gives him the nostril flares of disapproval.
Oliver and Conklin are walking back to base, jawing about how Reiter’s going to react to Oliver killing the worker that attacked him, Vlad. Oliver suspects Vlad was put up to it by Conklin. Conklin offers that it was probably revenge for Oliver supposedly killing Vlad’s sister, Taiana. Back in camp, Oliver and Conklin present Reiter with their problem and start going at each other. Reiter stops them and uses some mystic twigs to determine who is telling the truth, finding that Conklin is lying about recruiting Vlad to try to kill Oliver. Reiter has Conklin detained to be punished and says Oliver must dole it out. As they leave the tent, Oliver steals Reiter’s map of the island.
Reiter hands Oliver a whip as Conklin is down on his knees in front of the soldiers and the captive workers. Conklin begs for them not to do this, to no avail. Oliver whips him, and at Reiter’s suggestion, whips him harder. Later, Oliver goes to visit Taiana in the cave. She offers him the finest in spit-cooked lizard, but he’s not much up to eating. He reveals that her brother is dead. As she breaks down and gets angry, she curses the boat that they got on where they got captured, sharing that she was a diving instructor. She asked who killed her brother and Oliver offers that half-truth that became such a trademark saying it was Conklin. She’s ready to storm out to chase him down, but Oliver stops her.
He says Conklin is just pawn in Reiter’s plans for the island. He shows her the map but says he needs a detailed survey map of the island to make sense of what it is Reiter is looking for. Taiana asks where they can get one, and Oliver says he has an idea. He just needs her help, Ms. Diving Instructor.
Three Quick Thoughts
• Director James Bamford, the show’s stunt coordinator and team captain, chocks the episode full of great action beats, but his experimenting with the action footage isn’t quite successful.
• Oliver actually cuts a dashing presence as a mayoral candidate.
• Even with the justified and overwhelming sense of betrayal, you’d think Diggle would be more anxious to track Andy down to, at least, confront him.