Original Airdate: 10/09/2013
Story by: Greg Berlanti
Teleplay by: Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim
Directed by: John Behring
Starring: Stephen Amell (as Oliver Queen/Arrow), Katie Cassidy (as Laurel Lance), David Ramsey (as John Diggle), Willa Holland (as Thea Queen), Emily Bett Rickards (as Felicity Smoak), Colton Haynes (as Roy Harper), Manu Bennett (as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke), Susanna Thompson (as Moira Queen), Paul Blackthorne (as Quentin Lance)
Guest Stars: Celina Jade (as Shado), Summer Glau (as Isabel Rochev), Colin Salmon (as Walter Steele), Dylan Bruce (as Adam Donner), Derek Hamilton (as Aglin), Adrian Holmes (as Lt. Frank Pike), Caity Lotz (as Black Canary)
First Appearances: Isabel Rochev, Aglin, Adam Donner
– STAR Labs is referenced. STAR Labs was a major part of Flash comic books starting in the late 80’s. It also factored in to the TV series The Flash and Lois & Clark, and it’s one of the prominent companies in the DC Comics universe. A mention is made of a particle accelerator that should be ready around Christmas… December is when Barry Allen, aka the Flash, will be appearing on Arrow.
– When word leaked that the Black Canary was coming on to Arrow, initial reports had people worried that Katie Cassidy was being replaced (she’s not).
– Channel 52 and reporter Bethany Snow are featured weekly in DC Comics.
– With this episode, Colton Haynes, Emily Bett Rickards, and Manu Bennett are now series regulars on Arrow. This is the first episode to not feature Colin Donnell as a series regular.
– Although Tommy Merlyn is dead, this episode aired on the very much alive Colin Donnell’s birthday.
– Summer Glau is a genre fan favorite known for her roles in Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
– Dylan Bruce is best known for his role as “Hot Paul” on Orphan Black.
Five years ago on the island, Slade, Shado, and Oliver bask in the glory of defeating Fyers until their proximity detector indicates people are nearby. They search for the intruders, who abduct Shado. When Oliver and Slade find her, Oliver beats one to death with a rock. Unbeknownst to them, a ship sits offshore.
Diggle and Felicity parachute onto present day Lian Yu and bring Oliver home since he ran away. A group of Hood copycats, out for revenge against the Queens for their part in creating the earthquake device, attack an event that the mayor, Laurel, and her new boss (DA Adam Donner) are attending. They also interrupt Oliver’s meeting with Isabel Rochev, a representative of a rival company intent on taking over Queen Consolidated. Felicity urges Oliver to reinstitute his alter ego, but Oliver fears letting Tommy down.
The copycats invade Verdant, now under Thea’s rule. Even after stopping a few of the guys, Roy cannot prevent them from kidnapping Thea. Oliver decides it’s time to visit the revamped Arrowcave. Felicity tracks the copycats to a church used for a Glades support group. The Hood rescues Thea without killing anyone and delivers the four men to Quentin, who is now a beat cop.
In the end, Laurel tells Oliver she’ll take down the Hood for Tommy’s death. Thea, after defending her mother to the copycats, finally decides to visit the prison. Upon Moira’s advice not to trust Isabel, Oliver brings in Walter Steele to save the company, making them partners with Isabel. Roy, out on patrol despite Thea’s insistence that he stop, is saved from a tussle by a black-clad blonde. Oliver plans to recreate his alter ego to honor Tommy.
Felicity: Could you at least pretend like you’re glad to see us? Dig and I spent weeks tracking you down. We’ve traveled halfway across the world. And this morning we flew in a plane so old I’m pretty sure I was safer once I jumped out of it. You can at least offer us a water or coconut.
Oliver: Fresh out of coconuts. I am happy to see you. I know why you’re here. I’m not coming back to Starling City. I can’t. My mission, my father’s list, it was a fool’s crusade and I failed.
Thea: You already saved a busload of people and managed to not get buried alive. I mean, how much more of a hero do you need to be? It’s like you have a death wish. And guess what, it’s going to come true.
Roy: Yeah, well someone has to do something and stand up for what’s right like he did.
Oliver: There’s no forgiveness for what I led Sara into. I would give anything to …
Laurel: … to go back.
Laurel: But we can’t go back.
Oliver: Sorry I’m late.
Isabel: For this meeting or a career in business?
Oliver: I didn’t realize hostile takeovers were filled with so much hostility.
Isabel: Not at all. I’m actually in quite a good mood.
Oliver: Really? So destroying companies agrees with you?
Isabel: Winning agrees with me.
Oliver: You haven’t won yet.
Isabel: Since you majored in dropping out of college, let me put this in terms that are easy for you to understand.
Oliver: After he found out my secret, do you know what Tommy called me? A murderer. He was right. My best friend died thinking that I was a murderer, and anyone that I kill dishonors his memory.
Felicity: You were right. Once I signed on, I stopped thinking about all the bodies we drop because I knew that being the hood meant occasionally being a killer. Maybe there’s another way.
Oliver: They have my sister. What other way is there?
Thea: I almost died last night … when I thought it was over, I kept thinking that if I died, you’d spend the rest of your life thinking that I hated you. And I want to hate you. Really tried to. But I can’t. I can’t, Mom.
Moira: However long I am in this place, you have freed me.
Thea: If I hug you, are they going to shoot us?
Moira: I’m willing to risk it if you are.
Episode guide entry by Stephanie Hall