It’s about time! After weeks of inching closer and closer to the truth only to be misdirected each time, Oliver finally realized his mother Moira was hiding something shady and took matters into his own hands tonight on Arrow. On came the hood, up came the bow and arrow, and out came the words, “Moira Queen, you have failed this city!” That’s right, Oliver targeted his mom to get to the bottom of her lies.
You see, after Felicity gave Oliver The List that Walter had, Oliver was still in denial that his mother had anything to do with the low lives and corrupt business people that he dedicated his life to taking down. Diggle didn’t have the same blinders on, though, and worked his hardest to prove to Oliver that Moira was lying. That involved tailing Moira, under the guise of being her driver. He happened to catch a bit of her conversation with Malcolm Merlyn about “the undertaking,” as well as that the Queen’s Gambit was sabotaged. Diggle played the recorded conversation for Oliver who knew the only way to figure out what “the undertaking” is was to confront her, hood and all.
But while all this family drama was happening, another woman close to Oliver was getting into a bit of trouble. Laurel was trying to put a just-released murderer, Cyrus Vanch (welcome to the Arrow universe, David Anders!), back into prison, but since he got off on a technicality, she needed to work outside the law to find enough evidence to put him away for good. Good thing she has that phone to contact the Hood! You remember, the phone Det. Lance bugged so he can eavesdrop on every call! Not creepy at all, right?
Because she was playing Maid Marion to Robin Hood, Det. Lance and his task force were able to crash Laurel and Arrow’s meeting. This didn’t accomplish anything besides Arrow giving Det. Lance quite a head shot and pissing off Laurel once she figured out her dad betrayed her.
Arrow was still able to glean enough information from Laurel that she needed evidence that Cyrus Vanch was doing something – anything! – illegal so he paid the criminal a house call. Thanks to a handy recording device on an arrow, Oliver was able to get a recorded confession from Vanch that he was interested in filling the current power vacuum of Starling City since both the Triad and the Bertinelli group are still leaderless. Boom: evidence.
Unfortunately that arrow recording device was discovered by Vanch, who realized that taking down the hooded vigilante was the best way to gain respect among the criminal community. Turns out, Vanch also has a mole on Det. Lance’s task force, so he knew that Laurel was the way to get to Arrow. Some goons showed up at her apartment, and I have to be honest, here: I totally forgot that Laurel could fight! She was totally holding her own there until Vanch stepped in with a taser (cheater...).
Oliver knew he couldn’t take Vanch’s veritable fortified castle on his own, so he teamed up with the most unlikely ally: Det. Lance. Both men knew they had to put their differences aside to save the woman they both loved. And of course Tommy just sat around moping (at least he knows he’s got competition from Arrow for Laurel’s heart!).
I got such a kick out of how much Vanch underestimated Arrow. The way the camera kept comically cutting between Vanch’s explanation of how there was no way Arrow could get past all the men he had stationed around the house, no way he could get past the sharpshooters on the roof, no way he could get into the house at all, and Arrow just being his regular badass self taking out every obstacle in his way like it was no big deal was all kinds of perfect. Vanch thought he finally had Arrow right where he wanted him when Det. Lance came in guns blazing. I think we saw a little bit of understanding from Det. Lance of Arrow, because for a second, he wanted to kill Vanch, regardless of the trouble he would get in from police. That’s exactly what Arrow does, because he’s not held back by the law. Could we be seeing a thaw in the ice that surrounds Det. Lance?
After Vanch was put away, Arrow approached Laurel and basically told her he couldn’t risk her life again, and that this was goodbye for them. We’ll see just how long that lasts, though. Oliver can’t stay away from Laurel, and Laurel can’t stay away from Arrow.
And in this week’s island flashback, we see Oliver has followed Yao Fei’s map to… whoa, is that the plane from LOST? In the wreckage, we meet Slade Wilson (welcome to the Arrow universe, Manu Bennett!), who we all thought was Deathstroke, the guy who tortured Oliver – seeing as how he has the same face mask Deathstroke always wears – but it turns out Slade had a partner with the same mask. Slade and his partner are Australian Secret Intelligence, on the island to rescue Yao Fei, but Yao Fei was compromised. Now Slade will be Oliver’s mentor, training him to fight so they can take the airstrip together and get off the island.
Now, we know that Oliver doesn’t get off the island for five years, and he was alone when he was rescued. How did he get from working with Slade to get off the island to being all alone? There’s clearly a lot more to this story that we're going to see.
[Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW]
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