Quentin is nabbing crooks the old fashioned way: speedy car chases. Arsenal and the Arrow (feeling especially shy and keeping his head bowed) give the partial assist and nab one of the robbers but his partner peels away. As the Arrow descends awkwardly to the ground and we see it’s John Diggle grumpily donning the green hood complaining that he is not feeling the suit at all.
Team Arrow wait in the Arrow lair, still clueless about Oliver’s date with Ra’s. Felicity is in denial about Oliver’s silence for 3 days. Roy and Diggle are being a bit more realistic and are worried…
Flashback! Hong Kong! (Apparently we’re still getting these even while Oliver is MIA.) Maseo is worried about Tatsu (who has been kidnapped by China White) and requests an extraction team from Waller to retrieve her. Waller, as always, keeps on book and sends Maseo and Oliver to retrieve the stolen bioweapon reminding them that that and only that is the priority.
Back in the present, Ray is having performance issues with the ATOM suit. Felicity (projecting her worries about another MIA vigilante) gently reminds Ray that his suit won’t protect him from everything and cautions him about this new mission he’s determined to undertake. Rather than argue, Ray sidesteps the ‘saving the world’ issue as something to be worried about later – after Felicity helps him figure out a problem with a key component. No sense in arguing if he can’t make the suit work. Given the look Felicity gives Ray, he’s not as smooth with that as he thinks in changing topics.
To the courts! The perp Arsenal and Arrow!Diggle caught is being arraigned and Quentin tells Laurel to go for blood. The defense nearly trips up Laurel asking for the Arrow to appear as a witness but Laurel actually shows her lawyer skills citing that they have the perp dead to rights with the gun. Judge agrees and looks like Laurel’s won this round. Quentin beams at his hard earned money for Laurel’s education being put to good use.
Back at the Arrow lair, Team Arrow work to find the thug who got away, a cop shooter and learn his association with a new underworld boss – Brickwell – who is taking out witnesses against him to be free from the law. Roy leaves to suit up to search for Brickwell associates while Diggle worries about Felicity keeping her hopes up about Oliver returning. Felicity insists that Oliver has survived against the odds before, he will do it again. But as Diggle leaves, Felicity’s bravado staggers a wee bit as she wonders aloud what’s taking Oliver so long to come back.
Welp, the reasons Oliver might be having problems getting back would be the two sword wounds to the gut. And falling off a mountain.
But it seems as Oliver’s story is not over as we cut to a snowy mountain. The sword marking Oliver’s ‘grave’ still in place. As the camera swoops over the edge, it quickly shows us the fate of the lost Oliver: bleeding, unconscious, precariously sprawled on a small ledge and vulnerable to the unforgiving snowy elements. A dark figure approaches Oliver’s still form, their identity hidden ….(but seriously, it’s gotta be Maseo. Or Nyssa. Or hopefully Lazarus pitted zombie Tommy).
Back to Starling City. The escaped ‘associate’ of Brick’s is getting beaten up by his crew. He warns them that Brick won’t like it but Brick himself strolls up with admonishing words and no time for excuses for his bringing the heat down on all of them because he went off book on his mission. Giving the punk one shot to try to kill Brick to save himself, the dude fails and Brick shows why he’s called Brick by whaling the unfortunate punk with his fists until he’s a bleeding pile of meat. Then leaves him to be taken care of by the rest of the crew, having proven his point of being a hard core thug. But one who will give you a fighting chance.
Back to Courts! Or at least it’s halls as Laurel realizes that she and the legal system are far from intimidating to street thugs with crime bosses like Brickwell threatening to do much worse to them than the legal system ever could. Laurel only feels the burn for a moment before she overhears some information that she relays to Team Arrow – the location of one of Brickwell’s safehouses.
Flashback! Hong Kong! Maseo and Oliver break into yet another facility to obtain the bioweapon – in this case the Alpha component when they run into the Triad. (These guys can’t get a break). In the ensuing fight, Oliver freezes on killing a Triad member who escapes one way while Oliver and Maseo flee down the other.
Back to present Team Arrow close in on Brick’s safehouse but find it empty. Except for the charred remains of burners phones and (Ugh) the unfortunate thug that Brick cut loose.
Back at Verdant, Team Arrow are trying to piece the clues together when they realize Malcolm Merlyn is in the lair. He’s come to tell them that given Oliver hasn’t returned or even contacted Thea, he must be dead. Felicity remains in denial – which given this is Malcolm talking is excusable. She shoos Malcolm from the lair and wants to keep focused on the task at hand. While Roy and Diggle continue to gently try to make Felicity see reality, Laurel is in the Felicity camp: Oliver will be back.
Cut to the snowy mountain. Malcolm (either through teleportation or some kind of witchy hiijinks) is already at the mountaintop to find the bloody sword marking Oliver’s fall and then back in Starling City to present the sword to the team, having the audacity to say that he’s truly sorry about the loss of Oliver. Felicity rightly gives him a piece of her mind. As the team takes in the bloodied sword-
Cut to Oliver’s unconscious body being dragged by a hooded figure through the snow. He may be half dead but Oliver’s still looking good.
A computer BEEPS back in the Arrow lair.Team Arrow gets the results of the blood analysis of the sword and realize that it is Oliver’s blood and Malcolm is not lying. Diggle tries to comfort Felicity who tearfully leaves for work to bury her pain.
Roy buries his pain in booze and deflects Thea’s concern since as far as she knows Oliver’s off on a bender and not dead on the side of a mountan.. She asks him to talk to the Arrow to help find Oliver and Roy wonders what to do to Diggle. Roy wonders what to do now that Oliver is gone but Diggle is doing his own bit of avoidance choosing to focus on the case and suddenly realizing that all the guys Brickwell is springing? Perps that the Arrow put away.
At Palmer Technologies, Felicity ignores Diggle’s calls. Ray tries to get his nerd on by asking her about his nanite problem but instead of banter, Felicity dishes out anger as a spout for her frustration and grief telling Ray that he’s wrong for what he’s trying to do as it’ll only bring him grief and pain and even bringing up his fiancé, Anna, in a bit of insensitive manipulation. Ray is amazingly politely in telling Felicity that she was out of line, which she does realize and tearfully apologize for before running away but not far enough as she gets another call from Diggle and Roy which she does answer and agree to help with their op. Reluctantly.
Team Arrow moves in to take down Brick as he attempts to make off with all the case files associated with his crew. Diggle meets the man face-to-face but gets walloped but good. Arsenal is able to help break up what appears to be an uneven fight, but when he and Diggle attempt to pursue, they’re cut off by Felicity remotely activating the garage door to keep Diggle and Arsenal from pursuing. And this does not sit well with Diggle.
Mountains! Next day. A figure (another one shrouded in a hood) tends to a fire in a cabin when a knock comes at the door. As figure 2 opens the door, hooded figure 1 pulls back their hood and it’s Maseo, Oliver on the sled behind him. He asks the new mystery person for their help.
Back at Palmer Technologies lab, Ray’s tinkering with his suit when Felicity shows up and apologizes for what she said about Anna. Ray wants to know if she wants to talk and she admits she lost a friend. She’s over her quota for losing friends and she says Ray is a friend and she doesn’t want to lose him too. She can’t stop him but she won’t help him either. She walks away.
Diggle and Laurel in the Arrow lair. All the men that the Arrow caught are now free and clear with the evidence against them ‘disappearing’ courtesy of Brick. The mission ‘over’ Diggle now deals with his grief. Laurel wonders if Diggle is coming back and he doesn’t know what happens next with Oliver gone. He is sad he couldn’t protect Oliver. Laurel gives him a hug and he leaves her alone in the lair, Sara’s Canary ensemble still on an examination table, Laurel suddenly getting an idea….
Thea comes home nearly impaling a waiting Malcolm. As usual, Malcolm lies about any news about Oliver which Thea had asked him to get. Instead he tells his dumbfounded daughter that they’re in danger and need to leave Starling City. Now. (Well, I’ll give him points for not up and leaving without a word or giving her a heads up once he was safely out of town).
Meanwhile at some undisclosed location that we’ll call Brick’s House, Brick gives an inspiring speech to his new recruits reminding them that they’re all part of his crew or else the evidence against them will be used to take care of them. They’re of one mission now: To take over the glades.
Seriously? What is it about The Glades that had Malcolm and Brick trying to control and or destroy it?
Cut to a dark alley. A woman is fighting off a mugger when the Canary shows up. But not Sara. Remember that idea Laurel had back at the Arrow lair as she took in Sara’s costume? Seems like her idea was to don the Canary suit and wig and do some fighting. Yeah, this can’t blow up in her face at all. But she does wear the suit well.
Flashback! Hong Kong! Waller is pleased Oliver and Maseo recovered the Alpha component of the bioweapon. Waller admonishes Oliver for not brining back the Triad thug. Oliver takes the criticism in stride but once alone, Maseo says that he knows Oliver chose not to shoot him. That’s because I put a tracker on the guy to lead them to China White and Tatsu. Maseo gulps, emotional at Oliver’s quick thinking and willingness to help find Tatsu.
Present day. Moutnain cabin. Oliver wakes up to… Tatsu! Yay! She’s still alive in present day! She tends to Oliver’s wounds as Maseo explains to Oliver that he asked her to come and help bring him Oliver back to life….
Annnnnd title card!
Next week: Starling City implodes. Again.