Arrow 3-12: Uprising (Starling City goes Fight Club while Malcolm Merlyn gets the sads)

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Brick has wasted no time setting up his operations in The Glades. Enforcers are now putting the squeeze on local owners for ‘protection’ money. Lucky for them that even though the SCPD has been benched, Arsenal and Canary are on the case, swooping in to take out the smug gang before both ride off into the night on Arsenal’s motorcycle – oblivious to Sin calling out to ‘Sara’ and leaving her looking hurt and confused in their wake.

Quentin painfully listens in on his walkie to the mayhem happening in The Glades. He calls Felicity to give her what little intel he can pass on, Felicity cutting the call short as she relays the info to Arsenal and Canary and gets back to saving The Glades.

Elsewhere, Malcolm and Thea spar, the latter definitely having improved from even earlier this season but she hasn’t quite surpassed her teach. Malcolm gets the drop on her and chides her for her hesitation to kill. The LoA will not show mercy. Thea argues that she isn’t a killer. Malcolm concedes he wasn’t always one either – he too was scared with his first kill.

Flashback! Starling City. A younger Malcolm with some seriously bad hair comes home. He seems happier, more innocent. Indeed he checks on a wee moppet Tommy who has awakened from a nightmare and playfully reassures the boy that all is well. Except minutes later, Malcolm opens the front door (guess the help went to bed) to two somber police offers and without a word he realizes nothing will ever be okay ever again.

Present day. Arsenal pays a visit to Captain Lance and Quentin quickly lets Roy know he knows who he is and to quit with the voice modulator. Where’s the green hood? Arsenal hedges so Quentin moves on to Sara and Arsenal hedges some more before saying he’ll pass on that her father says hello. Quentin says just watch her back out there.

Back at the lair, Team Arrow sorts through the info Quentin gave them stumbling on the surprising information that Brick’s gun is tied to a decades old murder – Rebecca Merlyn. This not only makes the team sit up, but Malcolm as well for you see, Malcolm has bugged the lair (seriously, Diggle, epic fail on Arrow lair security) and has heard the entire thing – and probably then some. As Malcolm absorbs this news we cut to…

Oliver and Tatsu on the other side of the world making their way through the woods, Oliver pleading with her to help him understand what happened to her all these years. Tatsu remains cryptic, determined only to lead Oliver to transportation to get him home.

Back in Starling, Thea comes upon Malcolm sharpening up his sword just a little too focused and intensely and instead of backing away, she ventures closer to ask what he’s doing. Oh, just getting ready to kill the man who really killed his wife. Seems he dropped the wrong guy all those years ago. Thea wants to go to the cops but Malcolm is adamant that it is his responsibility to take care of it. He promised to avenge her and he will.

Flashback! Starling City. Bad hair Malcolm sits at his wife’s graveside. Moppet Tommy and Lil ‘Oliver watch from afar, Tommy missing his mother and already sensing a distance growing with his father. A henchman approaches Malcolm and passes on the information he’s gotten from a friend with the police: info on Rebecca’s killer. He leaves it with Malcolm to do with as he wishes…

Present day. Arrow lair. Team Arrow discusses what to do about Brick situation. Diggle suggests siccing Malcolm on Brick and kill two birds with one stone. Either Malcolm takes out Brick or Brick takes Malcolm out of they take out each other. It’s a win. The rest of the team opt to trace Brick’s thugs’ walkie transmissions to the source to get a bead on Brick- the Glades’ police HQ.

At The Glades’ police HQ, Brick is dealing with some disappointing thugs. He’s further disappointed when Arsenal and Canary show up and it’s a free for all. Brick realizes the place is a lost cause and moves to flee, nearly taking out Arsenal and Canary on the way but thwarted by Malcolm in full Dark Arrow gear. Brick manages to escape and Malcolm tells the dynamic duo they need to have a chat.

Back at the lair, Malcolm addresses Team Arrow offering a deal: he’ll work with them to get Brick and help save the city. Felicity all but spits in his face, speaking for the team, but Malcolm doesn’t take that as their final answer and leaves them to think it over.

Roy steps out for some air and runs into Thea who gives him food for thought about Malcolm’s usefulness by telling him how he saved her life during last year’s Mirakuru siege of the city. She does believe he’s changed or at least isn’t the bad person he was before. Roy takes hit back to Team Arrow, he and and Laurel arguing to work with Malcolm. Use him like he wants to use the team. Felicity isnt’ on board at all- this isn’t what Oliver would do. Diggle silently takes it all in, the vote coming down to him.

Diggle’s answer? The ends don’t justify the means. He sends Malcolm packing, Malcolm slinking off into the night.

Flashback! Starling City. Bad hair Malcolm finds his target and approaches the thug, ready to avenge his wife. The guy laughs at him and gets a few licks in, walloping Malcolm left and right and leaving him bleeding on the street. He walks away, underestimating the widowed businessman. Malcolm pulls a gun from his coat and fires. Mission accomplished.

Present day. Tatsu has led Oliver to a truck that can get him out of dodge. He asks her to come with him, but Tatsu says he needs to follow his path and she hers. They hug and part ways.

Flashback! Starling City. Malcolm fresh off of getting his feelings hurt by being called a weak wannbe and killing the thug decides he needs to leave town to forge his anger into something useful and become stronger. Nevermind that he has a young son mourning his mother and in need of the support of his father. Apparently, Malcolm’s manpain is more important. He kisses his confused son good-bye and takes off for parts unknown.

Present Day. Team Arrow. Roy wonders if they did the wrong thing not teaming up with Malcolm. Laurel suggests using the town to fight back against Brick and his cronies. Felicity and Diggle approve of this angle and the team enlist Ted ‘Wildcat’ Grant and Sin to rally the citizens of the Glades.

Canary and Arsenal lead the straggling army in a free for all brawl with Brick and his thugs. It’s a bloody fight with heavy casualties including Ted Grant. The tide shifts and Brick takes off for escape only to run into Malcolm who after learning Rebecca’s murder was a gang initiation test, draws his weapon only to be talked down by the Arrow who says that he should try to be the man Thea believes him to be and stop with the killing. Malcolm actually listens and allows Brick to live, which…really?

Quentin arrives on the scene to watch as the Arrow addresses the crowd and the city (via a news camera also on the scene) and apologizes for leaving and promises to never leave again even though it appears in his absence that they could and did take care of themselves. Not one for long speeches, the Arrow fires a grapple arrow and up, up and aways himself from the scene.

Getting back to business, Quentin orders his men to help start cleaning up the Glades, pulled aside by Sin who asks him about this Canary person. Whoever she is, she isn’t Sara. Quentin opens his mouth to speak, but something inside him realizes that with all of the Canary’s weird behavior lately, Sin might be on to something….

Back at Thea’s loft, Malcolm checks on her and reassures her that he didn’t kill Brick. Before he can elaborate, Oliver arrives home and covers with having been in Bludhaven (Nightwing shout out!?!) and in jail. Malcolm and Oliver play nice until Thea leaves to make tea. Oliver ain’t so forgiving of Malcolm’s crimes but he needs him to fight Ra’s. Malcolm is going to teach him how to fight.

Flashback! Nanda Parbat. Malcolm is brought in my members of the LoA to begin his training, meeting Lil’ Nyssa who is owning men twice her size in combat. Malcolm does a magic trick for Nyssa and she names him Al Sa-Her, The Magician.

The Arrow Lair. Oliver finally visits Team Arrow and Roy and Diggle welcome him back. Felicity rushes to hug him only to pull back when Oliver reveals he’s working with Malcolm to save Thea. Felicity decides she needs some air. Oliver follows wanting to explain, but Felicity isn’t having it. She thought that after what happened, he wouldn’t still be all about the mission. This isn’t about the mission but his sister. Felicity walks away, not accepting Oliver’s reasons or excuses, and all Oliver can do is let her go, watching her painfully leave.

Next week: Oliver has some readjusting to life back in Starling while Laurel has to prove her worth as Canary.

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