After Maya Resik dies shortly after her visit to St. Walker Hospital, Laurel Lance becomes convinced that Sebastian Blood is not all he seems to be. Naturally her boss at the District Attorney's office is reluctant to go after the beloved mayoral candidate, leaving Laurel without any options or allies... except, perhaps, for The Arrow.
At the same time, Roy Harper turns to Sin to help him in understanding the strange super-human abilities he seems to have developed since his abduction by Brother Blood. The two decide to make a go of it as vigilantes without The Arrow's guidance but quickly find that there's a flip-side to Roy's new powers.
In the island flashbacks, Sara Lance considers Ivo's offer of rescue in exchange for the Mirakuru. Never mind that Slade Wilson has disappeared into the jungle with the only sample and that Ollie is understandably reluctant to make a deal with Shado's murderer.
Green Arrow: Year One (the island scenes), Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters (refers to a serial killer called The Slasher who prays on prostitutes) and Judd Winick's Green Arrow/Black Canary (some resemblance between how Connor Hawke developed super-powers after being abductedby a super-villain mad-scientist and what is happening to Roy).
The whole sequence at the Starling City Archives reeks of contrivance. Why is it necessary to pull a heist in the middle of the night when surely, as an assistant DA Laurel, would have the ability to access to city legal records during the day? Why do the police send a fully armored SWAT team out to respond to a routine burglary? Could they have gotten a SWAT team out there that quickly? Why would a public facility like the city archives have private security guards rather than police protection? What are the odds that said security guards are good enough with computers to thwart a hacker of Felicity's skill? And finally, if the Starling City Archives are as secure as we're told, why do the main archive rooms have have big plate-glass windows painted with the building's name on the upper floor of the building?
Every moment Manu Bennett is on-screen as Slade Wilson is heavenly.
The Starling Slasher - the bad guy Sin picks to be Roy's first target - is likely a reference to The Seattle Slasher - a serial killer who was Oliver Queen's first target after moving to Seattle in the graphic novel Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters. Ignoring the similar names, both killers targeted prostitutes and used knives.
There are some superficial similarities between Roy Harper's character arc here and that of Connor Hawke - the second Green Arrow - in Judd Winick's run on Green Arrow/Black Canary. Both storylines saw a young hero being kidnapped by a super-villain who used them as a subject for medical experimentation that left them with enhanced strength and healing abilities.
According to the police file on his murder, Sebastian Blood's father was named Sebastian Sangre. Sangre is the Spanish word for blood.
Felicity has software on her rig that can act as a vocal polygraph but it requires a true statement to calibrate itself.
The prescription Laurel stole from her father is some kind of azepine-based drug - most likely a pain killer..
The Arrow: What color are your shoes?!
(Regarding Sebastian Blood)
John: Felicity, he's dedicated his life - risked his life - to help the people of The Glades and in his spare time he's a murder trying to create an army of living weapons?
Felicity: You're a personal bodyguard who fights crime at night with his billionaire boss. Not a lot of people show their real face in public.
Sara: Not everybody's what they seem.
Felicity: You certainly know how to talk yourself out of a victory.
Ollie: It's a gift.
Deathstroke: Your incompetence has now cost four lives, Alderman. Fail me again and yours will be the fifth!
The Arrow: I can teach you. To control your new ability. And to control yourself. Let me help you.
Roy: When do we start?
The entire sequence between Sebastian Blood and his mother at the start is incredibly hokey.
Laurel begging her father for help in the police interrogation room. Katie Cassidy hams it up horribly and Paul Blackthorne looks less like he's putting up a tough front and more counting the seconds until he can get off camera.
Adam Hunt refuses to investigate Blood, referring to his reputation already having been hurt thanks to his being exposed to Vertigo on live TV (207).
Ollie thanks Roy for saving his mom, referring to the events of 210.
When accused of being late for their appointment, The Arrow tells Laurel he was checking around the building for a hidden SWAT team, referring to Laurel's ambush in 203.
Laurel makes reference to Cyrus Gold killing four cops (209).
Roy is now strong enough to break industrial building stones with one punch and to rip a car door off of its hinges.
The Fridge Factor
The whole subplot regarding Laurel's drug abuse comes to its inevitable conclusion only to be just as quickly swept under the rug. And a good thing too as any viewer sympathy for Laurel as a character has likely disappeared along with her career prospects by the episode's end. It's notable that the villains didn't have to do a thing to frame Laurel - just expose her very real crimes. Hell, if it weren't for Slade's nebulous master plan to make Ollie's life hell, Blood wouldn't have had to have bothered with trying to kill Laurel and having Officer Daly take the fall for it. She'd be completely discredited as a witness and disgraced in everyone's eyes... and rightly so!
The Bottom Line
As in State vs. Queen earlier this season, the last ten minutes of this episode salvage an otherwise uninspired script. The island sequences are a distraction and serve little purpose apart from giving Sara the thematic line of the episode. The bits with Roy trying to use his powers to help people are interesting but all too brief. Everything with Laurel is agonizing to watch since any sympathy the viewer might have for her is obliterated by the fact that she's actually guilty of the crimes she is accused of that force her out of her job. And yet, to see Manu Bennett kicking ass and taking names in the Deathstroke armor and The Arrow officially taking Roy Harper on as his apprentice... it just manages to make up for everything that came before it. Barely.