With Moira Queen dead, Sebastian Blood is quickly sworn in to office as Starling City's new mayor. Thea Queen is planning to leave town for good in the wake of Verdant being seized by Isabel Rochev and Oliver Queen is planning to surrender himself to Slade Wilson in the hopes that nobody else will have to die because of him. But will Ollie's surrender stop Slade from unleashing his army of Mirakuru enhanced convicts? Or will it just leave the city defenseless?
In the flashback, Oliver and the rest of Ivo's former prisoners work to get the Japanese submarine that carried the Mirakuru back into fighting shape so they can use it against Slade Wilson and The Amazo.
Green Arrow Year One (The flashback sequences), Hamlet (Ollie's monologue on the pier and the general theme of a young man contemplating the merits of suicide vs. seeing justice done) and Green Arrow: The Black Arrow Saga by Mike Grell (Oliver established a secret base in an abandoned building).
Colin Salmon reminds us how much we missed Walter Steele in every little scene he has throughout the episode. One wonders why we didn't see him sooner given the trouble his family was having in previous episodes but I'm not knocking it now that he's here.
David Ramsey and Emily Bett Rickards nail ever single scene they have together. After spending much of Season 2 on the sidelines, it is good to see Digg and Felicity getting the focus for much of the episode.
This episode does not begin with the standard "My name is Oliver Queen" introduction.
The use of pink roses at Moira's funeral is unusual, as pink roses are traditionally a flower used as a "thank you" gift. Pink roses are meant to symbolize sweet thoughts and gentle emotions as well as fun and happiness. They can also be used as an expression of sympathy, which could be their meaning in this case. Alternatively, pink may have been Moira's favorite color or pink roses her favorite flower.
Diggle uses 9 mm hollow-point rounds in his gun. At the very least, this is what he used to bring down Isabel Rochev.
Oliver is described as a Priority 3A in his ARGUS file.
Oliver's secret lair - a place to be alone and think - is reminiscent of Superman's Fortress of Solitude.
Sebastian Blood's bodyguard is a man named Clinton Hogue. This is also the name of a character from the New 52 Animal Man series. In that book, Hogue is a follower of Brother Blood and leader of a group called The Splinterfolk - a group of people warped into half-bestial forms through a connection to The Red. It's worth noting that this storyline was written by author/artist Jeff Lemire, who is currently the writer of the Green Arrow comic.
Isabel Rochev's costume, when she confronts Diggle seems to have been inspired, in part, by the design for the female version of the villain Ravager. In the comics, the first Ravager was Slade Wilson's son, Grant Wilson, who was an assassin for hire like his father. Later, Slade's daughter - Rose Wilson - took on the name after being brainwashed and trained as an assassin by her father.
Felicity geeks out over the computer equipment ARGUS uses, noting that some of it isn't even supposed to exist yet.
The Japanese submarine has manual torpedoes. Someone has to be inside them to steer, effectively turning them into suicide ships.
(As Felicity and Diggle wonder where Oliver is and why he didn't attend Moira's funeral)
Isabel: If Oliver's smart, he went back to his island to hide. Maybe he'll attend your funerals?
Ollie: What about my idea for you to fix the sub? You were in the navy!
Anatoly: The Russian Navy! They taught us how to sink Japanese subs, not pilot them!
(After Oliver explains his intention to sacrifice himself)
Felicity: Please don't do this.
Ollie: Felicity... someone once told me that the essence of heroism is to die so others can live.
Diggle: It's not that simple, Oliver.
Olie: Yes it is. Slade's whole plan was to take everything from me. He did. He wins. All that's left is for me to die.
Ollie: (to himself) This is where it all started. Out on the Queen's Gambit, right over there. I should have died on that boat. If I had, none of this would have happened. I never would have met you. Shado and my mother would still be alive. No one else is going to die because of me.
Ollie: Peter, what you're doing is-
Peter: Practical. My time's already up.
Ollie: Brave. You need do know that... I don't think I could do something like this...
Peter: But you have! What you did for us? Comnig back to that boat? Setting us free?
Ollie: I came back to the boat because I want to go home. I wasn't thinking about saving anybody. That's not who I am.
Peter: Maybe not yet.
And the whole "torture" scene with Diggle and Felicity tormenting Blood's bodyguard. But especially...
Clinton Hogue: Bitch!
Felicity: (cheerful) Bitch with WiFi.
Felicity: (to an ARGUS technician) Can I touch it? I know that sounds a little weird. And creepy. But I've never seen one in real life.
Laurel: I don’t know anything about hoods and masks or human weapons or any of this but I know you. I know you like I know my own name. And I realize it may sound crazy in light of your secret, but I know who you are in your bones, Oliver.
Laurel, Quentin, Diggle, Felicity, Thea and Walter Steele are in attendance at Moira's funeral. Oliver isn't.
It is made clear early on that while Thea knows that Slade was on the island with Ollie, she still does not know about Oliver being The Arrow.
Felicity says that looking at Roy in a coma reminds her of Barry Allen, who has been in a coma since 209. She also makes reference to the Mirakuru cure she asked STAR Labs to begin work on in 219.
Diggle uses 9 mm hollow-point rounds in his gun. He deduces that Isabel Rochev must have been injected with the Mirakuru due to the fact that she survived being shot with that kind of ammunition back in 219.
Amanda Waller refers to the events of 216 and how Diggle no longer has any favors to call in with her.
Laurel gets assistance with hacking Sebastian Blood's computers from CSU Tech Kelton, who was last seen in 208. He is later killed by one of Deathstroke's men.
Isabel Rochev takes away Verdant from Thea.
Anatoly was in the Russian navy. He has no experience with Japanese submarines but is able to improvise rather well.
Felicity's mother is a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas.
Peter was given radiation poisoning by Professor Ivo to see if Mirakuru could cure cancer. He volunteers to pilot the torpedo that sinks The Amazo.
Oliver deduces that Sebastian Blood is the man in the skull mask.
Ollie sends Sara away from the sub so that she will be safe.
Oliver reveals his secret identity to Sebastian Blood after revealing he knows Blood's secret as well.
By episode's end, both Quentin and Thea are imperiled by Deathstroke's men at the police station and train station respectively. Diggle is facing down Isabel Rochev as Felicity is fielding a call from STAR Labs. And Ollie and Laurel are trapped in a cave-in of sorts.
The Fridge Factor
This episode tries far too hard to redeem Laurel's character and winds up doing more damage to her reputation in the process. Yes, she is the one who finds the proof that Blood and Wilson are working together but only through the assistance of a police technician and her dad. Even then, the victory seems hollow since Laurel is only successful because Blood comes off as a bigger idiot than she does, due to the time stamp on his incriminating documents. Yes, she does save Ollie from a Mirakuru enhanced criminal... but then quickly requires Ollie to become a seeing-eye man who can lead her by the hand, away from the peril .
The Winick Factor
Granting that the death of his mother taking the wind out of his sails is not unbelievable, it is still a little shocking that Oliver would disappear for several days and not think about the danger to his loved ones with Slade running loose. It's also a little unbelievable that after everything that has blown up in his face lately that Oliver still refuses to tell Thea his secret, or thinks to mention that her boyfriend is still alive in the basement of her club or that he thinks pushing the people he loves away is honestly going to protect them.
The Bottom Line
Not a bad episode but a bit slow at times. This episode exists primarily for three reasons - redeeming Laurel's character by having her find the connection between Slade Wilson and Sebastian Blood, driving home how badly Moira's death has changed everything and setting up the action of the next episode. It succeeds in two of these tasks.