Laurel returns home with a savage Sara in tow, trying to figure out how to explain things to her father. Quentin Lance is already in a foul mood because some new gang is killing cops and he's got no better option than to turn to Oliver Queen for help. He's not too thrilled about Oliver running for mayor, either. But his outrage will be nothing compared to how Oliver reacts when he finds out that Captain Lance is apparently in the pocket of Damien Darhk.
Green Arrow: Year One (the sequences on Lian Yu), the Green Arrow comics of Elliot S! Maggin, particularly Green Lantern/Green Arrow #87 (which first proposed the idea of Oliver Queen running for mayor of Star City) and Green Arrow: Quiver, which dealt with the idea of a resurrected hero coming back from the dead without a soul.
Captain Lance claims to have reactivated the anti-vigilante task force within the past year and outfitted them with special equipment. You'd think Team Arrow would have encountered these forty specially trained cops before now. (Perhaps Lance reactivated the task-force then and only recently got the new equipment from Darhk?)
While Curtis' sharing his feelings about his brother's death and wanting to have a recording of his voice is a sweet thought, you'd think he'd be smart enough to realize that the recording of Ray Palmer's last moments is probably going to end with him screaming in agony as an explosion kills him and that's probably NOT something Felicity wants to hear.
Why do the corrupt cops taser Laurel and just leave her in the hallway? Why don't they bring her with them or put her back in her unlocked apartment, apart from the story needing someone to be able to tell the rest of Team Arrow that Lance was kidnapped?
It's a little hard to believe that Ray Palmer would have PASSWORD as his password. Even if it was hidden behind the gods only know what kind of encryption.
Paul Blackthorne gets a lot of great moments in this episode. With the exception of his narmy reaction to having to kill his own daughter (made worse by Katie Cassidy's lack of reaction to his action), he doesn't miss a beat in this episode.
Backed with some righeous speeches, Stephen Amell sounded like the Oliver Queen of the comics as he took Quentin Lance and his hypocrisy apart. Now if only we could hear him call someone a fat-cat by season's end...
The action sequence where Team Arrow fights the corrupt cops is very well choreographed and gives every member of the team a chance to shine.
The script has a number of great speeches for both Oliver and Captain Lance.
The final sequence, in which we see scenes of all the characters during Oliver's speech, is very well directed.
The idea of Oliver Queen running for mayor of Star City first appeared in Green Lantern/Green Arrow #87. In the story "What Can One Man Do?", Ollie is approached about running for office - an idea he runs by some of his friends - all of whom have the same reaction as Laurel, Diggle and Thea in this episode.
The idea of a hero being resurrected without a soul lies at the center of the Green Arrow story Quiver.
Curtis Holt guesses that a Palmer Technologies employee in the data processing department named Neal Adams is The Green Arrow. This employee is named after Neal Adams - the artist who designed the Bronze Age Green Arrow costume and illustrated Green Lantern/Green Arrow #87, which this episode is largely inspired by.
In the DC Comics Universe, Liza Warner was a character known as Lady Cop. The sole-survivor of a break-in that saw all her roommates killed by a serial killer called The Killer In Boots, Warner was inspired to become a cop. She later became Police Chief of Ivy Town and was an ally of the Ryan Choi Atom.
Apart from the name and being a cop, the DCTVU version has little in common with her comic book counterpart.
Ollie makes a reference to Papp Stadium. This is a reference to George Papp - the artist who co-created Green Arrow.
Ollie identifies the Star City professional baseball team as The Sentinels. According to the DC Comics RPG, the Star City baseball team was The Rockets. One DC Comic identified the Star City team as the Star City Stars.
The new Arrow Cave contains four polycarbonate cases for the team's costumes. They are keyed to each individual member's bio-metrics.
Felicity has the computers in the new Arrow Cave running radio transmissions from Police, Emergency Services and Homeland Security through a processing algorithm at all times. This will inform them of any trouble in the city.
The code being sent to Felicity's phone is from 2013. It is being broadcast from an IP in Curtis Holt's workspace.
Holt recognizes the code from one of Ray Palmer's prototype's operating systems that he had been analyzing. Felicity guesses that Ray must have connected the prototype's comptuer to the company's local area network. Holt confirms this and determines that Ray programmed his equipment to broadcast a crash log in case of a fatal malfunction. In other words, Ray may have recorded an audio message right before his apparent death.
The SIM card Lance gives Oliver to analyze does not come from a cel phone but rather from a walkie-talkie with GPS capabilities. This allows Felicity to track where it had been.
The secret base Oliver, John and Thea investigate is full of M4s, SCPD kevlar vests, flash-bang grenades and other military grade equipment. This indicates that their cop killers are cops.
The corrupt SCPD cops are armed with non-standard weaponry, including some kind of gun that deactivates Laurel's Canary Cry choker, net launchers and arrow-deflecting gauntlets with retractable knife-blades in the wrists. These are later confirmed to be special issue for the reactivated anti-vigilante task force.
Lance confirms that the corrupt cops really are cops and not criminals in police uniforms, based on the tactics employed.
Damien Darkh confirms that The Lazarus Pit brought Sara's body back to life but that The Pit does not restore the soul.
Felicity is able to activate every police officer's uniform and squad-car camera using her access to the SCPD network. This is how Oliver discovers Lance is friendly with Damien Darhk.
Laurel is able to thwart the Canary Cry Neutralizer by changing the frequency her choker operates on.
Oliver makes use of a knock-out gas arrow and a bola arrow in fighting the corrupt cops.
Thea: I know this is a trap and all but something about the drugs... the club... makes me feel like I'm back in high school again.
John: Just thinking about how much I hate raising a daughter in this city.
Ollie: Captain Lance?
Quentin: What, I don't get a code name like the rest of you?
Ollie: (sighing) Detective... get ready.
(As Lance enters the cave with the rest of Team Arrow)
Felicity: Um - not to complain but you do know that you brought a police captain into our secret lair?!
Lance: Don't worry. I've got enough to put you away for 25 years.
(Felicity makes an exasperated face at Oliver)
Lance: (smiling) Kidding!
Oliver: For years you've looked at me with such contempt. Utter disdain. So I'm wondering... do I have that same look on my face now?
Lance: What the hell are you talking about?
Oliver: I'm talking about you and Damien Darhk.
Lance: Okay.. it's... it's...
Oliver: I didn't know if you knew who he was or what he's been doing to this city. But now I see this look on your face... you know.
Lance: ... it's complicated.
Oliver: No, it's not. Do you have any idea how many people he's killed?
Lance: Yeah, I've got more of an idea than you. And listen you - YOU of all people - you don't get to come into my house and pass judgement on me, all right?!
Oliver: No. You always held yourself out as better than me! More righteous. And you were. Until tonight.
Lance: Actually, it's been a little more than two months now - me working with Darhk. It started out benign. He said had resources. He had people. Money. He held himself out as just another guy who wanted to help this city. And we needed the help. You weren't here. By the time I figured out who he was... what he was! That's when he threatened Laurel!
Oliver: Laurel can take care of herself. You see what she does out there.
Lance: That's what I thought about Sara too, and -
Oliver: (standing up, angrily) Stop! Stop it! Stop hiding behind your daughters! They would be ashamed of what you're doing right now!
Lance: You don't know what I'm going through-
Oliver: And you know the funny thing?! You were the main reason behind me running for mayor! A part of me has always wanted you to see what kind of man I really am. (pauses) I didn't expect to find out what kind of man you really are...
Lance: You said you're not a criminal. If you kill that man, you are.
Sgt. Warner: I told you I wasn't a criminal. But I also told you I was desperate.
Lance: We all are. Living in this city, dealnig with what we're dealing with? We're all desperate! We've all been made to do desperate things. Terrible things. But I've got to believe that we are not beyond redemption. And I've got to believe that this city can still be saved. Because once we stop believing that, that's when this city really dies and us - us, right along with it! Maybe, just maybe we start saving our home by saving ourselves first. And that means facing up to our mistakes. That means facing justice. You put on that uniform because you believe in justice. Ask yourself, Warner - is that still the case?
(Lance enters his apartment to find Oliver waiting for him)
Lance: Have you got your own key or something?!
Oliver: What you said to Warner saved my life. I... I didn't know you had such a way with words.
Lance: Well, I don't do encores.
Oliver: Do you believe what you said?
Lance: Yeah. (sniffs) Every word. Especially the part about facing justice. When 1 Police Plaza opens this morning, I will be turning myself in.
Oliver: I can't have you do that. We haven't been able to get close to Darhk. You have. I'd like you to stick around. Stay on the inside.
Lance: Well. that's only a smart plan if you can trust me.
Oliver: I trust the man who said we can't stop believing that we can save this city.
Oliver: United. That's what this city used to be. It's what it can be. It''s what it must be again. Now, I know that i'm not the obvious choice for Mayor. I'm not a politician. I signed away my family's company. I didn't even graduate from college. Although, in my defense, I did go to four of them. I certainly don't have the traditional background for leadership but I can tell you this. After five years in Hell, I returned home with only one goal. I wanted to save my city. And with your help, I can.
(Cut to Darhk, picking up some kind of intricate box)
Oliver: With your help, we will restore our home to the shining beacon we know it can be. And how we're going to get there isn't a mystery.
(Cut to Laurel, watching over Sgt. Warner in a holding cell)
Oliver: We will overcome our challenges with help from our friends.
(Cut to Oliver looking at Thea)
Oliver: Our families.
(Cut to Felicity, typing int the password to hear Ray Palmer's final words)
Oliver: Our loved ones.
(Cut to Oliver, looking to John)
Oliver: Those we trust.
(Cut to Lance, meeting with Darhk)
Oliver: And those we will need to trust again in order to prevail.
(Cut back to Oliver at his podium)
Oliver: Because the only way that we are going to return our home to greatness is to do so together! United.
Laurel makes reference to her spa weekend lie from 402.
Oliver refers to Captain Lance's statement about the city needing someone who isn't wearing a mask to save it from 402, as to why he is running for mayor.
Oliver acquires Sebastian Blood's old campaign office from Season 2, along with Blood's secret underground lair. This lair is made into the Arrow Cave 3.0.
The new Arrow Cave was designed by Cisco Ramon using resources from STAR Labs. It contains four polycarbonate cases for Oliver, Laurel, Thea and John's respective costumes, each keyed to their individual bio-metrics.
Thea mistakenly thinks Oliver's second big announcement involves his proposing to Felicity, which is why she asks why Felicity isn't wearing it (i.e. the engagement ring we saw in 401.) when she and Oliver arrive. This indicates Oliver has discussed his plans to propose with Thea but has not yet acted on them.
Lance asks Oliver if his visits are going to be a weekly thing. Oliver has indeed been making a visit to Lance once a week (i.e. once per episode) every week since Season 4 started.
In the flashbacks, Oliver sets the woman he rescued up in the cave that he first hid in when he came to Lian Yu in Season One.
Palmer Technologies has an employee in the data processing department named Neal Adams. He won the archery metal three years running at his summer camp, has a temper problem and he likes the color green. He is also 5'2".
Sara is now capable of speech, asking who she is as Laurel tries to jog her memory with pictures. She also attacks Laurel when she gets too close. Sara shows no signs of recognizing her sister or father.
Within the past months, Star City saw an increase in gangs stealing drug shipments from other gangs. Felicity theorizes this was actually corrupt cops stealing from the gangs.
The new Arrow cave is having electrical short problems.
Oliver addresses Lance as "Detective" when he asks for a code-name - a nod to Season 2, when Oliver still addressed Lance as Detective even after his demotion to beat-cop.
Lance confirms that he reactivated the anti-vigilante task force last year and they they had new equipment. It has about 40 officers assigned to it.
Lance gives Team Arrow unrestricted access to the SCPD computer network.
Curtis Holt had a brother who died six years earlier of pancreatic cancer.
Damen Darhk is a father.
The new Arrow Cave does include a salmon ladder... much to Felicity's enjoyment.
Felicity discovers that Sgt. Liza Warner deposited over a quarter million dollars into several off-shore accounts over the past three months.
Lance had been working with Darhk for just about two months as of this episode.
The Starling City baseball team was called The Sentinels. They played at Papp Stadium. Thea loved the popcorn. Ollie loved it when the whole crowd stood up to cheer a homer.
Quentin is taken by the corrupt cops to the SCPD Contraband Facility. Reference is made to the facility holding thousands of pounds of Slam, Vertigo and heroin. Slam is the drug created five years earlier on Lian Yu according to 402. Vertigo is a designer drug first seen in 112. It requires a precinct Captain to gain access through a palm-print scanner.
In the flashback, Oliver uses his death-faking pressure-point touch to make the woman he saved appear to be dead. Unfortunately, his satchel with the broadcasting equipment is discovered by Coaklin almost immediately after.
Thea recruits a number of volunteers for Ollie's campaign for mayor from her social media. She also wrote Oliver's first speech, basing it on what he told her about people being united at a baseball game when a homer was hit.
Darkh receives some kind of box that appears to be inscribed with mystic designs.
Felicity does finally listen to Ray Palmer's last message.
At the episode's end, Sara escapes from where Laurel had her chained up.
The Bottom Line
Bit of a toss-up. The ending unites all of our heroes on somewhat sturdier footing. At least until it comes out that Laurel has been lying to nearly everyone about Sara for two weeks now. The corrupt cops are underwhelming as enemies but we do get some great speeches for Paul Blackthorne and Stephen Amell that more than make up for it. The new Arrow cave set is nice, electrical shorts aside. The Sara subplot is somewhat lackluster as we know Quentin isn't going to kill her, even ignoring all the spoilers regarding Legends of Tomorrow and next week's appearance by a certain blue-collar Brit Magus.