As the FBI launches an investigation into the ties between Green Arrow and Star City's mayor, Ollie's former ally - Bratva Captain Anatoly Knyazev - returns to Star City with revenge on his mind. Does Anatoly have something to do with Oliver's identity being outed in the media? Or is another enemy responsible?
The Green Arrow comics of Judd Winick (Oliver tries to balance being mayor and a vigilante as various forces try to expose his identity and/or bring him down.) and Mike Grell's The Longbow Hunters (Oliver's talk with Rene is reminiscent of the "I won't make orphans" conversation he has with Dinah Lance in this story.)
Oliver setting a Russian thug on fire using a stove top doesn't seem to fit with the team's non-lethal force policy.
Oliver says that he's never lied to his kid before. He seems to be forgetting that he lied to William about just being a friend of his mom during the few times they met and played before William was abducted by Damien Darhk.
Oliver asks John Diggle to replace him as Green Arrow because he can't afford to risk William's only parent. This still seems like a dick move on Oliver's part given that John Diggle is also a father with a young son, even if John Jr's mother is still alive.
Juliana Harkavy and David Ramsey do a great job playing off each other as Dinah confronts John about the secret he is keeping from the team.
If you had told me that the best scene of this episode would involve Oliver Queen and Rene Ramirez talking about fatherhood, I wouldn't have believed it. Yet Stephen Amell and Rick Gonzalez rock that moment.
The top-down view of Oliver as he enters City Hall and faces the mob of reporters is a nice arty shot.
Intentionally awkward as it is, the lampshade-hanging dialogue between Felicity and Curtis as to just how the heck they are paying their bills is hilarious and a nice "take that" to the pedantic fans who like to know these details.
Good cinematography and fight choreography on Team Arrow's storming the Russian restaurant hideout.
There's a nice dramatic shot as Green Arrow and Spartan look over the entire shipyard they have one hour to search.
The episode opens with the same introduction as in Season Five, with Oliver explaining that he is Mayor of Star City as well as The Green Arrow.
When holding a press conference to address the photos that show him in Green Arrow's costume, Oliver glibly remarks that they could have doctored Bruce Wayne's head onto that body and jokingly asks if Bruce Wayne left Gotham to come to Star City recently. Bruce Wayne, of course, is the secret identity of The Batman - probably the most famous billionaire playboy vigilante in all of comics. This is the first direct reference made to Bruce Wayne existing in The Arrowverse with a character talking about him directly. Previous props have suggested the existence of Bruce Wayne and Batman, such as a future newspaper from The Flash mentioning a Wayne Tech/Queen Inc. merger in 2024.
Quentin refers to Oliver having been caught "in flagrante de-Arrow." This is a paraphrase of the Latin phrase "in flagrante delicto" - literally, "in blazing offense". Legally, it is used to refer to a criminal who has been caught in the act of committing a crime. An equivalent idiom in English would be "caught red-handed". The phrase is also referred to use to someone being caught in the middle of sexual activity, usually in an embarrassing fashion, such as being found to be cheating on a spouse or being discovered having sex in a public place.
Oliver says he can't leave town because of a meeting with a delegation from Markovia. In the comics, Markovia is located in Western Europe between France, Belgium and Luxembourg. It is home to the hero Geo-Force, who is its hereditary king.
The episode stinger features a new logo, which incorporates logos for all the members of Team Arrow. This includes a bird (Black Canary), an angry cartoon dog's face (Wild Dog), a stylized T (Mr. Terrific), an eye (Overwatch), a Spartan-style helmet (Spartan) and an arrowhead (Arrow)
Tetrodotoxin is a real-world neurotoxin, mainly found in the liver and gonads of certain fish, amphibians, shellfish and octopi.
Channel 52 uses bar-codes to track internal traffic. The envelope containing the photo of an unmasked Green Arrow came from inside their offices. It was not mailed, delivered or otherwise sent.
Felicity created an image analysis algorithm. Curtis later recodes it to make it more efficient.
The photo of Oliver was taken digitally, printed on a standard ink-jet printer on stock paper.
Curtis is coding in SQL and Java, plus a little Swift, in his new job.
Tetrodotoxin is a neurotoxin that inhibits the firing of action potentials, preventing the nervous from carrying messages and muscles from flexing in response to nervous stimulation. The antidote begins working immediately, but an infected subject typically takes 72 hours to recover fully.
Felicity knows how to code in Python.
Oliver makes use of a trick arrow with a hypodermic needle on the tip to inject Tarkov with the antidote to the terodotoxin.
(Oliver walks in through the front door of City Hall. A small army of reporters is waiting there.)
Oliver: Anything interesting on the news last night?
(The reporters begin to shout questions as Oliver makes his way to the top of the stairs.)
Oliver: (raising his voice) Please! If you want to know what I have to say, it would probably help if you could hear me.
(The reporters go silent. Oliver smiles.)
Oliver: Thank you. I'm going to tell you two things. Both of which you probably already know. First, and this is important...I am not The Green Arrow!
Female Reporter: If you're not The Green Arrow, then who is?!
Oliver: (raising his voice again) Number two! Photos can be doctored! They could have put Bruce Wayne's head on that body! (aside to Rene, who is standing to his left) Has Bruce Wayne left Gotham to hang out in Star City recently? No! (tone growing more sarcastic) Now, if I was running around the city during the day and managing it as mayor while running around at night frightening criminals as a vigilante, that really would make me a superhero. But I'm not. I'm just the mayor. Thank you very much.
(Oliver turns away from the reporters, followed by Rene and Quentin.)
Quentin: You seem to be taking this in your stride.
Oliver: I've been here before with you.
Quentin: (sighs) Yeah, but I didn't have a photograph of you in flagrante de-Arrow.
(Felicity and Curtis are discussing how they are making ends meet since leaving Palmer Tech and how Curtis had been doing freelance coding in his spare time.)
Felicity: So you just had a secret job this whole time and you didn't tell anyone about it?!
Curtis: I thought we all had secret jobs?
Curtis: Except for John. Maybe. What does he do for money? That's something that's been perplexing me.
Felicity: He's - he's married to the Director of ARGUS.
Curtis: Oh yeah. That's right. She does make a lot of money. Heh.
(Felicity gives Curtis a death glare.)
Anatoly: Don't worry. We are not here for you. We have business with our Markovian cousins.
Oliver: These are legitimate businessmen.
Anatoly: I never said my business was not legitimate. Unless you know something maybe a mayor should not know?
William: You wouldn't understand...
Oliver: I do understand. I lost my mom. And I lost my dad. And I was a lot older than you are now, but I remember exactly how it feels. It's sad and it's scary and it's lonely. And I swear to God I will never let that happen to you.
William: It's not up to you.
(Oliver answers his phone. It is Anatoly.)
Anatoly: Hello, Oliver.
Oliver: Anatoly. Why are you doing this?
Anatoly: I need money. And from what I understand, your city recently came into possession of twenty million dollars.
Oliver: There are plenty of cities in Russia.
Anatoly: Hmm - true. Beautiful ones. But you see, I have been exiled. Apparently Bratva thinks I am too weak due to my friendship with you. So now, I show everyone. (harshly) I am not weak. And you and I? No longer friends. (mock friendly) I know sometimes you need persuasion to do right thing, so I help you (turns his camera phone to reveal his hostage) This nice man? Has paralysis of muscles. Soon, will have lung collapse and not be able to breathe. This happens in maybe... three hours? Now, I have cure for his problems. Do you have cure for mine?
Rene: Lance told me about what happened at school. Kids are mean.
Oliver: He's not worried about bullies. He's worried about me. He thinks I'm going to make him an orphan.
Oliver: I told him... I said, "That will not happen. I will always come back." (pause) I've never lied to my kid before.
(There's a long pause as Rene seems to struggle of something to think to say.)
Rene: You know... I'm not exactly Father Of The Year, but... white lies are kind of an important parental tool. I remember telling Zoe that she came from a cloud. I really hope her mom set her straight on that one.
Oliver: So help me with this. How do I reconcile... that he's right? Because every time that I'm in the field, there's a chance I don't come back. And that he's alone. And now you're telling me that he's gonna have to lie to an FBI agent so he doesn't lose his father to prison?
(Green Arrow finds Anatoly standing behind a seated, comatose Tarkov.)
Anatoly: I ask for twenty million specifically because I knew you had it. You trade this man's life for new police station?
Green Arrow: Not exactly.
(Green Arrow draws an arrow and shoots Tarkov in the shoulder.)
Anatoly: I do not think you understand how this whole rescue thing works.
Green Arrow: No, I think I do.
(Tarkov suddenly gasps. Anatoly looks down and sees the needle-tip on the arrowhead.)
Anatoly: Some sort of antidote. Very clever.
Green Arrow: Now step away from him Anatoly. He's not part of this.
Anatoly: I made him part of this.
(A bullet suddenly flies through Tarkov's other shoulder. Anatoly reveals the gun he had trained on his back with his hidden hand.)
Anatoly: And I never got my money.
Green Arrow: What the hell has happened to you? Not even Gregor would have done that!
Anatoly: Yes, he would have. You never saw because you were too naive. You still are.
Green Arrow: We were friends.
Anatoly: Yes. But I see how you treat your friends.
Green Arrow: No, Anatoly. No. This is on you. You used to be an honorable man!
Anatoly: I -am- an honorable man. Did I have bomb planted in your son's school? Did I have him kidnapped? Tortured? No. Because even though we stand apart, I am still good man. I wonder... what would happen to William if he ran afoul of someone who is not good?
(Anatoly turns to leave. Green Arrow reaches up to draw an arrow.)
Green Arrow: Anatoly! Don't you move!
Anatoly: Don't bluff. We have been here before. We both know you will not kill me.
(Green Arrow stares at him... then slowly lowers his drawing hand.)
Green Arrow: Why did you leak that picture of me?
Anatoly: As Kapiushon? (shakes his head) I did not. I told you. I am honorable man.
Quentin refers to his own efforts to prove that Oliver Queen was a vigilante in Season One and Season Three, back when he was a police officer.
Star City is being visited by a delegation from Markovia -a country which has been mentioned several times on the show and was visited by John Diggle and The Suicide Squad in 216.
Smandra Watson is the FBI agent in charge of the investigation into Oliver Queen's ties to Green Arrow.
Oliver refers to having been cleared of being a vigilante five years earlier in 105 . Agent Watson replies that he was cleared of being The Hood - not Green Arrow.
Oliver passed a polygraph test regarding his being a vigilante in 105.
Felicity refers to the events of 105 and John Diggle posing as The Hood to ruin the case against Oliver while he was under house arrest.
Curtis refers to Christopher Chance and the events of 505. It is explained that The Human Target is out of the country so he can't help them out at this moment.
568 people work at Channel 52's Star City office.
Felicity is still unemployed and has almost burned through all of her severance pay from Palmer Tech. She refers to her nightmare job from the start of Season 3 (working at Tech Village) and says she'd rather go to Iron Heights than back to working there.
Curtis has been paying the bills by doing freelance coding in his spare time. He did not take a dime from his husband after they got divorced.
John Diggle, we are told, is unemployed but that Lyla makes enough money as the Director of ARGUS to support them both.
Vortex Industries is a Markovian company who wish to build a factory in Star City. Oliver has offered them a subsidized lease which will bring 800 jobs, minimum, to Star City. Their CEO is named Alec Tarkov.
Curtis finds a way to trace cryptocurrency.
Oliver advises that the best way to deal with a gang of bullies is to go for the nose of the leader.
Once again, Spartan freezes up drawing a gun on someone.
Arrangements were made to say that Samantha Clayton died in a car accident. No body or wrecked car was provided. The only "proof" is an autopsy and an accident report - both likely faked by Felicity.
William is seen punching something covered with Flash logos. Oliver says that it was a gift from a very good friend - likely Barry Allen.
Dr. Schwartz - Team Arrow's secret Doctor - provides Dinah and John with a tetrodotoxin antidote.
John was caught by some shrapnel in the explosion we saw in the flashback of 601. He is on a prescription for pain-killers relating to his injuries. He reveals to Dinah that he has degenerative nerve damage which is why he's been hesitating when drawing his gun.
John freezes up a second time while Black Canary is being strangled.
Anatoly denies having sent out the picture of Oliver as Green Arrow.
Curtis' algorithm confirms the picture of Oliver as Green Arrow was doctored. This does not slow Smandra Watson's determination to continue her investigation.
Felicity asks Curtis to go into business with her. He agrees.
John agrees to tell Oliver about his nerve damage. He changes his mind after Oliver asks him to take over being The Green Arrow for him.
The Bottom Line
A surprisingly solid episode with great performances from the entire ensemble and a smart script that firms up the status quo before blowing it out of the water in the final moment.