Determined to devote his life towards his new son, Oliver asks John to take over as The Green Arrow, unaware that John is suffering from nerve damage that leaves him unable to draw a gun reliably much less fire a bow! As Oliver seeks help from an unlikely source in connecting with William, the rest of Team Arrow must contend with a rogue convert ops team and the deadly weapon they've stolen from Kord Industries.
The novels of Tom Clancy (plot based around a covert ops team going rogue) and the Green Arrow comics of Benjamin Percy (Oliver tries to balance work and parenthood.)
With every passing episode, Juliana Harkavy proves herself the Black Canary this series deserves and has needed since Caity Lotz' departure in Season Two. She captures the tough-as-nails essence of Dinah Drake from the comics and her chemistry with David Ramsey continues to be one of the best aspects of the show.
Talking of chemistry, Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards continue to be adorable as Oliver and Felicity.
The episode MVP, however, has got to be David Ramsey. He's often had a thankless job playing John Diggle but episodes like this one allow him the chance to show why he's been an essential part of Team Arrow since the series began.
The action sequence with John Diggle fighting Onyx Adams in the car is a fantastic one, from the camera-work to the blocking of the fight.
The episode opens with a new introductory voice-over by Oliver Queen, reflecting his retirement as Green Arrow.
We see Dinah using her sonic scream to direct and cushion the landing of a falling John Diggle. In the recent Batgirl And The Birds of Prey comics, Black Canary was shown using her sonic scream to propel herself upward, creating a degree of limited flight, in a similar manner.
Past stories have also shown Black Canary having the fine control to obliterate an ivory billiard ball into powder without hurting the hand of the person holding it. Given that, her using the Canary Cry to disperse a toxic gas cloud as she does in this episode is potentially possible.
The Arrow stinger at the start of the episode no longer has the symbol for Spartan among the symbols for Black Canary, Wild Dog, Mister Terrific, Overwatch and Green Arrow.
Once again, mention is made of Kord Industries. In the comics, Kord Industries is owned by industrialist/inventor Ted Kord, a.k.a. the second Blue Beetle.
The terrible song the Kord Industries driver is listening to is Children of Aquarius by Marcus.
Onyx Adams first appeared in Detective Comics #546 (January 1985) and was created by Joey Cavalieri and Jerome Moore. A former member of The League of Assassins who abandoned her life of murder for a life of peaceful contemplation, she joined the order of Buddhist monks who ran the ashram where Oliver Queen lived for a time following his retiring from the world after mistakenly killing a young man. She was sent from the ashram to find Green Arrow and secure his help in defeating a renegade monk named Lars, who sought an ancient artifact of great power.
Onyx Adams would appear sporadically in other comics following her adventure with Green Arrow. She appeared as part of a team of female superheroes lead by Wonder Woman to fight Circe and her followers. She would later be recruited by Batman to serve as a bodyguard for one of his agents - a vigilante named Orpheus who had assumed the role of a crime-boss in Gotham City. Onyx would later take over Orpheus' gang herself and turn them into a peace-keeping force. She also served as one of Oracle's agents in the Birds of Prey.
The DCTVU version of Onyx Adams is a CIA agent who led a black-ops squadron working undercover in Syria. They disappeared in 2015 with $100 million in Syria government gold.
The CIA dossier on Onyx Adams which Felicity pulls up lists her as being 5'8 and 140 pounds. She's single and has an IQ of 120. She's described as being an art history enthusiast whose favorite style is surrealism and her favorite artist is Rene Magritte. It says that she holds a black belt in multiple Martial Arts but specializes in Dambe - a form of boxing developed by the Hausa people of west Africa. A trained gymnast, she is also a master of disguise and is specially trained in stealth and spy-craft.
At one point, Oliver makes William a Monte Cristo sandwich using waffles instead of bread. This is a nod to Oliver's enthusiastic if unorthodox cooking skills in the comics, where Oliver is depicted as being the sort of person who likes experimenting in the kitchen but few people enjoy the results of his experiments.
All of the people killed by Onyx at Kord Industries died of broken vertebrea or blunt force trauma.
Onyx uses a unique flash-bang weapon to blind people. Curtis develops glasses that resist the effect.
Felicity and Curtis build a weapon for John which they dub The Green Monster - a modified crossbow that shoots arrows instead of crossbow bolts. It has a 260 pound draw weight and the arrows exit the gate at 400 feet per second. It has an integrated recoil energy dissipation system, adjustable mount scope, quick detach quivers, a pistol grip, finger guards and a non-slip rubber insert. The Green Monster does not have stabilizers.
Chapter Nine of the Star City charter allows the mayor to convert a city council bill into a city-wide referendum, allowing the people to vote on a measure.
Oliver Queen: (voice-over) My name is Oliver Queen. After five years in hell, I returned home with only one goal - to save my city. But I couldn't honor that commitment and honor the promise I made ti the mother of my son. So I asked the best man I know to help. His name is John Diggle and he is The Green Arrow.
(Dinah looks at John with a smirk on her lips.)
John: Maybe in another week I'll get used to that judgmental stare you keep giving me.
Dinah: This isn't judgement. It's amusement.
Dinah: (in imitation of John) Sooner or later someone's gonna find out The Green Arrow isn't shooting any arrows.
John: Dinah, I'm not an archer.
Dinah: No. It's not about the arrows, John. It's about the injury. I thought you were going to talk to Oliver?
John: I was. Until he asked me to put this on.
Dinah: Which he never would have done if he knew the truth.
John: Dinah, what do you want from me? The man's under an FBI microscope. He's worried about his son!
Dinah: Imagine how worried he'd be if he knew you were out there compromised.
John: Did you see me tonight? Did I look compromised? Dinah, I have this handled. The tremor's gone
Dinah: (sarcastically) Well, I guess I worried for nothing then.
Felicity: So the man who took down Damien Darhk is bested by arithmetic?
Oliver: It wasn't my strongest subject in school.
Felicity: No? What was? Truancy?
Oliver: (smiling) Charm.
Felicity: (smiling back) Yeah, no doubt.
(John, in The Green Arrow suit, sits in the cab of the delivery truck with the security guard and driver. Terrible music plays as the three men sit in silence.)
Radio: Children of Aquarius, Your dream is my dream.
The Green Arrow: You have horrible taste in music.
John: Every time I've hard to give orders... in the Army? On this team? There was always someone there backing my plays. I'm not used to making the hard calls alone. No one is more disappointed in me than me.
Dinah: Well, next time get it right. Our lives depend on it.
Oliver: This is weird.
John: Being back down here?
Oliver: How many times have you come down here to find me brooding?
John: I'm not brooding, Oliver. I'm thinking.
(A long pause passes as the two regard each other.)
John: Okay, maybe I'm brooding a little bit.
Oliver: Well, if you haven't figured it out already, that expression is a much a part of the uniform as the green hood.
John: Every time you were down here brooding it was because you made a mistake. (pauses and sighs) I think you made another one, man.
Oliver: No. Not even close.
John: Who came to you? Rene?
Oliver: I needed to come and ask Felicity a favor. And then of course I saw that very familiar expression. It makes me wonder if maybe I asked too much of you.
John: What do you mean?
Oliver: I gave up being Green Arrow for William. But... you have J.J. You have Lyla. That doesn't exactly seem fair...
John: That's not the issue at all, Oliver. I made my peace with this whole life a long time ago.
Oliver: So what's the problem?
John: I don't know how you did it. You never hesitated to make the call. You were always sure. I'm not.
Oliver: I was never sure! Not one time! I'm very flattered that it looked that way on the outside, John. But on the inside, it was... it was instinct. It was instinct and it was fear.
John: Yeah, but you worked past it.
Oliver: Well, you'll work past it too. Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that you won't make mistakes. That you won't lose people along the way. You know... most... most will be strangers, but some.... some won't be. Because John? You're one of the main reasons that The Green Arrow even exists.
John: What are you talking about?
Oliver: The Restons.
John: The bank robbers?
Oliver: The bank robbers, yeah. You were the first person to convince me to look past just the names on my father's list. You helped me discover that The Hood - that persona - he wasn't a hero. You helped me find one. All of this - The Green Arrow, the idea of it - it exists because you had faith in me. Now you've got to have the same kind of faith in yourself. Because if you do, you can be a better leader... you can be a better hero... than I ever was.
(John walks to the end of the shooting range, looking at the tennis balls he shot to the wall.)
Dinah: Nice going. Steady.
John: See? Told you. Tremor's gone.
Dinah: Well, I'm convinced. (smiles) You were wrong about one thing, though.
John: What's that?
(Dinah takes one of the arrows from the wall and offers it to John.)
Dinah: You can make the hard calls on your own just fine.
(Dinah walks off, leaving John to look at the skewered tennis ball with a sense of satisfaction.)
(Felicity opens the gift box Oliver gave her. It contains a key. She looks to him, confused.)
Oliver: It's a key to my apartment.
Felicity: Okay. Umm... won't that be confusing? For William? I mean, it sure as hell is confusing for me?
Oliver: I know that when I took William in, we agreed that we would keep our distance because... he was going to have a lot to process.
Felicity: He still has a lot to process.
Oliver: Yes he does. Every day... there's a new challenge.
Felicity: I sense a "but" coming. There is a "but" coming, right?
Oliver: But... then I saw you with him. And I became 100% sure that, if you want, his life will be better with you in it. (smiles) Just like mine.
Felicity: Are you sure? That's what you want?
Oliver: I'm sure.
(Oliver leans forward and kisses Felicity, pulling her into his arms.)
Dinah now has such fine control of her powers that she can use her sonic scream to slow the velocity of a falling John Diggle and direct him to a ledge.
Alex Faust, the explosives expert working with Black Siren, is seen for the first time since 601.
William likes his eggs scrambled.
Quentin tries to negotiate a deal with Councilor Pollard (last seen in 515) to try and get some toothless anti-vigilante legislation passed to make Oliver appear tough on Team Arrow. Oliver refuses to go along with the plan.
Felicity's apartment is six blocks from Star City Hall.
Kord Industries invented a military grade nerve gas called ZX.
For the first time, John Diggle freezes up in the heat of battle.
Dinah is still keeping John's secret but only because she fears revealing his injury will hurt the chain of command.
Reme approaches Oliver with his concerns about John, saying Oliver needs to come back because John is in over his head.
Felicity was Nevada's three-time state Mathletics champion. She would probably have made it the fourth year, but Freshmen weren't allowed to compete.
Oliver recruits Felicity as a math tutor for William.
Oliver refers to the events of 106 and how John Diggle was the first person to convince him that he could be a hero. He says there wouldn't be a Green Arrow if it wasn't for John.
Oliver makes Monte Cristo sandwiches using waffles instead of bread.
Dinah's Canary Cry is capable of keeping a gas cloud from spreading.
Team Arrow does not have a team victory dance. According to John, it never will.
Felicity and Curtis build a special crossbow for John that fires arrows instead of bolts.
John's tremor is now gone.
Oliver uses Chapter Nine of the city charter to put Councilor Pollard's anti-vigilante bill to a public vote of the people of Star City, rather than limiting it to a vote on the city council.
Agent Watson of the FBI is shown assembling a board of people around Oliver Queen. It includes pictures of Felicity Smoak, Quentin Lance and Rene Ramirez. It has a picture of Thea Queen, which is marked out with a red X. She ads a picture of John Diggle to it.
William gets an A on his math test.
Oliver gives Felicity a key to his apartment. The two agree to start dating again.
The final scene shows John Diggle meeting with a mysterious man in an alley, purchasing some kind of drug in a syringe from him. We see John's hand shaking as he injects himself, apparently treating his nerve damage.
The Bottom Line
A solid episode in most respects, though it seems a shame to take a cool character from the comics like Onyx Adams and use her name in place of a generic mercenary character. Then again, the series is already thick with ex-League of Assassins members. Still, what sells this episode is the performances of the ensemble cast, particularly Juliana Harkavy as Black Canary and David Ramsey as John Diggle.