With Team Arrow split in two, Cayden James launches an attack on Star City's infrastructure. Though the hacking attacks are seemingly random, one directly places Oliver's son and a bus full of other children in danger, drawing Green Arrow and the rest of Star City's heroes out into the open.
The Green Arrow comics of Judd Winick. (Oliver Queen balancing being mayor and a superhero, a city under siege by super-villains storyline, the heroes being portrayed as dumber than the villains, reference to The Outsiders - a team he revitalized in the 2000s.)
It appears to be awfully bright outside for almost 7:00 am in January for an American city (which would presumably be observing Daylight Savings Time) in the opening scene. (Sunrise usually doesn't come until around 7:45 am at this time of year in Seattle.)
Why aren't there any parent chaperones or teachers on the bus with William's class if they were going on a field trip? There should have been more adults than the bus driver.
Juliana Harkavy steals the show as Black Canary, once again. Another few episodes like this and I may think her a worthy successor to Caity Lotz.
The new Spartan costume is a definite improvement on the old one.
The entirety of the fifth segment, with the fight choreography, the editing between Felicity's talk with William, the writing on Felicity's speech and whole scene as both teams (and Vigilante) fight to defend the safe zone.
Dinah's Canary Cry is shown to be "more powerful than a locomotive" as she uses her voice to literally stop a train's velocity. This has become a standard metric of measuring the strength of super powers. It comes from the 1941 Superman radio show, which included the lines "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound" as part of its opening narration.
Curtis suggests that "New Team Arrow' call themselves The Outsiders. In The DC Comics Universe, The Outsiders is a superhero name that has been used by several different teams.
The first Outsiders team was formed by Batman following a falling-out with The Justice League over what the team's focus should be. Batman left the team, but it continued on without him for several years. The team included Black Lightning and Katana in its membership.
Years later, Dick "Nightwing" Grayson and Roy "Arsenal" Harper would form a new Outsiders in the wake of the collapse of The Titans and Young Justice. Judd Winick - the Green Arrow writer who wrote all the stories where Oliver Queen tried to continue being Green Arrow while serving as Mayor of Star City - also was responsible for the creation of the second Outsiders team. This team included Black Lightning's daughter Anissa, who fought crime under the codename Thunder.
In The New 52 reality, The Outsiders were a covert-ops branch of Bruce Wayne's Batman Inc.
In The New 52 Green Arrow comics, The Outsiders was also the name of a collective of clans based around various ancient weapons. The Queen family was tied to The Arrow Clan and the vigilante Katana's family was tied to The Sword Clan.
In The Rebirth reality, reference was also made in Dark Knights: Metal to The Outsiders being a team Batman established in secret to research the properties of various strange metals to The Multiverse.
When Curtis suggests the name Outsiders, Dinah says that she really liked that book. This is a reference to The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - a classic coming-of-age young adult novel about gang violence.
One of the extra credit questions on William's prep sheet for his field trip involves a math problem about Hyperbolic Geometry in marine organisms like coral. Felicity says that it's a high-dimension math problem most people don't get until 12th Grade AP Math.
Vigilante is able to block New Team Arrow's communications system.
Vigilante uses the connection between Curtis' T-Sphere and his visor to send a message in Morse Code.
(William is talking to Oliver and Felicity about his homework.)
William: Will you take a look at it?
Oliver: Yeah. Of course!
William: (sheepishly) I meant Felicity.
Oliver: (clearly disappointed) Sure you did. Yep.
William: I'm sorry. It's a math problem about Hyperbolic Geometry in marine organisms like coral.
Oliver: I do know what coral is. But that's okay.
(Dinah, Curtis and Rene are in their new base when Curtis' phone starts ringing. Curtis checks it.)
Curtis: It's Felicity.
Rene: She isn't bugging us again, is she?
(Rene and Dinah both look at Curtis skeptically.)
Curtis: ... I'll do a sweep.
Vigilante: I'm on your side. Cayden James is my target too. I'm undercover in his organization.
Mister Terrific: Do you think this 'T' on my face stands for gullible? (pauses) You know what I mean.
Oliver: What do you want?
Cayden James: I've already told you. Vengeance for my son. (He walks to the window overlooking the city.) I cared for him, protected him... loved him. Just as you do this city. But now... your city's entire infrastructure is under my control. Buildings. Institutions. Even people. All under my dominion.
Oliver: These are innocent people-
Cayden James: - and you can save then. (He places a piece of paper on the desk) By wiring $10 million into that off-shore account. No later than 11:30 tonight. (pauses) And every night. Until further notice.
Oliver: (barely maintaining control) That will bankrupt us!
Cayden James: Well, I certainly hope so. Please don't imagine I've gone through these lengths for money. No. This is for you. So that you'll suffer.
Oliver: I didn't kill your son.
Cayden James: Yes, you did. One year ago, this very day, right here in Star City. You missed your intended target, but your arrow found its way into my boy.
Oliver: Well, if you're seeking vengeance, if you want revenge... why haven't you just outed me as The Green Arrow?
Cayden James: If my understanding is correct, that's already been done.
Oliver: Star City will not negotiate with a terrorist!
Cayden James: Oh, spare me the political claptrap, Mr. Queen. By tonight that will sound hollow, even to you.
(Wild Dog and Mister Terrific are frantically pulling wires on the train controls trying to change the switches that are set to cause a collision. Black Canary is staring down the trains as they approach the intersection, clearly worried.)
Wild Dog: Hey, what's Plan D?
Mister Terrific: There is no Plan D!
Wild Dog: What?!
Black Canary: Yes, there is!
(Black Canary stands in the middle of the train track, facing the oncoming train and lets loose with a Canary Cry. The train begins to stop, eventually coming to a full stop right in front of her as the other train passes safely.)
Rene: Hey, man - New Team Arrow is kicking ass!
Curtis: You know what? I really have to say that I think we should change our name. What do you guys think about "The Outsiders"?
Dinah: Oooh. Ummm... I think it was a really awesome book?
(Felicity wants Oliver to talk to William right away about his broken promise.)
Oliver: Well, I've learned, several times, the hard way, that sometimes kids just want to be left alone. I know I have to talk to him. I'm just trying to respect that.
Felicity: Okay. And I might totally be projecting here, because my dad was a - you know - Super-villain Evil Hacktivist. He did a lot of things that I didn't like. Or approve of. And the way he chose to live his life? That's not the part that bugged me.
Oliver: Okay. What bugged you?
Felicity: The Lie.
(Wild Dog, Black Canary and Mister Terrific watch the crowd at the safe zone.)
Wild Dog: Officers marching. Guns out. City under siege. It's like "Escape From Detroit"!
Mister Terrific: I don't know whether to correct you or to just embrace your attempt at referencing one of my favorite John Carpenter films.
Wild Dog: Huh?
Felicity: You know, I've loved your dad from the first time he brought me a bullet-ridden computer. Remind me to tell you about that one. That was a long time ago, which means I've loved him for a long time. Which means I've worried about him for a long time. And he... he hasn't always been truthful. He's lied. He's kept secrets. He's not perfect. This life... it's not ideal. But he makes his sacrifices so we have to make ours. I sometimes think to myself that's what makes this love deeper than other kinds of love. You know, it sounds cheesy, but... it does because we can't take things for granted. We have to live with the fear and the uncertainty that everything can be taken from us in an instant.
(As Felicity speaks, we see the two teams fighting Cayden James' men. As Wild Dog is taking down one man, he fails to see Sheck coming up behind him, aiming a gun at his head. Suddenly Vigilante, who is on the roof, shoots the man in the leg. He falls to the ground and looks up.)
Sheck: Traitor! (reaching for his dropped gun) I'm taking you to hell with-
(Vigilante shoots the man. Black Canary, who was fighting two thugs on the other side of the courtyard spins and sees this, smirking slightly as she sees Vigilante run off.)
Felicity: Because that's the price we pay for choosing the people that we love. Everything that he does, he does for a good reason. Or what he thinks is a good reason. You can worry about your dad, but you have to believe that he's going to be okay. Because that's the only way that this works. Okay?
William is practicing archery indoors with a toy archery set.
Oliver is hiding his return as Green Arrow from William.
William is going on a field trip to the Coastal Biology Center.
William has a Flash backpack.
Councilman Harold Grovner was the victim of the car hacking.
Six people were killed by Cayden James' cutting the power to the hospital.
Five people were killed by Cayden James' elevator hack.
One of the victims of the electrocuting elevator was Captain Frank Pike of the SCPD - Quentin Lance's former superior when Quentin was a Detective with the SCPD.
John refers to the bomb Cayden James stole in 607 and the amplifier he stole in 609.
Felicity refers to Cayden James taking over the port in 610.
Cayden James crashes a plane on State Street.
For the first time since 605, Curtis' T-Spheres are able to trace Vigilante's visor. Dinah immediately concludes this is meant to draw them into a trap.
Quentin and Thea take over running the SCPD and start setting up safe-zones around Star City.
Vigilante claims to be working with Cayden James to bring him down from the inside. He gives Curtis a tip on a future attack New Team Arrow might be able to stop where the Red Line and Yellow Line subways meet.
Star City has three councilmen named Gattis, McCaskill and Kullens.
Cayden James uses the alias Ben Gale to visit Oliver in his office.
Cayden James claims that The Green Arrow killed his son in Star City in January 2017. Oliver says this isn't possible since, on the day in question, he was in Hub City trying to recruit Dinah Drake (as seen in 511.)
Cayden James' son, Owen Post, was first mentioned in 607.
Felicity refers to the events of 604 and how Cayden James' actions there trying to break into The Internet Vault were a trick to set up the code that would let him hack Star City.
James' attacks are revealed to be blocking off all the ways in and out of the city.
Oliver had Cisco Ramon build John a new and improved Spartan costume.
Dinah is shown to have enough power and fine control of her Canary Cry that she can use it to stop a train without damaging it.
William learns that Oliver has become Green Arrow again.
Dinah learns where Curtis got the intel about stopping the train collision. She refuses to work with Vigilante. Rene says they need his help.
Alena says that Cayden James got a package from Corto Maltese in May 2017 which she thinks had a USB with fake evidence that Green Arrow killed Cayden James' son.
Felicity refers to Oliver bringing her a computer full of bullet holes in 103.
Vigilante kills Sheck before he can kill Wild Dog.
Dinah approaches Vigilante after he saves Rene's life. He asks where they stand now but the scene ends before she answers.
William says he understands why Oliver has to be Green Arrow now but that he isn't scared because he has Felicity as a step-mom now.
Alena is unable to find any record of the USB drive being used in a computer in Corto Maltese.
The episode ends with Oliver instructing Thea to wire the money to Cayden James' account.
Felicity makes reference to a Cayden James taking control of a crane when listing "hack-cidents" that are happening around Star City to John.
Off-camera, Felicity does what she assures Oliver was some very cool and exciting hacking to track the package containing the USB that she thinks holds the fake evidence that Oliver killed Cayden James' son.
The Bottom Line
A fantastic episode, which does much to take the taint off of the previous two episodes, if only because we have an explanation for why Vigilante has been working with Cayden James all this time. The episode also does a lot to make William into more of a character than a plot device, at least up until the end with his dickish remark about how Ollie can be Green Arrow because if he dies William will have Felicity to take care of him. Then again, that kind of thoughtless remark is proof that he is Ollie's son if nothing else does.
Strangely enough, the best bits of the episode involve New Team Arrow (who I am totally hip to being called The Outsiders) and Black Canary. If nothing else, I like that I'm still not sure where things are going with the Black Canary/Vigilante relationship and that sense of surprise is something novel that this series has lacked for a long time. It may be a coincidence that this episode is completely free of Black Siren and seems like the best episode in some time, but I doubt it.