Thea comes out of retirement as Speedy to save Roy Harper, who is now in the clutches of Ricardo Diaz. Meanwhile, Black Siren reveals herself to the world, claiming to be the deceased Laurel Lance!
The Green Arrow comics of Judd Winick. (Insane plot twists, villains doing things just to mess with the heroes, the villains having convoluted plans that put them three steps ahead of the heroes at all times, and even when the heroes win, it doesn't gain them any ground.)
Katie Cassidy's ham-fisted over-acting as Black Siren tries to play what she thinks Laurel was like is almost as painful as her previous under-acted attempts to play Laurel seriously.
Zoe says her babysitter left her two hours earlier when Curtis comes over to tell her that her dad is in the hospital. What the hell kind of babysitter abandons their charge? (A very bad one, clearly.)
It's awfully convenient that the grate to the vent which Thea uses to access the hotel is not bolted down and seems to swing on a hinge!
The police officers in Diaz' employ say they can torture Roy without leaving a mark, yet Roy already has a bloody nose and clear bruises on his forehead.
Black Siren says that all she ever wanted was to go somewhere she wouldn't have to spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder. If that's the case, as was asked last week, why did she come back to Star City after withdrawing the money from the bank in Corto Maltese?
The episode goes out of its way to tell us that nothing has really changed and that Oliver is still in trouble legally, even though the DA's Office no longer has their star witness in the "Green Arrow is Oliver Queen" trial.
Granting that we don't know the full details of Diaz' plan, wouldn't revealing Roy Harper is alive to the press be just as damning to Oliver as trying to get Roy to testify against Oliver and a hell of a lot easier? Roy is supposed to be legally dead, after being publicly exposed and arrested for being The Arrow.
Willa Holland steals the show as Thea this time.
The only thing lending the Black Siren storyline any credibility at this point is Paul Blackthorne's gravitas.
Roy says that he was living in St. Roche when the Star City police found him. St. Roche was the hometown of Hawkman during the James Robinson/Geoff Johns run on the book.
Brady v. Maryland is the court case which determined that Defense Attorneys have to be allowed to see all the evidence that a Prosecuting Attorney has against their client.
Oliver makes use of a Fireworks Arrow to distract the balcony guards so Thea can enter the hotel where Roy is being held captive.
Black Siren: Look, this is a lot simpler than you're making it. You're going to protect me. And you're going to help protect me by going along with this story that (changes her tone to sound overly sweet) I'm the real Laurel Lance.
Oliver: Yeah? Why would we do that?
Black Siren: I don't know. Maybe because of all the reporters that are just in the next room? (stepping close to Oliver and playing with his tie.) You know it's only a matter of time before they ask me who The Green Arrow is again. (mockingly) What would you like me to tell them?
Quentin: Look, I know what you're doing here, all right? You're going after Laurel because of what happened to your friend. And I get that, okay? It's what I would do if someone I loved was dead.
Dinah: You mean, it's what you'd do with a criminal, Quentin. Which, by the way, is what she is.
Quentin: Yeah, well, you and I both know that. But, you know, she's turned herself into a beloved public figure. She's also said that she's got no compunctions about outing Oliver and... (sighs) ... I don't think she'll stop with him.
Dinah: (sarcastically) Oh, so you're doing this for my sake?
Quentin: No. For all of our sakes. I've been making progress with her, Dinah, ok? I'm not finished, but if she lives as my Laurel...
Dinah: She is not your Laurel! Your Laurel wouldn't have murdered Vince or anyone else. She did. And you are delusional if you think you can change her.
Oliver: John, he's in there because of me. He's been on the run for three years.
John: Oliver, that's his choice.
Oliver: (sighs) I know, but did I learn anything from it? Roy put on the hood. He sacrificed himself. For me. And I asked you to do the same thing. At the expense of your safety. And your family.
John: Difference was I wanted to put on the hood, Oliver. Listen, I've been good for the past two months. Good! But instead of giving me back the hood, you had Cisco make me a new suit.
Oliver: (ignoring John as he points to the guards he's been watching) There it is! A 15 second opening. That is our window!
(Oliver turns around and walks off. Diggle shakes his head, looks to the guards, then follows after Oliver.)
Anatoly: Is it Laurel or Laurel these days? So confusing this Doppelgänger business, but you seem to figure it out.
Black Siren: Diaz killed Cayden.
Anatoly: He told me. (shrugs) No honor among thieves. Or crime lords, I guess. Oh well.
Black Siren: Diaz manipulated the both of us. Lied to the both of us. The whole time, he's had his own agenda. That doesn't bother you?
Anatoly: I'm not sentimental. I'm Russian. I am in this city for two reasons only. One is revenge. Against Oliver Queen. And two is money. I'm happy to work with whoever can get me either.
Black Siren: You're in this city because the Bratva cast you out.
Anatoly: Well, there's that too.
Roy: Is that my hood? It looks good on you.
(Thea leans in and kisses Roy passionately. Suddenly she breaks the kiss.)
Thea: I'm - I'm sorry. If you're seeing someone -
Roy: I'm not. I didn't take your advice. No kids, no wife and I really, really hate minivans.
Thea: You know, there are times that I feel like my life completely fell apart when Roy left? From my blood lust to Malcolm to the coma... knowing he was out there? That he was okay? It made my life just a little bit easier. Ever since Mom died, I haven't known much if anything, other than the fact that I want to make sure he is safe and I will do whatever it takes to make sure that happens!
Jean Loring - Oliver's lawyer - was last seen in 607. She informs Oliver that she thinks she can get the Green Arrow case dropped since the FBI's case depended on leveraging Rene, with information that was obtained illegally from Cayden James, which can't be collaborated now.
That chance is blown out of water when Black Siren speaks to the press, claiming to be Laurel Lance and to have been held captive and for the past two years by people working for Damian Darhk.
Oliver confirms that Laurel Lance was the Black Canary, saying that he was told by Green Arrow, again denying that he is Green Arrow to the press.
Black Siren says the money she stole from Cayden James has been stolen.
Black Siren says she has no idea who was responsible for killing Cayden James and his son, but notes that it couldn't have been her who did the second killing since James' son died while she was being held by ARGUS, who took her into custody in 510.
Black Siren says that there is a Thea Queen on Earth Two, only she isn't as "pathetically naive" (i.e. idealistic) as Earth One Thea. It's been established before that Robert Queen was Green Arrow on Earth Two and that Oliver Queen honestly did die at sea on Earth Two.
Star City can't afford to pay it's police officers as of this week.
Captain Hill suggests auctioning off seized assets to cover the city's bills, saying the police lock-up has $30 million dollars in property.
Dinah asks to be assigned to investigate "Laurel's" kidnapping.
Rene's nickname for Curtis, according to Zoe, is C-Dawg.
DA Armand reveals that Roy Harper has been called as a new witness against Oliver Queen in the court case that he is Green Arrow.
Roy Harper was last seen in 412, where he returned to Star City after being blackmailed into committing a series of burglaries by The Calculator.
Thea notes she wasn't able to locate Roy and she tried to do so, to send him an invitation to Felicity and Oliver's wedding in 609.
Quentin makes reference to his ex-wife, Dinah, and says that while he did not give her the details, he told her to hold off on making a visit to Star City to see "Laurel".
Dinah questions Dr. Schwarz, Team Arrow's physician, about "Laurel". Dr. Schwarz confirms that she performed the autopsy on the real Laurel Lance personally and saw her die, but says that in a world full of metahumans, she thinks almost anything is possible. She says they are conducting a DNA test to see if "Laurel" is real.
The cop assigned to watch "Laurel" in the hospital is in Diaz' employ. He takes Black Siren to see Diaz.
Anatoly is now working with Diaz.
Anatoly confirms that he has been cast out of the Bratva and is only working with Diaz so he can get revenge on Oliver and/or make money.
Roy makes reference to his last conversation with Thea, from 412, where she told him to find a wife, have kids, buy a minivan and live a good life.
Roy was hiding out in St. Roche when the Star City police found him.
Felicity determines that two of the cops torturing Roy were on duty when Cayden James died and that they, and several other cops, have gotten payments from a shell corporation in Corto Maltese. This same corporation was responsible for financing the development of the drug that treated John's nerve condition.
Oliver tasks Quentin and Dinah with figuring out how badly the SCPD has been compromised, though he suspects the corruption is far worse than it was than even a year ago.
Ricardo Diaz is using an abandon casino as one of his hideaways.
Diaz is personally fighting every man who wishes to be part of his gang, saying he wants to build a family rather than a gang.
It is revealed that Black Siren is now working with Diaz, integrating herself into Team Arrow as she tries to make an honest go of being their Laurel - Oliver does not trust her but agrees to give her the space to try.
Roy and Thea seem to have reconciled.
The episode ends with a woman in the garb of The League Of Assassins, watching Thea and Roy make out, messaging her master that she has found the Heir of Ra's Al Ghul.
The Winick Factor
Diaz's working with Cayden James doesn't make a lick of sense. Anatoly, whose always had something of a code of honor suddenly going bandit in the name of getting revenge on Oliver when he had lines he would not cross in the past doesn't make any sense. Dinah, the only person who seems to consistently remember that Black Siren is a multiple-murderer who didn't show any signs of wanting redemption until she became a target of her fellow criminals, is still painted as being a vengeful hose-beast. Oliver says he doesn't trust Black Siren at all, but agrees to back off of her if she makes an honest effort at pretending to be Laurel.
The Bottom Line
A step up from last week, but only in so far as the Thea and Roy romance redeems a lot. The plot is still as stupid as ever but there are individual moments of sanity - Dinah and Quentin agreeing to work to clean up the police department despite their mutual distrust, Oliver making it clear he does not trust Black Siren at all - that make it work. I suspect the fact that Rene isn't in the episode and Curtis is barely in it help matters as well.
We know Black Siren is playing somebody - quite likely everyone - and if there's any justice, Diaz will kill her before her sudden but inevitable betrayal since she betrayed Cayden James by stealing from him and he's allegedly smart enough to realize that fact.
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