A new villain threatens the city after Oliver is interviewed on television about his life as a hero and his father's sacrifice to save his life. Black Siren is confronted by a figure from her past who has seemingly somehow made his way into her life from Earth Two. And as John Diggle prepares to reactivate The Ghost Initiative, Curtis tries to find a way to get to Dante that doesn't involve letting Ricardo Diaz out of prison.
Inception (the VR sequence when Curtis manipulates Diaz's dreams)
While Black Siren may not be an alcoholic, her drinking in public when the woman she's impersonating was may not be a great idea. Particularly given that Laurel was fired from the DA's office once for drunk driving and trying to get the police to go easy on her because of her position/father.
You'd think Felicity would know better than to ask her out for drinks, come to that.
Black Siren being the most popular DA in the past decade sounds impressive until you remember that every DA in the show's history, save one, was a criminal or incompetent.
Why were there no police officers guarding the parking lot of the building where they rescued Nick Kannon? If there had been, Sam Hackett wouldn't have escaped.
It's unclear just how Felicity knows she has to stop Black Siren from killing Brett Collins. (Perhaps she had an alert set to her phone if Black Siren got within a certain distance of Brett Collins?)
How are the escaping Ghost Imitative recruits able to injure ARGUS agents in full body armor? (It's a clue that the scene we're watching isn't real.)
It doesn't make a lick of sense that the same people who rated "Laurel" as the best DA of the past decade are largely against Oliver Queen working as a Police Deputy. (Of course it doesn't make a lick of sense that Black Siren could become the DA in the current anti-vigilante city government either...)
There's something so gratifying about Echo Kellum's performance here and the barely restrained smugness as Curtis reveals how he owned Diaz with his plan.
David Ramsey has a strong first outing as a director. The pacing of Diaz's escape is particularly well-handled and you honestly believe for a moment that they really did kill Curtis off.
This episode was directed by David Ramsey - the actor who plays John Diggle.
All of the security cameras and overhead lights around Rich Kannon's car were shorted out before he was kidnapped. This suggests a planned power surge created by someone who knew how to manipulate the electrical grid.
Oliver uses a Net Arrow to catch Rich Kannon before he falls to his death.
Felicity has developed a program that can track genetic material. She uses this to find Black Siren before she kills Brett Collins.
There is a partial etching on the components found in Sam Hackett's apartment. They are reconstructed to determine that they belonged to Star City Electrical and were used to tag proprietary parts.
Sam Hackett's weapon, when plugged into the grid for SCPD HQ, makes everything in the building that can hold a current deadly thanks to the static generated by the electricity coursing through these walls right now.
Oliver: My goal has always been to serve this city. I understand that there are people who... they disagreed with my methods before. So I would like to assure the people of Star City I will no longer be hiding in the shadows and I promise to always be on the side of the law. I believe that trust can be built through transparency. And I'm going to prove it.
Curtis: It's like the Ghosts of Villains Past in here!
(Curtis continues to object to reviving The Ghost Initiative.)
Curtis: How can you be okay with that?
John: I'm not.
(Curtis just stares at him.)
John: I'm not. We are fighting evil that most people don't even know exists. And sometimes that means making very difficult decisions, Curtis. The bombs are just a fail-safe. That's all.
(John walks past Curtis to leave the room. Curtis turns around.)
Curtis: There has to be a better way.
(John stops and turns back around to face Curtis.)
John: I wish there were.
(As John leaves, Curtis looks thoughtful and moves to his computer.)
(Suddenly, as Diaz is making his escape, his car and the road around him pixelate and vanish. He is suddenly strapped in a chair at ARGUS HQ, with a smiling Curtis looking at him.)
Diaz: What the hell just happened?!
Curtis: Well, first I overrode the explosive program that ARGUS put inside your head with a little virtual reality simulation that started running about 20 minutes before you remember getting your sedative. Then.. I owned your ass.
Diaz: You're dead!
Curtis: No. See, that all happened in your head, too. By the way - harsh.
Diaz: (pulling at his restraints) Get me out of here.
Curtis: See, I don't think you're going to want to be getting out of here. Because if you were to do that, Dante would be waiting for you. And I think he's going to be really pissed when he finds out you gave us everything we need to get him.
(Curtis exits the room, not looking back as he speaks one more time.)
Curtis: ARGUS thanks you for your cooperation.
Oliver: I wore that mask for a reason. Now that I've taken it off, maybe the consequences are finally catching up with me.
Dinah: Well, you can't take responsibility for every choice some lunatic makes, you know?
Oliver: No. I have to take responsibility for this. Me being on the force puts your reputation at risk, and it's putting lives in danger.
Dinah: Cops face risks every day. That is the job. And you are not putting anyone's life in danger, not unless you stop fighting for them. You think you're gonna do one interview, and all of a sudden, your problems go away overnight?
Oliver: I think I have been so obsessed with proving to people I'm not my father that I didn't stop and look at all the ways that I am exactly like him. I should have come clean with Sam years ago.
Dinah: But you didn't, and you can't stop the past from haunting you. The only thing you have control over is what you do going forward.
Oliver: My father killed Dave Hackett. The people of Star City deserve the truth.
Rich Kannon: Why come forward now? Hackett has been apprehended. The threat is over.
Oliver: Because transparency is about more than just not wearing a mask. I've made mistakes. I'm sure that I will make mistakes again. But what I will not do is lie. That is my promise to you, the people of Star City.
Black Siren's entire monologue about her father's death being her fault because she threw a tantrum like a toddler over a cake when she was 13 years old.
Oliver appears on the Rich Kannon show with Black Siren to talk about his desire to protect Star City openly as a deputy of the SCPD. She talks about her desire to live up to Quentin's standard as the new DA of Star City.
It is revealed that Oliver approached Emiko and asked what he could do to make things right. She said she wanted nothing to do with him and that the Queen Family destroy everything they touch.
China White last appeared in 514.
Kane Wolfman last appeared in 709.
Carrie "Cupid" Cutter last appeared in 514.
Until now, Curtis was not informed of the meaning of the Dante painting he discovered and how it tied in to Diggle's reactivating The Ghost Initiative to go after a figure called Dante.
According to Diggle, they tracked one of the people who knew how to contact Dante directly to a compound in Egypt. This lead came from Ricardo Diaz.
Lyla refers to the events of 703 and why they need to use the Ghost Initiative to go around the chain of command that oversees ARGUS to investigate Dante.
Curtis is asked to make sure the bomb tech isn't rejected by the bodies of the various recruits.
Black Siren claims that she is not an alcoholic, unlike the Laurel Lance of Earth One.
Felicity says she thinks Quentin would be proud of the person Black Siren has become.
According to a news broadcast, Black Siren is the most popular DA in Star City in the past ten years.
Black Siren is confronted by a man named Brett Collins whom she thinks knows her from Earth Two.
On Earth Two, Brett Collins was the drunk driver who killed Earth Two's Quentin Lance. He is also the first person Black Siren killed after she developed her powers.
Rich Kannon is abducted shortly after leaving his studio, electrocuted by someone whose presence causes power boxes nearby to short out.
A video of a tortured Rich Kannon is sent to Channel 52 news, in which he reads a statement that Oliver Queen is no hero and that people will die if he does not quit the police force.
Black Siren finds a printed note in her office which reads "I FOUND YOU. I CAN GET TO YOU ANYWHERE."
Black Siren makes reference to the events of 704 and how she agreed to help Felicity with torturing The Silencer, no questions asked. She asks Felicity for the same right, when asking for her help in determining no one from Earth Two is on Earth One.
Oliver says the kidnapper is an amateur based on the quality of the video and the execution of how he tortured Rich Kannon. He also uploaded his video to the news from the Wi-Fi of a public coffee shop in the southeastern part of The Glades, apparently unaware that could be traced.
Using satellite imaging, Oliver is able to find the windows seen in the video of Rich Kannon on an abandoned building in the Glades. It is here that he finds Rich Kannon and the kidnapper, who says that people who aren't named Queen have a right to live too.
Oliver recognizes the phrase "people without the last name Queen are human too" from the transcript of his conversations with Dr. Parker from 704. Felicity says those transcripts were censored when she sent them to the press but the DA's office had the full transcripts. This leads to the conclusion that someone hacked the DA's office computers.
When pondering who would be interested in those transcripts, Oliver suggests Felicity look up the name David Hackett - the full name of Robert Queen's personal bodyguard, whom he killed before killing himself in the flashbacks in the series pilot. This leads Oliver to conclude that the kidnapper might be Sam Hackett, David's son, who he met a few times when he was younger.
Sam Hackett has a lengthy rap-sheet, including multiple charges of drunk and disorderly conduct, drug possession and assault.
Black Siren finds another threat in her car. This one says "I'M COMING FOR YOU."
Black Siren confronts a drunken Brett Collins. The only thing that stops her from killing him is the intervention of Felicity Smoak. He pleads ignorance and asks what Earth Two is when Black Siren tells him he should have stayed on Earth Two.
Sam Hackett has a degree in electrical engineering.
Oliver tells Dinah about how his father killed David Hackett.
When they search Sam Hackett's apartment, Oliver and Dinah find plans for a search trip to the North China Sea. It's then that Oliver realizes that Sam was still holding out hope his father was alive, like him, and that he should have told David the truth to give him closure years ago.
Dinah and Oliver also find plans for some kind of electrical weapon.
Curtis is able to trick Diaz into revealing how to contract Dante thanks to a virtual reality simulation that makes Diaz think he's escaping ARGUS HQ. He kills Curtis during the simulation.
Apparently 77% of Star City wants Oliver Queen fired from his job with the SCPD.
Oliver suggests firing him to stop Hackett from enacting his Plan B. Dinah refuses to consider this.
As a teenager, Black Siren pitched a fit when her father didn't bring her favorite cake for her birthday dinner. He was killed by Brett Collins after he went out to get it for her. Her last words to him were "I hate you."
Oliver guesses that Sam Hackett is using his father's name to find work as an electrician because of his record. His dad's social security number is traced to Star City Electrical - the company whose parts were being used to build some kind of electrical weapon.
Sam Hackett's weapon electrifies the SCPD building to that anything running on electricity and the walls will fatally shock anyone who touches them.
Dinah is able to escape by using a rubber mat as a shield while charging one of the doors and shooting the power box Hackett manipulated.
Oliver goes back on the Rich Kannon show. He tells about how his father killed Dave Hackett before committing suicide. He says he did this in the name of transparency and promises to never lie to the people of Star City again.
Diggle intends to keep the Ghost Initiative program going, saying they may need known criminals as boots on the ground to go after Dante. Curtis, in turn, says that he won't blindly follow orders anymore.
Felicity tells Black Siren that Cisco Ramon checked the records on Earth Two and that their version of Brett Collins died on his porch sometime after Black Siren tried to kill him.
Dinah says the Earth One version of Brett Collins is in lock-up on public intoxication charges. He has a history of stalking and anti-vigilante violence. With that, she thinks she can get him locked up for good given what Black Siren said about the threatening letters she got.
Emiko approaches Oliver after his second interview with Rick Kannon. She says she believes Oliver is different than their father and she is ready to think about talking to him.
When Dinah goes into her car, she finds a note like the ones Black Siren found in her office and car. This one reads
The Winick Factor
The grand reveal of Black Siren's reasons for becoming a villain are just plain idiotic, with a 13 year old girl acting like a 3 year old in regards to getting a cake at her birthday. Worst of all, Black Siren - a character nominally based on one of the strongest women in comic books - has her entire motivation distilled down to Daddy Issues, with nothing being said about her mother or her influence upon her daughter in all of this. Where was Dinah Lance on Earth Two?
To make matters worse, all of this is dismissed in the episode's ending. It turns out Black Siren didn't really kill the Brett Collins of Earth Two. It turns out the Brett Collins of Earth One is a drunken creep and an anti-vigilante activist with a history of stalking and drunken stupidity who had just been arrested, so Dinah can make sure the book is thrown at him, so it all ends happily and there's no reason for Black Siren to feel bad... except for the fact that she's still an unrepentant killer who tried murdering millions less than a year ago.
The Bottom Line
Largely hampered by the latest attempts to try and make Black Siren into a good guy, this episode is an otherwise inoffensive piece of filler. The villain of the week is forgettable. The highlight is Curtis' battle of wits with Diaz and that's largely successful due to Echo Kellum's performance and Ramsey's direction selling the possibility that they really did kill Curtis off. The Oliver/Dinah interaction is also good, but the whole is strictly average.