Roy Harper is called in to help Team Arrow thwart The Ninth Circle's plot to attack Star City. Unfortunately, things go awry and there is massive collateral damage. Now Dinah Drake must investigate what went wrong, before the entire sanctioned vigilante program is thrown into question.
Rashomon (the same events being told from different viewpoints, despite the apparent conflicts in testimony and the fact that someone has to be lying or misinformed.)
Emiko just goes crazy in this episode, wanting revenge on the Queen family in general (and by extension, Oliver) and plotting to destroy Star City for that reason even though it is the Ninth Circle that killed her mother - the one last good thing in her life. None of this jibes with what we've seen of the character, who honestly did seem to want to protect The Glades in earlier episodes.
How the heck did Emiko steal the security footage in the first place when she was fleeing the building before guards were killed?
The two dead security guards appear to have been killed by blunt force trauma.
Felicity says the only way the Ninth Circle can use the Cygnus X-1 is with a dissemination device, a.k.a. a thermal fogger.
Felicity used an algorithm to determine that the transit depot was the most likely target for the Ninth Circle to release the Cygnus X-1. She was later able to trace the bio-signature of the weapon to the same place.
The Ninth Circle hideout has some kind of thermal shielding that prevents it from being scanned by Felicity's tech to determine how many people are inside it.
(Roy has just handily beaten several Ninth Circle members in front of Virgil.)
Virgil: Who the hell are you?
Arsenal: Your new worst nightmare.
Dinah: It's rather convenient, don't you think? You being unconscious at the same time two men are brutally murdered?
Roy: You think I did it? Whose side are you on?
Dinah: I am on the only side that matters - the truth.
Dinah: Two men are dead, Rene. Now, we know Team Arrow was on-site as well as Emiko, which means our two main suspects are either her or...
Dinah: I didn't say that.
Rene: Well, that's what you were thinking, 'cause you've been looking for any excuse not to trust me this whole year.
Dinah: That's because you have given me every reason not to. How many times have I warned you about Emiko? I told you she wasn't trustworthy. You refused to listen. Well, now she ends up on the scene of an attempted terrorist attack and a double homicide, and you were there, too.
Rene: And you what? You think I helped her?
Dinah: I just want the truth, Rene.
Rene: Doesn't any part of you think that maybe she's doing all of this because of what your father did to her, that if not for her upbringing, she'd be fighting with us instead of against us?
Oliver: A big part of me thinks about that all the time. At a certain point, Rene, people need to take responsibility for their actions. Emiko made her choice. I've made mine. You need to make yours.
Dinah: Two innocent people are dead, and we're covering it up.
Oliver: Dinah, if someone on this team goes down, this entire team goes down.
John: He's absolutely right. And if Pollard knew the truth, we would be sitting in lockup while the city rehashes whether vigilantes are a threat or not.
Felicity: Which would free Emiko up for Evil Plan B.
Rene: But Roy is not a part of this team. He's been gone for months doing who knows what.
Oliver: With due respect, you don't know what he's been through. Roy is and always will be as much a part of this team as the rest of us.
Dinah: Except the rest of us don't go around killing innocent people.
John: Dinah, as horrible as that was, let's not lose sight that we stopped an attack tonight.
Rene: (bitterly) And we framed Emiko for murder.
Oliver: Emiko is a murderer. A murderer who is the leader of the Ninth Circle. And as long as she is out there, this city will remain under threat.
John: I hope we can all agree on that.
Dinah: (quietly, clearly not happy) Yes.
As the episode opens, the news is reporting there was an incident at the Huldin-McGuide Metro Station resulting in two fatalities.
The two fatalities are security guards who worked at the transit station.
Oliver explains to Dinah and Sergeant Bingsley that Team Arrow was stopping a terrorist attack but that the terrorists are still on the loose.
Dinah says that two green arrows were found at the scene and they were confirmed to be the kind used by the new Green Arrow.
The fact that the new Green Arrow is a woman is not common knowledge at the SCPD.
Oliver officially reveals to the police that the new Green Arrow is his half-sister Emiko Adachi and that she is part of the Ninth Circle.
Dinah was the one to tell Green Arrow that Dante's body had been discovered.
Felicity hasn't been able to find the Cygnus X-1, but she has determined there's only one way for the Ninth Circle to use it and it requires a piece of equipment only made by Aerodyne Initiatives.
John and Oliver meet with the CEO of Aerodyne to offer their help. He politely declines.
Felicity investigated Aerodyne after this and determined their CEO was getting some hefty payments from the Ninth Circle. Oliver says, on the record, that he didn't tell Dinah about this because they didn't confirm the payments until later.
Dinah says that with two green arrows on the scene, the SCPD knowing Team Arrow was at the scene, the security footage from the building having disappeared and a distress call from a security guard that was incriminating to Team Arrow for some reason, things look very bad for Oliver's team.
Oliver affirms that he did not kill the guards and doesn't know who did.
Oliver admits to the police that he called in Roy Harper so they would have an agent in the field that the Ninth Circle didn't know about.
Felicity is now at the always hungry/odd cravings stage of her pregnancy.
Felicity says she's not responsible for the missing security footage.
Felicity defends Team Arrow bringing in Roy Harper and claims they were going to get him confirmed by the SCPD as an agent once the Ninth Circle were brought down.
Dinah points out that Roy Harper has a long criminal record. Felicity counters that he's been clean for the past four years, since faking his death in prison and escaping.
Dinah says the SCPD was able to track Roy Harper's whereabouts up until March 2018. Felicity points out this coincides with the time Dinah wasn't speaking to Team Arrow and when Roy Harper was abducted by the corrupt cops in the employ of Ricardo Diaz.
Felicity says Roy Harper probably spent the last year trying to relax and recover from the kidnapping/torture when Dinah asks where he had been.
This is the first time Roy Harper and Rene Ramirez have met. Roy thanks Rene for trying to save The Glades in his absence.
Roy says that he and Thea have destroyed two Lazarus Pits since they left Star City in 616.
When Roy asks why Oliver only called him in for this mission, Oliver explains that he didn't want Thea brought in to fight the Ninth Circle because he thought she was finally free of their family drama in Star City and he wanted to quietly tell her about his other half-sister and yet another messed-up thing Robert Queen did.
Dinah confirms that the thermal fogger was found on the scene.
Felicity says the specific reason they brought Roy in was they need someone who could sneak into Aerodyne who wasn't a publicly recognized vigilante who could spy on the CEO and confirm what they suspected about him being on the take.
Roy found the CEO of Aerodyne handing the thermal fogger over to Emiko. He wasn't able to stop her from escaping with it.
Felicity explains to the police that she determined there were only two places the Ninth Circle could hope to maximize the impact of the bio weapon at the depot - the ventilation room and the ventilation shaft.
When Team Arrow went to the depot to stop the Ninth Circle, Felicity and Roy went to the switch room, Oliver went to the room and John and Rene went to the shaft.
Felicity tells the police she had no idea there were any security guards on site. This is later revealed to be a lie by the flashback, where Felicity sees the two guards and Roy leaves her locked in the switch room while he investigates to see if they are Ninth Circle agents or not.
Felicity says she was locked in the switch room until Oliver gave her the all clear.
Felicity can't account for Roy's whereabouts before the guards were killed.
The flashback shows that Felicity heard the guards firing their guns while asking the rest of Team Arrow if they'd reclaimed the fogger.
Roy's criminal record includes several counts of Breaking & Entering, Grand Theft Auto and Aggravated Assault.
Roy tells the police that after he failed to stop the Ninth Circle from stealing the fogger, Team Arrow regrouped and Felicity figured out the most likely place for the Ninth Circle to release the Cygnus X-1 was the transit depot.
Roy says that after he left Felicity locked in the switch room he encountered a group of Ninth Circle agents, got swarmed and the last thing he recalls was being hit in the face and knocked out. When he woke up, the police were there and the guards were dead. He also has no idea who killed them.
John says that he found Roy's unconscious body just before the guards fired their guns. Given that, he says he can't see any way Roy could have been the killer. He denies protecting Roy, after Dinah accuses him of putting people before him all the time. John counters that Dinah doesn't know the real Roy Harper and is presuming a lot because of his past.
John was found to have the blood of one of the guards on his sleeve.
John confirms what Felicity said about Oliver going to the vent room and John and Rene going to the vent shaft.
When John and Rene got to the vent shaft, they discovered Emiko. Rene went chasing after her while John secured the device. That was when he discovered Roy and heard the gun shots.
John claims that he discovered the guards and checked their pulses but they were already dead and this is how he got their blood on his sleeve.
John also confirms that when he entered the room with the dead guards, Rene was already there, with his mask off and a pipe in his hand.
During the fight at the depot, Rene cut his hand and lost his glove.
Rene says that Oliver specifically asked him if he was cool with going after Emiko.
Rene pleads for Emiko, saying that she can't be completely hardened since she killed Dante and that proves she cares about her family on some level. Oliver says that may be true, but she clearly doesn't consider him family and at some point you have to take responsibility for your actions.
Dinah says that Rene's fingerprints were found on the murder weapon - the pipe used to beat the two guards to death.
Rene confirm's John's story about leaving him to deal with the fogger while he chased Emiko, but she got away.
The flashback reveals that Rene lied about not catching up to Emiko.
Emiko is dressed in her new Green Arrow costume.
Emiko tells Rene that she's doing what she is doing to take away everything the Queen family has as revenge for their taking everything she ever had.
Emiko also tells Rene that Dante wasn't the leader of the Ninth Circle - she is.
Rene's hand is hurt after Emiko grazes it with an arrow. This made him remove his glove and drop it. Rene heard the gun shots just as he was starting to chase after Emiko.
When Rene ran towards the gun shots, he found Oliver standing over the guards, holding the pipe. He dropped the pipe and Rene picked it up with his ungloved hand when John ran in.
Oliver confirms that he confronted Virgil and several Ninth Circle members in the vent room and disarmed the fogger.
Oliver says he was still in the vent room when he heard the gun shots. He followed the noise to the platform where he saw the killer standing over the downed guards. He guesses the guards got off a few shots before being killed.
Oliver identifies the killer as Emiko.
All of Team Arrow is released from custody.
When Sergeant Bingsley says the case doesn't quite add up, Dinah says there's not enough evidence to hold all of Team Arrow as accessories and their stories all match up.
Mayor Pollard accepts what Dinah has discovered and agrees to continue to let the police work with Team Arrow.
It is finally revealed that Team Arrow is lying about the details of the night at the transit depot and that Dinah was there as Black Canary. Dinah was partnered with Oliver in tackling the vent room.
Roy Harper was the real killer.
It is revealed that a Ninth Circle member attacked Roy with a pipe while he was off on his own. The two security guards stumbled across this and one called in a vigilante attack while the other attacked Roy. This resulted in Roy losing control and beating the guards to death with the pipe.
Team Arrow decided to lie to protect Roy and that framing Emiko for the murders was hardly a sin given that she was about to commit mass murder.
It is revealed that sometime in the past year, Roy died while fighting The Thanatos Guild and Thea Queen used a Lazarus Pit to bring him back. This gave Roy the bloodlust that inflicts all those resurrected by the Pit.
While Thea Queen and Nyssa Al Ghul had access to the Lotus Extract (first seen in 412) it was unable to cure Roy's bloodlust. It is presumed this is due to his body chemistry being altered by exposure to Mirakuru.
Felicity tracks Emiko to an abandoned building outside Star City.
Felicity thanks Dinah for wiping the security footage from the depot.
Dinah says that she thought Felicity took care of the security footage.
It is revealed that Emiko stole the security footage and has sent it to Sergeant Bingsley.
Emiko tells Oliver that she knew about a bomb being planted on the Queen's Gambit and did nothing, hoping that both their father and Oliver would die. Now she plans to kill Team Arrow and destroy Oliver's legacy so Star City will forever think of him as a villain.
Emiko blows up the building with Team Arrow still inside of it.
At some point in the last year, Roy Harper, Thea Queen and Nyssa Al Ghul fought The Thanatos Guild and Roy Harper was killed. Thea and Nyssa brought him back using a Lazarus Pit then destroyed that pit.
The Fridge Factor
Any complexity Emiko's character had earlier in the season is sacrificed to turn her into a cliche "woman scorned."
The Winick Factor
Emiko is turned into the classic invincible Winickian villain, somehow knowing to steal the security footage of the depot, despite already apparently having fled the scene and the police being on the way.
The Bottom Line
Beautifully executed up until the reveal at the end, which makes no sense and derails Emiko's character. It doesn't say a lot for our heroes that they take this particular gambit but I can't say it's out of character either since "Make Bad Choices" is a default mode for most of Team Arrow's membership. Still, the script does plant the seeds for showing why Rene turned on the team in the future and why Dinah has a grudge against Roy Harper, so it gets that much right. Unfortunately, the wasted potential of Emiko seriously hampers what this episode does right.