Spoilers for Arrow.
Last week's episode of Arrow was more fun and games than serious superhero business. We got a glimpse of Curtis being terrific, we witnessed Felicity officially leaving Team Arrow, and we questioned the loyalty of Andy Diggle. In addition, Merlyn and Darhk made plans to get Darhk out of prison. This week the story continues... but it's not happily ever after yet.
This is Arrow.
On the Island
Taiana is hesitant to kill people even if it means freedom. (Okay, but she's starting to annoy me because she keeps changing her mind.) She has a photo of her family, which she keeps to remember who she was before the Island. However, Oliver tells her if she continues to focus on the past--who she used to be--she will never survive on this Island. She gets ups and grabs a gun.
Next, Taiana runs out of the tunnel, screaming hysterically about Reiter killing his men. While his soldiers are distracted by Oliver's gunfire, she grabs the keys and unlocks the prisoners. More soldiers attack as the prisoners flee, but Oliver barrels out of the tunnel and shoots them. He instructs the prisoners to escape, and he plans how to stop Reiter: by trapping him in the tunnels with explosives. Again, Taiana is hesitant to bury a man alive. (Even though he's a terrible man, whom she wants to rid the world of??? Come on. You're annoying.)
She asks Oliver if he still looks at his picture--the picture of his family. He hands it to her; it's a picture of Laurel. He says she was his home, but he doesn't known what she'd think of who he has become. Taiana makes him promise that if she dies, he will go to Russia and tell her family what happened; then, she says he if dies, she will find Laurel and tell her that Oliver saved them all. Reiter walks through the tunnels with his idol when the blast goes off. His soldiers are worried they can't get out, and Reiter says they can't, but he can live if they die. So he shoots them. As he absorbs their life forces, the tunnel crumbles around him.
(Well, well, to Russia we go next season, eh?--source)
Andy Diggle snoops around John's house, and he loads a gun. But John finds him, and Andy tells him about his meeting with Merlyn. (I'm glad he's being honest! And that he's coming to his big brother for help. Aw...) John tells Team Arrow about Andy's meeting and that Merlyn is planning a convoy shipment. Oliver says there's something he hasn't told them: he's seen Darhk's idol before on the Island.
Oliver: "There's something that I haven't told you guys."
Thea: "Shocker. Sorry."
Oliver: "I've seen this idol before."
Laurel: "What? Where?"
Oliver: "Lian Yu."
Laurel: "You really love not talking about the place, don't you?"
However, before they can do more, Oliver has to go to Ruve Darhk's acceptance speech; she's the new mayor. (I'm still angry about this.) At the event, Oliver learns 48% of the votes were write-ins for him. Ruve talks to Laurel. She wants Laurel to be the new DA, which will effectively make her too busy to deal with Darhk's trial. (Wait, if she's not already DA, then what is Laurel's job title? I'm confused.)
Oliver and John scoop out the meet up for the convoy while Thea and Laurel hang out in the bunker. (Felicity's absence is glaringly obvious.) Merlyn shows up at the bunker with League of Assassin members. (So is this all a ruse to get Oliver out of the bunker?) The convoy arrives, and Oliver fights more League of Assassin members. Thea awesomely fights Merlyn over the idol. Oliver realizes the convoy was too easy. (It was a ruse!) They hurry back to the bunker, but by the time they arrive, Merlyn and his men--along with the idol--are gone.
Malcolm: "Hand over the idol and there won't be any trouble."
Thea: "There's gonna be trouble then."
(This is what badass trouble looks like. They're beautiful.--source)
John wants to use Andy's connection to Merlyn to stop whatever Darhk and Merlyn have planned. Oliver confides in Laurel that he's worried Andy is playing them, but Laurel tells Oliver he needs to be certain before he offends John. (Seriously, Laurel is the best. She is the most level-headed person, who can see all sides of an issue. Why haven't I noticed her awesome-ness before this season?) Lance and Laurel meet to discuss the DA job offer. Lance is worried Laurel won't be able to be the Black Canary and the DA at the same time. (Laurel, don't give up the mask! Please don't!)
Andy calls John to tell him he has eyes on Merlyn, so Team Arrow suits up. As they move into the warehouse, Oliver and Andy are separated from the rest of the group. A booby-trap is tripped, and Andy knocks Oliver out of the way, getting shot by an arrow in the process. He tells them to get to Iron Heights to stop Merlyn and Darhk. Merlyn visits Darhk in prison--magically appearing like the creepy person he is. They aren't exactly pals, and Merlyn has terms to give Darhk his idol: Thea is spared from Project Genesis. Merlyn shows the idol to Darhk, and Darhk says the idol is missing a piece, so it won't work. He demands Merlyn find it. (This entire conversation is actually glorious. Nothing like two bad guys who hate each other trying to work together.)
John patches up Andy, who is worried Darhk knows he's working with the Green Arrow and that it will endanger John's family. But John tells him they took a piece of the idol and hid it away. They'll never find it. Oliver is worried John is telling Andy too much. Laurel goes to Iron Heights using her assistant district attorney power to scout out Darhk. She says she got word that Darhk smuggled in contraband, so she has officers search his cell. They come up with nothing, but she confronts Darhk. He's sassy and obnoxious as ever, but she doesn't let his threats intimidate her. (She's gorgeous. Let's just take a moment to appreciate the Lance girls.)
Laurel: "You're a son of a bitch."
Damien: "Regardless, it's comforting to know that his heart is in the right place. A father would do anything to protect his daughter from the Darhk."
Andy once more searches through John's house. Oliver shows up in Green Arrow garb and demands to know what he's doing. Andy says he's looking for surveillance in case someone bugged the house, but Oliver accuses him of working with Darhk. John walks in just as Oliver grabs Andy. John pulls a gun on Oliver, telling him to let Andy go. Then he kicks Oliver out of his house. They return to the bunker, and they argue. John says Oliver is the reason he decided to trust Andy again because Oliver proved a man can come back from the darkness. But Oliver says he didn't; the darkness is still there inside of him and people don't change. But John says people do change and it's only Oliver's self-pity that chased Felicity away. John leaves just as Thea and Laurel come in to give a report on the Iron Heights situation.
(Okay, that was a bit harsh, even for Ollie.--source)
Laurel talks to Oliver about Andy and John, then she tells him she's going to turn down the DA promotion because she doesn't want to leave the team. Oliver says the team is falling apart, and he encourages her to take the job--to become a hero without a mask.
Oliver: "You channeled your grief and became the Black Canary, but Sara's not dead anymore. Maybe you owe it to yourself to pursue the path you were on."
Laurel: "You're serious?"
Oliver: "This city has enough heroes with masks on. With Ruve Darhk as mayor, it needs a hero without a mask. It needs Laurel Lance."
Meanwhile, at Iron Heights, the guy Darhk bribed in an earlier episode passes out books to inmates. Darhk talks to him when he stops at his cell. As he talks, the inmates open the books to find knives stashed between the pages. Then, the inmate with the book cart pulls the idol off the cart and gives it to Darhk. The inmates fight off the guards as Darhk walks through the halls, savoring the disaster.
Team Arrow gets an alert of chaos at the prison, so they suit up. Lance shows up outside the prison, but he's turned away since he's under suspension. As a distraction, he tries to get past the officers to talk to the guy in charge. Team Arrow moves in--with Andy. Thea and Laurel take down baddies with their awesome, badass skills while Andy, Oliver, and John search for Darhk. Merlyn shows up, of course, and begs Thea for a second fight. She tells Laurel to help the others--she can handle this.
Darhk holds guards as hostages, so when he hears the vigilantes have entered the prison, he orders the inmates to kill the hostages. But before they can, Team Arrow busts through and fights them. Merlyn pins Thea down and says she'll never beat him. Then, he lets her go and walks away. Darhk picks up a gun and points it at Andy. John and Oliver give up their weapons at Oliver's decision. Then, Andy hands over the missing idol piece to Darhk. (Traitor!) He points a gun at John, confessing he's been tracking them for months. Darhk puts the missing piece in the idol and says, "It's all over now." Then, Thea bursts in and shoots two arrows into Darhk. This gives Oliver, John, and Laurel a chance to fight their captors.
Darhk pulls the arrows from his body, but there's blood everywhere. He places his hands on the idol. Andy shoots two of the inmates, and Darhk places his hands on them. He absorbs their life force, healing himself and regaining his "force powers." He "force" freezes Team Arrow. Darhk says Andy's Intel helped him piece together who the Green Arrow and his team members are. Merlyn shows up to get Darhk out, but Darhk savors the moment. He threatens Laurel, and Oliver shoots him (somehow moving despite Darhk's freeze block). But--like always--Darhk catches the arrow in his hand. He walks over to Laurel, discussing her father and his betrayal.
Darhk: "Ms. Lance, nine months ago, I made your daddy a promise. I told him what I would do if he betrayed me... Oh, yeah. I want you to give your father a message from me. I want you to tell him. I'm a man of my word."
Then, he stabs her in the stomach. (Whaaaaaaaaat????) He releases Team Arrow from the freeze block, and he escapes. Oliver--as Green Arrow--brings Laurel--as Black Canary--to the hospital, yelling for help. A doctor comes in and calls for aid. She tells Oliver to leave before the others come. Reluctantly, he takes off.
Lance is at the precinct because he punched an officer. He asks about the situation at Iron Heights, and one of the other officers tells him most of the inmates escaped and one of the vigilantes was injured by Darhk: the Black Canary. Lance says he needs to go, but he'll come back. (Poor Lance.) At the hospital, Felicity arrives to join Team Arrow to wait for Laurel as she's in surgery. John is upset over Andy's betrayal, but Oliver, without a word, comforts John. (Do I smell character development, Ollie?) The doctors wheel Laurel into her room, and one tells them she's out of surgery.
Doctor: "She's a strong woman."
Felicity: "The strongest."
Team Arrow--reunited--goes into the room to see her. Laurel tells them she was going to give up being the Black Canary, but she knows now she can't give it up because going out to fight with them is what makes her feel alive. (Oh my gosh, this is too much.)
(This actually sounds terrible. Like no, stop, don't talk like this.--source)
Everybody except Oliver leaves the room. Oliver says he'll stay here with her. She tells him there's something in her pouch, so he bring it over to her. It's the picture of her Oliver had on the Island. (Oliver is pretty much crying at this point, so I'm crying also.) Laurel tells him she kept it to remind her of a time that had been simpler for them. She says she's glad Oliver found Felicity, and she hopes he finds his way back to her again.
Laurel: "Ollie, I know that I'm not the love of your life, but you will always be the love of mine."
(No. NO. Are you kidding me, Laurel? Don't talk like this. Don't talk like you're going to die! There's still a chance for you and Ollie. There's a chance you could be the love of his life. Are you kidding me, writers? Are you kidding me right now? What is this speech? Who wrote this dialogue? I demand names and numbers and addresses because I have some words. Also: I definitely ship them right now. I'm a mess. Leave me to die.)
Oliver asks why she is telling him this now. She said this night reminded her that anything can happen. Then, she makes him promise her something. (What? What is it? Why won't they tell us? TELL ME WHAT SHE SAID.)
Out in the hall, Thea tells Felicity and John that Lance is on his way. But then, the doctors rush into Laurel's room. She's convulsing and the machines are beeping wildly. Then, she flat lines. (No.) They try to bring her back, but it doesn't work. (NO.) She's dead.
Doctor: "Time of death 11:59."
(NO. NOOOoooooOOoooOOoooo. NO. I'm so freaking mad right now.)
Felicity and Thea are a mess, but Oliver can only stand and stare in shock. He goes into the hall, and Lance walks up. (Oh my gosh, no!) Oliver's face reveals it all; he can't even say it. Lance staggers back and falls to the floor like he's the one who was stabbed.
(This was the worst moment.--source)
Concluding ThoughtsI'm so freaking done. I should have known that all this wonderful character development for Laurel in the past few episodes meant something terrible would happen. But I didn't see it coming at all. I knew somebody died--the end scene of doom showed us on more than one occasion that something terrible happens. But I kind of forgot because of the whole Oliver-and-Felicity-break-up thing. I forgot that somebody who wasn't Oliver, Barry, or Felicity died.
I guess that person is Laurel Lance. And I'm angry. I don't know if this will propel Oliver and Felicity back together, but I'm kind of angry that it might. I was actually looking forward to Oliver and Laurel maybe getting back together (and following the comics canon). I definitely shipped them in that final scene, and I'd been warming up to the idea more recently. But more than that, I'm angry to see Laurel leave the show. (If she is dead. This show has a tendency to bring back characters who supposedly died: Oliver, Slade Wilson, Sara, Oliver again, Thea, Ray Palmer...etc.) I want Laurel Lance back.
I hope that Team Arrow unites together to bring down Darhk and Merlyn and any other a-holes that want to kill awesome, badass women off TV shows. The one bright side of this is that hopefully we'll get to see an angsty, angry, vengeance-drive Oliver Queen. I hope he does everything he possibly can to hunt Darhk down and destroy him once and for all. I'm so ready for that story line. (Also, this was actually one of the best episodes they've had in a while. Even the Island scenes were interesting this time!)
But I still want Laurel Lance back.
(I'm not crying. I'm not crying. I'm definitely crying.--source)
What did you think of "Eleven-Fifty-Nine"? How did you handle Laurel's death?