This episode is has a big WWE crossover that’s a bit tongue-in-cheek.
Green Arrow is working the streets to find the supplier of a new drug called Stardust. He has the recruits watch as he chases a lead and extracts information leading to a dealer named Derek Sampson (Cody Runnels, aka “Stardust” from the WWE). Rene doesn’t want to wait around to follow leads and has a hunch about where Sampson might be hiding. Rene and Evelyn sneak into Sampson’s hideout to do recon. When Rene realizes that his hunch was right, he decides to put on his mask and take Sampson down right there. The fight between Sampson and his men ends with Sampson falling into a vat of his own chemicals, presumably dead.
This turns out to be a problem for Mayor Queen, who is visited by the new DA Adrian Chase. DA Chase is royally pissed off because his office had a plan to flip Sampson before he was killed by a vigilante. When Oliver finds this out, he lays into Wild Dog for not being able to follow simple instructions. Things get worse when Sampson wakes up in the hospital. He seems to have super strength and an inability to feel anything, including pain. He starts to wreck the hospital. When the Green Arrow shows up to fight him, he’s able to overpower the vigilante and force him to flee.
Mayor Queen is also having a problem with the media. When news gets out that the Mayor’s office has hired Quentin Lance, a known drunk, reporter Susan Williams (Carly Pope) blasts the administration for it. Thea tries to make things better by going to Williams and telling her that Oliver had nothing to do with the hire. Of course, this turns into a report that the Mayor doesn’t know what’s going on in his own office. Thea offers to handle things by releasing a report taking full responsibility for the mess and resigning from her position.
Realizing that he’s unable to control his people as both Mayor and Green Arrow, Oliver decides to go back into brooding mode. Felicity points out that this could’ve all been avoided if he had trusted Wild Dog’s hunch to begin with. About then, they get a notification that Sampson has stolen a bunch of chemicals. They suspect that he’s trying to amass an army, so Oliver gathers his. He apologizes to Wild Dog and takes the team with him to Sampson’s factory. While the rest of his team takes out Sampson’s men, Green Arrow takes on the superhuman by himself. He stops Sampson by severing his tendons with an arrow, immobilizing him.
After a successful outing, Oliver decides that it’s time to move the team out of the HIVE facility. He takes them into the Arrow Cave (as Curtis calls it). With things settled for the Green Arrow, Oliver decides to step up for his Mayoral team as well. He declines Thea’s resignation and holds a press conference to announce that he is taking responsibility for all of the decisions made by his team and that Quentin Lance will be coming on as deputy mayor. After the press conference, Thea confronts Sally about everything that happened and tells her that she won’t be played again. Just as it seems like things are in order, Lyla comes storming into the cave and tells Oliver that Diggle needs his help.
The Island / Flashback
In order to ease his conscience about the Bratva’s initiation ritual, Anatoly reveals to Oliver that the men who were executed were not innocent men. Oliver is still skeptical but Anatoly assures him that everything is not as it seems. He also repeats that, in order to kill Konstantin, he’ll need an army. The Bratva are an army.
- “Wait, he hits you guys?” – Rory
(The other recruits execute the saddest collective puppy dog look in shows history)
- “I’m not gonna kill you, but I can’t guarantee you’ll walk away from this” – Green Arrow
- Felicity’s boyfriend, Billy Malone (Tyler Ritter), tricks the Arrow into meeting him. He lets him know that the same mysterious person that attacked a member of the Anti-Crime unit also attacked Tobias Church.
- “Is this normal behavior around here” – Rory Regan
- Lyla comes to visit Diggle in prison. He gives her a quick run down of what happened before he’s dragged off. When he gets back to his cell, he finds that his cell mate is Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot. It turns out to be a hallucination that is forcing Diggle to face the fact that he feels guilty for killing his brother.
- Curtis finds out that Rory is from Havenrock, he presses Felicity to clear the air with him about what happened but Felicity is understandably reluctant. She eventually tells Rory what happened and he just walks away with a look of shock on his face.
- Curtis reveals that his jacket is inspired by pro wrestler “Fair Play” Terry Sloan, aka Mr. Terrific. Terry Sloan is the name of the original Mr. Terrific in the comics.
- Apparently, Oliver and Adrian Chase met 12 years ago. Back then, Oliver stole the DA’s girlfriend.
- “What kind of a vigilante wears a hockey mask” – Evelyn
“I think it’s cool” – Oliver / Stephen Amell (aka Casey Jones)
Three episodes in and we’re still building out Oliver’s changing mentality about a new team. First he had to accept that he needed one. Then, he had to get them to trust him. Now, he has to learn to trust them. Things are continuing to progress, but each week is another opportunity for another issue to arise. The way the episode ended, it seems like Rory leaving the team will likely be one of those issues in the future but first, Oliver needs to go break Diggle out of prison.
Aside from the yelling spats between Oliver and Rene, this was actually a pretty fun episode. It seemed like the show was freed up to make more jokes per minute than they had during the first episode. There were also a few meta nods to things surrounding the show. That’s to be expected when the show brings Stephen Amell’s WWE cohort, Cody Rhodes onto the show. It’s usually a coin flip when pro wrestlers transition into more traditional TV, but I think Rhodes nailed in this episode. He played really well as a villain and was able to create a great fight scene with the Green Arrow.
This is also the episode where we see Adrian Chase introduced. During earlier episodes, I noticed that the show was dropping a few more hints about the future of Oliver’s character than I had previously realized. However, I doesn’t seem like they’re doing that with Chase. By now, we know who he turns out to be, but the only really “leading” line of his is when he tells Oliver he doesn’t hold grudges. Even so, knowing who he becomes, it’s hard not to try to find a double meaning in a lot of his words.