Another Wednesday night on the CW, another episode of Arrow to recap and review; let's get to it. Arrow came on at 8pm and concluded approximately 58 minutes later, including commercials. There was an ad for Trivago. Someone must have told that guy that the Home Depot handyman look is working because he's been killing it for years. His beard is better than Ollie's.
Oh…you want a recap of the actual episode, don't you? You asked for it.
Oliver celebrates the exoneration and release of Diggle, the arrest of General Walker and the return of Quentin Lance, fresh from rehab. We also catch up with reporter Susan Williams, her hooks digging deeper into Ollie, as she preps for an interview with Lance about his alcoholism.
No sooner does the crew get back to the Arrow cave then Felicity informs them that Walker has escaped and is taking his nukes on the road to Russia to sell to the highest bidder. Fortunately the mayor of Star City has a private plane at his disposal and the squad jets off deep into Russia at a moment's notice; more on this later.
Meanwhile, Ollie has designated hothead Rene to keep the hockey mask on tuck and babysit Lance through his first day back on duty as deputy mayor. The two of them acknowledge that they don't know each other that well but Rene knows more than he lets on. He gives Susan a heartwarming story of how Lance treated an even rougher-around-the-edges younger Rene like a human being back in his days as a beat cop. This works to smooth the way towards a winning interview for Susan and a connection for the bearded cop and thug-hero.
Over in Russia it's a new city, same show. Team Arrow tracks down Walker only…it's a trap. They escape (as they have the 3-4 times this same plot has played out this season!) this time with a prisoner in tow. Diggle, veiny all over with rage over the thought Walker might get away again, lumps up the prisoner pretty bad. I mean – he really hurt that boy. Torture doesn't work so Oliver is forced to turn to his Bratva friend Anatoly for an assist. Anatoly calls in a marker, coercing Ollie to pull one more crime in return for the whereabouts of Walker.
Fast forwarding to the end, Team Arrow captures Walker but not before Diggle faces the prospect of killing him and getting away with it. He doesn't; he's still our Diggle. However, Walker has ignited a nuke and only the ancient remnants which make Ragman can save the day, but at great sacrifice.
Talia, starring in the Arrow flashback segments these days, is continuing training 5-years younger Oliver to…I don't know, 'be the Arrow.' It's all so tedious and plodding. I think these segments and how they harken back to the early days of Arrow are meant to echo Prometheus' manipulation of Oliver's past, eliciting clues to Prometheus' identity and his ultimate goal. I could be wrong; I'm probably wrong.
THE GOOD –
Dinah talking Oliver out of a brood is so refreshing. Yes, she does have a mature air that has been absent since…ever. No one has come on Arrow so fully formed and so confidently portrayed. Kudos to actor Juliana Harkavay; where's her spinoff? Yes, she's earned it already (if only to save her from catching crossarmsacitis) because she's the best thing to happen to Arrow since The Flash.
Felicity's return to her seedier ways of hacktivism offers a chance – please! – for Emily Bett Rickards to speak dialogue that doesn't revolve around Oliver or a man or technobabble. If her embrace of this move, despite its ominous overtones (you just know all this sweet intel comes with a price, right?), can play itself out without Oliver getting involved would be progress for Felicity and the show.
THE BAD –
So stopping the nuclear explosion was too much for the olds rags and Rory has to sling off into the sunset. It's bad because I thought resurrecting the 70s DC character was a nice bit. The fact they saddled him with zero personality and gave him nothing to do is also bad. Waste.
THE UGLY –
Even if you buy the fact that the mayor of Star City has a private plane, you really think when they lay in the flight plan to Russia there's not going to be questions? Is there no governmental oversight in Star City? Oh but of course not! They let Rene sneak into City Hall, have shoot-outs at any public gathering of more than 5 people and the mayor and deputy mayor come and go like the tide.
THE VERDICT –