Oliver is still “dead” and Team Arrow is still scrambling. They’re finally starting to get it together, and they might even be able to do the vigilante thing without Oliver. Though it seems they might not have to for long-- Oliver’s on the mend in record time, and he’ll be back in Starling soon enough. Laurel is trying her damndest to be the Canary, and while she has nowhere near the training Sara did, she’s stubborn as hell, and that’s certainly to her advantage. I’m so excited to finally see Laurel out fighting as a part of Team Arrow. There’s still the issue of Detective Lance-- he has no idea that Sara is dead, and Laurel is frantically trying to keep that a secret. It’s going to come out soon enough and it won’t be pretty. There’s no real reason to keep that sort of secret; it’ll only ever backfire.
Malcolm Merlyn tries to get himself and Thea out of Starling, and far, far away from Ra’s al Ghul’s reach. Thea stands her ground (though to be fair, she doesn’t fully understand the seriousness of their situation. This is why we don’t keep secrets!) and Malcolm acquiesces. It’s too late, anyway-- Ra’s has already planted a member of the League close to Thea, so we can expect that to go down pretty soon.
Meanwhile, Ollie is in some cabin to heal, brood, and drink some penicillin tea. It’s tense as hell in that cabin; on the one hand, he’s reunited with Maseo and Tatsu. On the other hand, it seems they had a falling out some time ago, and Maseo is now a League member. He risks everything to go behind the League’s back and keep Oliver alive, but he can’t be persuaded to return to Starling with Oliver.
Lastly, there’s Danny Brickwell aka Brick, the villain of the moment. He’s trying to take over the Glades, and he’s doing a pretty great job so far. The only thing left in his way is Team Arrow; they’re a bit weakened by Oliver’s absence-- and people are starting to notice-- but Oliver’s managed to put together a team of the most stubborn people alive, and they won’t bow out easily.
This was a standard but solid episode. I am so in love with Laurel as Canary. I’m disappointed we’ll never get Sara and Laurel as a crime-fighting sister duo, of course. But Laurel’s got a serious fire in her, and she’s finally directing it toward something positive. She’s got a lot of promise as Canary so far, and now that Team Arrow has accepted her masked persona, she’ll get the training she needs.
I loved Roy in this episode as well; his character development has been really fun to watch, and it was really showcased in the way that he interacted with everyone while Oliver’s missing. He’s previously had great moments with the other characters that didn’t require Oliver’s presence, obviously, but it’s different when Ollie’s missing-presumed-dead. Roy and John share a drink and a moment, which was nice as I can’t remember them ever having a moment. Roy fits in with the others so well and so organically, and I’m really enjoying watching his character grow.
Vinnie Jones as Brick is fantastic, largely because I adore Vinnie Jones. He always plays the villain so well, and I wish his arc were longer.
That said! I should make it a point to mention Oliver’s miraculous healing once per review from here on out. We’re expected to just go with it, I guess. He got stabbed through a lung but that didn’t kill him, then he fell from a great height and that didn’t kill him. Not only that, but as far as we can see, he landed without a bone out of place. Maybe cracked or broken, but no dislocated shoulder, no protruding ribs, no broken neck. I’m just saying-- I’ll have what he’s having. I’ll start training on the Salmon Ladder if that’s the kind of power it gets me.
A high point in this episode: Team Arrow borrowing (stealing) Ray Palmer’s helicopter. That was a beautiful moment and I want more of it.
Arrow 3.11, directed by Nick Copus. Watch Arrow on the CW, Wednesdays at 8/7c.