It’s the episode I’ve been waiting for: finally, finally Thea knows Ollie’s secret, and Laurel tells her father that Sara is dead. It’s not nearly as disastrous as everyone feared. So our villain of the week is Vertigo. He has escaped and it’s pretty much the same old schtick. Laurel goes after him- twice- and both times is injected. The first time, she hallucinates Sara, the second time it’s Sara and her father. Which, yeah, sounds like a nightmare. She pulls it together the second time and is able to take Vertigo down. And that’s the push that leads her to go admit the truth to her father. He doesn’t have a heart attack and die on the spot, like she feared; while the scene is incredibly heartbreaking, they now have each other to get through this grief.
Roy and Ollie have a minor blowout over Thea- who here’s surprised?- and Felicity makes it clear she’s still not happy with Oliver’s decision to bring Malcolm Merlyn into their circle. But later in the episode Thea faces off with that DJ who’s actually a League member, and though she’s well trained, she can’t stop him. Roy bursts in, because he’s maybe a bit of a stalker, and he can’t defeat Chase either. It’s only Merlyn who’s able to stop the guy, though he doesn’t get to kill him; Chase does as he’s trained and kills himself.
Oliver anxiously shows Thea the Team Arrow setup that’s been right beneath her club all this time, and she takes it very well. She’s not mad in the slightest, rather she’s proud of Ollie for being a hero. It’s a sweet little moment, seeing Thea’s easy acceptance and Oliver’s face going from nervous to touched.
I’m quite satisfied with this episode. It was more character-heavy, lighter on the action this week, which is important as it set up several changes for the next half of the season. Oliver has finally accepted Laurel as the Canary, and while she didn’t need or even wait for his permission, it does make things easier if they aren’t getting in each other’s way. The group dynamic has shifted, just a bit, but they are becoming a real, cohesive team rather than just a vigilante with some support.
The end of the episode set up a couple of interesting storylines for next week. In the flashbacks, Oliver has returned to Starling, but he’s not quite “back” yet. And in present time, Merlyn sends Oliver and Thea to the island to train and prepare for their inevitable clash with the League.
Arrow 3.13, directed by Michael Schultz. Watch Arrow on the CW, Wednesdays at 8/7c.