Arrow S03E01 Recap: The Calm

The Flash came out of the gates running at full speed, let’s hope its predecessor does the same as it kicks off its third season.

Arrow runs as fast as he can after a delivery truck. Too bad he doesn’t have the Flash’s speed. He manages to catch the truck, and disconnect the cargo, which Diggle retrieves. The cab hurls forward towards Roy. The driver bails out on his truck, and Arrow gives chase, catching him.

Everyone makes it back to the command post, and Felicity crosses another criminal off the list. Oliver notices Felicity’s latest addition, a love fern. These two are making too many goo-goo eyes at each other. The next target is mapped out. Oliver tells Roy he did well tonight. Felicity has plans to turn Oliver into a Corporate master of the Universe to win back Queen Consolidation. Diggle calls it a night as well. Oliver gives Diggle a gift for his daughter with Lila, one he made by hand. Oliver is really happy for Diggle. Diggle wants Oliver to be happy too, and suggests that he give it a go with Felicity, only Oliver is standing in his own way.

5 years ago. Oliver runs the streets of Hong King trying to get away from a gunman. Desperately he tries to contact his mother, but finds himself averted at every moment. The man catches up to him, and beats him, just as he said he would if Oliver tried to escape.

Laurel and Oliver watch Arrow’s latest catch head off to prison. She’s enjoying their partnership, but that isn’t why she brought him down. Her father is in full uniform, a part of Oliver’s surprise. Quinton Lance makes a statement. He got a captain’s rank, and the Starling Police Department is recognizing the Arrow. He’s disbanding the anti-vigilante task force.

A new enemy rises in Starling City. He knows his drugs, and after a little demonstration, he has no opponents. He calls himself Vertigo.

Felicity’s soul crushing work makes her more motivated to get Oliver back in the big office over at Queen Consolidation. He cares about the company and the people that work there, and he needs to get that across to them. Oliver asks her out to dinner, and Felicity asks for clarification. He is indeed asking her for a date date, and she accepts.

Another night, another chase. Felicity is busy at work in a little computer store, when she has to run to do their tech support. Oliver asks if she likes Italian, and although it’s not the appropriate time to ask, she does like Italian. She warns him that Detective Lance is also in pursuit, before she has to run back to work. Lance and Arrow catch the guy, and Arrow runs off for his hot date.

Past. Amanda Waller is not happy about Oliver making yet another escape attempt, his ninth. There seems to be a lack of understanding between them. She wants a better reward for saving him from drowning. She won’t reveal her full plans only that she needs a man of his capacity. Oliver will never stop trying to escape he only wants to go home. She tell him that its really easy to kill someone everyone already thinks is dead, but Oliver isn’t cowed by her threat. He’d rather die than stay. Her negotiation tactics are going to have to change.

Brandon Routh finally shows up as a customer in Felicity’s store. He’s looking to hack into a system, which she’s actually done. He recognizes her and even offers her a job. She shouldn’t be there, but she’s not looking for a new job. She doesn’t think that he should buy the equipment he’s chosen, with the newer model on its way out, and much better, but she does give him a helpful url.

Lila rushed to the hospital, but it was a false alarm. The baby isn’t coming yet, which is a relief for a terrified Diggle.

Arrow makes a quick change, stashing his bag inside and arrives at the restaurant in time to meet Felicity. There’s plenty of jitters for the two of them. Felicity babbles about their running through all date conversation, and her seeing him shirtless all the time. Oliver opens up that she doesn’t know everything, that he wasn’t just on the island during his “dead” period. He also spent a lot of time in Hong Kong, which he’s been thinking about a lot lately. He’d spent so much time not seeing people as people but threats, even when he came back, until he saw her. She was the first person he saw as a person, there was something about her. She’ slightly embarrassed, she was chewing on a pen. He remembers that it was red.

Arrow is tracked to the restaurant, by Vertigo and his men.

He once told her that because of what they do he couldn’t be with someone that he could really care about, but now he thinks that he’s wrong.

Vertigo doesn’t need Arrow’s location exact, close enough is good. He takes out a RPG and takes aim.

Oliver hears something, and jumps up and grabs Felicity as the RPG comes hurdling through the restaurant’s window. Oliver awakens in a haze in the middle of the wreckage. Felicity is unconscious. He carries her back to their hideout. She’s just knocked out. The police are swarming the area, and it wasn’t a coincident that he was in the building where the attack happened. Roy finds a tracker on his jacket. He let his concentration be compromised and Felicity was harmed. Diggle tells him not to think that way, but he can’t help it. He calls Lance and tells him that the guy they grabbed early was a set up. Oliver needs the guy at the top of the food chain, and Lance sets to work to give him that.

Arrow is out and not pleased. Lance provides him with back up whether he wants it or not. They scope out the place. Vertigo sneaks up on Arrow. He injects him with something. The count may be dead, but his narcotic lives on, with a few enhancement. And now Oliver is going to have to survive his greatest fears. Arrow gets in a fist fight with himself before Lance can save him. But Lance’s ticker isn’t doing so well, and he falls to the ground. Arrow manages to right himself, and fight off Vertigo.

Oliver is back at his lair. He’s fine, and Lance was treated with medication. He too will be fine. Even Felicity is fine. She’s had worse first dates. Oliver sends Roy out to check out the streets, and Diggle goes to follow, but Oliver sends him home instead. Oliver and Felicity need to talk, about dinner and it getting blown up, but that’ll have to wait until they catch the guy, and Oliver goes to the board meeting.

Past. Bad haired Oliver awakens to a pretty girl with an ice pack. She speaks to him in Japanese, but he understands that no more than he did the Chinese that everyone else has been speaking to him. Luckily, she speaks English too. He’s in her home, the one she shares with her husband,who happens to be the guy who kicked the crap out of him at Amanda's behest.

Laurel pays her father a visit. He obviously doesn’t care what his doctor had to say since he went back out into the field. She asks him why he keeps pushing himself so hard. Being a cop is all he knows, unsure what he is if he isn’t one. He’s her father, and she needs him.

Felicity tells Oliver that the board is receptive to him coming back, he just needs to go in and wow them, but when they arrive they get bad news. There’s another bidder for the company. It’s Ray Palmer, the sexy guy from the computer store. He was late because traffic was terrible, and so he flew his helicopter there and parked on the roof. The meeting begins. Everyone once thought Oliver was dead, but he came back, and so can Queen Consolidated. He considers the company to be his family, and there is nothing more important than family. It’s a good speech, and not one easily topped, but Ray is about to try. He starts off with asking about a member’s watch, one he designed, before moving into a little slide show presenting QC’s numbers under Oliver’s watch. The numbers are raw information that he got from their own computer, which Felicity may have inadvertently assisted with. The problem with the numbers stem from Sterling City. Queen Consolidated cannot hope to survive in a dying city, which is Sterling City is. They need to bring the city from the ashes, and the company with it, and he envisions the City with a new name: Star City.

The meeting didn’t go as planned, and Oliver can only hope that the company is in good hands. Oliver knows that he couldn’t make time for the company two years ago, and thinking he had time for it now was too much, and selfish. He made a promise to the city, and he needs to keep it, and give them the hero they need. He didn’t have that issue last night, Felicity notes, and Oliver thinks that’s the problem. She doesn’t blame him for the explosion. But Oliver reveals that when Vertigo hit him with the dart, he said it unleashed his worse fears, and Oliver saw himself. His worst fear just may be letting himself be Oliver Queen.

The number of crime bosses have been narrowed to just three, and someone is taking them all out. Felicity tries to pin point their location via ankle monitoring, and finds that they’re all in one location. There’s a big fight going on, and all three are there to watch it. It’s too big for one RPG, so they’re looking for a detonation device. Roy is off to look for it. Diggle gets benched. He’s going to be a father, and Oliver can no longer have his risks be his risks. He has a life Oliver can never have, and he wants him to be around for it. Diggle gets it, Oliver and Felicity almost died in that explosion, people did die, but he cannot let that shake him. Lance is in a hospital, but Diggle points out that Lance is his own man too and so is he. He’s dedicated the last two years to his crusade, and that should earn him the right to make his own choices. Without him, Oliver would be dead at least ten times over. It’s Oliver’s crusade and his decision.

All the players are in the house, the fight is going strong and Vertigo has set his timer. It’s a five minute timer he tells his men. Arrow gets the drop on one, but the others get away. Felicity locates the bomb. Arrow goes after Vertigo and Roy goes after the bomb. He catches Vertigo on the roof, where he’s injected again. Vertigo thinks he’s developed an addiction. Roy finds the bomb as Oliver sees himself for a moment, but he’s made his choice, so the fear leaves him. He pulls the arrow from his chest, and fights Vertigo. Sara arrives as Canary and takes on another. Roy tries to disarm the bomb, but the colors don’t match Felicity’s direction. Instead she makes a plan for him to freeze the bomb with Freon from the place’s AC unit. The fights rage on. Roy springs into action breaking the pipe. The seconds tick down, and the plan doesn’t seem to be working. Just as they near expiration the bomb freezes and the counter stops. Arrow is surprised to see Canary. He shoots an arrow into Vertigo. Vertigo taunts him, that no matter what happens there will always be a Vertigo, that Oliver has given him power.

Arrow and Canary catch up. She was headed to see Laurel when she picked up his radio chatter. She suggests that Felicity mix up the radio frequency more. He asks if she’s back for good, and the verdict is still out. He’s still working through some things. She advises him that they aren’t their masks, and they need people in their lives who aren’t wearing them. Good sound advice.

Felicity goes to the hospital, and runs into Ray. He’s semi-stalking her. He used her cell phone to find her. He had mentioned that he knew someone interested in her expertise, and that someone was him. He could really use it since someone hacked his cell phone, laptop, and desktop replacing all his data with audio of porcupine flatulence. Ha! He was hoping that whoever did it was willing to undo it if he apologized. It would probably work if he hadn’t done it to steal someone’s friend’s company in which case should get use to the sound. Ray turns out that he didn’t need the data, his speech was pretty good without it. Her friend just had a baby, and she’s there to welcome the new arrival, but she suggests that he look on his tablet too. The Diggle baby has arrived and she is beautiful. Diggle thanks Oliver for being right. The second Dig looked at that baby his entire universe changed, and Oliver was right. The pair embrace.

Past. Oliver wants out. But he cannot leave. He can be stopped, repeatedly. Amanda Waller wants him to work for her, and she will have it done. Amanda won’t kill Oliver, but the man’s family. He tells him a man cannot live with two names, he does not have a choice.

Oliver and Felicity walk the halls. She doesn’t want the talk, as soon as they talk its over. Oliver thought he could be himself and the Arrow, but not now, maybe never. Felicity wants the never rather than a sprig of hope. Oliver kisses her to silence her. He asks her no to ask him not to love her. But she knew as soon as they talked it was over, and she walks away.

Barry calls Oliver. He tells him that he woke up and he could use some advice.

Sara meets with Laurel. She wants to keep her little visit from her father. She chose a hard life, but it’s the one for her. Laurel gets a message, she’s needed at the station to back up an interrogation. Someone shoots Canary off the roof with a trio arrows. Someone she recognized, but didn’t expect to see there. Canary’s body falls from the roof near her sister in the alley below, and there’s no doubt about it, she’s dead.


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