Arrow “The Calm” Recap

The season 3 opener of Arrow is an explosive one. (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)

The episode opens as the Arrow crew made up of Oliver, Diggle, Felcity and Roy efficiently stop a truck full of stolen RPGs. The team is looking like a well oiled machine and made the operation look effortless.

Back at Arrows base of operations (I like to call it the quiver) a news report comes on saying how crime has gone down dramatically thanks to Arrow. We also find out that 5 months have past since the city was sieged by Slades army of mirikuru solders.

Detective Quentin Lance is promoted to Captain and publicly commends The Arrow for helping to catch all the criminals.

Time to meet our villain for the episode. His name is Zytle who calls himself “Vertigo”. He explains how he has improved upon the previous vertigo and that no one will ruin it, not even Arrow. He even tells his goons that “we’re gonna kill him”. (This guy isn’t playing around.)

Felicity now works at a electronics store. She guides Oliver over the phone on tracking down another criminal as he confirms having a dinner date with her. Shortly after their conversation, a man comes into the store and immediately recognizes Felicity. We later find out that this man is Ray Palmer, who gains some hacking knowledge from Felicity. Whoops – we will get to that in a bit!

Throughout the episode we are reminded that Diggle is going to be a daddy as his wife Lyla is 9 months pregnant with their child. Go assemble that baby crib already Diggle!

Oliver decides that now is the right time to ask Felicity on a date and does so. Oliver explains to Felicity that for the 5 years he was gone, he did leave the island to go to Hong Kong. Oliver explains how much he has been thinking about his time there and the choices he had to make. He said how he could never trust anyone when he was gone and that it was hard to trust people when he came back to Starling City. He saw Felicity as a person he could trust – noticing every detail about her when they first met. Meanwhile Zytle and his thugs fire an rpg at the restaurant. Oliver wakes up and takes an unconscious Felicity away from the scene and back to the Arrow base. It turns out that Zytle planted a GPS device on Oliver. Oliver is upset about this because he thinks he is losing his focus.

Later Oliver and Quentin do some investigating at a tattoo parlor – where Zytle lies in wait. Zytle injects Oliver with vertigo and Ollie struggles to fight back. Zytle tells Oliver that the new improved vertigo reveals your greatest fear which in Oliver’s case turns out to be….Oliver! We get a cool fight scene of Oliver fighting himself. (the scenes with Zytle seriously remind me of Johnothan Crane aka The Scarecrow from Batman Begins using his “fear toxin”) Quentin rescues Oliver but grabs his chest and collapses to the floor. Quentin is about to be finished off by Zytle, but Oliver manages to fire off an arrow at Zytle whom escapes.

Laurel visits her father in the hospital and both have a sentimental moment. She asks her father why he is pushing himself so hard. He explains if he is not a cop….then what is he? She tells him that he is her father.

The next day Oliver and Felicity show up for a Queen board meeting and are informed that there is a bidder for the company and that his name is Ray Palmer. Felcity recognizes him from the electronics store and says “oh frak”. Oliver gives a heartfelt speech about his family and what the company means to him. Meanwhile Ray gives a speech displaying a bunch of facts and numbers about the company (which he found out by hacking into the Queen system – good job Felicity!) and transforming the dying Starling city to ‘Star City’.

Oliver confesses to Felicity that when he was struck with a vertigo dart that he saw himself. He admits that he’s afraid if he lets himself become Oliver Queen.

While having Roy prepare for a mission, Diggle asks to assist him. Oliver tells Diggle that he cannot be in the field anymore because he’s going to be a father. Diggle explains that he has given 2 years of his life for this mission and claims that Oliver would be dead without him. However – Oliver sticks to his guns and tells Diggle that he’s out of the game.

Meanwhile at a huge boxing event takes place, all of the mob is pretty much there. Zytle sets a bomb to detonate inside the stadium so that he will be the last criminal standing. We finally get to see Oliver and Roy working together taking on the baddies which was really cool. Oliver and Zytle stand toe to toe again. Zytle throws a vertigo dart at Oliver, which he refuses to dodge by just taking it like a badass. Zytle begins to transform into Oliver, but Oliver closes his eyes and does not let the vertigo affect him. He focuses and sees Zytle again and begins to fight him on the rooftop. Suddenly Sara/Canary appears to help Oliver while Roy defuses the bomb by freezing it of all things.

While being apprehended, Zytle explains to Oliver that no matter what he does, there will always be a Vertigo, even if it is a different person.

Sara tells Oliver that she is in town so that she can visit Laurel, but that her stay will not be long.

We flash forward to the hospital as Lyla and Diggle finally have their baby. Ray shows up at the hospital trying to apologize to Felcity saying that he would like to hire her to work for his NEW company as he has taken over Queen Consolidated. He apologizes for hacking into the Queen database, in which Felicity tells him to get lost.

Oliver apologizes to Felicity that he thought he could be himself but that he also has to be the Arrow. Felicity says that it will never work between them, but Oliver claims that he loves her and plants one on Felcity. As Felicity walks away,  Oliver gets a call from Barry Allen. This appears to be the scene in ‘The Flash’ pilot where Barry seeks hero advice from Oliver on the roof top.

FLASHBACK
The flashbacks for me have always been the stronger part of this show. We learn more and more about Oliver each week. We get a couple of Oliver flashbacks throughout the episode as expected. This time we get a flashback of oliver running in the streets of Hong Kong trying to escape the clutches of Amanda Waller. One of Amanda’s men easily apprehends Oliver and returns him to Amanda’s custody. Amanda explains to Oliver that she wants a man of his “capacity”. Oliver tells her that he will never give up escaping – in which Amanda tells him that she is going to try something “new” and has Oliver knocked out. Oliver wakes up in the home of the man who was dispatched by Amanda to track Oliver earlier in the episode. The man says that Amanda wants Oliver to work for her. If Oliver leaves – the mans family would be killed by Amanda, he says that Oliver doesn’t have a choice in leaving.

BACK TO THE PRESENT
We go back to the present as Sara meets with Laurel. Sara tells Laurel that her way of life is complicated, but that she chose this life. The two sisters hug and go their separate ways. As Sara puts her mask on and gets ready to leap off the building into the night Sara hears a voice off camera. The voice asks “how long sara” and shoots her with multiple arrows. Sara falls off the building to her death conveniently right in front of Laurel. The episode ends with Laurel holding Sara’s body.

Damn. What a way to end an episode huh? I was not expecting that ending. The only question is who killed Sara? Was it Malcom Merlin? Was it someone from the league of assassins? Was it perhaps Ras Al Ghoul? There are still a lot of questions to be answered, but this will definitely set up Laurel training to become the Canary in order to avenge her sisters death.

What did you think about the return of Arrow?

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