Arrow: ‘Undertaking’ Episode Recap/Review

The episode opens as Oliver prepares to Leave Tatsu’s cabin for his return to Starling City. Before he can leave, he is stopped by Tatsu as she tells him that he is not fully healed and must rest. Oliver tells Tatsu that he must go to save his city. He thanks Tatsu for saving his life and departs for Starling.

Back at home we find that the Brick has fully taken over the glades. There has been no police presence and Brick’s thugs are looting and collecting protection payment from business in the Glades. Two thugs threaten a bar owner for money, when Arsenal and Canary stop the men. One of the men is thrown through a window and onto the street. Sarah’s friend Sin walks nearby and sees the man thrown through the window, which makes her crack a smile. She seems happy to see Arsenal and is shocked to see the Canary. She calls out for Sarah, but gets no response as Arsenal and Canary take off on a motorcycle. Back at the Arrow Cave, Felicity talks to Captain Lance over the phone about the escalating crime in the glades.

Malcolm and Thea continue their sword training and Thea appears to have improved dramatically, but still has a lot to learn. Thea admits that she does not want to kill, only to defend herself. Malcolm admits that when the time comes she will need to kill, because mercy is not part of the League of Assassins code.

Malcolm admits to Thea about his first kill. He was remorseful and fearful and explains that he was no longer the same man he was. The first man he killed….was the man who killed his wife.

We get a flashback to 21 years ago where a younger Malcolm returns home from a business meeting. A young Tommy is having nightmares, and Malcolm goes and comforts him. Malcolm hears the door bell expecting his wife, instead he is met by two police officers who inform him that his wife is dead.

Back in the present Captain Lance meets with Arsenal in an alleyway and immediately recognizes Arsenal as being Roy. They discuss how they can defeat Brick. He gives Roy all of the evidence and files that that the police department has on Brick. He also inquires about the Arrow and Sarah’s whereabouts. Arsenal tells him that he will let him know when he has any updates. At the arrow cave, the team looks into a murder that was committed by Brick 21 years ago. It turns out that the victim was Malcolms wife. Malcolm bugs the Arrow Cave and hears the team discuss this information. Malcolm must have killed the wrong man in his act of vengeance.

Oliver continues his Journey home as he treks in the woods. He finds himself getting fatigued realizes that he is being followed by Tatsu. Both stop so that she can tend to his bandages and have a little talk. Tatsu reveals that in order to defeat Ra’s Al Ghoul, he will need to continue his training. He will need to learn how to think like Ra’s and fight like him.

In Starling, Malcolm sharpens one of his swords and prepares to go after Brick. Thea interrupts him and asks if he is going after the League. He reveals that what he is doing is personal. He thought he took care of his wife’s killer, but that the killer remains alive. Malcolm masterminded the undertaking so what happened to his family wouldn’t happen to anyone else’s.

We are given another flashback into Malcolms past where he sits alone mourning at his wifes grave. A young Tommy and Oliver look on as they grieve together. A man comes to him and offers him a lead (which we know is incorrect) about his wife’s murderer.

In the present, Team Arrow contemplates letting Malcolm take care of Brick, but each agree that it wouldn’t be the right thing to do. Felicity is able to track Bricks hideout which is the Glades police department. Brick meets with Two of the thugs who were earlier beaten in the bar by Arsenal and Canary. Brick kills one of the men and before he is able to kill the other, Brick senses that there are intruders in the building.

Arsenal and Canary move through the building picking of thug after thug in the shadows. Brick confronts Arsenal and Canary and is about to shoot them, but Malcolm (the dark archer) arrives and shoots Brick’s arm. Suddenly a bunch of degree falls from the ceiling separating each side. Malcolm rips off his mask and tells both Arsenal and Canary that they need to talk.

Malcolm meets team Arrow at the Arrow Cave and tells them that they have a common interest in Brick. He suggest  a team up so that Malcolm can use their technological means to find Brick. The team is not keen on teaming up with him and continue discussions about what they should do. After meeting with Thea, Roy tells the group that Malcolm cares about Thea and that he saved her from Deathstroke’s Siege on the city. Roy justifies that he must truly care about Starling City. Diggle meets with Malcolm to tell him that the team has rejected his offer.

Another flashback into Malcolm’s past reveals his confrontation with a man that he believes killed his wife. He pulls a gun on the man and asks why he ruined his life. The man knows that Malcolm will not kill him and knocks the gun from his hand. The man beats Malcolm and walks away.  As Malcolm lies bloodied on the ground, he reaches for his gun, takes aim and kills the man. This action causes Malcolm to panic and leave Starling and head to Nanda Parat. Killing tdid not cleanse Malcolms rage over what happened to his wife. He goes to train with the League of Assasins so that he can truly be helpful to Starling City.

Oliver and Tatsu reach a road where a truck is waiting. He is given medicine from Tatsu and is told that he must sacrifce what he holds dear if he is to defeat Ra’s Al Ghoul. Both hug as Oliver boards a truck ready to head back to his failing city.

The Arrow team wonders whether they made the right choice in rejecting Malcolm’s offer, but they believe they feel good about not carrying out Malcolm’s vengeance. The problem they realize about the criminals inhabiting the Glades is that the team is outmanned and need all of the help they can get. Laurel recruits the help of Ted “Wildcat” Grant, while Roy seeks the help of Sin. The Arrow crew plan an all out assault on Brick. The battlefield takes shape as Bricks men form on one side, and Team Arrow alongwith a huge gang of Glades residents on the other.

It’s an all out brawl. Citizens and criminals fight as goes Wildcat confronts Brick. Wildcat holds his own and beats the tar out of Brick. That changes quickly, as Brick gains his second wind and manages to make easy work of Wildcat. Just as he is going to shoot Wildcat, Arsenal saves him. Brick tries to flee the scene but Malcolm confronts him and pulls a gun on him in the same alley where he killed the young thug 21 years ago.

Back at the chaotic brawl in the streets, an arrow fires from out of no where and takes out a thug. Arsenal and Canary look at each other realizing that neither of them fired it. They realize that The Arrow has returned.

Back in the Alley, Brick reveals that his first kill was indeed Malcolm’s wife. She was an initiation kill so that Brick could get into a gang. Oliver appears and talks Malcolm out of killing Brick. He tells Malcolm that he can make a different choice…for Thea. He tells Malcolm to start living for Thea.

Brick is apprehended by the Police as Arrow stands on a bus before the people of the Glades and announces his return. He tells the people that Brick will go to jail and that he says that he will not desert them again and that the city is protected by the Arrow. He then fires an arrow off into the distance and takes off flying through the air.

Captain Lance’s men continue to take out what’s left of Bricks goons. He runs into Sin who reveals that the woman running around as Canary is not Sarah and that someone is impersonating her.

Malcolm visits Thea at her apartment and tells Thea that he did not kill Brick. Oliver arrives and Thea is thrilled to see him. Oliver makes up a lie about being gone for so long as Thea goes to make tea. Oliver tells Malcolm that Ra’s will come to Starling and will learn that Thea killed Sarah. Oliver asks Malcolm to train him so that he can finally defeat Ra’s Al Ghul.

Oliver returns to the Arrow cave and has an emotional reunion with Roy, Diggle and Felicity. He thanks each for protecting the city and saving the Glades in his absence. He then tells the team that he must train with Malcolm in order to defeat Ra’s. This infuriates Felicity who cannot believe what she is hearing. She tells Oliver that she doesn’t want to be the woman who loves him. Ouch.

My Thoughts

Well It’s nice to have Oliver/Arrow back! Now the team can work like a well oiled machine…well sort of. It seems that there could be a rift between Oliver and Felicity. It’s safe to say that we won’t see a future romance between the two. Felicity is mostly infuriated that Oliver wants to team up with Malcolm and not sticking to his principles. What she doesn’t understand is that Malcolm is the key in giving Oliver a chance in defeating a man who will surely kill his only sister and possibly destroy anyone else associated with Oliver.

It was also nice to finally learn a bit about Malcolm’s backstory. We finally learn what drove him to be the way his is and why he ignited the undertaking. It will be interesting to see the training relationship between him and Oliver. I was half expecting Tatsu to follow Oliver home and train him. (that could still happen – who knows?) What did you think about the latest episode? Let us know your thoughts!

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