ARROW ‘The Return’ Recap/Review

The episode opens on the island of Lian Yu as Oliver and Thea begin their training. Oliver is impressed by Thea’s skills and by what she learned in Corto Maltese. They discuss Oliver’s time on the island and Thea asks if he ever wondered if he would return home.

This triggers a Flashback where Oliver, Maseo and the rest of ARGUS are in Starling City to track down the Omega Virus. Amanda Waller reveals that China White is in town and planning to auctioning off the Omega virus to the highest bidder. The Auction will occur through a Queen Family partner named Peter Kang. Oliver cannot let anyone know that he has returned, or Waller will kill him and Maseo. Both men are forced to track Kang’s movements. They put a tracker on Kang’s car to follow him. Maseo tells Oliver that he has to gain access to Queen Consolidated at night in order to gain access to the computer network. During this conversation, Oliver looks out his window and sees Thea walking on the street. Meanwhile Quinten Lance is seen heavily drunk in a bar. He grieves the loss of Sarah’s “drowning death”. Laurel comes in and tells the bartender to cut her father off. She gives him a ride home as he beraids her for wanting to be a lawyer.

Oliver wakes from a bad dream back on the island. Thea tells him that he was repeating Sarah’s name while he was sleeping. She asks Oliver why he didn’t tell her about Sarah’s death. He discusses her connection to Slade and tells Thea that Sarah had her own secrets, which weren’t his to share. He excuses himself and says that he wants to take a night stroll to clear his head. He finds a hatch which leads to an ARGUS underground prison where Slade is being held. Oliver walks to Slades cell, but it is empty. Slade has escaped and is loose on the island!

Oliver rushes back to camp where he left Thea. Oliver immediately gets a phone call from Malcolm, telling him that he set Slade loose so that Oliver could regain his killer instinct. He must regain that instinct again if he wants to defeat Ra’s Al Ghoul.

In another Flashback, Oliver and Maseo watch Thea walk on the grounds of the Queen estate. Thea visits the empty graves of Oliver and his father. She wait there only to meet with a drug dealer. She proceeds to buy some drugs, but is busted by none other than Tommy Merlyn. Tommy tells Thea how Oliver would be ashamed of her if he was still alive. He warns that he is having a party tonight and that she better not show up due to her drug usage and party going lifestyle.

Back in the present, Oliver takes Thea to a site where they uncover some weapons that Oliver buried long ago. He gives Thea a gun for protection, but is ambushed by Slade. He manages to knock out both Oliver and Thea. Both wake up in Slade’s cell, as Slade stands outside watching them. Slade reveals that he has no plans to kill either roy them. He plans to let them rot, like Oliver once did to him. Thea calls Slade a sick man, but Slade tells he that Oliver is sick for keeping so many secrets from her. He says that Oliver is hiding more secrets about Sarah. With that bit of information, Slade leaves them imprisoned.

Back in the past, Oliver sneaks into his father’s office at Queen Consolidated. He communities with Maseo via a headset and gains access to the Queen computer network. He inserts a program that tracks Kane’s movements online. Oliver sees a file containing his name and decides to download that file as well. As the files download, Oliver hears someone approaching his fathers office. The downloads finish in time and he hides, as Felicity Smoak walks in. Oliver manages to leave unnoticed along with the information about where the auction will take place. Waller wants to know where Oliver is going next. Maseo covers for him and says that he’s looking into more “information”.  Oliver instead sneaks into Tommy’s Birthday Party. Oliver wears a disguise, which happens to be a green hoodie (of course). Diggle is seen dealing with drunk kids alongside his brother. Oliver watches Tommy and Laurel flirting from a distance. Tommy is angry to see Thea show up at his party. Oliver also finds himself angered and disappointed to see Thea doing yet another drug deal with the same dealer. Oliver follows the drug dealer upstairs and warns the dealer to stay away from Thea. The man recognizes Oliver and tries to stab him, but Oliver manages to kill the man first.

Back in the present, Oliver and Thea debate how they will get out of the cell. Thea asks again why Oliver didn’t tell her about Sarah. He dodges her question by realizing the the prison was outfitted for a full grown male. He realizes that Thea is small enough that she can fit her arm and reach the cell door release button. Thea tries to reach for the button, but comes up short. Both realize that she must break her arm in order to reach the button. So being a good brother that he is, Oliver breaks Thea’s arm and she successfully reaches the button which opens the cell. Both escape the underground prison to stop Slade from leaving the island.

Back at Tommy’s Party, the police arrive and investigate what happened to the drug dealers body. An inebriated Quinten Lance is on the scene and is angered to find Laurel at the party. He criticizes her for having out with “fat cats”. Oliver watches on in the distance, as Maseo shows up and both walk away from the scene. Maseo chastises Oliver for being at the party. He tells Oliver that he cannot interact with his family, no matter what. Maseo tells Oliver that if he wants redemption that he will help capture China White and retrieve the Omega Virus. Oliver ignores Maseo’s words and says that he wants to stay with his loved ones. He tries to shake Maseo’s hand and says goodbye, but Maseo just ignores him and gets in his car and drives off.

Oliver and Thea continue their chase after Slade in the present. Oliver notices that Thea is running toward a trap that he put on the Island years before. He pushes Thea out of the way of a swinging spike trap, but takes a spike to his arm. Both take a breather and Thea asks yet again why Oliver wouldn’t tell her about Sarah’s death. Oliver reveals the truth that Malcolm drugged her and that she killed Sarah under the influence. Thea begins to melt down and says that Malcolm never loved her. As she continues to freak out, Slade emerges from a nearby tree and holds a gun to Thea’s head.

Thea manages to escape and punches him before she is knocked down. Oliver then tackles Slade down a hill and both to brawl. Oliver and Thea team up and take turns fighting Slade. Both overwhelm Slade, and Thea draws a gun on him. She fights the temptation of killing Slade and put Slade back in his cell. Slade warns Oliver how many more people he is willing to lose before there is no Oliver Queen. He warns that Thea has been corrupted by Malcolm, and that she is lost to him.

Back in Oliver’s Flashback, Oliver walks inside of his house and sits admiring a photo of his father. He grabs a tablet and watches a video file that he nabbed from his father’s computer. On the video, Robert Queen makes a posthumous speech admitting his faults and how he failed Starling City.  He tells Oliver where he can find the book of the names of the bad people that he did business with. He tells Oliver to right his wrongs and to be a better man and that he can save the city.

Meanwhile, at an abandoned Queen Consolidated facility (which kind of looks like it could be the present day ARROW Cave/Verdant) China White holds an auction for the virus. Maseo watches from a distance with a small team. Their position however is given up and most of Maseo’s men are killed. Maseo himself is forced to give up and is taken in as a prisoner. Just as China White commands Maseo’s death, Oliver arrives and helps Maseo escape. They resume their mission and end up subduing China White and recovering the virus.

After the mission is over, Waller confronts Oliver telling him that he cannot go home just yet. An U.S. Military General by the name of Matthew Shrieve comes in and tells Oliver that they need to debrief him back in China. Once the virus is secured, the general guarantees that he will take Oliver wherever he wants to go. Across town we see Tommy checking on Laurel after the confrontation with her father. Both do a little flirting and he asks her out to dinner. The scene cuts to Thea on the grounds of the Queen mansion, putting flowers at the grave of Oliver and her father.

Back in the present, Quinten puts flowers at Sarah’s grave. It turns out that Quinten is drinking again. He cannot understand why Laurel would lie to him and that she broke his trust. Quinten admits that he doesn’t know how he will live through this betrayal and leaves Laurel alone.

Oliver and Thea return to Starling back at Thea’s apartment where Malcolm is there waiting for them. Thea screams at him and asks how he could let her kill Sarah. He tells her that he did it because he loved her, because Ra’s Al Ghoul would killed them. Thea grows tired of hearing that and blames everything on Malcolm. She tells Malcolm that she will work with him to stop Ra’s but never again will she be his daughter.

So Thea finally knows the truth…It’s about time! I was wondering how long they were going to drag that on for. We knew that it was going to come at some point. Now Malcolm finds himself at odds with his own daughter. Overall it was not a bad episode. This was an episode HEAVY on flashbacks, whereas the present has fewer scenes (at least that’s how it felt to me). It was good to see Tommy again, kind of refreshing to see an old face again. For more about this episode, we will be doing a follow up “Arrow-cast” tomorrow night. So stay tuned for more info!

Images Via Spoiler TV


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