Arrow: Queen for Mayor!

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Previously on Arrow: Baby!Arrow is helping a worker escape from the drug farm on the island, Oliver is planning to run for mayor, and Laurel had Malcolm bring Sara back to life in the Lazarus Pit.

Some drug runners are preparing to deliver a bag of coke (and pulling a couple bags out to keep because apparently whoever they’re delivering to can’t count to 40) when they’re caught: SCPD SWAT busts in shooting, and all of the thugs are taken out with precision. Killed, not incapacitated. As the head SWAT lady hefts the bag of drugs, two SCPD detective bust in. Aaaand she kills them, too.

Oliver calls the team to an empty storefront, and Thea doesn’t exactly see the appeal as a lair, what with the windows and all. But Oliver has a different announcement: the space is his new campaign office in his bid for mayor (do you need a campaign when nobody else is running?)! The team is…less than thrilled about the new development, because Oliver is not exactly qualified, but he wins them over with part two of his surprise. The back wall leads to a secret elevator down to a fully tricked-out Arrow Cave 3.0 courtesy of Cisco and STAR Labs. As the team looks on approvingly, they get an alert about the two dead detectives, and John and Thea head out to investigate.

It does look a bit Cortex-y, doesn’t it?

It does look a bit Cortex-y, doesn’t it?

Oliver goes to see Quentin, who offers him a harried endorsement for his mayoral campaign, which seems to be good enough for Oliver. But really Quentin will say anything so long as Oliver takes a SIM card from the dead detectives crime scene for analysis, because the crime lab is understaffed.

Felicity goes to see Curtis, who thinks he’s figured out who the Green Arrow is! It’s Neal Adams! (Comic check: Neal Adams is a prolific comic artist known probably best for his covers and his work on Batman.) Felicity laughs that off, but she’s actually there because she figured out Curtis is pranking her by sending her the weird code on her phone. He’s confused, because if he were going to prank her, he would be a lot more creative, and besides, that code is from 2013. He recognizes it, though—he’d been working on one of Ray’s old prototypes, and the code is identical to that. He suggests that it might record the last words before a “fatal” error, but Felicity isn’t interested in hearing Ray’s potential last words.

Eight characters, and you didn’t try “password”, Curtis? Really?

Eight characters, and you didn’t try “password,” Curtis? Really?

Felicity tracks the SIM card from the crime scene to (where else) an abandoned warehouse, and John + the Arrows head out to investigate. The warehouse is mostly abandoned (shocking), but they find one locked door, and inside is a bunch of gear. Thea suggests it could be the ghosts’ hideout, but Oliver says no—these are Kevlar vests that say SCPD; it’s police gear.

Laurel takes Quentin down to her basement, where she has Sara chained up, because that’s not weird at all. But hey, at least she’s not keeping it a secret for months this time! Sara is still not quite verbal, and Quentin is pretty sure that’s not actually his daughter. Laurel swears she just needs more time. Sure enough, Sara asks who she is, but then she also tries to strangle Laurel with her chains, so. One step forward, two steps back.

Just some sisterly horsing around!

Just some sisterly horsing around!

In the Cave, the team works out that these corrupt cops are behind a rash of gangs stealing drugs from other gangs in Star City. The cops steal the drugs and then sell it back to the gangs. The team decides to set up a sting using Thea’s old drug contacts, and she takes John as her bodyguard to buy some drugs with a briefcase full of cash, like you do.

They make such a good team.

They make such a good team.

Oliver brings Quentin into the plan by telling him where they’re stashing the drugs, so he can subtly spread the word, so the corrupt cops know where to hit. Of course, Quentin demands that he be there in person to bust them, and Oliver reluctantly agrees.

On Island Time, Oliver drops off his rescued worker in a cave and tells her not to set a fire until after dark, then shows her where the fresh water and edible plants are. He heads back to base, telling the head soldier that she ran for it through a minefield, killing the other guy, but he caught her and killed her, like ordered. Head soldier is suspicious and wants to see the body, and Oliver says sure.

The team springs their trap, and it doesn’t go entirely according to plan. The dirty cops show up, but they seem to have an arsenal of anti-Team Arrow weaponry. Some weird pulse gun knocks out Canary’s sonic scream, a bolo net hilariously takes down John, and some weird claw-things make it easy to swipe aside arrows. Everybody’s okay, but the strike team gets away with the drugs. Quentin is pissed, because he definitely believes they’re cops now.

This is a real thing, that really worked.

This is a real thing, that really worked.

Down in the lair, Laurel comments on the advanced weaponry, and Quentin sheepishly admits it’s gear designed for the anti-vigilant task force, which still exists. But knowing where the weapons came from narrows down the suspect list, and although the new lair is having weird brownouts, Quentin offers unfettered access to the SCPD networks.

The cops regroup after stealing the drugs – and seeing Quentin at the scene. One of them suggests they take him out, but head lady Liza Warner (comic check: Liza Warner was a cop in Ivy Town, eventual Chief of Police, and frequent ally of the Atom, and not a villain) claims they don’t kill cops and they aren’t criminals. Um, they kill people, and steal drugs, and then sell those drugs? How is that not criminal? Anyway, she doesn’t want to kill Quentin.

On the upside, she’s Rutina Wesley from True Blood, and therefore awesome.

On the upside, she’s Rutina Wesley from True Blood, and therefore awesome.

Curtis has been texting Felicity frantically because he found a programming note suggesting that she knew Ray’s password. She confirms this, but says she doesn’t want to hear his last words, because they were together. Curtis isn’t unsympathetic, but he reveals that his brother died of pancreatic cancer and if he’d had the chance to hear his voice, he would jump at it.

Quentin goes to see Damien about Sara, because he knows Damien used to be a member of the League. Damien claims it’s a miracle Sara came back at all, but that her soul isn’t in her body and the best thing Quentin can do is kill her.

Ah yes, this is who I would take fatherly advice from.

Ah yes, this is who I would take fatherly advice from.

Oliver is doing shirtless salmon ladders in the Cave, for our collective viewing pleasure, and Felicity’s, when she comes back from work. She’s flagged Liza as a suspect for their corrupt cop squad because she’s deposited a cool quarter-mil in offshore bank accounts in the last few months. They haven’t found her yet, but Felicity used Quentin’s network access to turn on all the dashboard cameras. It picks up something unexpected – Quentin talking to Damien.

Oliver lurks in the dark of Quentin’s apartment, and it’s a very good scene, I thought. Oliver’s anger at Quentin for continually holding himself up as better than Oliver when he’s in league with Damien is believable, and Quentin tries to explain, says that he didn’t know who Damien was at first, and once he knew, Damien threatened Laurel. Oliver doesn’t buy it; he says Quentin continually hides behind his daughters, but they would be ashamed of his actions too. Laurel can take care of herself. Oliver tells Quentin that a big part of his deciding to run for mayor was because he wanted Quentin to see him stepping up, see what kind of man he really was. And he leaves Quentin to stew on that.

“I’ve been waiting years to be able to turn the tables on your holier-than-thou game.”

“I’ve been waiting years to be able to turn the tables on your holier-than-thou game.”

Oliver’s brooding in his campaign office when Thea comes in, admiring his new signs. But Oliver is rethinking his idea, his campaign. He isn’t sure Star City even exists to save anymore.

Quentin heads down to see Sara after his uplifting talk with Oliver, but he immediately pulls out his gun, ready to put her down as Damien suggested. Laurel catches him, though, and he can’t go through with it before she takes the gun away. As he heads upstairs, he’s confronted by Liza and her team, and they drag him off—Laurel tries to pursue, but only gets tased for her efforts.

Are they not at all suspicious about her fighting abilities?

Are they not at all suspicious about her fighting abilities?

Liza and her men take Quentin to the SCPD Contraband Disposal facility where they’re holding a shit-ton of drugs, but since he uses biometrics to get them in, Team Arrow is able to track it. This time they’re ready for the anti-vigilante weapons: Canary has changed her sonic scream frequency, Thea easily avoids the net, and Oliver’s bolo arrow ties up Liza. He frees Quentin and tells him to go, but Liza cuts herself free in time to stab Oliver in the back and get a cord around his neck, threatening to cut his spinal cord with one more push of the knife. Quentin gives her an impassioned speech, though, about how they’re all desperate in Star City, but they have to save themselves before they can save the city, own up to their mistakes, and pay for them. She buys it and releases Oliver, letting Quentin arrest her. When is Quentin going to arrest himself?

…the answer is, “in the morning,” or so he tells Oliver, who’s lurking in his apartment again. Quentin says he’s going to turn himself in, but Oliver discourages that, because he thinks Quentin is a chance to get close to Damien and ultimately take him out.

How Damien won’t immediately see through this I don’t know.

How Damien won’t immediately see through this I don’t know.

Island Time. Oliver takes head soldier out to where he’s put the woman in some sort of death-like trance, which is enough to fool his boss. But as boss heads back to base, he spots Oliver’s backpack barely hidden under some foliage. He pulls out the sat computer, and the orders to infiltrate are still on the screen. Wow, that’s some crack security, ARGUS.

Oliver comes into his campaign office to find it bustling. Turns out Thea has hired interns, set up his candidacy announcement, and written him a speech. Oliver is a little taken aback, but he realizes that she’s right—he needs to run for mayor and try to save the city.

No qualifications, vaguely sociopathic…he should’ve gone into politics sooner.

No qualifications, vaguely sociopathic…he should’ve gone into politics sooner.

While Oliver gives his speech about unity and relying on friends and family, Damien Darhk unboxes a surely sinister artifact, Laurel looks in on Liza in interrogation, and Felicity listens to Ray’s last words: “I’m sorry, Felicity. This is my fault.”

And Laurel goes to check on Sara—but she’s missing.

Maybe you should’ve left her an iPad or something to do besides stare at old pictures and rattle her chains.

Maybe you should’ve left her an iPad or something to do besides stare at old pictures and rattle her chains.

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TV Show: Arrow

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