Arrow RECAP: Crazy Stupid Love (S3:E7)
Previously on Arrow: Roy killed a cop while hopped up on mirakuru, Ray Palmer is running Queen Consolidated and Felicity works for him, Oliver and Felicity were almost a thing, and there’s a new archer in town: Cupid.
Six months ago, Starling City was under attack by rampaging mirakuru soldiers, and John was driving the Arrow van with the rest of the team through the chaos. On their way to try to stop the earthquake device, Oliver has John stop so he can take down one soldier harassing a young woman. As the team piles back into the van, we get a glimpse of the woman: Cupid, from last episode. She picks up a blood-covered arrow from the ground and gazes at it. So I guess they ARE going with the obsessed-with-Green-Arrow plot, then.
Today, Quentin is identifying the body of Isaac Stanzler, the former Wildkitten, while Arrow looks on. Quentin exposits that Isaac was en route to Iron Heights prison when he was kidnapped from police custody, then dressed in Arrow-reminiscent clothing and dumped in a parking lot. Somebody sending a message, says Quentin, because obviously. Then he gives Arrow the only other physical evidence at the scene: an arrow with a tip shaped like a heart. He is perplexed.
On Island Time, bad hair!Oliver is reading a book on Cantonese when Tatsu dumps a basket of laundry beside him, annoyed that she’s expected to act like his wife, mother, or maid. He thought maybe they had a moment the week before when she helped him remember where the courier he and Maseo killed had hidden his information, but he was wrong. Also, he has to admit he doesn’t know how to do laundry. Before Tatsu can hate him for that too, Maseo walks in, saying that Waller called and he has to go meet a contact, sans Oliver. He suggests Oliver learn to wash his own clothes in the meantime. Everyone but Oliver is amused. Well, and Tatsu, because she’s too busy hating Oliver.
Felicity walks briskly into Ray’s office, annoyed that he is late for a press conference, only to find him doing those shirtless pullup-jump-bar thingies that Oliver does. She is doubly annoyed that this distracts her, but manages to remind Ray that he’s supposed to be somewhere. He seems unconcerned, asking her to be his boring-CEO wingwoman for dinner the next night, and he even bought her a lovely dress for the occasion. She drools over the dress, which is very expensive. Felicity gives in to his pleas for her presence, but only for the sake of the dress, obviously.
In the Arrow Cave, Oliver is examining Cupid’s arrow, which he tells John was hand-soldered. They speculate about the archer being a copycat based on the staged body. Oliver is chomping at the bit for Felicity’s analysis, but she’s busy: she’s standing in front at Ray’s press conference, which is being broadcast on the Arrow Cave Computer Monitors of Timely News. Ray is announcing a rebranding of Queen Consolidated to Palmer Technologies. There’s even an electron orbital pathway around the “P.” Cute. Oliver angrily hammers apart the heart arrowhead, because he is really good with emotions, but naturally the arrowhead contains a tiny, rolled-up message: an address.
Arrow and Digg bust into the apartment, which is filled with creepy pink candles and a shrine to Arrow, complete with heart-shaped mirror surrounded by heart arrows. A phone on the bed rings, and Cupid watches from across the street while Arrow answers. He’s unamused by her murder of Isaac, but she’s more interested in who takes care of Oliver. Y’know, at night. In case that was unclear by all the damn candles. She sends a picture of a man that neither Oliver nor John recognize strapped to some explosives. He growls that he’s going to find her, and she makes it clear that that’s the whole point, stupid.
At the Arrow Cave, Roy is reading an article about the policeman he killed, though he quickly closes the article to pretend he was looking up liquor distributors for soon-to-be-reopened Verdant when Oliver comes in. Oliver reminds him that he wasn’t himself, that he isn’t responsible for what he did under the influence of mirakuru. Roy doesn’t want to talk about it and clearly is relieved that Felicity comes in to give Oliver an update on Cupid, allowing him to run away upstairs to Verdant. She’s ID’d Cupid’s latest victim, a local mob boss. Seems odd that neither Oliver nor John recognized him, given we just had an episode about gangs in Starling City. Felicity says that she’s working as hard as she can on figuring out where the mob guy is being held as well as cracking the encrypted SIM card in the cell phone Oliver found at Cupid’s apartment, but she does have this little dinner engagement with Ray. Oliver reluctantly agrees that that’s okay.
In Hong Kong five (or whatever) years ago, Tatsu is leaving a message for Maseo, who isn’t answering his cell and is eight hours overdue from his meeting with a contact. Oliver says he’ll go down to the docks to check out the situation, but Tatsu wants to do it herself. In the end, they both go. I don’t know how old Akio is supposed to be, but is it really old enough to be left alone? Especially when your parents are on the run from the Japanese mafia and your dad works for Amanda Waller as an assassin?
Thea is auditioning DJs at Verdant when a kid with too-long hair and a bit of an attitude announces to the line that auditions are over. Thea informs him that he doesn’t work without auditioning; as well she should, because he’s a jerk. She points him toward the exit and he peaces out. I hope he comes back or that scene was super useless.
Felicity has found out the identity of Cupid (you already know because I told you in comic check last week): Carrie Cutter, and in this universe she is a former cop, the first female member of Starling City PD’s SWAT team. Oliver says she looks familiar, and Felicity informs him she should: she’s been a bystander at numerous crime scenes that he’s investigated since he became Arrow. Felicity has also figured out that Carrie might be keeping her victim in a greenhouse because there’s a bag of fertilizer in the picture she sent Oliver, so Arrow heads out, ordering Felicity to get Roy to meet him there.
Oliver and Roy break the lock of Sherwood Florist. Don’t blame CW for that, the bad pun is all comics; Oliver and Dinah used to live above the place. Anyway, they head into the greenhouse and split up, Roy to find the explosives-covered-mob-boss and Oliver to find Carrie. Naturally, Carrie immediately finds Roy. Oliver calls him over comms as Arsenal (aww), but Carrie answers, claiming she hasn’t hurt Roy but that tonight is about her and the target of her obsession. Oliver finally finds Carrie, along with the mob guy strung up on a rope and still wearing his explosive vest, and Roy unconscious on the floor.
Arrow tells Cupid he’s not interested in being her partner in any sense of the word, and she kicks the chair out from under mob guy and runs. Oliver shoots through his rope to prevent his hanging, throws the vest off him, and explodes it safely above them with another arrow.
Later, Roy is abusing a training dummy and himself, and Oliver tells him to go home. He’s angry and frustrated that Carrie got the drop on him. He insists he’s fine when Oliver says he isn’t at his best, and storms off. Once he’s gone, John tells Oliver that Carrie left the police force because she started stalking her partner, but Ollie is more concerned with where Felicity is, even though he knows, because she told him. Oliver is also fine, just like Roy, when John asks, and he’s off to check up on the psychiatrist Carrie saw before leaving the SCPD. Digg is super convinced.
John heads over to the newly dubbed Palmer Technologies to see Felicity, who is still at her desk. He notices her super-nice dress, which is literally on display behind her, and is clearly skeptical about the work dinner she has with Ray being just a work dinner. Felicity says Oliver made his romantic choice, and John shows his non-subtle disdain for Oliver’s inability to discuss his feelings, ever. John claims that her “thing” with Ray is messing with Oliver’s head, which is dangerous for him. Look, I appreciate John’s point, but how is that Felicity’s responsibility? She can’t be expected to stay in a holding pattern until Oliver gets his head out of his ass. She tells John as much, and he leaves.
A woman who I assume is Carrie’s former psychiatrist comes into her office and finds the light switch nonfunctional. She seems unconcerned and heads for her desk anyway when Oliver startles her because he’s lurking in the shadows like a green creeper. The doc, whose name is Avery Pressnall, tells Arrow that she can’t say anything because of doctor/patient privilege. Oliver protests that the patient in question killed somebody, so obviously privilege doesn’t apply anymore (real life check: IANAL, but I don’t think that’s true in most cases). Avery can only tell Arrow that she diagnosed Carrie with attachment disorder and that in order to stop her Oliver needs to give her the connection she craves, because Carrie will know if he lies (real life check: a diagnosis of attachment disorder does not come with one’s own personal Lying Cat). Avery takes the opportunity to suggest Oliver might need some therapy himself.
On Island Time, Oliver and Tatsu are sitting in a car in the dark. He suggests they get out of the car, and she claims that’s a good way to get killed. THEN WHY DID THEY COME. She suggests that Oliver is afraid, which is dumb because she literally just told him that stepping out of the vehicle would get them shot. While waiting for something to happen, they discuss their status as “outsiders” in Hong Kong (comic check: Tatsu and Green Arrow were both members of The Outsiders), and Tatsu tells us that she and Maseo upset some very powerful people in Japan which is why they had to leave. Informative. Because they were clearly just waiting to be observed, a group of shadowy men choose that moment to walk out onto the docks. Tatsu recognizes their shadows as Triad, and Oliver goes to ask them if they killed Maseo, I guess. He promptly gets punched in the face.
Back in real time, Felicity arrives at Ray’s office in her outrageously expensive dress, and he is impressed but opines that the dress is missing something. He presents her with some sort of glittery necklace. Probably diamonds. I don’t know, I’m not really good with “fashion” or “jewelry.” Felicity is unsure about wearing a million-dollar necklace on a not-date, but Ray assures her it isn’t worth $1 million as he fastens it around her neck; it’s more like $10 million.
Carrie is visiting an accomplice for tech support. Everybody needs tech support! In this case, tech support has used the Arrow’s response time to crime scenes to figure out his base of operations: Verdant, which you know already, so I don’t know why I’m telling you like it’s a reveal. He obviously wants a sexual reward for a job well done, but Carrie friendzones him, by which I mean, murders him in the neck with an arrow.
As Oliver gets back to the Cave after his run-in with Carrie’s former psychiatrist, Quentin calls to report the latest murder, who was actually a former CI from her days on the police force. His computer is smashed up, though, and Oliver growls at John that they need Felicity on the case. Digg tries to protest that she’s at dinner, but Oliver doesn’t care. John calls him out on his jealousy issues, suggesting that Ollie just wants Felicity not with Ray, but Oliver protests that they need her on the investigation. He admits that it bothers him that she’s moving on with her life, but he still wants her to be happy. John suggests that if he meant that, he’d be with her, which is Ollie’s cue to storm off and do something stupid.
On Island Time, Oliver is still getting punched when someone begins fighting off his attackers with a sword. To the surprise of no one but Oliver, it’s Tatsu (comic check: So looks like Tatsu will in fact become Katana…though that’s kind of sobering, because in the comics, her husband and children were killed and their souls live in her sword).
She leaves one standing and questions him about Maseo, and he tells us and her that three ARGUS associates were recently killed by the Triad. He doesn’t specifically say it was Maseo, and we see no proof, but everyone assumes Maseo is dead.
Ray and Felicity meet the Gardners, potential business partners, at a fancy restaurant. Just as they sit, Felicity’s phone beeps with a text from John that says simply “NEED HELP.” She can tell it’s going to be a long meal.
It’s the Grand Re-Opening of Verdant, and Carrie is there! She walks past Thea and Roy, who are concerned with the DJ’s apparent love of rave music, and Thea stalks over to fire the kid, taking over the laptop. Surprising literally no one, our long-haired arrogant DJ-friend from auditions steps up next to her, casually mentioning that he just had to stop by and see what sort of train wreck the opening would be without his very specific DJ skills. He catches her arm as she heads off the stage, negotiating pay of half the cover fees and four gigs a week to take over. She suggests two nights; they compromise at three. The new DJ starts one song and everyone cheers and immediately starts dancing. That’s how that works, right?
Back at the fancy restaurant, Gardner is blah, blah, mineral rights, as Felicity returns from putting off Team Arrow for another few minutes. Even though Gardner is intent on not selling his mine in Nevada, Felicity suggests that he might be more amenable if he actually knew Ray’s plans. She says nice things about Ray: that he’s inspiring, that he wants to make the world a better place, that he doesn’t care about making money. She tells the Gardners that if Ray wants the mine, he’s going to make them proud of his use for it, which presumes that Mr. Gardner cares about making the world a better place and not just money.
Arrow is riding his motorcycle angstily (you can just TELL) when John calls in to report that he had Felicity remote access the dead CI’s computer (really? From the bathroom, on her cell phone?) and thus knows that the last thing he looked at was a map fingering Verdant as the Arrow Cave. Oliver gets John to patch him through to Carrie’s cell phone, and then orders him to keep Thea safe.
Upstairs in Verdant, Thea is bartending and the crowd is looking a lot happier. She serves Carrie a Cupid’s Kiss (real life check: According to barnonedrinks.com, this drink is equal parts vanilla vodka, white chocolate liquor, and raspberry liquor) which Carrie declares delicious when Oliver calls. He’s trying to get Carrie away from Thea and offers to meet her anywhere but Verdant. She directs him to the alley where he saved her life, but warns that if he fucks with her, she’ll kill everyone in the bar.
When Oliver arrives in the meeting spot, he checks in with John. Felicity has returned from dinner and is assisting in her ridiculous dress and diamonds. Oliver realizes the significance of the alley just as Carrie steps out into the light in her Cupid getup. Oliver is apparently going the ‘you’re not well’ route, but Carrie is having none of it. She even calls her psychiatrist “psycho” and opines that Avery just wanted her to take pills.
He tries to empathize with Carrie by telling her that he understands what it’s like to want to be with someone and not be able to, but he has to be alone because he has serious manpain that he will not ever consider addressing because real men don’t go to therapy. This angers her, and she shoots at him, but he dodges the arrow and knocks her bow from her hand with his own. She comes at him in hand to hand and they fight. He gets the upper hand, knocking her down, but she’s on some sort of grate and kicks it open, sending them both into the subway below, where she quickly handcuffs Oliver to the tracks. If she can’t have him, nobody can. As the train approaches, Oliver breaks his thumb to slip the cuffs and tackles her off the tracks just ahead of the train. Yeah, saving her again is really going to help her little fixation problem.
Back in the Arrow Cave, Oliver is icing his thumb, and John tells us that Carrie has been turned over to Lyla and ARGUS as the newest member of the Suicide Squad (comic check: The Suicide Squad is a government-associated group of supervillains that gets commuted prison sentences in exchange for doing the government’s dirty work; they’ve pretty much always been headed up by Amanda Waller.) Oliver thinks she can at least do some good on the Squad and that Iron Heights Penitentiary wasn’t “right” for her. Girl murdered at least three people, prison is probably right for her, yes. John then pushes the point about Oliver’s inability to talk about his feelings for Felicity, reminding him that she heard the shit he said to Carrie, and she wasn’t amused.
On Island Time, Tatsu and Oliver get back to their apartment. Tatsu doesn’t know how to tell Akio that Maseo is dead, but when she opens the door, he’s there, wondering where she and Oliver went. Oliver leaves the family to celebrate being alive (for now) in peace and goes to do his laundry.
At Verdant, Thea is counting money when the DJ—his name is Chase, which the show hasn’t told us, but I’m tired of typing “the DJ”—comes over for his share. Chase thinks Thea’s sarcasm is cute and kisses her when she offers his pay; she is not displeased. He tells her to keep the money as a grand reopening gift and takes off.
At Palmer Technologies, Felicity is back at her desk, still wearing her $10 million of dress and diamonds, when Ray returns from dinner. She apologies for ruining the deal, but Ray tells her that Gardner agreed to sell the mine. He has to take the necklace back, but he kisses her while he does it—just as Oliver comes by to witness the kiss, because OF COURSE HE DOES. As they part, Ray apologizes and leaves. This isn’t even a love triangle, it’s like love dotted lines. My advice: ESCHEW LOVE TRIANGLES, SUPPORT POLYAMORY.
Oliver returns to the Cave to sulk, by which I mean throw things around because he is a child who can’t handle emotions. The noise alerts Roy, and they bond over not being okay. And then because maybe Oliver isn’t completely a child, they go have dinner with their family: John and Lyla.
Ray is on the phone discussing details for finalizing the mine deal, from which apparently they’re going to be extracting “dwarf star alloy” (comic check: THE ATOM’S ABILITIES COME FROM A PIECE OF DWARF STAR YAAAAAY ATOM!) He taps a few keys on his computer and we see that the A.T.O.M. exosuit is rendering. He examines the 3D holographic projection of it, looking cautiously pleased.
It’s dawn in Starling City, and a man is walking through an alley. A guy in a black trench coat comes up behind him, and the first man tells him to back off, clearly trying to sound menacing. Trench coat guy pulls out his bladed boomerang—you guys, it is really hard to make a boomerang look menacing—and murders the dude. HI CAPTAIN BOOMERANG!