Arrow RECAP: The One with Captain Boomerang!! Oh, And Flash Shows Up Too (S3:E8)
Previously on Arrow (and The Flash): Oliver is vigilante-mentor to Barry Allen; Team Arrow went to Central City to look for Captain Boomerang, but all they got was the Rainbow Raider; and Team Flash’s Caitlin is going to analyze the stubborn blood sample from Sara Lance’s murder.
It’s night in Starling City, and Arsenal is running to the front of a house while Arrow comes around from behind (and John drives the van, like always). Roy hopes that this house they’re breaking into really does belong to the boomerang killer, or they’re going to be in a lot of trouble for B&E in a nice, suburban neighborhood instead of the Glades. Oliver assures them that it’s the killer’s house, and John expresses skepticism that STAR Labs’ iron oxide detection is really that precise. Which is fair, but Oliver has good reason not to doubt: he can see a large bomb just inside the fence. He and Roy step back from their respective entrances and fire explosive arrows at the doors, detonating the bombs from a distance. Unconcerned with the fire, they head inside. There’s no sign of boomerangs—just some scary-looking military types with large guns, outnumbering Team Arrow 2:1. Turns out they’re ARGUS, and Oliver guesses that the guy killed by the boomerang was an ARGUS agent. The soldier advises Oliver to let the case go, and Roy sounds almost hopeful when he asks if they’re actually going to let it go. Yeah, no.
The newfound ARGUS relationship has given Felicity a new angle back in the Arrow Cave, and she identifies the victim for us, not that his profile has any useful information; it’s been wiped clean. Roy suggests that maybe Lyla can help now that they know ARGUS is involved, but John thinks she won’t want them involved. Oliver snappily thinks that Lyla shouldn’t let people get killed in his city, then, and John muses that Oliver really must not care about his marriage. Oliver points out that John and Lyla are not, in fact, married, and John just smirks and shakes his head instead of punching Oliver in the face.
On Island Time, Amanda Waller is introducing bad hair!Oliver to Katsu Cheng, who is tied to a chair. Apparently Cheng has planted a bomb somewhere in Hong Kong, and Waller has decided that Oliver is the very best person to perform the interrogation. Don’t worry, though, she brought him his bow and arrow, recovered from the freighter where they found Oliver, so I’m sure Hong Kong is in no danger whatsoever.
At Palmer Technologies, Felicity is finishing up at work. When she hears footsteps, she tells her assistant that he should’ve gone home hours ago, but, surprise! It’s Caitlin and Cisco from The Flash, and although Felicity had been planning to mail them the blood sample from Sara’s murder, they claim they had vacation days and really want to see the Arrow Cave. Felicity is reluctant, but they are clearly too cute to resist. Sure enough, soon Cisco is being warned not to touch stuff to his heart’s content. Roy wants to know when they started selling admission to the Arrow Cave, and Oliver is just annoyed that now he’s calling it the Arrow Cave, too.
At ARGUS, Lyla assures John that they have the boomerang case under control, and he agrees, although he does point out that people who kill with shit like boomerangs are kind of in the wheelhouse for Team Arrow, not ARGUS. Lyla does seem to agree.
Down in the lobby of ARGUS’ apparent office building, a man scans his ID card; the entry gate allows him through but then flashes “INVALID ID” on the security guard’s screen, making it the most ineffective security system ever. After another few seconds of letting the guy walk away, the system informs the guard that the ID used belonged to Kai Wu, Captain Boomerang’s murder victim. He stops the intruder, and they have an incredibly stupid, dramatic standoff, which results in Captain Boomerang knocking him out with a boomerang and then making a HORRIBLE REFERENCE TO BOOMERANGS OH MY GOD STOP. ARGUS’ lone security guard dealt with, Captain—ok, I’m switching to his actual name, Digger Harkness—Digger heads on into the secure facility without interruption.
Just as Lyla insists that ARGUS has the Digger situation handled, the building alarm goes off and Digger kills about eight dudes in ten seconds. Lyla orders “lockdown protocols” while John radios Oliver, and he and Roy suit up to intervene. Cisco thinks it’s cool, but Caitlin remarks, to my endless amusement, that everything will be over by the time they get there.
Digger stalks through more hallways uninterrupted and continues to use Wu’s ID to get into secure areas, because nobody thought to just remove it from the system? How long could that possibly take, like two minutes? A bunch of ARGUS agents, including Lyla and John, are positioned to take him down when he comes into range; he kills or incapacitates all of them but Lyla and John in two throws and a slice with the boomerang.
Roy and Ollie are en route on Arrrowcycles, and so is the Flash, who startles Thea (she’s on the phone telling that DJ Chase from last week that it doesn’t mean anything that they kissed) at a crosswalk on his way to the scene. Arrow and Arsenal arrive in time (and before Barry) to prevent Lyla getting gutted by a boomerang. Digger blocks an arrow and knocks Roy’s bow away; he opts for escrima sticks, and he and Oliver take on the man in close combat. This time Flash intercepts the boomerangs headed for Oliver, and even Digger is impressed. Sensing a shift in momentum, he tosses a flashbang and escapes.
Barry leaves immediately after, though it’s unclear if that’s to pursue Digger or to avoid questions, but probably the latter. The others regroup, and Lyla exposits that Digger used to be ASIS (same as Slade and his former partner William Wintergreen) but went rogue and became a merc; ARGUS caught him three years ago, but he was put on the Suicide Squad and sent on a mission that…well, apparently the mission caused the Squad to live up to its name and ARGUS triggered the kill switch on the entire unit. Lyla speculates that the bomb in Digger’s neck must’ve malfunctioned, and Oliver says that the only place she’ll be safe is the Arrow Cave. Except he doesn’t say that, because he won’t call it the Arrow Cave, even though it’s definitely the Arrow Cave.
Back in the ARROW CAVE, OLIVER, Felicity and Caitlin watch Barry do Oliver’s pull-up bar jump thingies (real life check: apparently it’s called a salmon bar, who knew that? Who named it that?), except super-fast and not shirtless, which makes it way less fun. Felicity is not sure that Oliver is going to be all that pleased with Barry’s presence, but Barry is more concerned with his metabolism and runs off for sushi. Team Arrow + Lyla arrive in the Cave with some boomerang fragments for Teams Tech Support to analyze, and Barry returns, to Lyla’s shock—turns out John had not told Lyla about him, because some people on these teams are able to keep a secret.
As Felicity predicted, Oliver is not happy with Barry’s presenc, and calls him over into a dark corner to try and claim that Starling City is somehow a special snowflake that Barry can’t possibly comprehend or operate in. Barry insists that he’s been practicing the stuff that Oliver taught him, like casing new environments, and Oliver sighs because he knows he’s fighting a losing battle. He settles for telling Barry that they’re doing things his way. Barry promptly reassembles the exploded boomerangs with his super-speed, looking pleased with himself, and Cisco breaks down the tech, deciding that “Kaboom Boomerang,” his first attempt at a codename, didn’t make them himself, meaning they can source the parts. In fact, there’s a tell already. Cisco tells the team that the maker is a dude named Klaus Markos. Felicity looks up Markos and finds that he doesn’t have a home address, but conveniently he’d been arrested last year…by Quentin, which is in no way an excuse to get Laurel into this episode for five seconds.
Barry and Oliver take the case to the police department, running into Quentin and Laurel (told you). Quentin knows Barry from the pre-Flash crossover last season, though he calls him Bart (comic check: Bart Allen is the grandson of Barry, Kid Flash number 2 and Flash number 4), and Oliver uses that connection and Barry’s legitimate employment as a forensic tech to get Quentin’s help. Laurel pulls Oliver aside for a chat, remarking that she noticed Arrow had recently been in Central City. He admits they’re following up, while Barry tells Quentin that they’re looking for Markos. Quentin says he doesn’t exactly keep tabs on everyone he’s ever arrested, but he does tell Barry that he’d picked Markos up for stealing credit card numbers for Oliver’s (former) mob buddies: the Bratva!
Flash, Arrow, John, and Arsenal get together that night outside the location of the Bratva’s cybercrime division. It’s neat that they have such delineated headquarters at the Russian mob. Arsenal is a little cowed by the Bratva’s security, but Oliver sends him to a corner of the building and Barry on patrol around the perimeter. Then he quickly checks in to make sure John’s okay since Digger is after Lyla for being the one to give the kill order on his incarnation of the Suicide Squad. John is fine, of course. Meanwhile, Barry has already knocked out and tied up pretty much every member of the cybercrime division, whose method of cybercrime appears to be drinking vodka with AK-47s. Arrow is unamused that Flash hasn’t followed the plan, but there isn’t much he can say about Barry’s methods, so he settles for glaring.
Arrow and Flash find Markos in the computer room, and Oliver politely asks where Digger is. J/K, he growls like a creeper. Klaus tells him to go to hell, which you probably recognize as the wrong answer, and he gets an arrow in the shoulder. Now it’s Barry’s turn to be concerned with methods as Oliver threatens to yank the arrow right back out. Markos says he doesn’t know, which is good enough for Barry, but Oliver is sure he’s lying. Sure enough, a little more threatening and Klaus coughs up a burn phone that Digger gave him. Barry looks perturbed, though I’m not sure if it’s because of Oliver’s methods or because Oliver’s methods worked. Either way, he leaves Klaus handcuffed to a filing cabinet in Quentin’s office.
Still in the Bratva’s hideout, Barry is unimpressed with the semantic difference between torture and interrogation. Oliver’s response is that Central City is not like Starling City, and his methods are the only things that work. He has a point, but also he never pretended to be anything other than what he is, so Barry’s disillusionment here is entirely of his own making. I believe Oliver’s words to him were “You can inspire people like I never could,” so he’s not the one in denial. Ollie uses his mother’s murder as one of the reasons Starling is so dark and different, and, uh, Barry can counter that one. Oliver says he’s just not that emotionally healthy, sorry, which is very self-aware of him. Sorry, Flash, I’m with Arrow on this one.
In the Arrow Cave, Felicity works on decrypting Klaus’ phone while everybody else stands around uselessly and Barry sulks in the corner. John is also sulking about Lyla’s use of the Suicide Squad kill switch, and she and Oliver commiserate about people just not understanding how some people only deal in extremes and need to be given extremes right back. John may have some moral high ground with Lyla, but Barry doesn’t, because last time I checked, he was totally fine with locking away criminals without due process just because they accidentally got superpowers.
Felicity cracks the phone, which somehow gives her the exact location of Digger, and her hacked ARGUS spy satellite shows them ten people inside the building. Cisco has a mobile tracker, so he teams up with John and Roy while Flash and Arrow take point. (The ladies stay home, natch.)
On Island Time, Oliver is politely questioning Mr. Cheng, who is answering in Cantonese, but Ollie’s pretty sure he’s not telling him where the bomb is. Oliver picks up his bow and arrow, but Cheng points out that Ollie’s hands are shaking so he clearly doesn’t have the stomach for torture. Before he can fire, explosions go off in the city behind him. Well, I don’t think that was Oliver’s fault; he was only in there for like two seconds.
In the Arrow Van, Cisco asks John if he’s okay, and he sulks that his baby momma tried to kill a man and now he’s trying to kill her, so no. Dude, she works for ARGUS and you work for Arrow. Par for the fucking course. Cisco points out to him and Roy that guys like Digger came around long before Barry and the metahuman parade did, and he suggests that maybe the superpowers came about for a reason: to help deal with crazy like killing people with boomerangs. John asks if God was the one endowing these powers, and Cisco admits that no, it was an accidental dark matter wave but whatev. Roy and John might even agree with him.
Oliver slowly enters Digger’s hideout as Barry quickly ties everyone up again, quipping that Arrow is late; just in time for Oliver to shoot the guy coming up behind Barry. There’s no sign of Digger: just his cell phone, which a bar patron was paid to hand over to Oliver. Barry helpfully points out that Digger played them.
In the Arrow Cave, Markos’ phone begins ringing, even though Felicity shut it off once she was done with it. Lyla and Felicity quickly realize that if someone turned it on remotely they could also trace it. Before they can evac, Felicity narrowly dodges a boomerang, and Digger wanders in to greet Lyla. She quickly grabs some throwing thingies (are they small arrows? Knives? Stars? I can never tell.) from Roy’s costume display and hurls them at Digger, who blocks them with his own thrown boomerangs. With direction from Felicity, Lyla gets hold of a gun. She fires, he throws, he quips about things “coming back” to haunt her. Felicity, meanwhile, grabs an incendiary tip from Oliver’s costume display just as Lyla rises to fire again. She yells at Lyla to get down, but Digger nails Lyla in the chest with a boomerang. Felicity throws the incendiary at Digger, who rabbits. Caitlin and Felicity rush to Lyla and are able to stabilize her by the time the boys get back, but Caitlin says she can’t operate on her in the Cave; good thing they have a two-legged, high-speed ambulance nearby. Barry rushes Lyla to the hospital.
On Island Time, Oliver is watching people cry and rush around in the aftermath of the explosion when Waller approaches to blame him. Hey, you’re the one who let him run the interrogation, Waller. She tells him that terrorists don’t understand reason and says the exact phrase that Oliver and Lyla said to one another earlier in the episode, which is neat parallel; they both obviously got it from Waller. Oliver whines that he can’t just torture people, and that’s okay, says Waller. He just needs practice.
At Verdant, Roy, Felicity, and Cisco are having a drink and trying not to worry about Lyla; they’re all failing miserably. Thea serves them, asking if she can help their obviously sour moods, but Roy just thanks her for giving him the night off. Cisco breaks out of his clearly-not-that-morose mood to ask about Thea. Roy says “my ex-girlfriend” at the same time Felicity says “Oliver’s sister,” and even Cisco gets the message to back off. Caitlin joins them to report that Lyla is in surgery. She and Cisco admit that they’ve been treating their superheroics like a game, but something about the metas made it seem less real.
Down in the Cave, Oliver is brooding while Barry tries to placate him. Oliver’s second-guessing how he tortured Markos, which is so not the point. Digger would’ve found the way to get the phone into the Cave one way or another. He admits to Barry that torturing people and all the dirty work he does eats away at him, and he’s not sure there’s anything left. Holy shit, mark your calendars, because Oliver Queen is talking honestly about his feelings. Barry tells him he doesn’t think Oliver’s lost his humanity. He says Oliver never would’ve survived in the first place without it, so all he really needs to do is embrace it. Oliver actually seems to be considering that, but Felicity interrupts them reluctantly to say that they’ve found Digger.
The good Captain is at a commuter train station, whistling while he strolls along, boomerangs gleaming, though apparently no one notices. Barry clears the bystanders, who are probably very confused, off the platform and then stands next to Arrow to order Digger to the ground. Digger giggles and reveals his contingency plan: he’s hidden five bombs in Starling City, and unless Oliver lets him escape freely, he’ll detonate them. Man, I wish Team Arrow had some way to search the city really fast…
Barry takes off, radioing the team, and Felicity and Cisco quickly work out how to locate the bombs remotely. Oliver takes on Digger, both of them blocking or dodging their respective projectile attacks, and then engaging in hand-to-hand. Oliver quickly pins Digger with joined arrows to either side of his neck against a support post. Barry, meanwhile, finds the first bomb, but the team has figured out that he can’t defuse them one at a time or they’ll signal the remaining bombs to detonate. Barry whines that he isn’t Multiplex, and he can’t be at five places at once. Then he realizes he doesn’t have to be—he has four other people. What a fortunately coincidence.
Oliver is growling at an uncowed Digger, who is not afraid of pain and wants to know why Oliver’s hesitating to inflict it. Well, probably because he knows it won’t work on you, genius.
The real genius, though, is Barry, who speeds Roy, Caitlin, Felicity, and Cisco to the other four bombs’ locations (none of their clothes catch on fire, fyi) because TEAMWORK! Cisco counts down the team to cut their wires at the same time, and they all do: the bombs fail to detonate. Captain Boomerang, now officially dubbed as such by Cisco, looks annoyed as his foretold explosions fail to happen, and he takes it out on Oliver by telling him how weak he is for not killing him. Yeah, save it for the jury, Digger. Ha, ha, like you’re going to get a jury! As Oliver walks away, Digger reaches for a boomerang and gets an arrow through the hand for his trouble. He earned that one.
At Starling General, Lyla wakes up with John sitting by her bed. He asks her to marry him (again), and she agrees (again). I was gonna be really pissed if she died, so I’m glad she’s okay. The rest of the teams are in the Cave, watching Caitlin pack up the samples from Sara’s murder for analysis, in case you forgot about that from thirty whole minutes ago. Barry and Oliver are just back from depositing Digger on Oliver’s island prison. Aw, he and Slade are roomies! Even more adorably, Team Arrow has installed a uniform station in the Cave for Barry. For their part, Team Flash has gifted Oliver with a lighter, better uniform. What’s Roy, chopped liver?
On Island Time, Waller has brought Oliver back to the very same room with a new baddie to question, this one on the payroll of the Triad. Oliver opens his bag of bow and arrows, and seems to be a little more motivated this time.
While Caitlin and Cisco take the boring old train back to Central City, Oliver and Barry head to Starling City’s most abundant export (abandoned warehouses) to determine who would win in a fight once and for all. Oh my god, they’re such boys. They talk a little about how Oliver is inspiring, even if Arrow isn’t, and then Oliver fires while Barry rushes at him. I GUESS WE’LL NEVER KNOW WHO WINS.