Six months ago we saw Thea Queen enter Malcolm Merlyn’s limo but were not privy to their conversation. Well in tonight’s episode we finally see that exchange. Malcolm pretty much lets Thea take charge of the conversation and asks her where she wants to go in the world. Thea knows that if people knew Malcolm were alive in Starling City the the police would be after him and the Arrow. Malcolm is proud of how astute Thea is. Thea approached Malcolm because she knows he is the only one to help her not hurt anymore from all the people that lied to her.
So we see Thea and Malcolm train in a mansion in Corto Maltese. At first, Malcolm takes a little bit of a calm approach and one of the methods to help Thea toughen up is to pour hot wax on Thea’s hand to build her tolerance to pain. But Thea can’t quite cope so Malcolm switches tactics to no longer treat her as his daughter but as his student. The first thing Malcolm does is to repeatedly punch Thea until she pulls a sword on dear old dad. Malcolm then says Thea is ready.
Back to the present day, the Arrow has struck a dead end in trying to find Sara’s killer so he decides to instead bring Thea back to Starling City. Thanks to Felicity, she has managed to pin down her location in Corto Maltese and not Italy as Oliver was led to believe.
Going on this field trip is Roy, who has never flown on a plane before so didn’t realize he couldn’t take his bow and arrow with him. Diggle also joins in only because Lyla tasked him to retrieve an ARGUS agent, Mark Shaw (David Cubitt) has gone dark.
The first stop for Oliver is the address that Felicity gave to Thea’s location. The gardener there informs Oliver that Mia is working at a nearby cafe. Inside is Malcolm with an arrow aimed at the front door.
At the cafe, Oliver compliments Thea on her haircut and tries to convince his sister to return home but Thea is happy in Corto Maltese. Thea pretty much says the same thing to Roy as she has no one knows her in Corto. Roy apologizes for lying to her but all he ever wanted was for her to be happy and leaves her be. We then see Malcolm observe what has transpired.
Oliver realizes the only way to get Thea to come home if he tells her the truth about everything from the 5 years he spent on the Island/Hong Kong/who knows what else and how he spends his time as the Arrow. But Diggle thinks that is a bad idea because Thea would be more pissed because Oliver has been lying to her face everyday for the past 5 years.
Returning to the cafe, Oliver tries again to convince Thea to come home. Oliver says that he has kept a lot of secrets and if he told her everything, Thea would look at her differently. Thea says that she will always see Oliver has her big brother but what she is mad about is their mom and he lied about who her father was. Oliver says that while Malcolm may be blood, Robert was her father. Oliver then tells her one truth that Robert did get off the yacht but killed himself because there wasn’t enough food or water for both of them to survive. Oliver mentions how their parents sacrified themselves for their children and that he needs her. In this scene, I was blown away by Stephen Amell’s performance.
Oliver’s speech seems to have convinced Thea to go home so she asks Malcolm if she can. Malcolm wonders why now and isn’t she still pissed? Malcolm thinks because of that she isn’t ready but Thea engages her dad in a sword fight that she wins. Malcolm allows her to go home but Thea realizes that he let her win.
Meanwhile, Diggle’s does meet up with Shaw who is quite jittery until Diggle manages to gain his trust. Shaw says he is in Corto Maltese because a deal is going to go down where up for sale is a laptop that contains all the identities of ARGUS agents, their families, missions, etc… When Diggle and Shaw go to meet the contact for the sale, Shaw betrays Diggle as there was no deal happening at the moment. Shaw retrieves a transcoder that was needed to unveil all that information from Diggle. Shaw gets away despite Oliver trying to catch him.
Back in Starling City, Felicity starts her first official day at Palmer Industries. Palmer is talking non-stop as he is hyped up on caffeine and mentions coffee to Felicity. Felicity, under the impression that she is Palmer’s executive assistant, outlines ground rules of her employment and number 1 is she will fetch no one any type of coffee. Palmer stops her right there and tells Felicity that her executive assistant will fetch her coffee. Felicity is flabbergasted at that and even more so when she finds out that her office is what was Oliver’s office. Palmer has tasked Felicity to try and salvage the Applied Science division’s hard drive that was damaged because of the explosion. Felicity is working hard on it when Palmer checks up on her. As Felicity is outlining her progress she gets a call from Diggle asking help to find Shaw. At the same time, Laurel calls Felicity to also find someone (more on that later). These phone calls all happen in the presence of Palmer and Felicity does help Diggle but explains to Palmer what she is doing is a long story. I find Brandon Routh’s Palmer to be goofily charming and has a nice rapport withe Emily Bett Rickards, who by the way was comic gold in this episode.
In Corto Maltese, thanks to Felicity’s intel, Oliver, Roy and Diggle are seeing the deal go down. Oliver has fashioned bows and arrows for him and Roy from materials found in the hotel room. Just as Team Arrow is about to stop the deal, mercenaries hired by Shaw tries and stop them. Team Arrow manages to defeat everyone and retrieve the laptop with the ARGUS secrets on it. Diggle then finds out why Shaw betrayed Lyla and it is because he wants out of ARGUS as he no longer wants to do Waller’s bidding.
At the Corto Maltese airport, Team Arrow is ready to go home. Oliver is waiting for Thea to show up but doesn’t think she will. But Thea does and when someone spills hot coffee on Thea hand, we see she doesn’t flinch.
Laurel’s storyline tonight is all about her dealing with her grief of losing Sara. Laurel first goes and talks to boxer Ted “Wildcat” Grant about a student of his to establish an alibi. Ted confirms the alibi but Laurel doesn’t believe him. Ted notes how angry Laurel is and offers to help her channel it via boxing. Laurel declines and she goes to an AA meeting to talk about her grief and anger without saying too much as her father entered the room. Laurel then hears the tale of a fellow AA member who has an abusive alcoholic boyfriend. Laurel wants to help her but Lance tells her to leave it be. It is the boyfriend that Laurel wanted Felicity to help her find, which she does. We see Laurel, in Sara’s jacket and wearing a ski mask start to beat up the guy but tables are turned and she gets beat up instead.
When Oliver returns to the Foundry, Laurel is there and says that while her playing vigilante failed, she felt the grief disappear and that wearing Sara’s jacket makes her want to help people. Laurel wants Oliver to train her but he says no because her father wouldn’t like it if he lost another daughter and that Sara wouldn’t want her to be a vigilante. So Laurel turns to Ted Grant to begin her journey to become Black Canary.
Back at QC, Felicity has managed to salvage the hard drive and as thanks she asks for two days off so she can visit her friend who was struck by lightening and was in a coma. Palmer grants her time off and when Felicity leaves, we see him very interested in all the plans he finds like one for a tank and a plane.
And see you in 6 days Felicity on The Flash.
At the Foundry, Oliver praises Roy for his role in the Corto Maltese mission and asks if he noticed anything different about Thea. Other than her haircut, Roy hasn’t. Their conversation is interrupted when Nyssa comes in with bow and arrow raised wondering where Sara is.
So what do we think of the new Thea? What will her nickname be? Speedy or something else? And when we will everyone else find out that Malcolm is still alive? Share your theories.