Arrow Season 3 “The Return” Recap
There was something about tonight’s Arrow that felt off and it all had to do with the flashback. I felt Oliver’s return to Starling City really awkward and it kind of messed with the continuity of stuff that happened in season 1 when Oliver officially returned to Starling City from the dead.
So let’s start there and then end the recap with what happened in the present day.
Starling City 5 years ago
Oliver is back in Starling City but his presence must remain on the down low. Waller needs Oliver because China White is in town meeting with potential buyers for the Omega bio weapon. Oliver wonders why China White is selling a weapon that is useless without its mate. Waller says that China White figures the buyer will develop the mate on its own. When Waller shows footage of China White meeting with Peter Kang, Oliver recognizes him as someone who works at Queen Consolidated, which is why Waller needs Oliver for this mission.
So in downtown Starling City, we see Maseo track Kang’s car and then Oliver and Maseo follow out to the Queen Consolidated office. As they wait outside, Maseo tells Oliver they need to get into the Queen Consolidated offices to grab something off their servers and will do so when it becomes dark. As they continue to wait, Oliver sees Thea and is surprised to see how grown up his sister has become.
We see Maseo and Oliver on the grounds of the Queen Mansion watching Thea visit his and his father’s grave. But really it was a place to meet her drug dealer but Tommy interrupts the meeting and admonishes her for what she has become. Thea tells Tommy to mind his own business as he is not her brother (little do they know) and he agrees that he is not but Oliver wouldn’t approve. Thea thinks that it is funny that a dead Oliver cares more for her than when she was alive. Tommy then forbids Thea from coming to his birthday party as it is a 21+ party.
Also in the flashbacks we get to see Laurel pull out her father, rocking a wig, from a bar who has spent the afternoon drinking away as he grieves his daughter’s death.
Back at Queen Consolidated, Oliver is in his mother’s office (which is now Felicity’s) to download the files needed to locate where China White is selling the weapons. Oliver notices a file that is addressed to him from his father and goes to download it too. As the files continue to download, Maseo warns Oliver that someone is coming.
We see that it is Felicity off to drop a file for Moira, presumably or Walter. Oliver is gone but hiding in the ballroom and hears Felicity talking to herself about how cute Oliver is and too bad that he is dead. Felicity realizes that she should really stop talking to herself. Oliver seems amused at this. To me this defies how Oliver and Felicity first meet. In the 3rd episode of season 1 “The Lone Gunman” it was clear that the two have never met but Oliver cleary saw Felicity talking to herself. Granted Oliver may have forgotten about this as a few more years pass before he really comes back to Starling City.
Back at ARGUS headquarters, Maseo is downloading the files but it will take a while to get anything on it. Waller notices that Oliver is gone but Maseo covers for him.
Oliver has gone to Tommy’s party. And look who is acting as bodyguards to a bunch of rich kids, why it’s Diggle and we meet his brother Andy.
At the party, Oliver sees first hand how his death has affected people. He sees Tommy flirt with a woman and then watches as Tommy and Laurel talk about how she is moving to San Francisco to take a corporate law job instead of one that would help her save the world. Despite Tommy forbidding her from attending, Thea does show up and meets up with her drug dealer.
Oliver isn’t happy to see this and confronts the drug dealer who recognizes him as Oliver Queen and threatens him. Fearing exposure, Oliver breaks his neck and tosses him over the railing.
The police arrive and Oliver watches in the shadows as he watches Lance and Hilton (we miss you Roger Cross) take statements.
Lance is lit like a Christmas tree and yells at Laurel for always going after rich billionaire playboys and for her abandoning the reason why she wanted to go to law school to work at a corporate firm. Lance always thought she wanted to go to law school to save the world.
We later see that Laurel didn’t take the job in San Francisco but is working at the CRNI and we Tommy ask her out to dinner, which she accepts. It was really nice to see Colin Donnell again. But it was have been nice to see Susanna Thompson as Moira again too.
Maseo finds Oliver at Tommy’s house and at gunpoint gets him to leave with him. Maseo says that China White is meeting with potential buyers at the old Queen Consolidate steel factory, which becomes the Arrow Cave/Verdant. Oliver doesn’t want to come with Maseo and wants to fix what his death has caused people, Waller consequences be damned.
Oliver has someone made it into Queen Mansion without being seen by anyone and enters his living room. Oliver finds an older looking tablet and puts the USB key in and plays the video of his father telling Oliver about the list and how he can save the city and right his wrongs.
So Oliver returns to the foundry just in time to save Maseo from China White who was in the middle of selling the weapon. China White tries to get away but is stopped.
Oliver thinks he can return home now but Waller says not so fast. It seems the US Army, led by General Shrieve (Marc Singer) need to debrief him back in China and afterwards he can go where ever he wants. Oliver agrees to go with Shrieve.
I am going to keep this pretty brief. Basically, Malcolm has stranded Thea and Oliver on Lian Yu so they can regain their killer instincts. To do that, Malcolm lets loose Slade Wilson, who captures Thea and Oliver and puts them in his prison cell.
Slade taunts the siblings and says that Oliver is still keeping secrets from Thea. Thea wants to know what Slade meant but Oliver figures out they can use Thea small frame to get out but it involves dislocating her shoulder to do so.
Apparently, there was another prisoner in the ARGUS prison but he couldn’t help Oliver and Thea but I don’t recall who could that be. So if anyone remembers who else might be in the ARGUS prison let me know.
Back to the action. Thea and Oliver get out but is waylaid by a booby trap that Oliver set up, which a part injures Oliver. While resting, Thea asks once again what happened to Sara and Oliver tells her that Malcolm drugged her to get her to kill Sara. Thea can’t believe that would happen but there is no time to think on it as Slade grabs Thea at gun point. But thanks to Malcolm’s training, Thea manages to get out of it and toss the gun aside.
Oliver and Slade then fight with Slade using Oliver’s injuries to his advantage. Thea then joins in the fight and the siblings fight Slade. Eventually, Thea grabs the gun and points it at Slade ready to kill him for killing their mom. Oliver tells Thea that she isn’t a killer that Malcolm wants her to kill Slade so he can be like her. We hear a gun shot but Thea just gave Slade a flesh wound.
Slade is back in his cell and starts to taunt Oliver about Felicity and it seems that we haven’t seen the last of Manu Bennett.
Back in Starling City, Lance is visiting Sara’s grave and Laurel meets up with him. Lance wonders how they will tell her mother but Laurel says that she already knows. Lance isn’t happy at this and really wants to take a drink. Laurel suggest that he doesn’t and Lance wonders if she will go all Black Canary on him. Lance is mad that Laurel is out being a vigilante and is mad because he thought that he and Laurel were very much alike. Laurel reminds her father of the time he yelled at her for taking the corporate job and not saving the world. It was that moment she realized her dad was right and that decision lead her to dawn the mask. Laurel then suggests they go to a meeting and Lance agrees but to two separate locations. Lance then hands Laurel the bottle of whisky, which she empties near Sara’s grave.
Oliver and Thea return home and he asks Thea not to tell Laurel that she was the one who killed Sara. Malcolm is there too. Thea yells at Malcolm for making her kill Sara. Malcolm isn’t pleased that Oliver told her. Thea pretty much cuts off all ties with Malcolm as his daughter and only wants to meet with him to train so they can defeat Ra’s Al Ghul.
And next week it looks like we will see Ra’s Al Ghul again and we get to see Ray in the ATOM suit. Can’t wait.
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