Arrow Becomes Mayor Handsome
With all his allies out of town, has Oliver surrendered to his base instincts?
Last season, Oliver proposed to Felicity, and she accepted, but then they broke up. There was an island subplot that didn't really do anything but establish that magic was a part of the world, and it ended with Taiana going back to Russia. Oliver was eventually forced to kill Damien Darhk, which was a shame because Neal McDonough really seemed to be enjoying himself. Laurel died. Most of Team Arrow left town. And Oliver became mayor. It was a busy season!
That Quote"He's not just my brother. He's the mayor."- Thea at the kickoff of the Anti-Crime Initiative, just in case viewers skipped the Previouslies -
Nice To See You, Too
Alert Type: In Medias Res Alert.
Issue: Oliver is fighting Lonnie "Anarky" Machin, who has set up bombs around the place.
Complicating Factors: Oliver's supposed to be at the Anti-Crime thing right now, because his considerable talents do not extend to scheduling.
Resolution: Oliver knocks Lonnie out and tells Felicity to tell GCPD to come pick him up.
Spoiler: They wouldn't put Lonnie in the season premiere if he weren't going to come back occasionally, right?
The New Guy
Name: Wild Dog (according to Felicity). Age: Too young to be a vigilante (according to Oliver). Occupation: Vigilante (according to himself). Goal: To fight crime in a sweet hockey mask. Oliver shoots him in the leg to keep him off the street, because Stephen J. Amell is the only guy allowed to wear hockey masks around here. (See, because he played Casey Jones in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.) Sample Dialogue: "Ow! My leg!"
You're Living Two Lives, Both Badly
Who called the meeting? Thea.
What's it about? She's scolding Oliver for not doing anything as mayor after he spent most of last season saying that he wanted to set a good example for people.
How'd it go? Oliver's never been good at taking criticism, so he tells her that he's only using his position as mayor to gather intel for "the other guy." We finally got this show to a point where they're willing to use the name "Green Arrow" and they introduce yet another term for him. Oliver's also unhappy about all the corrupt cops around here, and Thea decides to go get a drink. Neither Oliver nor Thea comments on how this relates to her addiction storyline, so I guess we're supposed to have forgotten it.
Place Of Interest
The Past Is A Foreign Country
Welcome to the locale for this year's flashbacks: Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Oliver's life will continue to conveniently mirror whatever he was doing five years earlier. And what was he doing? Participating in an underground fighting ring, of course. He wins by killing his opponent, but then he gets tasered by the Bratva for murdering their best fighter. That's not really his fault, though, is it? If he wasn't supposed to win, they should have told him that ahead of time. These Bratva fellows don't need to jump straight to violent solutions every time.
for being a crooked cop
Name: Officer Keating.
Last Seen: Staging a robbery to steal money himself.
Likely Punishment: Being murdered by a bigger criminal.
Reward: Never mind, he's dead already. False alarm!
The Real Bad Guy
Name: Tobias "Charon" Church. Age: Early 40s. Occupation: New gangland boss in town. Goal: To kill people until no one dares defy him, then take everyone's money, then move on to the next town. Also to punch people with his brass knuckles. Sample Dialogue: "[PUNCHING SOUND]"
Not The Worst Nickname
Alert Type: Media Bias Alert.
Issue: The local newspaper (named, inevitably, the Star City Star) is taking issue with Oliver's poor attendance at city council meetings.
Complicating Factors: Just a second. This is a front-page story? It gets a two-line headline? This is the treatment you'd see if Star City declared war on another city. Let's say it's Stars Hollow, because they want to be the only TV city with a star-themed name. But these presses are being stopped for a story about the pretty-boy mayor skipping city council meetings. For a big chunk of last year, there wasn't a mayor at all. And with the front page given over to this political bombshell, where do those dead cops from last night show up? The society pages?
Resolution: Oh, there's no resolution to a political scandal this hot.
Spoiler: If you want to destroy someone's political fortunes, I'm not sure "Mayor Handsome" is going to be as devastating as you might be imagining.
There Goes That Wagon Again
Who called the meeting? Oliver.
What's it about? He wants Quentin Lance to get back on the police force so he'd have at least one cop he could trust.
How'd it go? Quentin is in no shape to be useful. For one thing, he's drinking again, and his alcoholism is something we're supposed to remember. And he broke up with Felicity's mom, who's now working as a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas. So things aren't going great in Quentin-land.
Plot Lightning Round
So, This Is What A Mayor Does?
Oliver has finally decided to do some of his job. Not the part of his job that involves legislating, of course, but he was able to carve out some time to dedicate the new statue of the Black Canary. The one that was Laurel Lance, not Sara. She's fine. I think. I didn't actually watch Legends Of Tomorrow, but I'm assuming.
But this is no ordinary statue-unveiling. Bikers with machine guns road up and start murdering people before rounding up a few kidnap victims. Which, now that I see that written down, is actually what every public event is like in this town. Oliver ends up in the van, because Tobias is kidnapping the mayor to lure Green Arrow into attacking him, which is a very reasonable plan.
Quentin and Thea are left alone, and they share a glance that clearly says "Well, I guess it's up to us. AGAIN." Although I think both of them have had to be rescued from kidnapping plenty of times.
That Quote"I have it on pretty good authority that he's tied up right now."- Oliver, explaining Green Arrow's absence in the winkiest way possible -
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Remember Anatoli Knyazev? He was in the flashbacks a while ago? Turns out he got back to Russia and he's high up in the Bratva, the Russian mafia. We already know that Oliver ends up as a captain in the Bratva, so let's hope the initiation phase goes quickly. But we don't have to rush the plot too much, because it's fun to watch Oliver and Anatoli hang out together. For example, Anatoli is the kind of sunny, good-natured guy who, rather than untie his friend, will dislocate Oliver's thumbs so he can free himself. Oliver complains a bit, but this is the sort of skill that will come in handy exactly five years later.
I Thought We Both Quit?
Who called the meeting? Thea and Quentin.
What's it about? Each wants the other one to lead some sort of rescue mission to get Oliver back.
How'd it go? Thea makes some really good points about starting to feel like a normal person now that she's not up to her elbows in blood every night. And Quentin has been wanting to hide from the world, but he's willing to admit that it isn't the most productive life. So the discussion seems like it should be leading to Quentin doing the work, but actually Thea puts on the Speedy outfit.
The Needle Swings Back To Murder
In the course of escaping from Tobias Church and his evil cops, Oliver has had to reveal a certain amount of fighting skill, which could lead an astute observer to conclude that he's secretly Green Arrow. Except that Oliver is killing all the witnesses that seem like they might be too astute, so I guess that's not going to be a problem. Although that puts us back in the first season, where our hero is stacking up kind of a lot of bodies.
To the show's credit, not everyone is cool with that. Thea confronts Oliver after the mission, and he defends himself by pointing to Darhk (who he could have killed earlier) and Laurel (with less justification, since it's not like Laurel was killing people). Oliver says he needs to do "whatever is necessary," and Thea says that's why she can't be part of this anymore.
So That's What She Said
Remember when Laurel died? She whispered something to Oliver that we didn't get to see. There wasn't any real reason not to show it to us, other than giving people something to speculate over. Turns out she didn't say "Let's totally fake my death" or anything. She just told Oliver not to let her be the last Black Canary, which is a request he's been ignoring. Maybe he hasn't seen Legends Of Tomorrow either, and he's waiting to see if Sara survived and is coming back or something.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Green Arrow vs. Charon
There were some other hostages that didn't get conveniently dragged to a separate room, and they probably also don't have excellent fighting skills. So Oliver has to go back in and rescue them, and he brings some cops that Quentin vouches for. There's a lot of gunfire and lasers and working around bombs, but the important part is that this is Round One of Oliver and Tobias fighting it out.
Winner: It's a draw!
Season Premiere Special Effects
Hey, check out Oliver! He does a lot of slow-motion archery to keep the fight going as Tobias runs away. He's always flipping over in midair and shooting ziplines. This is how he gets into Tobias's helicopter for a brief punch-around. And when Oliver gets tossed out, he falls for a while before shooting a...parachute arrow.
I'll put up with a lot from this show if it continues this trend of ridiculous theme arrows. And I don't want to hear any guff about how much fabric Oliver must have been carrying around on his back just in case he fell out of a helicopter. PARACHUTE ARROW.
R.I.P. Frank Bertinelli
Remember Frank Bertinelli? He's a local mob boss, and his daughter Helena had a crush on Oliver. She also had hand-crossbows. Anyway, he's dead now because Tobias infiltrated his organization. And every other criminal organization in town. This Tobias guy really gets things done.
(Also, this might not be Frank. It's a "Mr. Bertinelli," though, so I'm deciding it was Frank even if it's not the same actor)
Wrap It Up
Diggle finally calls Oliver back, and they have a reasonably polite videochat. It looks like Diggle is part of some active military force in Croatia, so I don't think he's entirely at liberty to return to Star City even if he wanted to.
But that's okay! Because we've got Curtis, who is tired of getting beat up and wants to join Team Arrow. It's about time for him to become Mr. Terrific, right? And Oliver is willing to reach out to Wild Dog, too. There's going to be a whole new team!
Felicity goes home to her...boyfriend, I guess? I'll be honest with you; I don't know who this guy is. If we're supposed to recognize him, I didn't. Sorry.
And finally, one of Quentin's good cops gets ambushed and murdered by a ninja. Right outside the police department, too. They've got to do something about the ninja plague in this city.