Arrow Gets Political
Oliver faces his first challenge, in that there's an actual opponent to campaign against.
Oliver is running for mayor of Star City, when he remembers, which is not often. He's got an opponent now, which means that the campaign at least has a reason to exist. Also, Oliver has a secret son in Central City, a fact he's keeping hidden from Felicity. And everyone else, but his fiancée seems like the most relevant person.
Can We Get Back To Politics, Please?
Name: Ruvé Adams. Age: Looks to be in her 30s, but probably an immortal demon or something. Occupation: Wife, mother, candidate for mayor. Goal: To defeat Oliver Queen and become mayor of Star City, thus allowing her secret husband Damien Darhk to do whatever his secret plan is. Sample Dialogue: "Damien Darhk? Never heard of him."
Oliver and Felicity are getting ready to announce their engagement, because they apparently don't have enough to worry about with him running for mayor, her being CEO of a billion-dollar company, and both of them spending every night fighting bad guys. Felicity's mother Donna is very into being on the party planning committee, and she's provided spring-loaded invitations for Oliver's approval. He's not 100% on board.
Not Particularly Stealthy
Alert Type: Hot Pursuit Alert.
Issue: Team Arrow follows Ruvé as she leaves the debate hall in the hope that she'll lead them to Damien's lair. You'd think this would involve stealth, but they choose the most showy, ridiculous techniques possible, starting with Laurel choosing to post up in front of a huge, lighted marquee.
Complicating Factors: Besides that, Oliver and Thea are riding motorcycles and jumping them entirely over Ruvé's car. It's like they're trying to do a covert operation but accidentally stumbled into a motocross stunt show.
Resolution: Oliver loses track of Ruvé's car right at the end of the chase. I guess that's obvious, huh? It's not like the chase would keep going when the chasing team is lost.
Spoiler: Ruvé knew all along she was being followed so she brings out goons with machine guns to chase Oliver off.
Follow The Plan
Who called the meeting? Damien Darhk.
What's it about? He needs to do that thing where villains remind each other how evil they are, while carefully avoiding any details so the audience doesn't accidentally learn anything.
How'd it go? By the numbers. Darhk talks to "the rest of the organization" about "the plan" and only lets slip the information that they need City Hall for whatever it is they plan to do. If it's so important, you'd think they could have had someone run for mayor during the time where there was no mayor or candidates, but never mind that. They've got a candidate now, and it's Damien's wife. There's some very polite doubt cast on Ruvé's political abilities by Tomas, a council member who's attending the meeting via Skype.
Whoops! Turns out Damien can kill people via Skype, so now Tomas is dead. So much for that guy.
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Place Of Interest
The Cornerstone Of The Economy
One concrete result of Darhk's meeting with his unnamed organization was that everyone agreed that Quentin Lance needed to be dealt with. He's inconveniently honest, plus he's clearly working with Green Arrow. So Quentin's called out to investigate a robbery at an empty warehouse. You might perhaps wonder why an empty warehouse needs a police captain to protect it. This is an objection that occurs to Laurel right away, which is why she's there to rescue him when the building collapses around him. But she, and you, are exhibiting short-sighted thinking. Consider how much of Star City's economy depends on renting empty warehouses out to visiting gangs, triads, and conspiracies. This whole city rests on the empty warehouse district.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Oh, This Again
With Quentin's life in danger, he decides that it's safer for Donna Smoak if they break it off for a few weeks. This is a bit rough on her, even if she is the sort of person who loads glitter bombs into party invitations. She doesn't take it well, which is no surprise as this is roughly the five hundredth time someone on this show has tried to "suspend" a relationship because they don't want to put someone in danger. No one's ever grateful for that move.
Get 'Em! But Not Too Hard!
Alert Type: First Contact Alert.
Issue: Team Arrow has figured out that the warehouse was destroyed using acid that comes from only one place in Star City. Which is another good reason to buy generic!
Complicating Factors: The bad guys don't seem to be home. Until they actually are! Everybody fight! One of the bad guys is using a nail gun, which sounds cumbersome and ineffective until you remember that our main character is an archer.
Resolution: It's too early in the episode for either side to win decisively, so everyone escapes. Thea stays behind to grab a laptop before the building collapses, though.
Spoiler: That laptop has some nails in it, because when you're in a fight and you have a nail gun, nothing in the room is getting away without some nails.
That Quote"You don't lie to each other. Ever. And he's gonna be the best daddy ever."- Donna Smoak, simultaneously reassuring Felicity and tipping the audience off that Oliver's secret love child is going to come out at some point -
Love Child? What Love Child?
Alert Type: Deep Dark Secret Alert.
Issue: Thea has discovered William, Oliver's secret Central City baby.
Complicating Factors: Because this story has been on a slow build, Thea has to do a lot of exposition. Moira Queen offered the mother a million dollars, but she never cashed the check. Years later (this season) Oliver found out and wanted a relationship with William. But the mother required him to keep it a secret. Thea doesn't know about the alternate timeline in which Felicity learned about it and broke up with Oliver, but it's always a possibility.
Resolution: Thea thinks Oliver should continue not telling anyone, including Felicity.
Spoiler: Keeping secrets has always worked out well.
Honesty Is Important. So Very Important.
Who called the meeting? Quentin, who has plenty of time now that he's hiding in the Arrowlair.
What's it about? Quentin feels bad about lying to Donna, and Oliver assures him that honesty is the best policy.
How'd it go? It was fine for now, but when Felicity finds out about William, all this talk of honesty is going to come back to haunt Oliver. Figuratively. We don't have ghosts on this show. Yet.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Oliver vs. Conklin
Back on Flashback Island, the other prisoners are harboring a slight distrust of Oliver because he killed Vlad. So they insist that he kill Conklin. Oliver is okay with this, although he only killed Vlad as part of an attempt to convince Conklin to trust him. Killing people doesn't generate as much trust as you'd think.
Winner: Oliver, pretty quickly. Bye, Conklin!
Alert Type: Debate Prep Alert.
Issue: Just before the mayoral debate, the team realizes that they're standing in the next building that's going to get demolished. Donna pulls the fire alarm and the field team gets to work trying to find the explosives.
Complicating Factors: The bad guys are still here, so several fights break out. And that means there's a nail gun in the mix.
Resolution: Team Arrow wins, neutralizing the explosives. And Quentin Lance arrests the baddies, impressing Donna.
Spoiler: The show is going to gracefully skip over the actual debate, which I am VERY grateful for.
I Am Not A Crackpot
Dear Mister President, We Could Just Skip The Campaigning? I Am Not A Crackpot!
This whole political subplot is fairly uninteresting, since Oliver didn't even have an opponent until very recently. And there's never been any hint of what Oliver plans to do if he wins. But it's especially pointless because we've established that Felicity is the best hacker in the world. So why can't we just ignore all the campaigning and debates and whatnot and just let Felicity hack the vote returns on election day? Oliver clearly has no problem threatening his opposition, so why not just go all the way? I am not a crackpot.
Enough Of This Subplot
Alert Type: Technical Wizardry Alert.
Issue: Curtis Holt's engagement present for Felicity is a technical doodad.
Complicating Factors: He describes it as an "implantable bio-stimulant," which will restore Felicity's ability to walk once it's attached to her spine and a Palmer Tech superbattery.
Resolution: Tears and thanks, naturally.
Spoiler: When Oliver says "Curtis, you're terrific!" that's a bit of a hint about Curtis eventually becoming Mr. Terrific.
Wrap It Up
We've been waiting for what seems like an entire episode (because that's how long it's been) to see what nefarious thing Damien Darhk is going to do to Oliver's son. And the answer is that he brings William into his own home and introduces him to his daughter Nora. William will be staying with the Darhks, which actually sounds pretty nice. Sure, he's evil, but he's got a nice place.