Arrow Pulls Out The Big Guns
Apparently, being put in prison isn't enough to shut Damien Darhk down completely.
Damien Darhk is a bad guy. You can tell because he's Neal McDonough, who was also a bad guy on Justified recently. And he seems to really enjoy being a bad guy, but all his evil magic has landed him in prison. Such are the wages of sin. But he's still got friends, even though Hive may have tired of his foolishness. On a related note, Malcolm Merlyn met up with Andy Diggle at the end of the episode, suggesting that he might be a double agent for Darhk.
Also, and don't read anything into this, I would like to remind you that the season started with a scene showing that someone close to Oliver is going to die soon. It probably doesn't mean anything. I don't even know why I mentioned it.
Andy Got His Gun
Who called the meeting? John Diggle, by surprising his brother.
What's it about? Andy tells John that Malcolm is having him hijack a shipment of some sort. To someone. This is a world where "shipments" exist without destination or reason. They're just there to get hijacked for hijackings' sake.
How'd it go? John is happy to counsel his troubled younger brother, now that he's forgiven him for not being dead like he was supposed to be.
That Quote"The only thing Darhk should be planning on is getting convicted at trial."- Oliver Queen, in what feels suspiciously like a first-draft line -
I Guess That's Mildly Interesting
Alert Type: Parallelism Alert.
Issue: Oliver has finally decided to tell the team that the idol they got from Darhk is, in fact, the same idol he dealt with on Flashback Island.
Complicating Factors: This fails to blow the audience away, because one can't help but feel that this should have been made clear earlier.
Resolution: Mostly the team just rolls their eyes at Oliver for never telling them anything.
Spoiler: This means that Baron Reiter's careful explication of the idol's powers might come in handy in the event that Darhk gets his hands on it again.
There's A New Mayor In Town
Name: Ruvé Adams (or possibly Ruvé Darhk). Age: None of your business. Occupation: The new mayor of Star City. Goal: To govern wisely and fairly. Or maybe she's evil. Who knows? She does offer Laurel the job of District Attorney (she's just ADA right now), which is either generous or diabolical. Sample Dialogue: "Even though I was running unopposed, Oliver Queen got 48% of the vote through nothing but write-ins. And I'm totally fine with that. Unless I'm not."
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Father vs. Daughter
While Laurel and Thea are lounging around the Arrowlair (well, as close to lounging as they ever get, which means they were having very serious conversations about relationships and stuff), Malcolm Merlyn shows up out of nowhere to snark about the bad security. That sort of thing is cute and meta when it's rare, but Quentin complained about the terrible security in the last episode. The Arrowlair is a narrative mess, because it's supposed to be secure but so much of the storytelling on this show is based around people walking into it unexpectedly.
Anyway, Malcolm is here for Darhk's idol, and he's brought some ninjas. Thea and Laurel put up a good fight, and Thea even gets Malcolm down (because he's only got one hand) but she doesn't kill him.
Winner: Malcolm, because Thea was reluctant to murder her birth father.
Plot Lightning Round
Back To The Cave
Something is finally happening in the flashback cave! Oliver and Taiana have a plan for killing Baron Reiter's men. Step one is for Taiana to leave the cave and distract two of them.
And then she shoots the one that's left. What makes this a great plan is that it's very simple. There aren't a lot of moving parts.
Oliver also has guns. I keep wanting him to reach some big decision point where he rejects guns in favor of bows, but I'm pretty sure he's used guns several times on the show. It's possible he just thinks bows look cool, but that two-gun look is also pretty slick. It certainly help him keep things under control while Taiana frees the prisoners.
It's Nice Having A Healthy Father-Daughter Relationship
Who called the meeting? Laurel.
What's it about? She's not sure she should become the District Attorney and she wants advice from her father.
How'd it go? Quentin thinks she can't be a costumed vigilante of the night and District Attorney at the same time. There actually used to be a comic book called "Mr. District Attorney," but there was no nocturnal mask-wearing involved. She reluctantly agrees, so she has to decide whether she can do more good as Black Canary or District Attorney.
Place Of Interest
The Old Box Factory
Andy advances the plot by calling Team Arrow to report that he's tracked Malcolm Merlyn to one of the many warehouses in the "Many Warehouses" district. They rush over, even though Oliver has been wondering if Andy can be trusted. Sure enough, the team gets caught in a booby-trap. But Andy jumps in front of the arrows that were meant for Oliver.
So that would seem to clear Andy. Or does it?
Bad Guy Summit
Who called the meeting? Malcolm, I guess.
What's it about? Darhk wants to yell at Malcolm for not bringing him his precious idol. Malcolm, on the other hand, just wants to drop off the idol. They're not really on the same page.
How'd it go? You'd think Darhk would be grateful, but he's really snippy about how there's a stone missing. And as we all know, magical idols only convey power if all the parts are there. So Malcolm's not done yet. He's not thrilled about it.
R.I.P. Oliver's Humanity
This moment in the flashbacks is probably the lowest point for Oliver's ability to show humanity, right? He's not hesitating to shoot people who aren't even really threats. And this is getting toward the end of his time on the island (we all hope and pray) so he'll be getting back to the U.S. shortly and Season 1 of the show can begin.
Are You Sure You're Not A Bad Guy?
Who called the meeting? Oliver, still dressed as Green Arrow for some reason.
What's it about? He caught Andy searching his brother's apartment, whether looking for that idol stone or scanning for surveillance equipment.
How'd it go? Oliver goes from 0 to 100 really fast, jabbing at Andy's arrow wound and snarling things like "I haven't started torturing you yet." If John hadn't gotten home just then, things could have gotten very ugly.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
He's My Brother, Man
John and Oliver immediately shout at each other about Andy. John's position is that Andy just took an arrow for Oliver and he should be trusted. Oliver counters that John was the one who told him not to have a blind spot with regard to his family. Finally, John gets personal and says Oliver's only acting this way because Felicity dumped him. Which seems like it might be true, so Oliver doesn't have a comeback.
Riot (Not The Zoot Suit Kind)
Alert Type: Evil Plan Alert.
Issue: That guy with the sewn-up lips has been distributing knives to all the inmates, and he used his book cart to sneak the idol back to Darhk.
Complicating Factors: Those knives? They immediately get plunged into guards.
Resolution: The entire prison is engulfed in chaos, except for Damien Darhk, who is walking placidly amid the noise and waste.
Spoiler: All these prisoners are about to escape, making one really question why Iron Heights is still open. It's a federal prison, and surely the United States has a prison that doesn't let all its inmates out every two years.
Plot Lightning Round
Here Come The Heroes
Team Arrow rushes to the prison because they have to keep Damien Darhk from escaping. Laurel comes along, even though she's decided to take Ruvé's offer. But she makes sure to tell everyone that she's only being Black Canary "one last time." This is not a reference to Hamilton (unfortunately), but it is a piece of ominous foreshadowing.
When Team Arrow breaks in, they discover that Andy is with them. Oliver's not happy about it, but there's no time to object. There are fight scenes to get to! They're all pretty messy.
Thea runs into Malcolm, and they have another fight. He wins, in spite of being handicapped by...being handicapped.
When enough screen time has elapsed, Damien points a gun at Andy and makes everybody drop their weapons and knock it off.
Alert Type: Double-Dealing, Backstabbing Alert.
Issue: You'll never believe this. Once everyone drops their weapons, Andy hands the idol stone over to Darhk. He was a double agent after all!
Complicating Factors: Oliver's never going to let John forget this.
Resolution: Damien gets powered up by all this blood and death, just the way Baron Reiter was in those flashbacks nobody liked. Turns out they had a narrative purpose after all.
Spoiler: It's probably a bad idea to let the evil sorcerer get his powers back.
This Could Be Bad
Alert Type: Regular-Dealing, Stomach-stabbing Alert.
Issue: Damien catches an arrow that Oliver shoots at him, then he sticks that arrow into Laurel.
Complicating Factors: He also has complete telekinetic control of everyone in the room, so it's hard to fight back.
Resolution: Oliver is eventually allowed to carry Laurel out to the paramedics.
Spoiler: Surely they wouldn't kill Laurel. Not without some sort of poignant reminder of how important she is to Oliver.
A Poignant Reminder Of Laurel's Importance
Say, here's a coincidence! In the flashbacks, Taiana is feeling pretty low. But Oliver tells her to have hope. It's hard sometimes, but you just have to remind yourself of what's important. The way Oliver does this is by carrying a picture of Laurel. It's very sweet, if you don't remember that the flashbacks are before Oliver reconciled with Laurel after cheating on her with her sister Sara.
Hospital Set. Drink!
Who called the meeting? Everyone (including Felicity) shows up automatically.
What's it about? They're here to check on Laurel, who the doctors say will be fine.
How'd it go? Well, Laurel tells everyone that she loves them. And the music gets very sappy and loud. After everyone but Oliver leaves, she asks him to promise her something, but we don't hear what. And what happens next will shock you if you have not been paying any attention.
R.I.P. Laurel "Black Canary" Lance
Suddenly, the machines all start bleeping. Doctors rush in and try to save her (for about twenty seconds, but we can't wait forever) but she's gone. The time of death, like the episode title, is 11:59. It ought to be sad, but they spend so much time signaling that it was going to happen that the actual death scene felt overdue when it finally happened.
Wrap It Up
The entire team crumples in sorrow. Especially Quentin, who gets to the hospital just in time to find out what happened.