Arrow Splits Up The Team
While half of Team Arrow is in Nanda Parbat, the boys reach an understanding in Star City.
Long ago, John Diggle's brother was killed by an assassin named Floyd Lawton. Floyd turned out to be an okay guy for a professional murderer, and right before he died he told Diggle that he was hired by a group called HIVE. Diggle never told anybody, so he doesn't know that Damien Darhk's "ghosts" are also sometimes called a hive.
Alert Type: Unusual Combat Tactic Alert.
Issue: Oliver and Diggle are engaged in their traditional start-of-episode combat.
Complicating Factors: The one guy they had a chance of capturing seems to have gotten away for the moment.
Resolution: Felicity employs her magical hacking skills to take control of a nearby crane and wall the guy in. It seems unlikely that that's the simplest answer to the problem, but there you go.
Spoiler: The captive can't kill himself, but he still manages to get away before a real interrogation can start.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Malcolm Merlyn vs. Nyssa al-Ghul
Hey, it's Nanda Parbat! Remember that place? It's in Tibet. Or maybe Nepal. Or, judging from the travel time, it might be just outside Star City. This is where the League of Assassins hangs out. At the moment, Malcolm Merlyn (the current head of the League) is sparring with Nyssa al-Ghul (the daughter of the old leader). Well, Malcolm's sparring. Nyssa's genuinely trying to kill him.
Winner: Malcolm, because he's not dead.
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Place Of Interest
The Poppy Fields
On Flashback Island, flashback Oliver has successfully infiltrated the pseudomilitary organization that's using slave labor to harvest these poppies. It's kind of disappointing that all they're doing is making street drugs, since this island also grows a magical plant that can cure any wound. But that's probably not as profitable.
The Lady In The Middle
Name: Mina Fayad. Age: Late 30s. Occupation: HIVE Operative. Goal: She's come to Star City to encourage Damien Darhk to quit screwing around and kill Green Arrow already. Sample Dialogue: "I brought this guy."
Not Ricky Jay
Name: Double Down. That's not his real name; it's the name that Cisco from Flash has assigned him. Age: Mid 40s. Occupation: Extremely specific mercenary. Gimmick: He's covered with tattoos of playing cards. Clearly, you're already thinking that's enough, right? But he's got a gimmick on his gimmick, because he can peel his tattoos off his skin (gross) and then throw them at people, at which point they turn into deadly projectiles. What Darhk Says When Double Down Asks If He Should Kill Green Arrow: "Deal."
She's Always Mad
Who called the meeting? Nyssa.
What's it about? Although she is sympathetic to Laurel's wish to get Sara brought back from the dead, she thinks it's a catastrophically bad idea.
How'd it go? Laurel still wants to do it, no matter how dangerous it is. Sure, Thea wasn't even completely dead and she came back with these rage issues, but so what? Family's family. Plus, there's a spinoff that needs Sara, so this needs to move forward.
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The people on Flashback Island are making a special drug that's some sort of genetic hybrid of opium and cocaine. Normally, this space would be devoted to a jokey fake ad for their product, which they have given the lame, generic name of "Slam." But it seems like something that will probably be a huge success without needing to advertise. It apparently has a high enough profit margin that it makes sense to use slave labor that has to be managed at an almost one-to-one ratio by soldiers who have no hesitation in killing the work force.
Plot Lightning Round
Going It Alone (Twice)
With Laurel and Thea out of town, Team Arrow is having a personnel problem. Diggle still considers his search for his brother's killer to be his own problem, so he's out on his own, tracking Mina Fayad. He immediately gets surprised by a guy with a gun. Things quickly degenerate into a riot of bullets, so his plan to interrogate Mina Fayad has hit a snag.
Meanwhile, Oliver has decided to go deal with a garden variety robbery. Naturally, he runs into Double Down, who promptly starts throwing tattoo-cards at him. Unlike regular playing cards, or regular tattoos for that matter, these are somehow hard enough that they can get stuck in metal.
Oliver's operation also fails. He doesn't quite die, but he does get a card in his arm. So at least he has a souvenir.
Embrace The Bloodlust
Who called the meeting? Malcolm Merlyn.
What's it about? He's decided it's time to give Thea some fatherly advice on how to deal with the rage that comes from having been brought back to life with the Lazarus Pit.
How'd it go? The bad news is that there is no cure for the bloodlust. Thea will just have to kill people occasionally. The good news is that there's an ancient sage on the mountain who has knowledge of the healing arts. The bad news is that Malcolm was lying about the ancient sage.
This Guy Seems Terrific
Name: Curtis Holt. Age: Mid 20s. Occupation: Palmer Technologies's in-house genius. Goal: To save Palmer Technologies by inventing a bunch of fancy technological gizmos that he could maybe use himself somewhere down the road if he were to turn his hand to crimefighting. Sample Dialogue: "Right away, Miss Smoak!"
Damien Darhk doesn't like it when people fail him. Unfortunately for him, it happens constantly. So when Green Arrow obstinately refuses to be dead, Darhk has Double Down throw a card. Then he shows off.
That's impressive, but it's not all that useful outside the Magic Castle. So he just flings the card into Mina's throat. And Double Down is properly chastened.
Thea is woken up by a couple of League assassins, and she kills them both. Then she realizes that there's no wise sage to save her from the rages. Malcolm tells her she'll have a few weeks of relaxation now before she has to kill again, and she's not all that mollified. After some shouting, Malcolm suddenly agrees to throw Sara's body into the pit. So that plot is moving forward a little.
This Lab Seems Breakable
Situation: Felicity wants to know what Curtis has learned about the tattoo card Oliver brought back to the Arrowlair.
What makes it awkward? As soon as Curtis finishes explaining how the card has its own neural net (?!), Double Down shows up and starts flinging cards around. The nerds are in trouble!
How is order restored? Felicity takes Curtis down to the Arrowlair and fires a machine gun in random directions until the bad guy leaves.
The Magic Grotto
Over the objection of pretty much everyone, Sara's body gets lowered into the pit. Then nothing happens for long enough that Laurel starts regretting paying to have that coffin shipped all the way here. But then! Sara breaks the surface of the water. She's alive! And thirsting for blood! Whoops!
Wrap It Up
Oliver and Diggle finally quit being jerks to each other and agree to team up. When they go to take on Double Down, Oliver jumps in front of a bullet (or "metahuman tattoo playing card," which is practically the same thing) to save Diggle. Their relationship is saved, and Double Down gets dragged off to wherever Central City keeps its metahumans.
Back in Flashback Land, Oliver decides to help one of the farming slaves escape. But he's also tortured someone in this episode, just so we know that Flashback Oliver is a rough dude.
Felicity is getting mysterious Matrix-style messages on her phone whenever she's in the Palmer Technologies lab, and she can't be bothered to figure out what's going on. To figure out when this will be resolved, one might suggest that you watch for Brandon Routh's name in the opening credits.
And in Nanda Parbat, Nyssa has destroyed the Lazarus Pit. Officially, that's to get back at Malcolm, but really it's to forestall any future returns from the dead. That's something you want to keep a lid on.