If you recall from the previous episodes, Diggle is now fully onboard with Oliver’s crimefighting activities. However he believes that while taking down members of the “list” are important, Oliver has a responsibility and a duty to also act in the public interest when other criminals are also involved – in this case, the city is being plagued by some bank robbers. While Oliver initially refuses – believing that it detracts from his underlying mission to right his family’s wrongs when Diggle tricks him into meeting the wife of one of the victims, he relents, realizing that there is value to the city in this task also.
Quickly enlisting the help of Felicity Smoak (his resident IT geek that doesn’t yet know the secret of who/what he is), he’s able to learn that the gang of robbers actually have a connection to his family after all. Derek Reston used to work for Queen Industries before Oliver’s dad outsourced his job along with thousands more to China and without this income he and his family were obviously negatively impacted. Choosing a life a crime is not necessarily something I would support as a next step to make ends meet, but as this is TV, I’m willing to throw him a bone! 🙂
Oliver tries to warn Derek that if he continues his current practice there are negative implications for him and his family ahead, but Derek basically blows him off and blames him for the pain and hardship his father caused. When Derek joins the rest of his family, however, you can see that he’s been considering Oliver’s words as he too tries to convince his children that they need to stop – however his son has obviously been touched by greed and refuses to quit the family crime spree. When Oliver learns that they are going to hit another bank, he realizes that he has no choice left and in his alternate persona confronts the family … during this confrontation Derek is shot and ends up dead.
Tommy and Laurel also continue to grow closer as Tommy continues to work on persuading Laurel that he is a changed man by helping her throw a fundraiser to help her law firm.
Muse of Fire
While on her way to meet Oliver, Moira is almost gunned down by a mysterious assailant who was attempting to assassinate an associate of mob boss Frank Bertinelli. Oliver leaves his mother bleeding on the street while he attempts to chase down the shooter who’s on a motorcycle … when he eventually returns to her side after failing to stop the biker he gets his mother into the hospital. Oliver’s sister blasts him for haring off on his own and attempting to catch the shooter stating that he needed to stay by their mother’s side and while he doesn’t disagree, he knows that he has a much larger objective.
Oliver attempts to infiltrate Frank’s business to discover the identity of the attacker as it seems the shooting near his mother wasn’t the only casualty that Frank has experienced in his organization. Bertinelli suspects that the Triad’s are targeting his organization and confronts China White (you’ll remember her from Episode 2 – Honor Thy Father) who is the leader of the organization in the city. Oliver meanwhile has a dinner date with Frank’s daughter – Helena – and finds that she too is a “damaged” soul with demon’s similar to his own … he also learns that she is the mysterious assailant that has been attacking Frank’s organization!
Helena reveals that she is looking for revenge against her father, who she blames for the murder of her fiancé … it seems that Frank and his henchmen thought that Helena’s fiance was going to turn states evidence on them, but in reality the evidence they uncovered was Helena’s. She had become disenchanted with her Father and his way of life and she was planning on turning them all into the government. When Helena and Oliver are abducted by Frank’s right-hand man, Nick Salvati (you’ll recognize him from BSG as the character Karl Agathon … it’s nice to see familiar faces, but in some ways the SciFi community is too small as having the same actor portray multiple different roles takes away from the believability of that individual) and Helena learns that he was, in fact, the murderer of her fiance she escapes her bonds and kills him. In the commotion, Oliver too escapes and fights off the other henchmen – Helena seeing the way in which he fights, realizes that he is the Arrow.
While Diggle disagrees with Oliver trying to help Helena (believing that she cannot be trusted) extract revenge – Oliver hopes that he can “persuade” Helena that her father should be delivered to the police for justice vs. just killing him. Initially he seems to be having success by helping her take out key players in her father’s business … however a failed couples dinner with Tommy and Laurel sends Helena into a rage. Deciding that Oliver was attempting to manipulate her, she goes after the Triad and kills the leader of the group – this attack leads China White and her men to attack Frank, believing that he was actually the person who had contracted the hit.
Oliver manages to arrive in time to save Frank and is also able to stop Helena from executing her father and while he is able to get Frank incarcerated by the Police, he is unable to persuade Helena that he is there to help. She refuses to forgive him and threatens to reveal his identity if he comes after her.
In Oliver’s personal life, he finds out that his best friend (Tommy) has been “cut off” by his father and is in need of a job. He employees Tommy as the manager of his club and assigns him the task of actually completing it. Walter also learns a bit more about the secret organization that Moira is a part of.
OK, here’s where it gets really interesting. Do you remember Adam Hunt? He was in the 1st or 2nd episode and is the individual that Oliver started his vendetta with. Well in conversation with someone, Adam Hunt gets an arrow through his chest and while Detective Lance immediately realizes that this is a copycat and not Oliver, the department as a whole believe that it is Oliver and renew their efforts to capture him.
Oliver manages to track down the mysterious archer (who we learn is actually Malcolm Merlyn – Tommy’s father and the leader of mysterious organization that Moira is a part of! WOW he’s a busy guy!!!) and while he puts up a good fight he is beaten quite badly by him. The archer seems to be able to outshoot and outfight Oliver and it is only through luck that Oliver manages to escape. While Malcolm is also injured he too gets away.
On the island, Oliver learns that the island is actually a prison for dangerous criminals and his benefactor Yau Fei is one of those prisoners. Walter is also kidnapped by Malcolm’s men as he is getting too close to the secrets they are hiding and to use as leverage against Moira to ensure that she doesn’t interfere with Malcolm’s plans.
Oliver has been badly hurt in his fight with the mysterious archer and while he attempts to convince everyone around him that he is OK, he has lost his edge and seems to fear for his life more than he did previously. Six weeks go by and Oliver has not gone out as the Vigilante in all that time, despite Diggle’s insistence that he is needed by the city. Diggle challenges Oliver that having people to live for is more of an edge than having no one.
Laurel however manages to get her hands on the phone that Oliver had previously provided to her father and reaches out to Oliver in his vigilante personality to beg for his help in tracking down someone that is murdering firefighters. Agreeing to help Laurel is the push that Oliver needed and while he is initially bested in his confrontation with the murderer, he discovers that the individual responsible is Garfield Lynns a firefighter himself. Garfield was thought to have died in a massive fire several years prior, but he managed to survive and blames the rest of his team for not coming into the blaze after him.
Confronting the fire chief Garfield threatens everyone, but this time Oliver is able to save the chief while Garfield commits suicide by himself. Laurel’s father meanwhile has figured out that Laurel was able to communicate with the Hood and plants a bug on her phone so that he can monitor her conversations.