TV - Arrow Season 3, Episode 14


Enemies and places old and new this week as Steve Taylor-Bryant watches this week’s Arrow entitled The Return...

"Yeah, I pulled the hoodie down to cover my face."

"That disguise wouldn't work even if you smeared grease paint all over your face."

Laurel is in the unenviable position of rescuing her ‘drunk in the morning’ dad from a bar as he travels back down an alcoholic road due to the death of Sara, and Oliver is on the island with Thea training for the confrontation with Ra’s. Whilst there Oliver decides to pop down into the A.R.G.U.S prison vault to see Deathstroke/Slade, but surprise he’s not there as he has escaped. Of course the perfect timing of his miraculous escape is as perfect as you’d think, in fact it’s a set up by Malcolm Merlyn to help Oliver get back that killer instinct he is lacking from a few years of doing the right thing.


Back to that later.

Now I’ve regained my composure lets continue. After getting surprised and stunned by Slade, Oliver wakes to find he and Thea are in Slade’s old cell and he plans to leave them there and set evidence in Starling City that they have been killed.

In a very flashback heavy episode this week, Oliver breaks into his families offices and downloads all the information that Amanda wanted on the chemical weapon’s auction. Oliver also downloads a file of his own choosing and narrowly escapes being seen by a young tech assistant, Felicity, who talks to his photo about being cute but dead. Waller studies the information that they now have and notices that Oliver is gone, which brings me to my excitable outburst earlier on. Tommy is back! Albeit in the flashbacks, and there is something quite warming about seeing him protecting a school age Thea before he celebrates his birthday. The party itself see’s recently civilian John Diggle and his younger brother playing security guards but neither notice a hooded Oliver sneak past. When inside Oliver sees Tommy and Laurel talking, both of them warn off Thea about drinking at the party but miss Thea scoring more drugs. When Oliver confronts the dealer he recognises him, which is until Oliver breaks his neck.

Back on the island and in the prison the family holiday takes another dark twist. As Thea is getting at Oliver for still keeping secrets he realises that they can in fact escape as Thea is small in stature and goes ahead and dislocates her shoulder for her to help matters along. Which works as the pair get to escape and search for Slade who they are sure is about to steal their plane.

Back at the party and the cavalry have arrived in the form of drunk Detective Lance. After noticing that Laurel is also in attendance he launches into a tirade about billionaire playboys and then takes down Laurel for pretty much running away to San Francisco and working for a huge firm rather than making the world a better place. Someone else not happy is Maseo who has to come and get Oliver before someone spots him. Oliver tells Maseo he’s done and walks away.

Running towards the plane Thea decides to take a different path to Oliver and runs right into one the booby traps Oliver himself built. Oliver manages to save her but injures himself and they are forced to rest. Thea is relentless in her mission to get Oliver to talk about Sara and he reluctantly tells her that she did whilst under the influence and control of Merlyn. Before she even has time to let the full extent of her actions sink in, Slade is upon them and a fight ensues that takes both the Queen’s as a team and Thea’s gun to put a stop to. Not wanting to turn out like Malcolm, an angry Thea just wounds Slade and the Queen’s put him back in the prison vault.

Back to the past and Oliver has decided to go home, although no one is in the Queen mansion so he watches the file he downloaded earlier, a message from his father. The video is basically what he already knew, I have failed this city and the like. Meanwhile, in what is then derelict but where Verdant and the Arrow Cave now sit, China White is auctioning off the chemical warfare stuff she has. A.R.G.U.S soldiers are spotted and gunned down but before China can have Maseo killed a newly invigorated and weapon clenching Oliver turns up and saves the day.


Okay, I won’t be calming down this time! General Matthew Shrieve comes to meet Oliver and tells him they have to take him back to China for a debriefing but does state he will let go afterwards. Something in his eye says he won’t.

At Sara’s grave Laurel finds her father who is still distraught. Not so much with Sara’s death, or her mother already knowing, but with the bond and trust he always had with Laurel broken. Eventually he decides that he will stay sober but wants nothing to do with Laurel and storms off. Back at the Queen apartment a livid Thea tears a strip off Malcolm.

Well that was bloody good. The flashbacks were given the screen to hold some relevance and it was great to see those folk back in season 1 positions. Add to it the Slade fighting and Marc Singer from V and I’m ready for some more.

Image - IMDb.

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