You know what, my back side hurts so bad I have to use one of those donut things. Wanna know why? Because Arrow was so awesome last week it kicked my butt. That’s right, I am not joking (well, I am about the donut). This show continues to amaze me. As the season winds down to a close the show is doing anything but winding down as the characters and events continue to spiral down into a whirlpool of chaos and mayhem, like the Allstate commercials. As the theme for this episode suggests, there’s a whole lot of lyin’ goin’ on. We already know that Moira has been dabbling in a little doo doo but Oliver hasn’t figured it out yet. We also know that Laurel has been sneaking around with the Hood (the sexual tension there is thick enough to float a tank) and Daddy and Tommy don’t know about that either…or do they? Let’s dig in and find out.
We begin with Cyrus Vanch, big time criminal and all-around bad guy being released from prison and endeavoring to establish his reputation as Starling City’s number one bad guy. The only problem is the Hood is standing in his way. His contacts on the inside of the police department lead him to some vital information: Laurel Lance and her connection to the Hood. It seems that Quentin placed a bug in the Bowphone so when Laurel contacted the Hood next, he could get a lead on where to trap him. Of course, Laurel as bait was just a minor part of the plan (according to him). Obviously, Laurel didn’t think so. She called the Hood to ask for help in obtaining evidence to put Cyrus back in prison. The Hood wasn’t able to get much, so when they met on yet another rooftop, he shared what little he was able to find out. It was at this time Quentin and his Mod Squad burst onto the roof forcing Oliver to use Laurel as a shield to facilitate his untimely exit. Other than being slightly traumatized and more than a little angry with her father, she was fine. Quentin followed Oliver off the roof, but his only reward was a knot on the skull, which he totally deserved and I am sure Oliver enjoyed giving him.
While Oliver is preoccupied with Laurel, Diggle decides to keep an eye on Moira by playing chauffeur, much to Oliver’s dismay. With evidence from Felicity that Robert’s book was a match to the one Walter apparently obtained from Moira, Diggs feels she is more than just a likely suspect. One night while driving Miss Daisy, he decides to follow her into the building to scope out her “appointment.” He locates an adjacent closet and listens in as she and Malcolm (whose voice comes out disguised…of course) discuss her role in the plan. What he catches is an admission to not only being involved in some questionable activity, but Moira also admitting her knowledge about the yacht “accident.” This news devastates Oliver yet he is still unwilling to accuse her of anything other than the slightest connection to the names in the book.
Laurel and Tommy’s relationship takes a hit when, in the middle of her tirade about her father, she inadvertently tells Tommy of her connection to the Hood. His comment back to her was great, something to the effect of: it sucks to be lied to, doesn’t it? And, this is something I love about this show, where does he go to vent…to Oliver. I loved watching Oliver’s face as Tommy called the Hood a dangerous rule-breaker and that Laurel was infatuated with him (Laurel has a thing for the bad boys in case no one noticed). Really, ‘cause I thought she gave smoldering looks to every guy wearing a green hoodie. To Oliver’s credit, he advises Tommy to talk with her and fix it, before it turns into an even bigger problem. All the while Tommy was speaking about lies from those close to one, Oliver is thinking about his own lies and the lies he lived with on the island. Tommy heads to Laurel’s apartment, taking Oliver’s advice, but when he arrives he finds the place in disarray (while he was out, Cyrus and some henchmen kidnapped her, but she is a scrappy thing so they made a bit of a mess). What he does find in place of Laurel is one of the Hood’s arrows with a recorded message from Cyrus: get the Hood here or she dies. Frantic, Tommy takes the message to Quentin who quickly realizes the department has a spy and sneaks off to call Oliver.
They team up to save Laurel. Oliver takes out nearly every man guarding Cyrus with his usual efficiency. The writers played this moment in tandom with Cyrus’s comments about each set of guards. It was fun and well-played to listen to Cyrus brag and watch Oliver take them down. Just as it looks like Oliver is about to get shot in the back, Quentin takes the guy out and nearly kills Cyrus before Oliver reminds him, he is the vigilante, Quentin is the cop. Later in the parking lot of the police department, we enjoy a somewhat personal scene when the Hood tells Laurel he isn’t willing to risk her safety any more. His choice of words and depth of emotion come through, even though his voice is disguised. The body language in this scene was quite good as one could sense the restraint and repressed emotion in both Oliver and Laurel as neither were truly willing to walk away from each other. She tries to argue with his reasoning but Tommy calls for her and while her back is turned, Oliver slips away. As she and Tommy embrace, Oliver watches forlornly from above. One can’t help but hope that at some point in the future, the two get together in some way, whether the writers decide to make her the Black Canary or not. They got some business that needs finishin’.
Diggle returns to the lair to find Oliver dressed in gear listening to his mother’s recording. I should have caught the hint there, but I can be a bit dim sometimes. He tells Diggle he needs to have a talk with his mother and the next thing I know, he is coming through the office window, taking men down, and drawing down on his mother with a “Moira Queen, you have failed this city.” I came off the couch. *Spoiler Alert* Apparently Oliver gets his marksmanship from his mother because next week’s episode shows Oliver fighting for his life from a bullet wound. We also have Felicity joining the pack and I can’t wait to see how that turns out in the long run.
What new island details emerged in this episode? The addition of fresh meat in the form of Manu Bennett (Spartacus) aka Slade Wilson appears as Oliver reaches the wreck of an airplane via Yao’s map. Slade is Australian intelligence and he and his partner were sent to rescue Yao Fei. A series of scenes showing Slade testing Oliver’s strength of will commence at various parts of the show until at one point, Oliver opens a case and finds the mask of Deathstroke. Where will this lead? Who knows! We keep seeing major surprises which make one wonder if the writers can keep this pace up if the show lasts for let’s say, 8 seasons. Will there be anything left to wow us by then? I certainly hope so.