Warning: This recap contains spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Arrow, “The Recruits,” since this is, by definition, a recap! Don’t say we didn’t warn you …
After four years, it’s officially the beginning of a new era on Arrow. Oliver finally stopped denying the fact that Diggle and Thea weren’t coming back to fight alongside him and he needed to fill out the ranks of Team Arrow. And on the flip side, Thea realized she needed to fill out a team of her own in the Mayor’s office so she could get help taking on all of Oliver’s responsibilities when he was busy out in the field. Seeing as how they were going to open a free clinic and were being targeted by what they thought was a potential meta-human, they needed all the help they could get both in the public eye and in private. So the Green Arrow’s training camp began with Rene Ramirez a.k.a. Wild Dog, Evelyn Sharp a.k.a. the future Artemis, and Curtis Holt a.k.a. the future Mister Terrific. And it was brutal. But it was necessary, since they were all a little too “green”… a joke Felicity had been waiting to make for five years, apparently.
At the opening of the clinic, the mysterious “meta-human” covered in dark rags attacked, and proved to be more of a threat than the new Team Arrow thought. Oliver had told Wild Dog and the other recruits to not engage the target, but Wild Dog didn’t listen and snagged a piece of the target’s rags as evidence. Felicity brought it to her new boyfriend, Detective Billy Malone, at the SCPD to help her identify what it was, and she told him a super flimsy story about where it came from à la season one Oliver. He still offered to help her, though, and came through with results.
Back at the old Hive headquarters/new Team Arrow training camp, Oliver returned to find that after tearing all the recruits a new one, they had all quit. Curtis stayed behind to yell at Oliver for not trusting them and tearing them down instead of building them up… and then he quit too. Maybe it’s time for Oliver to revamp his teaching styles?
Back at the Arrow Lair, Felicity talked some sense into Oliver about how he wasn’t acting like a leader toward the recruits. Feeling guilty about how he had acted, he actually opened up to her about his time in the Bratva (something she remarked he never, ever did), and how no one used their real names or told anyone anything about their lives pre-Bratva and it was effective. That’s why he was acting so cold and closed off towards the recruits, because after opening up to the original Team Arrow, they all left or died, and he needed to protect himself this time around. That’s why he wasn’t revealing his true identity as Oliver Queen to the new recruits. But Felicity told him that the old team had worked because they trusted and respected Oliver Queen, not feared the Green Arrow, and it was time for him to lose the mask during training.
Meanwhile, to help out at the office, Thea had offered Quentin Lance a position without realizing he had fallen off the wagon with drinking. Oliver clued her in later, telling her that hiring Lance right now wasn’t a good idea since they were currently dealing with a huge PR problem after getting in bed with weapons manufacturer AmerTek and then realizing the company was working with gangster Tobias Church in secret. AmerTek was going bankrupt after working with Damien Dahrk on the Genesis Day nukes, so they were scrambling to get any funds they could by any means necessary, even if it meant working with criminals. But Team Arrow/Team Mayor was able to track the “rag man” who attacked the free clinic (and Team Arrow now realized he was trying to take down the corrupt AmerTek), and Oliver decided he would handle things without his new recruits this time around.
The Green Arrow arrived at AmerTek’s meet with Tobias where they were exchanging guns for money, and in the resulting fight, the Rag Man showed up and revealed himself to be the very last survivor from Havenrock, the city nuked on Genesis Day. He tried to kill the CEO of AmerTek in revenge but Oliver stopped him, and Rag Man actually saved Oliver’s life instead of fulfilling his revenge plot. After the fight, Oliver ended up convincing him to join the new Team Arrow after hearing his backstory of how his father saved him from the nuclear blast by wrapping him in ancient rags that helped give him his abilities. Oliver opened up about his own history with his father, and a new partnership was solidified.
After his success with bonding with Rag Man, Oliver decided to take Felicity’s and Curtis’ advice, and he revealed his true identity to his new recruits. After their initial shock faded that the Green Arrow was also the Mayor, all three of them rejoined the new Team Arrow. Success!
Also, after Lance apologized to Thea for screwing up while serving as security for the clinic grand opening and saying he wasn’t good enough to work for her right now, she told him she wouldn’t accept his resignation. She knew a job would be better for him than having nothing to do, and that he needed a reason to stay sober, so she decided to hire him as deputy mayor and he tearfully accepted. Laurel would have been so proud.
And we finally got a clue into what the mysterious archer Prometheus wants. After Tobias almost killed Oliver during the fight earlier that night, Prometheus tracked him down and threatened him with certain death if Tobias ever killed the Green Arrow. Does Prometheus want that honor for himself? Or does he want something else with Oliver instead? So many questions!
Meanwhile, we finally got to check in with Diggle now that he’s overseas and reenlisted in the army. He’s a really good mentor to the younger soldiers, but while out on a mission to retrieve a trigger from one of Damien Dahrk’s missiles, they were ambushed. Turns out Diggle’s fellow soldiers were not trying to retrieve the trigger, but steal it. More corruption in the army? Yikes, Dig has the worst luck. The corrupt soldiers then tried to pin the robbery on Diggle by using his gun to kill a young, good-hearted soldier who had sided with Dig. How is he going to get out of this sticky situation?!
And finally, in this week’s flashbacks, Oliver’s initiation into the Bratva, or the Russian mob, showed exactly where he got his inspiration for his Green Arrow training camp in the present. Same tactics, same outcome. By ruthlessly beating the recruits, the Bratva produced ruthless fighters. Oliver, along with a few other recruits, were given a mission: to get past the attacking Bratva members and ring a bell behind them. Oliver realized they all needed to work together to distract the Bratva members so one of them could slip past and ring the bell, so Oliver convinced his fellow recruits to work together and he was able to ring the bell. But the rest of the recruits were all killed and only Oliver moved on, because the Bratva recognized the intelligence in Oliver and admired how he “used” his fellow recruits to get ahead. See? Ruthless.
What did you think of this week’s episode of Arrow? Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!
Images: The CW