What a jam-packed episode, huh?!
So much happened this week on Arrow, but the most important thing needs to be shouted from the rooftops: the salmon ladder is baaaaaaack! Just take a moment and revel in all its glory:
Beautiful, isn’t it? But let’s get back to the task at hand: recapping “Beyond Redemption!” Everyone, please welcome Rutina Wesley to the Arrow universe. While we all thought the True Blood alum was going to play some upstanding police officer, she is actually playing… a dirty cop who kills two fellow SCPD detectives?! Whoa, we did not see that coming! Liza Warner, what is going on?
In happier news, Oliver brings Team Arrow to Sebastian Blood’s (RIP) old, dusty, rundown office to make a big announcement. Everyone thinks it’s their new Team Arrow lair, while Thea thinks Oliver is about to announce his engagement to Felicity (almost ruining the future question herself, awkward!). But he actually announces that he’s running for mayor. They all think it’s a joke, but he’s very, very serious. While his first announcement doesn’t go over well his second one does–Sebastian Blood had his own secret lair underneath the office, and it’s now Arrow Lair 3.0! And it. Is. Bad. Ass. Thanks to Cisco and STAR Labs, it’s the most high-tech, top of the line lair they have ever had. If that new set didn’t take your breath away, are you even alive?!
Their first case in their new lair: discovering who shot and killed two SCPD detectives, aka the ones Liza Warner and her crew took out. Oliver pays a visit to Lance, who is, as usual, less than thrilled to see him. But when Oliver asks him to endorse his mayoral candidacy, he actually laughs and is more supportive than anyone else has been so far. He knows Oliver can handle himself, and can make things happen–maybe not legally, but quickly and efficiently. Oliver might be the answer Lance has been looking for! Who would have thought?
At Palmer Tech, Felicity brings her phone to Curtis, thinking he’s been pranking her by sending her two-year-old coding. But he hasn’t, and he actually recognizes the code. He figures out that Felicity might be receiving Ray’s final voice recording before he “died.” While Felicity doesn’t want to hear Ray’s final words, Curtis convinces her she’s in denial, and hearing anything new from him will only help her grieve. She finally enters the password–“password,” because of course–and cries when she hears Ray’s voice. But what does he say?! That’s an answer for another week (or another show entirely, cough Legends of Tomorrow, cough).
Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow find Liza’s base of operations, and they figure out the murderers were police officers targeting big drug deals to sell back to gangs to make a quick buck. Oliver has Thea use her old drug dealer connections to acquire a ton of cocaine so they can put the target on their own back to figure out who the dirty cops are. They get ambushed, and they’re clearly outmatched and outgunned, even with Lance on their team (more Team Arrow/Lance team ups in the future, please and thank you!). But they do figure out based on the gear used that the dirty cops were from the anti-vigilante task force, desperate to make money while the city fails.
As if corrupt cops weren’t enough for Lance, Laurel decides to not keep any more family secrets, and takes her dad to see the newly resurrected Sara, who she’s keeping chained up in a warehouse basement since she hasn’t gotten any better. It’s been days, but Sara is just a shell of a person. Of course, Laurel hasn’t given up on Sara, but Lance sees that she isn’t the same daughter he remembers–especially when she tries to strangle Laurel with her chains.
Desperate, Lance reaches out to Damien Dahrk for help with Sara, since after doing some digging of his own he finds out that Dahrk was in the League of Assassins and has some knowledge about the Lazarus Pit. Raise your hand if you knew Darhk’s “advice” would be terrible. Father to father, Darhk tells Lance to put her down. Father of the year, everyone! He tells Lance that though she may look like his daughter, she has no soul. But is that the only solution? (Cough, John Constantine, cough).
While surveilling every cop car’s camera, looking for their top suspect in the SCPD killings, Oliver is shaken to the core when he notices Lance talking to none other than Damien Dahrk. Lance, your secret cover has been blown! The absolute shock on Stephen Amell’s face in that moment was perfect. That man sure knows how to give a chill-inducing performance like none other.
Oliver immediately goes to Lance’s apartment to confront him in one of the most intense scenes this show has ever had. Oliver can’t understand how Lance would ever work with a man like Damien Dahrk, knowing what he’s done to the city, and Lance tries to explain: it all started off benign. Dahrk had resources and said he wanted to help the city, and Star City desperately needed the help. And by the time Lance figured out who Dahrk really was, it was too late, and Dahrk threatened Laurel’s life. But Oliver has never been so disappointed in his life. He tells Lance that he was the reason he was even running for mayor: he wanted Lance to see what kind of man he really was, after judging him so harshly for years and years. The sadness and disappointment on his face and in his voice? Heartbreaking! Oliver has lost all faith in Lance, when he used to see him as the most moral and righteous man he’s ever known.
After his confrontation with Lance, Oliver is so defeated that he doesn’t even believe the Star City he wanted to lead as mayor even exists anymore. He’s taking Lance’s betrayal so hard that he isn’t even sure he wants to run for mayor anymore. And Lance isn’t doing much better–he’s so broken that he almost shot Sara in the head, but Laurel intervenes at the right moment. He breaks down, and on his way home he and Laurel are attacked by Liza’s crew. They take Lance to the SCPD contraband disposal facility so they can steal all the confiscated drugs before they plan to leave the city.
Team Arrow follows them and takes them all out, saving Lance. But Liza manages to stab Oliver and starts to strangle him. Lance tries to talk some sense into her before she kills him. His words to her about bringing justice back to the city since it’s not beyond redemption work two fold: it’s clear he’s also talking about himself. And it works! She gives herself up to police custody, and he decides to turn himself in the following morning.
But Oliver doesn’t like that plan–he hasn’t been able to get close to Dahrk, and now he’s got the perfect inside man. He wants Lance to stay close to Dahrk and play double agent, and tells Lance that he trusts him. But will that be enough? And will Dahrk believe Lance, or is Oliver setting Lance up on a suicide mission?
Back at Lair 3.0, Oliver is surprised to find the office above full of interns ready to work for his campaign, all organized by none other than Thea. She’s proving to be quite the campaign manager! Guess running a night club was good practice for politics, huh? Thanks to a pep talk from her, Oliver decides to run for mayor and he makes his big candidacy announcement later that day about how he wants to save his city. But he doesn’t realize how difficult that goal is, because Dahrk gets a mysterious looking box that can’t mean anything good, and Sara escaped her chains and is nowhere to be seen.
Back on the island in this week’s flashback storyline, Oliver brings his new friend to his old cave, and gives her advice on how to survive alone while he convinces the soldiers that she’s dead. He heads back to camp and tells the other soldiers he killed her, and despite the fact that they can see that Oliver is a “stone cold killer,” they want to see the body for proof. Oliver brings the head soldier to the cave, where he managed to make the woman’s body appear dead the way Yao Fei taught him. But as the soldier heads back to camp, he finds Oliver’s communication device that he’s been using to talk to ARGUS. Oops!
Now that Liza is in police custody, what do you think she’s going to do next? Where did Sara disappear to?Will Star City accept Oliver as a mayoral candidate? Does Lance have what it takes to play double agent and fool Dahrk? So many questions, so little time! Hit the comments section below to weigh in with your thoughts now!
Images: The CW
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.