After the mess that was the civil war episode of “Collison Course,” Arrow gets (way) back to basics in this episode, “Doppelganger.” After a lengthy absence, Roy Harper is back and Thea puts back on her Speedy outfit. That’s not all either. Laurel Lance is also “resurrected,” even if it’s just as a new mask for Black Siren. Even if all these returns end up being temporary, which is likely, they still facilitate a deeply satisfying and weirdly nostalgic episode of Arrow.

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I, Laurel Lance

Arrow is still Arrow and none of these returns occur for joyous reasons. Like most of season 6, “Doppelganger” opens with Oliver receiving a cavalcade of new problems and quickly going on the defensive to fix them. 

The first major crisis is Black Siren’s newest scheme. Following through on her plot from the last episode, Black Siren is now publicly claiming to be the Laurel Lance. Black Siren tells the press that she was kidnapped for two years and her death was faked, but now she’s back. Oliver and gang don’t expose this obvious lie because Black Siren holds exposing their true identities over all their heads. It’s blackmail stalemate. 

The situation itself is very predictable and it’s shocking that Black Siren didn’t attempt to do this sooner. (Ignoring the season 5 episode where she tried to trick Ollie she was the real Laurel.) Yet the brilliance of this plot is how it puts Black Siren in such close quarters with Oliver and the gang. The many sides and complexities of Black Siren truly can come out when she’s interacting with Laurel’s family and friends. 

Katie Cassidy is continuing to have the time of her life playing Black Siren and it’s a delight to watch her flip between a sincere desire for redemption, and just playing everyone. Eventually, Arrow is going to have to have Black Siren pick a side, becoming villain or hero. Yet, the road getting there has been an acerbic delight and it’s only getting better. 

Turning Oliver’s Arsenal Against Him

As for Roy’s return, things are a lot less pleasant, albeit still as interesting. When Oliver’s legal team tries to get his Green Arrow case thrown out of court, they learns that the state has a new witness. That’s witness is Roy. 

It’s revealed that Ricardo Diaz, working with the cops on his payroll, found Roy and are now torturing him to testify against Oliver. Therefore, Roy’s big return, in this episode at least, doesn’t amount to much more than glaring at people who are trying to get to betray his friends.

Yet Arrow does make the very wise decision to put Thea back in the Speedy Suit to try to save the (former) love of her life. Roy may not be in action but one of Oliver’s former sidekicks is in the field. Thea stepping away from Speedy was the right move for the character and the show but it’s great to see Oliver and Thea working together again in costume. 

However, like Roy’s return, a lot of the Thea material seems to be building to future episodes. Oliver even remarks that once this is all over, Thea should run away with Roy because she deserves some happiness. 

It’s hard to know how to feel about this as Thea has become one of Arrow‘s best characters. At the same time the show doesn’t really know what to do with her. Having Thea disappear with Roy would not be the worst way to write her out of the series. 

The Triple (or Quadruple) Cross

Before anyone can run away though, Roy has to be rescued from Diaz’ men. Quentin and Dinah (proving there’s some reason and rationality left in her character) start working together to expose the corruption in the SCPD. Yet, that’ll take time and Roy needs saving now. With “help” from Black Siren (who has been contacted by Diaz) Oliver, Diggle and Thea all rush off to rescue Roy from Diaz’ newest hideout.

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This rescue mission becomes Oliver and Diaz’ first real face-off and the result is … interesting. Diaz still is nowhere near the level of Prometheus or Deathstroke as a villain. There’s no personal angle to his vendetta against Oliver. However, Diaz really does have the creepy mastermind thing covered fully. Oliver is able to save Roy but it’s a hollow victory. Oliver knows can’t take out Diaz (or Anatoly) with the amount corruption in the SCPD and he’s forced to flee the scene. 

Yet, Diaz having the hooks in the SCPD is far from his only advantage. Although Laurel’s information in saving Roy was right, she’s still (probably) not on Oliver’s side. Oliver tells Laurel that thanks to her help in saving Roy, he’ll give her yet another chance. However, as Oliver leaves, Laurel receives a text from Diaz telling her “Good work” implying that Diaz wanted Roy to be rescued. (Seriously this guy does have the evil mastermind routine on lock.) 

An Unwanted Legacy

This would be enough but Arrow has one more curveball to throw to the audience. As if there’s not enough plots and villains running amok already, another  player enters Star City in the final moments of “Doppelganger.” 

Roy and Thea finally get a chance to reunite but their reunion is creepily being watched. A member of the League of Assassins is watching Thea and she informs someone, that the Heir of the Demon has been located. (Although that task should’ve been too hard.)  Once again, it looks like Thea being Malcom Merlyn’s daughter is coming back to haunt her. The chances of her fleeing with Roy just skyrocketed as a result.

What did you make of the return of Roy? What do you think is Black Siren’s endgame? How are you feeling about Diaz as a villain so far? Do you mind that there’s no personal vendetta for him going after Oliver?

Arrow season 6 will return Thursday, March 29 at 9/8c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Arrow Facebook page!

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.