In only two seasons, Oliver has revealed his identity as the Arrow to quite a number of people. But damn, if the reveal he pulled off tonight wasn’t the most emotional, impactful and simply thrilling one to date.

Oliver Officially Gets Another Partner

This is a Roy episode, through and through, and for someone who’s been on the fence about the actor’s performance, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode.

Oliver wants to start training Roy slowly–making him slap water for starters. But he has to escalate things when Bronze Tiger escapes prison by acquiring his claws through another prisoner who smuggled them inside of himself.

Diggle isn’t sure of Roy and doesn’t think he should be trusted to be a part of the team. But Oliver insists, “I’m not going to make the same mistake with Roy” that he did with Slade.

They track Bronze Tiger to Malcolm’s house where he’s going to steal a prototype of the earthquake machine. Arrow fights the Bronze Tiger while Roy fights his partner. Arrow has to pull Roy off of him after he almost beats him to death and in that instant, Bronze Tiger escapes.

When debriefing with Felicity and Diggle, Oliver says, “It was the look in Roy’s eyes–it was Slade all over again.”

Arrow tries to appeal to Roy by talking up Thea. “Get control,” Oliver says. “If not for me, if not for yourself. Then for Thea.” But at the mention of her name, Roy goes ballistic and tells the Arrow that he’ll stop Bronze Tiger without him.

Diggle warns Oliver later that some people are just broken and can’t be fixed, but Oliver refuses to believe that.

Arrow tracks the Bronze Tiger to a rooftop where he’s meeting with a business partner. Roy comes in to help and starts beating on Bronze Tiger. Arrow tries to get him to calm down and when he realizes that won’t work, he takes off his hood and Oliver appeals to him again through Thea. “I know you love her,” he says. “I’ve seen. Save my sister.”

Roy calms down and together, Roy and Oliver destroy the prototype earthquake device that Bronze Tiger’s partner had planned to set off.

As Oliver tells Diggle later, Roy couldn’t use Thea as his focus point to calm down unless it was Oliver telling him, not the Arrow.

Afterwards, Roy turns to thank Oliver and tells him, “You saved me [months ago.] You gave me purpose.”

Diggle, who seemed not to want to trust Roy earlier in the episode, comes around later when Oliver brings him to the secret headquarters to meet Diggle and Felicity.

But at the same time Oliver is adding a new partner to his roster, Amanda Waller is building up hers. She returns near the end of the episode and visits Bronze Tiger in prison. She’s recruiting him for Suicide Squad.

So, so much excitement in that scene. But with a plethora of villains on tap for this season, led by Blood and Slade, I have to imagine this Suicide Squad stuff won’t kick in until next season. 

Laurel’s Drinking Problem Develops Into Full Blown Alcoholism

Laurel’s downward spiral hits rock bottom in this episode VERY fast. After turning down her father’s attempt to go to an AA meeting, and then showing up at Oliver’s club very drunk, Oliver realizes the only way to get through to her is through a family member.

Knowing that the actress who plays her mother was booked for a return visit, I assumed it was her. But nope, it’s Sarah. Sarah is back in the present day storyline to hopefully talk some sense into her sister.

Moira Is Running for Mayor

In kind of a random plot strand, Moira has been recruited by Walter and a man named Mark Frances – played by Nicholas Lea, which means I already don’t trust him – to run for Mayor against Sebastian Blood.

It’s great to see Moira get a strong storyline, but are we honestly supposed to believe the citizens would forgive her after she was on trial? Thea seems convinced since she was, but she’s also her daughter. Seems like a bit of a stretch, but let’s see where this plot goes.

Especially since Moira eerily suggested to Walter that they need to get rid of her OB, since he’s the only person to know Thea’s father isn’t Moira’s first husband.

Other Odds and Ends

– The island flashbacks continue the trend of dovetailing nicely with what’s happening in the present. In the past, we see Oliver finally get Slade to come to grips with his anger – just as he’s preparing to destroy the freighter with the missiles – but by lying to him about what happened to Shado and telling Slade that she loved him.

– I hope in next week’s episode, Roy gets a way more convincing and appropriate costume. Instead of his, you know, hoodie.

Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8 pm ET on the CW.

(Image courtesy of the CW.)

Alan Danzis

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV