Arrow: Time of Death/The Promise

Arrow returns tomorrow after a brief mini-hiatus, and the last two episodes were sort of wildly different in their focus. Rather than deep dive each of them, let’s get you caught up on the basics so you’re ready to go for “Suicide Squad.”

In “Time of Death,” Billy from Cult (aka Robert Knepper) is a mad scientist sort who times heists to the precise second in order to save someone close to him. In the process, he implodes all the tech in the lair, and Felicity takes it as a personal failure. Since she’s already touchy about Sara’s new place in Oliver’s hierarchy, she overreacts, gets herself shot, but in the end saves the day and Oliver assures her she will always be his girl.

On the personal front, things go from bad to nuclear with Laurel when Oliver tags along with Sara to a family dinner and it takes two seconds for her to realize what’s going on with them. Compound that with Quentin misreading his own potential romantic cues, and Laurel explodes. It’s Oliver who calls her on the self-destruct mode she’s fallen into, and when he rages at her to the point that he tells her to go get drunk because he’s done, it’s just what she needs to push her toward her sister and AA.

We also learned that Sara’s been Sin’s protector because her father crash-landed his plane on the island, and before he died, he gave her a photo of his daughter and asked her to look after her–so Sara’s likely been coming in and out of Starling City since before Oliver was found.

Then, in “The Promise,” Oliver found out Slade is alive and well and off his rocker. Thankfully, Sara and the gang realize it, too, and step in at the Queens (where Oliver is treading very lightly since Moira and Thea in the house) before Slade can do any damage. He does, however, plant Sliver-style surveillance cameras all over before Oliver gets him to leave.

The flashbacks show us that Oliver never came clean about how Shado died, but once the team gets onto the barge, Ivo has no trouble filling in the blanks. Once Slade hears the truth, he has his own meltdown, where he promises to return the world of pain and loss Oliver’s actions caused him onto Oliver and everyone he loves. And now he’s back to follow through on that. Oh, and Diggle gets himself picked up for some sort of secret mission.

So, I’m OK with Laurel finally bending, but the Oliver smackdown in the hall was brutal even if he said exactly what he needed to for her to hear him and really look at what she was doing to herself. His admission that he had loved her half his life particularly resonated, but again, that makes me question the timeline and retcon around Sara.

While the conversations in “Time of Death” were emotionally draining, the stuff on the barge in “The Promise” was physically brutal, and if that’s what we’re in for more of as Slade gets his revenge, I hope we wind that down fairly quickly. Kudos all around to the stunt crew who kicked all kinds of ass–that’s just not why I watch this show every week.

Here are a couple of sneak peeks of tomorrow’s new Diggle-centric (yay!) episode:

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