Oliver brings Sara/Black Canary onto the Arrow team and she fits right in with the guys, but Felicity starts to feel left out. A dangerous master criminal named William Tockman, aka The Clock King (Robert Knepper), is robbing banks all over Starling City and leaving a body count in his wake. When The Clock King is able to destroy the computer system in the Arrow underground lair, Felicity feels responsible and takes a big risk on her own to take down the villain. Meanwhile, Oliver is trying to help Sara feel welcome back home and tries to support her reconciliation with her family, in particular Laurel. And Sara isn’t the only one hoping to reconcile with family as Quentin Lance has his sights set on getting Dinah to move back home and back to him. Flashbacks to the island reveal a profound connection Sara has with someone else in Starling City that no one else knows about. Thea begins to notice the tension between Moira and Oliver and confronts them on it. Oliver interrupts a meeting between Moira and a new business associate.
**********CAUTION********** SPOILERS DEAD AHEAD **********CAUTION**********
This episode was top notch first and foremost because of the guest star, the enigmatic Robert Knepper in the role of criminal mastermind, William Tockman aka The Clock King. No one can bring the intensity, intelligence, unpredictability and, well, the insanity like Knepper. He goes from quoting War and Peace to brutally killing his henchman in a matter of seconds and never really breaks a sweat (although the blood splatter makes a bit of a mess). Knepper makes the Clock King the formidable opponent he should be and we will hopefully see him again in the future.
The other thing that makes this episode top notch is the imploding of several key relationships in the Team Arrow / Family Queen / Family Lance universe. As Oliver should know by now, making a choice in one relationship tends to have ripple effects in other relationships. In this case, it is his choice to resume his relationship with Sara and to bring her into the Team Arrow family that has repercussions for both of them.
Ripple #1 – Felicity / Team Arrow & Felicity / Oliver
As Ollie and Dig bond with Sara over fighting and scars, Felicity is suddenly the odd girl out. Of course, everyone seems to notice this but Oliver and it is handled well overall by everyone in the end – including Oliver. When Dig looks her in the eye and tells her that she is ‘irreplaceable,’ it reinforces the bond that Team Arrow has built since day one. And it is a very touching moment when Oliver tells her that she will always be ‘his girl.’ There even seems to be a friendship forming between Sara and Felicity (now that she has taken a bullet for her). That will be important in the team dynamics in the future.
Ripple #2 – Oliver / Laurel
Sara and Oliver getting back together has a huge impact on Laurel. Though they try to keep it a secret, Laurel immediately picks up on their relationship and totally loses it. Oliver and Laurel finally have the knockdown, drag out fight that they should have had when he initially returned. But when Oliver first came home, Laurel was dealing with forgiving him for his role in her sister’s death. It’s almost as if the knowledge that Sara is still alive has opened festering wounds of feeling betrayed and all the anger that Laurel sealed away is coming out now. In turn, Oliver confronts Laurel on her drinking, drugs and blaming everyone else (especially him) for all of her problems. It’s quite an emotional exchange and Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy do an exceptional job in portraying these two people with such complicated histories reaching a breaking point in their relationship. The wound is finally being cleansed and hopefully they can begin to heal properly now.
Ripple #3 – Sara / Laurel
Laurel and Sara had a close but complicated sisterly relationship well before Sara got on that boat with Oliver that fateful night. Sara was the younger sister that idolized her older sister, and who had a crush on Oliver before he and Laurel even started dating. Just as Laurel seems like she is able to welcome her sister back into her life, the realization that Oliver and Sara are involved again topples that situation. Her blow-up with Oliver helps Laurel see how the hurt and anger she is feeling is not just about Oliver and Sara, but a compilation of all of the disappointments in her life. Will the sisters be able to find their way back to each other? Laurel takes a big first step and Sara seems to be willing to meet her half way. There is hope — at least for the sisters. Quentin Lance seems to have fallen prey to the same idealistic hopes that Laurel had — that their family could be the same as they were before Sara disappeared. But too much time has passed and people have moved on, including Dinah. Both Quentin and Laurel take important steps to continue their healing process as they unexpectedly meet at the local AA meeting. The Lance family will not be the same as they were before Sara disappeared, but they may be able to be a stronger family unit now that she has returned.
And Sara has one more secret that she seems reluctant to reveal. Sin is the daughter of the plane crash victim on the island that Sara, Oliver and Slade tried to save. His dying wish was that Sara look out for his daughter. A wish that she has apparently followed through on, based on Sin’s reaction upon seeing her at the Queen mansion. But why is she reluctant to let anybody know about this? Whatever the reason, she promises Sin that she will always be her little sister in spirit. How will this relationship come into play in the future? Time will tell.
Trouble in another one of Oliver’s relationships is also having a ripple effect elsewhere – that of his tense relationship with his mother. It is upsetting the entire Queen family dynamic – especially Thea. Oliver will not forgive his mother for her past dalliance with Malcolm Merlyn and is determined to freeze her out of his life, but Thea is picking up on the trouble between mother and son and it is making her suspicious. Oliver is risking Thea digging for answers and finding out the one thing he claims to be trying to protect her from – her true parentage.
The biggest shock comes at the end of the episode when Oliver interrupts his mother’s meeting with a new business associate – Slade Wilson. What ripple effects are to come from this?
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesdays at 8/7c. Full episodes are also available at the http://www.cwtv.com/shows/arrow and On Demand (check your cable listings) as well as on iTunes, Amazon, Hulu and Google Play.
Arrow – Hitting the Mark
I always like to include some of my favorite quotes and exchanges from the episode. If you have some quotes or moments you liked, please share in the comments section.#1 Oliver to Diggle, regarding Sara’s injury during sparring: “She’s bleeding, but it’s not deep.” Sara: “Good, I can’t take any more scars. Speaking of… [looks down at Diggle’s leg] mortar round?” Diggle: “Yeah, IED, the Paktika Province in Afghanistan. Good eye.” Sara: “I know my wounds. [shows her ankle] Grenade. Algiers.”
Oliver: “I’ve never been hit by a grenade.” Diggle: “All those scars, you’ve never been hit by a grenade?” Oliver: [pointing at various wounds] “Arrow, knife, knife. A lot of bullets, no grenades.” Diggle: “I got myself a new bullet – nine millimeter, right there.” [points at shoulder] Sara: [raises her shoulder] “.38. I’m mostly swords – and a spear.” Felicity: “I have a scar! It’s in my mouth. I had my wisdom teeth removed when I was 16. Three stitches. They were really badly impacted.” Sara: [smiling] “You’re still cute.” #2 Sara to Ollie and Slade on the island, regarding building a raft: “It’ll take us weeks to find the timber. We don’t have weeks.” Slade: “I’ve been on this island for 264 days. All I have is weeks.” Oliver: “Shut up.” Sara: “You don’t have to stick up for me, Ollie.” Oliver: “What? No – both of you shut up. Listen. Do you hear that?” [sound of a plane overhead] #3 Clock King to his henchmen: “’The strongest of all warriors are these two – time and patience.’” Henchman: “What?” Clock King: “It’s from ‘War and Peace.’ 1,440 pages. It takes a while, but it’s worth a read. Tolstoy knew that patience was the epitome of strength. It takes fortitude to stand still. Just as it is a sign of weakness or cowardice too move when you should not!” Henchman: “Look. We did the job. You owe me.” [reaches for his gun menacingly] Clock King: “The dead are owed nothing.” [stabs henchman several times] #4 Sin, trying to cover that she already knows Sara: “Right. I just love when people come back from the dead, you know? Juices my zombie fetish.” #5 Oliver: [angrily] “I didn’t think you’d be here.” Moira Queen: “This is my house. And if you don’t want to pretend to be mother and son, then don’t throw parties in my home.” #6 Officer Lance to Black Canary and Arrow: “CSU just pulled this out of a skel I know named Eddie Walczak.” [hands her a weapon in evidence bag] Sara/Black Canary: “I’ve never seen a knife like this.” Lance: It’s not knife, it’s a minute hand – like from a clock.” #7 Thea to Oliver: “Yeah, looks to me a whole lot like you’re avoiding Mom.” Oliver: “I’m not avoiding Mom.” Thea: “You’re lucky your life does not revolve around lying.” #8 Felicity to Oliver over comm.: “Tockman’s piggybacking off my hack. It’s a trap. He—He’s trying to break into our network.” [computers go haywire in the lab] Tockman/Clock King: “I’m not trying. I am.” #9 Diggle to Felicity: “You know, it’s not your fault, Felicity.” Felicity: “Really? Which one of the rest of you put up the security safeguards? Maybe if it had been Sara, we wouldn’t be in this mess.” Diggle: “Now, I know we haven’t talked about this, but it must be difficult for you seeing them together.” Felicity: “This isn’t about them being together. This is about me. OK, Sara can analyze blood. She can kick ass. She can do anything. And the one thing I’m supposed to be good at, I’m failing at miserably. And why do you even need me now that you have her?” Diggle: “Because you’re irreplaceable, Felicity.” [He gives her a long, sincere no-nonsense look.] #10 Oliver to Felicity as Sara stitches her wound: “Are you sure you don’t want to go to the hospital?” Felicity: [shaking her head no] “Mm-mm. You guys never go to the hospital. Besides, Dig gave me some of those aspirins. Are you spinning?” Oliver whispers to Dig: “Aspirins?” Dig: “Oxycodone.” #11 Oliver to Sara at Verdant: “What are you doing back here mixing drinks?” Sara: “Thea hired me. I am the new bartender.” Oliver: “Uh-huh.” Sara: “I bartended in college, and, uh, well, it’s kinda hard to get a job when ‘international assassin’ is the highlight of your resume.” #12 Laurel to Oliver at Verdant, regarding Sara: “You can go. I’m not here to kill her or anything.” #13 Moira to Oliver, introducing her new business associate to her son: “My son just dropped by. Oliver, I’d like to meet Slade Wilson.” [Slade stands and turns to Oliver, walks over to him and aggressively grabs his hand in a handshake] “It’s a pleasure to meet you… Mr. Queen.”
Though the last exchange listed here – between Slade and Oliver – is a doozy, it was not quite my favorite of the episode. Actually, there is a tie for my favorite quote/exchange in “Time of Death.” Five years on an island has not helped Oliver in his problems with women (including his mother). He still has a lot to learn in that area, so my two favorite exchanges are between two key women in Oliver’s life and how they each are affected by his relationship with Sara Lance – Felicity and Laurel. In each exchange, Oliver re-affirms his position with each lady.#1 Favorite Laurel to Oliver, after family dinner has imploded: “You are unbelievable! You lecture me on how I need to repair my relationship with Sara when you’re the one who messed it up in the first place. By screwing her! And now you’re doing it again.” Oliver: “You’re right. This is all my fault.” Laurel: “Yeah. Yeah, yes it is.” Oliver: “And is you losing your job, doing drugs and being a drunk – is that my fault? Is that you’re family’s fault? Or are you going to blame Tommy for dying?” Laurel: “Screw you, Oliver.” Oliver: “I have stood by you through everything – the DUI, losing your job… And Laurel, I was concerned about your well-being when you were trying to get my mother the death penalty!” Laurel: “Yeah, you’ve been a real stand-up kind of guy.” Oliver: “Laurel, do you think you’re the only one that is having a hard time?! Do you think you’re the only one with family issues? You have – you have no idea wh-what is going on with my family right now. But I am still standing here. And you are still blaming everybody but yourself.” Laurel: “Are you done?” Oliver: “Yeah… yeah, I’m done. I’m done taking the blame. And I’m done caring. Why don’t you go have a drink? Get wasted, go… Go to Verdant. I’ll pay for it. I have loved you for half my life. But I’m done running after you.” #2 Favorite Oliver to Felicity: “You all right? [Felicity nods] Diggle had mentioned that maybe you were feeling… a little left out.” Felicity: “What? No. [beat] I was just… used to being your girl. I mean, not your girl-girl. Your girl. I know it sounds like the same word, but it means something different in my head. [Oliver puts his hand on Felicity’s cheek; she leans into it with a sigh] Mmm.” Oliver: “Hey. You will always be my girl, Felicity.”