Apparently there are a few people who need redemption this episode, as a lot of secrets start coming out, although not all of them. Spoilers begin now.

The new team headquarters

So we see SCPD officers busting what appears to be drug dealers in a garage. Except then some real plain clothes detectives show up they’re shot and all the merchandise taken. This city really is falling apart.

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Thea and Laurel are apparently back from their “spa vacation” and checking out a rundown office space, with plenty of windows, that Oliver says is going to be their new headquarters. Laurel is still against telling Ollie about Sara until she’s back to herself, which she thinks will only take a few days. Sounds about right.

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Then Diggs shows up, followed by a maniacally grinning Ollie and Felicity. Ollie says he has a grand announcement, and that is that he’s running for Mayor. He points out that anyone qualified to run has been scared off, but that he cannot be scared off. The team quickly points out the obvious flaw in this plan: What platform are you going to run on? Where is the staff that’s going to run the campaign? Where is the money coming from to fund your campaign? (The last apparently being Palmer Tech!)

They claim it’s not that they’re not being supportive, but that they don’t want him to get in over his head. Especially since, you know, he knows nothing about running a city, or politics, or how to hide his vigilantism.

Then Ollie shows them what they really want to see. The Quiver. (I don’t care that’s not what they’re calling it, I’m sick of it being the Arrow-Cave or Lair, or whatever). It’s even cooler in the show than it was in the promos for it. Cisco and Star Labs apparently helped to set it all up, and they did a fantastic job. Felicity has even more monitors now!

Checking in with the support team.

They get the alert about the two detectives found dead, and realize that if they didn’t call for backup they were likely ambushed. Diggs and Thea go to do some Recon while Ollie checks in with Lance. Lance is not happy to see him. He laughs when Ollie tells him about his campaign, though he wishes him luck after what happened to the last few mayors.

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Felicity checks in with Curtis back at Palmer Tech. He’s guessing who he thinks the Green Arrow is now that he knows Felicity works with him, and his latest guess is Neal Adams. (Who was a great long time comic book artist who worked on Green Arrow among others. If you like Green Lantern go read his arc that starts with “No Evil Shall Escape My Sight”. He also worked on a pretty good Green Lantern/Green Arrow Crossover. It’s nice to see those kinds of name drops too)

Anyways, Felicity says she’s never going to tell him who the Green Arrow is. (Apparently guessing her boyfriend is ludacris.) She also tells him she’s onto his prank, because her phone is still doing those odd messages and it’s coming from Palmer Tech, at his workstation to be exact. He does however, recognize the code, as part of Palmer’s old program. He tells her that if they access the last voice file from Palmer they might be able to figure something out, Felicity rejects the idea.

She’s then called away by Oliver, who gives her the SIM card recovered from the crime scene. It’s not from a cell though, it’s from a walkie that just happens to have a GPS location. The team suits up. They bust down the only locked door in the place to find a ton of armor and weapons with SCPD written across the bullet proof vests.

Checking in with the Sara.

Laurel reintroduces her father to Sara. It does not go well. “This isn’t my daughter.”

Sara is chained up in some type of underground facility. She tries to jog her memory of her family with an old picture. It seems like it works, until Sara tries to choke her with her chain.

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Back at the Quiver, the team realizes that these compromised cops have been taking down drug dealers and seizing their products to resell to the dealers. So they decided to set a trap for them involving a little drug deal of their own by getting in touch with one of Thea’s old drug dealers.

Lance is still trying to process what’s happening with Sara when Ollie bursts in. He gives him the details about the dirty cops, and how and why the two detectives were really killed. He tells him he isn’t sure exactly which cops are compromised, but he’s working a sting to catch them.

“Your mayoral campaign is off to a fantastic start then.”

Lance says he wants to be there when the sting goes down.

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Okay, so seeing Ollie in costume before the sting made me really appreciate his facial hair. Not quite blonde, not quite a goatee, but it’s getting there.

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Anyways, we see the police van come in. Shots start firing. Black Canary tried to do a Canary Cry (first one this season I think) but they have some type of tech that disables it. They fight off the bad cops who get away in their vans. Lance got a good look at one of them and recognizes her.

(Okay, I know they’re the bad guys. It was obvious. However, they didn’t do anything cops wouldn’t do. It felt like more of a call to battle than an actual sting wherein they caught them doing something wrong.)

Vigilantes targeting the Anti-Vigilante Task Force

The team heads back to the Quiver, and brings Lance along. Laurel points out that they had more than just standard police issue equipment. Lance reluctantly says he reinstated the anti-vigilante task force over a year ago, and that’s likely where they got the gear. The task force has about 40 members so they’re far from narrowing down their pool of suspects.

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The bay guy team of cops regroup, glad that the mousetrap had real cheese. They all discuss the fact that Lance was present, and would have totally made them as cops. Some are in favor of disposing of the police chief, but the woman who appears to be in charge isn’t having it. She said they’re not really bad guys, they’re just working to provide for their families. She says Lance might not be a problem, but a solution.

Felicity returns to Palmer Tech after receiving cryptic text messages from Curtis. Apparently he hadn’t given up on recovering Ray’s last project, and he has an idea on how to retrieve it.

FELICITY LINE OF THE NIGHT: “Oh my god. This must be what talking to me is like.”

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Turns out Felicity knows the password, but is adamant that she doesn’t want to listen to the last minutes of her ex-boyfriend’s life. Curtis talks her around by saying he would give anything to head the voice of his brother who passed away several years ago.

Lance asks for Darhk’s help

Lance calls in a favor from Damien Darhk of all people. They meet and Lance says he needs his help. He tells Darhk about what happened to Sara and the Lazarus Pit. He asks what he could do to help her. Darhk says that she isn’t really her daughter, that she doesn’t possess her soul, and that he should return her to her finial rest. (He also drops that he’s a father too, wondering if that is going to come into play any time this season.)

Felicity returns to the Quiver and find Ollie resuming his routine of shirtless salmon ladder training. Felicity has a primary suspect, sergeant Warner, who was one of the original recruits to the AVTF, and has quite a bit of money hidden away in offshore bank accounts. Felicity also turned on all the cameras on the cop cars to turn facial recognition to find her. Ollie sees something else though: Lance’s meeting with Darhk.

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Ollie decided to pay Lance a personal vision at home. He gets right to the point about asking what the relationship is, as it’s obvious that Lance knows who he is and what he’s done. Lance says that it’s not fair for Ollie to Judge. Lance tells Ollie how the relationship developed, innocently enough at first, as they needed the help he had to offer.

Ollie confessed that Lance was a big driving force for him wanting to be better, and for running for mayor. He said he always wanted Lance to see what kind of man he was really. That he didn’t expect to find out what kind of man Lance really is. He isn’t sure what to do about this situation, and he leaves.

Thea finds Ollie at home, brooding. They talk about going to baseball games as kids, and how great that felt. That it was part of the dream he wanted Star City to become.

Lance visits Sara with a loaded gun, presumably to take Darhk’s advice. He’s crying saying she isn’t really Sara. Laurel walks in and tried to talk him out of it. Lance breaks down, emotional. He leaves, and runs right into sergeant Warner and her men who promptly kidnap him. Laurel sees him leaving and tries to take on the men herself, but is tasered.

The Showdown

They take Lance to the warehouse where the police store all the drugs are housed after SCPD confiscates them. The use him to gain access to the facility and tie him up before cleaning out the warehouse. The team knows to look for him, so when they see his biometrics have been used to access the facility, they’re on their way.

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The team arrives on scene, Black Canary gives a Canary Cry they can’t counteract and the team is back to kicking ass. Green Arrows uses a neat trick arrow to capture Warner, but that doesn’t last long as she gets out of it and stabs Green Arrow. Lance gives a speech about hope and justice while Warner is choking out Green Arrow, which works as she gives herself up and lets Lance arrest her.

Uniting and Saving Star City

Ollie returns to see Lance alone, thanking him for saving him from Warner, and asks if he really believes what he said. Lance, of course does, and is even wiling to turn himself in first thing in the morning for his continued association with Darhk. Ollie says the better plan is to use the relationship to get close to Darhk so they can defeat him.

Lance: “That plan only works if you can trust me.”

Ollie: “I trust the man who said we can’t stop believing we can save this city.”

Ollie makes an appearance at his new campaign headquarters, greeted by a full staff. Thea is the one who’s running the show, and running it well. She hired the interns and even wrote his speech announcing his candidacy. It was a pretty good speech, focusing on unity, which was a version of his opening monologue.

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Laurel returns to find Sara gone.

Felicity finally listens to Ray’s last message.

Flashback Nonsense

Ollie gives advice to the woman he didn’t kill about survival. Dude gets suspicious about Ollie since the other guy died, and demands to see the woman’s body. Ollie leads the dude into the woods. Dude says that Ollie is acting odd for a guy who “just committed his first murder” and tells him he’s one dark bastard. Ollie leads him to the woman who appears dead, and he feels no pulse on her. He tells Ollie to get rid of the body and walks away. Ollie resuscitates the woman. The dude finds Ollie’s stash of equipment.

Assorted Musings

Where exactly was Laurel keeping Sara? Lance got nabbed coming out of her apartment, but I didn’t know it had basement access. Especially since it’s not ground floor.

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How the hell did Laurel even get her there from Nanda Parbat. You’d think TSA would’ve stopped her or something.

It took me forever to realize what Thea meant when she asked why she (Felicity) wasn’t wearing it (the RING!)

I’m totally going to use that Felicity gif as a reaction gif and this one too: