The Recruits Recap

Wild Dog runs across the rooftops and onto the street chasing a criminal. The vigilante fires at the criminal but then falls off the roof... and Green Arrow catches him with a line. Once Arrow takes down the drug dealer, he yanks off Wild Dog's mask and asks if he wants to be a vigilante or something else. He cuts him down and walks away, leaving an invitation behind.

The next day, Felicity confirms that Conahan was killed with both an arrow and a sword. Curtis is exercising on Oliver's equipment, just as Oliver comes in. He demonstrates how to do it and warns that he tends to shoot the people that he trains. Oliver says that Curtis will get it even worse because he has the furthest to go before he can become a vigilante. He insists that Felicity wear a mask and tells her that it's not negotiable, and leaves for a budget meeting.

In Latvia, General Walker is telling Diggle and the rest of his squad that a group of Chechen rebels is close to getting a nuclear trigger. Diggle will run the op and it will be standard retrieval and extraction. After the others leave, Diggle notices one soldier hanging back. The soldier, Collins, admits that it's his first mission and he's scared. Diggle says that his rank gives him strength and clarity and dismisses the man.

Oliver and Thea meet with VPs Janet Carroll and Evan Wender from Amertek and Oliver talks about opening a new free medical clinic and needs a company to donate. Janet speaks up and says that her company is in, and Evan agrees. Once they leave, Oliver suggests that Thea handle the press. She warns that she can't do everything on her own, and explains that he's recruiting a new team. Thea assures him that she's fine with it and it will be good that Oliver isn't working solo. He tells her to hire a team and leaves, and Thea calls Quentin.

Rene and Evelyn arrive at the bunker arrives at the bunker, and Rene isn't happy that he has to train. Arrow steps out of the shadows and asks if he can do it on his own, and points out that if he was getting it done on his own then he wouldn't have come there. Rene starts to walk out and Arrow orders them on the line. He tells them to get past him and ring a bell, and the three recruits charge forward. Arrow takes all of them down, and then has them do it again and again. When Rene objects, Arrow tells him that it's not game and to look at the statue of Laurel if he doesn't believe it.

Five Years Ago

Oliver wakes up and the Bratva trainer orders him and the other recruits onto a line. The trainer tells them to ring the bell, and takes down the men as they charge.


Evan is walking home and stops to give a homeless man money. The "homeless man" attacks him, and his cloak of rags comes to life, wrapping round Evan's neck.

At the bunker, Oliver tells Felicity that Evan was attacked and is now in ICU. He figures that the attack is no coincidence, gets a call, and says that he has to go.

Five Years Ago

Oliver and one of the trainees join forces to take on their trainers.


Oliver meets with Janet and assures her that the ACU is looking into the attack. Janet says that her board of directors have advised them to pull out of the event. Oliver offers to indemnify Amertek and see to the security personally, and she agrees. Once she leaves, Oliver says that he'll be there himself because his new team isn't ready.

Diggle goes in with his team and the rebels open fire. Collins is shot and Diggle gets him to cover while Collins wonders how the rebels knew they were there.

In the bunker, Arrow continues his training and they ask what he's teaching them. Arrow says that the goal of the exercise is to figure out the goal of the exercise. Felicity interrupts and talks to Arrow separately. She shows him satellite footage of the attack on Evan, and they suspect a metahuman or magic user is involved. Felicity knows about Arrow's plan to protect Janet and suggests that he take the recruits with him.

At the unveiling, Rene, Curtis, and Evelyn cover the perimeter and Oliver tells them not to engage. Oliver comes in and Rene complains about him, unaware of his secret identity. Meanwhile, Thea is talking to Thea when Quentin arrives late. As she asks if he's been drinking, the masked "ragman" comes in and grabs Janet. He says that she has been judged and found wanting, and his cloak wraps around her neck.

Arrow arrives and fires at Ragman, but a running child knocks off his aim. Rene charges forward and knocks Ragman away, grabbing one of the rags from his cloak. Arrow's next arrow misses, and Ragman disappears despite the cameras.

Back at the bunker, the recruits wait for Arrow to arrive. Evelyn wonders why Rene engaged when Arrow told him not to. Rene says that Arrow isn't his boss, and shows them the piece of rag. Arrow arrives and orders them to get on the line, and points out that Rene disobeyed his orders. He dismisses all of them, and Felicity demands that they talk in private. Arrow insists that it took him five years to turn into someone capable of going out on the streets, and Laurel didn't have the training… and now she's dead. She warns that he needs to give the recruits a reason, and points out that Rene got them evidence. Felicity says that she'll analyze it, and Arrow heads to City Hall to deal with the aftermath.

Diggle tends to Collins and says that they're going to get the trigger. When Collins points out that they're alone, Diggle says that he finds clarity in following orders, and they have orders. They split up and move in, but Walker and his men arrive. Walker's men take Diggle and Collins's guns, and says that if they're careful then they'll live through it.

At the station, Felicity brings Billy coffee and figures that she's there for a reason. She makes up a story about why she needs to analyze the rag using the police equipment, and Billy points out that Felicity hasn't introduced him to any of her friends. He agrees to analyze the rag and they kiss.

Oliver arrives at his office and finds Quentin there with Thea. Quentin quickly excuses himself and Thea says that they have bigger problems. Oliver says that Janet has left the hospital and asks Thea to talk to her so she won't threaten the city. He admits that he knew Quentin was dragging, and Thea says that Ragman came in via the door Quentin was supposed to be working. Oliver doesn't think that they should employ Quentin, and Thea says that she'll talk to him.

When Oliver returns to the bunker, Felicity and Curtis tell him that Rene and Evelyn quit. Oliver asks Curtis that the exercise is to get them to work together. Curtis says that they didn't because they don't trust Oliver, because he doesn't want them. He points out that Diggle and Thea left because Oliver tears people down, and he's quitting as well for the same reason.

Oliver looks at the uniforms of his former teammates, and admits to Felicity that he failed as a leader. Felicity says that he isn't a leader because he never intended to be, and says that she was initially in awe of Oliver because of his passion. The recruits didn't get to see the real Oliver because he faced them with a mask on, and Oliver admits that he thought it would make it easier for him. He explains that no one in the Bratva knows anyone about the other members, and they teach that the only person someone can trust is themselves. Oliver admits that he let them in and they left, and he protected himself by isolating him from the recruits. Felicity tells him that the reason the original team worked so well was because of the trust and respect that they had for Oliver, not Arrow. As Oliver considers that, Billy calls and Felicity steps aside to take it.

Five Years Ago

The trainer orders the recruits back to the line. Oliver talks to them and suggests that they lure the Bratva to one side so that one of them can get to the bell. The other recruits agree and Oliver manages to get through and ring the bell. The head trainer shoots the other three recruits, and Anatoly comes in and congratulates Oliver.


Thea leaves the hospital and calls Oliver, leaving a message that she couldn't get to Janet. As she walks around the side, she sees Janet in the alleyway. She goes up to the rooftop and listens as Janet meets with Church. Janet confirms that she will sell him enough ordinance to take over Star City.

Walker realizes that his contacts aren't coming, and Diggle points out that he lured his men into a trap. He reminds Walker that he swore an oath, and Walker says that the world has no hope against magic users and metahumans. He then shoots Collins dead and figures that he can use Diggle... and knocks him unconscious.

That night, Thea tells Oliver what she heard. She figures that Ragman is trying to take down Amertek, and Felicity comes in and says that Amertek is trying to avoid bankruptcy. The rag is over 2,000 years and radioactive, and Oliver figures that it's trackable. If they follow Ragman then they'll find Janet. Felicity explains that the isotope that tainted the rag came from one of the nukes on Genesis Day. A subsidiary of Amertek manufactured the nuke, and Amertek's stock prices dropped as a result. Thea suggests that it might be a good time for Oliver to test his team, and Oliver says that there is no team so he's going in alone.

At the Amertek building, Arrow takes out the guards and Felicity warns that he's crazy to take everyone inside all on his own. Inside, Janet and Church meet and Ragman attacks the guards. Janet tries to run but ragman drops down behind him. Church holds his men back, figuring Ragman will eliminate Janet.

As Ragman advances on Janet, Arrow takes out the lights and attacks Church's men. Once they're done, he turns to Church. Meanwhile, Ragman tells Janet that only the Amertek missile hit its target on Genesis Day. Ragman was the only one to survive from the population of Ravenrock, and says that he has a message from all of the dead.

Church knocks Arrow down and tries to kill him with his own arrow. Arrow calls to Ragman, who grabs Church and throws him away. The hero tells Ragman that it's over as Janet runs out.

Later, Arrow arranges a meeting with Ragman and asks why he gave up his vengeance to save his life. Ragman removes his mask and says that he thinks it's what his father would have wanted him to do. His father saved his life on Genesis Day, wrapping him in the ancient rags and saying that they would protect him from the fire. Arrow says that his father gave up his life to save him, and made him promise to save the city in a way he never could. He admits that so far he has failed, and he doesn't want to fail anymore. Arrow admits that he needs a team, and says that they should honor the legacies of their fathers... together. He offers his hand and Ragman takes it.

Five Years Later

Oliver asks why Anatoly killed the others. Anatoly points out that Oliver used them to win, and Bratva needs that kind of ruthlessness. When Oliver says that he wouldn’t done it he knew it would get them killed, Anatoly tells him that the first part of initiation is to realize that Oliver can only trust himself. Oliver realizes that he's bleeding and collapses from his reopened wound and collapses.


Diggle wakes up and finds himself handcuffed to a pillar. Walker has a confession written up and invites Diggle to sign it. Diggle refuses to sign it and Walker says he shot Collins with Diggle's gun. Walker has set up the whole thing to make it look like Diggle stole the trigger. Diggle still refuses to sign and Walker leaves.

Thea invites Quentin to her office, and he admits that he screwed it up. He knows that she knows that he's drinking, and starts to leave. Thea says that they can do better and she's going to give him a job as deputy mayor. When Quentin points out that she'd be hiring a drunk, Thea says that they're hiring the former captain of the SCPD who is honoring his daughter's memory. She tells him that Oliver told her that Quentin needs a reason to be sober, and figured the job would be it. Quentin admits that it could be.

At the bunker, Arrow tells Felicity that he let Church beat him so that he could recruit Ragman. He then thanks Rene, Evelyn, and Curtis for coming and reveals that he's Oliver Queen. Oliver says that he knows that they have to trust him, and Curtis agrees to come back. Evelyn agrees as well and after a moment, Wild says that he'll fight any battle as long as he trusts his leader.

Church leaves a club and someone shoots down his men. He assumes that it's Arrow... and Prometheus shoots him down as well. He jumps down and slams Church to the pavement, and says that if he had killed Arrow then he'd be dead. Prometheus insists that Arrow is him and if Arrow dies then so will Church.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 13, 2016