The Candidate Recap

The Arrow team takes on Ghosts at a treatment plant, while Felicity complains over the radio that she wants a code name. She scans for the bomb the Ghosts have and finds the ground floor. Green Arrow goes in and defuses it, and tells Felicity to get Diggle in to dismantle it.

The group returns to the lair and Diggle warns that they're not doing good enough. Oliver talks to Thea and worries that she's out for blood, and warns that she's going to kill one of them eventually. Thea reminds her brother that Jessica Danforth and her daughter Madison will be at the loft in an hour and she goes to take a shower. Once she leaves, Oliver notices that Felicity is dressed nice. She says that it's her first day back at Palmer Tech and she's excited, and Oliver gives her a fern and a brown-bag lunch.

Five Years Ago

On the island, the mercenary asks Oliver who he is. Oliver disarms the man and stabs him with his own knife, and then hides the body. He then takes out the transmitter and tells Amanda that he's on the ground. Amanda tells him to prepare for infiltration. When Oliver wonders what there is to infiltrate on the deserted island, she tells him to take a look for himself.


The next day at the loft, Thea meets with Jessica and Madison. Jessica says that she has an ulterior motive to meet with them, and explains that she wants to take up Moira's mantle by running for mayor. Madison thinks that her mother is crazy, and Oliver points out that the last three mayors have been killed. Jessica wants to step forward and asks for their support.

Felicity arrives at Palmer Tech and enters the conference room. The board chairman, Mr. Dennis, says that the company is having financial difficulties, and Curtis Hold has found a way out for them. Curtis introduces and explains that he's created an AI algorithm to generate profits with minimal workforce reduction. Felicity realizes he has a list of people to fire, and says that they're going to reduce management bonuses. Mr. Dennis warns that they've already done that, and warns that without increasing their profits there won't be a legacy to protect.

Oliver and Thea attend Jessica's press conference and applaud with the attendees as she comes out. She talks about how Moira died two years ago and inspired by her selfless devotion to the city. Someone fires into the crowd from the balcony, and Thea tells Oliver to protect Jessica while she handles it. When she gets upstairs, Thea discovers that it's an automated gun and realizes that it's a distraction.

A security guard leads Jessica away. When another security guard intervenes, the first man tasers him and prepares to kill Jessica. Oliver arrives and throws him down a staircase and the man, Lonnie Machin, runs off. Oliver tells Jessica to stay put and runs outside after Lonnie. However, a car hits him and by the time Oliver recovers, Lonnie has escaped.

Later at the lair, Oliver warns that Jessica isn't dropping out of the election. He points out that Lonnie left behind fingerprints, but Felicity discovers that Lonnie surgically altered his fingertips. Oliver plans to help the SCPD protect Jessica and says that he'll talk to Quentin.

At the station, Oliver talks to Quentin in his office and explains that they want to help keep Jessica safe. Quentin says that Oliver has been gone and the city needs someone who will stand up in the light of day. He wonders how things will be different.

Five Years Ago

Oliver travels across the island and spots a poppy field up ahead. He rips his clothing and smears mud on his skin, and then uses the mercenary's corpse to set off a nearby mine.


Felicity calls Curtis in and he explains that he developed his algorithm to justify pay increases. Mr. Dennis turned it around and developed a use for it to justify firings. A woman, Carla Groves, comes in and Felicity reluctantly tells her that she's fired. She tries to justify her downsizing, and Carla points out that she has a very large list of people to fire. The woman explains that they thought that things would be better when Felicity returned.

John and Laurel park outside the station and wait for the shift change. Laurel asks what has been going on, and Diggle tells her to let it go. She persists and Diggle explains that HIVE killed his brother and they're tied in with Darhk. He's sure that the Ghosts are with HIVE, and says that he kept it secret because it's family. Laurel knows what he's going through and tells him that keeping secrets always ends badly.

Lonnie is watching the station when Damien comes in and congratulates Lonnie on his flair for the dramatic. He says that he's only paying him half of his fee because of his failure, and Lonnie insists that he's not done yet. Lonnie asks for more time and promises to make sure that Jessica doesn't run for mayor, and Damien warns that he won't get a third chance.

At the lair, Felicity finds a residue on the fingerprints and confirms that it's cellulose. The molecular structure has been patented by Palmer Paper, a subsidiary of Palmer Tech. Green Arrow and Speedy drive there and ask a dealer if he's seen Donnie. When the dealer refuses to talk, Speedy twists his arm and repeats her question. Green Arrow tells her to let him go, and when she refuses knocks her away and tells her to go.

At the lair, Felicity gets an ID on Lonnie. He's a part-time mob enforcer who has worked for every major organization. Oliver and Thea come in and Thea insists that the dealer was brother shows her a disarming technique and then starts shoving her. She loses her temper and attacks him, and Oliver blocks her blows and says that she used crippling techniques. Thea leaps on him, snarling, and Laurel and Diggle pull her away. Oliver admits that Malcolm warned him that when people go into the Lazarus Pit, they come out different. He didn't want to worry her so he didn't say anything. Thea angrily says that he has no right to judge her and walks out, and Oliver tells the others that he did what he had to, to save his sister. He figures that the Pit's effects have built up and Diggle wonders what he wants to do about it.

Five Years Ago

Two mercenaries find Oliver, who says that the minefield killed his friend. He explains that he washed up on the island three years ago and survived. The mercenaries decide to take him to Baron Reiter.


Felicity meets with Curtis and insists that there has to be a way to save the workers. He realizes that he's on the list and says that his husband will be thrilled, and admits that he sort of fired himself.

At the station, Oliver visits Jessica and suggests that she could drop out. Jessica refuses to give into terrorism, and says that the people need someone to be brave for them. Oliver points out that they have Green Arrow, but Jessica says that the vigilante doesn't make the city a place Madison can call home. She says that Madison is at the library for finals, and that Quentin sent a guard with her. Oliver figures that something is wrong and tells Jessica to call Madison. There's no answer.

Soon, Jessica is holding a press conference. She asks Lonnie to let Madison go and walks away. Oliver tells Quentin about Lonnie and says that the captain needs their help.

Five Years Ago

The mercenaries take Oliver to a hut. Reiter is inside and recognizes Oliver immediately. When Oliver thanks him for rescuing him, Reiter says that he can't send Oliver home because it will compromise their operation. He doesn't want to kill Oliver, and figures that he's a survivor. Reiter offers Oliver the dead mercenary's job.


Lonnie summons Damien to the abandoned club he's using for his operations, and Damien demands to see Madison. Madison is locked up in a trunk, and Lonnie plans to use the girl as leverage to have Jessica drop out of the race. Angry, Damien says that there are lines one does not cross, and Lonnie says that he questioned one of the Ghosts and learned about HIVE. Damien tells him to clean up the mess that he's made and their relationship is concluded. Lonnie grabs him and Damien advises him to remove it, and repeats his order to clean up the mess.

At Laurel's apartment, Laurel and Thea watch Jessica's news conference. Thea says that she's fine but Laurel doesn't believe her and demands an explanation. Thinking back, Thea describes how Ra's killed her and then brought her back as leverage to get Oliver to do what he wanted.

Quentin visits Damien and warns that he is out since Lonnie took Madison. Damien says that he'll be glad to threaten Laurel and hands him a note with Madison's location. He tells Quentin to mind his tone the next time that they meet and Quentin walks out.

At the lair, Felicity warns Oliver that they'll be stuck in Star City dealing with more criminals. He assures her that they haven't made a mistake coming back. Quentin calls and gives Oliver the address where Lonnie is, and tells Oliver it's his chance to prove he's doing things differently.

At the club, Lonnie chains Madison up and says that his meeting didn't go well. He gets out some weapons and makes her promise not tell anyone where he is. However, Lonnie says that he changed his mind and breaks her finger, just as the Arrow team drop in through the skylights. Lonnie shoves Madison away and grabs a portable flamethrower, and fires it to cover her escape. Diggle and Black Canary take Madison out while Speedy tells Green Arrow that she's good.

The two vigilantes enter the club proper, bows drawn. Lonnie tasers Speedy and attacks Green Arrow. He finally lands a taser blow, but Speedy recovers and takes Lonnie down. She picks up his taser and sets Lonnie on fire, and Green Arrow shoots the fire suppressant system, putting the fire out. Startled, Speedy stares at her brother and realizes what she did.

Later, Oliver goes to the station as Jessica is reunited with Madison. Quentin tells Jessica that the reporters are out, and Jessica says that she's going to tell them she's withdrawing her candidacy. After the two women go out, Oliver thanks Quentin for trusting him. Quentin points out that now he's setting people on fire, and points out that if Lonnie had died then he'd be booking Oliver for murder.

Five Years Ago

Oliver gets a uniform and patrols the poppy fields. One worker goes down from thirst and a woman runs to his side. Oliver orders her to get back to work.


Felicity meets with the board and tells the members that she fired a few people but has hired them back. When Mr. Dennis objects, Felicity tells him to be quiet just as Curtis comes in. She explains that Curtis is working on a project that will revolutionize the industry. Mr. Dennis asks for details, and Felicity says that it's proprietary and can't be revealed. The chairman says that the shareholder meeting is in six months. As they leave, Felicity says that she's sure that Curtis will come up with something.

Oliver visits Thea at Laurel's apartment and asks how she's doing. She admits that she's out of control, and Oliver apologizes for not telling her about the Pit. Laurel comes in and suggests that Thea go to a spa with her and clear her head, and Oliver says that he and Diggle can handle things if they don't kill each other first. Once he leaves, Laurel tells Thea that they're going to Nanda Parbat to get a cure form the League. There's another reason why they're not going there, which is why they're not telling Oliver.

Lonnie escapes from the ambulance taking him to the hospital and kills the attendants. He leaves an anarchy symbol on the wall of the ambulance, drawn in the blood of his victims.

Oliver returns to the loft and Felicity says that she's figured out a different way. He worries that he's not doing things differently enough, and explains that Green Arrow can't offer the city hope and inspiration. Oliver gets an idea and tells Felicity that he's going to run for mayor.

Laurel and Thea go to Sara's grave and Laurel opens her sister's coffin.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 15, 2015