At a police department gala, an officer greets Thea and points out that Oliver is late. He says that the evening is the kickoff to the anti-crime initiative and it's important that Oliver be there, and Thea assures him that her brother will be there once he takes care of some business.
Green Arrow battles Anarky and finally takes him out. He sees the nearby bomb and let's Felicity know about it, and Felicity warns that there are four bombs. Anarky returns to the attack and Arrow tosses a remote arrow into the bomb. Felicity tells Arrow to keep his opponent busy while she disarms the bombs, and Arrow pins Anarky to a pillar and then knocks him unconscious. He turns and sees a man in a hockey mask disarming the bomb. The man, Wild Dog, says that he's defusing the bomb but Arrow shoves him away and says that it's been handled. Arrow then turns to Wild Dog and orders him to keep off the streets, and shoots him in the leg to make his point.
Oliver soon arrives at the gala and tells the reports that he's not going to approve the ACI without some reform. He wants to start with investigation into rumors of corruption in the SCPD, and Thea quickly cuts him off and says that the mayor will speak further at the ceremony honoring Black Canary. Once they're alone, Thea points out that Oliver just accused the police of being corrupt rather than taking responsibility himself. She warns that as mayor, Oliver appears uninvolved. Oliver insists that as mayor, he can use the information he gathers as Arrow. And he has to focus on his Arrow career because he's solo.
Five Years Ago
At an underground fight arena in Russia, Oliver is fighting an opponent and finally kills him. Afterward, Oliver tells his arranger that he doesn't want the money: he wants a meeting with Constantin Kovar. The arranger warns that Oliver wasn't supposed to win, just as Bratva men taser Oliver unconscious.
Oliver returns to the bunker and finds Curtis there with Felicity. Felicity hands Oliver a dossier on Wild Dog and suggests that Oliver recruit him. She points out pictures of several other vigilantes and points out that they're short-handed. Oliver insists that Thea and Diggle will come back and if they don't then he'll handle it.
An SCPD squad breaks into a money-laundering operation and drag in several members of Los Falcones. The man in charge, Keating, says that the Falcones and the money launders killed each other, and his men open fire. A man, Tobias Church, comes in with two of his men and says that he's new in town. When Keating tells his officers to kill him, Church says that they'll die first and asks if Keating is in charge. When Keating tells him to go to hell, church punches him in the gut and has his men kill one of the officers. He then beats Keating until he's dead and says that he'll have to take charge.
Later, Frank and Detective Malone arrive at the crime scene and find Keating's corpse with gold coins on the eyes. Malone reports that the MO matches Church. They wonder what Keating was doing there, and Frank figures that he was one of the bad cops. Malone says that Quentin is back in town and Frank could rehire him... and they're both unaware that Arrow is watching from above.
The next morning, Quentin is passed out in his apartment. Oliver arrives at his door and demands to see him. Quentin says that he's been back in town a couple of weeks ago and Donna is waitressing at a casino in Vegas. He says that a drunk needs a reason to be sober and he's fresh out, and shows Oliver the headlines about him missing city council meetings. Oliver says that once the time gets back together, he can go back to being mayor and the team could use Quentin. Quentin doesn't want to hear it, and Oliver asks if he's going to be at the Black Canary commemorative ceremony. The former captain says that it's best if he doesn't turn up and embarrass her memory, and Oliver walks out past a photo of Laurel.
Five Years Ago
After his men tie up Oliver, Kovar visits Oliver and points out that he cost him money. He figures that Oliver is American and asks why he's there, and looks at Robert's journal. Kovar is intrigued by it, and Oliver says that it belongs to his father and he plans to use it. The Bratva crime lord draws a gun and tells Oliver that he'll be dead before he can use it.
Oliver goes to the bunker to ask Felicity what she's found out about Church. She explains that Church goes by the name Charon, and Oliver says that he's their top priority. Felicity warns that it will take an entire team and Oliver is in denial, but Oliver doesn't want to hear it and asks her to find Church. As Oliver leaves, Curtis comes in and Felicity asks him to check out Wild Dog's address and see if he's sane. Curtis reluctantly agrees.
Church tells his men that they need to take down Arrow to make a reputation, and they're going to get bait to draw him out.
As the ceremony, Oliver explains that they've built a statue to Laurel to show the people what it means to be united. Quentin is in the crowd, watching, and Thea looks on. After unveiling the statue, Oliver sees Quentin in the crowd, crying. Motorcyclists drive up and gun down the police. Oliver realizes that he can't put up a fight on-camera, and Church's men take him and three councilpersons to their stolen SCPD van and drive off.
Thea and Quentin go to the bunker and Curtis reports that they didn't have any satellites in the area. Felicity asks Thea to suit up and hit the streets for info, but Thea refuses and suggests that Felicity hack into the SCPD computer and see if there's any chatter on the stolen van.
At a power plant, Church tells his prisoners that he has found a way to make politicians useful. Oliver tells him that Arrow isn't coming and Church wonders how he knows. He says that he'll make something happen if Church lets his prisoners go, but Church isn't interested. Oliver tells him that he's stupid, and Church punches him once before telling his men to take Oliver off and teach him some manners.
Five Years Ago
Anatoly arrives and knocks away Kovar's gun as he shoots, and says that Kovar almost shot his friend. He orders Kovar out and Anatoly greets his "brother" Oliver." He then dislocates Oliver's thumbs to get him free and wonders what Oliver is doing there. Oliver says that he's there to kill Kovar, and Anatoly warns him that he didn't help him by saving his life.
Quentin shows Thea photos of Church holding up his address for the city cameras, so that Arrow will come to him. Thea says that Quentin needs to do something, and he figures that she should. She tells him that she's starting to feel like a normal version of herself, and she doesn't want to give it up. Quentin says that he understood but when he heard Oliver's speech, he realized that he couldn't put his life on hold.
Church's man starts beating Oliver. Oliver warns him that if he hits him again, he's going to kill him. The man doesn't believe him, and Oliver reveals that he's free. He then attacks the man and breaks his neck to conceal his secret. Speedy comes in and then shoots another thug in the leg as he charges in. Oliver and Speedy go back to the main room and Oliver notices wires hooked up to explosives, forming a trap and a kill corridor. More thugs charge them and Oliver and Speedy take them down. He says that they'll come back for the hostages and runs out.
Back at the bunker, Oliver has Felicity look for a way to cut the power. Thea points out that Oliver killed a man, and Oliver says that if he had showed less restraint than Laurel would be alive. He points out that he could have killed Damian earlier because he thought he was taking the high road, but it was a mistake and Oliver vows he won't make it again. Oliver tells Thea that Malcolm was right and he either has to do what is necessary or not be out there at all. Thea says that she won't ever go out again and doesn't want anything to do with him killing people.
Once Thea leaves, Oliver joins Felicity and admits that when he saw Speedy he thought things would go back to normal. He warns that the other vigilantes are amateurs and they couldn't replace their friends. Felicity says that they're already out there because of Arrow, and tells Oliver that he needs to think of the future. He refuses to hear it and walks off.
Five Years Ago
As they go outside, Anatoly explains that he's a captain in the Bratva. He warns that Oliver is likely to die trying to get to Kovar, and says that Kovar has an army guarding him. Anatoly says that Oliver needs to move ahead, but Oliver asks if Anatoly is going to help him or not. The mob boss agrees, but warns that Oliver will have to die.
Felicity checks in with Curtis and starts to head back. Two muggers beat him to the ground.
Oliver calls from the commemorative statue and leaves a message on Diggle's voice mail, asking him to call back. Quentin is there and Oliver admits that Thea and Diggle isn't coming back, and repeats Anatoly's proverb about moving forward. When Oliver says that he can't trust the department, Oliver gives him a file of officers that he knows personally. They have all vouched to help Oliver any way they can... including Quentin. Oliver immediately agrees, saying that's what Laurel would have wanted.
In her hospital bed, Laurel makes Oliver promise that he won't let her be the last Black Canary. That way a part of her will always be with him.
Quentin's man Lt. Conahan and his squad take out Church's thugs on guard. Conahan calls Quentin at the bunker and says that he's in, while Arrow comes in via the roof. He knocks a bat out of Church's hands as Church prepares to beat a councilperson to death, and the police break in. Meanwhile, Church goes after Arrow, who jumps down on him. As they fight, Conahan sets off some of the explosives and realizes that the rest are wired into the main conductor. Felicity realizes that there's nothing she can do to stop the whole plant from blowing off, and Arrow goes to the bomb. Conahan's people get the hostages out, and the factory starts to blow up. Arrow gets out just in time as the building blows up, and fires a line into Church's helicopter overhead. He pulls himself up and the two men fight, and Church kicks Arrow out. Arrow fires a parachute arrow and drops safely to the ground below.
The next day, Oliver gives a speech and says that Conahan and his men have shown him that there are still good cops in the SCPD. They will report directly to Oliver as the new core of the ACI.
That night, Church thanks the local crime lords for meeting with him. He says that they have to unite under him to defeat Arrow, and he's inside all of their organizations. When one crime lord, Pino Bertinelli, questions him, Church has Bertinelli's lieutenant shoot his boss in the back.
At the bunker, Felicity finds Oliver going over her files on the new vigilantes. She figures that he can deal with the new ACI cops, and will be continuing as Arrow. Oliver admits that she's right and admits that he's going to recruit Wild Dog. Curtis comes in and explains that two guys jumped him. He says that he'll give Oliver their descriptions if they recruit him, and Oliver agrees.
Five Years Ago
Anatoly warns Oliver that Kovar has faced many threats and the only people that can get past his security are Bratva. He takes Oliver to a Bratva HQ and says that if Oliver survives the first attack then he can begin the process of becoming Bratva. With that, the Bratva enforcers jump him and one jams a knife into Oliver's chest.
Oliver video conferences with Diggle, who asks if he's all right. Oliver asks him if they should put together a new team, and Diggle says that it's a good idea. He realizes that it isn't the response Oliver expected, and Oliver says that he has to make peace with the future. Diggle wonders if that includes Oliver and Felicity, and Oliver admits that he doesn't know.
Felicity goes to her loft and collapses on the couch. Malone comes up and massages her neck, and kisses her.
As one of the new ACI task force members heads home, an archer opens fire on him. The officer draws a gun and shoots at the archer, who disarms him with a shuriken. When the officer tries to run, the archer brings him down and says that he's not Arrow, and then beats his victim's head in with a baton.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 6, 2016