Oliver, Thea, and Quentin watch a newscast on Adrian's arrest, and Quentin tells Oliver that his mayoral approval rating is back to 70%. Oliver tells Thea that Rene missed the hearing to get his daughter Zoe back. Before he goes, Quentin wishes Oliver a happy birthday. Thea suggests that they should get a drink to celebrate, and they realize that it's been four years. Oliver assures her that she's changed for the better, and says that he has plans with Felicity. Thea wonders if they have a date, and Oliver admits that he doesn't know. He insists that it's just dinner as he goes, but Thea doesn't believe him.
That night, Oliver goes to Felicity's apartment and finds the door open. When someone comes at him, Oliver throws them to the floor... and realizes that it's Curtis. Everyone on the team yells surprise. They have some cake, and Curtis shows Felicity the sonic modulators he's been working on for Dinah. Felicity tells him that Dinah plans to swing by if work doesn't keep her. Meanwhile, Diggle explains that Lyle and John Jr. are visiting Lyla's sister in Chicago so she couldn't make it. He assures Oliver that they'll patch things up, just as Quentin arrives late. He tells Thea that Rene wasn't home and hasn't been for a couple of days. They share a toast to Oliver's birthday, and Quentin wonders what they're going to do now that Adrian is in prison.
Thea gets everyone over to the cake except Oliver and Felicity, and they realize their teammates planned to leave them alone. They agree to take it one step at a time, and Felicity figures that it's hard for Oliver to take a break. She assures him that they won and tells Oliver to relax.
Five Years Ago
Konstantin chains Oliver to the ceiling of the prison, and tells Oliver that nothing really dies. He injects Oliver with a drug intended to induce psychological anguish, and asks why Oliver intended to return to Starling City from Lian Yu. Oliver refuses to answer, and Konstantin injects him with the drug. Oliver promises to make sure Konstantin is dead the next time, and Konstantin tells him that when they're done the only person Oliver will want to kill is himself.
After the party, Curtis calls Felicity to discuss her relationship with Oliver. He goes to Dinah's to drop off the modulator, and finds the patio door broken open. He goes in to check on Dinah and finds the place torn up. Curtis sees something and then someone knocks him out and drags him away, leaving his phone behind.
Oliver and Diggle soon arrive at the apartment and find Curtis' phone. They figure that Rene was abducted as well, and Oliver figures that Adrian is responsible. Felicity points out that Adrian is in an ARGUS cell, and confirms that he's still there. Oliver figures that someone is working with Adrian on the outside, and they find a League dart embedded in the end table. Oliver tells Diggle to get Thea and Quentin to an ARGUS safehouse and then meet Oliver at the bunker. He then leaves to talk to Adrian.
Oliver enters the room around the cell and demands to know where his teammates are. Adrian says that he knows Oliver's every move, and tells him that he'll see him later as he leaves.
Five Years Ago
Konstantin tells Oliver that he revels in pain, and explains that he had to wake Oliver up and make him realize that the pain he suffered is still with him. He touches Oliver's scars, and Oliver relieves all of the pain from when they were first inflicted.
When Oliver arrives at the bunker, Felicity steps out and trains a rifle on him. He says that he wants her in the bunker with him so that they can both try to stop Adrian. Felicity wonders if that's the only reason Oliver wants her to stay there, and Oliver figures that he let his guard down when he shouldn't have. He knew something was wrong but ignored his instincts, and now everyone he loves is in danger. Felicity insists that no one could have found William, but Oliver doesn't believe it.
Diggle comes in and reports that Quentin and Thea are at the safehouse. A message comes in that Black Siren has escaped from ARGUS custody, and they figure she's working with Adrian… and that he'll send her after Quentin.
At the safehouse, Thea and Quentin are going stir-crazy and Quentin wants to talk to the judge in Rene's case. Thea points out that there's nothing he could say that the judge would believe, but Quentin refuses to let someone else lose their daughter. The ARGUS guard realizes that the comms are on the fritz, and he goes to investigate. Thea and Quentin go after him, and they find the guard tranqed on the floor. Quentin sees a woman and follows her. It's the Earth-2 Laurel, who steps out into sight, says, "Hi, Daddy," and walks toward him. Thea comes in and trains her gun on Laurel. Before she can explain, Artemis tranqs both of them.
Later, Oliver and Felicity arrive at the safehouse. Felicity brings up the surveillance footage of the attack, and the ARGUS agent that was paid to let Black Siren out said that someone matching Artemis' description gave him the money. The guard identifies Artemis as well, and Oliver figures that Adrian is trying to take away his strength by capturing his team. He tells them that they have to leave the state and not tell him where they're going. Adrian won't expect them to split up. Meanwhile, Oliver can focus on finding their teammates.
Five Years Ago
Konstantin tosses Oliver in a cell and tells him that the worse pain is in his mind. The drug will show Oliver all of it: his bloodlust and his inhumanity. Konstantin gives Oliver a gun and explains that it only has one bullet. He says that they both know who is responsible for Oliver's pain, and figures that Oliver can resist shooting himself for 14 minutes before he ends his suffering. Oliver hallucinates Yao Fei telling him that he'll shoot himself because he knows that he should die.
Oliver goes into Adrian's cell and beats him. He draws a gun and tells him that he's never going to give Adrian the satisfaction of killing him and proving that Adrian is right. Oliver promises that Adrian will never get out, and Adrian tells him that he's wrong. The only way Oliver can keep them from paying the price of knowing Oliver is if Oliver lets Adrian go. Oliver tells them that he's going to find another way and walks out. Adrian tells him that they're transferring him out of Star City that night and then his offer is off the table. He wonders who Oliver will have to lose to break Oliver forever.
As Black Siren and Artemis transfer and Quentin in a truck, Thea explains that Black Siren isn't the Laurel that Quentin knows. She tries to explain about parallel Earths, but Quentin doesn't believe her at first. Thea warns that Black Siren is very convincing but he can't believe her. Artemis and Black Siren stop the truck and take them out.
As Felicity and Diggle drive away from Star City, Felicity says that she has a bad feeling that they never should have left Oliver alone.
Oliver goes to the bunker and looks at his teammates' uniforms... and someone watches him from the rafters.
Diggle says that leaving Oliver feels wrong, which is why it might be the right thing to do. Felicity wonders if they've overthought it and now Oliver is vulnerable.
Oliver throws a dart at his watcher as the man drops down to the floor... and Malcolm easily catches it. He reminds Oliver that he saved Oliver's life the last time he was there, and admits he wasn't thinking clearly when he told Damien about William. Malcolm insists that now his only concern is saving Thea.
A black-clad woman with swords steps out onto the road in front of Diggle and Felicity. Diggle tries to run her over, but their attacker steps aside and slashes the side of the car. It crashes into a truck and explodes. Diggle and Felicity crawl out of the wreckage, and the League assassins easily capture them.
A short time later, Oliver and Malcolm arrive at the crash site. Malcolm tells Oliver to focus and asks if he's tagged them. Oliver explains that the nanite tracers in Felicity were rendered useless when Adrian set off the EMP. He figures that Adrian won't keep up his end of the bargain even if he breaks Adrian out, but Malcolm says that he'll give in to Adrian if it gets Thea back. Malcolm figures that Oliver would do anything to keep his son alive, and Oliver says that he has to become something different so as to not endanger his friends. As he walks off, Malcolm tells him that human connections are what keep them human. He says that Oliver will always have people in his life, and if Oliver can't accept that then the past will always be his anchor. The Federal marshal calls to tell Oliver that they're transferring Adrian. Once he hangs up, Oliver tells Malcolm that he's going to make sure that Adrian's transfer goes smoothly, and then they'll rescue everyone.
Five Years Ago
"Yao Fei" insists that he's as real as Oliver's conscience, and accuses Oliver of squandering his sacrifice and his daughter. Oliver apologizes, and Yao Fei says that apologies won't bring back everyone Oliver has lost and those he has yet to lose. He tells Oliver that Oliver knows that those closest to him will suffer for his sins, but Oliver can save them by making the same sacrifice that he made for Oliver.
Black Siren puts Quentin in a shipping container, and she calls him "Dad." He tells her that she's not his Laurel, and says that it's hard for her. She owes her freedom to Adrian, and in exchange she gives him her help and Adrian's assure that Quentin won't be hurt. Quentin says that his Laurel wouldn't believe him, and Black Siren knows that Quentin lost his daughter. With that, she walks out.
Oliver watches as the marshals transfer Adrian. He tells Adrian that he's not pulling his strings anymore, and Adrian tells him that the moment he gets on the transfer chopper, his friends will kill Oliver's. Oliver's phone rings and a video of William comes up. The boy begs anyone to help him.
After the truck drives off with Adrian, Oliver runs out. The escorts pull up in a van, and Oliver tells that he needs it. When he tries to take it, they attack him and Oliver fights back. Malcolm arrives and shoots them down, and figures that Adrian took William. He tosses Oliver a duffle with his costume.
The marshals take Adrian to the helipad and the transfer chopper arrives. An explosion goes off behind the escort, and Malcolm and a masked Oliver take down the marshals. Oliver fires an exploding arrow ahead of the escort, and Malcolm takes out the snipers while Oliver goes after Adrian. Adrian takes out the chopper pilot, and Oliver grabs him and demands to know where his loved ones are. The former DA tells him that he's not gone yet, and Oliver asks him while he involved William. Adrian says that his wife was innocent but Oliver involved her, and reminds Oliver that he said everyone that Oliver cares about suffers. He says that he'll see Oliver on the boat and flies off in the chopper.
Back at the bunker, Oliver confirms that Adrian flew the chopper to an abandoned airstrip in Utah and then took another aircraft heading back to Star City. Oliver accesses a keyhole satellite that Felicity set up to track the heat signature of any aircraft in the world. An alarm goes off, and Oliver says that he's bringing in help to match Adrian's allies. Nyssa comes in and Malcolm refuses to work with the person who took his position in the League. Oliver tells him that he said he do whatever it takes to get Thea back, and Malcolm agrees… and asks if Nyssa knows. He tells her that one of the people they're up against is her sister Talia. The satellite shows that Adrian has changed course, and Oliver realizes where he's going.
Later, Oliver, Malcolm, and Nyssa fly westward across the ocean. He explains that Talia must have told Adrian everything about him... including his time on Lian Yu.
Five Years Ago
Oliver prepares to shoot himself, and he hallucinates Laurel telling him to stop. He says that it's the only way to keep his loved ones safe, and "Laurel" tells him that they need him home. If he doesn't then Robert and Sara will have died for nothing. The vision disappears, and Oliver shoots the lock out of the cell door.
The League assassins manacle Felicity and Diggle with Thea, Quentin, and Curtis. Adrian, Black Siren, and Artemis arrive, and Adrian says that he's counting on Oliver coming for them. Diggle and Curtis figure that Oliver can't do it alone.
Oliver goes to the ARGUS prison on the island and tells Slade that he needs his help. Slade smiles and says that he's glad Oliver came back.
Written by Gadfly on May 18, 2017