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‘Arrow’ Season 2 Episode 19 Recap: “The Man Under The Hood”

Last Week on Arrow: Oliver Queen didn’t save this city, as he continually threatens the very city he’s sworn an oath to protect. Thea Queen found out that her surname is a lie; she’s really the daughter of Malcolm “Mass Murderer” Merlyn. Roy ran away in a sweet red sports car that matches his sweet red jacket, pissed at Oliver ruining his relationship with Thea. Slade paid a visit to Laurel, and revealed to her the truth: Oliver is the Arrow.

Ollie, Felicity, Sara and Diggle, all masked up, ride in a van en route to the Applied Science Division of the company that Oliver NO LONGER owns (also previously on Arrow: Isabel Rochev now runs Queen Consolidated, and is working for Slade Wilson). For some reason (it was Felicity’s idea), they break in, using the Clock King’s Skeleton Key (PLOT POINT ALERT), and set explosives. Then they blow up the building, to slow down Slade’s nefarious science-y plans. It’s mostly just a waste of time and money. Isabel Rochev issues a statement, implicating the vigilante in the bombing.

At her house, Laurel has cobbled together a “wall of obvious” with news clippings about Oliver and the Arrow, displaying a fraction of the ingenuity shown by Chloe on Smallville. I miss Chloe and her wall of weird.

She visits her father, Quentin Lance, in jail (also previously on Arrow; damn). She can’t understand why he continued to work with the vigilante, and wants to know if he knows the Arrow’s identity, because that could help him get out of Iron Heights (because they’d totally put a cop with all the super powered villains of Starling City). It’s clear Quentin doesn’t know. She asks if he knows the identity of “the woman in black” (not a reference to this movie) just as Sara walks in. Hilarious. On her way out, Laurel gets to make a cryptic, vile comment about the people closest to us and their ability to hurt us with lies.

The Queen family lawyer meets with Oliver and Moira to discuss the company, and their financial situation. Its dire, because they no longer run the company, and while they’re the primary stockholder, Rochev has diluted the stock, which sounds like a crock of $#*! that would likely hurt the entire company’s fiscal viability. The lawyer recommends starting a trust, but they need Thea to sign it…and of course, she hates them all right now for lying about her genes.

Moira mentions that Robert Queen also had a weakness for Isabel Rochev, in that she was an extramarital affair/intern. That makes Oliver Eskimo brothers with his father, and Isabel kinda gross.

Back on the waste of time-land (the Island), Anatoly prepares to viciously torture Dr. Ivo (Dylan Neal), like Ivo did to the prisoners of the Amazo. But before he can start, Ivo mentions that while he couldn’t replicate the Mirakuru, he did develop a cure, and that Ollie and Sara could cure Slade, and bring him back. Clearly…that doesn’t work, and the flashbacks in this episode, coupled with what we learn in the present, are fairly useless.

Oliver, Sara, Diggle and Felicity find the lair infiltrated by Deathstroke. He sprays the cave with bulets, beats them all up (save Felicity), then leaves, because it’s not the season finale, and it’s too early for the big fight. This might be like the 8th time that Deathstroke could have destroyed/killed Oliver, if you’re keeping score at home. The reason for Deathstroke’s extracurricular visit was to steal the Skeleton Key (not a reference to this movie), which was conveniently mentioned at the top of the hour.

The beating sends Sara to the hospital, and Laurel learns about the scars she had all over her body BEFORE the “motorcycle” accident that Oliver and Sara just survived. One punch from Slade is probably equivalent to a motor accident. On her way out, Laurel has some obvious/painful memory flashes as she puts two and two together, figuring that Sara is the Canary, or at least I hope so.

Ollie comes to Thea, who’s a wreck. She was close to figuring things out, being normal, with a boyfriend, the club, and she was happy. Now that’s all gone, and you can’t help but feel truly sorry for Thea, who’s collateral damage in this family of suck she was drafted into. Oliver insists that he’s still her brother, and loves her, but Thea points out that he’s her HALF-brother now, and then has a rush of revulsion when she realizes that Tommy Merlyn was also her half-brother, and that she spent her adolescence trying to kiss him. Yuck. Thea’s screwed up…until she picks up a bow and becomes Speedy (season 3 hopefully, but it’s probably season 4).

Then…we get some Flash crossover fun, where we’re introduced to two of the quirky lab assistants at S.T.A.R. labs: Caitlin Snow (Bones and Justified’s Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes), who seems like a big douche. He’s like a completely un-charming, nerdy, lame version of Keno from TMNT II (Ernie Reyes Jr. 4 life). They’re taking inventory in a lab, being neurotic/”funny” until Deathstroke arrives. They do more damage to Slade than Ollie and company have inflicted all season, when Sisco hits him with some big ass gun. They flee the scene, letting Deathstroke grab what he came for anyways: a biotransfuser. The machine is a super efficient, better way to deliver the mirakuru to Slade’s newly freed prisoners from Iron Heights.

Felicity knows Caitlin and Cisco, from her visits to S.T.A.R. Labs, because Barry Allen’s been moved there while in his comatose state. We get this awesome exchange out of it:

That’s how you create a love triangle when one of them is off-screen/ in a coma/on another show. Days of Our Lives would be proud.

Back at ze island, Ivo promises help as long as they deliver him a swift death. He’s been poisoned and is dying anyways, so it’s all he has to grip onto. Apparently the cure is on the freighter, in a safe in his quarters. Oliver takes the gun away from Sara, and murders Ivo mid-monologue. Badass. He wanted to save Sara from taking a life, because it changes you, and he doesn’t want that for her. Clearly, that plan goes out the window, too.

Oliver and Rochev have a kerfuffle. Apparently Isabel saw Robert Queen as more than just a fling like Moira intimated. Robert was Rochev’s soul mate, and they were planning to run away together. She also lets slip that Robert KNEW Thea wasn’t his biological daughter. He terminated their relationship rather than abandoning his family, a nugget that Ollie can share with Thea to help mend the fences. Of course, while she agrees to hear him out, Ollie gets a top secret phone call that prevents him from telling the truth.

At Iron Heights, Quentin gets the snot kicked out of him by a prisoner he previously collared, sending him to the hospital.

Laurel was about to tell the Arrow that she knows his secret, when she gets a call about her Dad, making her second trip to the hospital for her family in an episode. She plans to tell Quentin the truth about the Arrow…but Quentin has a speech about how he doesn’t want to know the truth anymore, that he doesn’t want to humanize the vigilante, to know he has friends and family, because he’d prefer to know him as a figure/symbol/Batman, and that the city needs him, and feels sorry for the Arrow. It’s rather touching, even if it’s like watching a montage of speeches about superheroes in movies. It prevents Laurel from telling her Dad the Arrow’s identity, and softens her stance on the whole scenario.

She also tells her boss what to do, again. Previously, she blackmailed her into getting her job at the DA’s office back. Now, she threatens a lawsuit if Kate Spencer doesn’t drop the charges on her father and get him out of Iron Heights. Kate Spencer agrees immediately, for some reason, putting Quentin back on the force. She even comments how next time it won’t be so easy. Why is there a this time?

Oliver is ready to put an end to this nonsense, which means we’re still several episodes of putting an end to this nonsense, as he breaks into Slade’s lair. He believes that after giving the transfusion, Slade will be at his weakest. It’s a good hypothesis, except Slade isn’t the one supplying the mirakuru. ROY IS (OBVI). Apparently they found him in Bludhaven (Nightwing/Teen Titans alert!), a wreck.

If Ollie stops the process, it could kill Roy…so naturally, Oliver kills the power/stops the process. Then, he uses a trick arrow (YES!) to stymie Slade for a few moments, so he can rescue Roy…but Isabel Rochev readies her aim to fire…until Diggle puts a couple bullets in her chest, leaving her for dead, as Ollie swoops on out of there, carrying Roy Harper and a vial of mirakuru with him. He’s in bad shape (he kind of looks like Chris Evans pre-Super Soldier serum), but obviously he’ll survive.

At the Queen mansion that they can’t afford, Oliver tells Thea the truth about their father, that he knew she wasn’t his, yet still loved her and chose to be her father. It tugs at the heartstrings, but isn’t enough, as Thea walks out with a suitcase, going…somewhere?

Meanwhile, Felicity brings the mirakuru to S.T.A.R. labs, hoping Caitlin and Sisco will keep a secret, and begin testing. Hopefully it has NOTHING to do with Barry Allen.

The last big moment in this episode, aside from Laurel hugging Oliver tenderly, is that Slade ends up providing his blood to the prisoners AND Isabel Rochev, who now is hulked up, which means we get to see Summer Glau in all her glau-ry. River Tam and Terminator Chick, here we come.

Oliver is screwed.

GRADE: B+

All gifs come from the brilliant Queens Arrow tumblr.