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Previously On: Arrow – “The Candidate”

Let me just say, in my defense, that I was never a big fan of the Green Arrow comics. I’m more of a Marvel comics fan. I have been keeping up with the series Arrow, though, and it seems that they are trying to get back to basics with the little things – like changing the name of the city from Starling to Star City, the name of the city in the comics.

I like the turn with Thea taking over Speedy’s mantle. I’m not sure how I feel yet about her aggro leveling up since they came back from Nanda Parbot though. It’s awesome watching her kick everybody’s ass all over the place. But it’s just a matter of time before that little rogue finds herself in the middle of a whole lotta aggro that ain’t comin’ from her, and her back-up DPS and tank won’t be there to help.

While I like the way the characters are developing – specifically the conflict between Diggle and Oliver, I do miss John Barrowman. He brought a certain element of smart-assery to what started to be almost formulaic and boring. After completely skipping season 2 out of boredom, I gave it another shot with season 3, then had to go back and binge season 2 because… Suicide Squad. Birds of Prey. Other DC characters. Yeah. That’s what I get for skipping shit. Season 2 turned out to be way more exciting than season 1.

So here’s what happened – Previously On: Arrow…

Felicity wants a code name. Canary, Diggle, Speedy and Green Arrow are looking for a bomb while fighting Darhk’s Ghost force, and Felicity wants a code name. She thinks John needs one too – something more than Diggle because… Diggle. Oliver watches a moment as Thea takes down a small group of Ghost thugs, and he can’t suppress a proud smile. But by the end of the fight, he’s not so happy with her violent approach to things.

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After they neutralize the bomb, the group reconvenes in the basement. Oliver is worried that Thea is losing control and will end up killing someone. Thea blows his lecture off, reminding him that a close friend of their mother’s is coming over for dinner so she needs a shower. Oliver congratulates Felicity on her first day back at Palmer Technologies as the boss, presenting her with a potted fern and a bagged lunch.

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Later, at a board meeting, Felicity meets resistance from the board to her leadership. She’s not popular when she announces cuts to executive bonuses and pay. The board decides that layoffs and other workforce reduction measures would continue as budget-cutting moves to save on corporate costs. At the moment, Felicity sees no other way to save jobs. This is not a popular move and pisses off a lot of people.

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Dinner at the Queen residence brings an announcement from their guest, Jessica Danforth. She announces that she will be stepping into their mother’s shoes and running for Mayor. Oliver and Thea both caution her against it but she won’t be swayed. She asks for their support. At Danforth’s political rally, there is gunfire. It was just a distraction though – turns out, it was a kidnapping attempt. Oliver goes into action, rescuing Danforth. Captain Lance puts her into protective custody, with a detail of cops keeping her daughter Madison under constant surveillance.

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Oliver’s team analyzes fingerprints found at the scene. Oliver offers help to find the suspect, but Captain Lance declines, telling Oliver to stay out of it. Later on, Oliver visits Danforth and tries to talk her into dropping out of the race, but the attempted kidnapping has only served to strengthen her resolve. Darhk confronts his hired anarchist about the failure to neutralize his target, and warns him not to fail again.

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Back in the basement, Felicity discovers something on the fingerprints that they recovered from the shooting, and finds that it’s cellulose, compacted through a special process by a paper mill that was a subsidiary of Palmer Technologies. She had been forced to shut the mill down a couple of months ago as part of the board’s workforce reduction program measures. Speedy and Green Arrow head to the paper mill to see what they can find. Abandoned, it’s been taken over by homeless people and drug dealers.

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They approach one homeless guy who says he knows nothing but points to a drug dealer. Thea goes over and confronts the dealer with a photo, demanding to know if he’s seen the guy in the picture. He calls her a freak. “You masks, you think you’re in charge… there’s NEW masks in charge now…” She grabs and twists his arm, and demands again to know about the guy in the picture. Oliver tells her to let him go. The dealer gives her no information, so she breaks his arm. Oliver angrily calls her off, and tells her to leave. Speedy’s losing control and it’s only a matter of time before she goes off the deep end.

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Not happy with her lack of self-control, Oliver takes her to task back at the basement. He tries to teach her a more controlled method, but she fights back. She unleashes her aggression and roars in Oliver’s face, fighting him until Diggle and Laurel pull her off. Oliver tells her – and the group – that Malcolm warned him about this, that she would come out of the Lazarus Pit changed. But he took her there anyway to resurrect her after Ra’s al Ghul basically left her for dead. He didn’t see it at first, because it happened so slowly that he thought Thea was fine. But now, she’s not so much with the fine and very much with the aggro. She snarls some angry words in his face and leaves.

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Darhk’s hired anarchist has kidnapped Danforth’s daughter, and tells him that the plan is to use her as leverage to get Danforth to drop out of the race. Darhk is not happy – they guy has crossed lines that even Darhk has respect for, so he terminates his arrangement with the anarchist after finding out where Danforth’s daughter is being held. When Captain Lance goes to confront Darhk, he gives Lance the location of the Danforth girl. He makes it clear that this isn’t how he operates, and this was not his doing. He basically tells Lance not to piss him off or bad shit will happen to Laurel. Lance calls Oliver, telling him where the girl is at. “You said you’re doing things differently now. Here’s your chance to prove it.”

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The team suits up and goes to rescue the girl. Diggle and Canary get her out while Speedy and Green Arrow draw bow strings, arrows nocked. They go through the place looking for the anarchist. Speedy takes a hit in the back from a cattle prod as he comes out of the shadows. Green Arrow fights with him and gets zapped. Speedy, back on her feet, comes in and takes down the guy with a well-executed kick to the gut.

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As he falls and knocks over a supply shelf, he’s drenched with a flammable liquid. Speedy grabs the cattle prod and murderously zaps him, setting him on fire. As he stumbles under a water pipe, Green Arrow fires off a bolt and breaks the pipe, dousing the flames. Thea gives Oliver a look of shock when she realizes what she has done.

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Now that her daughter is safe, Jessica Danforth decides to drop out of the race after all. Lance isn’t happy that Oliver’s involvement in the rescue of Madison Danforth has left a man dead. Felicity decides that enough is enough, and she stops the board’s workforce reduction program. She re-hires all the people who were laid off or fired. She tells them that when she reviewed some of the active projects that were being worked on by the people who were let go, she found that some of them were working on new revolutionary technology that would increase Palmer’s revenue margins. “You can’t do that without a workforce.”

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Oliver goes to see Thea. He apologizes to her for not telling her about the pit right away,a nd commits to helping her through whatever she is going through. Laurel shows up with a plan to take Thea away for a girls’ spa weekend. When Oliver leaves, she tells Thea that they aren’t going to a spa. They are going to Nanda Parbat – and for more than just so Thea can get help with what she is dealing with.

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Captain Lance gets called to a crime scene where two paramedics lie dead, bloodied in an ambulance. On the interior wall of the vehicle, an Anarchy symbol is drawn in blood. One of the officers at the scene tells Lance that she doesn’t know what the symbol means. “It means anarchy,” he says grimly.

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Oliver tells Felicity that he’s not sure that he’s doing things differently. Both Danforth and Lance told him that the city needs someone who can offer what the Green Arrow can’t – hope. Someone who stands and fights in the light, not lurking in shadows. “I’m going to run for Mayor.”

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Thea and Laurel are at Sara’s grave. Thea asks Laurel, “You sure you wanna do this?” Laurel jumps down into the dug-up grave and lifts the lid…

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Raven Knighte
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Raven Knighte is addicted to cheese and popsicles. Her favorite pastime is proving not only that it can’t rain all the time, but also that it actually can’t rain at all, by refusing to believe that rain exists. Her favorite quote is the letter that Brian wrote and reads at the end of the movie “The Breakfast Club,” because all five of those characters from the movie live in her head. She bathes in pixiedust daily, feeds clocks to crocodiles, and fights pirates. She has been known to take to the skies and crow loudly on occasion.

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