Violet recaps Season 3 Episode 14 of Arrow, titled The Return, where Oliver and Thea return to the island to train — and run into trouble! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
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Episode Recap of Arrow, Season 3 Episode 14: The Return
The episode opens to Oliver and Thea training on the island. Thea asks about Sara’s death, and her killer, but Oliver is evasive, and goes for a walk. He decides to visit Slade’s cell, but discovers that Slade is missing. He runs back to find Thea, and tells her they need to get off the island. Just then, Oliver gets a phone call from Malcolm Merlyn, who tells Oliver that he let Slade out because in order to beat Ra’s al Ghul, Oliver needs to regain his killer instinct. His phone then stops working.
Slade shows up and attacks them. They both wake up locked inside of Slade’s cell. He tells them that he doesn’t mean to harm them, but that two bodies will show up in Starling City, burned beyond recognition, with evidence indicating that it’s the two of them. Slade says the whole reason they’re here is because of Shado, and that Oliver is still keeping secrets from Thea. Then he leaves them locked in the cell.
Thea presses Oliver to find out what he is hiding from her. But he doesn’t budge. However, he gets the idea for Thea to put her arm through the bars to unlock their cell door. However, her arm isn’t quite long enough, so he dislocates her shoulder, which makes her arm just long enough to press the release button, and they are able to escape.
They run to the plane, but Thea runs into a trap that Oliver had set up while he was on the island. Oliver barely saves her, but gets wounded in the arm in the process. Thea insists that he tell her about what happened to Sara. Oliver reluctantly tells her the truth, that Merlyn put her under the influence of a drug and had her kill Sara. Thea doesn’t take it very well. Then Slade shows up and grabs her at gunpoint. However, Thea fights back, and gets away. Oliver and Slade begin to fight. Thea jumps in and helps out, and eventually points a gun at Slade. Slade taunts her to kill him, but Oliver frantically tries to convince her not to, so that she won’t become like Malcolm.
She merely gives him a flesh wound, and they put Slade back in his cell. Slade tells Oliver that he’s lost his father, his mother, and now his sister. He asks him about Felicity, and asks how many people can Oliver Queen lose before there is no more Oliver Queen?
Laurel finds her father at Sara’s grave. She admits that her mom already knows. Lance is upset with Laurel for breaking his trust. Laurel says she thinks they should go to a meeting, and Lance insists on going to separate ones. Laurel pours out a bottle of booze.
Thea and Oliver return home. He tells her not to tell anyone about this, especially Laurel. Oliver says despite everything Malcolm has done, they still need him. Malcolm appears out of the shadows, and agrees. Thea tells Malcolm off for what he’s done to her. She says she’ll work with him to stop Ra’s al Ghul, but will never again be his daughter.
In the flashback, which takes place in Starling City, Waller goes over the mission to intercept the Omega bioweapon before Chien Na Wei can auction it off. Oliver recognizes a picture of Peter Kang, who works at Queen Consolidated. Waller threatens Oliver, telling him not to let anyone know he’s still alive. Maseo puts a tracker on Kang’s car. Oliver and Maseo follow him to Queen Consolidated. The only way to get into Kang’s computer is directly through the Queen Consolidated network. They plan for Oliver to go in at night. Oliver spots Thea.
Meanwhile, still in the flashback, Laurel finds her dad drunk at the bar, and drags him away.
Oliver and Maseo follow Thea to Oliver’s and Oliver’s father’s graves, and see her buy drugs from a dealer. Tommy shows up and scares the guy off. He also tells her that his birthday party is 21+.
Oliver sneaks into his father’s office, and Maseo talks him through via an earpiece. While getting the info they need from the computer, Oliver finds a file marked “For Oliver,” and downloads it. Maseo warns him that someone is coming, so Oliver hides. We see that it’s Felicity. Oliver and Maseo bring the info back to Waller, but then Oliver sneaks off to Tommy’s party.
We see that Diggle is working security at the party. Oliver enters with his hood on, and sees Tommy and Laurel talking to each other. Then Thea comes in. Oliver sees her buy some drugs from the same dealer as earlier. He follows the dealer upstairs and threatens him, telling him to stay away from Thea. The guy recognizes him, and pulls a knife on him. Oliver breaks the guy’s neck, and throws him over the banister onto the floor below.
The police, including Detective Lance, show up to the party to investigate the murder. Oliver looks on as Detective Lance questions Thea and Tommy, and criticizes Laurel for being at the party, and later for selling out by accepting a corporate lawyer job. Maseo finds Oliver, who says he’s done with the mission. Maseo drives off without him.
Oliver sneaks into the Queen mansion, and uses a tablet to open the file he downloaded from his dad’s computer. It’s a video message from his dad. In the message, he tells Oliver about the list of names, saying that Oliver can right his wrongs and save the city.
Meanwhile, Maseo sneaks into Chien Na Wei’s auction and takes pictures. Chien Na Wei’s men hear a sound, and gunfire is exchanged. The auction continues, as Maseo is brought to Chien Na Wei, who orders him killed. Oliver bursts in just then and saves Maseo. Chien Na Wei and Kang drive off, but Oliver and Maseo shoot at their car, and cause it to crash. Oliver knocks Chien Na Wei out cold. They get the Omega from Kang.
When they go back to Waller, Oliver seems to think he’s done with her, and will be staying in Starling City, since he accomplished everything she wanted. However, Waller says it’s not up to ARGUS. General Shrieve comes in and says they have to debrief him back in China, and once that’s accomplished and the Omega is secure, then he’ll make sure Oliver goes anywhere he wants.
Laurel and Tommy run into each other walking down the street. Laurel seems to have changed her mind about the corporate gig. He asks her to dinner, and she agrees.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 3 Episode 14 of Arrow: The Return
Interestingly, in this episode, the present takes place on the island, while the past takes place in Starling City — which is the opposite of how things have been on this show. While it was nice seeing Oliver and Thea finally train together, and be open with each other about who they are, there was still that underlying tension about Sara. I had thought that since two major secrets came out last episode, that the show would be done with revealing secrets for awhile, and that there would still be this huge secret about Sara between Thea and Oliver. However, the show proved me wrong, and actually let this secret come to light, which I was glad about, since I’m tired of all the secrets.
However, this is still a secret when it comes to Laurel. I think they should just tell her, especially since it looks like they’re all traveling to Nanda Parbat together next episode to take on Ra’s al Ghul, and there’s no way they’ll be able to make it through that entire trip without the secret coming out. I get that Oliver doesn’t want to take the chance that Laurel will retaliate against Thea, but Laurel hates Merlyn just as much as the next person, and using her logical lawyer mind, she should be able to understand that it was Merlyn, not Thea, who is responsible for Sara’s death, even though Thea was the one who physically did it. The characters on this show need to give a little more credit to each other.
It was also nice getting to see Tommy again during the flashback! I always liked Tommy, and wished he hadn’t been killed off. When Oliver ended up back in Starling City, I didn’t think that he would get much chance to interact with his friends and family, and be restricted to whatever mission that Waller assigned him. However, we got to take a trip into the past, and see how things were going with our major characters back then, which was fun to see, but also sad. I’m not sure that we’ll get this chance again, at least from Oliver’s perspective, since it seems like he’s going to get shipped back to China, never to return — or at least, not for awhile, namely, the beginning of Season 1. The question is, what is this General Shrieve up to?
In any case, it looks like next episode is going to be intense, as the Arrow Team heads to face off with Ra’s al Ghul!
Josh’s Thoughts: Arrow, Season 3 Episode 14: The Return
Scenes from Arrow, Season 3 Episode 15: Nanda Parbat
Here are scenes from the next episode of Arrow, titled Nanda Parbat: