In this week’s episode of Arrow titled “Level 2” every member of the team finds themselves fighting hard to remain true to themselves, but some of them eventually have to cave. We also learn more about the ominous future alongside Roy and William.
After quite literally fighting his way to Level 2 in prison Oliver is now left without food, water, or distraction; that is until he is joined by Dr. Jarrett Parker, a psychiatrist. He is sent to determine whether Oliver is fit to return to living with the other inmates, but when Oliver refuses to speak to him the other man rejects him with a serum. Oliver starts talking about his past, particularly the moment of his father’s sacrifice on the life boat in the North China Sea.
Oliver still refuses to truly participate, so Dr. Parker has him undergo electro therapy. He tells Oliver that his father condemned him when he asked him to right his wrongs, and that Oliver might be doing the same thing to his son. Under the influence of the electric shocks, Oliver sees himself in the life raft, telling his son he loves him, before killing himself.
Felicity on the other hand finds herself on the verge of torturing Silencer, but Rene stops her by telling her about the price he paid for torturing a prisoner in the army in the past, and how he is still haunted by nightmares.
So Felicity decides to enlist Black Siren for help, who is more than happy to oblige. But even with Laurel’s tactics of persuasion Silencer remains mum. Ultimately Felicity tricks Silencer intro freeing herself and taking a belt with her, which contains a GPS tracker.
Even though Felicity used her brain rather than resort to torture Laurel says she can see a difference in the blonde. She claims Felicity is a lot more like her own Earth’s version, a ruthless tycoon. She asks Felicity whether she is truly willing to get blood on her hands and kill Diaz, because that will be the only option they have if they find him.
Meanwhile, Dina is faced with angry citizen at a town hall meeting at the Glades Youth Center. People accuse the SCPD of not being able to keep the citizen safe. They were better off with the vigilantes fighting for them. The meeting is interrupted by a fire, and as everyone evacuates the new Green Arrow jump in and saves Zoe’s life.
While Rene is grateful for his daughter’s safety the SCPD publically declares the new vigilante the prime suspect in the arson case. When another fire pops up in the Glades Rene gets involved and protects the new vigilante from the SCPD and helps him escape, so Dinah arrests him.
John tries to talk some sense into Dinah by telling her that Quentin Lance and the SCPD were at their most successful whenever they were working with the masked heroes instead of against them. Dinah asks Rene to help her bring out the arsonist, who they find out had been hired by a real estate agent buying up properties in the Glades for cheap after they had been hit by a fire.
Rene and Dinah track the arsonist and his goons to another fire at a cinema. There they work together with the new vigilante to stop fire, unsuccessfully so. They are able to take down the arsonists, but the vigilante gets injured in the process. Dinah and Rene’s relationship becomes less strained as they come to an understanding about the SCPD’s involvement with the vigilante, and Dinah presents Zoe with a canary-shaped pin.
In the future, we see Roy and William arrive in Star City where they realize the hozen’s coordinates are changing as soon as they have arrived their previous destination. They find themselves at a deserted and destroyed Smoak Tech office, where William uses his own technical proficiency to gain access to a safe and retrieve an item. They are interrupted by security, but find support in a masked Dinah.
The trio is joined by an adult Zoe, who has now taken on the mantle of a vigilante herself. She reveals that her father left Star City a long time ago. Dinah tells them that Star City has fallen when the Glades started to rise, and that the Glades are now separated from the rest of the city through a wall. William finds that the item Felicity left for him is a Rubik’s cube. After solving, it he gains access to a map of the Glades with secret routes in and out of the area. He wonders aloud why Felicity would send him to retrieve this map when Dinah tells him that Felicity is dead.
This new season of Arrow is on fire! Quite literally speaking, at least in this very episode. We see some members of the former Team Arrow struggle. Oliver is forced to relive his past and dive deep into his PTSD and the possible effect his past decisions might have on his son. This is easily one of the most painful moments of Oliver’s life, and the scene between Oliver and William on the life raft lifts Amell’s performance to new heights.
Felicity on the other hand is primarily struggling with remaining innocent and untouched by the death the people around her have already caused. Felicity has never hurt intentionally, and certainly never taken a life. The decision to ultimately kill Diaz will be hard one for her to make and mark a moment of no return for her. It’s hard not to love her interactions with Black Siren when Rickards and Cassidy play off each other so very well.
Dinah struggles with a whole other issue, mainly remaining true to her values and her integrity, while also trying to bring true change to her city. She slowly realises that the SCPD cannot handle all crime in the city on its own and has to rely on vigilantes to assist. I’s a bitter pill to swallow.
Still, it is the flash forwards that continue to be the most interesting aspect of the new season, as we still cannot be sure whether this is a true reflection of the future or whether this is on another Earth or another timeline (or just a mess-up by the Legends). Dinah is a vigilante again, so is a grown-up Zoe. Felicity is dead and Oliver and John are nowhere to be found.
Is this the bad place?
Curtis: “Do not hate on Beebo. He brings comfort to people of all ages.”
Dinah: “Living in the shadows is when all the worst things happen.”
Catch Arrow Wednesdays at 8/7ct on The CW