This week’s episode of Arrow is a very special one, as it marks the directorial debut of our very own David Ramsey. In “Past Sins” Diggle and Lyla fill up the Ghost Initiative with some baddies from previous season, while Oliver faces another one of his father’s victims and Laurel finds herself confronted with someone from her own Earth.
We learn right away that Oliver’s conversation with Emiko, teased at the end of last week’s episode. did not go quite as well as he’d hoped. He apologizes for his father’s neglect, but his sister still wants nothing to do with the Queen side of her family.
After Oliver and Laurel appeared in a television interview together, the DA’s approval rating skyrockets, making Laurel the most popular DA in the last decade. However, the Green Arrow continues to be a sore subject for the public – with 77% of Star City’s citizen believing the SCPD would be better off without the masked crusader.
Shortly after the interview the reporter is kidnapped, and the man behind the attack demands for the SCPD to remove Oliver from the force. After successfully saving the reporter Oliver discovers that someone had access to the transcripts of his sessions with the psychiatrist at Slabside.
He follows this trail to David Hackett, his father’s bodyguard who made it to the lifeboat with them, and ultimately his son Sam, the kidnapper. After Sam learned that his father was killed by Robert as a sacrifice to Oliver, he wanted revenge. Oliver considers removing himself from the SCPD but Dinah convinces him to keep fighting for those that need him.
With the Green Arrow refusing to step down, Sam targets the precinct and with the use of electric currents, threatens to kill everyone in the building unless they kill Oliver. Oliver apologizes to Sam for his father’s sins and together with Dinah he is able to stop the grieving man.
In a second interview Oliver comes clean about what happened on the life raft and why Sam Hacket was after him. This impresses Emiko enough to seek her brother out and agree she will consider building a relationship with him.
Meanwhile, Diggle and Lyla continue building their Suici- ehh Ghost Initiative and have recruited some blasts from the past in the form of Carrie Cutter, Chien Na Wei and Joe Wilson, which is when Curtis gets involved. Lyla asks him to assist with the tech ARGUS uses to keep the villains in check, namely the explosive chip in their brains.
Curtis is reluctant, especially with regards to keeping this from Oliver and Felicity. When Diggle explains that they only keep the initiative running until they have stopped Dante, Curtis begrudgingly agrees.
Felicity invites Laurel along for a glass of wine between frenemies when the other woman comes face-to-face with a man she killed on her Earth after she got a hold of her meta human powers. Brett Collins was the drunk driver that hit and ultimately killed Quentin Lance on Earth 2. Still, Laurel blames herself for her father’s death as she forced him to get her a birthday cake for her 13thbirthday, which is why he was on the road that night.
After receiving several threatening notes Laurel believes that Brett has followed her from Earth 2 to take revenge and asks Felicity for help. However, the Brett that Laurel has encountered was not from her reality (that man remains dead) but Earth 1, who was arrested for public intoxication. This leaves the question of who is after Laurel.
At the end of the episode we see Dinah get in her car, who has also received an anonymous note, threatening to kill them all.
Is this the work of Dante?
While this week’s episode of Arrow did not get us any closer to this year’s Big Bad – undoubtedly the infamous Dante – it did something much better. It took the past and mixed it with the present.
If you can honestly say you wasted even one single thought on the third person on that life raft over the past six years, you’d be lying. Arrow picked up that small detail from the past and was able to cleverly interweave it. This is the show at its best, giving us characters and plot points we are familiar with and giving them relevance again. In addition, the episode almost seems to benefit from not having any flash-forward scenes included.
I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the dynamics featured on the show. Felicity and Laurel functioning as actual friends rather than polar opposites is refreshing and something to look forward to. Also the relationship between Oliver and Dinah as almost equal colleagues is interesting and will hopefully persist.
The most surprising dynamic though this week is between Curtis and Diaz. The moment that Diaz snapped Curtis’ neck should have had you gasping, before realizing that Arrow wouldn’t kill off a major character in the middle of the season. (Even though, frankly, it would have been a nice change if they had stuck with a choice). So far we have always seen Diaz dominate, so to have Curtis take charge and outwit him was a lot of fun to watch.
With so many things falling into place to create an interesting, overall relevant episode, it really is only an added bonus that David Ramsey absolutely smashes his debut as a TV director.
Diggle: “We are fighting evil that most people don’t even know exists. Sometimes that means making very difficult decisions, Curtis. The bombs are just a fail-safe, that’s all.”
Catch Arrow Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.