Episode 14 – The Return
Tuning into this episode there was a lot of excitement. Oliver and Thea on Lian Yu, flashback Oliver headed back to Starling City with Maseo to carry out a job from Amanda Waller. There was a lot to look forward to, and the episode didn’t disappoint.
The running stories between Oliver in the present and Oliver in the past create an interesting dynamic in Oliver’s motives. It sheds a lot of light on Oliver’s thought process, his struggles with carrying out the job for Waller while watching Thea buy drugs. He sees his priority is his family, but learns in order to help his family he needs to survive and for the time being do as he is told.
Oliver’s internal conflict isn’t the only one. Thea suffers after learning she killed Sara. After apprehending Slade Wilson, to which she almost killed him, Slade tells Oliver he has lost his sister to darkness.He asks Oliver, “How many people can Oliver Queen lose, before there is no more Oliver Queen?” This sentiment of losing Thea is hammered in when she confront Malcolm at the end of the episode since he was the one that let Slade Wilson out in the first place. She tells him she will work for him, be his soldier, but she is no longer his daughter.
In the flashbacks, Oliver struggles to focus on taking down Chien Na Wei (China White) as he watches Thea buy drugs. Oliver realizes the destruction that has been left in his wake. He is tasked with infiltrating his family’s company to acquire data on Chien Na Wei’s plan, but he also finds a file left for him by his father. Later in the episode Oliver views this file and receives the message that he must do better than his father and save Starling City.
Tommy also returned in this episode, in flashbacks. It shows him trying to help Thea and also ask out Laurel. He is filling the emotional role Oliver realizes he never did in these two relationships. It is another factor into why Oliver tries to protect his family and close friends as much as he does. It would have been nice to see more of Tommy in a different role, perhaps teasing his full-time return to the show. Hopefully, this won’t be the last we see of Tommy.
Laurel and her fathers relationship comes heavily strained over the courses of this episode. Quentin has returned to drinking and cannot forgive Laurel. There is a push for reconciliation towards the end of the episode. Their storyline doesn’t really lift off the ground in this episode.
There were brief views of Felicity and Diggle in this episode, while Roy remained nowhere to be seen. Felicity appeared in Oliver’s flashback, where she almost walked in on him gathering the files from his family’s computers. She’s talking to herself about how cute she thinks Oliver is after seeing his picture. Diggle also appears in flashback as a bouncer for Tommy’s birthday party. Both of these snippets of Felicity and Diggle felt misplaced in the grand scheme of the story, but it still was nice to see them.
The writing for this episode was overall well concocted, but there were a few tough spots it did not weave itself as well through. This would be Laurel and Quentin’s confrontations and how Felicity and Diggle were included. All in all, putting Slade Wilson back into the mix temporarily, and exposing emotional nerves was a good choice for Arrow. Now that Oliver and Thea have returned to Starling City we hope Oliver will be suiting up again soon.
[Images via SpoilerTV]
Discovering Oliver's motives in present and past.
Thea continues to develop as a character
Laurel and Quentin's relationship strain.
The way Felicity and Diggle are used in the episode.