(Author’s note: It’s late again, apologies for that, but next week I’ll be back on schedule!)
At first it seemed the episode began with a flashback to Oliver and Felicity’s final meeting before he left for his duel, but things begin to sour and change as Oliver reveals not only will he stay but he loves Felicity. He plants a kiss on her and then blood pours of his mouth. Ollie wakes up in Tatsu’s cabin from the dream as she hands him some medicine to drink. Maseo is still present but he and Tatsu don’t appear to be on speaking terms. As he enters, Ollie pleads with him that Ra’s will kill him for what he’s done. Maseo tells him he should be more concerned with what has become of his city in the wake of his absence.
A woman runs down an alley from a would-be attacker who is confronted by Laurel as the Canary. The two fight, but Laurel is still clearly out of her element. Luckily Roy is there to help and dispatches the goon. Roy patches up Laurel and tries to talk her out of this crusade, but with Oliver gone she says the city needs someone, and people are afraid of the Canary. Over at Palmer Tech ,Felicity waits on Ray who has a meeting with the mayor and cements her stance on not helping Ray. Thea heads over to Verdant where she runs into DJ Blowhard from a few episodes ago, and as he leaves Malcolm Merlyn shows up. As he pleads with Thea to leave with him, and she refuses, Roy walks past and notices the exchange.
Captain Lance talks to Laurel at City Hall about if she’s seen Sara, given all the reports of her popping up all over town. They assemble inside for a meeting with the Mayor and the town Alderman about Brick and his plans. Ray and Felicity join them, but as quickly as they’ve arrived Brick and his boys file in and take the Alderman hostage. Captain Lance, Laurel, and Ray all try to fight off different members of the group with varying degrees of success. Ray laments to Felicity, “That’s why I need a technosuit.” Back at Tatsu’s cabin, Ollie continues to nurse his wounds and discuss what has happened to Maseo. They dance around the issue very well in the dialogue, but the allusions to grief and guilt seem to point toward something happening to their son.
Hong Kong flashback time: Ollie and Maseo are inside a Triad club where they’ve tracked the goon from the last episode to, though he’s behind the rope in the VIP area. No sooner has Maseo mentioned how well the club will be guarded than guns are pointed at their backs and they’re disarmed. In the back room, China White tells him he’s late and it’s revealed Maseo is going to give her the virus in exchange for Tatsu’s freedom.
Back in the present, Captain Lance talks to Felicity about the Arrow, but she says he’s gone. Laurel on the other hand is interogating one of the gang members that didn’t get away and threatens to have him sent off to Belle Reve (HQ of the Suicide Squad in the comics!) for a murder he didn’t commit. Eventually he caves and reveals where Brick is headed with the ‘napped Alderman. Merlyn pops into Thea’s apartment but finds Roy there waiting for him, in a fit of an “aw isn’t that cute” style threat, Roy tells Merlyn to stay away from Thea. Felicity and Ray talk about the attack, which both gave him flashbacks to the night his fiancee died but also reminded him why he really wants to put on the suit, to protect the people he loves (like Felicity).
Roy and Laurel suit up to rescue the Alderman, though Diggle acts like everyone’s dad and isn’t crazy about the idea. He’s right to worry though. Roy distracts Brick while Laurel attempts to rescue the Alderman, only for Brick to toss her around like a ragdoll and gets the prisoners right back where they started. As they leave, Roy gets an arrow off right into Brick’s chest, which leads him to kill an Alderman because of it. This clearly scars Laurel. Back at city hall, they watch a report on the “Red Arrow” and “Woman in Black” who attempted to save the Alderman from Brick who then calls the Mayor and asks for a face-to-face meeting.
Thea sits in her apartment (reading a novel by Brad Meltzer, a writer who has penned JLA and Green Arrow comics!) and Merlyn enters and tells her about his history with Ra’s al Ghul, the cliffsnotes version at least. Laurel watches the report on the dead Alderman and Felcity pops in to talk with her. The things she’s seen have shaken her, and Laurel doesn’t know if she can keep doing it, but what Ray told Felicity earlier has made an impact and she relays it to Laurel. She’s not putting on the Canary costume to honor Sara, she’s doing it to protect the people she loves that are still here. Brick holds his meeting with the Mayor, Captain Lance, and Ray where he demands they pull all of the police presence from The Glades. Captain Lance calls Felicity and tells her Brick’s demands – she reveals she knows how to find the Canary.
Back at Tatsu’s cabin, Maseo is prepping to leave but he notices some League assassins are outside. Oliver and Tatsu hide as he tries to convince the trio to leave, but when they search the house they find Oliver and a swift but brutal fight breaks out where all three are quickly killed. In a quick Hong Kong flashback, China White tests the virus and says it’s a fake, prompting another quick but brutal fight. Roy is wrestling with the Alderman’s death in the Arrow cave but Felicity and Laurel’s readiness as they return pulls him out of his slump. They’re getting the band back together!
The Mayor gives the order to pull the cops from The Glades, a decision that Captain Lance isn’t fond of. Laurel calls him with a voice filter making her sound like Sara, continuing the illusion that she’s still alive. As they research the Alderman, they realize one of them has a pacemaker and use that to trace their location (just go with it), but they’re going to need some help, so Felicity goes to Palmer Tech to borrow Ray’s helicopter. Brick is holding the men in a warehouse (Located at 16th and Kent, which I think is very dense Easter egg as Green Arrow Volume 3 #16 was written by the previously-mentioned Brad Meltzer and features Superman in a key supporting role. Maybe that’s a stretch.) and Diggle flies Roy and Laurel to the spot. They fight off some goons, rescue the Alderman, but Laurel isn’t ready to leave until she’s taken a swing at Brick. She gives him a good slug but jumps out a window and grapples onto the rope ladder from the helicopter as it flies away.
Maseo returns from burying the bodies of the League members and cuts his own neck to create a cover story of Oliver’s violent escape. Oliver offers to take him back to Starling with him, but he leaves without accepting. In our final Hong Kong flashback, Oliver asks Maseo to key him in on a crazy switcharoo plan the next time, but he reveals he didn’t know it was fake and that Amanda Waller must have known he’d try something and switched them out.
Laurel goes to visit her father in full Canary mode complete with a Sara cover voice. He tries to get her to come eat dinner with him, but she says she can’t and that she’s fine just before leaving. Merlyn watches over the city in Thea’s apartment. She enters and tells him she’s still not going anywhere but asks why don’t they stay and fight, it’s what he’s been training her to do after all, and Merlyn agrees. Felicity returns the helicopter keys to Ray and hands over his fixed up nanochip. Confused, Ray tries to clarify that he thought she wouldn’t help him, but Felicity says that with her help he may not end up dying. Thea goes back to Verdant where she runs into DJ Blowhard. He tells hers he heard a rumor she was leaving but she tells him nope, she’s here to stay. As Thea leaves DJ Blowhard pulls out his phone and reveals he is a spy for the League of Assassins. He calls Maseo and tells him Merlyn won’t be leaving Starling, and Maseo says he’ll inform Ra’s.
You can check out the first promo images for Episode 3.12 of “Arrow” in the gallery viewer below. Titled “Uprising,” the episode is described as follows:
“Still operating without Oliver (and desperate to stop Brick (guest star Vinnie Jones), Team Arrow is forced to consider Malcolm’s offer to help shut Brick down as Malcolm has a personal score to settle with the felon. Roy and Laurel point out that the team could use some help to save the innocents of The Glades, but Felicity is adamantly against it. They look to Diggle to make the final decision. Meanwhile, the flashbacks chronicle Malcolm’s descent from kind-hearted father and husband to cold-blooded killer after the murder of his wife.”
Directed by Jesse Warn and written by Beth Schwartz & Brian Ford Sullivan, “Uprising” is set to air February 4. “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 P.M. EST.