(Author’s note: Sorry this one is late, I was out of town on a work trip. Just so you know, it’s going to happen again next week.)
It’s just a regular day in Starling City as the police chase after a van of thugs, who open fire on them with a submachine gun. After some fancy manuevers, it appears they’ve lost the police, and as you might suspect, a man in a hood with a bow and arrow on a motorcycle appears, but this one isn’t green. In the wake of Oliver’s disappearance, Diggle and Roy are out continuing the job. Roy pulls one of the thugs out of the van to question him. At the Arrow Cave, the group laments that its been three days without any word from Oliver, but Felicity has hacked a butt ton of satellites to look for him. Though Oliver’s fate is unknown, we get a Hong Kong flashback featuring him, Maseo, and Amanda Waller. She’s angry at them for kidnapping the scientist and reveals the half of the bioweapon held by Tatsu is useless without its counter agent, which they’re going to have to go steal from the Hong Kong military.
At Palmer’s Lab, Ray experiments with his gauntlet pulse blasts (sound familiar?) which doesn’t go as planned. Felicity appears and begins her crusade to talk Ray out of doing what he does, though he continues to push for her help. Meanwhile, in court, Laurel has bail denied for the thug (“Jermaine Fisher”) captured at the top of the episode. Back at the Arrow Cave, Diggle reveals there’s no sign of Oliver through their ARGUS contacts, so they get back to work on the task at hand, the thugs that got away the night before. As Roy and Diggle prepare to go dig up info on Danny “Brick” Brickwell, Diggle tries to get real with Felicity and prepare for the possibility “things didn’t go Oliver’s way.” We then see the mountain from the mid-season finale and Ra’s killing blow sword, and waaay down the ledge lies Oliver, motionless, but someone approaches.
There’s a gathering of goons in one of the many warehouses of Starling City and they’re all beating the snot out of Anton, who claims allegiance to Brick just as he enters. Brick takes off his shirt preparing for a fight and has a gun provided for Anton to give him a fair shot, but Brick beats him to death for disobeying him and before he can do anything about it. Laurel talks to Fisher, who seems to be heading off to prison, and makes the connection that his lawyer was supplied by Brick. Meanwhile, Thea and Merlyn practice sword fighting and Thea is finally good enough to get the drop on him, but she’s also terribly worried about Oliver. At the Arrow Cave, Felicity reveals Laurel tipped them off to the lawyer’s connection to Brick and they’ve tacked his phone to (where else?) The Glades.
Back in Hong Kong, Oliver and Maseo prepare to breach the military HQ from a rooftop across the way. Oliver tries to comfort Maseo that they’ll find Tatsu after completing the mission, but he knows Waller to well to expect that. As Ollie aims his bow and rides the line down to the building, Maseo takes a shot at the window for Oliver to crash through, but he sort of just bounces off it. Still an Arrow in training after all!
Roy and Diggle infiltrate the warehouse where Brick killed Anton, but it’s empty save for some charred remains and burned up papers with countless numbers on them. At Verdant, they go over the evidence and notice the door to the Arrow Cave is open, thinking Oliver is waiting on them they burst in only ot find Malcolm Merlyn. Though he’s not exactly welcome, Merlyn asks about Oliver and if he lives. Felicity says yes, despite not knowing for certain. He instills doubt in the group before leaving. She gets back to work on the job, but Roy doesn’t see the point in it anymore. Laurel appears and lets them know the remains belonged to Anton and they reveal what Merlyn told them but she doesn’t want to believe it either, it’s not the first time she’s heard Oliver was dead after all. Back on the mountain, Merlyn carries a lantern (boy he got there fast!) and sees Ra’s weapon stuck in the side with no sign of Oliver.
Returning to the flashback, Oliver hangs by the window and pushes against it to gain momentum before finally crashing through. He runs down the halls and finds the lab, picking up the sample, and soon joined by his fellow ARGUS agents, but then guns start going off above them. It’s not the military though, it’s China White’s men coming for the sample too.
As Felicity is close to cracking the case, Merlyn returns, carrying the sword that killed Oliver queen. He tries to convince them he’s right and that Oliver is gone, and Felicity is quick to blame him for it all, which he accepts as fact. Back on the mountain though, the unseen figure drags Oliver’s body away and we’re meant to believe it’s Merlyn. Felicity runs a blood analysis on the sword and confirms the blood is Oliver’s, which isn’t what Felicity wanted to hear. Quick cut back to Hong Kong as Oliver makes a run for it, only to be stopped by a Triad. Oliver fights back and gets the drop on him, but he lets the man go. Maseo and the other ARGUS agents catch up and head out with Oliver.
Roy drowns his sorrow in a drink and Thea appears. They’re both worried about Oliver, but Roy doesn’t disclose this to Thea. In turn though, she asks Roy to ask the Arrow for help in finding him, a sad notion for us watching the series. He relays what just happened to Diggle, who reminds him Oliver never wanted her to know, but since he’s gone… Like any strong man, Diggle is burying himself in his work to keep his mind off of Oliver’s death then he realizes what Brick’s plan is – he’s building an army of street enforcers. Over at Palmer Tech, Felicity is working on Ray’s tech when he enters and she tries once again to convince him to give up his crusade, but she makes a mistake by invoking his dead fiancee, which he doesn’t take to very well. As Felicity exits, Diggle reveals that Brick is looking to destroy the evidence for all of these goons, undoing all the work they’ve done over the past 8 months.
An SCPD evidence truck backs into a storage building only to be quickly infiltrated by Brick and his goons. They start to steal evidence boxes just as Roy and Diggle show up to take them on. The police show up and a major shootout ensues with Diggle forced to take on Brick by himself. He slides him the gun from earlier and lets him take a shot, which graves Brick’s head. They start whaling on each other and it seems like Diggle is done, but Roy manages to get out of his own pickle and save John. All the goons assemble back in the truck and manage to escape before Roy or Diggle can stop them though. Felicity reveals back at the Arrow Cave that she let Brick get away in order to save their lives, a stance that Diggle and Roy aren’t comfortable with. Just as Diggle prepares to lecture her on trust, Felicity exits, finished with the whole process. Back in Nanda Parbat, the mystery figure is revealed to be none other than Maseo, who brings Oliver to an undisclosed cabin in the mountains, occupied by an unseen person.
As Ray looks over some more schematics in his lab, Felicity shows up and apologizes for her outburst from earlier. He asks her why she was so upset and she says she lost a friend, something that she’s finished dealing with. She can’t stop Ray she says, but she doesn’t have to help him either. Laurel shows up to the Arrow Cave where Diggle laments that 8 months of work was undone in 8 minutes by Brick, and seemingly makes peace with Oliver being gone, though when pressed by Laurel he doesn’t give a concrete answer. As Diggle leaves, Laurel looks down and sees the tools that her sister Sara used as the Canary.
Thea enters her apartment and hears rustling, when she throws the letter opener with precision it’s revealed to be Merlyn creeping. He tells her they’re in danger and have to leave Starling City, for good. Brick assembles all his goons in yet another warehouse where he lays out his plan, take over The Glades. Just as Mr. Fisher is leaving the goon meeting, his car windows crash and Laurel jumps in as the new Canary, or “the justice he can’t run from.” She gives him a nice pot knot on the noggin.
In our final flashback Waller congratulates Oliver on securing the second half but chastises him for letting the Triad get away, leaving them no one to interrogate. As she leaves, Maseo chimes in, siding with Waller, only for Ollie to reveal that he planted a tracker on the man and he’ll lead them right to Tatsu. Back in the present, Oliver wakes up, bandaged all around his substantial wound. He finds himself next to a fire, and in front of him? Tatsu. Behind him? Maseo, who tells him she brought him back to life.