Arrow Episode 4.01 Recap and Promo for Next Week

Oliver runs through the brush, it’s like he’s back on the island, but wait, he’s actually in a much worse place, the suburbs. He and Felicity have a nice house and a nice life. He even makes a joke about Felicity “failing the omelet” she prepared for him. In the brief minutes we spend in their home, we see Oliver has had one of his tattoos removed and that Felicity is still the head of Palmer Tech following Ray’s “death,” which we know thanks to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow has been greatly exaggerated. Meanwhile in Star City, Team Arrow continues with just Diggle, Laurel, and Thea, who appears to be enjoying it all a little too much. They stop a stolen truck full of crates, but the goons they were chasing have backup, and they manage to secure the pay load from Kord Industries (belonging to one Ted Kord, AKA The Blue Beetle!).

The team assembles in their barren new Arrow cave, and they’re at a loss for how to handle these “Ghosts.” Even though the city has become a war zone and they need help, Diggle isn’t ready to reach his hand across the aisle just yet. On the other side of town, Captain Lance and other city officials conduct a meeting about the city where we find out there’s still no mayor and the city is basically dying. As if on cue, Damien Darhk appears, with a proposition for Star City: Let it die. Should they not let it go belly up, he’ll make them pay. Someone isn’t beating around the bush about establishing their villain identity.

Back in the suburbs, Oliver and Felicity have brunch with some yuppie friends where the subject of having kids scares Felicity back into the kitchen. Ollie uses this opportunity to show off the engagement ring he’s planning on giving her, which belonged to his mother Moira. Felicity trips and sends a bottle flying, promptly caught by Oliver, whose still got it clearly. We flashback to five years ago. Oliver is running around a rooftop chasing a thug in a raggedy “Hood” costume. He falls from the roof and gets caught in some cables, only to be greeted by Amanda Waller, of all people.

The city officials have all gone back to their various corners of the city, but the attacks have already begun. Suzanne the district attorney, with Laurel right next to her, is poisoned. Team Arrow sprints into action with Thea trying to go save the Comptroller (which is unsuccessful), Diggle looking for the city Head of Emergency Services, who already has his throat slit, and Laurel goes for her father. Despite three armed men attacking Captain Lance, the two Lances take them all out with minimal injuries, just a gun shot in Lance’s arm.

Oliver and Felicity have a nice dinner in suburbia where he’s planning on proposing, but a knock on the door interrupts his chance. As expected, it’s Thea and Laurel. They explain what the Ghosts have been doing, stealing valuables and munitions, and ask for his help, despite Diggle not wanting it. Laurel tells Oliver she hopes that he can’t change who he is, but Felicity has already mentally packed her bags. Back in the past we see Oliver at a Bar with Waller, who starts speaking in grandiose double speak about Oliver’s intentions, telling him to embrace his darkness. Ollie looks down at his drink, which was spiked, and realizes literally everyone else in the bar is an Argus agent before finally falling out.

A limo arrives in Star City, passing a sign with a dedication to Ray Palmer, and inside are of course Felicity and Oliver. Oliver stares at the barren and decaying streets and wonders what they ever really managed to accomplish with the city looking as bad as it does. The pair arrives at the new Arrow Cave and Oliver steps back into his old ways, until he sees Diggle is present. Ollie tries to reason with Diggle, he did just kidnap his family a few months ago after all, but the trust is still absent. Oliver starts barking orders at everyone about what to do, but they’re not having it anymore. Old habits die hard. Felicity and Oliver get back into the groove of things, but it becomes clear that Felicity knows a lot more about these heists than she was letting on, and that’s because she’s been helping Team Arrow this whole time.

Laurel goes to tell her dad about the bombs, and he does his best to convince her to leave it alone, since he knows the person they’re dealing with. They go over landmarks and events that could be targets, but Captain Lance seems awfully broken. At his home, Diggle plays with Sara while Lyla asks about his work time. Diggle reveals that Oliver is back and clearly it has him agitated. Lyla, on the other hand, has already forgiven Oliver, chalking it all up to it being a time of war. John is clearly not into this lifestyle anymore, but Lyla reminds him that if Oliver Queen always made the right decisions he wouldn’t have needed John. At the cave, Felicity confesses to helping Team Arrow during all their vacations and also revealing that though she loved her time with Oliver, she missed their work in Starling. It gives her purpose. An alert goes off about a GPS tracker on the stolen bombs, which are at an abandoned truck depot. Oliver rallies the troops and ignores a tempting offer from Felicity about a new suit made by Cisco.

Team Arrow watches Damien Darhk as he addresses his troops about their cause. He pulls one of them out and lectures him about failure before using the “manipulation of primordial energies” and seemingly sucking the life out of him. The team rushes into action, but Darhk is gone. Just as they dispatch the soldiers, SCPD shows up. Oliver interrogates the drained man who reveals the target is the train station. As they leave, Captain Lance arrives and clearly recognizes Oliver. At the cave, the group tries to plan what to do, but Thea only wants to talk about what Darhk did to the man, which Oliver calls mystical and not a metahuman ability. He’s seen stuff man, get used to it. The team then goes to search for the bombs where a web of lectures go off, Oliver lecturing Thea about her aggression, Diggle lecturing Oliver about trust, and Captain Lance lecturing Oliver about inspiring monsters with his acts.

In the past, Oliver wakes up on a plane with two ARGUS agents. They hand him a backpack and parachute and tell him he has an assignment from Waller because he knows the terrain. They open the hatch to reveal none other than Lian Yu, but before Oliver can comment he literally gets kicked out of he plane. In the present, Oliver tells Felicity about his chat with Lance and how it reminds him that he only knows how to fight darkness with darkness. She reminds him that he’s not alone, something she’s likely said 100 times at this point, and that maybe he can become something else. The team reassembles and reveals the train station itself was a bust, but it becomes quickly apparent that the bombs are on the train itself, not in the station.

Oliver rides on a van trying to catch the train while Thea, Laurel, and Captain try to clear out the station. After jumping on top and infiltrating, Oliver finds Darhk, who introduces himself and reveals he ripped out the break system 20 miles ago. Ollie fires an arrow at him, which he suspends in the air, Oliver’s suspicions were right. More arrows get fired and they all get stuck in the air, so Oliver goes for the punching route, which also doesn’t work. Darhk beats the snot out of Oliver and prepares to pull the life out of him, but Diggle appears on the train–how, who knows–and manages to distract him to let go of Oliver. Before they know it, Darhk is gone, and there’s nothing they can do about the train except hop off and just let it explode, which seems awfully lazy.

Back at the cave, Oliver realizes he’s going to have to stick around, and perhaps he needs a new code name. He also mentions to the group what Ra’s had told him about Darhk, and his “HIVE” of operatives. Diggle makes the connection that Darhk’s HIVE are the ones that killed his brother, but doesn’t share that information just yet. In the meantime, Felicity hacks the emergency broadcast services for Oliver to deliver a message to Star City, announcing himself as someone “inspired by the Arrow” that wants to protect the city, and then it only took him 70 episodes, but he says it – he’s the Green Arrow.

In the past, Oliver lands on Lian Yu, where he is promptly greeted by an armed soldier. Darhk meanwhile goes to a little closet full of strange artifacts and cuts his wrist, bleeding into a bowl. Captain Lance shows up and Darhk demands to know everything about this Green Arrow and that he should be taken care of before “his associates arrive.” Oliver and Felicity move back into the loft, which Thea has left to go live with Laurel. Felicity pokes fun at Oliver about his speech, talking about how hopeful it was and that he might not need to be a hero with darkness after all. Oliver hides the engagement ring in a bowl of decorative marbles. She’ll never see it!

Despite the happy time, we flash forward six months into the future, a first for the series. Oliver stands by a grave where none other than Barry Allen arrives next to him. Barry apologizes for the missing the funueral and simply answers “yes” when Oliver asks, “Zoom?” He tells Oliver that it’s not his fault, and Oliver replies, but it is his responsibility to end it, and he’s going to kill him. He sheds a tear as he puts his hand on the gave. So whose grave is it? There’s plenty of reason to suspect everyone: Felicity, because happiness and superheroes do not mix; Thea, because she’s too aggressive and is letting it get to her head; Diggle, because he clearly is losing interest in what they’re doing; or even Laurel, because Oliver still loves her deep down.

You can check out a preview for next week’s episode of Arrow as well as a season preview in the players below!