Team Arrow fights off the ghosts with some stellar team work, must be Wednesday in Star City. Amidst the brawl, Felicity decides she wants a codename, but Oliver is too busy disarming a bomb to worry about it at this point. At the Arrow Cave, Laurel is pleased with their work while Diggle thinks they’re not doing enough, and Oliver and Thea have a spat about her excessive force. Thea decides not to listen and opts to get ready for a fancy dinner they’re having with The Danforths. As Oliver prepares for this engagement, Felicity gets ready to go back to work at Palmer Tech, and Ollie packed her lunch. In our first flashback to the island, Oliver is confronted by the soldier, but quickly dispatches him.
While Oliver and Thea dine with Jessica Danforth and her daughter Madison, Mrs. Danforth reveals that the Green Arrow‘s video inspired her to pick up the mantle of Moira Queen and run for Mayor, an idea that Ollie and Thea aren’t wild about. At Palmer Tech, Felicity’s quirks don’t go over well at the board meeting as they tell her it’s time for a “workforce reduction,” ie: mass firing. They’ve come up with a formula for it, created by none other than Mr. Michael Holt (the future Mister Terrific!). Oliver and Thea attend Jessica Danforth’s mayoral announcement, which in true Star City fashion is interrupted by gunfire. Ollie goes to protect Jessica while Thea hunts for the gunman, which is just a machine gun on a stick. Oliver gives chase to the man responsible, traveling in true Scooby-Doo fashion through a number of unexplainable locations. He eventually loses him in an alley, but he knows his fingerprints touched the windshield of a nearby truck.
With Felicity’s new job, they were able to buy the truck and took the windshield off to get some prints in the Arrow Cave. The problem, of course, is that this crazy’s finger prints are scattered, cut off and rearranged. Oliver goes to the police station to oversee their protection of Ms. Danforth. He speaks to Captain Lance who makes fun of his new name and tells him that the city doesn’t need a guy in a mask, something he has now said probably 100 times, but he does inquire how Oliver wants to help. Back on the island, Oliver hikes up a trail and sees a village guarded by men with weapons. He rips up his shirt, covers himself in dirt, and blows up the soldier he took out at the top of the episode.
Michael Holt comes to see Felicity, revealing his algorithm was actually created to give people raises but it was perverted into finding good candidates for dismissal. The first one enters the room and quickly figures out what’s going on. She tells Felicity that everyone was excited for her to return because it meant things would be different, but they were wrong. Just like the return of Oliver as the Arrow! Laurel and John stakeout Ms. Danforth’s protection where she finally asks him what’s been bothering him all this time and he gives her his two-year-old secret, a group called HIVE killed his brother, the same group that Damien Darhk runs.
Darhk meets up with the would-be assassin and chastises him for his sloppy work, but Machin just wanted to impress him. He tells Darhk he’s not done, and luckily he gets a second chance. Felicity keeps working on Machin’s fingerprints and finds a clue on the palm, a residue that has been patented by none other than… Palmer Tech! Specifically, the shuttered Palmer Paper division. Oliver and Thea ride out on their cool dirt bikes to the location and ask a homeless man if he’s seen Machin. The man points to a nearby dealer who Thea interrogates, continuing her excessive force and breaking his arm. Oliver is none too pleased with this and the pair come to blows after they return to the Arrow Cave. This leaves the other members of the team scratching their heads, forcing Oliver to reveal that he was told the Lazarus Pit might have some side effects.
On the island, guards approach Oliver guns drawn, he explains who he is and they take him off to their boss. Back in the present, Felicity and Michael prepare to fire more people, but he quickly realizes that he’s also on the list, and in a funny bit of irony, kind of had himself fired. Oliver meanwhile goes to see Ms. Davenforth at the SCPD where he tries to tell her maybe she should drop out, but she’s not swayed by terrorist threats just yet. Ollie asks where Madison is and she reveals she’s off studying for finals. He suggests she call her, and we see Madison’s phone ringing amongst her other belongings, scattered across the pavement. Jessica holds a press conference to ask the culprit to let her daughter go, but she breaks down in front of the cameras. Oliver extends his offer to Captain Lance, he wants to help. Once more to the island, Oliver is brought to Baron Reiter, who knows exactly who Oliver is. He’s at a crossroads though because he can’t let Oliver go, but he can’t kill him either, so instead he offers him a job. Easiest infiltration ever!
Darhk comes to see Machin once again, and asks about the girl. We’re supposed to believe that she’s tied up and stuffed inside a trunk, but then Machin reveals his meeting with and subsequent torture of one of the Ghosts. He reveals they had a nice conversation about HIVE, and Darhk tells him to clean up his mess. At their apartment, Laurel asks Thea if she’s okay, which leads to her fumbling around explaining her death and resurrection. Back at Darhk’s hall of mirrors, Lance confronts him, but Darhk reassures him that he had nothing to do with the girl’s kidnapped. He does however remind Lance that there are other daughters left in Star City that could be kidnapped if he doesn’t cooperate. Dahrk writes down the location of Madison and hands it to captain Lance. In the Arrow Cave, Oliver and Felicity wonder if they made a mistake coming back, but they ultimately decide it was for the best. Lance calls Oliver with the address, sending the team into action.
Madison stands tied up as Machin enters and delivers a rant about the creation of the universe and evolution. He undoes one of her straps to let her go but breaks her finger anyway. Team Arrow falls through the ceiling and engages him, but he’s got a little flamethrower. Diggle and Laurel take Madison outside while Oliver and Thea engage, which turns into a brutal fight filled with people falling into shelves and massive cattle prods. Just when it seems Oliver is down for the count, Thea leaps to his aid, but her feisty-ness takes over and she sets him on fire. Thinking quick, Oliver puts him out from a pipe overhead, but things are clearly worse off for Thea.
Madison and Jessica are reunited and Oliver comes to check on them. After realizing they are both okay, Captain Lance reveals an army of reporters are outside and Jessica decides to speak with them to take Oliver’s original advice of dropping out. Captain Lance tells Oliver he thought things were going to be different, and that they’re pretty much done, again. In our final trip to the island, we see the village and the people in the field being watched by guards, and the latest one is none other than Oliver. Felicity enters the boardroom at Palmer Tech, who are none to happy she stopped firing people. She tells them not only did she stop firing people, she re-hired all of the people. Michael Holt enters, not expecting to see the entire board, but Felicity reveals that he’s going to save the company with his new technology, which isn’t ready. They give them a six-month deadline, which should be more than enough time to actually come up with an idea to cover Felicity’s bluff.
Oliver comes to see Thea at her and Laurel’s apartment and they have a friendly chat, the opposite of their knock-down drag out from earlier. Whatever is going on with her, they’ll get through it together. As Oliver leaves, Laurel suggests a getaway weekend, but says they’re not exactly going to the spa, they’re going to Nanda Parbat, and they’re bringing someone else. Guess who? On the other side of town, an ambulance is crashed into a pole, the bodies inside mutilated, and an Anarchy symbol painted in blood on the inside. Machin has escaped. Fresh from his talk, Oliver returns home to Felicity and contemplates all the things he’s heard that day, and drops a bombshell on Felicity – he’ll run for mayor. Thea and Laurel stand over Sara’s grave, and Thea asks if Laurel is sure about this. Laurel climbs into the hole and opens the coffin to reveal Sara’s withered-up corpse, which they’re taking to Nanda Parbat.
You can check out a preview for next week’s episode of Arrow below!