'Arrow' react: The darkness inside

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Image Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

I sort of wish I were cool enough that if I got three of my exes in the same room, two of them would be related (is that cool?), and two of them would wear masks and know how to kick some serious ass. Unfortunately for me, three of my exes in one room would mean a bit more witty banter and a lot less leather. But that’s what happens when you don’t live in Starling City, I suppose. And in case you didn’t catch the episode and am wondering which three exes I’m talking about, tonight marked the return of Helena Bertinelli, who was later joined by the lovely Lance sisters. Let’s get to it!

The episode started with a police raid, in which Quentin got shot — but was wearing a vest! — and Sara gave us our first glimpse at her dark side when she threw her father’s shooter out a window. But more importantly, Oliver tackled Mr. Frank Bertinelli, the father of Oliver’s psycho ex-girlfriend bent on killing her father because he murdered her fiancé, as Felicity put it. Just like that, Team Arrow was after Helena.

Attempt number one was a fail: The team got distracted by a decoy, but it did give us an amazing moment when Ollie, in an attempt to keep Roy from killing a man who had just shot him through the hand, called Roy “Speedy!” At least that’s what it seemed like. We later discovered that Ollie called him Speedy in order to snap him out of his rage. The interaction went like this:

Ollie: The only thing that snapped you out of it was when I brought up Thea.
Roy: That’s why you called me Speedy. I thought you were trying to give me a nickname, but for the record, don’t call me Speedy.
Ollie: Noted.

Bravo, Arrow writers. However, Ollie wasn’t in nearly as light-hearted a mood. He told Roy the thing he should’ve told him months ago — to stay away from Thea. Roy was dangerous to everyone around him. But it’d be easier said than done. Roy tried to break up with Thea, but she refused. She knew him too well, and she knew he was just trying to push her away. She said that she was going to be there for him, always. His way around it? Purposefully get caught making out with some blonde. And although Thea totally knew it was yet another attempt to push her away, that was one thing she wasn’t going to put up with. She threw the bracelet he’d given her back at him and walked away.

In Laurel Land, Adam Donner asked her to return to the DA’s office, which immediately felt weird to me. He claimed that her past work made her the best person to take on Bertinelli’s case, but what he really meant was that she was the perfect bait. When Bertinelli was brought to court, Helena attacked, only to see her father was wearing a wire. But when the cops showed up, we learned that she had backup of her own, and they had guns too.

After talking Sara out of going to the courthouse to protect Laurel, Ollie got his ex out of the way of the gunfire before taking Helena’s father to safety. Honestly, though, Ollie? You couldn’t have taken Laurel too? You kind of suck at keeping promises. It’s a good thing Felicity gave Sara this motivation after Ollie left her behind: “I think if the Huntress shows up, you should totally kick her ass.” And I agree.

Minutes later, Sara showed up to save Laurel, who was about to take a drink when Sara reminded her about her sobriety. Laurel had no idea who this mysterious blonde was, nor did she recognize the adorable butt chin, but she put the bottle down. As Helena told her, “Once you let the darkness inside, it never comes out.” And with that, let’s get to the island flashback of the week: During the attack on the freighter, the engine was broken, and now Slade needed one of the men who’d escaped with Sara to fix it. He agreed to make an exchange for Ollie.

On the island, the poor guy didn’t want to go back. He even pulled a gun to tried and stop them, but Sara knocked him out and did what she had to to save Ollie. We’re finally seeing the beginning of her dark side, as well as the origin of some of Ollie’s scars. Slade had him tied up shirtless (and not in a sexy way). First up, Slade put a tattoo identical to Shado’s on his back so that he would be reminded of what he’d done (but only if he looked at his back in a mirror?).

Back in present day, Laurel refused to leave the other hostages at the courthouse, which resulted in Sara getting into her first fight with Helena. Long story short, round one ended with Sara going out the window and me saying, “Really Sara? You were trained by the League of Assassins and Helena just beat you?!” Thankfully, there was a round two. Quentin, Oliver, and Sara got Helena’s father and met Helena at a warehouse to make an exchange: Frank for Laurel. Frank attempted a last-minute, daddy-loves-you speech, but Helena wasn’t buying it. And when a cop interrupted with a bit of gunfire, Quentin saved Oliver’s life with nothing but a punch. And then in the theme of Lances to the rescue, Laurel saved Helena. See, round two was when Sara stopped holding back and rightfully kicked Helena’s ass, but Laurel forced her sister to fight the darkness inside. Sara stopped just short of killing the Huntress. As Sara later put it, “That’s what heroes do, right?” Unfortunately for Helena, she survived only to see her father was killed by a stray bullet before she ended the episode in jail. Talk about a failed mission.

After the action had died down, Laurel was feeling alive again. Adam Donner hiring her was a scheme, and it was one he was fired for. As for Laurel, well, she told the DA’s office that they were either going to really hire her or let it be known what Adam did. Yep, she’s back!

Elsewhere, Thea was upset over Roy and talked to Ollie about secrets. She also dropped an ominous line about Moira keeping something from them. Oh yeah, honey, you probably don’t want to get into that too much. She thanked her brother for being the only one who doesn’t lie to her — awkward — before she walked home, and accepted a ride from none other than Mr. Wilson. Oh sorry — “Please call me Slade,” he told her.

So are we going to get our first big Slade-Ollie showdown next week?! And is Quentin getting close to figuring out Oliver is Arrow? That phone call gave me a panic. Read our post-mortem here and sound off in the comments below!

QUOTABLES:

Quentin: I know you don’t exactly believe in reading perps their Mirandas, but you can’t just toss a guy out of a window.
Sara: He shot you.

Felicity: The guy that gave Helena a ride into town is a 22-year-old poli sci major at SCU and a member of Gamma Tau, which totally explains the whole, “I didn’t know I was aiding-and-abetting-a-known-felon thing.” Anyone with boobs can get a frat boy to do anything.
Oliver: I was a frat boy.
Felicity: I rest my case.

“It’s getting hard to keep track of who knows whose secret identity.” -Felicity

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