1. This week’s villain is William Tockman, aka the Clock King (Robert Knepper.) Tockman is an intellectual sort of villain, instead of throwing himself into danger, he uses strategy and a sense of timing, pun intended, to pull of his schemes. There’s a subplot of him having a terminal illness and an ailing sister, both of which are elements from the comics. Tockman is set up as a foil for Felicity, which allows for some enjoyable growth and character moments on her part during this episode.
2. Sara is officially part of Team Arrow. This means sparring with Oliver and Diggle. Then they compare scars. Felicity has a scar too- she got teeth removed. It’s a pretty charming scene.
3. Moira and Oliver are very emphatically not talking at the moment, and Oliver isn’t even going home more than necessary. It’s made the house noticeably tense, and Thea is less than pleased about the secrets she can tell are being kept from her.
4. The ‘secret identity’ plausibility thread is getting stretched thing when Sara and Oliver are socializing with Quentin Lance and then working with him as the Black Canary and the Arrow. That man has to get his eyes checked.
5. As a result of Tockman getting one over on her Felicity suffers a crisis of confidence because Sara is a good fighter, can do some of the science/tech stuff that Felicity has used to define her place on the team.
6. Oliver and Sara are invited to what is a very tense dinner with Laurel, Quentin and Dinah Lance. At least Oliver and Laurel finally have it out, and he tells her to stop blaming other people for her problems.
7. The island flashbacks continue with Slade, Sara, and Oliver trying to find a way off the island. At the end of the episode, they’ve come one step closer to escaping. Or so they think.
8. Felicity proves to herself that she’s an essential part of the team, after she saves the day and gets shot while helping Black Canary, which earns her the respect of Sara and a couple of oxycodone from Diggle so her stitches aren’t such a bother. Now she feels more included on Team Badass and Scarred.
9. Thea hires Sara as a bartender at Verdant and the Lance sisters come close to an understanding, if not mending all their fences.
10. Laurel makes it to an AA meeting with her dad, so at least one parent-child relationship is healing. On the other hand, Moira is taking meetings at the house with someone unexpected, and the episode closes on a huge introduction: “Ollie, I’d like you to meet Slade Wilson.”
Family drama continues, both with the Lances and the Queen family and then there’s Slade Wilson. Given his conversation with Laurel, Oliver is feeling the pressure of keeping secrets, not being able to trust his mother, and now Slade Wilson is back. And, if there’s one adversary that Oliver does not want to face and who knows what he’s been up to by simply being observant, it’s Slade. Nothing like the mentor and student sizing one another up before they face off. This episode is setting things in motion, and the ramping up toward the big confrontation has begun.