1. Frank Bertinelli is back. And close on his heels is his daughter Helena, aka Huntress, who’s been eliminating any mafioso she can find in order to track down her father. There’s an amusing exchange between Team Arrow, and Felicity’s summation of Helena is, as ever, hilarious. Props to the writers for giving her great lines. Sara needles Oliver about his ‘ex girlfriend,’ and he’d just as soon they focus on the problem.
2. Following an incident while out on patrol that nearly ended badly, Oliver gives Roy a brotherly talk. Roy tries to make light of his rage issues. -“Can’t look at a bowl of water without slapping it.” But Oliver is firm, and tells Roy he needs to stay away from Thea. Using her as a crutch for his control and putting her in danger are both serious problems. “You love her. That’s why you’re going to do what I’m asking.” A fine example of being both a good big brother to Thea, as well as Roy, and using some emotional manipulation.
3. Laurel has been attending AA meetings, and now gets a chance at a case, thanks to DA Adam Donner. Of course, it’s prosecuting Frank Bertinelli, putting her squarely between Helena and her target, which has Team Arrow very concerned.
4. Sarah says that she’ll kill Helena if it comes down to it, Oliver, feeling he’s failed her, doesn’t want to do it. When Sara calls him on being ready to kill other people, Oliver, recognizing that when it comes to their families, neither he nor Sarah thinks clearly, tells her to sit this mission out. Of course, that won’t last long, but it’s good to see that they’re at least talking about these things.
5. Roy deliberately gets caught kissing another girl, which is one way to end a relationship, or at least cause serious problems. Thea is understandably upset and breaks up with him. She knows that he’s trying to push her away and also keeping secrets from her, both of which she’s tired of dealing with.
6. It turns out that District Attorney Adam Donner is determined to get back at Frank Bertinelli and gives Helena the opportunity to take hostages, in exchange for her father.
7. While Oliver goes after Adam Donner, Sara and Helena have a showdown, but the latter stops short of killing Helena, when Laurel tells her stop. Bertinelli is killed, but not by Helena, and she’s taken into custody. Her distress at his death is compounded by the fact that she doesn’t feel better, just as Oliver predicted, and when he visits her in prison, they talk about what’s changed. They both used to kill people, but Oliver isn’t a killer anymore, now he’s trying to be better.
8. The island flashbacks can largely be summed up as: Slade beats the heck out of Oliver, Sara tries to reason with him, and Slade is incredibly upset. Apparently the tattoo on Oliver’s shoulder was courtesy of Slade, who thought it fitting that Oliver have the same tattoo as Shado.
9. Laurel gets her job back from the District Attorney’s office by threatening to tell the press that Adam Donner was behind the hostage crisis.
10. Oliver checks in with Thea, and gets to see firsthand, the results of Roy doing ‘the right thing,’ or at least what Oliver feels will keep Thea safe. But then, walking home alone, Thea is stopped by Slade Wilson and gets into his car. The lesson is that there is no sure way to keep somebody safe in Starling City.
This episode was largely focused on family, and the relationships between siblings, as well as the measures they take to protect them were highlighted. Lance was also prominently featured, as he now has a personal stake in what the vigilantes do, and Sara’s interactions with her father and sister served to show the growth she’s making. Oliver telling her that she ‘did good,’ and her noting that heroes are the ones who do that reinforced her being firmly on Team Arrow, and better off than where she was when she came to Starling City. The Arrow team has become a little family, but at the same time Thea and Moira, Oliver’s other family are on the periphery. It’s fast becoming a question not of how that plays into Slade’s ultimate plan, but when he will enact a more brutal strategy in order to break up Team Arrow as he attempts to ruin Oliver’s life.