This post contains spoilers for Arrow.
Check out our previous review here.
In a season full of parallels to earlier stories, it seems inevitable that we would eventually return to Roy Harper. For those who don’t remember, Roy left team Arrow back in season two after insanity from the Mirakuru led him to kill an officer. Knowing that it was time for him to hang up his hood, Roy took the fall for Oliver back when we were playing the “who is the Green Arrow” dance. In the process of saving Oliver’s secret and fleeing Star City, Roy also had to leave Speedy. All the other blanks are pretty well filled in by “Doppelganger”.
The episode doesn’t just focus on Roy Harper’s return. It also plays with the ever-devious Black Siren. Knowing she doesn’t have any cards left to play, she goes to the SCPD announcing that she is Earth 1 Laurel. Spinning a story that she was held captive after being stabbed by Damien Darhk, the city takes her back with open arms despite their current anti-vigilante tendencies. The same cannot be said for either side of Team Arrow.
Even Quentin turns a suspicious eye on his not-daughter after her stunt, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to protect her from Dinah. Now that she’s no longer on a mission to kill, Dinah seems a lot more amiable around Lance, but desire to kill or no, she still wants justice for Vince. Turns out her struggle to achieve that is going to be less at the fault of Black Siren and more because a large portion of the SCPD is on Diaz’ payroll.
While Team Arrow comes to that little realization, Diaz has Laurel brought to him in his fancy casino hideout that just so happens to be reminiscent of the foundry back in season one. When she arrives, he’s telling his new recruits about the importance of fambly. Yes, it absolutely has those Fast and the Furious vibes. You know, if they were all legitimate bad guys. Diaz, it turns out, doesn’t like it when people steal from him and his fambly, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to win Laurel back over onto his side.
What every single party in Arrow seems to lack the mental capacity to grasp is that the Black Siren is on no one’s side but her own. Earth 2’s Laurel Lance will do whatever it takes to survive, whether that means aligning herself with all parties or none of them. Right now her tactic seems to be the former, but eventually someone other than Dinah is going to catch on to her dance.
Today is not that day. Inevitably, Team Arrow rescues Roy from Diaz’s corrupt cops and returns him to the Arrow cave safe and sound. Quentin and Dinah have set aside their Laurel-shaped differences for the time being to get to the bottom of the corruption at the SCPD, Roy and Thea are very happy to see each other again, and Oliver makes the decision to let Diaz go in order to save Roy.
Oliver Queen owes debts to a great many people, Roy obviously not excluded, but his motivation to save his former sidekick revolves entirely around Speedy. At one point in “Doppelganger”, Oliver looks to Speedy and tells her that when Roy leaves, she should go with him. While it wasn’t the reasonable path four years ago, it makes a little more sense now that she’s come to an end of her hero journey, and Oliver just wants her to have the happiness that he has.
As one would suspect of a clever man like Diaz, all of this seems to have gone down exactly the way he wanted it to. Oliver pays a visit to Siren to thank her for not setting a trap for them when it came to their Red Arrow rescue mission, but his departure is quickly followed by a text from Diaz telling her “good work”. The key witness who was only mentioned in a private chamber being taken by the vigilante Oliver is accused of being (and, well, is,) looks a special kind of shady without Roy having to say a word on the stand. It looks as if the man who has been orchestrating all of this for months knew that the guy who gave up his entire life for Oliver Queen was never going to say a damn thing.
Poor Oliver. So pretty, and yet so, so dumb.
Because this is Star City and no one is ever allowed to have nice things, Diaz isn’t Team Arrow’s only problem. There must always be a leader of the League of Assassins, and the reigning Demon just so happens to have been blown up on Lian Yu last year (RIP Malcolm). The League has arrived in Star City to take Thea, and Nyssa is back in the fray as well. We’ll have to wait until next week to see whether she’s there as friend or foe.
In the meantime, you know what to do if you had thoughts on the episode!