This post contains spoilers for Arrow.
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After Emiko understandably spurns Oliver’s attempt to connect, he heads to a local news show to appear on a segment about reformed vigilantes with Laurel. The reporter who led the interview is later kidnapped and held hostage by the aforementioned Samuel. Though Oliver is able to save him, things get a lot more dicey later on in the precinct.
Because Samuel never knew what happened to his father, he never gave up hope that he was still alive. Oliver coming back from the dead only helped fuel the belief. Sam even had a search and rescue mission planned out in the North China Sea. But then Oliver’s case files from Slabside leaked, and with them the revelation that Robert had murdered his bodyguard. After years of hope, Hackett learns that his father didn’t just die at sea. Smash cut to a kidnapped anchorman followed by a precinct held hostage.
Sam was always pretty handy with electronics. After rigging a machine to electrocute anyone who stands near anything that can conduct electricity, the distraught son of Robert Queen’s old bodyguard tells the entirety of the SCPD that they can surrender Oliver Queen, or one of them dies every sixty seconds. Oliver offers himself up and admits to his father’s sins immediately, but Samuel wants more than an apology. Ultimately, no one dies, and Sam’s taken into custody.
Vexed by Sam’s spiral, Oliver goes back on the news to discuss his father a second time. He admits his father’s sins to all of Star City, resulting in Emiko choosing to seek him out. She’s not ready to talk, but she is ready to think about talking. Nothing really goes Oliver Queen’s way this week, but his reaction to all of the hurdles he faces goes a long way to illustrate how far he’s come. I like this new Oliver, this one can stay.
Arrow’s future storyline is put on hold this week. Instead, we get two subplots lead by Curtis and Dig, and Felicity and Laurel. The Curtis and Diggle arc is a continuation of the rebirth of the Suicide Squad. We’re not using the Ghost name, because we all know what we’re watching and why they refuse mention the Squad. After a quick fake-out, it’s made clear that Curtis found another way to get the information from the convicts without, you know, blowing them up. It’s a huge win for Argus, but Diggle thinks that the Suicide Squad is still necessary.
It would be a lot easier to be on Curtis’ side if the primary villain wasn’t Ricardo Diaz, but - all the same - he is right (plus, if they blow up Cupid I’ll be deeply annoyed). Curtis knows that he won’t convince Dig, but he also knows that he has sensitive information that gives him a certain amount of leverage. He’ll keep playing the Argus game, but he’ll be playing it by his own rules going forward.
Finally, we have Laurel and Felicity. The show has taken its time to get the viewers to warm up to Earth 2 Laurel. She’s still all of the things Black Siren once was, but in a more palatable kind of way. Hell, even Oliver’s warming up to her! It’s been a process for all involved, and though some may find themselves surprised that they’ve started to care for the ex-murderer, no one is more shocked than Laurel.
Poor girl doesn’t know what to do when she finds herself on a friend date with Felicity. When she’d been invited out, she assumed that it was because the hacker needed something. Instead, Star City’s resident ray of sunshine just wanted to have a drink with her new bud. That friend-date quickly falls apart when Laurel believes she’s being followed by an old enemy from Earth 2. Though that ends up not being the case, “Past Sins” gives us the tiniest Birds of Prey moment, and a ton of other great content between Felicity and Laurel.
All the dudes who read these reviews are undoubtedly sick of me saying this, but it can’t be stressed enough how evident it is that a woman is now in charge of this show. The same great foundation is there with the stellar action and ample drama, but we’re finally seeing the female relationships on Arrow flourish. And it’s been a long time coming. In finding a friend, Laurel showed her first true signs of vulnerability. Felicity Smoak is an expert at taking humans who blame themselves for things they shouldn’t and telling them they’re big dumb, dummies. So, who better to stand with Laurel as she works through blaming herself for her father’s death?
“Past Sins” is incredibly well-rounded. We don’t always get that out of Arrow, but there very little I’d change about this week’s episode. Next week the show hits its big 150, and it looks like it has something to do with whoever’s been leaving vigilantes threatening notes. You know what to do if you had thoughts on this week’s episode in the meantime!