Now that we know how everyone’s doing since the island explosions, Arrow is ready to jump right into the season. That all started with the bombshell of the premiere cliffhanger where someone has leaked a photo of Oliver as the Arrow. Episode two, “Tribute”, shows the team trying to deal with that. Oliver has an FBI investigator breathing down his neck, Felicity and Curtis talk about being out of a job, and we learn what’s really going on with Diggle.
So, let’s get down to it!The episode opens with Oliver and Quentin walking through a swarm of journalists to get into City Hall. They all have questions about the leaked photo and whether Oliver actually is the Green Arrow. Oliver, of course, is quick to shut the rumors down. He states convincingly that he isn’t the Green Arrow and that anyone can doctor a photo. To convince the journalists even more, he adds that if he were the Mayor by day and the Green Arrow by night, then he really would be a superhero. I love how he says it with sort of a gleam in his eye because he knows that he is indeed a superhero. 😊
Speaking of simultaneously being the Mayor and the Green Arrow, while the team tries to figure out who leaked the photo, Oliver needs get the SCPD rebuilt with the $20 million from the insurance company. He also needs to be there for the Markovian delegation. However, a bigger problem is waiting in his office… an FBI agent – Samanda Watson. She’s ready to throw the book at him following an investigation into the leaked photo. Oliver continues to swear that he’s not the Green Arrow, but she isn’t buying into any of it. Better watch out, Oliver.
In the lab, Felicity, Dinah, Curtis and Diggle discuss how to handle photo leak. They realize that if Oliver stays outed as the Green Arrow, then they’ll soon get discovered as well. Diggle says they need to take it one step at a time, and Felicity gets to work on figuring out where the photo came from.
Rene walks into Oliver’s office with an envelope saying the photo came from nowhere. It came from inside the news office. After suggesting that it could be Adrian Chase, Quentin asks how William is doing with everything. Oliver says he’s doing okay. He wanted to keep him home from school, but William insisted on going. Quentin then says that he’s like his father in the sense that he’s tough.
Curtis and Felicity continue to do their thing and try to figure out when and where the photo was taken, but they’re coming up short. The conversation then turns to how they could lose their jobs and/or end up in jail. Felicity is running low on her settlement and doesn’t have a job. She asks Curtis about what he’ll do, but he confesses that he’s had a side job doing some freelance coding, which surprises Felicity. He thought they all had secret jobs, but clearly not. Better find you another job, Felicity!
Meanwhile, Oliver meets with some big shots and journalists in a warehouse about the “Markovian Initiative.” He claims that it’s a new high-tech factory that will bring hundreds of new jobs to Starling. As to be expected, they have a lot of questions about him being the Green Arrow, but Oliver shuts them down. He even makes a painful realization that even his son doesn’t think he’s a superhero. Suddenly, there’s gunfire and Oliver yells for everyone to get back in the van with Lance. They continue to get shot at until they’re stopped by Anatoly! Oliver is confused and angry. Anatoly wants to chat with the Markovians. So, he takes them.
In Oliver’s office, Dinah questions if Diggle is okay. He answers in regards to Oliver’s situation, but she wasn’t talking about Oliver. She knows something is up with Digg, and he’s annoyed she keeps getting in his business. Oliver and Lance walk in and need to figure out why Anatoly took the Markovians. They now believe he’s the one who leaked the photo.Back at the lab, Felicity questions Curtis about his secret job as they research Anatoly. She still can’t believe he didn’t even tell her about it. The subject then changes to how they can track Anatoly with how he’s been spending his money while in Starling.
Meanwhile, Oliver and Lance are on the phone doing damage control as the story of the Markovians being kidnapped hits the news. It’s revealed that Anatoly wants $20 million for the hostages. Coincidentally, that’s exactly how much they got from the insurance company for the precinct rebuild. Anatoly clearly did his homework! Too bad Oliver refuses to “negotiate with terroists.”
Oliver then gets a phone call and has to leave. Cut to him riding in a limo with William who has a black eye. Things are tense, but Oliver finally gets him to tell him what happened. Some bullies knew Oliver was the Green Arrow and that he’s not there to help William. Oliver tries to apologize, but William cuts him off by saying they were 8th graders. Oliver then gives William the tip to punch the biggest one in the group right in the nose if it happens again. Doing so will entice the others to back off. – I love dad Oliver 😊 – Unfortunately, the lesson gets cut short as he gets a call from Felicity saying the tracked Anatoly and the hostages. He gets out of the car after telling William he’ll be home safe with Raisa, but William clearly isn’t happy about this.
Dinah, Curtis and Diggle meet Oliver outside the place where Anatoly and the hostages are supposed to be. They manage to take out Anatoly’s Bratva thugs. Digg once again can’t shoot one of them, and it irritates Dinah… and himself. Oliver frees all but one of the hostages… the CEO – Tarkov. Anatoly’s taken him somewhere else.At Oliver’s office, Felicity pulls up security footage of Anatoly taking Tarkov, but they have no idea where he went. Curtis comes up with an idea, and Oliver tells Dinah and Diggle to be prepared to hit up whatever location they find. Meanwhile, he has to get to a meeting with Samandra Watson. Felicity asks if he has an army of lawyers, but he doesn’t want to look like he has anything to hide. Curtis is still working on the photo. Oliver’s meeting with the FBI agent is going to have to wait since he got a text from Rasia saying that William needs him. Family first.
Rene and Lance try to cover for him with Samandra, though. Rene tries to pass the time by asking if she always wanted to be in the FBI because he thinks his daughter could join. Samandra isn’t here for any of this. She’s annoyed because Oliver is over an hour late. Lance receives a text from Oliver saying he’s dealing with a family emergency, but Samandra isn’t buying this either. Especially since the Green Arrow was spotted rescuing the Markovian execs during his “family emergency.” Lance tries to vouch for Oliver by saying he recently became a single dad. She then questions Samantha’s death. Before telling them to leave, she makes it clear that if they’re covering for Oliver, she’ll find out and have them both indicted for obstruction.William is really upset and takes it out on his The Flash backpack because “superheroes don’t save anyone.” He’s upset that Oliver left him. Oliver tries to apologize and offers to be there for him now by teaching him some more moves, but William doesn’t want to learn how to fight. He was worried Oliver wasn’t going to come back. Oliver tries to tell him that he’ll always come back, but he’s having a hard time believing that given the circumstances. Oliver says that he understands what he’s feeling because he lost his parents also, but he swears he won’t let that happen to William. William: “It’s not up to you.” Poor kid. ☹
Oliver gets a facetime call from Anatoly, and asks why he’s doing this. He wants the money because he was exiled from Russia. The Bratva thinks he’s weak because of his friendship with Oliver. So, now he’s trying to prove that he isn’t weak. To help persuade Oliver more, he’s poisoned Tarkov with something that only gives him three hours. He says he can cure him, but Oliver has to hand over the $20 million first.
The team, with Oliver on the phone, figure out what Tarkov has been poisoned with. That means they can cure it before it kills him. All they have to do is get the cure from Starling General. So, that’s where Diggle and Dinah head off to.
At the hospital, the doctor gives them the medicine while explaining how it works and how long it will take. She then asks Diggle how he’s feeling, but he plays it off just as she gets called out. That doesn’t stop Dinah from asking what we all want to know, though. He finally confesses to catching some shrapnel during the island explosions. He hasn’t told anyone because he was a low priority in comparison to everyone else. He has degenerative nerve damage, which is why he hasn’t been pulling his gun. He claims he has it managed, but Dinah throws up the fact that Rene ended up in the hospital because of him. He asks her to please trust him on this before they leave.
Felicity wants Curtis to bring her in on some of his freelance coding gigs, but he says it would be a waste of her talents. Suddenly, they get a clue on the Anatoly’s location.
Oliver shows up to his office where Rene is still at. Rene questions why he isn’t at home with William while they wait on getting Anatoly and Tarkov’s location. He then reveals that they received a person of interest list for the investigation, and William is on it. He’s an alibi and probably not a good liar. This infuriates Oliver. He doesn’t want William to go through more than he already has. Rene confesses that Lance told him what happened at school, but Oliver says William isn’t worried about the bullies. He’s worried about Oliver not coming back. Oliver says he’s never lied to his kid before, and Rene tells him that “white lies are kind of an important parental tool.” Oliver asks how he’s supposed to reconcile that William is right because every time Oliver goes out in the field, there’s a chance he won’t come back. Now William is going to have to lie to an FBI agent so he won’t lose his father to prison? Clearly Oliver is stuck between a rock and hard place.They lock down Anatoly’s location and get in position. Unfortunately, the shipyard is massive, so she couldn’t pinpoint exactly where Tarkov is. So, they split up, each with an antidote for whoever finds Tarkov first. Dinah gets caught by a Bratva thug just have saving Digg from one, but he can’t pull his gun in time. Thankfully, she manages to take the thug down herself. She’s not too happy with Digg though.
Oliver finds Tarkov and Anatoly, and shoots Tarkov with an arrow of the antidote. He starts to come to, but Anatoly shoots him. Oliver asks Anatoly what happened to him. Anatoly calls Oliver naïve, and Oliver says they used to be friends. He tells Anatoly that he used to be an honorable man. Anatoly argues that he is an honorable man before listing all the horrible things he could have done. “Because even though we stand apart. I am still good man.” He starts to walk away and Oliver tells him to move, but Anatoly calls his bluff because they’ve been there before. Oliver asks why he leaked the photo, but Anatoly says that he didn’t. “I told you. I am honorable man.”
Oliver finally meets with Agent Watson. He’s more than willing to open up for the investigation, but his son is off limits. She informs him that telling her to run her investigation is obstruction. Just then, another agent comes in an turns on the news. There’s evidence that the photograph of Oliver was digitally doctored. Oliver reiterates that he’s not the man, Samandra thinks he is, but she still believes he is. She’s still going through with the investigation.Curtis and Felicity are proud of their accomplishment, but Curtis is still a little bummed. He wants to know who would want to frame Oliver. Felicity won’t let him kill the buzz, though. Instead, she asks him to quit his freelance stuff so he can go into business with her. He says yes! Woot woot!
At the lab, Dinah is getting in a workout when Digg comes in to talk to her. She’s still upset about what happened. She tells him he’s compromised, and he knows. He admits that things got worse than he was willing to admit. She asks him what he’s going to do about, and he says he’ll tell Oliver then go from there.
Oliver gets home early and apologizes to William for making a promise he wasn’t 100% sure he could keep. William is distant while he continues to play his video game. Oliver tells him that he was right and he pauses the game. Rasia told William that Oliver has a hard time admitting when he’s wrong. Oliver tells him that he hears him, but he meant what he said. He’ll do everything in his power to make sure that William never ends up alone. It’s fair and smart to say that it’s not up to him, but he’s coming up with a way to make it happen. Oliver then promise to be the very best father that he can be and that he knows how to be. That promise is 100%. William accepts it and then offers to let Oliver play the game with him. 😊
Diggle meets Oliver at the lab in front of their suits. Oliver wants Diggle to suit up as Green Arrow, but Diggle says he and Felicity don’t think it’s enough to take the heat off of Oliver. That’s not why Oliver is asking though. Every time Oliver puts on that suit, he’s a target. “On my own, I can take it. I’m not on my own anymore. I cannot be responsible for my son losing the only parent that he has left. Star City needs the Green Arrow. It just can’t be me anymore. So, I’d like it to be you.” Diggle accepts, and I’m not sure how I feel about this. I get Oliver wants to do right by his son, but Diggle has a kid too. Also, as we’ve learned, Diggle is compromised. How is he going to be the Green Arrow when he can’t even pull his own gun?
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW!