By Rich Epstein
As usual, we jump right into the action. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) are moving into position around a house looking for the boomerang killer. Both doors are rigged to blow, so Oliver and Roy shoot them in with arrows. When the smoke clears, they move in, but no boomerang killer. Lots of men with guns come in. They aren't cops, and Oliver recognizes them as A.R.G.U.S. agents. It seems as though the killer took out an A.R.G.U.S. agent.
Flashback, Waller wants Oliver to "interrogate" a man who set a bomb somewhere in the city.
Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) & Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) show up at Palmer Technologies (pour one out for Queen Consolidated) to help Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) with the DNA analysis of Sara's killer. Cisco wants to see the "Arrowcave" and asks if they have an "arrowmobile." Ok, I have a whole host of questions right now. Does Batman exist within the universe of the show? Is he an actual super hero or a fictional character? If he is real, how does everyone know about the Batcave? How come nobody mentioned Batman when Arrow started? There seem to be a lot of similarities. If Batman exists, why doesn't Oliver have more gadgets and stuff? Shouldn't he be studying Batman, seeing what works for him? Sorry, got lost down the rabbit hole for a minute.
Diggle goes to A.R.G.U.S headquarters to ask Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) about the killer. She says it's an A.R.G.U.S. matter. We switch to a man entering a building as eerie music begins to play. Could we be seeing our killer for the first time this week? A security guard stops the man, who kills him with a boomerang and says "What goes around comes around". Ugh. That is a really awful line. The only way that line could have worked any worse is if Arnold said it. The killer's in the A.R.G.U.S. building, and he proceeds to take out about 10 agents in as many seconds. Diggle calls Oliver. The killer uses the dead agent's id to get into a research area. Why is the id still working? Really not gaining a whole lot of respect for A.R.G.U.S. right now. Another half dozen or so agents die, and Lyla and Diggle are pinned down. Flash runs towards the building, right by Thea Queen (Willa Holland). Oliver and Roy show up and start fighting with the killer. Roy goes down pretty early, and it seems as though Oliver is about to be hit by a couple of boomerangs when Barry streaks in and catches them. But, since we're only about 15 minutes into the episode, the killer gets away.
Lyla asks what that (Flash) was, but Oliver cuts her off to ask who the attacker was. She tells him, munitions/weapons expert named Digger Harkness. He had been caught and made part of the Suicide Squad. A mission went south, and they tried to "sanitize" the team, but obviously something went wrong.
Cisco figures out who made the boomerang, a petty criminal that was arrested by Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Lance tells the team that the boomerang dealer was stealing ids for Russian mob. Oliver and Barry find the guy, and Oliver shoots him to get info. Barry doesn't like it. Guy has encrypted phone that he uses to communicate with Harkness. Barry delivers bad guy to the police, then goes back to have a heart to heart with Oliver. Oliver lectures Barry about how hard Star City is compared to Central City, about how he needs to be harder.
Felicity decrypts phone, and, using a hacked A.R.G.U.S. satellite, tracks Harkness. He is in a building with 10 people inside.
Flashback. Interrogation isn't working. Oliver picks up bow and arrow to torture the info out. Prisoner taunts, says he doesn't have it in him to torture. Oliver continues to try to talk the information out, and the bomb goes off. Oops.
Barry gets to Harkness' building first, ties everyone up. Oliver walks in and shoots a guy creeping up behind Barry. Harkness isn't there. It was a trap, he used the phone that Oliver and Barry had recovered to track down Lyla.
Flashback. Bomb aftermath. Waller yells at Oliver, saying it's his fault because he didn't have the same conviction the bomber She tells Oliver that the bomber was wrong, Oliver has the stomach for torture, and the talent. He just needs practice. Wow, I knew she was cold, but she just let a bomb go off and kill a whole lot of people just to teach Oliver a lesson. That's cold.
Oliver tells Barry it's his fault…he tortured to get the phone, Harkness played him. Oliver says that he does what it takes, sometimes it's ugly, but every time he does something like that he is trading away a little piece of himself. He's been feeling like there is nothing left of Oliver Queen, just the Arrow. Barry tells him that he's full of crap. Barry says that what happened for five years didn't take away Oliver's humanity, Oliver survived it and came through because of his humanity.
Felicity interrupts, facial recognition software got a match on Harkness, he's at a train station. Barry gets everyone away and Oliver tells Harkness to get on the ground. Harkness says he has 5 bombs around city, they can't stop the bombs and get him. He wasn't counting on someone with super speed. Cisco/Felicity locate bombs. Arrow and Harkness fight, Arrow wins. He tells Harkness to shut off the detonator, but he won't and Oliver can't bring himself to torture it out of him. Barry finds the bombs, but they have to be stopped at same time. Barry brings Roy/Felciity/Caitlin/Cisco to the bombs. They all defuse the bombs at the same time and save the day.
Diggle proposes to Lyla when she wakes up. She says yes.
Caitlin thinks there is a computer at her lab that can help with DNA. They give Oliver a new hoodie made out of lightweight kevlar.
Flashback. Waller has another interrogation suspect. Oliver's chance at "redemption."
The closing credits roll as Oliver and Barry begin a fight, an ending they clearly stole from Rocky III.
Wow. That was easily the best episode so far this season. It's funny, I haven't loved The Flash that much, but the addition of his team to Arrow works. Flash as a character is a little too simple for my tastes. There isn't a whole lot of internal conflict, he is always going after people that are clearly criminals that the cops are not equipped to take on. Arrow, on the other hand, is a true vigilante. He is dealing with criminals, not super-powered criminals. He used to kill, he still tortures. He has to constantly walk the line. Barry's presence in Starling City emphasizes this aspect of the Arrow and reminds us that he may actually go too far sometimes.
I also liked Cisco in this episode much more than I do on Flash. I think he and Caitlin are the weakest parts of that show, but in small doses here, it works. Cisco's fan-boy excitement works here, because it is something we don't usually see. The Arrow is a famous hero, and some people should be excited to meet him.
The absence of Laurel and Thea didn't hurt either. I think each had one tiny part of one scene. Those two continue to be a drag on any episode they are in. Hopefully, as Laurel becomes the Black Canary and Thea continues to train with Merlyn, they will become actual useful characters. Either that, or I hope the writers continue to pretty much ignore them and we can get more episodes like this one.
Rich Epstein writes for Bleeding Cool. He can be found on twitter at @kaspe_r11.