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– by Mark Cook

Arrow returns bringing viewers the aftermath of the death Cayden James.  Where does this leave the other members of his group?  Who is behind the entire set-up?  Also, Arrow Team 1 and Team 2 fight over Black Canary.  The original team feeling they can find the true Laurel within her while the other team wants revenge for Vince’s death.  Can Black Canary be trusted?  Read on to find out.

(Photo Courtesy of The CW).

Fallout From James’ Murder — With Cayden James now dead, Oliver is trying to figure out not only just how he died, but how he can get the money back.  The rest of the city officials are now very much aware of the dire financial situation the city is in.  It turns out that James’ bank account has been withdrawn with no clue as to the whereabouts of the money.  Dinah follows the financial adviser with her usual scowl and bitterness.  She tells the rest of her team that they can’t trust Oliver and Team 1 to share information with them.  How does she not see her usual hypocrisy?  She clearly isn’t sharing information either.  She finally did have a reasonable argument against Oliver when she stated that every time he sees Laurel he actually sees the Laurel he lost, and not Black Siren.  Very true, but she is once again mad at Oliver for letting his emotions drive his actions, yet so is she. As Team 2 later find that Laurel was dragged after being shot (thanks to Curtis’ new invention) Dinah brings up torturing her to get the money back, which the others do not agree with.

(Photo Courtesy Of The CW.)

Lance’s Protection Program — After Lance pretty much kidnaps Laurel, he takes her to a place where no one can find her.  He obviously feels that deep down there is a part of his Laurel within her.  If this is so, would that mean that all alternate Earth counterparts are somewhat connected?  Lance is hiding Laurel from Oliver and Thea, and while we end up learning of Laurel’s “daddy issues” we come to find Thea spying on them.  Thea fills Oliver in on everything to find out the Laurel will give him the money if he helps her get out of the country.  Dinah and crew tail them in order to get to Laurel first.  I had to laugh (not in a good way) when Dinah yelled, “We’re marked!” Well, yeah maybe because they were driving down a dark alley and they were about one car length behind with their headlights on…On top of that, she crushed Curtis’ tracker.   Poor guy. Laurel says she will give them the money when she is safely out of the country, which Lance volunteers to go with her.

(Photo Courtesy Of The CW.)

Team 1 / Team 2 Showdown — There is a good deal of mudslinging going on between the two teams as Team 1 thinks Team 2 is hiding Laurel.  Now while I think the blatant neglect hypocrisy is a bit glaring, I actually like the tension between the two teams more than I thought I would.  I didn’t like them working together as a cohesive unit because I felt that there wasn’t enough focus on The Green Arrow. Now, the other characters serve as an interesting antagonist to the original crew.  Team 1 show their experience against Team 2 by completely planning the infiltration of their base.  I found this part interesting because we are finally seeing the depth and planning from Team 1 as we did in earlier seasons.  In a nice little twist, Rene actually may have been a step ahead as he planted a tracker on Oliver.  Maybe he isn’t a bull in a China shop after all. Team 2 ends up tracking Team 1 through Diggle’s implant in his arm.  This battle is a matter of perspective.  Each team feels they are correct, and aren’t thrilled to fight each other, but concede that it must be done.  I was honestly captivated when the two teams were face-to-face and then it went to commercial!  This is what I am talking about!  It isn’t perfect, but I have found myself much more captivated the past couple episodes.  The dynamics of all of the different factions are fun to see.  As they try to escape, Lance is the only thing standing in between Laurel and Dinah.  The aftermath was intense as Laurel escaped when Curtis became the voice of reason for Dinah.  There were further repercussions as Rene was seriously injured in his fight with Oliver as Lance was injured by Dinah.

The Aftermath — Bitterness.  This civil war has only worsened the relationship between the two groups.  Laurel can’t be traced, and Lance has to come to the realization that this is not his Laurel.  Dinah does have a bit of a recognition when she speaks with Curtis thanking him for not allowing her to cross the line.  Rene is also in extremely bad shape as he has to be transferred to a place that can take care of his collapsed lung. Oliver has to inform the community that he will not be able to restore the money stolen, but promises to get the money back all while the PD is making a case against him with some of the high profile officers being on Diaz’s payroll.  The show ends with Laurel claiming that she is Laurel Lance and was kidnapped two years prior!

What did you think of this week’s episode?  What is our take on the new Laurel? While the hypocrisy of Team 2 somewhat annoys me, it could just reinforce their inexperience.  At any rate, this was an entertaining episode! Roy Harper looks set to return next week as Diaz has him captured leading to Speedy’s return!  How do you feel about his incorporation again?  Leave your thoughts in the usual place, and thanks for reading!

Arrow returns next Thursday at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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