Previously on Arrow, Merlyn hypnotized Thea and got her to kill Sara, Laurel finally told her dad that Sara was dead, and Flashback Oliver was getting into all kinds of shenanigans involving a bio-weapon in two parts called Alpha and Omega.
We begin with Oliver and Thea training on Lian Yu with sticks, the way Oliver learned. Oliver is surprised to find that when you don’t resist training and whine for a year, you learn to fight quicker, so Thea is pretty matched to his skill in just nine months. She credits Merlyn, though, for both the skills and the ruthlessness. Thea likes that she’s on the island with Oliver, she feels like she’s learning more about him.
Thea asks if, when he was on the island, he ever thought he’d make it back to Starling City, but we learn through flashbacks that Oliver was in Starling City for a spell while he was “dead.” His captors took him there to follow the White-Haired Woman, who was looking for a buyer for the Omega virus. One leading buyer is named Peter Kang, and Oliver knows him, which is why Amanda brought him back to Starling City in the first place. This is no time for a homecoming, though. She warns him that she will kill him and anyone he reveals himself to if he causes a fuss.
Flashback Laurel finds her father drinking in a bar. She’s sad, but she’s not surprised. He introduces her to the bartender as The Daughter Who Lived, but she is not amused, and offers to drive her drunk dad home. Lance ignores her and orders another drink, but the bartender takes one look at Laurel’s stern face and decides against serving the cop.
On Lian Yu, Thea hears Oliver calling for Sara in his sleep and wakes him up. She asks him why he didn’t tell her Sara died, why Laurel had to tell her, but Oliver says it was Laurel’s news to tell, that Sara went back to the League and had secrets even he didn’t know about. Thea asks Oliver if the League killed Sara, but due to their new no-lying policy, he gets up and says he wants to take a walk in lieu of answering her. He wanders until he finds the A.R.G.U.S. Hatch, and calls out for Slade, talking all cocky to the jail cell until he realizes the cell door is ajar. There’s a dead guard in the bed where Slade should be, so Oliver high-tails it back to his baby sister.
Thea is collecting firewood when she runs into her frantic brother, insisting they run. Thea asks what exactly brought them to the point of running from Slade, and Oliver says this is where he was being kept prisoner, but now he’s free. Merlyn, he of impeccable timing, calls Oliver just then and says, “Wanna play a game?” Merlyn set up this death trap, with Thea as incentive, to try to give Oliver back his killer instinct. Because Malcolm Merlyn is an actual sociopath.
Flashback to Oliver, who spots his sister during his stakeout of Queen Consolidated. He’s wigging out over her being a teenager–I don’t remember how far into his disappearance this is, but the years between 12 and 15 are huge years to miss in a girl’s life; she’s bound to have grown and changed a lot especially if she’s experienced trauma.
Oliver watches her visit his grave, and that of his father, but it was really just a rendezvous point for meeting her drug dealer. Tommy Merlyn interrupts this transaction and scolds her, scaring the dealer off. Thea scoffs and says he’s not her brother (being years away from finding out that actually he is) and says if Oliver could see her now, his heart would be broken. Thea rolls her eyes and says it seems like Ollie cares more about her now than he did when he was alive.
Present-day Oliver digs up his dad’s actual burial site to get a gun for Thea. Almost as soon as she has it in hand, Slade shows up. The Queen siblings try to fight him, but Slade had the element of surprise on his side, and ends up knocking them both out.
When Oliver wakes up, he and Thea are in the cell Slade was supposed to be. Slade says he doesn’t want to kill them, but he intends on sending burned bodies with evidence back to Starling City so no one will come looking for him, so they can rot like he was meant to. Oliver asks him to let Thea go but Thea’s part of the plan. Slade asks Oliver if she knows all his secrets, and Oliver flinches. Slade asks Thea if he knows about Shado, but Thea isn’t afraid of this giant, one-eyed man. She calls him a “sick son of a bitch” and says she doesn’t care what he has to say about her brother.
Slade says if Oliver had told him the truth about Shado from the start, maybe Mama Queen would be alive, and then says, “Welcome home,” before leaving the Queens to die.
Flashback Oliver is hacking a computer in Queen Consolidated when he hears heels click clacking down the hall and has to hide. He watches while Felicity leaves a folder on the desk and flirts with a really terrifying picture of the billionaire playboy she thinks is dead. Her rambling is cute but post-Team Arrow Felicity is way more badass.
Though the same old Felicity is still in there, and she scolds herself for talking to herself before click-clacking away.