After two missed recaps (apologies!), I'm finally back.
Though there's plenty I could say about the last two episodes, let's just leave it at this: Oliver and Felicity FTW. Ok, now that you know where I stand, let's move on to tonight's decidedly Felicity-less (seriously writers, why is she not in every episode yet?) hour of drama.
There was a lot that went down on Arrow tonight -- a new big bad, a bust gone wrong, a kidnapping, and an inadvertent confession, to name just a few -- and for me, that was kind of the problem. When you get so many snippets of so many storylines it's hard to get invested in any of them -- regardless of how intriguing they might be. Let's get into all the different plot points below...
The episode opens with...wait a minute, is that Elena's dad? Why yes, yes it is. For non-Vampire Diaries fans, tonight's episode features David Anders, who played Elena's duplicitous biological father, John Gilbert, on TVD. He's playing another bad guy -- Cyrus Vanch -- here, and from what we see when he walks out of prison this one prefers leather jackets and loads of hair gel to black suits. Side note: It's hard to take a criminal seriously when he dresses like a wannabe rockstar. That being said, he is a little scary when he mercilessly kills his lawyer and moves into his huge mansion.
It's not long before Laurel learns that Cyrus, who was apparently jailed for all sorts of heinous crimes, has been released on a technicality. She immediately decides that something must be done (honestly, is she the only lawyer equipped to handle criminal cases in Starling City?). Before she can get on the case though, she gets a call from Tommy. He invites her to a tasting for the club, but she wavers. I mean who has time to eat when there's a dangerous criminal on the loose?! What's that? They can do the tasting earlier? Okay, she's in. After finishing up with Tommy, she calls up the other man in her life, Arrow, and asks him to help her collect evidence against Cyrus.
Speaking of Oliver, he's been busy denying his mother could be anything less than perfect. Oliver shows Moira the notebook he got from Felicity, but mommy dearest tells him she knows nothing about it and instead puts the blame on his deceased dad. When Oliver suggests they look into the matter, particularly since the people listed in the book aren't exactly good guys, Moira tosses the book into the fire. Diggle thinks this is suspicious -- more on that later -- but Oliver doesn't see what the big deal is. Luckily for Oliver, Laurel's call gives him the perfect excuse to get out of his conversation with Diggle and stay in denial for just a little while longer.
The Hood heads to Cyrus' compound and, after he takes down some of his bodyguards, shoots an arrow by the poolside to record Cyrus discussing what he plans to do next. The only problem? Cyrus discovers the arrow. Suddenly he remembers a wise lesson he learned in prison: If you want to be respected, you have to take down the biggest guy, or something of that sort. Naturally, Arrow is now his target.
NEXT: Arrow gets ambushed...
After gathering evidence, Arrow gives Laurel a call. He wants to meet her. She and Tommy are on the way to their tasting date, so she promptly turns Arrow down. Just kidding. We all know that would never happen. Laurel tells Tommy she's been called into work and promises to meet him at the club in an hour or so.
She meets Arrow on a deserted rooftop, but it's not long before they realize they're not alone. Let's back up for a second though. Remember when Det. Lance told Laurel she could keep the phone that served as a direct line to Arrow? Remember how you thought it was sweet of him to trust her, only to realize that he had tapped the line so he could ambush Arrow when the opportunity came up? Well, this is that opportunity. When Lance learns that Laurel and Arrow are meeting up, he rounds up his police pals and decides to ambush them. To protect himself, Arrow grabs Laurel and then pushes her away just as he leaps off the roof. Det. Lance is not far behind (though, his "jump" is far from delicate). Lance goes after him, but Arrow manages to knock him out from behind. In the end, the only thing Lance has to show for his ambush is a very, very angry daughter.
After yelling at her dad for using her as bait, Laurel vents her frustrations to Tommy. Along the way, she lets it slip that she's been cavorting with Arrow for quite some time. Tommy is peeved and Laurel doesn't understand why. Side note: What was the point of Laurel hiding all her meetings with Arrow from Tommy if she didn't really have a problem with him knowing in the first place? Regardless, Tommy doesn't exactly give her a shoulder to cry on. Instead, he suggests that maybe her dad is right.
Later, Tommy goes over to Oliver's for a little boy-talk. He tells Oliver all about Laurel and Arrow's recent meet-ups, and admits that he thinks Laurel is secretly attracted to Arrow. After all, she does love those bad boys! Oliver pretends to be outraged by Laurel and Arrow's alliance, though he seems to experience a flash of guilt when Tommy despondently tells him that it's just not possible to trust anyone. I must admit, there's something very unsettling about angry Tommy.
NEXT: Laurel gets kidnapped (for like 10 minutes)...
Meanwhile, thanks to an informant in the police force, Cyrus has figured out Arrow's weakness: Laurel. He sends his henchmen to kidnap her. Laurel manages to take both -- yes, both -- of them down. Okay, I know her dad is a cop but where in the world did she manage to fight like that? There must be more to this story. Anyway, though she manages to get the upper hand, it's short-lived as Cyrus strolls in and tasers her into oblivion.
You know what else is short-lived? The kidnapping. I'm not saying I necessarily want to see an entire episode devoted to Laurel, but if one of the main characters is going to get kidnapped -- and if we're supposed to actually care about it -- shouldn't it last longer than 10 minutes (I didn't actually time it but that's how short it felt)?
Tommy heads to Laurel's place only to discover it's been turned upside down. He finds an arrow with a recording from Cyrus, who says he wants to get a message across to the vigilante.
Tommy takes the recording to Det. Lance, who realizes someone on the force has betrayed him. He decides to put his pride aside and call Arrow for help. Arrow tells him he can't break into Cyrus' fortress alone.
Or so he says. Once Arrow gets to Cyrus' fortress -- where our bad guy is keeping busy taunting Laurel about how no one will be able to rescue her -- he manages to take down almost all of his security guards. At the last second though, one of Cyrus' bodyguards manages to hold him at gunpoint. But surprise! Det. Lance is also there! He helps Arrow take down the remaining gunmen. Then he starts screaming, "My girl! My little girl!" (this was just weird) and points his gun at Cyrus. Before he can take the shot though, Arrow knocks the gun down and reminds Det. Lance that's he's the cop, not the vigilante.
The kidnapping doesn't really help bring anyone closer though. Laurel decides she needs a break from her dad, while Arrow decides he needs a break from Laurel (okay, that's not exactly it, he just doesn't want to put her at risk anymore).
NEXT: Diggle spies on Moira; Oliver has more flashbacks...