The CW’s Arrow season four’s first episode introduced Green Arrow, showcased Oliver and Felicity’s relationship, and found Team Arrow still not completely gelled as a team following the events of season three. The second episode of the fourth season focused more on Team Arrow in the field taking on the Ghosts and protecting the only person in Star City brave enough to run for mayor. Episode two also featured Felicity on the job as the head of Palmer Technologies, more talk of the Lazarus Pit, and a creepy visit to a graveyard.
Recap of “The Candidate:”
Black Canary takes out bad guys, Thea’s a whirling dervish of activity, and Green Arrow’s alternately impressed with his sister’s abilities and concerned with her actions. Helping out from headquarters, Felicity says wants a code name and Green Arrow tells her they’ll talk about it if she finds the bomb. Green Arrow takes out two guys guarding the bomb with one arrow, calling in for Diggle (David Ramsey) to dismantle it. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) begins her campaign for a code name for Diggle, too.
Back at headquarters, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) says they did a good job but Diggle’s worried that the Ghosts just keep coming. Meanwhile, Oliver (Stephen Amell) is concerned that Thea (Willa Holland) is out for blood and out of control. She tries to stop him from worrying, and chooses going home to take a shower over listening to more of Oliver’s lecturing.
Oliver compliments Felicity’s appearance and she’s super excited because she’s back at work as the boss of a billion dollar corporation, Palmer Technologies. Oliver got her a ‘first day as a boss’ fern and packed her lunch. Awww, such a sweet gesture!
Flashback to when he was sent back to the island on a mission. He’s told to prepare for infiltration, but he has no idea what that’s about.
Oliver and Thea have lunch with Mrs. Jessica Danforth (Jeri Ryan) and her daughter, Madison (Tiera Skovybe), because Jessica wants to take up their mother’s mantle and run for mayor. No one has stepped up to run because three mayors have been killed. Jessica is willing to do it but needs Oliver and Thea’s support.
Felicity arrives at Palmer Tech and the board isn’t impressed as she enters the room. The profit and loss statement looks horrible, and Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) – not a member of the board – has developed an algorithm for who she should fire. Felicity is there to protect Ray’s legacy, but the board tells her they’ve done everything possible short of firing people and it’s still not enough.
Thea and Oliver show up to support Jessica’s announcement to the press at City Hall and she’s talking about Moira Queen and how she’s inspired by her when shots ring out. Thea goes after the shooter while Oliver protects Jessica. A Ghost is masquerading as part of Jessica’s detail, and Oliver stops him before he can kidnap Jessica. Oliver chases him out of the building and is hit by a car while chasing him through the alley, so the Ghost gets away.
Back at Team Arrow headquarters, the gang talks about how quickly Jessica was attacked after announcing she was running. The Ghost wasn’t wearing a mask and Oliver says there was something different about him because he left behind evidence. When he leapt out of the building, he landed on a truck and left fingerprints on the windshield so Oliver bought the truck to get the evidence (because, you know, Felicity has money now). Felicity runs the prints but thinks the the guy cut off his fingerprints and played mix and match.
Oliver meets with Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) at the station, and Quentin’s still not on board Team Arrow. Quentin says the city doesn’t need a guy hiding behind a mask, it needs someone willing to stand up in the light of day. He wants to know how Green Arrow will be different from regular Arrow.
Back on the island, Oliver spies a camp with people forced to work the crops. He dirties himself up and drops the guard he killed over a tree trunk, and the body sets off a land mine.
Felicity’s trying to figure out how to solve Palmer Tech’s financial crisis, pacing the boardroom. She meets with Curtis who assures her his algorithm was to calculate pay raises but the board is using it to figure out who should be let go. “I was trying to get people to be paid more, not paid nothing,” says Curtis.
The first person who needs to be let go is brought in and Felicity says the company is going through a very difficult time. She apologizes and hopes it will turn around.
Diggle and Laurel are in a car on a shift to protect Jessica. Diggle’s still not happy Oliver’s back, but Laurel won’t let it go. Diggle reveals an organization called Hive killed his brother and that’s why Damien Darhk’s (Neal McDonough) use of the word got to him. He’s been secretly investigating Hive for years, and Laurel says he shouldn’t be keeping it a secret.
Speaking of Darhk, he makes his first appearance this episode by applauding the guy who tried to kidnap Jessica. Darhk tells him he failed and the guy asks for more time to make sure Jessica Danforth does not run for mayor. Darhk gives it to him but warns him Hive does not believe in third chances.
Felicity is still working on the fingerprints and figures out a substance on the windshield is patented by a Palmer Tech’s subsidiary, Palmer Paper. Off Oliver and Thea go to check out the now closed paper mill thinking the would-be kidnapper has been there. Thea has to threatened a guy, breaking his arm because she won’t let go when Green Arrow tells her to. She is definitely feeling the effects of the Lazarus Pit…
Back with Felicity, she’s come up with an ID for Mr. Creepy (her nickname for the kidnapper). He’s Lonnie Machin (Alexander Calvert), a full time crazy pants (again, per Felicity’s description). He’s a bad dude, for sure. In comes Thea and she’s pissed at Oliver for stopping her interrogation. Oliver shows her what she should be doing, getting physical with his sister as he shows her disarming techniques. She went overboard and he wants her to realize that. Thea goes after Oliver, screaming and viciously attacking and snarling in his face. Oliver tells her that Malcolm warned him not to take her to the pit because people don’t come out the same. He didn’t tell her because he didn’t want her to worry. Thea’s still upset that he left her there and says he’s not qualified to judge her. Laurel has no idea what Oliver is talking about, and Diggle wants to know why the effects are only showing up now.
Back on the island, Oliver warns two armed soldiers that have him at gun point not to go any further because it’s a minefield. He says that’s what killed their friend. He tells them he’s Oliver Queen and that he washed up there two years ago.
Felicity’s at Palmer Tech with Curtis and now she has to fire two dozen more people. She really thinks there has to be another way. Curtis is on the list, and he’s okay with it. His husband will be thrilled because now they can go on vacation.
At the police station, Oliver visits with Jessica who’s being looked after by the police. He tells her it’s not to late to drop out, but she doesn’t want to send that message. She says the Green Arrow is not enough. They need someone to inspire them. Oliver asks where Madison is and Jessica says she went with cops to the library to study. He’s worried and suggests she call her.
On the street, Madison’s purse and phone lay on the ground next to a dead cop. She’s nowhere in sight.
Jessica speaks to the press gathered at the station, making an emotional appeal for the return of her daughter. “Please let my baby go. She’s all I have,” says Jessica, crying.
Quentin tells Oliver that the officers escorting her were shot with a weapon using over 5000 volts and they had their throats slit. Oliver tells him they should be looking for Lonnie Machin and says he knows Quentin can’t do this alone.
On the island, the two soldiers are taking Oliver to their leader. The leader recognizes him as Oliver Queen. Oliver thanks him for rescuing him, but he says they’re not recusing Olive because he would tell people what they’re doing on the island. He won’t be sending Oliver home, but he doesn’t have any reason to kill him. He can use him to replace the guy who stepped on the land mine.
Lonnie’s using a tooth to create a line of cocaine, and Darhk wants to know where Madison is. Lonnie indicates she’s in a trunk and Darhk says there are lines one does not cross. The tooth is from a Ghost and Lonnie talked to him about Hive. Darhk tells him to clean up his mess and then their relationship is over.
Laurel and Thea have a chat about Jessica, and Thea wonders if that’s what her mom went though when she was abducted. Laurel wants to know what happened on Nanda Parbat because Oliver never told her. Thea didn’t want to relive it because Ra’s killed her – or almost did. Ra’s offered to use the Lazarus Pit to bring her back, and now what’s happening is a side effect. Oliver didn’t listen to the warning, and Laurel understands because she knows he would do anything to save his sister.
Quentin goes to Darhk, upset about Madison’s abduction. Quentin says he’s out and Darhk threatens his daughter. Darhk gives him the location of Madison and tells Quentin to remember to mind his tone and never threaten him again.
Felicity says there’s no news on Lonnie, but she’s not her normal peppy self. She says they’re playing the “most depressing game of whack-a-mole ever.” Oliver reminds her they knew what it was going to be like and Felicity says she thought staying in Star City would be a new beginning, but it hasn’t been. Everything is still messed up. Oliver tells her they didn’t make a mistake, they just need time. Quentin calls with the address to where Lonnie’s holding Madison.
Lonnie has Madison tied up and he’s going off about how he can’t sit at the cool kids table. He gets a knife and she begs for her life. He teases her by saying he’ll let her go if she pinky swears not to tell anyone about him. (Felicity was right about him being a total crazy pants dude.) He laughs and twists her fingers, saying, “Oh, the things I’m about to do to you.” Fortunately for Madison, Black Canary, Thea, Green Arrow and Diggle literally drop in to save her. He shoots fire at them and escapes. Green Arrow tells Felicity they have Madison but not Lonnie, and she tells him he must still be in the building. Green Arrow and Thea search for Lonnie and he sneaks up and zaps Thea. Green Arrow and Lonnie battle it out and he takes down Green Arrow before Thea rushes in to take over the fight. She uses his zapper and sets him on fire, even after Green Arrow tells her not to. Green Arrow puts out the flames and Thea realizes she’s out of control, just like he said.
Madison and her mom have a happy reunion at the station, and Oliver walks up as if he didn’t know she was back and asks how she’s doing. Quentin announces there are reporters outside and Jessica says she’s going to tell them she’s withdrawing her candidacy. Oliver thanks Quentin for trusting him, and Quentin says that Oliver’s really doing things differently this time – he’s burning the bad guys alive. If the guy died, Quentin would book him for murder.
Back on the island, the people are still being forced to work in the fields. Oliver pretends to be a dedicated guard.
Felicity hired back everyone and the board is upset. She says Ray Palmer never would have approved of this, but the board reminds her Ray is dead and the company will soon be too. In comes Curtis and Felicity tells the board that he’s working on something that would revolutionize and save the company, something he couldn’t do with a reduced workforce. They want to know what it is, but Felicity says it’s proprietary and it will astonish the world. Felicity gets a six month reprieve.
Outside the presence of the board, Curtis acknowledges the bold move because he knows there isn’t any new technology.
Thea’s relaxing on the couch at home when in walks Oliver. She finally admits Oliver should be worried about her and he says it’s in his big brother job description. He says he should have told her about the pit immediately, but that was the old him. He’s the new Ollie who’s trying to do things differently. Laurel listens in from the doorway. Oliver tells Thea they’ll get through it together, and Laurel speaks up and says she’s taking Thea way for a spa getaway. “As long as it’s not near any hot tubs because that’s what got me into this situation,” says Thea. Oliver says he and Diggle can handle things while Laurel’s gone, as long as they don’t kill each other. He asks Laurel to take care of Thea, and after Oliver leaves Laurel reveals they’re not going to a spa, they’re going to Nanda Parbat. Laurel says the League will know what to do, and that Thea’s not the only reason they’re going there…
Machin escaped from the ambulance and killed the guards, leaving an anarchy symbol on the ambulance wall.
Oliver comes home to a happier Felicity, and he wishes he could be doing things differently like she says she’s doing. Quentin and Jessica both said the city needed something the Green Arrow couldn’t offer: hope, inspiration, someone who can do things in the light, who isn’t afraid. Someone who can protect himself. Oliver figures it out. He’s going to run for mayor.
Thea and Laurel dig up Sara’s grave.