Synopsis: The episode should have been titled “You Can’t Trust Anybody” as Sara backstabs Oliver, a revived Deadbolt is nice to Diggle and Isabel Rochev [Summer Glau] and Oliver have a one-night stand [much to Felicity’s consternation].
Details: After Isabel Rochev [Summer Glau] scolds Oliver for not being more attentive to the business affairs of the company which bears his family’s name and which she is involved in running with him, we jump to a scene showing Roy Harper planting the signal arrow device that Arrow had instructed him to do whenever he saw something going down in the Glades – which, in this case, happens to be a counterfeit money plate transfer. Arrow shows up and, with the help of Diggle [and a little from Roy], they subdue the counterfeiters only to have Diggle get captured by Amanda Waller and her A.R.G.U.S. [which stands for Advanced Research Group Uniting Superhumans and not Anal Retentive Group Undermining Show as most non-superhumans may be led to believe] agents. Amanda then informs Diggle that Lyla has gone unaccounted for in her mission in big, bad Russia while she was inexplicably tracking Deadshot and she needs him to go get her and “bring her back home”. All very silly.
Flashback #1 appears on screen at this opportune time and evil Dr. Ivo [Dylan Neal] and Sara Lance are in the lab/cell/office on the mystery ship filling in some of the blanks for Oliver as to why, exactly, they are there [it’s to get their grubby little mitts on the World War 2 -era Japanese submarine that sank in the area and was rumored to be carrying a valuable serum that turned normal humans into superhumans – the sub’s survivors were said to have made it to an island with the serum intact].
Meanwhile, back in Starling City, Diggle has to go to Russia for the aforementioned mission, Oliver and Felicity are coming along for assistance and Isabel Rochev invites herself along to ostensibly keep tabs on everybody and likely because she has nothing better to do running her other successful businesses.
An interjecting set of scenes finds Moira’s lawyer warning Thea that she needs to break up with her boyfriend Roy so as to make her mother’s family appear less scandal-ridden. Oliver’s Russian friend, Anatoly [David Nykl] provides the necessary background details on Lyla’s whereabouts in a Russian gulag as well as all things Russian and – after Diggle fesse up to Felicity that Lyla was his wife – the guys set up a plan using Diggle as druglord bait to get him in the gulag and a chance at liberating Lyla.
In Flashback #2, there is a continuation of Sara’s explanation of why she, specifically, is there in the ship with Oliver while a brief scene shows Shado tending to the burn wounds of Slade.
Back in the present, Diggle gets in a fight in the gulag and gets tossed in the basement holding cell with none other than the miraculously surviving Deadshot while Oliver and Isabel exchange meaningful glances and words in a heart-to-heart with romantic implications that wind up being a one night-stand of which Felicity disapproves [since she’s had her heart set on Oliver for, like, forever].
Diggle’s Russian cohort comes to free him but they leave Deadshot hanging – so to speak – but only for a few seconds as it seems that despite hanging around in the basement cell for who knows how long, suddenly he can devise a quick and easy escape once Diggle has been freed. Will wonders never cease? Deadshot then uses his Houdini-esque escape abilities and promptly kills Diggle’s helper – forcing the pair to be teammates in locating Lyla.
Flashback #3 depicts Sara apparently freeing Oliver so he can send a message to the island and tell Shado and Slade that help is on the way – but it’s a trap!
Back at the Russian gulag, Diggle locates Lyla with the help of Deadshot and a pre-set explosion arranged by Oliver and Anatoly frees them from the gulag and allows them to be rescued and carted away in Anatoly’s vehicle whereupon, after a few miles down the road, Diggle tells Deadshot to get out so he can execute him – but he doesn’t when Deadshot says he only killed Diggle’s brother on the orders of somebody really important at the headquarters of the mysterious H.I.V.E.
Everybody then returns to Starling City for the final scenario roundup begun by Moira telling Thea and Roy to nut up and realize what’s going on as well as the reason why Moira’s lawyer had to tell them to break up and the final flashback scene where Sara saves Oliver from being killed by the ship captain since “he can be useful” and Dr. Ivo agreeing to this and ending the episode by showing Oliver that he knows his name.
The Poop and Skinny: In the words of the Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth in Futurama – “Good news, everybody!” – it appears that the police station finally has electricity. Enough to turn on a few lights anyway. Things are looking up in Starling City!
For the third episode in a row, somebody who should obviously know better [this time, Diggle] turns his head at an opportune moment for the bad guy – Ongoing Credibility Issue #57.
Another in-episode advertisement for Bose called “Blood Rush” remains undeniably lame.
Burning question for the next episode of “Arrow” – Will everybody in Starling City have vacation homes on the island?
As always – it is important to remember that, at any juncture where the situation appears to be dire for Arrow/Oliver and his very life may be in danger – there would be no more show [and therefore no more money to be made] if he were to die. You continue to be welcome.