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Recap / Arrow S 5 E 22 Missing

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Prometheus is still in custody, but his allies begin to take out Team Arrow members one by one to pressure Oliver to release him.


  • Absentee Actor: Rene and Dinah don't show up this episode, since they've been kidnapped offscreen. They aren't even on Lian Yu with the rest of Prometheus' Team Arrow hostages.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Black Siren claims she is sorry for what she has to do to Quentin and states that she does it because she owes Chase for breaking her out of prison and to keep Quentin safe. He doesn't buy it.
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  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Subverted. When Thea explains to Quentin that Black Siren is from a parallel earth, he tells her at first that she's crazy, but is convinced when she quickly reminds him about the existence of metahumans and aliens. When Quentin and Black Siren interact again, he holds no further illusions that she's his Laurel.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Quentin's quip about what Chase's word is worth seems to have an affect on Black Siren; she's noticeably lacking her usual smug smirk as she leaves.
  • Arrow Catch: Oliver throws an arrow at Malcolm who catches it effortlessly.
  • Birthday Episode: The episode is set on Oliver's 32nd birthday.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Yao Fei, Oliver's first mentor, appears to him in a hallucination in the flashback.
    • Black Siren returns for the first time since the midseason premiere.
    • Evelyn also returns, having not been seen since "Kapiushon".
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    • Malcolm returns having not been in Star City since the Season 4 finale, since he spent his time since then with the ill-fated Legion of Doom on Legends of Tomorrow (his other two appearances this season were as an illusion in the one-hundredth episode and in a flashback respectively).
    • Nyssa returns for the first time since Laurel's funeral.
    • Slade Wilson returns at the end.
  • Call-Back: The episode is full of it, especially in the flashbacks where Kovar makes Oliver relive every horrible thing that happened to him since being stranded on the island. Specifically, these include-
    • Being shot with an arrow through the shoulder by Yao Fei after first arriving on Lian Yu.
    • Being tortured by Billy Wintergreen
    • Getting lashed by Conklin.
    • Brutally bashing in the head of one of Ivo's men.
    • Watching Ivo kill Shado.
    • Being forced to snap Taiana's neck.
    • Torturing Shrieve in Hong Kong.
  • Call-Forward: Kovar's actions in this episode are eerily reminiscent of Count Vertigo's (namely, the first Count Vertigo), given that he injects his victim with a horrific drug and then gives them a handgun loaded with a single bullet, so they can commit suicide to end their suffering.
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  • Card-Carrying Villain: Merlyn acknowledges that he's a sociopath.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Kovar puts Oliver through it via a special drug that makes him relive every physical and mental pain he's ever experienced (thus combining the trope with Mind Rape of sort).
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Turns out the reason Rene wasn't at his daughters custody hearing the episode before is because he had already been snatched up by Prometheus' allies.
    • Part of the reason why Quentin falls for Black Siren masquerading as Laurel, as he tearfully notes, is that it's "like Sara."
    • Felicity and Diggle note that the assassin blocking their path in the road gives off an Isabel Rochev vibe, and they think to try the same thing against her. It doesn't work.
    • Nyssa remembers what Sara told Ra's Al-Ghul to tell her in Legends, of Sara being at Lian Yu.
    • Oliver still understandably holds a grudge against Malcolm for informing Damien Dahrk about the existence of William last season.
    • Diggle mentions his wife is in Chicago, the same place where she wanted to journey in this week's Flash episode.
    • In the flashback, Earth-1 Laurel's appearance in Oliver's hallucination depicts her as a brunette since she only started dyeing her hair in Season 2.
  • Car Fu: Felicity and Diggle try this against one of Talia's acolytes. It fails.
  • Dead Person Conversation: In the flashbacks, Oliver has one with Yao Fei. Subverted with Earth-1 Laurel, who is dead in the present day but is alive and well during the timeline of the flashback.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Black Siren poses as Earth-1 Laurel again, although the deception doesn't last nearly as long this time.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Oliver almost crosses it in the flashbacks after reliving every emotional and physical pain he has ever been through. He is on the verge of shooting himself when an illusion of Laurel convinces him not to.
  • Enemy Mine: Oliver, Malcolm, and Nyssa ally themselves, and then the episode ends with Oliver asking for Slade's help. The only people in this quartet who weren't enemies at one point or another is Slade and Malcolm, and that's because they never had a chance to personally meet. The only two that can call this alliance genuine in any way is Oliver and Nyssa.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Apparently, scratching the driver's side door is all it takes to make a car explode.
  • Fake Shemp: Despite Talia reappearing in this episode, she remains masked and has no lines throughout the entire episode to disguise the fact it is not Lexa Doig.
  • Fandom Nod: Felicity mentions that she got Oliver's birthday cake from "Lord Mesa Bakery," a popular fan artist whose art is also featured on the cake design.
  • Fantastic Drug: Kovar's drug makes Oliver relive all the physical and mental pain he's ever had.
  • Foregone Conclusion We know Kovar won't succeed in killing Oliver, since he gets of the island in the Season One premiere.
  • Foreshadowing: For the finale. Adrian tells Oliver "see you on the boat". Sure enough, the next episode ends on a boat.
  • Gambit Roulette: Diggle postulates that Adrian probably wanted to get caught and taken as a prisoner of A.R.G.U.S., which retroactively makes the events of the previous episode one giant and ridiculously convoluted plan on Chase's part.
  • Get Out!: Oliver doesn't use the exact words to Malcolm, but the sentiment is very clear, when he sees him in the Arrow Cave.
    Oliver: You are not welcome here Malcolm!
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Chase makes Oliver an offer: Oliver frees him, and Chase will let his friends go. If Adrian is transferred to another prison, his allies will kill them. After William is abducted as well, Oliver has no choice but to accept the offer.
    • Oliver is willing to ally himself with both Malcolm Merlyn and Slade Wilson to take down Adrian Chase. Considering those two were the top two contenders for Oliver's worst enemy pre-Season Five, it goes to show how desperate Oliver is right now and how much he really hates Adrian.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong:
    • Felicity and Diggle try to ram the assassin in front of them with the car. She moves out of the way and slashes the car with her sword, making it explode and allowing the two to be captured.
    • A lighter example in the beginning at Oliver's surprise birthday party when Curtis jumps out to surprise Oliver, only to get thrown to the floor in a defensive reflex.
  • Hallucinations: As he has in previous episodes, Oliver experiences hallucinations as he suffers the effects of Konstantin's drug; he sees Yao Fei, who encourages him to commit suicide, and Laurel, who convinces him to live.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: When asked what he's looking forward to doing for the summer with no impending crisis to deal with, Oliver wants nothing more than to go shopping for socks, to the disbelief of his teammates.
  • Hope Spot: During the birthday party, things are looking good for Oliver and the team; Chase is in prison, Oliver's approval rating is up, and the team is facing an unprecedented "summer vacation" from the usual city-threatening attacks from previous years. Then Curtis goes looking for Dinah, and it just gets worse from there.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: As always, the penultimate episode of the season is named after a Bruce Springsteen song.
  • Idiot Ball: Played for Laughs. The gang is holding this, when they decide to throw a surprise party for Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, who spends most of his days fighting criminals and murderers, in his house, in the dark. Curtis pays for this oversight with a concussion. Promptly lampshaded by Quentin, who told them that a surprise party was a bad idea.
  • I Know Karate: Curtis warns Chase's men who broke into Dinah's home that he knows Martial Arts...and then gets knocked out from behind with one hit.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Prometheus kidnapped William as revenge for Team Arrow getting his wife "involved"; he conveniently ignores the fact that her finding out did not mean he had to kill her.
  • Internal Reveal: Quentin finally finds out about Black Siren (and the multiverse in general).
  • Irony: For much of the episode's latter half Oliver has allied himself with Merlyn, who is ultimately responsible for Kovar's return in the flashbacks.
  • Kick the Dog: Confronting Quentin with Black Siren was just a needlessly cruel thing.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • The team acknowledges that they're usually racing to save the city at this time of year, at the start of summer. Seasons usually end when summer starts.
    • Oliver's 36th birthday cake that has Green Arrow and a six on it could also be for the show's sixth year in production.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: In the flashbacks, the image of Laurel stops Oliver from committing suicide, and reminds him of all the people back home he needs to return to.
  • Morality Pet: Despite kidnapping him on Prometheus' orders, Quentin is this for Black Siren as she specifically says he not be harmed as part of her arrangement with Chase.
  • Mythology Gag: Certain aspects of this episode are somewhat reminiscent of The Dark Knight, including The Hero beating the Big Bad prisoner into submission shouting "WHERE ARE THEY!?", given that the villain's minions have already abducted the hero's loved ones.
  • Never My Fault: Chase blames Oliver for his wife's death, because he "involved" her. Never mind that Chase killed her himself.
  • Not Named in Opening Credits: Neither Katrina Law nor Manu Bennett are named in the opening credits of the episode, to keep their appearances at the episode's end a surprise.
  • Not So Above It All: The normally stoic Nyssa can't resist taking a cheap shot at Merlyn when they reunite.
    Nyssa: Mr. Merlyn. I assume you still have no title?
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Black Siren's demeanor with Quentin is noticeably different than her usual smug villainy. She's clearly affected by him rejecting her as "not my Laurel", addresses him as "Dad" even when not pretending to be Earth-1's Laurel, and she's uncharacteristically somber during their entire conversation.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Malcolm comes out of his self-imposed exiled when Prometheus kidnaps Thea.
    • Oliver botches Prometheus' transfer when he finds out that he kidnapped William.
  • Plot Armor: Normally, Diggle and Felicity would have died, if not, terribly hurt, after their van flips out like that.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The team neglected to tell Lance about Black Siren, no doubt thinking they were sparing his feelings. But because he doesn't know there's an evil double of his late daughter, Siren is able to pose as Laurel and fool him long enough for him and Thea to be captured.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits:
    • Since everyone on his normal team is captured, Oliver has no choice but to assemble a new team made out of past foes of his. The end result is an anti-hero vigilante, the ex-head of the League of Assassins, the former heir to the same League, and a former Mirakuru super-soldier recruited from an ARGUS supermax.
    • Chase's group qualifies as well; they're led by a deranged serial killer, backed by a League of Assassins exile, and supported by a Teen Genius turned villain and a metahuman from an alternate Earth.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Turns out throwing a surprise party for a vigilante who spends most of his days fighting criminals and murderers and would naturally be be wary finding his home suspiciously unlit might give the wrong impression, as Curtis found out the hard way after being reflexively thrown by Oliver.
    • Oliver is still furious with Malcolm for betraying his son to Darhk and does not appreciate his "help"; but accepts it because he has no other options.
  • The Reveal: We find out what Prometheus did to William. He kidnapped him, but kept him alive for the ultimate leverage to get Oliver to release him.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Yao Fei, whom Oliver only knew on the island and who is dead, represents his self-loathing and encourages him to end his suffering, while Laurel, from Oliver's pre-Lian Yu life and who, at the time, was still alive, represents his determination and desire to return home, and encourages him to survive.
  • Sadistic Choice: Either Oliver helps Adrian escape before he's transferred to another prison, or his allies kill Oliver's friends and loved ones. There's no Take a Third Option here—Oliver is ultimately forced to help Adrian escape (and with Merlyn's help, who encouraged him to take the offer to begin with).
  • Save the Villain: Enforced by Chase, as his subordinates have orders to kill Oliver's friends if he dies or gets transferred to prison.
  • Shipper on Deck: Curtis for Oliver and Felicity again, to such a degree that Felicity mentions he sounds like a shipper from a Soap Opera.
  • Shot to the Heart. Kovar does this to Oliver with a drug no less.
  • Shout-Out: Felicity likens their situation to a horrific version of Groundhog Day.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • We know Talia won't be appearing in the episode despite her heavy involvement in the plot, due to Lexa Doig being conspicuously absent from the opening credits. However, her ninja acolytes do appear.
    • Averted with the returns of Nyssa and Slade; neither Katrina Law nor Manu Bennett appear in the opening credits to keep their appearances a surprise.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Oliver does this to Merlyn twice: first, when the former reminds the latter he betrayed the location of Oliver's son William to Damien Darhk; and second, when Oliver reminds Merlyn the latter said he would do whatever it takes to rescue Thea when confronted with the need to work together with Nyssa al Ghul.
  • Surprise Party: Team Arrow throws one for Oliver in his apartment. Unfortunately, they failed to take into account that Green Arrow, who spends most of his days fighting criminals and murderers, might be suddenly wary of finding his home suspiciously unlit. Curtis pays for this oversight with a concussion.
  • Swords Set To Stun: Malcolm complains to Oliver about Oliver insisting that they not kill the federal agents guarding Adrian. Apparently "shoot through the neck with broadhead arrows" doesn't count as "killing".
  • Take a Third Option:
    • Attempted by Oliver in regards to the hostage situation, but he ultimately fails and has to release Chase.
    • Played straight in the flashbacks, where Oliver doesn't use the gun to kill himself or Kovar, but to Shoot Out the Lock.
  • The Hero's Birthday: The episode opens with Team Arrow celebrating Oliver's birthday, but this being Arrow, the happy mood is short-lived.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Merlyn and Nyssa, once mortal enemies, are forced to work side by side in their rescue mission. Merlyn only begrudgingly accepts when Oliver reminds him of Thea.
  • Token Good Teammate: Oliver ends up as this on the team he's assembled by the episode's end. He's the only actual hero on the team, with Malcolm and Slade both being supervillains, and Nyssa being a Noble Demon.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Malcolm coming back this episode confirmed by promotional photos, even though press releases made it seemed like he wouldn't come back until the finale - "Lian Yu".
    • Slade's return which should've been a big plot twist, was spoiled by the final trailer a few weeks in advance. Or, if you have followed Stephen Amell's Twitter Account, even way before that.
  • Troll: When Oliver confronts Adrian in his cell the latter briefly pretends not to know what Oliver is talking about before mimicking his "you know damn well who!" line before replying that yes he does.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Given Katrina Law's commitments to Training Day, her return as Nyssa was a surprise.
    • Of all the people they could've brought in for the finale, not a lot of people expected Slade to be among them since his actor was last reported to have left Arrow over disagreements.
    • Earth-1 Laurel since Katie Cassidy is only advertised to appear in the episode as Black Siren.
  • Villain Has a Point: Malcolm, the self-proclaimed sociopath is the one who points out that Oliver's emotional attachments are what keeps him grounded and vice versa, and that he can't keep himself isolated on an island.
    Oliver: A little while ago, I told John that the personal connections that I had were making me vulnerable. Because as long as there are people in my life that I care for, I have to be something else to protect them. That's something that I can't leave in the past.
    Merlyn: I admire you, Oliver. It takes a special kinda idiot to actually get dumber with time.
    Oliver: I am not in the mood, Malcolm!
    Merlyn: Human connections are what keep us human! And it's sad that it's a sociopath who's gonna have to point this out to you. You can't live on an island. You've already tried. But you are always gonna have people in your life, Oliver. And they will always need you. Better or worse, baggage and all. And if you can't accept that... well, your past is gonna stay your anchor.
  • Villainous Rescue: Malcolm saves an unequipped Oliver from the SWAT team he is trying to steal the van from.
  • Wham Shot: The last shot of the episode is of Slade Wilson in his cell, as one of the people Oliver is asking for help.
    Slade: Hey, kid. I'm glad you came back.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The last time we saw her it seemed as if Oliver and Susan Williams were still seeing each other. But, aside from Thea asking Ollie if he is still seeing her, Susan doesn't show up for Oliver's birthday party and there he has numerous Ship Tease moments with Felicity instead.
  • Would Hurt a Child: We already know this applies to Adrian, but implicitly it also extends to whichever of his allies abducted him, if not all of them given that they're likely aware of this plan and are complicit in it.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Once again Chase sets up a scenario wherein, no matter what option Oliver takes, he will fall right into Adrian's hand. Either Oliver lets Chase go in which case Chase still holds on to Oliver's loved ones as leverage or Oliver allows Adrian to be taken to jail at which point his allies will murder all of Oliver's loved ones completely breaking him. There is no good option for Oliver to take and he is ultimately forced to let Adrian go.
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