‘Arrow’ Recap: Ragman Becomes Oliver's First Recruit

Warning: This recap for “The Recruits” episode of Arrow contains spoilers.

Oliver Queen’s past usually has some valuable lesson to impart to him in the present, but flashbacks fail this week: It turns out you can’t forge a team of vigilante millenials by treating them like they’re joining Russian mafia. Who knew? Despite this misstep, he manages to win them over just in time to face a new threat.

The Plot
Oliver rounds up Wild Dog, Evelyn Sharpe, and Curtis Holt and begins training them. He decides to use them to help protect a free clinic — funded by AmerTech — from Ragman, a new vigilante targeting the company. They fail and quit because of Oliver’s unforgiving teaching style. Thea and Oliver figure out that Ragman is attacking them because AmerTech is crooked — they plan to sell $100 million of weapons to Tobias Church (Chad L. Coleman). They stop the deal and Oliver recruits Ragman and brings the others back with a show of trust: He reveals that he is they mayor. Meanwhile, Diggle finds himself the fall guy for his military unit that’s gone rogue and stolen a nuclear trigger.

Photos: The CW
Photos: The CW

The Flashback
A group of Bratva recruits are told to ring a bell, which is on the other side of a bunch of brutes. After struggling and failing multiple times, Oliver realizes they must work together. While the others are distracted, he sneaks in and rings the bell. The other recruits are shot dead and he is taught Bratva’s first lesson: The only person you can trust is yourself. So you can see why this was a terrible exercise in team-building.

Like we learned in that last Batman/Superman movie, any two heroes can get along if their parents are similar enough. Rory Regan is also an interesting character because, even when actual religious mysticism appears in comic properties, it’s usually Christian — angels, demons, and other Biblical entities. Rory’s father tells him his mystical rags are “from the time of Devarim” (part of the Torah) and the comic book version is similarly tied to Jewish traditions. It will be interesting to see how far they delve both into his cultural roots as well as the magical nature of his suit.

Felicity’s New Guy
So, the guy’s name is Billy Malone and he has access to the SCPD’s gas chromatograph? Yep, still hate him.

Inside Comics Moment
AmerTech (spelled “AmerTek” in the comics) is a weapons manufacturer and first appears in 1994 after the death of Superman. A former employee — who quits over moral concerns, natch — builds a suit of armor and becomes Steel, one of four Superman “replacements”. The name shows up again in the Batman: Arkham video game series.

Quiverful of Thoughts
Helpful salmon ladder (that crazy pull-up exercise) tip for Curtis: Don’t try to give exposition while you’re doing it. Also, be Stephen Amell.

It is really difficult to emphasize just how wrong-headed it was to train the new Team Arrow with a Bratva exercise that resembles group MMA – a “sport” that combines the brutality of mixed martial arts with the idiocy of barroom brawls. It really is the dumbest thing imaginable. Yes, even dumber than the golf club you pee into.

So, Felicity continues to be haunted by her inability to save Havenrock, and the first guy to shake Oliver’s hand is the last survivor of Havenrock? Okay, well at least he doesn’t have any more nightmare inducing — what’s that? Ancient mystic fabrics that move all dark and tentacle-like? Now taking bets on how long before Felicity goes crazy from sleep deprivation.

Line of the Night: “Fear can kiss my six, you understand me, soldier?” Why is Digg busy boosting the morale of this rookie when there’s a whole team of rookies waiting for him back in Star City?

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.