The "Arrow" episode "Identity" has Oliver facing attacks from all sides, tearing him down as the Queen family representative, and hunting down his new-and-improved alter ego before he can truly prove himself. This hero stuff isn't easy, and the reformed vigilante ricochets between victory and defeat before unfortunately landing far outside that proverbial frying pan.
The No-Win Scenario
Laurel is happy to be friends with Oliver, but she hasn't forgiven Arrow for failing to save Tommy. She's taken over her father's previous obsession with the vigilante, using every means necessary to thwart his attempts at heroism and get him locked up for his efforts.
Oliver visits Laurel as his hooded self, trying to coax her into believing he's changed for the better. Unfortunately she's set a trap for him, calling in a SWAT team to surround her Enemy Number One. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, and we're not sure how, or if, he'll get out of this one.
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Before his surprise capture, Oliver was busy figuring out how to help the city with no more list to go by. It's Roy who gives him an idea, pointing out that the hospital in the Glades isn't receiving the necessary drugs to help the people in its care.
Oliver and Diggle soon discover that it's Triad leader China White who's waylaying the delivery trucks and racking up the body count. After several deliveries go awry, we begin to wonder why these FEMA drivers haven't invested in some bulletproof glass and body armor once a dozen or so of their guys have been killed.
Thankfully, our dynamic duo intervenes, finally saving a truck of meds and capturing China in the process. She scoffs at the former vigilante's attempts at noble heroism, warning that the people of Starling City will never accept him. Arrow concedes that as long as they're safe, that's all that matters.
Arrow's New Nemesis
As if China White wasn't deadly enough, she introduces Arrow to her new buddy, Bronze Tiger. This menacing opponent has upgraded from brass knuckles to shiny, Wolverine-esque claws, which he uses to deftly knock away arrows like he was swatting flies. He also has a way of darting in and out of view, nearly cutting Oliver to ribbons before he can even react.
Our hooded hero eventually manages to tag the tiger with a special kind of arrow. Before you can say, "Don't tase me, bro!" he's remotely electrified the arrow and his incapacitated enemy falls to the ground. The downside of leaving his foes alive, however, is that they have a chance to run off when he rushes to rescue Digg.
Oliver's New Nemesis
The Queen family has a bad reputation already, and new alderman Sebastian Blood isn't helping. Rising to power by giving the people of the Glades someone to blame, he takes delight in heaping accusations on Oliver of being rich, spoiled, and indifferent to the plight of the Undertaking's victims.
Blood may seem like just another impassioned leader, but we feel he's got "alter ego" written all over him. We expect we'll be seeing another, even creepier, persona in the near future.
When Roy's aspiring savior antics land him in a police station, Oliver tries to help his sister Thea by lecturing her boyfriend. He strikes a nerve with Roy when he talks about dealing with anger and helplessness.
Arrow has more luck turning Roy away from the butt-kicking side of things, recruiting Roy as his personal informant in the Glades instead. Another secret life is created as Roy lies to Thea and tells her he's out of the hero business.
This week's flashback has Oliver dealing with his dark side. While Slade plays into his fears that the Island is turning him into a monster, Shado teaches him that it's all about yin and yang. We all have a demon inside, but lightness to counter it. It's a matter of finding the right balance — something Oliver continues to struggle with in the present.
The three also find the creepy cave their latest hostile visitors have been looking for. It contains the bodies of Japanese soldiers from the WWII era. We learn that the arrowhead Oliver gifted to Thea came from one of the fallen, a collection of bones with a bizarrely misshapen skull. Um ... thanks, bro?
"Arrow" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.