Arrow Episode 18 - Salvation (2013): TV Recap
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For the first time in several episodes, Oliver decides to tackle an evil businessman after hearing about slumlord John Nichol on the news. One of his buildings that he wasn’t keeping up to code burned down, but he also let seven people freeze to death over the years in his other buildings. Oliver asks Felicity if she’s okay with him taking this particular guy down, and she takes a moment to consider this. Previously, she has had qualms about Oliver killing these businessmen, especially ones with children, but now she answers, “One hundred percent.” Is working with Oliver hardening Felicity?
Nichol is attacked in his home, but it’s not by Oliver! Oliver arrives to the scene and finds evidence that Nichol was abducted. Now, back in the arrowcave, Felicity asks a good question: why does Oliver want to save this guy when he was on his way to take him down. “I don’t like the idea that somebody dangerous is out there.” Someone other than himself, he means.
Thea and Roy Harper are having a nice make-out session at his place (I guess he’s not welcome yet at the Queen mansion), when there’s a knock at the door. One of Roy’s scuzzy acquaintances delivers a paper bag to him and tells him to be ready tomorrow night at 11. Thea of course wants to know what’s going on, and (much like she distracted him from a shot last episode) uses a kiss to get him to take his eye of the bag. It’s a gun, which he is supposed to use to rob a liquor store. Rightfully, Thea wonders why he needs to rob a liquor store when she could get him a job, but he needs more than just enough to cover “phone bills.” Apparently, he owes people, and probably not to buy his mom medicine as he claimed in his first appearance. Thea storms out of Roy’s house and walks out into the Glade by herself at night, even though she was mugged in broad daylight leaving the same residence in last week’s episode. This girl must have a bad memory.
While Diggle and Oliver are sharing a quiet conversation over some burgers, everyone’s phones start acting up, receiving video of John Nichol tied up, kind of like the Joker’s video in The Dark Knight. Nichol’s abductor kills him on screen for his crimes against the Glades, and asks “Who’s next?” Although he’s doing it publicly, he does seem to have a similar agenda to Oliver at this point, even when he captures his next victim, the district attorney. Oliver would surely have no problem targeting corrupt businessmen and public officials.
Felicity has trouble getting anything from the guy’s website, but Diggle announces that the NSA thinks it’s the hacker known as “The Savior.” When he’s providing his reasoning for capturing the DA, who didn’t prosecute his wife’s murderer, he inadvertently gives away his identity. When Felicity breaks his signal, she provides Oliver with the address of an abandoned building. He hops on his motorcycle without hooding up (it is the middle of the day, you know), and breaks into the building, kicking down every door he can find. The Savior isn’t here. Felicity finds the signal coming from a new address, which Oliver finds by jumping across rooftops until he finds only a vacant lot. The Savior sentences the DA to death or crimes against the Glades (even thought this seems like a more personal vendetta than killing John Nichol), and shoots him on camera.
Felicity is depressed that she couldn’t locate The Savior, and laments that she’s never seen anyone die before (even though she just saw John Nichol get shot on camera as well). Oliver tries to console her, telling her that in this business sometimes you lose. Maybe it’s better being alone, she says, because if she was with someone, she’s not sure how she’d tell him about today. She’s missing the point of being sworn to secrecy here. Even if she had a boyfriend, she wouldn’t be able to tell him about any of this, just like Oliver wasn’t able to discuss it with McKenna.
Back at Roy’s Thea makes a final plea to keep him from going through with his robbery plans. She can’t sway him, but he doesn’t make it to the liquor store because The Savior shows up to kidnap him. Roy represents the kind of gangbangers who killed The Savior’s wife, but it’s unclear how Roy was chosen or located. Thea heads to Verdant (because why wouldn’t she go to a nightclub instead of the police station?), which clues Oliver in to The Savior’s next victim.
From the video footage, Felicity is able to isolate some audio that Diggle recognizes as the old Starling City subway. That’s why Felicity picked up signals from different addresses and Oliver couldn’t find anything: because they were underground! As Oliver goes to the subway, Roy has only 10 minutes to plead his case. “Tell us: why do you get to live?” He has nothing to say for himself, however. “I shouldn’t. Just do it. Kill me.”
Oliver breaks into the subway car and flings a flechette near Roy’s hands, who uses it to start cutting the duct tape holding him. Oliver wants The Savior to let Roy go. If he kills him, Roy will never get a chance to change. The Savior can’t see why Oliver wants to stop him. They do the same things; they’re kindred spirits. “We’re the only ones who can save this city!” Oliver is outraged by this and yells, “We’re not the same!” Ah, but they’ve both killed people to “save” the city, so they are the same! Oliver just has trouble believing that anyone else (like Deadshot or Huntress) should be allowed to kill people without his obviously sound judgment behind the decision. (He has killed several people in different episodes just to keep his secret identity safe.) The Savior turns to shoot Roy, but Roy, freed at this point, ducks out of the way. Since The Savior didn’t listen to Ollie, now he gets an arrow in the chest.
Roy reunites with a teary Thea at the club, who immediately leaves him to “freshen up.” I guess they aren’t at that point in their relationship where he can see her without makeup on. Roy pulls Oliver’s flechette out of his pocket and stares hard at it. In the comics Roy Harper becomes Red Arrow. I anyone surprised that he is bathed in red light as he contemplates the flechette? Is he equating that mini-arrow with a second chance at his life? Will he now try to follow in the vigilante’s footsteps?
Outside the club, Oliver runs into Laurel. He asks if Roy is more than just Thea’s friend, and Laurel says, “Bad boys hook you very time.” Laurel confides that her mom came to town so sure that her sister Sarah was still alive that she was almost convinced. After a whole episode spent contemplating how alone he feels, he asks Laurel out to dinner or coffee some time. Why? “I don’t want to be on an island anymore.” Well, definitely the best way to stop isolating yourself is to ask your ex-lover, currently your best friend’s main squeeze, out to dinner. That’s surely going to work out well. Maybe spend more time talking to your three other friends who actually know your secret identity!
Moira Queen is in a tough spot, having been ordered to search for who hired the Triad to kill Malcolm Merlyn. Finally, with nowhere left to run, she turns over the evidence that will implicate her accomplice, Frank Chen, and calls him to meet. Before she can tell him anything other than, basically, you are screwed, Chen takes two arrows to the chest from the dark archer. With Chen taking the fall for the assassination plot, Moira may be safe for now. But how is she going to handle this guilt? So far, she has been willing to do anything to save her own skin and her children, including having her husband kidnapped and her friends killed. How will she behave if she ever extricates herself from the undertaking?
Back at the arrowcave the arrow squad is decompressing, and Oliver kindly offers to let Felicity come to him if she ever needs to talk about her day. While this might seem like a nice thing to do, it doesn’t really help if he was a part of the day that made her need someone to talk to, right? It would be like venting to your boss about how stressful your job is. He’s not an impartial person for her to talk to. As he’s by the computer, he notices the subway map on the screen matches the symbol on his father’s notebook, and realizes that everything going on with his father, the other archer, and the undertaking all has something to do with the Glades.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm Eastern on CW. Salvation originally aired 3/27/13.