Oliver Queen has to deal with both the familiar – being outed as the Green Arrow while old friends become new enemies – and and the unfamiliar – being a father to a kid who doesn’t much like him – in the sixth season’s second episode.

Previously, on ARROW

At the end of last week’s season premiere, Channel 52 News dropped the bombshell that they had a photo that showed  “conclusive evidence” that Star City Mayor Oliver Queen was, in fact, the vigilante known as the Green Arrow. We pick up from there, with Oliver denying it to the press and tasking Team Arrow with, once again, getting out of this.

When this happened in the first season, the team was basically just Oliver and Diggle, working out of an abandoned factory in the Glades. They have a few more resources now, as Felicity and Curtis spend the episode spouting techno-babble about trying to figure out who took the photo, who sent the photo to the news station and how they can save the team.

This is mostly just a distraction for Oliver, though, who has bigger problems on his hands. As he is giving a press tour of an abandoned hangar that will be converted into a new development with the help of businessmen from the nation of Markovia, the tour gets attacked and the businessmen kidnapped by a Russian mob led by an old friend of Oliver’s.

Anatoly is back! The former Bratva leader’s relationship with Oliver has deteriorated significantly over time, and he decides to needle his old friend a little bit, kidnapping the Markovians for the paltry ransom of $20 million. He needs money, you see, and Star City just got $20 million in fast-tracked insurance money for the destruction of the Star City Police Department last episode. You know it’s a comic book world when an insurance company pays out anything that quick…

Oliver figures that Anatoly is also the one behind the photo being sent to Channel 52. When confronted, though, Anatoly tells Oliver that Anatoly is “an honorable man.” He didn’t go after Oliver’s son, William, and he certainly did not send the photo. Who did? Well… that’s still a hanging question as the episode goes off the air, but Overwatch and Mr. Terrific – Felicity and Curtis – have managed to debunk the photo as a fake, and Channel 52 goes live with breaking news that they have “conclusive evidence” that maybe Oliver isn’t the Green Arrow.

Seriously, I’m starting to get offended at the media portrayal on these shows. I’ll get over it.

That, of course, leads Curtis to wonder, “Who wants to frame Oliver Queen?” And we likely have the kick-off to our season-long arc right there.

Meanwhile, Diggle continues to struggle with shooting his gun in the field, and new Black Canary Dinah Drake continues to give him grief about it. There was more than one instance of Dinah saving Diggle after he hesitated, and each one came with a withering glare from Dinah.

Yeah, that one…

Once again, Dinah confronts Diggle about his inadequacies, and we finally get the explanation. As Lian Yu was blowing up around everyone at the end of last season, Diggle caught some shrapnel in the arm and it caused some degenerative nerve damage. Diggle has been hiding it ever since because he thought it was “low priority” after Thea was put in a coma and William’s mother, Samantha, was killed. Since she’s the one in the field with Diggle risking her life, Dinah doesn’t see it as low priority and urges him to tell Oliver what’s going on.

When Diggle finally agrees to do that, though, Oliver pops a surprise on his oldest ally – he wants Diggle to once again become the Green Arrow to throw the FBI off his scent, so his son doesn’t lose his father. We’ll ignore the fact that Diggle has a son of his own AND his assistant Rene – Wild Dog – is trying to get his daughter back after she lost her mother and he has no problem putting THEM in harm’s way. You know what? That’s probably more important than the fact that they did the exact same thing in the first season…

Show Notes

• Instead of the SCPD and Quentin Lance investigating Oliver’s ties to being the vigilante, we now have FBI agent Samanda Watson investigating him. Watson is played by Sydelle Noel, who was most recently seen as Cherry Bang in GLOW. While she was given a bit of a roadblock at the end of the episode with Channel 52’s turnaround, we’ll have to see if she continues to be a thorn in Oliver’s side.

• The nation of Markovia has been mentioned on Arrow frequently, most notably when Diggle joined the Suicide Squad and ARGUS on a mission to neutralize a nerve agent in the show’s second season.

• Oh yeah, in his defense of “I’m not the Green Arrow” to kick off the episode, Oliver said that it was a Photoshop and they could have put anyone in that image, including Bruce Wayne, noting that Bruce Wayne probably hasn’t left Gotham to come to Star City. This would be the first mention by name of the billionaire playboy in the ARROWVERSE, though he’s been alluded to on Supergirl.

The Super Cinco

This season, we’re introducing weekly Power Rankings to the Arrowverse recaps. Each recap will include an individual ranking, with an overall ranking posted every weekend that shows air. Let’s take a look at who had the best week in this week’s episode of ARROW:

  1. Curtis Holt / Mr. Terrific – Brains over brawn is always a good lesson, and Curtis shows his brains here, working with Felicity to figure out the photo of Oliver was, in fact, a fake. He even has taken a part-time coding job to make some money on the side, leading Felicity to wonder when he has time for all that. (Last Week’s Ranking – 2)
  2. Felicity Smoak – Was right there with Curtis, not only helping with the photo but also getting leads on where Anatoly was to track him down. Loses points, though, for trying to get Curtis to throw some freelance coding work her way so she doesn’t have to use the money she has saved away. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
  3. Oliver Queen / Green Arrow – The show’s main hero stayed strong throughout the episode and fought on several fronts this week, taking the fight straight to Anatoly while trying to outmaneuver both the press and the FBI. And he started to make some in-roads with his son, William. (Last Week’s Ranking – 4)
  4. Dinah Drake / Black Canary – Forced to compensate for her partner’s lack of honesty and ability in the field, Dinah proved once again that she’s a badass. (Last Week’s Ranking – 1)
  5. Quentin Lance – The Deputy Mayor gets the final spot here for being an amusing smart ass to both the press and FBI agent Samanda Watson. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)

That’s all for this week, be sure to check out my recaps of SUPERGIRL, along with Joe’s looks at both THE FLASH and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW! And be sure to come back tomorrow for week 2 of the ARROWVERSE POWER RANKINGS for the 2017-2018 season.