The CW’s superhero series Arrow re-imagines Green Arrow for a TV audience as a tough, often ruthless vigilante bent on setting things right in his home of Starling City by punishing the wicked. ComicsAlliance’s Matt Wilson will be following along to see how he fares.

This week, yet another Lance family gathering goes awry, a pilot shows up on Flashback Island and immediately dies, and the Clock King wreaks havoc.

The action kicks off this week with a dude in glasses (Robert Knepper) giving a bearded guy in a janitor uniform instructions via an earpiece for infiltrating an office building. The fake janitor and his partner tase a fellow and steal a briefcase marked with the logo of Kord Enterprises, but they can't open it because it's locked with a fingerprint reader.

The guy in the glasses somehow unlocks the case remotely and the goons take a cylinder inside. The glasses-wearing boss, who looks and talk suspiciously like the Batman: The Animated Series version of the Clock King, tells them how much time they have to escape.

When the goons get to the bottom of the stairs, their boss, who has access to all the security camera feeds, tells them to wait. The bearded guy bolts for it, though, and ends up shooting a guard. Then all hell breaks loose. The boss keeps spouting time-based instructions while Officer Lance and other cops, who have a heck of a fast response time, gather outside.

The goons make a run for it and Officer Lance gives chase. The goons manage to hide within a group of Starling City citizens doing my favorite thing they do: Protesting using homemade signs.




I'm starting to develop a secret theory that Starling City is really Springfield.

Arrowcave. Ollie and Dig are double-teaming Sara but they have to stop after Dig acidentally puts his stick in Sara's eye. Listen, folks, I'm just telling you what happened.

They were training, by the way. Ollie checks out Sara's forehead and says she's bleeding (she isn't) but there won't be a scar. This leads the three of them to start comparing their many, many scars. Smoak tries to join in the personal injury-related fun, but doesn't really have much to offer.

Sara and Ollie quickly establish that this episode is going to have a coming-back-from-the-dead party for Sara, because of course it is. This is Arrow, after all. Then we're swept away back to CGI Flashback Island, where Proto Team Arrow is trying to figure out how to board the Amazo and bickering.

Just then a plot contrivance airplane comes flying overhead and the team starts yelling up at it. Just as quickly, it's blasted out of the sky.




Back to the present, where the lucky goons are registering complaints with their glasses-wearing boss, who shoots back at them with Tolstoy quotes and also five stab wounds to the bearded guy's stomach with the minute hand from a clock.

Casa Queen. It's party time! Sara and Sin have an awkward moment where they pretend to not know each other and Ollie calls Laurel to ask her to come. But she's busy tying one on. After he hangs up, Officer Lance comes over to tell Ollie he's sorry for the way he treated him after he came back from the dead and also that Ollie's not a killer (he is).

Ollie and Moira share a cold moment and Thea catches on, because they are super obvious about it. Stephen Amell's teeth are literally gritted.

Both Ollie and Officer Lance get called away because that goon died. Lance, Arrow and Black Canary (who somehow snuck away from her own party) meet in an alley and exchange info. Turns out that thing the bad guy (all right, let's just give in and start calling him Clock King, since that's who he is) was having those goons steal was a code-breaking device, the skeleton key, that could be modified to open bank vaults. (Arrow reveals he knows all this by saying something similar was under development at Queen Consolidated. Come, on, Officer Lance. Put two and two together, already.)

Down in the Arrowcave, Smoak is trying to get in with the cool kids by punching a training dummy.



Sara finds her down there and gives her some fighting tips, which Smoak kind of bristles at. Ollie tells Smoak to get to work tracking down the Clock King.

Flashback Island. Slade searches the downed plane and doesn't find much worth using, but Sara notices that the pilot is still alive. (Just like Lost!)

Present again. Officer Lance comes by Laurel's apartment to ask for another family gathering (because the last one went so well). He explains he thinks he might have a chance to get back together with Dinah, and Paul Blackthorne and Katie Cassidy have a really nice scene together. Blackthorne in particular gets the emotion of the scene just right. I like it when these actors get to do some real acting.

Meanwhile, Clock King is remotely instructing some new goons to rob a bank. They do this by quite literally sticking the skeleton key on a vault door. That's all they have to do! The goons grab some cash, but have to cut it short when Arrow and Canary pop up on a camera.

When Arrow and Canary get to the vault, the goons have gone, but Smoak thinks she has a bead on them. But what's this? Clock King has intercepted their signal and is trying to throw them off his scent by making a city bus collide with a train.

"You can't be in two places at once," he says.

A couple things here. One: For a guy who knows so much about computer magic, Clock King is an idiot. Of course they can be in two places at once. There are two of them. Second, are they really going down the road of the Clock King attacking mass transit? The writers of this episode must really be huge Batman: The Animated Series fans.

Canary goes after the Clock King and womps him in the face with one of her batons, but his goons shoot at her and they get away. Arrow manages to stop the bus, but it's hilariously close.




Ollie and Sara go back to Verdant and see that Channel 52 has officially named the bad guy the Clock King, even though all he's really done publicly that's clock-related is stab a guy with a minute hand. That's not all that regal.

In the Arrowcave, Sara examines Clock King's blood under a microscope and notices he's sick with MacGregor's syndrome, which is terminal. Smoak picks up on that and finds the guy's name: William Tockman. He's stealing money to aid in the care of his ailing sister. So aside from looking and sounding  just like the B:TAS version of the character, he's named for and has similar motivations to the comics version of the (who, hallelujah, was an actual Green Arrow villain before he was a Batman bad guy!).

Arrow and Canary head to Tockman's home address, where they find the TV news van he's been driving around. All they find inside is a wireless router. When Smoak tries to trace it, it turns out to be a fancy computer trap that gives Clock King an opening to shut down the Arrowcave's systems. It does so by literally making everything explode.




More like Hack King, am I right?

Ollie concocts a plan to bait the Clock King by liquidating 800,000 shares of Queen Consolidated stock and... walking around with it in broad daylight, I guess. It's a hasty plan. Before he can load up his pockets, though, Sara invites him to the special family dinner. Another great idea!

Smoak once again airs her jealousy and self-loathing before we cut to the much vaunted family dinner. It is, as one might guess, a wreck. Officer Lance all but begs Dinah to come back to Starling, to the point where she has to admit that she has a boyfriend in Central City.

"Congratulations," chimes in Ollie, demonstrating that he's as socially tone deaf as ever. Then Laurel sees Ollie and Sara exchange some looks and figures out they have a thing going on. Tables are slammed, yelling happens, Laurel storms out.

Ollie goes out into the hallway to talk to Laurel. Harsh words are exchanged, including Ollie trying to top Laurel's family problems with his own, and in the end Ollie decides he's going to give up on his friend. He tells her to go get drunk on his dime, even, because that's what we want from our heroes.

Honestly. Ollie gave up killing people this season, but Lord almighty, he's a dick. That's got to be on purpose, right?

Flashback Island. The pilot takes his wallet out of his pocket and shows Sara a picture of his daughter, who it's not hard to figure out is Sin. He quickly croaks.

Arrowcave. Smoak calls Ollie to tell him she's at the bank where they deposited all that liquidated stock money, and that Clock King took the bait. Team Arrow comes to meet her there and an alarm hits while Clock King's goons enter.

Clock King radios in to tell Team Arrow he's planning to blow up the gas mains below the building. Arrow deals with the goons while Dig runs down to secure the gas. Meanwhile, Smoak has figured out a way to track down Clock King. His ingenious hiding spot is behind a wall, by the way. He jumps out from that wall and takes a shot at Canary. Smoak dashes over and pushes her out of the way, taking a shot herself.



Clock King explains what the audience and Team Arrow already knows: that he's stealing the money for his sister. Then he says "tempus fugit" for no good reason except that that's pretty close to what his B:TAS name was. (I guess he means he's going to die soon, maybe. Or maybe he just thinks it sounds cool.)

Then Clock King's cell phone explodes because of a computer virus (!) Smoak uploaded to it. Ha! It's the same one Clock King used on the Arrowcave.

In the Arrowcave, Sara's sewing up Smoak's bullet hole while Smoak trips out on oxycodone. Smoak says something to Ollie about wanting to be his girl (but not that type of girl) and Ollie says she'll always be his girl instead of saying Smoak is her own person who shouldn't be anyone's possession. But in this case, it's probably the best option.

Upstairs, Sara's getting into some mixology because Thea has hired her as a new bartender at Verdant. Sara tells Ollie something he should already know (she bartended in college) and Ollie gets an emergency text from Thea. As he's leaving, Laurel walks in and promises she won't kill Sara.

Laurel says she remembers when Sara used to bartend at a place called Oblivion (which means she went to college in a pocket dimension and she knows the Shadowpact). Laurel explains how tough of a time she's been having, and instead of trying to top her by saying an international league of assassins has been trying to kill her, Sara just listens and then gives Laurel a hug. Ollie could take a page out of Sara's playbook.

Sin and Sara have a scene where it's further revealed that Sin is that pilot's daughter. On Flashback Island, Ollie finds a parachute, which he says will be Proto Team Arrow's way onto the Amazo.

Laurel meets her dad at an AA meeting and Ollie comes home to answer the emergency call. There is no emergency, but it gives Moira a great opportunity to introduce Ollie to Slade.




Ollie and Slade shake hands like they're about to start a wrestling match. Their hands even slap together. It's a pretty cool moment.

Final thoughts

This episode was dumb, but in a really enjoyable way. The writers made Clock King just the right level of supervillain stupid, and while they definitely could have done more to play up the clock gimmick, he made a pretty enjoyable bad guy of the week. He's really the first one-off villain I genuinely enjoyed.

It's a little weird that Brother Blood just wasn't around for this one (and what in the world happened to Isabel Rochev?), but the stuff with Slade at the end was solid gold. And despite Ollie's bull-headed meddling, all the Lance family drama was nicely handled. Paul Blackthorne, Katie Cassidy and Caity Lotz were all great in those scenes. And though it got short shrift as a C-plot, Emily Bett Rickards did some good work with Smoak's jealousy plot, too.

All in all, this was a pretty good episode with which to come back from a break.

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