It's tough to say which story is the A-plot this week. I'm tempted to say it's the one about everyone in Team Arrow being sad and quitting, but since I usually start with the villain stuff, let's circle back to that.
The show's newest villain, Danny Brickwell, a.k.a. Brick, actually has a lot going for him. He's an honest-to-goodness Green Arrow villain (rather than one of Batman's castoffs, which is what this show often does), it appears that he's going to have a multi-episode arc, and he's played by former soccer goon and Bullet-Tooth Tony himself, Vinnie Jones. Even with limited screen time, he's the best organized crime bad guy the show's had.
The episode kicks off with the cops chasing after a van while a dude with an assault rifle shoots wildly out the back. Eventually, the goons cut off the cops by wrecking a semi truck and blocking the road. But then Roy (in his Arsenal gear) and Dig (in Ollie's Arrow costume) blast up and attack the van with some trick arrows. They're able to snag one of the goons, but not the other, who takes off in the van.
In the Arrowcave, Smoak connects the two goons to Brick. In fact, they broke him out of prison. In a scene that does little except establish Laurel is a prosecutor and Starling still has a justice system of sorts, the guy who got caught is denied bail. (I guess it's a sort of foreshadowing, too.)
Soon enough, we see Brick's henchmen giving the van driver who got away a beating in an abandoned warehouse in The Glades (where else?). Brick walks up and tells the guy he overstepped his bounds. But Brick likes to give people fighting chances, so he grabs a pearl-grip pistol (the one he made his very first kill with) out of a velvet-lined box and tells the guy to take a shot at him.
The guy catches Brick in the shoulder, but Vinnie Jones is the real-life Juggernaut, so he's unstoppable. He beats the guy to death right then and there. It's bloody and gruesome and a great bad-guy moment. Then he laughs off getting shot. It's wonderful.
Smoak somehow traces Brick's burner phone (Isn't the point of a burner that you can't trace it?) to that warehouse. Roy and Dig investigate it and find a badly charred body (the van driver's) and a bunch of torched evidence. They manage to salvage a blueprint and a few scraps of paper covered in seemingly random numbers.
Dig eventually works out that the blueprint is to a police evidence storehouse and the numbers are case numbers, all of people recently apprehended for assault. Many of them were put away by Arrow, in fact. He figures that Brick wants to steal the evidence in those cases and get them thrown out of court, which would undo a lot of Ollie's work since returning to Starling.
Cut to: The storehouse, where Brick and his men are stealing a whole bunch of evidence and loading it onto a U-Haul they rented. Dig and Roy start taking the lower-level guys down, Dig shooting a handgun and Roy shooting arrows. They both definitely kill some guys.
After the room is somewhat clear, Brick chucks the same pearl-handled gun from earlier at Dig's head and offers him the same challenge he gave the van driver. Dig takes his shot right at Brick's head and manages to graze him. Even Brick's got to respect that.
Brick gets the upper hand over Dig during the fist fight, but Roy breaks it up with an arrow. Even then, Brick manages to get away on the back of the U-Haul along with all the evidence he came to steal. Ah well! Turns out Felicity made that happen somehow (she remotely closed a door, I think; it's not the clearest) because she didn't want Dig and Roy to die.
In what is almost certainly a miscarriage of justice, all the criminals get freed immediately. They're out on the street like that day. Dig and Laurel talk about it while Dig wonders whether his heart's still in this thing.
Meanwhile, Laurel takes a gander at all of Sara's old Canary gear on a table in the Arrowcave (Has it just been sitting out there for months? You couldn't put it away in a drawer?) and gets some ideas.
Brick gives a big speech to all the freed prisoners: "You are all part of my crew now, and if any of you have a problem with that, I can send a gift-wrapped package to the DA."
His plan? To "take over the Glades." You mean that bombed-out wreck of a neighborhood that got mostly destroyed in an earthquake a year ago? You sure that's the best plan? Maybe steal a lot of money or something instead. You're too cool of a villain for this, man.
Later, one of the goons from the start of the episode and another Brick henchman are walking to their car when Nu-Canary (Laurel) hits them with a Canary cry and beats them up with a Baton. I'll give her this: The new Canary costume is well designed.