If you like Speedy, "Dodger" is your episode. If you like Felicity Smoak, you might want to wait until next week. If you like dating, you're going to wince. If you like flashbacks from the island, they've got a good one. And if you like English accents, you may finally be reconciled to losing Walter.
We begin this episode with the heist of The Sherwood Ruby, the Tackiest Jewel in the World. It's being lifted by a security guard in a weird, impossible-to-ignore metal collar that somehow no one manages to see. He delivers it to Dodger, a man with a special taser, the code to make the collar open, an English accent, and the first Speedy reference of the episode. Mia Dearden (Thea Dearden Queen's middle-namesake) was Speedy after Oliver Queen came back from the dead in the Kevin Smith and Judd Winick series. She dated an English thief named Dodger, but ended the relationship when she caught him making out with Emma Watson. Yes, Hermione Emma Watson. If this series can get a cameo from her I will be very impressed.
This Dodger knocks the guard out with the taser, and makes off with the ruby. He then meets with a fence in a bowtie, who hilariously thinks that anyone who isn't a college physics professor can be a badass in a bowtie. Bowtie Badass tries to rip Dodger off, and gets a brand-spanking-new body-piercing-by-bullet for his trouble.
Back at Casa Queen, Moira welcomes a guy named Frank to the house and says that, due to her recent run-in with the vigilante, she has had it with "The Undertaking." Could Frank help her get out? Frank seems reluctant, since the last one who talked to him about it was Robert, and he ended up as gull food. Moira convinces him.
Felicity and Ollie get into a tiff over his propensity to threaten people with the death penalty over white-collar-crime. That kind of stuff is only acceptable on internet message boards and AM radio call-in shows. They resolve their differences when Ollie says he'll go after Dodger. They scheme about how to get Dodger at Big Belly Burger. Look. This is mean. These people are CW actors. They haven't eaten in a week. I'm pretty sure they shock themselves with a special collar as aversion therapy whenever they even think about food. And yet the script constantly has other starving actors put chili fries down in front of them. It's like taunting people in hell with water.
Felicity notices that the guys have their crushes, and manipulates Digg into asking Carly out. She also talks Ollie into using his looks to distract McKenna Hall and bug her phone, since she's working on the Dodger case. Ollie says that usually, when he wants information he "puts the fear of god" into people. Fair enough, since his eye shadow is divine.
Thea and Laurel are out on the street, eating hot dogs, and listening to Thea complain about how she doesn't want to feel guilty for being rich. Thank god, someone comes along and snatches her purse. They chase after the purse snatcher, who is in a red hoodie, until they have him trapped against a fence. The moment he turns, and I see that his eyebrows are the exquisite shape of the wings of a flying falcon, I know it's Roy Harper. Here we have the Original Speedy. He parkours his way over the fence (what is the verb form of parkour?) but leaves behind his wallet chain, which has an eight-ball on it. (Yet another Speedy drug reference. Stealthy, Arrow. But I would have liked a frog better, since Roy's band was Great Frog.)
Thea decides to sleuth it up, calling stores to see who sold an eight-ball wallet chain. When one clerk promises to call her back with information, if they can find any, she says, "You and every other used clothing and leather goods store I've called today." There! Right there! That's where you want to keep the brattiness levels, writers. I like Thea as a jerk, but in the past few episodes you have been giving us Niagara levels of brattiness. This? Right here? Snarking because retail clerks won't drop everything and search their records? That's just right. That brattiness is like a stream of bubbles that they put in aquariums to tickle the fishes' bellies. It's much better, especially when two minutes later, someone calls her back with a name. Guess what the name is?
To the dates! Both are awkward! Is that enough? No? Well, Digg brings up his dead brother to his dead brother's wife, and McKenna brings up Ollie's horrible island experience to Ollie. Carly is rightly mad at Digg, but for some reason, McKenna doesn't realize that talking about a guy's incredibly traumatic experience, during which he watched his father die, isn't first date conversation. She gets mad at Ollie when he says he doesn't want to talk about it. Seriously, she acts like he spit in her souffle. You were at fault there, dummy! Stop making the "he farted" face!
McKenna leaves the date in a huff and busts up the next meeting between Dodger and his fence, recovering that brutally ugly ruby in a flying tackle that makes me like her again. Team Arrow discusses the fact that Dodger will be looking for another score, and decide they're going to draw him out by auctioning some tacky jewelry of their own. The broach Ollie chooses is over-the-top hideous; it's a big starburst-looking cluster of aquamarine jewels that might have looked great next to feathered hair in the '80s but now is just an embarrassment to have around. Let Dodger have it for free, team! It's enough punishment to have to look at that long enough to fence it.
Meanwhile, Roy has been arrested. Quentin Lance is, of course, the guy interrogating him, while Thea and Laurel look on from behind a mirror. Quentin runs through Roy's arrest record — mostly petty theft and one car theft. Roy tells Quentin that he doesn't want to steal, but his mom got hooked on Vertigo last year, and that she's clean, but they have so many medical bills he has to steal! He has to! The sniffling begins. The contorted face begins. Thea looks on with more and more sympathy, but for the life of me, I cannot understand why. I will never be able to judge high-level acting skills, but even I can see that what he is doing right there, that is not sadness. That's a puppy with peanut butter on its face. At last Thea grumbles, "Fine, let him go, it's just a damn purse, right?" Again — perfect. Even when she's being gracious, she's being ungracious.
To the auction! And to the inevitable downfall of Felicity Smoak. No, she doesn't die, but she dies in my affection. Felicity, Ollie, and Digg are at the auction, and make a plan to catch Dodger. Felicity puts a tracker on the gem, and when Dodger picks it up, she tracks him on her phone. At this point, she has more information on this criminal than literally anyone else in the world. She has, in her hands, a device that can summon help. She is utterly unknown to her prey. What does she do? She walks up to him, and lets him know that she knows he's the thief. One guess who ends up in a collar. Yes, she ends up finding the guys. Yes, she guides them to Dodger. Yes, there's a thrilling motorcycle chase followed by Ollie putting an arrow in some special nerve on Dodger's hand so he can't blow her up. Dodger's caught, and Felicity is safe, but I don't care. If you live by the stupid, you should die by the stupid. That was one stupid too far.
Ollie and Digg patch things up with their respective dates, and I am happy for one of them. Meanwhile, a new couple is forming. Thea goes to the Glades, the bad part of town where Roy lives, and demands her purse back. He gives it to her, somehow neither having sold it or having had it confiscated by the police. I wish I knew more about petty thievery and its legal procedure so I could find out how weird that is. Cops in the readership, please explain it to me. Thieves in the readership, feel free to do the same. Thea and Roy are mean to each other for a while, which on this show means they like each other, and Roy ends the encounter by saying that Thea shouldn't go to the Glades at night, and that she shouldn't "fall for every sob story a guy like me tells the police." Touché, puppy-face.
Throughout this episode there has a theme about making difficult decisions. In the flashback sequences, Slade's bullet wound is infected, and Ollie has to get some of Yao Fei's magic herbs to treat him. When he makes it to the old cave where they stayed, he finds a guy who has been tied up and beat half to death. The guy says he's a student traveling with his class. His boat got wrecked, and only he survived. He thought he was lucky, but when he made it to the island some guys found him, beat him, tied him up, and were called away just before they could kill him. Ollie seems about to cut his bonds before he backs away and tells the guy he can't help because "I don't know you." He walks away while the guy screams and begs. It's kinda brutal, and I hope we never find out whether the guy was legitimate or not.
The last scene of the episode is Moira Queen meeting with China White about Barrowmerlyn. China asks what she can do for Moira regarding the guy. Moira says, "I want you to kill him for me." Oh, Moira. It's funny how you've been involved in this battle way more than your son is. If this season ends with anything other than you and Barrowmerlyn fighting in a mud slide in the rain, I'm going to be disappointed.