by Ryan Rigley
After a two week long hiatus, "Arrow" returned last night with a vengeance as Diggle finally came face to face with the man who killed his brother: Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot. Opening on an intense training session between Oliver and Dig in the Arrowcave, "Home Invasion" expands the world of Starling City by introducing us to the A.R.G.U.S. agency, the agency that employs Dig's friend Lyla Michaels.
Heading to Laurel's office to pick her up for a secret lunch date, Oliver is blown off only to meet Laurel's newest defendants, the Warners. Eric Warner, the father, informs Laurel that he will stop at nothing to bring his corrupt boss, Edward Rasmus, to justice. Unfortunately for the Warners, Rasmus will also stop at nothing to make sure they don't show up for the trial, sending an assassin named Mr. Blank to murder the family in cold blood.
With Taylor Warner, 7 years old, barely escaping the massacre, Laurel decides to become the child's temporary guardian so that he won't be put into the care of social services. That night, Tommy and Laurel do their best to console Taylor but are soon interrupted by Mr. Blank's fake lieutenant badge and silenced pistol. Luckily, the Hood shows up just in time, sending the assassin running for the hills.
Deciding that Oliver Queen is the best option that they have for safety, Tommy recommends that he, Laurel, and Taylor stay at the Queen residence under the protection of several armed security guards. Oliver sees to it that Tommy, Laurel, and Taylor are all taken care of, but then leaves them to go find and kill Floyd Lawton.
On the other side of town, Roy Harper, who claims to have information on the Hood, is left alone in the police headquarters as Detective Lance is called out of office. Seeing that the coast is clear, Roy steals Lance's police radio. Later that night, on a date with Thea Queen, Roy hears a police broadcast pertaining to the vigilante and decides to check it out. However, when he arrives at the given location, he's met with Detective Lance asking for his police radio back. Roy is then placed under arrest.
At the Arrowcave, Diggle discusses the plan that Agent Lyla Michaels and A.R.G.U.S. have put into place as a means of luring Deadshot out into the open. As Dig sets out to kill Floyd, Felicity informs Oliver that Edward Rasmus is leaving town and that Oliver must choose between the two targets.
With the A.R.G.U.S. plan in motion, Diggle watches from behind a pillar as a man with a large hat walks into the building. Realizing that the man isn't Floyd, the A.R.G.U.S. agents stand down, prompting the real Floyd Lawton to open fire. He begins picking off each A.R.G.U.S. agent one by one, including Dig's friend Lyla. Diggle chases after Floyd, but is subsequently bested in hand-to-hand combat and the assassin managing to escape with only a few minor injuries.
Meanwhile, Oliver suits up and attacks Edward Ramus' limo, forcing the corrupt businessman to confess and turn himself in to the Starling City police department. Receiving a visit from his "lawyer," Mr. Blank enters the interrogation room with Ramus who orders Blank not to go after Taylor Warner. Blank then states that the child has seen his face and so he must die, same as Ramus. Applying pressure to a vein in Ramus' forearm, Ramus immediately dies as Mr. Blank walks right out the front door.
Later, Thea shows up at the police department looking for Roy. Spotting him handcuffed to a chair, she begs that he be released and forgiven for his petty crimes. Thea asks Roy why the vigilante means so much to him and Roy tells her that he hasn't stopped thinking about the night that the vigilante saved his life. He feels like he owes the vigilante something in return. Thea agrees to help Roy find him.
At the Queen residence, Mr. Blank shows up unannounced, blasting his way through an innocent delivery boy and security guard. Oliver locks Tommy, Laurel and Taylor in a room upstairs while he goes looking for the assassin, who has cut all of the power in the house. Eventually, the two men find each other and engage in an epic showdown that ends with Mr. Blank being killed with a fire poker.
The next day, Tommy backs up Oliver's claims that one of the security guards saved them to Detective Lance. Taylor is sent off with his happy grandparents, leaving Laurel sad and lonely. Looking to Tommy for help, Laurel is quite confused when Tommy suddenly decides to break up with her. Although she has no idea, Tommy knows that Oliver still loves Laurel and if Laurel knew Oliver's secret, she would love him too.
At the Arrowcave, Diggle breaks up with Oliver due to their lack of being on the same page with Floyd Lawton. Oliver explains to Dig that he had to go after Ramus, but Dig knows that Oliver only had Laurel's best interests in mind and because of that his friends at A.R.G.U.S. are dead.
"Home Invasion" does a terrific job of setting the stage for the upcoming "Arrow" season finale. There are only three episodes left in this season with lots of questions still left unanswered. Will Oliver and Laurel get back together? Will Oliver and Diggle get back together? Is Tommy evil now? Does flashback Oliver know how to use a bow and arrow yet? Will Thea and Roy figure out who the vigilante is? Only time will tell, but hopefully we get our answers before this season is over!
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