by Ryan Rigley
With only a few episodes left this season, last night's episode of "Arrow" finally answers one burning question: "What happened to Walter Steele"? After being kidnapped in episode nine, Walter has been mysteriously M.I.A. throughout the entirety of this season. However, with a laptop that Oliver steals from a crooked accountant, Felicity is finally able to get a lead on Oliver's missing stepfather.
"The Undertaking" actually addresses a number of key questions raised in last week's episode. At Club Verdant, Laurel sits alone at the bar miserably sipping from a cup of horrible coffee as she mourns the end of her latest relationship. As Laurel reveals to Oliver that she and Tommy are now broken up, Oliver suggests that Laurel go talk to Tommy, something that he and Laurel never had the chance to do. Then Felicity shows up.
After about a day's work hacking into the crooked accountant's computer, Felicity has finally got a lock on a suspect for the kidnapping of Walter Steele. With a huge two million dollar deposit added to his bank account on the day that Walter went missing, Dominic Alonzo (who runs the biggest underground casino in Starling City) jumps to the very top of Oliver's hit list.
With Oliver and Diggle still broken up, Felicity pays a surprise visit to the former bodyguard turned vigilante's apartment in an attempt to coax him back into the Arrow Cave. Looking to hear an apology from Oliver himself, Diggle refuses to help the two of them with their casino exploits. That said, Felicity gets into costume and heads over to Alonzo's underground casino with Oliver in tow.
In a flashback, it's revealed that Malcolm Merlyn plans to level all 24 square blocks of the Glades because his wife was murdered there. Robert Queen and Frank, who are both dead in the current continuity of the show, completely disagree with Malcolm's intentions but decide to keep it a secret for fear of starting a war that they can't possibly win.
Back in the present, Laurel pays Tommy, who is now working for his evil father, a visit. Laurel tries to talk to Tommy and persuade him to take her back, but Tommy instead reveals to Laurel that Oliver is still secretly in love with her. He then leaves for a meeting, leaving Laurel alone and speechless.
At the underground casino, Felicity does her best to follow the plan laid out for her by Oliver Queen: get caught counting cards, plant a bug on Alonzo's computer, cheese it. With Oliver listening in via headset, Felicity gets caught cheating at Black Jack and is dragged into the manager's office. Unfortunately, Alonzo is fully aware that Felicity has a partner in crime. He stomps on her headset causing the hooded vigilante to make his move.
Fighting his way through a horde of security guards, Oliver interrogates Alonzo about Walter Steele only to discover that he's been dead for months. The next day, Oliver breaks the news to his family claiming that he found out the information from one of Diggle's FBI buddies. Moira, who is apparently in shock, immediately jumps to her feet and storms out of the house.
Marching all the way over to Merlyn's office, Moira interrupts Malcolm during a meeting and demands to know the truth about her husband. Malcolm smirks, makes a phone call, and pulls up a live video feed of Walter tied to a chair in a dark room. Oliver listens in on the conversation, via radio arrow, and finally comes to the realization that Malcolm Merlyn is an evil man.
Informing Felicity that Walter is, in fact, still alive, Oliver has her look up Malcolm Merlyn's phone records to see who he called to pull up the video feed. Soon, Felicity gets a location and visual of the abandoned building that Walter is being held prisoner. With access to the front of the building heavily guarded, Oliver jumps out of a plane and parachutes down to the roof. Fighting his way through another horde of bad guys, Oliver finally comes face to face with his missing stepfather: Walter Steele.
At the Starling City hospital, the Queen family is finally reunited with their beloved Walter. Malcolm shows up, hearing the news of the vigilante's daring rescue on the news. He feigns sympathy for the family, but Oliver can now see straight through his act. Then Laurel shows up, telling Oliver what Tommy told her. Oliver admits that he is actually still in love with her, again leaving Laurel alone and speechless.
In a flashback, it's revealed that Malcolm had Frank secretly plant a bomb on the Queen's Gambit, which caused the shipwreck that left Oliver stranded on the island of Lian Yu. It's also revealed that Malcolm plans on destroying the Glades with a mysterious device made by the Applied Sciences division of a company called Unidac. Then, as present day Oliver shows up on Diggle's doorstep looking to apologize, a large Unidac truck makes its way into Starling City.
Well, I sure am glad to see Walter Steele back on the "Arrow" roster. It's been a while since they've addressed his disappearance and I'm glad that his rescue ties into something bigger in the grand scheme of things. Now, Oliver is fully aware of how sinister Malcolm Merlyn can be, which levels the playing field for the rematch between the Hood and the Dark Archer. Also, is it just me or does it seem like Malcolm knows Oliver's secret as well? If he doesn't already, I'm sure he could just as easily find that information out from his son, who has every reason to hate Oliver right now. Stay strong, Oliver Queen! Only two more episodes to go!
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