Spoilers ahead for "Who Are You?," the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow.
The short version: Turns out the Laurel who showed up in the midseason finale is actually the evil version from Earth-2, who escaped with the help of Prometheus. Curtis is down because his husband left him and Felicity nails the knockout punch on Evil Laurel. Oh yeah, and they once again failed to catch Prometheus. You know, because it's just the midseason premiere.
The good: Evil Laurel, sneaky Felicity, Curtis' hard times
The search for Prometheus took a wild twist this week when the dearly departed Laurel showed back up in the Arrow cave with a tall tale about being teleported away by Sara and the Legends and saved in the eleventh hour aboard the Wave Rider. As far as fantastical cover stories are concerned, we've heard worse, but it turns out to all be a ruse concocted by Prometheus to torture Oliver. Prometheus somehow bailed her out of the STAR Labs prison (where she's been languishing for a while now) without any alarms going off (how the eff did he do that, we're all asking?) and sent her to Star City to basically torture Oliver psychologically. Which is actually a brilliant move, assuming Prometheus knows how guilt-ridden Oliver is over her death.
After a long break, it really was great to see Katie Cassidy back in action. She seemed to be having a lot of fun playing her deliciously evil doppelgänger, and with her locked up in a nearby ARGUS facility, it seems Cassidy could continue to (at least) recur on the series.
Felicity made some of her biggest power plays yet in this episode, taking a few pages out of Oliver's shady, one-man plan playbook. Yes, she's still distraught from Billy's death, but the fact that Felicity pulls all this off on her own is pretty brilliant. From the fake party to get her DNA to the fake jailbreak to plant a tracker on her, it was all exactly the type of stuff Oliver has been doing for five years now. She's come a long way, and seeing her embrace the conniving aspects of Oliver she has come to hate could be a slippery slope.
Curtis' mission to become a superhero has not been the smoothest one. Which is absolutely refreshing — especially for a show where pretty much anyone who can pick up a stick can throw on some leather and start bashing heads with nary any training. Curtis gave up pretty much his entire life to join Team Arrow, and he's still getting his butt kicked. A lot. However, we see him realize (or re-realize) that his mind is arguably his most important asset for the team, and he uses that tech savvy to save the day in the end. So look for 60 percent brains, 40 percent butt-kicking in the future, maybe?
Oh yeah, and FELICITY'S PUNCH-OUT WAS AWESOME.
The bad: Diggle's prison blues, Laurel's statue getting broken
The B-storyline focused on Diggle's attempt to combat the trumped-up charges that landed him in prison, though it is definitely not going well. The general who framed Diggle is the one running the show, so Oliver enlists the help of DA Adrian Chase to try to defend him. This storyline isn't all that bad on its own, but it makes you wonder — does Lyla really not have enough pull as the head of ARGUS to get her framed husband out of prison? Seriously?
After the big set-up of what Laurel's Black Canary statue represents for the city as a whole, it was a shame to have it shattered by Black Siren during her final fight. Yes, they were going for some symbolism about that Laurel being gone and needed to try and move forward, but still — the lady deserves a statue.
Lingering questions: Talia al Ghul, the mystery Canary, where's Evelyn?
The big one: We learn Oliver apparently already knows Talia al Ghul (played by sci-fi veteran Lexa Doig), having apparently met her back in Russia. To this point, we just kind of assumed she'd be introduced in the present day (something that will likely happen eventually, too), but the fact that Oliver has known her for years opens up a whole new bag of questions.
The closing scene of the episode introduces us to the new character Tina Boland (played by Juliana Harkavy), who we see use Canary Cry tech to take out some tool bags at a seedy bar. With Oliver looking to fill the Black Canary void on the team. Huh.
So what's up with Evelyn Sharp? When last we saw her, she was running off with Prometheus after betraying the team. But what does Prometheus have her doing now?
Line of the night:
"The Lance sisters have a habit of coming back to life." - Oliver
Next week: The search for a new Black Canary begins.