“Arrow” 3.03 Recap: Where in the World is Thea Queen?

Oliver and Roy try to convince Thea to come home. Diggle has a honey-do list from Lyla. Laurel tries to get her vigilante on. And Ted Grant shows up shirtless.

Previously on Arrow…. Oliver Queen decided that since he has so much free time given the fact that he must live his life all alone he would tear the city apart looking for Sara’s killer. But instead he just found one of the random assassins that infest Starling City. That was good enough for Laurel, who wanted to make a pair of fashionable boots out of Komodo, but Oliver had a way to shut that whole thing down.

So, Oliver has beaten the snot out of every lowlife, scumbag and ne’er-do-well in the city and come up with diddley squat as far as leads on Sara’s killer. Well, he is the world’s greatest archer, not the world’s greatest detective. Also, he still hasn’t asked for Barry Allen’s help because he’s too busy being smoking hot to have sensible ideas.

Oliver decides to switch it up and instead head to a small South American island to track Thea down. I can’t say she’s terribly missed, but sure, okay. Oliver apparently can’t abide not being screeched at I guess. So with all that money he apparently doesn’t have, he buys a bushel of plane tickets.

Diggle gets a good one in: “What is it with your family and islands, Oliver?” which earns him a very pointed glare.

Felicity Smoak gets summoned to Queen Consolidated by the insufferably hot and yet somehow also terribly cute Ray Palmer. He’s super-caffeinated on account of having to work 24/7 to fix the mess that Isabel Rochev made of the company, but he’s still really happy to see Felicity.

She makes it very clear that she will not be fetching him coffee, but that’s hardly a concern. Ray already has her very own pet office boy picked out for her. He doesn’t specify what her job title is, but we assume it is something like Demigod of All Things IT. Her first job is to recover data from a hard drive that got slightly blown up at the Applied Sciences Division.

Diggle has decided to take a little vacay from Team Arrow so he can coo at his baby girl in that way that new parents do that normal people roll their eyes at. Lyla finds that cute, but she has this asset that she wants Digg to pay a visit to so she basically drafts him into going on the Bring Thea Home mission.

Ted Grant joins the show and hellooooo there… Now see? This is the sort of shameless pandering to the gay audience that we have come to expect.

Laurel tries to browbeat him into cooperating with her case, but he blows her off. Then he calls her on her crap about how she’s looking for a fight just not with him. But hey, if she wants to go a few rounds, he’s okay with that. Wow, in five seconds they have more chemistry than Laurel ever had with Oliver. What’s up with that?

Hey, you know how we all kind of got worn out with the flashbacks? Well, they decided to make them better they’d have the ones in this episode star Malcolm Merlyn. It’s really a toss-up whose crazier, him or Oliver. He thinks of child abuse as “effective discipline” and attempted patricide as “proof of effective parenting.”

After whisking Thea away from Starling City, he began tutoring her in the ways of being evil and psychotic. I think maybe we were supposed to feel bad for Thea but somehow I just didn’t manage that. Maybe this will finally divest her of the last of those “Entitlement Princess” instincts.

Oliver shows up at her door and the gardener thankfully redirects him because Malcolm is ready to put him down hard if Oliver darkens his doorstep. Oh, Malcolm, there’s no need to hold a grudge. Oliver only mostly killed you. It’s not like he keyed your Beemer or something.

Oliver has a sit down with Thea, who for some reason is working as a waitress. She’s all, “Oliver, I just had to get away from all the lies and secrets. So I lied to you about where I was and I’m keeping secret from you that my dad’s alive and been training me to be a ninja.”

Since the sibling reunion is off, Oliver decides to tag along with Digg on “Lyla’s busy-work.” Only things are not as they seem because Shaw is all squirrely. It seems he’s trying to find someone who stole one of those “All the info you’d ever want to destroy a major intelligence network” files that I really hope no spy agency is stupid enough to compile.

Laurel isn’t coping too well with the death of Sara, which may have something to do with the fact that she’s being stupid and keeping it a secret. I’m glad she’s still going to AA and I’m glad the show at least is being honest and showing that AA is an ongoing process. Of course, the whole, “bare your soul without judgment” thing is kind of hard when your dad is sipping bad coffee a few rows back.

However, the meeting isn’t just to show us Laurel is still coping with her addiction. It’s to give her A Mission. Because there’s a woman whose getting beat on by her husband. Laurel looks into it and discovers the guy doesn’t play for the NFL so he’s got warrants out for his arrest. But Captain Lance points out that no information given at an AA meeting can be used to put a-holes in jail.

Laurel is clearly totally okay with that and ready to let it go. Ayep.

Shaw, it turns out, isn’t so much working to stop a buy from happening as he is selling the information to international scumbags. Our man Diggle totally caught on to his treachery, albeit a few minutes too late. Even with Oliver as backup, the bad guy gets away to commit various nefarious acts of immorality later.

Since Oliver struck out, Roy goes to try and get Thea to come back. Well, I should say he goes and presents to her the option of coming back and then pretty much instantly changes his mind and tells her she should stay there. He really didn’t seem at all eager to have her back in town. I like to think that’s because he’s finally finding a, er, “community” that he finally feels at home in.

Felicity is busy trying to rule the world, which is difficult with her gorgeous, brilliant, billionaire boss underfoot. I wondered how she would handle being on Team Arrow and holding down a day job and apparently the answer is that she will just blatantly hack and break laws on their behalf on company time in front of her boss. Man, job security must be nice.

Diggle needs her to find Shaw. Laurel wants to find the woman’s abusive husband. Felicity multi-tasks like no one else, but she’s still tasked to capacity. So she doesn’t really give her new boss the attention his gorgeous face totally deserves.

Oliver has a new plan to get Thea to come back—the truth! Diggle rightly points out that confessing to her that for the last two years he’s been running around in leather and shooting people with arrows all the while feeding her one lie after another will not engender trust. Oliver, for once, ripostes with an even stronger truth: he’s already lost Thea so how could he make it worse?

So, Laurel shocks and stuns us all by not letting the thing with the abusive a-hole go. Instead, she tracks him down and attacks him with a bat. Didn’t she used to know some martial arts? What happened to that? She kicked the asses of a whole goon squad in like episode three.

Well, the a-hole beats the crap out of her. And then he probably goes back home and beats his wife within an inch of her life for ratting on him. So, not a great debut for Laurel as Black Canary. But she gets points for a solid effort.

Only not from her dad, who completely freaks out on her. He makes her promise to never, ever try to be a vigilante again. Since she’s already lying to him about something so massively important as a death in the family, what’s one more lie? So she agrees.

Oliver sits Thea down to tell her the truth. But because he’s Oliver, he has to first start off with a truckload of emotional manipulation. “I’m going to tell you stuff, but you’ll be mad and hate me and you’ll unfriend me on Facebook and tear up all the stuffed animals I gave you and I will have the world’s biggest sad.”

Thea sort of rolls her eyes at his dramatics. “No, what pissed me off was you keeping secrets about my dad.”

“Oh…. Hey, our dad blew his brains out to save my life. So he was really a good guy. So will you come home now?”

Team Arrow is ready to take on Shaw and his evil customers. Oliver made him and Roy weapons out of the hotel room decor—and he can totally afford the bill for that even though he’s broke. One of the mercenary teams from the old show “The A-Team” shows up and the fight commences.

But it’s only one teeny tiny army. Roy takes one half, Oliver takes the other and it’s over pretty darn quick. Especially once Oliver picks up a pistol. “I never said I didn’t know how to shoot a gun.”

Digg has a wee chat with Shaw about the betrayal and the generally unacceptable selling out of Digg’s family. Shaw’s all, “Yeah, okay, I did sell out your wife and newborn baby along with countless others but I just didn’t want to work for Waller anymore because she’s cray cray. So, now that you’ve foiled my scheme which would have probably resulted in countless innocent deaths, can you do me a favor and help me escape ARGUS?”

Naturally, Diggle is too nice of a guy to snap his neck.

Thea has decided to go home. So…. Yeah. Malcolm doesn’t want her to go, so they duel with swords as families tend to do when there’s a disagreement. “Bobby, I told you to take out the trash!” Ring of metal. “Oh yeah? Make me mom!”

Anyway, Thea wins because Malcolm let her win because he has plans that very likely involve killing a whole lot of people. It’s still not really clear if he’s told her that Oliver is the Arrow, but I’m sure that doesn’t matter to her, right?

Oh, and on the way home, Oliver notices Thea is now immune to pain which he finds curious and so he asks Roy if he thinks she’s any different.

“Oh, yeah, that new do of hers is awesome! I think it could do with some highlights, though, and she definitely needs some better product…. Oh, wait, you were meaning something else.”

Laurel shows up and Oliver finds her bruises disturbing. When she explains her adventures in vigilantism he gets that scrunchy, scowly look on his face that means he’s cranky. But going out and nearly getting beaten to death made her feel good so she wants to do it more.

“Hell. To. The No,” is Oliver’s response.

And that, of course, sends her right into the sweaty, sculpted arms of Ted Grant. Hey, as long as he keeps his shirt off, I’m all for it. The beefcake has been lacking. (Yes, Mr. Amell, I know it bugs you people want to see your abs. Not our fault. You started it by being all shirtless and hot and stuff.)

Felicity recovers the unrecoverable data, of course. Ray is so happy that he doesn’t argue when she asks for a few days off for a crossover with The Flash. But he has other things on his mind, like the weapons that the Applied Science Division was working on.

Dear writers of Arrow: If you make Ray Palmer a villain, we will have words.

The show ends with absolute awesome as Nyssa al Ghul shows up and wants to know just where the eff Sara is. Gulp! (and if you wanna see some preview pics, check this post out!)

So, what’d y’all think? Sound off in the comments!