‘Arrow’ Recap: Oliver Stages a Prison Break in ‘Penance’

While Oliver’s been busy training a new team and running the city this season on Arrow, Diggle’s been off having some unfortunate misadventures of his own. Tonight, the two came crashing together when Oliver went solo to break John out of prison in ‘Penance.’

Team Arrow 2.0

The episode starts off with the new Team Arrow on a mission. Of course, Wild Dog screws it up by failing to listen to orders (again), but Oliver salvages the op. He takes down the bad guy and retrieves a briefcase from Kord Industries.

Ragman, who was absent during the mission, appears to tell Oliver he’s quitting the team. It’s just too difficult working with Felicity (tell me about it, kid).

Back at the Arrow Cave, Lyla and Oliver tell Felicity about their plan to break John out of prison. Unsurprisingly, she’s not on board. Lyla suggests they steal a new anti-molecular compound to help in the escape.

Mayor Queen pretends to have a bad case of the gout, and leaves Deputy Mayor Quentin Lance to assist District Attorney Adrian Chase in protecting the evidence against Tobias Church.

Oliver breaks into Palmer Tech to steal the anti-molecular compound, and returns to the Arrow Cave for another pointless argument with Felicity. She insists that he’s doing the wrong thing. Oliver suggests she have a talk with Ragman.

Chase and Lance put the briefcase in the evidence lock-up, but it turns out it was a bomb. Church blows his way into the facility and steals a ton of weapons, but leaves the DA and the deputy mayor alive.

Meanwhile, Wild Dog, Artemis, and Mr. Terrific get the brilliant idea to stop Oliver from proceeding with his plan. He beats them all down in less than three seconds.

Oliver Queen in Prison Break Arrow

With Oliver gone, Felicity takes charge and orders the team to prowl the streets and figure out Church’s plan.

Oliver breaks into the prison with Lyla’s assistance, but discovers John has been moved to the general population area.

Felicity has a chat with Rory (who is quite the artist, by the way). She doesn’t say anything new, and Rory still refuses to stay on the team.

Oliver tricks the guards into sounding an alarm and returning the prisoners to their cells. After a brief argument with John, he uses the anti-molecular compound to dissolve the floor and the two escape into the (extremely well-lit) sewer.

Showdown at the Anti-Crime Unit Corral

Curtis figures out that Church is going to attack the Anti-Crime Unit. Church’s men move in just as Chase is interrogating the man that stole the briefcase in the episode’s opening.

Oliver and John climb back into the prison yard and are surrounded, but a plane swoops in and picks them both up.

Team Arrow help fight out Church’s men at the Anti-Crime Unit, but Mr. Terrific takes a knife to the back. When Church taunts him, Wild Dog goes back to confront him and is beaten senseless. Lance arrives in a van to help Artemis, Ragman, and Mr. Terrific escape.

Oliver hides Diggle at the old Hive headquarters before heading back to the Arrow Cave. He informs the team that they will not leave Wild dog behind.

At Church’s hideout, Wild Dog is tied up and tortured by Church and his men.

Assorted Tidbits:

The flashback this week was something about Ollie pretending to be drunk so he could end up in jail with some Russian guy. Oliver threatened to kill the guy’s wife and daughter, then killed him when he finally gave up an IP address. Yawn.
How many times does Wild Dog get to screw up and still be on the team? What exactly is he bringing to the table here?
Did Artemis, Wild Dog, and Mr. Terrific seriously think they could stop Oliver from going on the mission? They can’t even get past him in training!
I know Oliver is, well, Oliver, but damn did it seem easy to break into that prison. Just hide in some laundry? And then he basically had free reign of the place like it was a bounce house at Chuck E. Cheese the rest of the episode.
What the hell happened with that plane at the end? John and Ollie were tethered together, so I’m assumed some kind of hook was dragged through the prison yard which then yanked them up? How did no one see this? The plane alone had to be low enough to drag the hook, yet none of the guards looked up? And no one fired a shot when it scoops Ollie and John up?
Ragman appears inside the Anti-Crime Unit when Church and his men are mounting their assault and uses a bomb to make an entrance for Mr. Terrific, Artemis, and Wild Dog. But, um, how did Ragman get in there in the first place?
If you were paying attention near the episode’s end, you’ll have noticed that Thea’s midriff made a sly reappearance this week. That’s not a complaint on my end.

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