What drives Arrow‘s heroes and villains to do what they do (which is kind of insane when you think about it)? Past tragedies and family, which aren’t mutually exclusive, mind you. The past is ever-present on Arrow, and the show has examined how it motivates Oliver many times before. For the Leftovers in Starling, past tragedies also that drive them. Tonight’s excellent episode, the second in a trilogy, explores how the Leftovers figure out what should motivate them to be the best vigilantes they can be. “Midnight City” does a fine job of examining our characters’ motivations, while also further introducing us to Laurel in costume, who may not be the best vigilante, but the moments when she kicks ass are so much fun to watch.
FLASHBACK — Hong Kong
Tonight, Oliver and Maseo follow the guy Oliver tagged in last week’s episode to a club in Hong Kong. They are quickly spotted by China White’s men, apprehended, and escorted to see her in the VIP area. However, this was all part of the plan. Who’s plan? Maseo’s. At some point, Maseo made a deal with China White to exchange the Alpha virus for Tatsu, which comes as a complete surprise to Oliver.
China White insists on testing the Alpha to make sure it’s real before she hands over Tatsu. Turns out, it isn’t and the guns firing off. After some running, a cool slide-across-the-bar-while-shooting move from Oliver, and bullet dodging, Maseo, Tatsu, and Oliver make it back home safely. While Tatsu reunites with her son, Oliver takes Maseo aside and tells him that the next time he decides to bluff like that to tell Oliver. Surprise, Maseo wasn’t bluffing. He thought he gave the real thing, but it seems as though Amanda Waller foresaw this and switched out the virus. For Maseo, if the choice is between saving thousands of people or his family, he will always choose his family because there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for them. It’s noble, but we have to wonder: What happens when Maseo loses his family? For whom does he fight? (More on this later.)
Starling City is on the brink of war, yet again. Knowledge of Brick’s plan to take back the Glades has started to spread, and residents are trying to flee. Even DJ Douchebag is trying to leave the Glades and visits Verdant to collect his things before Brick takes over. While all of this going on, Laurel is still trying to make her mark as Starling City’s new Canary, but is having a rough go of it. While attempting to stop a mugging, a mugger gets the upper-hand and almost kills her, but Roy shows up in time to save her.
To no one’s surprise, Roy and Diggle are firmly against Laurel donning a mask and fighting crime, and let her know so when they take her back to the Foundry to stitch her up. Both men think she’s not trained and can’t possibly strike fear in her opponent like Sara did when she was alive. Once she’s been cleaned up, Laurel leaves and heads to City Wall to meet up with Quentin—who believes Sara is back in town from reported sightings—for a meeting with the Mayor on the Brick situation. Ray, who’s apparently considered a city leader, shows up with Felicity to recommend that they call in the national guard for help while they wait for his generous donation to start helping the police.
Unfortunately, the meeting is interrupted by Brick and his goons storming in guns blazing. Brick kidnaps four aldermen and leaves his thugs to take out the rest of the room. A gunman lunges toward Ray and Felicity, but Ray springs into action and tackles him to save Felicity. Meanwhile, Laurel takes out another guy with her heel. Once everything has settled down, Ray turns to Felicity, who at this point still refuses to help him, “See, that’s why I need a techno suit.”
While Laurel engages in a legally questionable interrogation that eventually leads to Brick’s location, Ray and Felicity share a moment back at Queen Consolidated headquarters, where she learns just how much she means to him. When Ray first started the A.T.O.M. project, it was about avenging Anna, but now it’s become more about protecting the people he cares about who are presently alive—mainly, her.
NEXT: Malcolm vs. Roy