Spoilers for Arrow Season 5, Episode 4, Penance
The episode begins with Oliver training the recruits on a mission this time, in contrast to last episodes video training. Oliver makes it clear that the recruits should stop chatting. What they are doing is not a game: every time they go out in the field, they could die.
Rene takes what was meant to be Evelyn’s shot, misses, and nearly ruins the mission. Oliver is angry that he didn’t follow orders. He says that the team should take the evidence, and the man they took down, to the Anti-Crime Unit, and take a few days off.
The consequences of Felicity’s decision to tell Rory about Havenrock:
Rory has not shown up to training. Felicity has texted him, but he has not responded.
When Oliver returns to base, Rory is waiting for him. Oliver says that if he doesn’t get it together, he is off the team. Rory says that he is off the team anyway, and wanted to tell Oliver in person. He explains that Felicity told him about Havenrock.
Oliver tries to explain that Felicity was faced with an impossible choice. Rory says that he knows that, understands it even, but it is still hard for him to look at her because she is a constant reminder of what he lost. Oliver says that he is sorry to lose him, and heads downstairs to talk to Felicity about Rory, but they are interrupted by Lyla.
Later, when Oliver has just returned from breaking into Palmer tech, Oliver tells Felicity to stop Rory from making a mistake that he will regret: quitting the team.
When things are desperate, and Oliver is out of town, Felicity finds Rory. Rory explains that his father owned a pawn shop, and Felicity says that she knows: she wanted to find out about his family. She says that his family legacy is one of honour: his father was second battalion, first marines, and he, and his father before him, wore the rags. Her legacy is that she killed so many people, and she can’t fix it.
Felicity says that she has to live with what she did, and Rory is a constant reminder of that, but he can honour his fathers legacy by continuing to wear the rags.
Rory says that he can’t fight with them right now, even though they need him. Felicity says that if he changes his mind, he knows where they are.
Oliver decides to break Diggle out against his wishes:
Lyla and Oliver talk about the plan to break John out, and John’s reluctance to be saved. Felicity doesn’t think that Oliver should break John out if John does not want to be freed. Oliver had hoped that Felicity would help them, but it is clear that she will not.
Oliver breaks into Palmer technology to steal an anti-molecular compound which should help.
Felicity calls him out upon his return. She says that if Oliver is thinking about lying to her, she admires his consistency. His phone has GPS, she knows where he was.
Oliver says that he wasn’t lying, he just chose not to loop her in because she didn’t approve. I really liked that Oliver stood up to Felicity here!
Felicity accuses Oliver of making the decision for Diggle, when it is not his decision to make. (I wonder if her subtle mention of Roy and his living on the run here means that he will return later this season?)
Oliver says that John is not thinking clearly, and he needs to stop him from making a mistake that he will regret: he already left the team, and Oliver won’t let him abandon his family.
Lyla helps Oliver infiltrate the prison, but there is a problem. When Oliver arrives at the cell, Diggle is not there, and he will not return until outside of Lyla’s 25 minute window for extraction.
Lyla tells Oliver to abort, but Oliver has a plan.
Oliver uses the bed sheets from an inmates cell to tie up a guard. The military assume that they have a prison break on their hands, and all prisoners must be accounted for: so they are sent back to their cells.
Oliver surprises John in his cell, and convinces him to do penance as Spartan, on the team, rather than in prison. He uses the anti-molecular compound he stole to eat through the floor, and he and John escape into the sewers. They follow it round to a ladder, but when they climb up they are surrounded. Oliver fits them with harnesses, and they are yanked away to safety by a plane. Diggle is safe, and he tells Oliver never to change.
Oliver’s team decide to deal with Church whilst Oliver is away:
After the team drop the evidence off at the ACU, Curtis tries to work out Church’s motives. He says that Church was trying to steal a computer chip that he could buy anywhere. He makes a good point, but Felicity is distracted by what happened with Rory, and doesn’t process what Curtis says. (Perhaps if she had been on the ball, Church never would have stolen those RPG’s, or captured Rene.)
As Oliver is out of town (Thea excuses him with gout this time) deputy mayor Quentin Lance escorts the evidence, with the DA, to lockup.
When Quentin and the DA have made their deposit, the case blows up. Church and his men enter and steal some RPG’s.
Lance and Thea arrive at the Arrow cave and explain what Church is up to. Felicity tells the team to hit the streets. Evelyn is hesitant, as Oliver wouldn’t want them out on the streets without him, but Felicity says that Oliver forfeited his opinion when he left.
Felicity talks to Rory, but he doesn’t return with her. In the meantime, Church moves out against the Anti-Crime Unit. Felicity doesn’t want to send the team out: she believes that they will be slaughtered. Rory shows up and says that it’s their choice. He didn’t join to stay safe. Felicity tells them not to die.
The recruits save the DA and the ACU, and Felicity directs them out. On the way out, Curtis is hit from behind with a projectile. Rene and Evelyn help him, but Church approaches.
Rene stays behind to confront Church and allow the others to escape. Church beats him up and captures him.
Lance drives up to provide a getaway. Felicity tells the team to leave Rene behind. The team are reluctant, but have no option.
Felicity can’t find Rene anywhere. She laments to Rory that she feels bad: she told them to leave him behind. Rory says that it was another impossible decision, and she can’t let guilt swallow her up, no more than he can. They agree to support each other.
Oliver appears, perfect timing, and when Felicity asks, he admits that John is safe at HIVE, and that he couldn’t write him off. His tone is almost apologetic.
Oliver admits that they will not write Rene off either.
The episode ends with Rene being tortured by Church.
The struggle to find Rene, and also to deal with Church, who knows who the Green Arrow is now. It looks like Church will hire someone to kill Oliver, and Oliver will be shot. Prometheus will not be amused!