Spoilers for Arrow Season 5, Episode 5
When episode 5 begins, Rene is being tortured by Church. He displays a great deal of strength: he has been tortured for 20 hours and he has not given up any information. I guess that his navy, and tough street kid background, have a lot to do with this.
Church insists that it is not the pain that breaks people, but the fear of what that pain brings: in the end he always gets what he wants from the people that he tortures.
Onto the recap!
Oliver struggles to find Rene:
Oliver and the team hit the streets to try and get a lead on where Rene is being held. People appear to be more afraid of Church than they are of the Green Arrow: and this really says something about how Oliver has been less scary and more human these last two seasons.
Eventually, one of the people they interrogate gives up a vague location.
When Oliver returns to the Arrow cave, Curtis is refusing to rest, and Felicity is frustrated with her lack of progress. Diggle arrives, and Rory raises the valid point that people seem to just walk in to their secret base of operations: a recurrent theme with both the Arrow and Flash teams.
Diggle is introduced to the new team. He says that Lyla can’t find anything either.
Oliver is rather hopeful and smiling a lot at this point. He says that they will find Rene, and not give up hope whilst they do it. Felicity and Curtis are surprised at Oliver’s behaviour. I am too, to be honest. Is he happy because Diggle is back? Or has he seen the rest of the team are struggling, and decided to provide what they need: hope.
Oliver struggles with Collins and Williams:
When Oliver arrives at city hall, Thea explains that there is a vote on re-zoning coming up, and they need to convince Collins, the most stubborn man in the city, (except Oliver) to vote in favour.
Collins refuses to change his vote, because the last time rezoning happened, sky rises, including Queen consolidated, were built, rather than affordable housing.
Thea says Oliver should put an arrow in him. Just like Oliver, it is hard to tell when Thea is joking!
Thea and Oliver call Collins back later, and point out that he wants to redevelop the land for commercial use: he is protecting his investment. Oliver comments that he is sure Williams would be interested in that story: and as a result, they get Collins vote.
Meanwhile: Oliver agreed to an off camera interview with Williams.
Williams believes that the city is suffering because Oliver is under qualified. Oliver admits that is true, but he convinces Williams to give him one month without personal attacks, so that he can earn her trust. Williams agrees and gives Oliver her personal number!
Oliver saves Rene and Church finds out Oliver is the Green Arrow:
Church makes Rene dig his own grave, and tells Rene his plan: to get rid of the Green Arrow, gain control of a city with water access, and run a massive drug operation.
Oliver saves Rene, who says that Church ran because he got what he wanted: Oliver’s name.
Felicity panics when she finds out, but Oliver refuses to disappear: the rezoning vote is important, and he is already dealing with the fallout from the last time he was out of town.
Diggle is not impressed with the new team, a Laurel Lance wannabe, a weird rag guy, a lunatic, and Curtis. Oliver sticks up for Rene, yes, he messed up and gave up Oliver’s name, but they know what Church is planning now.
Oliver tells Diggle to find out if Rene knows anything else.
Diggle says that he knows someone who can help too. (How does Diggle know Target?)
Oliver fakes his own death:
Oliver is shot, and Quentin announces that Oliver is dead. At the base, Oliver is alive.
Christopher Chance arrives, the Human Target, and peels off an Oliver mask. It is revealed that Oliver faked his death so that Church would proceed with his plans.
Oliver thanks him: Chance got Collins to cave, and Williams to back off. Chance says that he becomes his target: so it was Oliver that swung Collins and Williams.
Diggle helps Rene through his ‘screw up:’
Diggle tries to see if Rene heard anything useful, but Rene doesn’t want to talk.
After Diggle reveals his brother tortured him, Rene says that he was dishonourably discharged: he tried to beat information out of a prisoner when the intelligence officers failed to get any information. Rene admits that it was a mistake, and he always screws up.
Rene is reluctant to talk: Diggle wants him to relive his latest mistake. Diggle says that any information Rene remembers about Church could help them fix this, he agrees to try.
Rene eventually remembers something useful, trust, brace, 0472.
Oliver finds out about Felicity and Billy:
Felicity tells Billy that Oliver knows about them, even though he doesn’t.
Billy casually mentioned that he is seeing Felicity, and Target told Oliver: he thought that Oliver knew. Oliver climbs onto Felicity’s balcony to talk to her that night.
Oliver asks why she didn’t tell him. Felicity admits that she was scared. Oliver asks, hopefully, if Felicity was keeping the door open for them. I am pretty sure that Oliver has been in case Felicity comes back to him. Felicity replies that she hasn’t, she just didn’t want to tell Oliver until she was sure it was real: she doesn’t know if it is yet.
Final confrontation with Church:
The group figure out that Church will meet his ‘trust,’ on a private airstrip at 4am, 72 hours from when he held Rene. This is in 20 minutes time, so Oliver gathers the team.
Rene says that he won’t go, because he might screw up again. Diggle says that he thinks of his suit as a path to redemption, and perhaps it can be that way for Rene too. It seems like Diggle has adopted Rene, and is acting like a father figure now!
At the airstrip, the group attack Church, but Rene loses him.
Oliver corners Church and fights with an arrow (awesome!) to disarm him. Church warns Oliver that worse is coming: Prometheus. Oliver knocks Church out and captures him.
Oliver apologises to the city:
Oliver apologises for faking his own death, but it was the only way they could catch Church. He announces that the initiative for providing low income housing has passed.
Felicity and Oliver talk:
Oliver tells Felicity that he wants her to be happy, and she deserves a chance to find out if things are real with Billy, and he with whoever comes next. Felicity says that she was going to say the same, and Oliver replies that they are usually on the same page.
I thought that one of them was going to initiate a kiss, especially when Oliver said that he will always care about Felicity, but they part ways. Oliver loves her enough to let her go.
Susan Williams meets an informant:
Susan Williams talks to an informant, who shows her a picture of Oliver in a bar in Russia, when he was supposed to be stranded on Lian Yu. I wonder if she will keep her promise of one month without attacking Oliver, or if she will use the information sooner?
Church meets Prometheus again:
Church is being transported to Iron Heights, and is clearly afraid of what is coming next.
Prometheus attacks. Church tells him who the Green Arrow is, but Prometheus kills him anyway. He had, after all, been warned not to mess with Green Arrow.
Next time, So it begins:
Prometheus tries to bait Oliver. Oliver doesn’t want to put the team in harms way until he knows what they are dealing with. Evelyn has Oliver’s book, and the team find out about Oliver’s past.