Arrow Season 5 Episode 21 recap: Why did Adrian Chase send a corpse to the mayor’s office?

Spoilers for Arrow Season 5, Episode 21.

Last time:

Prometheus trapped Oliver and Felicity in the Arrow cave to distract the team whilst he kidnapped Oliver’s son William.

Onto the recap:

Quentin has some bad news:

Oliver arrives at city hall. Quentin tells him that the judge has granted re-trials on all of the cases that Adrian Chase prosecuted. The criminals have also been released on bail. Quentin has put the most dangerous ones under surveillance.

A package arrives:

s05e21 cement corpse
The beginning of this episode felt like an episode of CSI, not Arrow!

A suspicious large box has arrived at city hall from ‘Simon Morrison,’ aka Adrian Chase. Oliver ignores the security officer and goes into the office. He refuses to wait for the bomb squad and opens it to reveal a corpse encased in concrete.

Dinah explains who the man is:

The corpse is Henry Goodwin, a councilman in the glades who went missing in 2002. Dinah can find no connection between Goodwin and Chase, but Oliver tells her to keep looking.

At the bunker:

Felicity tells Oliver that Derek Sampson is back. Oliver tells the team to keep an eye on him. He asks Felicity if she has found William yet, but she has had no luck.


Anatoli and Oliver fly to Lian Yu. (Oliver can fly a plane!) Oliver shows Anatoli the video his father left for him, so that he can understand why Oliver has to go back to Starling city.

Dinah finds out who killed Goodwin:

Dinah tells Quentin that the killers DNA is underneath Goodwin’s fingernails. She has ID’d a suspect, and when she shows Quentin, neither of them are happy about it.

Thea returns:

Oliver brought Thea back to protect her, even though she wasn’t ready to come back yet. Quentin and Dinah arrive. They tell Oliver that they have a suspect: Oliver’s father.

Oliver insists that Robert is innocent:

Quentin explains that the body came from a construction company related to Queen consolidated. The DNA sample has been through a lot of labs, and he cannot stop the news going public. Oliver tells the team to look into it and prove that his father was framed.

He intends to hold a press conference to address the issue before the media get hold of it. Thea advises against it in case their dad is guilty, but Oliver insists that their father is not a murderer.


s05e21_Lian Yu

On Lian Yu, Oliver tells Anatoli that it is better if his family think he was stranded here for five years. They can’t know about Russia or Hong Kong, or Oliver will have to explain why he didn’t come home earlier. Oliver takes Anatoli into the jungle to explain why he is going back.

Quentin talks to Rene:

Rene tells Quentin that he has a court date for Zoey, and he asks Quentin to support him. Quentin agrees to come to the hearing.

Felicity figures out where Goodwin was killed:

Diggle arrives at the bunker, and Felicity explains that she has an address where she thinks Goodwin was killed. Diggle tells her to let Oliver know, and they will go investigate.

Curtis and Dinah watch Sampson:

They have nothing on him yet, so they agree to wait and see what his plan is.

Oliver and Diggle get trapped:

Oliver and Diggle investigate Felicity’s location, a building Oliver’s father named after him: Oliver enterprises. It has been abandoned for a month. As they explore inside, the floor collapses under them, and Diggle and Oliver are trapped in a room which begins to flood with concrete.

Dinah and Curtis to the rescue:

Felicity contacts Curtis and Dinah, who have to let Sampson go to come and save Oliver and Diggle. Curtis uses his T-Sphere to cut through the ceiling and free them.

At the bunker:

Felicity explains that whilst they were distracted, Sampson and his crew stole two of the three components that Chase’s father used to weaponise tuberculosis: Sampson is working for Chase. The third chemical is highly unstable and banned from manufacturing, but Felicity will try to find it to see where Sampson may strike next. 

Quentin and Rene arrive with the name of the last person who saw Goodwin alive: Darren Coffman. He was Goodwin’s lawyer, but also Claybourne’s.

Oliver and Thea meet Coffman:

When Oliver says that Coffman was the last person to see the victim alive, Coffman gives Oliver a USB stick and says that Adrian Chase asked him to give it to Oliver as proof of what kind of man Robert was. Thea threatens Coffman and asks him what he knows.


Oliver shows Anatoli the graves of those he lost on the island, including his father. He says that he has to go back because his father wanted him to save the city. Oliver explains that the hood protects the people that he cares about. Anatoli says that the people closest to him will always pay for his sins: He is paying for his fathers. Anatoli asks who will pay for Olivers?

Thea and Oliver discuss the USB:

s05e21_Thea Oliver USB

Oliver tells Thea that he will destroy the USB because he won’t be manipulated by Chase. Felicity calls and tells Oliver that they have tracked Sampson. Oliver goes to confront Sampson. Thea is left behind with the USB.

Oliver confronts Sampson:

The team arrive to confront Sampson and his crew as they load chemicals onto their van. Sampson escapes in the confusion. Felicity calls Oliver: Thea needs to talk to him urgently.

Oliver confronts Thea:

Thea tells Oliver that the USB contains CCTV footage of their father arguing with Goodwin, and Goodwin falling into a vat of cement. Robert covered it up. Oliver insists that it was an accident. Thea says that their parents loved them, but it doesn’t make up for all the terrible things that they’ve done. Oliver gets a text from Felicity and has to go.


Anatoli says that he will pay a fisherman to sail to Lian Yu in two days to see Oliver’s bonfire and rescue him. He gives Oliver a backpack with useful things and they part ways.

Felicity explains Chase’s plan:

Chase plans to make a biological agent 1000 times more powerful than the one his father used and unleash it on the city. Felicity and Curtis realise that they might be able to track the weapon. Oliver says that when they get a location he needs the whole team. He asks where Rene is: Dinah says that he is with Quentin and said that it was personal.

Rene worries about court:

Rene has found out that he has to testify at his court hearing. He doesn’t want to put his daughter through hearing about her mothers drug addiction and murder, and he thinks that she would be better off with her foster mum. Quentin says that if he doesn’t show up, Zoey will think that her dad doesn’t want her. He begs Rene to go to the hearing.

Felicity inspires Oliver:

Oliver watches the video that his father left for him. Felicity joins him, and Oliver says that Robert left a video for Thea too. He never showed her because Robert asked Thea to look after Oliver, and Oliver didn’t want to burden her.

Oliver says that Chase wants to undermine his crusade, which he started to honour his father. Felicity says that Oliver’s father inspired him to save the city, but Oliver should live for himself now. She finds Sampson, and Oliver goes to confront him as Green Arrow.

s05e21_Arrow is back

Queen Applied Sciences:

Dinah and Rene find Sampson on the roof. Oliver, Diggle and Curtis head up, but Prometheus confronts them. Oliver engages and tells the others to continue upstairs to stop Sampson.

Curtis disarms the weaponised TB. Oliver laughs when Chase says that his fathers legacy will destroy the city. He tells Chase that his father wanted to disown him. Chase puts down his weapon and tells Oliver to kill him. Oliver refuses. He takes Chase into custody.

At the bunker:

The team celebrate: Chase is in custody at ARGUS. Oliver gives Thea the video from their father. He says that she doesn’t have to watch it, but she needs to leave the past in the past.

Flashback: Lian Yu

Oliver builds a bonfire. He is shot with a dart and approached by Kovar, who knocks him out.

Rene misses his hearing:

Rene doesn’t show up for his hearing, and his motion to restore parental rights is denied.

Thea watches the video:

Robert says that he has done things that he isn’t proud of, but he is proud of her: He tells Thea to look after Oliver because she is stronger than him. Oliver arrives and tells Thea that they have to live their own lives now.

Oliver addresses the press:

He tells them that his father was guilty, and he will not defend his actions, but nearly ten years ago, his father sacrificed himself so that Oliver could live and leave behind a better legacy. Oliver says that, with help from the Green Arrow, Chase is behind bars.

s05e21_Chase smirks

In his cell, Chase watches Oliver on TV and smirks. This isn’t over.


  • Chase’s imprisonment was all part of his plan: That little smirk at the end says it all!

  • Did Rene stand up Zoey at the hearing, or was he taken by Prometheus’s followers?

Next time:

Team Arrow are being picked off one by one by Prometheus’s supporters. With no team left, Oliver resorts to drastic measures…

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