Arrow Season 5 Episode 22 recap: Oliver assembles a dark team when Chase kidnaps his friends.

Spoilers for Arrow Season 5, Episode 22.

Last time:

In Flashbacks: Oliver was kidnapped by Kovar on Lian Yu. In present day Star city, Oliver and his team captured Adrian Chase.

Onto the recap:

Oliver’s approval ratings are high:

Thea and Quentin tell Oliver that approval ratings for the mayor and the Green Arrow are higher than ever after Chase’s capture. Quentin heads off to find out why Rene missed his daughter’s hearing. As he leaves, he wishes Oliver happy birthday. Thea tells Oliver that they have to get birthday drinks, but Oliver says that he has plans with Felicity.

Oliver arrives at Felicity’s:

s05e22_Oliver's birthday

When Oliver arrives at Felicity’s, the door is open. Oliver is suspicious, and when Curtis leaps out from behind the door, Oliver throws him to the floor: The team planned a surprise party for Oliver. Oliver apologises to Curtis and Felicity shows the team Oliver’s cake:

s05e22_Lord Mesa bakery cake Arrow fanart
The cake deserves a special mention. I love Lord Mesa’s art 🙂

The team celebrate:

Team Arrow celebrate Oliver’s birthday and victory over Chase: They are now on vacation! Curtis shows Felicity a device he made for Dinah to focus her sonic cry and override sonic dampeners. Quentin tells Thea that Rene has vanished.

Thea gets the team to leave Oliver and Felicity alone. Felicity agrees to try again with Oliver. She says that she knows it’s hard to be on break, but Chase is captured and they can relax.

Flashback: Red Death.

Kovar drugs Oliver with the ‘red death,’ designed to break people through mental anguish. Oliver vows that when he escapes, he will make sure that Kovar is dead this time.

Curtis is kidnapped:

Curtis walks home on the phone to Felicity. When he arrives he realises that Dinah’s place has been broken into. As he investigates, he is hit over the head from behind.

Felicity sends Oliver and Diggle to investigate:

They find Curtis’s phone, but no Curtis or Dinah. Felicity says that Rene must have been taken before his daughters hearing. Oliver finds a League of Assassins dart and insists that Chase is picking them off one by one with help from Talia Al Ghul. He tells Diggle to get Thea and Quentin to an ARGUS safe house. Oliver goes to confront Chase.

Oliver talks to Chase:

Oliver asks Chase where his friends are, but Chase refuses to tell him. Oliver leaves.

Flashback: Kovar tortures Oliver.

Kovar presses on Oliver’s scars. The drug makes the pain of every scar feel like it is happening for the first time.

Oliver worries about William:

Oliver returns to base. Felicity says that she can’t wait to get to the safe house. Oliver tells her she is staying here to help him, and he is happier with her by his side, safe. He blames himself because he ignored a feeling that something was wrong, and he is worried about William.

Black Siren escapes:

Diggle arrives: Quentin and Thea are secure. Felicity gets an alert. Black Siren has escaped, and she is headed straight for Quentin, who doesn’t know about her. At the safe house, Quentin finds Black Siren, but he lowers his gun. Black Siren kidnaps Quentin and Thea.

s05e22_Evil Laurel kidnaps Quentin

Oliver sends Diggle and Felicity away:

At the safe house, Oliver finds out that Evelyn blackmailed an ARGUS agent to free Black Siren. Chase is kidnapping the team, Oliver’s strength, so he can blackmail Oliver into letting him go. Oliver tells Diggle and Felicity to leave town: Chase will target them next.


Kovar gives Oliver a gun with one bullet. The drug will show Oliver his failures and his guilt. Locked in a cell, Kovar believes that Oliver will be driven to shoot himself.

Oliver beats up Chase:

At ARGUS, Oliver tells Chase that he’s never getting out. Chase says that everyone Oliver knows will suffer unless Oliver lets him go before he is transferred later that night.

Quentin and Thea are transported by van:

Quentin insists that Laurel is back, just like Sara. Thea explains about parallel universes. She says that this isn’t the Laurel they knew. The van stops. Evelyn and Black Siren open the door.

Felicity and Diggle are attacked:

Diggle and Felicity drive away from Star city. Felicity is worried about leaving Oliver, but Diggle refuses to turn back. The League of Assassins run their car off the road and capture them.

At the bunker:

Oliver is confronted by Malcolm Merlyn. He is angry that Merlyn told Damien Darhk about William last season. Merlyn insists that’s in the past: Now, the priority is saving Thea.

s05e22_Merlyn and Oliver team up

Oliver and Merlyn find Diggle’s crashed car:

Oliver reveals that Chase wants to be let out in exchange for Oliver’s friends and family. Merlyn tells Oliver to do it to get Thea back. Oliver refuses: He doesn’t trust Chase to keep his word. Oliver gets a phone call: Chase’s prison transfer is about to go ahead.

Flashback: Yao Fei

Oliver sees a vision of Yao Fei, who tells Oliver that his daughter, and others, are dead because of Oliver. Yao Fei tells Oliver to shoot himself to save anyone else close to him from suffering.

Quentin talks to Black Siren:

Black Siren chains Quentin up in a shipping container. Chase assured her that if she helps him, Quentin won’t be hurt. She seems to care, and I think she lost her dad on her earth.

Oliver oversees Chase’s transfer:

Chase tells Oliver that once he gets on the chopper, his friends have orders to kill Oliver’s. He tells Oliver that he is about to get a phone call. Oliver gets a video call: Chase has William. Oliver rushes to try and stop the van which will take Chase to the chopper, but he fails. 

Oliver stops the transfer:

s05e22 Oliver and Merlyn team up

Malcolm Merlyn gives Oliver his gear, and they work together to take out ARGUS agents to free Chase. Chase won’t tell Oliver where his son is: He says that the deal was they live, not that he tell Oliver where they are. Chase steals the chopper and flies away.

Oliver assembles a team:

At the bunker, Oliver and Merlyn try to track Chase, but without Felicity it’s hard. Merlyn is not happy when Nyssa al Ghul arrives to help. Oliver tells Merlyn that they need to do whatever it takes. Oliver tracks Chase and realises that he is going to Lian Yu.

On route to Lian Yu:

Oliver, Nyssa and Merlyn fly to Lian Yu, which Oliver believes Talia told Chase about. Nyssa says that this is where she found Sara on a mission from her father. 


A vision of Laurel appears. She tells Oliver not to shoot himself, because if he does, Sara and his father died for nothing. Oliver shoots the lock on the door and goes to find Kovar.

Lian Yu:

Chase unmasks Felicity and Diggle, who see that they are with Quentin, Thea, and Curtis. None of them know where Rene and Dinah are. Thea says that Oliver will come for them, but Chase replies that he is counting on it. Curtis worries that Oliver won’t be able to save them, because although he’s faced worse before, this time he’s alone.

Oliver recruits Slade:

In the prison on Lian Yu, Oliver approaches Slade Wilson and asks for his help.

s05e22_Slade returns
Excited to see Slade Wilson back for the finale!


  • I loved the nod to Lord Mesa and his art on Oliver’s birthday cake. You should check out his work here: Lord Mesa art It’s pretty awesome 🙂

  • I am amused that Oliver and Barry were probably in ARGUS at the same time. ARGUS are having a bad week for security breaches.

  • Sara is a closed time loop: In Legends of Tomorrow, before Nyssa was born, Sara told Ras al Ghul to send Nyssa to Lian Yu to find her!

  • Working with the man who killed your mother and the man who killed your best friend won’t be easy for Oliver. The finale looks exceptional!

Next time:

The finale. Oliver and his new team, including Slade Wilson and Captain Boomerang, try to free Oliver’s friends from Adrian Chase.

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