Every day is based on a series of choices. From the toothpaste you use to the car you drive. Wine or beer, a water or juice, chicken or steak. Not every decision rocks your world but they do add up to who we are and how we choose what happens next. The Arrow-verse is no different, but somehow even the small choices snowball quickly.
There are a couple of bad guys duking it out for our attention in this episode and they both represent hard themes and choices for our characters. We have Dead Shot back in the picture and an unnamed assassin on the hunt for a child who evades the cold killer early in the episode. Both villains are battling for Oliver’s attention. The consequence is a fractured relationship between Diggle and Oliver that comes to it’s inevitable breaking point.
Last episode Oliver recommitted to Diggle’s need for revenge, funneling his resources into tracking down and taking out Dead Shot. They track him back to the states through Diggle’s Argus buddies and Felicity’s Anonymous level hacking skills. Argus has set a trap and plan on taking him in. Diggle sees the trap as the opportune time for the Arrow to strike Dead Shot from Diggle’s list. The plan is in motion when Oliver chooses to go after the man that orchestrated Laurel’s client’s deaths. His choice ensures that when Dead Shot springs the trap, four Argus agents are taken out and Dead Shot threatens Diggle with a bare spot on his tattooed scoreboard that is waiting for him. Diggle takes the reprioritizing bad and walks out on Oliver at the end of the episode.
Tommy is also faced with a hard choice. Can he stay with Laurel as she slips further and further away, lusting after the Arrow? Or will he rip the band-aid off and move on before she hurts him first. He does recognize that Oliver is the only one that can protect them all from the calculated killer that is hunting down the little boy. He does not appreciate knowing that even though Oliver says she will never know, he can see that if she did know she would leave Tommy in a heartbeat. A showdown at the Queen compound eliminates the killer and Tommy uses the exit of the boy as the right time to leave Laurel.
Choices on the island do not get any easier for our ragtag band of castaways. Slade grunts his disapproval at Oliver and Shadow’s growing bond. He had hoped she would choose him I am sure, but the chemistry between her and Oliver is more genuine. In the end, it is Yeo Fe’s choice, once again, to betray them all that brings the soldiers to their dilapidated hideout.
It is obvious that Yeo Fe is trying to protect his daughter but at this point, I would hope he would see through the duplicitous nature of his captors. he continues to throw Oliver and his friends under the bus even when it is against his best interest. I am sure there is a good reason, or at least a perceived good intent, but for now, he keeps making the worst decision, especially if he is trying to protect his daughter.
In the real world, choices are not black or white. There is always a myriad of shades of gray between each one. In the Arrow-verse that palette of gray includes greens, reds, and all the colors of the rainbow. But mostly red from the arterial spray of a kill shot.