Even vigilantes love The Stranger. In a Thanksgiving edition of Arrow, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) reassumes his mantle from an ill John Diggle (David Ramsey), and he does it just in time to save the Bronx-born crooner Billy Joel. And at the end of the episode, a major character from Arrow finally wakes up after a long, long time away.
In “Thanksgiving” — which, yes, takes place on Thanksgiving — Mayor Oliver Queen once again is arrested on suspicion of being the Green Arrow by the FBI. Despite the fact this seems to happen every week, it’s getting serious, and somehow the FBI is getting more accurate in its accusations.
Despite all eyes being on Oliver, the former playboy-turned-government official is forced to actually become the Green Arrow anyway, as John Diggle’s (David Ramsey) condition has become worse and a densely-populated Billy Joel concert is targeted by this season’s big bad, Cayden James (Michael Emerson).
No, Billy Joel isn’t actually in “Thanksgiving” — he appears via stock footage of one of his Long Island concerts — but the drama that unravels in Arrow is more than enough to keep one’s attention than hoping for a celebrity cameo.
In fact, “Thanksgiving” spends most of its running time threatening the permanent retirement of Diggle, whose tremors have only gotten worse (no thanks to Curtis’s prototype steroid). Going against his son’s wishes, Oliver takes up the hood of the Green Arrow, but only temporarily, as Diggle takes time off to recover. Though Oliver is again keeping secrets from his son William, the silver lining is that Oliver will be suited up for the big annual crossover next week. It’s just a bummer that Diggle won’t be.
On the plus side: Thea (Willa Holland) finally wakes up from her season-long coma. While Speedy may also not be fit to join the crossover, like she did last year, it’s a relief there’s another member of Team Arrow back on the roster.
In an emotional beat, Diggle admits that being the Green Arrow was all he wanted, as revealed in last year’s crossover “Invasion!” Since Oliver wants to stay true to his promise to William, Oliver will relinquish the hood back to Diggle once everyone’s favorite soldier is back in fighting shape. The concern now is that the FBI won’t finally nail Oliver when he’s in costume.
Fun fact: Tonight’s Arrow had footage of Billy Joel performing his song “No Man’s Land,” which is also the title of a 1999 Batman storyline.
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. Eastern on The CW.