- "I thought that I could be me and the Arrow. But I can't. Not now. Maybe not ever."
- —Oliver deciding that he can only be the Arrow
"The Calm" is the first episode of the third season of , and the forty-seventh episode overall. It aired on October 8, 2014.
|With crime in Starling City at an all-time low thanks to the Arrow and his team, Oliver thinks he can finally balance being both the Arrow and Oliver Queen and asks Felicity out on a date. However, when a new villain emerges, who has claimed the name Vertigo from the recently deceased Count, Oliver is caught off-guard and someone close to him is hurt. Oliver and a newly suited up Roy take on the Count. Meanwhile, Diggle becomes a father, Lance is promoted to Captain, Laurel joins Arrow's inner circle and Felicity gets a part-time job at a tech store to make ends meet. Also, Oliver fights to regain his company, Queen Consolidated, but comes up against a worthy opponent - Ray Palmer.|
The episode starts with Team Arrow chasing down a criminal in a truck, and of course successfully capturing the citizen who failed the city. Felicity is watching the news as the team returns.
Oliver receives a text from Thea, upsetting Roy who leaves. Felicity says she has to go to work in the morning and leaves too.
Oliver gives Digg an early gift for his unborn daughter made by himself. They both agree Oliver can't really afford anything currently. Digg tries to talk Oliver into asking Felicity on a date, which he later does.
The next day, Laurel and Oliver witness Lance giving a speech when he is promoted to Captain. It was due to his doctors telling him he couldn't go out into the field. During his speech, Lance mentions that it was five months that had passed.
A new criminal takes over, drugging some with a new formula of Vertigo.
Felicity and Oliver are walking by a closed Verdant when he asks her out. She at first thinks he's teasing and then he says that he was serious. He then asks her again and she agrees.
While chasing down a criminal, Oliver and Dig call Felicity on her job for some assistance. At the same time, Oliver and Felicity discuss whether she likes Italian food. Lance is also sent along and so Oliver thanks him before he leaves.
While Felicity was serving a customer, she gave a good impression which he told her he was hiring someone in her expertise which she notes she is not looking for a new job. She then gives him information on something that will help him with his hacking.
During the date, Oliver talks about himself not being able to trust people due to his experience in Hong Kong, then the first time he met Felicity and sees a person which they reminisce their first meeting together. Their date was cut short when the restaurant was attacked by a torpedo, so Oliver carried Felicity back to the Arrowcave. When Oliver engaged by the Vertigo, he was injected and became weaken and end up losing in the fight. Lance tried to help but end up having coronary artery spasm, but enough time for the Arrow to down Vertigo and send Lance an ambulance.
Oliver and Felicity participate in the board meeting at Queen Consolidated, also revealed the man Felicity helped at the store was Palmer which Felicity obviously regret helping. The man shows up Oliver and as they headed out, Oliver told Felicity that he thought Palmer would do a better job.
Later at the Arrowcave Oliver starts pushing people away because of his self-guilt. While Diggle leaves the Arrowcave, Felicity tears. Roy tries to disarm a bomb but is unable to. Felicity tells Roy to freeze the bomb instead. Sara, as the Black Canary shows up.
Palmer "stalks" Felicity to the hospital as she heads to visit Digg and his new family member. Revealed that Felicity hacked most of Palmer's tech like his desktop and phone and Palmer tries to apologize for misleading her and asking her if she could undo the hack. Felicity and Oliver discuss their relationship where Oliver tells her that he can't be the Arrow and Oliver Queen at the same time. Felicity tells Oliver to pretend saying that he never said he loved her but Oliver then kisses Felicity and tells her "Don't ask me to say that I don't love you" but Felicity tells Oliver again that once they were done talking it's over and walks away.
Barry calls Oliver saying he woke up from his coma and could use some advice. Oliver tells him he's on his way.
Sara has a brief chat with Laurel on the rooftop, and after she leaves, an unseen figure confronts Sara. Sara asks the figure "What are you doing here?"; the figure responds by shooting Sara, with three arrows, off the building to her death. The episode ends with Laurel crying while hugging Sara's body.
In flashbacks, show Oliver trying to contact his family by stealing cell phones. However he is shot at so he rushes to a computer. He tries to send a message to his mom but the computer is shot at too. He then wakes up inside a home of a woman and her husband. He learns that she can speak English and that everyone had been speaking Japanese. He learns that the man who had beat him up was doing so due to his son being threatened.
- Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Arrow
- Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance
- David Ramsey as John Diggle
- Willa Holland (credit only)
- Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
- Colton Haynes as Roy Harper/Arsenal
- John Barrowman (credit only)
- Paul Blackthorne as Captain Quentin Lance
Special guest star
- Caity Lotz as Sara Lance/The Canary
- Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels
- Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Waller
- Karl Yune as Maseo Yamashiro
- Rila Fukushima as Tatsu Yamashiro
- Peter Stormare as Werner Zytle/Vertigo
- Primo Allon as Osborne
- Nickolas Baric as Vincent Steelgrave
- Dario De Iaco as Costa
- Terry Howson as Cronan
- Richard Keats as Dr. Lockhart
- Brad Kelly as Nico
- Ken Lawson as Talking Head
- Brandon Nomura as Akio Yamashiro
- Darryl Quon as Shintaro Shimosawa
- Jacqueline Samuda as TV Host
- Jeff Sanca as Thug
- James Wilson as Maitre'd
- Jason Wingham as Thug #2
- Charles Zuckermann as Petrov
Preparation ran from June 27 until July 8, 2014. Shooting ran from July 9 until July 18, 2014.
- Oliver states that he's approaching 52nd Street. This is a reference to DC's New 52 universe.
- Channel 52, appears, which is also a reference to the New 52.
- Vincent Steelgrave is possibly a reference to Professor Steelgraves, a minor enemy of Green Arrow and Black Canary in the comics.
- Werner Zytle is the alter-ego of Cecil Adams from the New 52, originally Werner Vertigo.
- Greg Osborne is the name of one of Zytle's accomplices. In the comics, Greg Osborne was a corrupt CIA agent who blackmailed Green Arrow into hunting down Shado for him.
- Felicity utters the word "frak", a popular expletive from the Battlestar Galactica franchise.
- Ray Palmer's use of his belt buckle as a projector is likely a reference to how in the comics, he could only change size using a special belt.
- During his presentation, Ray mentions his aspiration to transform Starling City in to Star City. This is a reference to the city's name in the comics.
- Shintaro Shimosawa, one of the crime bosses at the boxing match, is the name of a producer who both wrote an episode of Smallville and produced horror film The Grudge.
- Ferris Air is one of the boxing match's sponsors. In the comics, Ferris Air employs Hal Jordan, better known as the superhero Green Lantern. Also, the logo used is the same as that in the 2011 film Green Lantern.
- Ostrander Rum, another of the sponsors, is a reference to John Ostrander, who created, among others, the modern version of the Suicide Squad.
- The scene where Barry calls Oliver takes place minutes before Oliver meets with Barry to give him superhero advice, which took place in the "" episode of .
- The tune that is hummed by Zytle is "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg.
- The flashbacks in this episode, along with "", confirm that Oliver did not spend all of his 5 years away on Lian Yu.
- During the boxing scene, one of the fighters support teams is wearing Wildcat robes. Wildcat was a boxer-turned superhero for DC beginning in the 1940s, becoming one of their first non-meta-human or alien heroes.
- In flashbacks, Oliver checks his e-mail where a mini-calendar can be seen to the side, being that the flashback is 5 years before the main story (2009). Although no month is given, August is the only month in 2009 with 31 days, beginning on Saturday as seen on the calendar.
- There was an error when Oliver described his love life; when he stated his girlfriend before Sara (McKenna) shot the girlfriend before her (Helena), it was actually the opposite. So what Oliver should have said was, "My girlfriend before that, she was shot by my girlfriend before that".
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