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Arrowverse Wiki
For the event of the same name, see The Undertaking (event).
"Did Rebecca get more time? Did the man who raped Frank's daughter give her any quarter? Everyone in this room has lost something or someone to the Glades. And we have committed ourselves to fixing it. But what have we truly accomplished? Nothing. Maybe it's because the Glades can't be fixed."
"You're saying we should abandon the project?"
"Yes. In favor of a new undertaking. Like Bến Tre in Vietnam. The village must be destroyed before it can be saved.
Malcolm Merlyn and Frank Chen

"The Undertaking" is the twenty-first episode of the first season of Arrow, and the twenty-first episode overall. It aired on May 1, 2013.



Main cast[]

Guest starring[]



Oliver tracks down an accountant, Harold Backman, from The List and steals his laptop in order to redistribute all of his money back to the people he stole from. While decrypting the laptop, Felicity uncovers a link to Walter's kidnapping: a $2 million transfer was made to Dominic Alonzo, an underground casino owner, that same night. As they plan to confront Alonzo, Felicity visits Diggle in an attempt to mend the rift between him and Oliver, but is unsuccessful.

Felicity poses as a card counter and purposefully gets caught so she can plant a bug in Dominic's office. However, Dominic destroys Felicity's communicator, to which she warns he will be upset when he meets her partner. The Hood then breaks into the casino and defeats Dominic's men, saving Felicity. After being beaten and threatened, Dominic claims that Walter was killed as soon as he was delivered to the person who hired him, since Dominic heard a gunshot.

Oliver and Felicity are devastated. Oliver informs his family of the tragedy and comforts Thea while a distressed Moira immediately rushes out. Moira confronts Malcolm at his office over breaking their deal and killing Walter. He reveals that Walter is alive.

Oliver, suspicious of his mother's reaction to the news of Walter's death, follows her and listens in, discovers that Tommy's father is heading the secret organization that kidnapped Walter and wants to do something horrible to the Glades. When Felicity returns to the Arrowcave, Oliver tells her to hack into Malcolm's phone records to ascertain Walter's location. Confused about what's going on, she starts to ask questions, but Oliver just asks her to find Walter.

As the Hood, Oliver frees Walter and reunites him with their family. At the hospital, Malcolm approaches him and Oliver has to disguise his rage at Malcolm's questioning of Walter's condition, knowing he's only trying to determine if he can be tied to the crime. Then he's approached by Laurel, who wants Oliver to tell Tommy that he doesn't have feelings for her anymore. Oliver refuses, implying it's one lie too many with all the others he has to carry.

Oliver goes to see Diggle and apologizes, telling him he was right about everything, including his mother's involvement in the Undertaking. Now, he needs Diggle's help to finish this. 

Robert Queen 2

Robert listening to Malcolm

In flashbacks, Robert Queen is shown disagreeing with Malcolm's proposed "Undertaking", which would involve leveling the Glades and killing thousands of people in an effort to rebuild the area and remove its crime. Moira is completely unaware of what the private meetings are about. Robert later tells Moira what Malcolm intends to do, and she insists that he find a way to stop it, because she doesn't want any of them to be responsible for the mass-murder. Robert tries to prevent the Undertaking with Frank Chen. They make a plan to meet up in China and prevent Malcolm from buying up the Glades' real estate to rebuild the area after he destroys it. Unfortunately, Chen sells Robert out to Malcolm (much like Moira later does to Chen). As a result, Malcolm has a bomb planted on the Queens' Gambit just before Robert and Oliver set off. The last thing Robert sees before his voyage to China is his wife waving to him from the docks. 


  • The date of Walter Steele's disappearance, December 12th, is a reference to the original air-date of the episode "Year's End", in which he was last seen.
  • Ted Kord is mentioned in a flashback. In the comics, Ted is the second Blue Beetle.
  • In a flashback scene, Malcolm reveals that The Undertaking will be performed with the "Markov Device". This is a reference to the seismologist Brion Markov, who in the comics is the hero Geo-Force.
  • In a flashback from 5 years ago when Oliver brings Laurel pizza, she mentions their friends "Ray" and "Jean". In the comics, Ray Palmer is a superhero known as The Atom, and Jean Loring was his girlfriend, then wife, and later his ex, who eventually becomes insane.
    • Jean Loring appears later in Season 2. However, she is much older and only knows Oliver through being friends with his mother, Moira. Similarly, Ray Palmer appears in Season 3 but has no previous connection to Oliver.
      • Ray and Jean do not appear to know each other as they never appeared in the same season nor mentioned the other. Additionally, Ray revealed in "The Climb" that he was engaged to a woman named Anna Loring until her death.
  • Starling Rockets sign

    Starling Rockets sign

    At the end of the episode when a Unidac Industries truck is transporting the Markov Device, it passes a sign saying "ENTERING STARLING CITY HOME OF THE ROCKETS". This is a reference to the baseball team from the comics.


Preparation ran from March 6 until March 14, 2013. Filming ran from March 15 until March 26, 2013.[1]