Moira Queen is really running for mayor against Sebastian Blood. In order to give this questionable storyline some extra gravitas, Felicity has deduced that Thea's father is really Malcolm Merlyn. She confronts Moira with this news, but nothing happens. So she tells Oliver, who decides that he now hates his mother and wants nothing to do with her because she's a dirty liar. But he'll still support her political campaign, because we all know how much political power billionaire wastrels have.
Laurel's latest overdose has brought her family together. Not only is Quentin at her side in the hospital, but her mother Dinah (Alex Kingston!) is there. And she doesn't know it, but Sara is back in town, practically daring the League of Assassins to come and kill her. Sure enough, a classy assassin (or "class-assin" -- no, wait, forget that name) named Nyssa shows up. And Nyssa isn't just the daughter of Ra's al Ghul. She's also Sara's ex-lover! And she's not at all happy about the way Sara left without saying goodbye, so when Sara won't go back with her, she kidnaps Dinah.
The flashbacks in this episode are a refreshing change from the island. Instead, we get to see the Lance family in their happy, pre-shipwreck days. Back then, everybody was in love with each other, although Laurel and Sara sniped at each other a little. So now we know why Sara went on the boat with Oliver. It's like Lost! We also see Quentin and Laurel learn about the wreck of the Queen's Gambit and that Sara was on the boat in the first place, but both scenes go pretty much like you'd expect.
It turns out that Laurel's overdose wasn't due to drugs. Instead, she was dosed with a particular kind of snake venom, so the team is able to determine that somebody broke into the Starling City Zoo to milk a snake. And he used a rental car, so they're able to track him down. But when he's defeated in a fight, he kills himself before he can be forced to reveal where Nyssa is. So Sara decides to give herself up to Nyssa in order to get her mother freed. But in an interesting twist, she poisons herself on the way, so she can die tragically in Nyssa's arms. Then Oliver shows up, fights Nyssa and revives Sara with his magic herbs, so she's fine. Nyssa is so impressed that she releases Sara from her oath to the League of Assassins, so Sara's free to live her life. Her parents are delighted -- especially her mother -- who didn't even know she was alive. Laurel, however, is furious that Sara ruined her life and never told her family she was alive, so she starts drinking again. People on this show really get angry when they find out you didn't die in a shipwreck like you were supposed to.
We open at the Starling City airport. A sassy lady with a fedora strolls up to the customs checkpoint and hands over a passport that establishes her name as Nyssa Raatko. This triggers an ARGUS Security alert, and she chooses to beat up the security agents instead of giving up. Once they're all lying on the ground (either unconscious or dead, it's not clear), she takes her suitcase and strolls through the gate. This strikes me as a really dumb way to enter the country. I'll accept that the Starling City police are wildly incompetent, but she just attacked federal agents. Shouldn't that trigger some kind of alarm somewhere? As it happens, there will be no repercussions from this scene, but there ought to be. Nyssa should have traveled under a different passport, the same way every other villain on this show does. And now she's just going to get a cab to her hotel?
Okay. We're seriously doing this mayoral campaign. I guess her campaign manager is Mark Frances, the super-bland guy we met last week. This show already has plenty of characters, and I don't see the need to introduce a new one, especially since he doesn't seem to have a personality. Why not find a way to let Diggle be the campaign manager? Or, at least, Walter since he has to be in all these scenes anyway. He wants to get Moira in front of cameras, even though she's not excited about campaigning. Felicity wants to talk to Walter about Tempest, which she clarifies as "Mrs. Queen's super-sketchy offshore LLC you asked me to look into last year." Oh, that thing! It was her secret company that stole two million dollars from Q Consolidated so she could dredge up the Queen's Gambit. The latest news is that a few days ago, Tempest transferred money to Starling National Bank. Walter thanks her for bringing it to his attention, although he's clearly pretty annoyed that she's still spying on Moira. Even though he specifically told her to. Back in the conference room, Mark tells Oliver he'll need to stop supporting Sebastian Blood. Sure, that makes sense. And then Oliver gets a call and tells the mystery person on the other end that he'll be right there.
"There" turns out to be the hospital, where Laurel Lance has been installed after her bender in the last episode. Her father Quentin is there, and so is her mother! That's Dinah Lance, played by Alex Kingston. It's always fun to see her. Quentin wants to send Laurel to a rehab facility, but she insists she didn't take any pills last night. But, and I hate to keep harping on this, she was drinking an awful lot, and it's not like the character doesn't abuse prescription drugs. She just happened to be drugged by someone else this one time. A nurse says they need to check the eye she hurt and a close-up reveals that there's a tiny bit of orange in it. It's probably significant somehow. Laurel tells Quentin that just before she passed out, she saw Sara. She knows it was a hallucination, but she still wants to tell him about how happy it made her to think for a second that Sara was still alive. Quentin can't tell her that he knows it was really Sara.