Arrow – The Dragon
By: Stacy Miller
Zandia Orphanage, Starling City Thirty-Two Years Ago. A young Ricardo Diaz (Max Archibald) is bullied by an older boy named Jesse (Beni Gottesman). Jesse threatens Ricardo with a lighter then burns the boy’s last photo of Diaz’s father. Young Ricardo seethes after Jesse leaves the room.
Blüdhaven Present Day. Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) tells Laurel (Katie Cassidy) that patience is a virtue she needs to acquire. He plans to introduce her to The Quandrant, a criminal organization that controls crime in the four areas of the country. They meet with Eric Cartier (Ashton Holmes), the son of one of the heads of Quadrant.
In Star City, Curtis (Echo Kellum) comes to see Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), it’s been a while since they done any Helix business.
During his meeting with Eric, Cartier tells Diaz that not everyone can become a member of the Quadrant, they’re not some pot luck where everyone gets an invite to the table. Although Diaz just offered the Quadrant free range to Star City, Eric Cartier basically tells him that he has to audition to prove that he is good enough to be part of the Quadrant. Cartier tells Diaz that he needs him to find a man named Robert Baylor (Behtash Fazlali) before Baylor gives information over to the Feds. Ricardo Diaz asks to use the bathroom. But once inside, Diaz angrily looks into the mirror and punches it. Afterwards, Laurel asks Ricardo how he feels about rolling over and playing fetch for the Quadrant. Diaz tells Laurel that the ends justifies the means and once he has the power The Quadrant can give, he’ll be unstoppable.
Felicity brings Curtis up to speed on what’s been happening with Oliver; how Oliver had a run in with the drug Vertigo and then decided that the only way to bring Diaz down was to get back the mission to basics by becoming a lone wolf again.
Eric Cartier orders Diaz to bring Baylor to him. Cartier’s treating Ricardo Diaz like his pet dog and asking him to go fetch. Eric notices the bandage on Ricardo’s hand and asks Diaz what happened. “I got angry with someone,” Diaz answers.
Diaz and Laurel find the safe house where the Feds are holding Robert Baylor. Laurel uses her canary scream to blow open the door. After fighting the Feds, Diaz comes outside with Baylor. Eric Cartier pulls up in his car. Baylor swears to God that he didn’t tell the Feds anything. “Why don’t you tell him yourself?’ Eric suggests as he pumps Baylor with bullets and also shoots Ricardo Diaz. Eric Cartier drives off. He doesn’t realize that Ricardo Diaz was anticipating the betrayal and was prepared by wearing a bullet proof vest. “What if he had shot you in the head?” Laurel asks. “I’d be dead,” Diaz answers.
Meanwhile, Eric Cartier places a call to his father and tells Eric Cartier Sr. (J. Douglas Stewart) that Baylor is taken care of and Diaz never saw it coming; the stupid thug thought he’d actually had a chance to join The Quadrant. Eric Cartier Sr. tells his son that they will take Diaz’s city away from him. But Eric Cartier Jr. under estimated Ricardo Diaz and soon learns the error of his ways when Diaz and Laurel break into his club.
Felicity tells Curtis that getting fired from Team Arrow will give her more time to focus on Helix. Just then, she hears a news report about the Green Arrow being scene in an area before there was a massive explosion.
Ricardo Diaz tells Eric Cartier how Diaz was an orphan and grew up in an orphanage complete with nuns and everything. There was an older boy there named Jesse who thought he was better than him (Diaz) and forced young Ricardo to make his (Jesse) bed, treating him like a servant. “I’m no body’s servant,” Ricardo Diaz tells Eric, cutting Cartier’s face then demanding to know the location of The Quadrant’s next meeting.
Driving in their car, Laurel warns Diaz not to get too cocky. She wonders why Ricardo is willing to disrespect himself in an attempt to get the self-respect from an organization that treats him like dirt. Diaz continues to talk about Jesse and how the boy met him feel like he wasn’t good enough. It’s obvious that the scars Ricardo Diaz carries with him from his childhood bullying run deep and helped turn him into the man/killer he became today. Stopping at the location of The Quadrant meeting, Diaz pushes Eric Cartier Jr. inside the room then detonates the bomb he had strapped to the man’s chest. “You think they saw that coming?” he asks Laurel, as they enter the room. Eric Cartier Sr. tells Diaz that he killed his (Eric Cartier’s Sr.) son, but Cartier Sr. doesn’t intend to kill Diaz. Instead he’ll have him taken to a place where little pieces will be carved out of him enough to make him suffer but without him dying. Diaz tells Eric Cartier Sr. that he asked Eric Jr. to bring him to the meeting without bloodshed but Eric Sr.’s son didn’t do it, so he basically killed himself. Ricardo Diaz tells The Quadrant that he can offer them all his contacts and throw Star City in as a bonus. But Eric Cartier Sr. refuses to go into business with the man who killed his boy. There’s no empty seat at the table. “You’re a street thug,” Eric Cartier Sr. taunts Diaz. Ricardo shoots him, killing the man. “Oh look, an empty seat.” The Quadrant is intrigued by Diaz’s proposal but reminds that they are a civilized organization that doesn’t kill everyone for scraps.
Felicity is relieved when she returns home and finds Oliver (Stephen Amell) there. She was afraid the she lost him in the explosion that was reported. Oliver assures his wife that he will never leave her or William.
Ricardo Diaz arrives at the home of Jesse (Paul Moniz de Sa) and ties the confused man up. Jesse doesn’t know what the man who he later learns is a crime lord wants with him. Diaz brings Jesse to a rooftop of a building and introduces him to Laurel. Then, Diaz reminds Jesse who he is…little Ricardo Diaz who Jesse bullied when they were in that orphanage together all those years ago. Diaz shows Jesse the burned photograph of Ricardo’s father that Diaz reached into the burning wastebasket to retrieve, giving him burned cracked blisters for weeks. “I promised myself that I would get my payback when I wasn’t a loser,” Ricardo Diaz says, “Do you still like fire Jesse?” And with that, Diaz tosses his lighter onto Jesse, who he earlier doused with accelerant as a shocked Laurel watches. Poor Jesse learned the hard way that when you cross Ricardo Diaz, you get burned!