For 5 years Oliver was stranded on the island of Lian Yu, an isolated island in the North China Sea, until a small fishing vessel passed by. To get its attention, he shot a flaming arrow into his pre-made signal fire at the shore, which lit up with a giant fireball. Thanks to their rescue, he was able to return home to Starling City.
As was shown from the archived news videos, Oliver was back to being in the media spotlight. We also found out that his father, Robert Queen, did not survive the sinking of the Queen's Gambit.
The island took its toll on Oliver, as Dr. Lamb points out that his body is covered in scars and burns. He also warns Oliver's Mother, Moria, that this may not be the same person she knew five years ago.
When he is taken home, with his wooden case from the island, he is greeted by Walter Steele, his fathers former business partner and the families housekeeper Raisa. He is also reunited with his younger sister Thea, who rushed down the stairs to hug him while telling him that she knew he wasn't dead.
Laurel Lance and her friend Joanna are introduced while discussing their case at a legal aid office. They are building a case against Adam Hunt, who swindled hundreds of people from their homes and money. Everything was business as usual for them until a newscast about Oliver's rescue got everyone's attention. It is from this newscast that we learn that the Queen's Gambit also took the life of her sister Sarah.
The story then flashes back to that dreadful night. The yacht has entered a Category 2 hurricane, and Oliver is cheating on Laurel by sleeping with her sister. His father warns him that it will not end well.
Back in the present day, Oliver's best friend Tommy arrived at the Queen mansion. Over dinner, he tries to quickly bring Oliver up to speed on what he missed, including Superbowl wins and the ending of Lost. Oliver then impresses Raisa with his Russian, and insults Walter who he learns has married his mother in his father's absence.
Another flashback to the night of the sinking. After a loud crash of thunder, the Yaht suddenly overturns, the cabin is filled with water, and Sarah is dragged to a watery grave. Oliver managed to get to the surface and is picked up by his father and his first mate in a raft. There is no sign of Sarah and the Ship is sinking fast.
When Moria checks on her son, she sees him sleeping on the floor next to an open window, letting the rain land on him. As she reaches over to make sure he is alright, he instinctively flips her on the ground and starts to choke her. As soon as he realizes what he is doing, he pulls away in terror and apologizes.
The next day, Oliver walks into Thea's room who is doing drugs with her friend Margo. They quickly hide the drugs and Margo leaves. Oliver then gives Thea a Hozen, a Buddhist symbol of reconnection, in hopes that it will allow them to reconnect now that he is back. Tommy walks in and ask for a t-shirt from his encounter.
While driving around town, Tommy tells Oliver he is planning a welcome home party. They then drive by a slummy area of the city where Queen Industries used to be in business. The next stop Oliver wants to make is to talk to Laurel, even after Tommy warning him it isn't a good idea.
Back at the law office, Joanna tells Laurel that Hunt has changed the court location so that a bribed judge will hear their case. She then sees Oliver standing near their board about Adam Hunt. Laurel is not happy with him and quickly moves the conversation away from their small talk and to her sister's death. She is conflicted with the death and doesn't know how to feel about her sister, but she wishes Oliver spent longer in hell than five years.
As Tommy and Oliver head back to the car, they are ambushed with tranquilizer darts. Before he passes out, Oliver sees a masked man gun down a shopkeeper who was just minding his own business.
Back in the lifeboat, Robert is giving Oliver their water, even after a protest by their crewmate. He then tells his son that he is not the good man he knows him to be; he didn't build Starling City, he helped destroy it.
Oliver awakens in an abandoned building tied to a chair. A masked man asks him if his father told him anything before he died. After noticing that Tommy is still unconscious on the floor, he tells the man who his father told Oliver to kill him. They laugh about his comeback and point out he is zip-cuffed to the chair. Oliver reveals he got free already, then takes of two of his captors as the third flees. After a quick check on Tommy, he pursues the other man across rooftops and into another building while easily dodging bullets. once he catches up to him, his captor begs for his life, but Oliver kills him anyway to protect his identity.
Once they return to the mansion, Detectives Hinton and Quentin Lance take their statement and the description of the hooded man Oliver created. Tommy backs up Oliver's story, but shows he knows it wasn't true. Quentin doesn't believe them and comments that Oliver's luck never seems to run out.
Back in his room, Oliver notes that Adam Hunt is one of the names in his father's book. Raisa suddenly walks in with food. Oliver tells her he missed her and she tells him he is a good boy and has a good heart.
As Oliver tries to leave, Moria introduces him to his new bodyguard, John Diggle. He makes it obvious he doesn't want a body guard. We learn that Diggle is ex-military, and he is going to do his job, even if it means making Oliver's life uncomfortable. This prompts Oliver to walk out of the car while it is moving, then disappears.
Oliver makes his way to the old Queen Industries building they drove by earlier in the episode where he shows off his muscles, knocks down some walls, punches holes in the floor, installs computers, and creates a small weapon cache. Once done, he then pulls out his bow he brought from the island, practices with a few bouncing tennis balls, then heads out to find Hunt.
Adam Hunt is very upset with his lawyer who hasn't been able to fix his Laurel problem yet. As the lawyer walks away, lights get shot out, then his bodyguards find themselves hit with arrows. Hunt fled into his car, but Arrow easily pulls him out through the window. With an arrow pointed at him, Oliver tells Hunt to transfer 50 million dollars to a bank account by 10PM the next night or he will be back to take it by force. Hunt yells that he should never show his face again, and the hooded Oliver shoots an arrow through the back window as a warning, then disappears.
At Hunt's office, the same two detectives are there questioning Adam about the attack. They aren't very happy with helping him, but Adam tells them to get a plan in place with his head of security, Drakon. Detective Hinton also points out that Oliver may have been telling them the truth after all. Quentin points out that he is just a vigilante and they will still work to stop him.
While heading to his party, Oliver finds himself sitting next to Diggle, who is now ready for his escape tricks. Once he arrives at the party, Oliver is welcomed back with a cheer from the crowd and a shot of tequila.
We are quickly shown that the party is happening right across the street from Adam Hunt's building, and that he is not happy with the party being so close.
At the party, Oliver notices Thea buying drugs from a dealer, so he heads over to confront her. She tells him how hard it was without him in her life, and she is doing the best she can. As she walks away from Oliver, he snagged the drugs and tossed them, which Diggle notices.
He then bumps into Laurel, who apologizes for their earlier conversation and then asks if her sister suffered. After his PDA informs him that the time expired and the money hasn't been transferred yet, he pushes Laurel away by telling her that he hasn't changed and he will only hurt her again. She takes it hard, but notes that at least he is honest now.
As Oliver tries to escape the building, Diggle intercepts him and attempts to stop him from leaving. Ollie then tricks him into a choke hold to knock him out.
Back in Adam Hunt's building, Drakon is putting the finishing touches on his security by placing men by the elevator. The detectives are waiting outside with a squad for backup too.
Suddenly the lights go out, the elevator opens and arrows fly out taking out the guards quickly. After throwing a man into the office, who gets mistakenly gunned down by his own men, Arrow fires an arrow just past Hunt's head. Drakon then attacks Arrow which ends with Ollie taking a bullet and Drakon on the floor with a dart in his chest.
The Detectives arrive to the office just in time to see the hooded vigilante sliding down a cable to the building where Oliver's party is at. This causes them to rush to the party, where Oliver offers a 2 million dollar reward for anyone who can help them with their investigation.
Tommy then points out that is quite the coincidence that Arrow showed up next to the building that Oliver requested the party to be held. He also asks him what happened to him on the island, which Oliver replied, "A lot".
The next day, Hunt finds out that someone stole the 40 million dollars from his accounts as the camera reveals the arrow Oliver shot had a wireless transmitter on it. Oliver is already redistributing the money, and crosses Adam Hunt's name off his list.
In another flashback, Robert tells Oliver the truth about the food and water, and that he wants Oliver to get home and correct his past misdeeds. Oliver tells his dad to just get some sleep, but his father pulls out a gun and shoots his crewmate, then himself in the head.
Back at the law office, Laurel and Joanna are celebrating the fact that someone is giving their clients their money back. The city has a new guardian angel.
Outside, Laurel meets up with Tommy to discuss Oliver. Laurel tells Tommy there is nothing between her and Oliver now. Tommy then reveals that they have been having their own intermittent relationship while Oliver was gone. Laurel doesn't believe that Tommy could be anything more as he isn't a one-woman type of guy. The camera then reveals that Arrow was watching them the entire time.
With another quick flashback, we are shown Oliver grieving the loss of his father on the raft, which is quickly coming up to the island he was found on.
Just before the credits, we are shown Moria meeting with an unknown man who tells her that the police will never link Oliver's abductors to her, then asks if they should attempt it again. She refuses and states there are other ways to find out what he knows.