The episode begins on the Queen's Gambit, flashing back to the night of the crash, when Sara is talking to her father on the phone. As they pour champagne and flirt, Sara worries about the storm outside, but Ollie dismisses her concerns. from that point on, excepting the fact that it's Caity Lotz playing Sara, we've seen the sequence, with Oliver and Sara being separated as the boat is torn apart in the storm.
This time, though, we follow Sara instead of Oliver, as she fights for her life in the open water and watches the Gambit go down from outside, screaming Ollie's name.
Sara wakes up, in the present.
Oliver is downstairs watching sports when Sara comes down, thanking him for letting her stay there and for not telling people that she's back. He tries to guilt her into telling her family herself, admitting he missed her. She tells him that they won't be as happy to see her as they think. She suggests they weren't too happy to see him. He admits he and Laurel tried to get back together but failed. Sara says some things are better left in the past.
At the prison, the prosecutor--now with Laurel at his side. Jean Loring tells him that he's going to offer them a plea--life with the possibility of parole. Jean won't consider the deal, but Laurel tells them that if she doesn't take it, she's going to face the death penalty. The DA says they've subpoenaed decades of messages, e-mails, voicemail and phone calls and hope to comb through all of it to prove she wasn't under duress from Merlyn.
Oliver follows the prosecutors out, berating Laurel for taking the job. She says she doesn't have the pull to drop the case. She says she used all of her influence to get her the plea bargain. He asks if she's okay, but she blows him off.
Back at Oliver's, Sara is looking over the photos on one of his tables, including one of the Gambit. She flashes back to the day she was shipwrecked.
She wakes up a floating piece of the gambit, a canary flying off to the Amazo nearby. Laurel starts to scream for help from the passing craft, as much as her exhausted body will let her, then passes out on the wood.
Oliver arrives, telling Sara that Laurel is working on the case against his mother. He asks whether she's keeping her secret becuase of what happened on the island. SHe tells him no, that it's what happened after. She tells him that she had to do things to survive that there's no forgiveness for. As he's trying to talk her down from that, an assassin crashes in and interrupts them. He briefly thinks it's Merlyn, but the two fight the man off, unmasking him to reveal Al Owal.
When Oliver asks why he's dressed like Malcolm Merlyn, the man throws something at a chandelier, nearly dropping it on top of Sara, and when Ollie turns to make sure she got away (she did), the intruder vanishes.
Back at the Arrowcave, Sara is admiring the cave, saying she first saw it on Shado. Oliver introduces her to Diggle and Felicity. Oliver tells them that there's an underling or impersonator of Merlyn's that attacked him at his home, and that they want to hunt him down. Sara tells him not to hunt for Al-Owal, that he's a member of the League of Assassins. She tells Oliver that's where she's been--that they saved her after the freighter and brought her to Nanda Parbat for training.
She says that she knows the only way you leave the League of Assassins is dead, and that's why she doesn't want to see her family--that she's a murderer and they won't be happy to see her. Oliver gets a text, asking where he is, and says he has to go to the prison. He tells Felicity to find Al-Owal.
Oliver arrives at the prison, where his mother has decided to take the deal. Loring says she disapproves, but her client is not confident she can win over a jury, and says she's not afraid of death. Thea has a fit and leaves, and Jean follows her, leaving Oliver alone with his mom. He tells her that he didn't think there were secrets kept between them until last year, but he knows now and wants to know what.
She asks him to help Thea come to terms with her choice, becuase it's made.
Back at the cave, Felicity is still working on Al Owal's thing, and Sara thanks them for their help and tells them Ollie is lucky to have them. Felicity has tracked a likely location for Oliver to go after Al Owal. Sara tries to stop him but he's determined.
At an abandoned plant where Ollie finds "The First," Al Owal catches an arrow just before it kills him. Oliver tells him to leave Sara alone, but Al Owal is not afraid of Oliver, saying he's the one who trained Merlyn. Behind Al Owal, Canary shows up--he tells her that the child of Ra's al Ghul awaits her return--that she's coming back, alive or dead. A pair of assasins come out of the darkness, going after Sara whiel Ollie jumps at Al-Owal. Ultimately, Oliver and Sara get out of the building, with Al-Owal telling her that if she won't return willingly, he will kill her family.
At the Arrowcave, Ollie is stitching Sara up, who doesn't flinch. Oliver asks Diggle why Sara wouldn't tell her what happened to her, and that they need to protect the Lances. Felicity will take care of Detective Lance and Oliver will watch Laurel. They leave, and she tells Diggle they're quite the team.
In flashback, she wakes up on the floor of the cell on board the Amazo and is draged out by her captors. Ivo comes out to tell them to let her go, so they throw her at him.
Felicity goes to Lance, telling him he's in danger from the League of Assassins--that Merlyn was a member and three like him are targeting him. He asks what he did to upset them, but she can't tell him since she promised Sara she wouldn't tell him she's alive. He won't leave town and goes up to his apartment.
Oliver goes to Laurel's office to meet up with her, offering her companionship for dinner and a friendly shoulder after a hard few weeks.
At the cave, Felicity tells the group that Quentin won't leave, and Sara gathers her things to go keep an eye on him, over everyone's objections, saying it's better that he knows she lived than he dies. Diggle wants to follow but she won't let him.
Outside Quentin's apartment, he steps out onto the street and is startled by every passing noise and motion, apparently taking the threat of the League seriously. Finally, Sara walks up to him and while he had at first pulled a gun on her, she identifies herself and the two hug and cry.
At a bar, Sara and her dad are sitting together, and she tells him that she's kept tabs a bit, but he asks why she didn't tell them she was alive. He tells her none of the baggage that's happened since her "death" matters now that she's home. There's a noise that startles her and she pulls a knife and gets hyper-vigilant. He asks if she's in trouble, but she tells him that he is. He realizes that she knows Arrow and that she sent Felicity. He immediately figures out she's Canary. He's upset that she's been home for weeks and hasn't told him she's there. He asks if she'd ever have told him she was alive if not for the Assassins. She says no, and that she wants to leave and take him with her to retreat from the League. He follows her.
Back on the Amazo (in flashback), Ivo shows Sara his living quarters, telling her she's welcome there. She panics at first when he locks the door but he tells her it's just habit. He invites her in to have a seat and sympathizes when she's crying and panicked. He introduces himself, saying that he wants to save the human race, and maybe she can help.
Back at the hotel, Oliver and Laurel are walking back to her room after dinner. She moves in for a kiss, thinking that him walking her safely home was an advance. She starts to spiral into self-pity at the rejection, asking what's so wrong with her that everybody leaves. Oliver says he'll never leave, but she tells him that he has. She notices her door is open, saying she thought she locked it, and Oliver goes to check inside her room. There's a knife buried in a door, which Oliver pulls out, telling her she's safe but he has to go. He tells her to stay there and safe. He leaves and she starts to down pills.
Lance and Sara are in the clocktower, where she tells him her Assassin name was The Canary, and that she always remembered the canary he got her as a kid, and always remembered him, no matter how bad things got. They turn around and there are three assassins waiting for them.
She tells them she knew they would find her there, and gets ready to fight them. Lance is firing off ineffectual shots at the men while his daughter takes them out, telling them to be mindful of their surroundings. Finally one has a sword to her throat, and pulls off his mask. It's Al-Owal, but before he can act, Arrow busts in. One of the men stands over Lance, threatening him, but Lance pulls out a second, hidden gun and shoots him down. Sara breaks Al-Owal's neck (after he tells her that she won't be granted mercy just because she is "the beloved") and then tells the third man to tell Ra's al Ghul to leave her family out of it--that his quarrel is with her.
She tells her father she's sorry he saw her kill someone, that she can't imagine what he thinks. But he tells her he's proud of her for being brave, and it's time for her to come back home. She tells him they'll never stop looking for her, but that she can't stay home and he can't tell Laurel or her mother that she's alive, or they'll keep looking for her and that will put her in the crosshairs of the League. Quentin tells her he can't let her go, but she says she has to. She tells Arrow to keep them safe. Arrow tells Quentin she's right--that he has to keep her secret. Lance says it's the hardest thing he's ever had to do.
Back at Iron Heights, Oliver and Thea are visiting with their mother, telling her that he understands now why she was hiding her past--that whatever she's hiding, it won't make them love her any less. Thea tells her that she needs to fight, that that's how she raised them. Oliver tells her that whatever comes out, she'll never lose them, and she agrees to reject the plea deal.
At Laurel's office, her father comes to see her. She seems out of it, and tries to avoid him. He tells her that he has to see her. She tells him that she's just tired and has had a long week, and doesn't know if she's alright, which is why she hasn't called him back. She tells him she wishes she knew it gets better. He tells her that he knows--and he wishes he could tell her why. They hug.
Back in the Arowcave, Ollie and Diggle are talking about Sara, who has left. Diggle asks him if he's OKk with that, and Oliver said he didn't have much choice. He takes out some alcohol that an old friend gave him, saying that he's know the right time to drink it. He and Diggle do a Russian toast. Oliver admits Diggle was right--that no matter what he does, his past won't stay buried. He says he doesn't want to try so hard anymore. He tells him that in the five years he was gone, he wasn't always on the island.
Cut to Oliver on board the Amazo, where he sees Sara, as we've seen in previous episodes. He talks to her and she kicks him, saying prisoners do not speak.