With his body and ego bruised after being defeated by the mysterious Dark Archer (John Barrowman), and his father-in-law (Colin Salmon) still missing, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) decides go take a break from his role as Starling City’s vigilante. But when Laurel (Katie Cassidy) asks for Green Arrow’s help in the suspicious death of a firefighter, and brother of her best friend (Annie Ilonzeh), Oliver suits back up, with more than a little prompting from Diggle (David Ramsey), to look in to what Joanna is sure was just one of several premeditated murders of firefighters in recent weeks.
On his first night back in action Green Arrow discovers his Joanna is right as someone dressed as a fireman is slowly picking off members of the Starling City Fire Department one by one each time they respond to a fire. Oliver’s failure makes him think back to the first time he was forced to take a life to survive on the island and how much more he has to lose now compared to the those isolated years.
Seeing the effect of Walter’s disappearance on her mother (Susanna Thompson) reminds Thea (Willa Holland) of the months after her father and Olivier’s disappearance which prompts Thea to shake some sense into Moira and get her out of the house. Things aren’t improved when the stockholders begin demanding Walter be replaced as CEO of Queen Consolidated. Tommy (Colin Donnell) tries to help out as well by offering to host a benefit for the fire department in Oliver’s unfinished night club.
Green Arrow catches the killer, a former firefighter (Andrew Dunbar) taking revenge on his former comrades who left him alone to burn years ago, who shows up to torch Oliver’s new club. “Burned” also gives us a new connection between the detective’s daughter and the vigilante when Laurel steals the phone Green Arrow used previously to contact Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Laurel is surprised by her father’s willingness to let her keep the phone, but he has his own purposes for doing so as the police officer has far from given up at bringing Green Arrow to justice (even if he has to use his daughter to do so).