The team on the CW’s “Arrow” is down its most important member after last week’s midseason final. This week, The Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) and the rest of the gang had to pick up the pieces and fight on anyway.
With the team’s resident hacker, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), taking some time off to acclimate to life in a wheelchair, the team finds itself lacking when it comes to stopping a group of soldiers called Shadowspire from doing some pretty nasty things in Star City.
The episode opens with John Diggle (David Ramsey) out for a much-needed date with the mother of his child, and former A.R.G.U.S. agent, Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson). They’re debating whether or not to pay the babysitter for another hour when a strange man from their past runs up to them like a madman. He tells them that he’s been compromised and can’t return to the government organization, A.R.G.U.S., for help. As quickly as he arrived, he was gone as he gets shot in the back by machine gun fire. Diggle takes a flesh wound in the fray and isn’t able to chase the bad guys down.
Obviously, Diggle and Lyla decide to contact Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) of A.R.G.U.S. to investigate their friend’s death. It turns out that he'd survived the attack, but had been mutilated and tortured before his body showed up on the street. Waller says she can’t help but discretely slips Lyla a flash drive with information on Shadowspire.
Apparently their now deceased friend was investigating the villainous war profiteers along with two other agents. Team Arrow gets a lead on the other agent’s location from Diggle’s captured brother Andy (Eugene Byrd). In Afghanistan, 2005, the two brothers were stationed together for a time working with Shadowspire, back when it was a just a private military company and not a full-throttle evil organization. They were offered a chance to get in on some of the group’s nefarious activities after proving themselves in battle. John says no, but Andy does not, giving him inside information about the group’s operations in Star City in 2016.
When the gang arrives, they realize that the warehouse that Shadowspire is using has top-of-the-line security. They’ll need the help of their expert hacker, but she’s not really ready to be back in the game. Previously, she told Oliver that she didn’t think herself fit to be a member of Team Arrow until she recovers from her spinal cord injury and gets used to being in a wheelchair. Her confidence is shaken even further when her medication starts making her hallucinate. She spends most of the episode being harassed by her younger self, when she was a goth, power-to-the-people hacker in college. Despite her current condition, she logs on and takes down the security system for her team anyway.
While they’re fighting, she makes a mistake and overloads the system, putting Diggle and Oliver in serious danger. Luckily, they’re able to punch their way out of it, but it ruins Felicity’s confidence. Meanwhile, Diggle is convinced that Andy can provide help in tracking down Shadowspire, so he takes him in to see Waller.
The government official informs them that Shadowspire seems to be going after a weapons cache, but Andy seems to think it’s not their style. He informs them that the group typically deals in misdirection, and if it looks like they’re going to go one way, they usually go another. His theory is proven right when Shadowspire never makes a move on the weapons and, instead, opts to assault A.R.G.U.S. headquarters while Diggle, Lyla and Andy are there. The group’s leader informs Waller that he’s going to start killing her people one by one unless she gives up something called the Rubicon codes. It’s unclear exactly what this information would provide Shadowspire with, but it cannot be good, so Waller refuses.
When it becomes clear that the head of A.R.G.U.S. won’t help, a Shadowspire leader executes her. That’s right, the government character that’s been with the show for so many years, appeared to die in one shockingly fast and, completely unceremonious, flash. Diggle manages to escape capture, John McClain-style, and is crawling around in the vents when the soldiers discover Andy. They’d previously worked with him in Afghanistan so they bring him to their leader. Andy informs them that Diggle is in the building and tells them if they find him, Lyla will likely cough up the code. They capture Diggle, but not before he puts out a call to Team Arrow for backup.
Shadowspire puts a gun to his head and demands Lyla give them the codes, which she agrees to do. However, when she’s trying to access them on the A.R.G.U.S. computers, she’s stopped by none other than Felicity. After being tormented by her hallucination, she finally realized that her current condition is a side effect of who she is and the choice she made to help a team of superheroes. With her confidence restored, she’s back in action with a cool new code name.
Despite rumors that Felicity would become the Arrowverse’s version of the DC Comics character Oracle (via CinemaBlend), the show shut those rumors down for good with a snappy line of dialog in which Oliver dubs his fiancee “Overwatch” noting that “Oracle” was taken. The team bursts in the room just as Andy, who appeared to have turned on his brother, switches sides again and saves John from being executed and helps Team Arrow take on the Shadowspire soldiers. A pretty impressive fight breaks out and the combined efforts of John, Andy, Lyla and Team Arrow are enough to win. Just like that, the threat from Shadowspire is over and there’s only been one main casualty, and a few red shirts.
The episode ends on a high note as Felicity and Oliver burn away her past and look ahead to the future and helping her grow despite her current condition. In addition, now that Andy has proven himself to no longer be a bad guy, Diggle agrees to move him out of his cell in the team’s lair and into his home so he can finally meet his niece.
ODDS AND ENDS:
- Does this mean that Barbra Gordon actually exists in the “Arrow” universe? Does that mean Batman exists as well?
- Is Felicity really a diminished member of the team without the ability to walk? She did most of her best work from a chair anyway.
- Andy is revealed to have a connection to Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola), the same person that has been seeking something mystical in the running Season 4 flashback that depicts Oliver’s time five years on the island.
- Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) didn’t appear at all in this episode, but he’ll still be seen on TV this week in the next episode of “Legends of Tomorrow.”