Team Arrow is fighting battles on a couple of fronts this week, against foes old and new. Meanwhile, the retired Oliver Queen finds himself in a position that is entirely new to him after years of being a crime-fighting vigilante.
Previously, on ARROW…
We take a break this week from the ongoing FBI investigation into Oliver Queen’s ties to the Green Arrow (though it does get mentioned) and Oliver’s struggles to be a better dad to his son, William. Instead, most of Team Arrow goes on the hunt for a returning Black Siren, who has killed seemingly completely boring individuals in Star City. At the same time, Felicity gets pulled back in to dealing with Helix, as Alena, the liaison who brought Felicity in to Helix last season, pleads for some help when the hacking groups leader, Cayden James, seemingly plans to wipe out 300 million people worldwide.
As it turns out, the two threads are related. Black Siren – the Earth 2 Laurel Lance – is working for James. And the seemingly unremarkable people she’s killed are actually very important – they hold the pass keys to the vault that keeps all of the internet running. Cutting out the internet wouldn’t just force everyone to have actual conversations at the dinner table instead of fidgeting with their phones. The internet now controls pretty much every aspect of life, and losing access could be fairly catastrophic. So Felicity needs to be on site to the vault to stop James’ plan, and the rest of Team Arrow backs her up, battling Black Siren and the rest of James’ henchmen.
The team has some unexpected help, though. Oliver, who spends the episode either having Felicity run out on him the way he used to run out on her OR trying to help Felicity with disastrous results, finally sits down in her chair at the team’s headquarters and serves as an extra set of eyes. The former hero and current Mayor of Star City got a taste of what it was like to be in a relationship with him when he was donning the cowl. He takes it fairly well and is unfailingly supportive of Felicity in her endeavors. With the relationship between Felicity and Oliver fervently back on, it’s nice to see them openly talking about what’s going on in their lives, instead of the secretive nature of the previous iteration of their relationship. I don’t know that I would have been able to handle it if the writers just went back to creating drama when their needn’t be any.
Back to Cayden James and his plan – we learn toward the end of the episode that the plot Felicity foiled was just a feint, and he used her hacking skills to get access he wouldn’t have had otherwise. James, played by LOST’s Michael Emerson, explains it all to Black Siren as they head towards a plane together. I, personally, wouldn’t get on a plane with him, but I spent way too much time watching Lost…
As the fourth episode of the season closed, Oliver and Felicity tried to have some together time, though this time it’s Oliver’s phone that disrupts things. It’s Slade Wilson. Which means, next episode, we get Deathstroke.
Overall, this wasn’t a very complicated episode, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We got some story progression, some character progression and a very back-to-basics episode to set the stage for what’s to come.
• Curtis tells Felicity he’ll handle things on the team’s tech end to give her time to spend with Oliver because, as he puts it, he’s their biggest ‘shipper, a nice minor meta moment which will hopefully not be repeated any time soon.
• The name “Helix” has some history with DC Comics. The name was used as an imprint for more science fiction-heavy books at the publisher in the 1990s. The imprint last for about two years and published about a dozen different books, the most notable of them being Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan. When the imprint folded in 1998, Transmet moved to the more popular and more stable VERTIGO imprint, which is where it ended its 60-issue run in 2002.
The Super Cinco
- Felicity Smoak – The team’s resident tech genius was the focal point of this episode, as she tried to balance her relationship with Oliver, her duties with Team Arrow and being dragged back into the confusion with Helix. While Diggle is wearing the green hood, Felicity took point this episode with the brooding that used to be exclusively Oliver’s job. Still, she came through in the clutch. (Last Week’s Ranking – 4)
- Oliver Queen – The Mayor of Star City’s hiatus from being Green Arrow continues, though this week he found a way to contribute to the team so he could be there for Felicity the way she has been for him. Oliver seemed to be adjusting well to civilian life, and you have to wonder if this week’s escapades – combined with a visit from Slade next week – will push him over the edge. (Last Week’s Ranking – 5)
- John Diggle / Green Arrow – Diggle is starting to come into his own as team leader, and he spends the episode kicking ass and taking names. Good stuff from the “hoss/boss” (as Wild Dog would put it) this week. (Last Week’s Ranking – 1)
- Curtis Holt / Mr. Terrific – The show is starting to rely on him more and more for tech stuff, which is good. He’s a fantastic character and deserves more screen time. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
- Cayden James – This week’s big bad had a big impact, and while Team Arrow thinks he’s been defeated, there are clearly more plans in the works. (Last Week’s Ranking – Unranked)
That’s all for this week, be sure to check out my recaps of SUPERGIRL, along with Joe’s looks at both THE FLASH and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW! And be sure to come back later for week 4 of the ARROWVERSE POWER RANKINGS for the 2017-2018 season.