Last episode, Oliver was battered and beaten by Prometheus. Now, he’s still looking horrible, and is sticking by his pronouncement that the team is done. I think that’s horribly unfair of Oliver. Even if he’s done as a hero, I question why he gets to decide that for everyone else. Then again, he’s not at his most rational right now. Felicity and Diggle try and talk him down, but he’s not having any. That scene ends with Oliver and Diggle stalking off in opposite directions. While that one is kind of obvious, I was impressed with the blocking and staging throughout the episode. I think they did a great job of saying a lot with character movements this week.
The next day, Felicity is hosting the rest of the team at her place. The loft has been recycled several times, from Thea’s place, to Oliver and Felicity, just Felicity, and now Lair-in-exile. They get a lot of use out of that set. The team is dumbstruck by Oliver’s decision to shut them down, and most of them want to go after Chase on their own. Diggle storms in and gives the team a mini-pep talk, as well as another lame excuse for Thea not being around. Seriously, is Willa Holland doing another show or something? Oliver has apparently reprogrammed the access to the Lair, which is allegedly keeping the team out. Since any bad guy that wanted to managed to stroll right in, I don’t buy that. Lyla’s going to get them some ARGUS surplus gear, and Diggle reminds them they are not the anti-Prometheus team, and are now the city’s last line of defense. Felicity slips out to “keep an eye on Prometheus” which probably means going back to her Helix friends.
In his office, Oliver is having a meeting with Quentin. Quentin covered Oliver’s time in captivity by claiming the mayor was on a spiritual retreat, which is lame enough to at least be accepted by the media and general public. Oliver continues his attitude of utter defeat, which puzzles Quentin. Things get more complex when Chase himself comes in, thanking Oliver for his bereavement leave. After Oliver asks for them to speak in private, Quentin leaves with a snort of disgust. Oliver is puzzled as to why Chase is there, telling him it’s over and that he won. A smirking Chase says he never said that, and leaves a small blade on Oliver’s desk after more taunting.
Felicity, as I guessed, is back at Helix with Kojo. With Helix’s massive, terrifying resources, they’ve even managed to get a shot of Prometheus unmasking. Unfortunately, he’s using some weird tech that blurs his face on camera. The two girl geniuses start working on a plan to reverse engineer Prometheus’ gadget.
In Oliver’s office, he has yet another meeting, this time with Susan. She has head a bit about what happened to him and is worried. She filed a statement with the police about Chase being the one that kidnapped her, but there’s no proof and the police aren’t able to follow up on it. Oliver continues his process of shutting his life down by breaking things off with her. This is at least the first time he’s gotten up from behind his desk, which seems like a mixture of exhaustion on Oliver’s part and using it to distance himself from everyone.
Down in the Lair, Oliver is going to new and bizarre lengths in his struggle. He’s brought in an old friend, sort of. Anatoli is there, and Oliver tells him he wants Anatoli to kill Adrian Chase. I don’t know if Chase saw that coming, but I definitely didn’t. There’s a sweeping shot of the Lair with all the costumes in boxes. That’s actually sad to see. Anatoli is surprised that Oliver is giving up his hood. Anatoli is happy that Oliver has remembered his Bratva oaths, and Oliver just wants Chase dead. Anatoli wants to toast their new deal, looks at all the boxes, and hopes Oliver didn’t put away the vodka.
Rene is not impressed with the gear on loan from ARGUS. There’s a lot of grousing in this scene, but what I found interesting was Spartan commenting that they don’t have their special tranq ammo since Oliver locked them out. I’ve been commenting for a while that it was weird that Wild Dog and Spartan were using guns so often and so casually. Hearing they’re using tranq ammo is something of a relief, but I’m not sure I buy it considering how much damage their weapons do the surroundings when there’s a fight. If something is mild enough to be non-lethal, it’s not shattering windows and sparking off everything metal anywhere near them. The team responds to an alarm about a break in, and gets a few surprises. The thugs are speaking Russian, they are led by Anatoli, and Anatoli tells them the Bratva is in town by Oliver’s invitation.
Diggle storms into Oliver’s office at City Hall and they have a very tense confrontation. Diggle is furious that Oliver has invited gangsters into their city, while Oliver is far from happy about Diggle running the team without him. Diggle gets yet another shock when Oliver tells him that Anatoli and his crew are in town to kill Adrian Chase. They argue a lot more, with Oliver wallowing in self-blame and doubt and such. Finally, Oliver dismisses Diggle after telling him very sharply that the team is over. Again.
The team meets up again at Felicity’s place, and shock ripples among them again at hearing why Oliver has Anatoli in town. Rene, rarely for him, looks at the bigger picture, talking about the company that the Bratva robbed being on the edge of going out of business and hundreds of jobs being on the line. We also learn that Rene is banned from City Hall because Lance is worried that Rene will shoot Chase on sight. That leads to a really amusing look between Rene and Dinah. Those two seem to be on the same page a lot. Felicity is about to slip away again when Diggle asks to talk to her upstairs in private. Curtis takes advantage of this distraction to do something to her computer.
Diggle appeals to Felicity to help him talk sense in to Oliver. They’re the ones who have known him longest and best. Felicity, shockingly, isn’t sure that Oliver is wrong. She suggests they just get out of the way and let the Bratva do its work. She leaves, a stunned Diggle in her wake. I really don’t like the Dark Felicity story.
Anatoli is hanging with Oliver in the semi-abandoned Lair, talking about the drug they stole from under the team’s collective nose. It’s part of the compound they need to make a brand new, highly addictive street drug. Diggle comes in just in time to hear this, and gets even madder. He points out that Curtis, of course, was able to hack the locks to let the team back in. Oliver, for his part, says he doesn’t want to keep having the same conversation and that the team is done. They talk about Oliver’s crusade, and Oliver finally gives some hints of what happened with Chase. The argument ends with Oliver asking Diggle to just let his crusade die.
Felicity’s place keeps serving as their new HQ, and there’s even some team bonding. Curtis wonders if Diggle is the new Oliver, and Curtis is the new Felicity, then who is the new Diggle? Rene and Dinah both claim the role, argue a bit, and Rene cedes it to her, earning a wink from the lovely lady. Rene then says since he’s the only Rene, shouldn’t they be ok with letting the Bratva kill Chase? Diggle pops up again and says no, because now they are fighting for Oliver’s soul. To me, that should have been a cue for a Constantine guest shot, but sadly it wasn’t. They find out Chase is about to leave, and Diggle tells them to suit up, leading to Curtis babbling about them not having suits anymore. I guess he really is the new Felicity.
Safe in his convoy, Chase asks the cop next to him who they think Green Arrow is. We never get to find out as the Bratva attacks, and then Team Sans-Arrow jumps in. It’s a messy fight that ends with Chase getting away, Anatoli getting furious, and Curtis getting a new lead for them to pursue.
Chase is now going to be placed in Witness Protection. The agent from there says that since Chase’s itinerary clearly leaked, no Star City employee will have access to any information about where Chase will be. There’s a lot of multilevel conversation, and, at the end of it Chase pulls Oliver aside. “You actually tried something. Consider me impressed,” he says in a very backhanded compliment.
Oliver goes to Diggle’s place to complain about Chase now being shielded from the Bratva. The conversation veers all over the place, including getting physical. Finally, Diggle seems to be getting through to Oliver. Diggle urges his friend and team leader that if he doesn’t feel worthy of the hood, try to earn it, and let his friends help.
Felicity and Kojo are trying to come up with a way to get Chase’s scrambler gadget so they can unblur his image. Felicity finds out she’s not as slick as she thought when Curtis follows her there, causing a minor uproar. In turn, Felicity and Curtis get a surprise when Kojo calls them Overwatch and Mr. Terrific. They finally decide the best plan is for those two to break into KORD Industries and get the gear they need to break Chase’s code.
The rooftop meeting has become a cliche in comics, and that is apparently spreading to the comic-based tv shows. Oliver and Anatoli meet on a roof somewhere, talking about the team not giving up. Oliver says they’ve convinced him not to give up, either, and he tries to get out of his arrangement with the Bratva. This goes over about as well as you’d expect, and Oliver is back to being ridiculously naive. He gets the team (minus a few members) back in the Lair and asks for their help with the Bratva and Prometheus.
The team is staking out Zarn Corporation, trying to prevent the Bratva from doing another break in. The building is huge, and a frustrated Diggle comments that Felicity and Curtis picked a hell of a night to take off. At that, we see Felicity and Curtis breaking in over at KORD so they can get what they need to undo Prometheus’ video masking. After a lot of sneaking around and fighting, respectively, both teams are triumphant. Oliver and Anatoli have a chat that doesn’t go really well in the aftermath.
A clearly delighted Quentin shows the video of Chase as Prometheus to the Star City police. The police call the Marshals who are guarding Chase. Somehow or other, Chase knows what the call is as it comes in, kills his guards, and escapes. At least we won’t see him smirking around City Hall anymore.
In FlashBratva Theater, Oliver is about to leave Russia to stage his “rescue” on Lian Yu, a place Anatoli never wants to see again. Anatoli comes up with a plan for Oliver’s last few days in Russia. They end up staging a Robin Hood-style drug heist to do a good deed, and then plan to drink until Oliver goes to the airport. Kind of a last hurrah for their friendship, I guess, although they didn’t know about it at the time.
What I liked: I think this was one of their better episodes. The dialogue, blocking, and general character interaction were really a cut above their usual. I was really impressed with how they did most of it.
What I didn’t: While it was nice that they finally addressed the killing issue as far Spartan and Wild Dog go with their “tranq ammo,” I’m not sure I buy it. It doesn’t seem like that’s what they’ve been using. I don’t like what they’re doing with Felicity. Oliver rebounded from his depression pretty quickly, and managed to make things worse for Star City and himself with the Bratva.
It had its flaws, but it really was a good episode. I’ll give a low 4 out of 5. And now we have a few weeks to wonder what’s coming next.