Arrow: Dangerous Liaisons

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Things are getting tense, but they both look good in black 

The hunt for Adrian Chase/Prometheus continues in “Dangerous Liaisons.” ARGUS is following up on a report that Chase was seen in the arcade of a shut down amusement park, which really seems like something more fitting for a Batman villain. ARGUS is being backed up by Mr. Terrific and Wild Dog. To no great surprise, they don’t find Chase, but they do get caught up in a very clever ambush. Mr. Terrific, true to his geek heritage, gets upset when a classic video game is damaged in the chaos. Spartan and whatever we’re supposed to call Oliver when he’s in black with that weird mask are there, too.

The team meets up in Oliver’s office, which seems like a horrible idea when they are still trying to keep their secret identities. Quentin comes in, knowing it’s not a great time, but having to mention the press is pushing for a statement. When Oliver goes out to make one, he gets picked on for not knowing Chase was a killer. The usual can’t win when the press decides to go after someone, really.

Felicity goes back to her refuge of choice these days, Helix. She tries pushing them to help her, and doesn’t get a lot of interest, which I don’t blame them for. Felicity really is kind of using Helix for her own ends at this point. I’d be annoyed, too. Felicity’s main contact there has dropped her weird handle for the name Alena. In yet another fit of bad judgement, Felicity helps Helix hack into ARGUS, although it seems they uncover a mole in the agency.

That same agent meets a horrible accident in an elevator, and Alena just happens to be there. Coincidence, I’m sure. Later, Oliver, Lyla, and Dinah check on the body. I can see Lyla and Dinah being there, but really, how often do mayors show up at crime scenes where there aren’t a lot of cameras? He’s really pushing it in terms of keeping his secret. Curtis and Felicity investigate via computer, and toss off lines from Airplane!, which annoys Oliver. Felicity pretty clearly recognizes what happened with the elevator, and does a bad job trying to hide it.

Quentin and Rene get a scene which shows a side of things most action/hero shows would ignore, so the episode gets points for this. They’re meeting with the family of one of Chase’s victims, and it’s emotionally draining. This is just one of many such meetings, and it’s taking a toll on them. At least they’re remembering Rene is supposed to be working with Quentin, unlike the ever-absent Thea. I know she’s not working for City Hall now, but she was almost never there when she was, and has been missing most of this season, or that’s what it feels like. There’s a passing reference to Rene’s custody issue with his daughter.

Alena dangles another carrot in front of Felicity to keep her working with Helix. Their founder, Caden James, was developing a special tracker that could isolate individual heartbeats. This might let them find Chase, finally. Of course, Helix wants something in return.

On the other side of that equation, Lyla is asking Oliver and Diggle for help. The dead agent’s security key was taken, and Lyla believes that ARGUS security is coming under attack (and she’s right!). Oliver doesn’t think this has anything to do with Chase, and that’s his current obsession, so he’s not really interested.

Turns out, Oliver isn’t the only one obsessed. Felicity is working with Helix as they drift into deeper and darker waters. Felicity even talks the team into letting a mercenary that Helix hired go… with another ARGUS security key. She keeps telling them to trust her, and that it’s to help catch Prometheus. I’d agree that’s a good cause, but both Oliver and Felicity need to switch to decaf.

Lyla is also not happy about this development, and argues with Felicity a lot. Felicity seems even more obsessed with bringing in Chase than Oliver is. She’s willing to do almost anything, or so it seems. Even Oliver isn’t sure about how far she’s going, and she is not happy to hear this, laying into him about crossing lines.

Quentin and Rene meet up again, starting with an amusing exchange about Rene wondering if he’s being fired, and Quentin reminding Rene that he hates being called “Hoss,” which Rene keeps doing anyway. Quentin is actually trying hard to do him a favor, and talks with him about trying to more forward on the custody issue. Rene is definitely, and loudly, not interested, blaming himself for his daughter Zoe getting hurt in the past.

Team Arrow is a bit less happy when they find out more about what’s going on with Helix founder Caden James. He’s being held by ARGUS, not only without a trial, but without being accused of a specific crime. This makes even the “used to shades of grey” Team Arrow wonder about what’s going on here. Finally, they decide to use James as bait for Helix. Diggle pulls Oliver to one side and asks him to talk to Felicity. Diggle’s worried about her, too, and thinks Oliver is the only one she’s going to listen to.

Oliver goes to Felicity’s place to try this talk, and she greets him with a snarky comment about him using the front door for once. They argue about what’s going on, and she says that she has supported his crusade for four years, even when she disagreed with what he’s doing. She’s upset that he’s not extending that courtesy to her. For what it’s worth, I think she makes a decent point, although I think both Oliver and Felicity are a bit nuts at this point.

Lyla briefs Team Arrow about the operation to use James as bait. ARGUS has a lot of agents there, and Team Arrow is there for back up and support. No one is happy about what’s going on. Lyla calls Felicity twenty times more dangerous than Snowden, and Diggle in turns compares Lyla to deceased ARGUS head Amanda Waller. This isn’t going to end well for anyone. Alena and Felicity share quips about the transition from hacker to vigilante.

Quentin goes behind Rene’s back and sets up a visit with Zoe, which gets at times both cute and painful. It does resolve him to fight for his daughter, finally. Oliver and Diggle, meanwhile, wait for the incoming attack. They compare Felicity and Lyla both crossing too many lines.

The attack is actually really clever, and takes advantage of ARGUS being a bit too in love with secrets. They tried to get clever with Caden James’ location, keeping it hidden even from Team Arrow. But Helix learned the truth, and goes where James is, and everyone else isn’t. The upshot is that Helix gets away with James, and Felicity personally manages to hold off Oliver. Things are going to get really tense in the Lair. Oliver goes back there for some drinking alone time.

Felicity gets her own surprise when she goes to meet up with her hacker buddies. Helix has emptied their base and split, deciding working with Felicity is too dangerous. Credit where it’s due, Alena kept her word and left the tracker for Felicity, along with a video link where she says goodbye. I kinda hope we’re done with them.

Lyla and Diggle are having their own argument after the events of this case. He’s really upset about the choices Lyla is making and keeping from him. Things are sounding bad for them as a couple. Keeping with that theme, Felicity returns to the Lair, and she and Oliver have a similar argument. Her tracker finally kicks in, and tells them that Chase is… right outside. They find this out just as an explosion rocks the Lair and it all goes dark.

And, there’s no Flashback Theater this week!

What I liked: I don’t like them, but Helix is pretty damn clever. The writers are doing a good job of making everyone seem like they are halfway on the dark side. Helix are criminals, I don’t doubt that. But ARGUS isn’t exactly looking good at this point, and Team Arrow has been questionable since it was just Oliver. Curtis got a few good lines.

What I didn’t: Too many shades of grey here. I don’t need a big hero on a white horse with a white hat, but it’d be nice if I had someone to root for on a show like this. I’m running out of people to do that for. Team Arrow is really divided against each other, which is not going to help them catch someone as slick as Chase.

I’ll give this one a 3 out of 5. I’m really hoping this manhunt for Chase ends soon.

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