Arrow’s current season continues with “Reversal.” It does bring together a few different threats, and sees the return of one of my least favorite characters from last season. Team Arrow has a lot to handle, and they need to get a better handle on things than they do.
The episode starts off at some big party. A woman moving through the crowd gets a lot of attention, drawing many eyes. We eventually see it’s Black Siren, which means the man she singles out for her attentions is just not going to have a good night, no matter how good she looks in her gown. Things fade to black on their scene, and we see a new title sequence for the show, with each character’s logo rushing past on the screen, the way the Legends open their show.
Oliver and Felicity are out on a date, which is just never a good way to start things for a hero. You just know things are going to go badly for someone around them if not themselves. They talk about their first date, and how remarkably poorly that went. After some passing commentary from a voter who recognizes Mayor Queen, Felicity gets called away by the team. As she leaves, she realizes, “This is what it felt like to be you,” as she leaves Oliver behind. I wonder if he’s still enjoying civilian life?
In the Lair, the team is enjoying having a cop on their side again. Dinah is going over the crime scene of the unlucky man from the opening’s murder, and using her body cam and coms to let Team Arrow see what she does. They figure out she was killed by a sonic scream, which limits the suspects a lot. Rene comes in a bit late, having been out working on the opposition to the anti-vigilante bill (making it anti-anti-vigilante, I guess) and has the good news that opposition throughout the city is at about 70%. Felicity and Curtis exchange information about the state of their start-up company, and her date, after which Curtis shoos her out.
While Black Siren meets up with a mystery figure, Felicity gets back home. She calls Oliver to try and pick up their date again, and then gets a different surprise when she realizes someone is already in her place. It turns out to be Alena, the annoying hacker from Helix who did her best to get Felicity to go to the dark side last season, and damn near did it. Her mentor, Caden James, is working on something so bad it even scares her. Felicity and Alena argue, and Alena says she’s “a hacktivist not a monster.” Alena reveals some of what she’s learned, and it does sound pretty bad.
While the team learns of a second victim, and make no progress figuring out what Black Siren is up to, Felicity and Alena hack and techno-babble at each other. Oliver shows up, who Felicity has forgotten about by now, and there’s a lot of awkwardness. Oliver is understandably not happy to see Alena, and less so when the women take off to get something they need and leave him behind. Again.
In dual scenes, Curtis figures out a way to track the sonic cry, and Black Siren kills another victim. The team heads to the area, finding the new victim, and then Black Siren herself. There’s another Black Siren/Black Canary showdown, and the villainess manages to get away before the team shows up.
Felicity and Alena have their bad girls’ night out in a really weird club. Eventually, they meet their contact after getting hustled off into a back room. Things get complicated when Oliver tries to help, and gets Felicity really irked at him for his trouble. She has a good point in explaining why she didn’t want him involved.
The team makes a breakthrough in the string of murders, between Diggle recognizing something from his intelligence experience and more techno-wizardry from Curtis. Felicity and Alena return to Helix’s former headquarters to get something else they need, and Felicity takes a moment to tell Diggle she’s busy at the moment. Black Siren shows up to ruin their day, and their computer. She’s accompanied by a lot of thugs, and Caden James himself. James is being played by Michael Emerson, who ironically played Finch, a very similar role, on the show Person Of Interest. The women almost get killed when Team Arrow shows up. Green Arrow (Diggle) and Black Siren have a big fight, in which Siren apparently forgets she has powers and pretends to be unsure what’s different about Green Arrow. The team seems shocked into inaction when Alena gets hurt, which is odd, because I know at least three of them have first aid training. I guess they all forgot.
The team finally figures out what Caden James is up to, and it’s a truly modern crime. He’s going to try and take down the internet. When Dinah doesn’t understand why this is such a big deal, Felicity and Curtis take turns explaining all the ways this could kill people. Finally, the team takes a break to let the overworked Felicity clear her head.
Oliver drops by to encourage Felicity and give her the kind of advice she used to when he was Green Arrow. They both comment on the role reversal. Black Siren and company meanwhile get to the “internet vault” and Siren and James bicker about methods. Team Arrow gets there a bit behind them and general chaos ensues in a big fight. Caden James is impressed with Felicity’s skill, but keeps doing his own thing. The team gets a bit of backup and more role reversal when Oliver comes on coms, taking Felicity’s spot in the Lair. There’s a lot of tension as Felicity and James counter-hack, and the others all fight while Oliver is essentially reduced to playing cheerleader. In an amazingly stupid move, Green Diggle beats Black Siren, but then leaves her on the floor. Me, I’d have put every restraint I had, including shoelaces, on her to make sure she didn’t get away again.
The team debriefs at the Lair and Oliver realizes they really don’t need him and leaves, although he and Felicity continue their date later. Felicity first stops by Alena’s hospital room, and Alena has some good suggestions about Felicity’s new company. Caden James and Black Siren plot at the airport and he reveals more of his plan. The episode ends with Oliver getting a surprising phone call.
What I liked: Diggle is really progressing as Green Arrow, and the team is falling in behind him. I like that Curtis is shown to be good enough to fill in for Felicity as resident techno-geek. I don’t like the character, but I’ll admit Alena was useful and had some good ideas. I liked seeing Michael Emerson again, even if he’s a bad guy this time.
What I didn’t: The team was just plain stupid letting Black Siren get away. Again. No one being able to help Alena when she was injured was weird. Why did Black Siren not just blast Green Arrow when they fought?
It was a decent episode. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5, although I am looking forward to Oliver’s inevitable return to the bow.