The season of Diaz evades everyone and the good guys kind of flail about continues as the team tries for some “Due Process,” an ironic title considering vigilantes skip that part of the law. The episode opens shortly after the end of last time, with Anatoly in the not so tender clutches of Diaz, who not only can evade law enforcement and heroes alike, but can apparently wander the globe at will. At least if he’s in Russia, he’s not causing chaos in Star City, so there’s that.
Back at the Slab, Oliver and his sidekick Stanley discuss the change in the guards since the scandal of Dr. Parker’s program on Level Two being revealed. Brick and company are not enjoying the new regime. Oliver gets taken away before he gets to eat for a surprise visit. He’s even more surprised when it turns out to be Laurel. She is trying to help, but Oliver is very understandably suspicious and not particularly nice to her. He storms off, leaving her behind looking upset and even hurt.
Laurel goes back to her office, where Felicity is working her computer. When Felicity asks about Oliver, Laurel offers an honest assessment, and clearly isn’t happy about Oliver’s treatment of her. Felicity tries to make Laurel feel better, pointing out that Oliver hasn’t really seen the new her. Felicity’s computer magic shows them where Silencer is, presumably meeting Diaz. There’s a comedic snowball effect as the two women try to go take out Diaz, and end up running in to almost everybody along the way. The combined team barely manages to get away from one of Diaz’s booby traps, getting Anatoly out with them. I’m not quite sure how Rene ended up joining the party, and they never explain that one.
Back at ARGUS, everyone compares notes, most of them mad at Felicity. There’s a really amusing back and forth as all sorts of secrets pop out as everyone catches up on what they’ve all been up to, with Curtis tossing in a gripe about his birthday being missed. Diggle lays out some rules about the new team working together, excluding the new Green Arrow (I guess the hero is too effective?) and Laurel. Laurel storms off and Felicity follows, begging for her help in getting Oliver out of prison. Felicity promises to call Laurel when they catch Diaz.
Things take a turn at the Slab when the guards come in and take away Stanley this time. Stanley begs for Oliver’s help as he’s dragged off, saying he’s being framed for a guard’s murder. If anywhere near this many guards were killed/seriously wounded at any facility in the real world, there would be huge news stories and a massive investigation. I guess, at the very least, these guards don’t have a union? Oliver begins investigating as best he can, stopping by Brick’s table in the mess hall to threaten him.
Curtis briefs the uneasy alliance about Pyotr Roslov, a nasty weapons dealer who seems to be one of Diaz’s new connections. Anatoly refuses to help, saying he’s lost enough already. Everyone is a bit surprised when Felicity threatens him into it. When the Russian comments she’s not the Felicity he remembers, she replies that one couldn’t catch Diaz, maybe this one can. Felicity has flirted with darkness before, and seems to be heading there again. That doesn’t bode well for anyone, not even Diaz.
After being coerced, Anatoly goes to meet Roslov, giving the name KGBeast. That’s an old Batman foe from the 80’s, and looks nothing at all like Anatoly, but it’s an interesting callback. Anatoly schmoozes his way inside, guided by Felicity into putting her gadget in the man’s computer. When things get dangerous, Diggle wants to pull him out, but Felicity says she needs more time for the data. It’s an interesting reversal that the civilian hacker is more willing to sacrifice for the mission than the soldier/government agent. Eventually, they get the data and Anatoly, although the latter is much the worse for wear. Diggle and Felicity have an argument in the aftermath about her new ruthless streak.
At the Slab, a sudden pointless fight erupts during a prisoner transport, allowing Oliver to slip away and do his own investigation. He has a lot of freedom of movement for a supposedly maximum security prison. As he makes a discovery, Laurel is in court, arguing for his release. A lot of what she says makes no sense at all, but her one good argument is that Oliver made a deal with the FBI that the Feds have not lived up to. The judge is disturbed by the allegations about what’s happening in Slabside, but refuses to release Oliver. Laurel is clearly not pleased. Dinah has been sitting in the benches, listening to Laurel’s impassioned pleas, some of which could well be talking about more than just Oliver.
While Felicity and Curtis learn a lot of disturbing things about the newest threat, Oliver confronts Brick’s crew and gets Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger taken away by the guards. From both Turner and Brick’s reactions, I don’t think Turner actually did it. Felicity visits Anatoly in the medbay where they discuss choices, guilt, and regret. Dinah has a chat with Laurel and stops her from doing something rash that would undo her good work over the last few months. Laurel isn’t exactly grateful.
The uneasy alliance continues as Felicity and Curtis brief Diggle on what they’ve learned about Diaz’s newest plan. Everyone moves out together to try and save the city, with Anatoly lamenting the old days of computer controlled bombs. We finally get to see Diaz’s smugness rattled when the new Green Arrow shows up to join the fight, leading to the villain stopping dead for a moment and muttering, “impossible.” GA takes on Diaz as the rest of the team fight the endless supply of thugs, and whoever the enigmatic archer is, they’re damn good in a fight. The fight itself gave me a few clues as to who might be under the hood. Finally, amazingly, Diaz gets captured. At that point, title of the episode to one side, everyone there should have just taken turns shooting him in the head.
The ever-popular Channel 52 (actual fake news) covers the capture of Diaz and gives credit to Green Arrow, leading to some minor grumbling from the team. Curtis touts this as an example of what can happen when they all actually work together, and Felicity is triumphant. Laurel, showing more commitment than you might expect, goes back to see Oliver, ignores his snipes at her, and shows him what she’s working on. Oliver is touched and surprised and thanks her. As she’s leaving, she gets her promised message from Felicity, who meanwhile is given advice and a present from Anatoly as a parting gift with him off to “somewhere tropical.”
Felicity goes to see Diaz, but she’s not there to bargain or gloat. She almost does something she can’t come back from when Laurel, of all people, stops her. In addition to making a moral appeal, Laurel reveals some good news about a deal she made, which thrills Felicity and pisses off Diaz. A great two-fer. The Slab side-story has a happy ending of sorts, although it leaves Oliver with more doubts.
Flash-Forward theater continues the adventures of Adult William, Roy Harper, Dinah, and Adult Zoe. We learn about Felicity’s death, and the more they find out, the more it looks like Felicity went to the dark side. There’s a unique security protocol that harkens back to the early days of the show, which was a nice touch. Roy and Dinah share a secret, and William and Zoe have a few exchanges hinting at friendship and something or other bad that happened years ago. They end with a new lead.
What I liked: The new Green Arrow isn’t getting much screen time, but what there is is damn impressive. Curtis cheerleading for everyone to come together is very in character. I completely understand Felicity being tempted. I like that Laurel is trying so hard to become a better person, and the vote of confidence she got this week from Dinah. I’m glad to see Diaz finally captured and some hope for Oliver getting out (I so wanted some kind of nod to Prison Break, with maybe a Wentworth Miller/Dominic Purcell cameo). I can’t say I’m loving Flash Forward Theater, but I’m liking it better than most of the flashback segments, and the dissolves between the two timelines were really nicely done this week.
What I didn’t: I still don’t see how Laurel is getting away with being a lawyer. At the bare minimum, I’d like some kind of reference to her spending nights cramming on the study of law or something. I’m not sure I buy Diggle being so concerned with Anatoly’s welfare. The man isn’t exactly an innocent, as Felicity points out. And we’re back to I’m entirely unclear on what ARGUS does in this world. They don’t do criminal investigations… except when they do? Oliver is getting around way too easily in what’s supposed to be a high security prison.
All in all, I thought this was one of the better episodes of the season. I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5.