The CW

Arrow Faces Nuclear Annihilation

Team Arrow tries to stop billions of deaths. And they're pretty much successful!

  • Previously

    There was a stupid cave on a stupid island in some stupid flashbacks that I personally am getting kind of sick of. But I won't let my feelings affect my coverage of this very tedious subplot. You won't even be able to tell how dumb I think it is! It's also important that everyone be reminded that Felicity's father is an evil hacker who's better than her in the annual hacker rankings, released every February by 2600 Magazine. He's called Noah "The Calculator" Kuttler, which I bring up just so it will be easier to refer to him later. And in more important news, Damien Darhk has stolen control of the world's nuclear arsenal and is going to launch everything. He probably has a reason.

  • Alert!

    How About Global Thermonuclear War?

    Alert Type: Nuclear Devastation Alert.

    Issue: Some Russian guys have just discovered that they're not in control of their nuclear missiles anymore. Which is awkward, because being in control of their nuclear missiles is basically their only job.

    Complicating Factors: Not only are they going to be in trouble for losing their missiles, they're forced to communicate in subtitles.

    Resolution: These guys are not the stars of the show, so we're going to leave them alone for most of the episode.

    Spoiler: There's a 24-hour delay before the missiles can be launched, so there will be some running around.

  • Awkward

    The Minions Are Revolting

    Situation: The island's drug operation is in shambles.

    What makes it awkward? The people that are supposed to be terrified slaves have stopped working in the drug fields and waiting around to be sacrificed. Suddenly they're picking up guns and shooting their overseers, which is definitely not part of their job descriptions.

    How is order restored? Technically, once everyone on one side has been machine-gunned to death, order will have been restored.

  • That Quote
    "Truth be told, it's not dissimilar to the plan I had for the Glades once upon a time."
    - Malcolm Merlyn, admitting that supervillains really only have a handful of ideas that they share -
  • Meeting Time

    It Would Be Nice If These Two Stayed Together

    Who called the meeting? Donna Smoak (Felicity's mother).

    What's it about? She's found out that Quentin Lance (Laurel's father, which means Donna is his only real connection to Team Arrow) has been suspended from the police force. And to get reinstated, he's been asked to sign an affidavit saying that he had no idea that Laurel was the Black Canary.

    How'd it go? Donna is taking a very strong position against lies. Even harmless lies about your heroic dead children. I don't know if she was always this moral, but she's really, really insistent about not lying.

  • Character Study

    Oh, Right! This Guy!

    Name: Brick (Vinnie Jones).
    Age: However old Vinnie Jones is.
    Occupation: Occasionally recurring bad guy.
    Goal: To show up whenever there's been an escape from Iron Heights Prison, be awesome in a few scenes, and then get on with his life. Oh, and his current goal is to go round up Felicity's father, because only the legendary hacker known as "The Calculator" could stop Rubicon from launching all the world's nuclear missiles. He's been added to the team because the guy with the sewn-up mouth is not all that intimidating. He's like a Hellraiser Cenobite without all the cool stuff.
    Sample Dialogue: "I'm 'ere, ain't I?"
  • Character Study

    And Also This Guy!

    Name: Lonnie "Anarky" Machin.
    Age: Mid-20s.
    Occupation: Fanatic.
    Goal: To get revenge on Damien Darhk for, among other things, mildly disfiguring him. A lot of supervillains are very angry about getting skin conditions that are not actually that big a deal. To go slightly off-topic, the movie version of Deadpool could just get a wig and would be basically fine. Anyway, this was Lonnie's goal the last time he was on the show, so it's worth noting that him not being in prison anymore is entirely Darhk's fault. Next time, don't let literally everyone break out, dummy.
    Sample Dialogue: "Where's Darhk? I need revenge."
  • Place Of Interest

    What Is This, Hogwarts?

    The word on everyone's lips is "Ravenspur." Which is not really a word. It's more like two words stuck together arbitrarily. It was found on Noah's computer (Noah is Felicity's dad, remember?) so that's probably where he went. But...what is it? Well, it turns out that the Smoaks had a cabin they used to go to, but Felicity had to be reminded of it by her mother. So it's probably nice, but it doesn't seem very memorable.

  • Plot Lightning Round

    Rescuing Dad


    At this point in the show, the good guys and bad guys are both racing to find Felicity's father, who is engaged in the very un-hacker pursuit of chopping wood. There's no point in having a cabin by a lake if you can't chop wood, you know.


    The bad guys get there first. Brick has this thing where he offers his gun to his enemy, knowing that he's fast enough to kill them if they get any smart ideas. But Noah has the smartest idea of all, which is to not take the gun.


    Before that interaction can get too interesting, Green Arrow and Spartan show up to rescue The Calculator. Or Oliver and Diggle show up to rescue Noah. Whichever you like. All of Brick's pals go down, although Brick lives to fight another day. Because Vinnie Jones is too awesome to die.


    When it's time to leave, Felicity gets to be the one who roars up in a van and barks, "Get in!" It's an important job, because you have to wait offscreen for the entire scene and then know exactly what crossroads you have to pull up to. Then, apparently, you drive off without your entire team.

  • Meeting Time

    Twelve Hours To Save The World

    Who called the meeting? ARGUS, kind of, since they're the ones saying they need superhackers.

    What's it about? Saving the world by hacking Rubicon. Noah is a terrible human being, but he's not so terrible that he doesn't have a vested interest in stopping the oncoming nuclear conflagration.

    How'd it go? The hacking can't actually begin yet, because they just don't have the computing power. The only solution is the Quantum Subliminal Processor, which is a fantastically nonsensical name for something. There's one at PalmerTech, which raises suspicions that maybe Noah just wants to steal more tech doodads like he did last time. But it's not like there's a choice.

  • Alert!

    This Is Actually Long Overdue

    Alert Type: Termination Alert.

    Issue: Felicity's about to hand over the Quantum Whatsis when she discovers she's been fired as CEO of Palmer Technologies. So she gets escorted out of the building.

    Complicating Factors: Felicity has been a terrible CEO by any objective measure. She's been only slightly more interested than Oliver in doing the job, and the only decision we've seen her make was to basically give away the miracle spine-fixing technology. And she's been actively avoiding board meetings. So they fired her.

    Resolution: Team Arrow is going to have to break into Palmer Technologies and steal the device they need. Which is more work than you'd think, considering that there are two former CEOs on the team, and they used to have a secret lair in the baement.

    Spoiler: They could have just called Curtis and asked him to smuggle out the Quantum Sublminal Processor, but he's not in this episode.

  • Plot Lightning Round

    Do We Really Have Time For A Heist?


    Okay, so they have to break into the building. The locks have been changed and the secret elevator is still broken. But this set has seen a lot of use, so everyone feels right at home. They whip through the usual electronic locks without much problem.


    Felicity and her father are sneaking through the building in a fashion made popular by the Little Rascals. While they tiptoe, Noah is spending a lot of time gassing on about how his actions were all justified. He's acting like Felicity hates him, but really she just seems annoyed about the way he keeps talking. She'd kind of like to get back to the hacking, please.


    The dingus is locked away behind an unhackable door, so Noah has to use his phone to clone know what? This is dumb. Let's just say the heist is over and move on, okay?

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!

    Baron Reiter vs. Oliver Queen

    Things on the island have actually progressed a little. Oliver stole some files (which may even be what ARGUS sent him to do; I neither remember nor care and neither does the show) and sent all the slave to a convenient plane. So things are about wrapped up here, except for Baron Reiter himself.

    Winner: Baron Reiter, because he's got telekinetic powers, just like Damien Darhk.

  • Meeting Time

    Be Cool For Like One Second, Okay?

    Who called the meeting? Thea.

    What's it about? Lonnie Machin has somehow gotten into the dome where people are being prepped to survive the nuclear destruction, and he's planning to destroy the air conditioning, which will kill everybody. His theory is that "everybody" probably includes Damien Darhk.

    How'd it go? Thea tries to reason with him, which works for about a minute. Then negotiations break down when Malcolm Merlyn comes in shooting arrows. He's probably right that Lonnie wasn't going to be talked out of his revenge, but it's not like he accomplished anything by putting arrows everywhere other than into Lonnie.

  • That Quote
    "They're not Halloween costumes."
    - Oliver Queen, a little salty about the President of the United States not giving his silly costume the proper respect -
  • That Quote
    "You're not a pawn. You're a queen. ...Get it?"
    - Lonnie Machin, not showing a lot of confidence in his banter -
  • Fight! Fight! Fight!

    Thea "Speedy" Queen vs. Lonnie "Anarky" Machin

    Lonnie has done something to Alex, so now Thea has to fight him. And she does a great job, flipping and kicking all over the place. She occasionally has to stop to protect Alex, who's not doing great. To be fair, he's both mind-controlled and probably concussed.

    Winner: No one. Certainly not Alex, who might be dead. Or he might not be. There's not much difference, really.

  • Alert!

    A Nearly Perfect Record

    Alert Type: Mostly Averted Tragedy Alert.

    Issue: The frantic hacking (conveyed, as always on television, by people typing really, really fast) has stopped all the nuclear missiles from launching.

    Complicating Factors: Well, almost all. One still gets out. And it's the one from that Russian silo at the beginning of the episode, which means those jerks just sat around for 24 hours, not bothering to see if there was anything they could do on their end to stop the missile from launching.

    Resolution: This missile is going to explode somewhere.

    Spoiler: Somebody at ARGUS is going to get yelled at for letting Rubicon escape. The originator of Rubicon would probably also be in trouble, but that's Amanda Waller, who has the good sense to already be dead.

  • Wrap It Up

    In the flashbacks, Oliver and Taiana blew up the drug encampment (with Baron Reiter in it) and ran away with the idol. This seemed like it was going okay until Taiana looked up with the yellow Michael-Jackson-Thriller eyes.


    Felicity types even faster than before in an attempt to hack the final missile from hitting Monument Point, but it doesn't work. At the last second, she hacks the GPS so it hits Haven Rock instead. This still kills tens of thousands of people, but the original target would have been a couple million. This is technically good news, and Noah seems very proud of his daughter. But it's still a lot of deaths to have on your conscience, so Felicity is kind of devastated. And by the way, this show airs at 8:00, which seems kind of early in the evening to have this kind of mass murder on a show.


    Oliver and Diggle have rushed over to City Hall because they figured out that the nexus chamber must be right below it. And they were right! Unfortunately, they find Damien Darhk, right after he's finished absorbing the power of ten thousand deaths.

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