Arrow Goes Under The Dome
Half the team has to infiltrate an underground city while the other half gets to stay at home and play with their computers.
Oliver Queen was a vigilante called "The Arrow" who was more violent than seemed entirely appropriate. So he rebranded as "The Green Arrow" and promised to work as a force for hope, although that hasn't really happened all that much. He doesn't kill a lot of people, but he's still very much the gruff, growly type. That's not strictly relevant to tonight's story. It's just something that occurred to me. The actual plot is about Damien Darhk, who's planning on destroying the world under nuclear fire and rebuilding with the handful of people he's stored in a domed city underground. This plan has mostly been foiled, although Felicity blames herself for letting one nuclear bomb get through.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Damien Darhk vs. The Laws of Physics
The laws of physics declined to show up, so they will be represented by Oliver Queen and his pal John Diggle. They've got arrows and bullets, but it turns out that Damien Darhk can vaporize metal without even thinking about it. So it's a bit of a mismatch.
Winner: Damien Darhk, by pulling all the oxygen out of his enemies' bodies. And then leaving them alive for some reason.
R.I.P. A Political Operative
Last week, Alex Davis got hit while Thea was trying to escape. And it looked like he might be dead, but there wasn't enough screentime to see if he was dead. He doesn't get much more than that in this episode, but he's definitely not moving. So let's say he's dead. Let's also say we don't really care. Okay, moving on.
for being huge on the dark web
Name: Noah "The Calculator" Kuttler
Last Seen: Abandoning his wife and daughter for the glamorous life of being a hacker. You know, like arguing on message boards.
Likely Punishment: He probably belongs in a maximum-security prison, but he's also trying to stop the nuclear apocalypse.
Reward: You could reunite with your long-lost father! If he's your father.
Name: Cooper Selden. Age: Late 30s. Occupation: Hacker, bitter ex-boyfriend. Goal: To get revenge on Felicity by doing whatever Damien Darhk says. Specifically, by hacking into Rubicon so that the world will be destroyed. He really needs to get over it. Sample Dialogue: "I'm a hacker, not a thug."
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Malcolm Merlyn is still trying really hard to be a father for Thea Queen. But he's not great at it, even though he got to practice on his son Tommy. When he sees Thea running around the dome, his first instinct is to tie her to a chair and tell her to stop rocking the boat. Which is hardly fair, since he's rocked plenty of boats in his day.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
We've Got To Have Priorities
Felicity left Curtis alone with her father, which seemed like the sort of thing Curtis would enjoy. But while Felicity was out, her mother showed up. And it turns out that Felicity's parents have a lot to say to each other after a few decades of not seeing each other. And then Felicity has to tell Donna that she works with Green Arrow and needs Noah's help to keep an evil warlock from hacking the secret governmental device that can launch every nuclear missile in the world, and that just makes things more complicated. You can see how it would. Next Thanksgiving, try using that little trick to break up the inevitable family arguments.
That Quote"The world's two best hackers side by side. This is history!"- Curtis Holt, kind of Jesse Eisenberg-ing it up -
Really Subtle, Guys
Situation: Green Arrow and Spartan are sneaking around the underground city, looking for Thea.
What makes it awkward? These costumes are designed for night-time city scenes, not sunny, tree-lined suburbia.
How is order restored? Everyone just pretends they don't see the two ding-dongs in the costumes.
Don't Take The Yellow Pills
Alert Type: Unexpected Betrayal Alert.
Issue: Oliver found Thea and freed her.
Complicating Factors: She immediately points a gun at Oliver, because it turns out she's had some of those mind-control drugs.
Resolution: Malcolm's going to come in here and monologue for a bit about how in control he is.
Spoiler: He's not going to stay in control forever.
We Get It, You're A Bad Guy
Who called the meeting? Malcolm Merlyn.
What's it about? Being angry at Team Arrow for the way they consistently do things that are inconsistent with Malcolm's plans.
How'd it go? As Malcolm points out, Oliver has already had the opportunity to kill him and decided not to. So it seems like Oliver doesn't really have any leverage here. But then Diggle starts shooting Malcolm's henchmen and there's a huge mess in which Oliver and Diggle escape.
As Diggle and Oliver run from the various goons and henchmen and ninjas, a lot of cool stuff happens. And it's all happening in what looks like a pleasant neighborhood, which makes it a little weird, too. My favorite bit is when Oliver does an entirely gratuitous flip over a bush to shoot an arrow at the people chasing them.
Type Faster, Everybody
Alert Type: Team Hacker Alert.
Issue: Noah, Felicity, and Curtis are feverishly hacking Rubicon to keep Darhk's hackers out of it.
Complicating Factors: Curtis has a plan to shut down Rubicon entirely, which Noah shoots down, and that somehow turns into Donna and Noah shouting at each other. They're quite convincing as a couple with a long history, in that they have no hesitation in treating any random comment as an excuse for a fight.
Resolution: Suddenly! All the computer screens get taken over by Cooper Selden's virus. Or something.
Spoiler: The retaliation is going to consist of all three people typing faster than ever before.
I Am Not A Crackpot
Dear Mister President, We Can See That Key And It Is Not Impressive. I Am Not A Crackpot!
When Cooper Selden prepares to deliver his killing blow, he pauses and smirks into the camera. Which is fine. But then we see a close-up of his keyboard as he dramatically presses the key that will launch a ridiculous animated virus, and...it's the Enter key. That's not that special a key. I hit it all the time. Here, I'm about to do it again.
See? Nothing happened. I understand the difficulty involved in making hacking look cinematic and exciting. But maybe the close-ups should be a little less close, if the producers want the show not to be straight-up laughable. I am not a crackpot.
We're Not Brainwashed; We're Just Nice
Name: Johnny Sincere (and the Sincere family). Age: Early 40s. Occupation: Residents of the domed city. Goal: To live in this idyllic paradise until Damien Darhk destroys and remakes the world. Sample Dialogue: "So many promises were made to save this city, but it all just fell apart."
You've Been Living A Lie
Who called the meeting? Donna Smoak.
What's it about? She has to break the news to Felicity that Noah didn't actually abandon his daughter when she was only seven years old. In fact, Donna told Noah to take a hike because she didn't think an international Dark Web Hacker was going to be a great family member.
How'd it go? Felicity's sad, but not really devastated. She doesn't suddenly cut off all ties with her mother, which is the sort of thing that would have happened in the first two seasons. But she's finding Noah a surprisingly paternal figure, so she's not sure she wants to cut him off either.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Brother vs. Sister
It's been a few scenes since we had a fight, so Oliver and Thea throw down again. Diggle's busy shooting it out with some guards, but they don't really matter.
Winner: Oliver, who manages to get Thea to stop being mind-controlled by asking her really nicely to fight off the un-fight-off-able drug.
That Quote"Drug me again and I will kill you, you son of a bitch."- Thea Queen, who does not get along well with her biological father -
The Real Villain
All the henchmen are dead, so we're left with Oliver, Thea, Diggle, and Malcolm glaring at each other. The Sincere family is also here, looking on with horror at all of these killing machines causing trouble. And then! Lonnie Machin comes on the television to announce that he's taken over the command center. He's planning on killing either Ruvé or Darhk's daughter. And then blowing up the entire dome, killing everyone inside. He's doing all this to get back at Damien Darhk, who doesn't even know about it because he lost power when Team Felicity won the Hacker war. Lonnie is just flailing around at this point. Bad form.
Plot Lightning Round
This Kid's Got Problems
Although he has to know that someone's going to be on their way to deal with him, Lonnie is passing the time by taunting Ruvé and her daughter with their imminent demise. It's not super-classy, to be honest with you.
When Team Arrow shows up, Lonnie reveal his trump card: he knows that the entire dome facility is powered by a dwarf star alloy, so any stray shots could rupture something and blow the whole place sky-high. So...do you really want to start shooting arrows and bullets all over the place?
Whoops! Looks like the answer was "Yeah, let's just blow shit up and see what happens." As someone who's played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, I can tell you that Lonnie made the classic mistake of assuming the Player Characters were going to behave sensibly.
Ruvé gets stabbed entirely gratuitously, and then she gets crushed when the ceiling collapses. Oliver tries to save her, but she's clearly dead. The daughter does get out safely, which is at least a small victory. Of a sort.
Wrap It Up
That resolves all the immediate threats. Team Arrow has extracted all of their members from the dome, including the Darhk girl. Rubicon has been disabled by Felicity's team. Everything is basically okay.
Malcolm got out too, and he tells Damien that his wife is dead and his plans are ruined. This does not go over well. Damien's not even sure whether his daughter survived. At this point, he's willing to forget about the Genesis part of the plan, because he just wants to burn the entire world down.
And, in fact, he goes straight over to the Smoak house to see if he can force the various hackers to open Rubicon back up. He seems pretty mad. He's going to be even madder when he finds out that he got there five minutes after Donna made Noah leave again. Felicity is the one who you'd think would be mad about that, but she actually took the news pretty well. She's got a complicated relationship with her father, and she seems to be all right with it being something that isn't there all the time. And like that Felicity stands in front of her group, protecting both her mother and Curtis.