Arrow Sees Double
Felicity has a personality crisis, while John and Andy Diggle reach an understanding.
Oliver Queen is in a battle with Damien Darhk for the soul of Star City. But Darhk is giving Oliver a few weeks off, so it's time to mop up any other outstanding plots. This week, the thing that matters is John Diggle's relationship with his brother Andy, who is less dead than John used to think. Andy's now living in a prison cell in the Arrowlair, which is putting an understandable strain on John's attempts to reconnect. It also doesn't help that John is still pretty mad that Andy was dealing drugs and working for Darhk.
And The Date Was Going So Well
Alert Type: Inciting Incident Alert.
Issue: John and Lyla are having a night out, which is probably nice for a change. You don't have to be running around shooting at bad guys every single day, you know?
Complicating Factors: Unfortunately, it's never that easy. No one's going to watch a show where people go on date night with their spouses and nobody gets killed. So Alan Chang, an ARGUS agent from Lyla's past, runs up and says he's been compromised.
Resolution: A black van roars up and someone starts shooting a machine gun in random directions. Lyla and John try to fight back, but Alan gets grabbed.
Spoiler: Date night is pretty much over.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
We Can Work Through This
You know what puts a strain on a relationship? One of the people suffering permanent spinal injury, arguably as a result of the other one's tendency to run around at night and antagonize people with machine guns. And sure enough, Felicity is feeling pretty down about her new wheelchair, although Oliver insists that her superpower is her mind, not her legs. He's very solicitous as he mixes her up some very precise pain medication, but he eventually has to run off to deal with John's ARGUS thing.
Who called the meeting? Probably John, since it seems like Andy doesn't get to summon people.
What's it about? It's mostly an excuse to eat Big Belly Burger.
How'd it go? The brothers are starting to get along better. Andy's at least talking to John, and John's no longer seething with disappointment with every sentence. Just every other sentence.
Everyone's sick of the flashbacks to Oliver's island nightmare, right? I certainly am, and I suspect that the people who make the television show are, too. So it's a refreshing change that this week's flashbacks follow someone else as we check in on the Diggle brothers and their time in the army. At first, they seem like awesome Army dudes, risking their lives to save each other from vaguely defined enemies.
The Dark Side
Name: Goth Felicity (Felicity's hallucination of her old self). Age: Early 20s, probably, since this is how Felicity looked in college. Occupation: Hacker, hallucination. Goal: To convince Regular Felicity to give up on everything. Sample Dialogue: "You're not a real blonde, you know."
Keep An Eye Out For Alan
With Felicity sidelined, Team Arrow doesn't have anyone who can use hacking skills to find anyone in the city. So they have to resort to regular investigation techniques, which involve Laurel using her position in the Assistant District Attorney's office to get John into a crime scene where he can identify Alan Chang. He's been tortured, murdered, and de-eyed. Gross.
That Quote"You used to be me. Strong. Confident. Brunette."- Goth Felicity, who is really hung up on this hair-color thing. What kind of goth objects to hair dye? -
Let's Do Some Crimes
It's not easy being brothers in the Army. Sketchy lieutenants are always coming by to suggest that you let them walk off with the heroin you confiscated from the Afghans that were trying to kill you. That sounds like a very specific circumstance, but it's more common than you'd think. Andy angrily rejects the offer, which John takes to mean that his brother's days of crime are behind him. He is incorrect.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
Don't Answer Me While I'm Questioning You
After bothering ARGUS and doing some of their own investigating, John has finally identified a logo on the bad guys. It's something called Shadowspire, which Andy used to be associated with. He naturally assumes that Andy is somehow involved in whatever is going on, even though he knows perfectly well that Andy's been in that cage the whole time. Once John gets the shouting out of his system and someone else can get a word in edgewise, Andy suggests that a place called the Freeport is probably where Shadowspire has set up its temporary headquarters.
Plot Lightning Round
A Standard Break-In
Team Arrow rushes over to the Freeport to try to find two missing ARGUS agents, and immediately realizes that they're not great at breaking into places without a genius superhacker opening all the locks for them. So they quite sensibly call Felicity, who's sitting at home being mocked by her alter ego. And anything's better than that, so Felicity is happy to help out. The doors are all open.
Once the break-in starts, everyone splits up. And then John gets separated from Oliver when a door slams down between them, which is going to be a big plot point when Felicity spends the rest of the episode blaming herself for letting it happen. It actually looks like Oliver could have just hopped over a chain-link fence, but the geography of this scene isn't entirely clear.
While John is alone and surrounded, the leader of Shadowspire comes out. And it's Lieutenant Joyner, the guy from the flashbacks! Luckily, John is wearing that silly helmet so he's effectively anonymous.
Then Oliver blows a hole in the wall and rescues John. So he was in peril for maybe a minute, which is not all that bad. Not that you can tell from the way Felicity carries on.
Place Of Interest
New Place, Huh? Nice!
After several episodes in the Arrowlair cell, Andy probably welcomes any change. And it may seem like a lateral move at best to go to a prison cell at ARGUS headquarters, this looks like a much nicer place to be imprisoned. All those Big Belly Burgers require a cell with a toilet in it.
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
She's Her Own Worst Enemy
Felicity is trying to relax by reading The Shining when her Goth Self barges in and picks a fight. When she was in college and Cooper died (see the previous Felicity flashback episode, whenever that was), she replaced her glasses with contact lenses, dyed her hair blonde, and got a regular job. This seems to really tick off Goth Felicity, although her insistence that "this isn't really you" doesn't line up perfectly with the decision to start wearing glasses. Goth Felicity's point is either "Stop feeling sorry for yourself" or "Stop trying to be a hero, you loser." Actual Felicity finds this all very distressing, even though she knows it's because she took too much of that pain medication.
Ah, My Old Enemy Who I Just Remembered
Name: Lieutenant Joyner. Age: Late 40s. Occupation: Soldier, drug dealer, weapons merchant, scoundrel. Goal: In general, to cause trouble whenever there's time in the schedule for a Diggle-centric adventure. This week, he and Shadowspire have broken into ARGUS so they can steal the codes for Rubicon. Whatever that is. Sample Dialogue: "I want those codes! Gimme them codes!"
There's a crisis at ARGUS, but only John and Andy know about it. So Oliver's alone at the Arrowlair when Felicity shows up. She correctly points out that they established the existence of an elevator earlier in the season. And she also points out that they ought to put in a ramp so she can get up to that raised island in the middle of the room that looked so cool earlier. She's doing a pretty good job of dealing with her new challenges, in my opinion. She says she was having trouble because "The old me was so angry at the world," which is kind of on the nose. But she's here to do some good. Hooray!
Incidentally, much respect to Felicity for wearing high heels. There's no excuse for not dressing well.
R.I.P. Amanda Waller?!
OH SHIT you guys, Joyner just murdered Amanda Waller! She had convinced him that no matter how many hostages he killed, she wouldn't tell him the Rubicon codes. So he killed her instead, so that Lyla would be next on the list. She has twenty minutes to decide about those codes.
Here's An Idea
Think More Carefully About Your Meta Jokes
John isn't prepared to go Solo Die Hard against Shadowspire, so he gets a message out to Oliver. When Team Arrow busts into ARGUS, Oliver gives Felicity the new code name "Overwatch," on the grounds that "Oracle" is taken. This, of course, is a reference to Barbara Gordon, who fills a very Felicity-like role in Batman stories, what with the wheelchair and hacking abilities and wireless communication. It's very clever, because obviously Felicity is now Oracle.
But here's the thing: Oliver said the name "Oracle" was taken. Does that mean that the Barbara Gordon character already exists in this world? Because, first of all, that also means Batman exists. But it also means that Felicity is ripping off someone else's gimmick almost as blatantly as Green Arrow is ripping off, well, Batman. Shouldn't Felicity and Oracle at least chat online about the best places to source invisible in-ear communication technology, and wheelchairs with hidden cattle prods for the inevitable kidnap attempts?
Go Away, You
While Felicity is doing her thing, she's still being bothered by Goth Felicity. Until Regular Felicity snaps, "Go away. I'm not you anymore. I haven't been for a long time." Then she's gone. And Regular Felicity has been replaced by Smirking Felicity.
Wrap It Up
The flashbacks terminate in an unexpected place: Shadowspire (in the flashbacks) is selling its heroin to Baron Ryder, the guy Oliver's dealing with on the island! It still doesn't seem likely to matter, but at least there are connections with the modern-day plot now.
Felicity decides to burn a picture of her old (goth) self, which is a terrible idea. Never burn your old pictures, because you might want to remember what you looked like when you were young and vibrant. And wouldn't Felicity have digitized her pictures at some point?
Oliver says that her condition is permanent. But their universe clearly doesn't have real physical laws, what with all the reincarnation and super-fast dudes and flight and whatnot, so he's going to keep looking for a way to get her to walk. Perhaps one of them will remember that she's the CEO of a technology company that was already working on mechanical suits.
And John Diggle has forgiven Andy enough to invite him home for dinner. Andy's unsure about letting his wife and kid know he's alive, but he's willing to meet his niece Sara. It's a very heartwarming redemption arc, although those flashforwards suggest that someone's going to die tragically at some point.