Photo: Cate Cameron / The CW

Hack The Planet

Felicity takes center stage as we learn her shocking secret: she was a goth in college.

We learned something very interesting about Felicity's past in this episode. And I'm not talking about her mother, and I'm not talking about her goth phase. Or even that she was a hacker who wrote a "supervirus," whatever that's suppsoed to mean. No, I'm talking about the exciting news that Felicity plays text adventures. She wrote a Linux port of Zork, although that probably wouldn't have been that difficult, since it was written in Fortran in the first place. And it's been ported to every conceivable platform (including my mobile phone) for years, so her doing it five years ago was still probably at least twenty years late. But that doesn't matter! What matters is that text adventures don't get talked about much anymore, and I'm happy to see them on a primetime comic book show. I won't even try to convince you that the virus she wrote is clearly based on the computer worm in the movie Hackers, although it clearly is.

The rest of the episode is okay, too, although it's very light on references pitched directly at me. Felicity has an emotional journey with her mother and gets to whop a bad guy with the butt of a pistol. That's a nice change from her usual regimen of hacking things with implausible speed and getting kidnapped. She's gotten so good at those, she did both at once. That's a good way to save time.

So if this is an episode mostly about the sidekick hacker, how well does it stand up as an episode of Arrow? Does that poster for the Errol Flynn Robin Hood make up for Oliver's lost screen time? Let's find out!

Arrow-ish Element Present?
Oliver goes shirtless. I'm pretty sure that when he used to spar with Roy, he would take his shirt off. At this point, the producers are deliberately keeping Oliver's shirt on. I can only assume it's so that he can take it off when he gets in real trouble.
Someone gets kidnapped. It's Felicity's turn. And also Felicity's mother! Thanks for visiting Starling City, mom. Did they warn you about the constant threat of kidnapping at the airport?
There's either a big dance party or a charity gala. Our best shot at a dance party would have been when Flashback Goth Felicity was hanging out with her cool friends. But in my experience, text adventures and raves don't always go well together.
Felicity has a crush on Oliver. If there's supposed to be an undercurrent of her trying to hide the fact that she once had a boyfriend, I don't see it. She mostly seems not to want to talk about the boy who let himself get arrested for her and then committed suicide in prison. Not that that has in any way stopped her from constantly hacking into secure federal systems.
Everyone's always watching the news on television. The only television in the episode is used to watch an old Joan Crawford/Clark Gable movie. That's about as far as you can get from the news.
There are references to the DC Universe. That virus looked a bit like the Eye of Sauron, but that's not the DC Universe.
Events on the island parallel modern day. Okay, so the flashbacks weren't on any island. But Felicity's college adventures did relate directly to the modern-day story.
Someone breaks up with or reunites with someone else on the spur of the moment. Felicity's mother didn't get the memo about how women in Starling City get kidnapped about every four weeks. But she clearly got briefed on how important it is to tearfully tell someone goodbye forever out of nowhere, then get back with them by the end of the episode vowing to repair your relationship with them.
Oliver arrows somebody. To be fair, he does arrow the heck out of two computer monitors, immediately before ordering the guy who owns them to use his computer. And he uses some sort of rope arrow to pull a potential rioter away from a defenseless bank. But he never gets around to actually shooting anyone with an arrow, because of Felicity's aforementioned pistol-butt-whopping. At least Roy shoots an arrow through a rocket launcher, which doesn't sound safe at all.
3 / 9
Final Score
Being Eaten By A Grue
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