Tonight’s episode was all about housecleaning lingering subplots. With only two episodes left in the season, this was a pretty lousy time to address them, but eventually the bills for poor pacing come due and Monument Point suffered as a result.
For much of the episode, Green Arrow and Diggle felt like the sidekicks as Felicity was the main focus. Realizing her skills weren’t quite enough to knock out Damien Darhk’s nuke ’em all strategy, Team Arrow tracked her father, Noah, down to lend a hand. Darhk also figured there was only one person in the entire planet capable of stopping him and sends a few goons led by Murmur and Brick (a returning Vinnie Jones). The fight scenes looked a bit odd this week with everyone borrowing some pages from Arsenal’s playbook and flipping all over the place.
The problem with a supernatural villain using nukes as his endgame strategy was apparent as there wasn’t a whole lot Arrow and Diggle could do. There was a brief moment where Oliver warned Diggle about lying to Lyla regarding how Andy was killed. I would have welcomed more of that discussion as the fallout of Andy’s death is something that shouldn’t be brushed aside too quickly.
Donna Smoak was back laying the guilt trip on Quentin for considering lying about knowing Laurel was Black Canary in order to get his job back. Donna had some never considering she couldn’t be bothered to make his daughter’s funeral.
If I’m Quentin, the job definitely has to be more meaningful than Donna’s respect at this point. Predictably though, he decided Donna’s hotness meant forsaking his passion thanks to Donna still carrying baggage over Felicity’s father, Noah, lying to her decades ago.
In a decision that actually made complete sense, Felicity was fired as Palmer Tech CEO. Much like Oliver’s mayoral campaign, Felicity running this big conglomeration probably sounded like a good idea to the writers initially, but they quickly lost interest and never developed it to its full potential. But hey, it was more important to have Oliver and Felicity going through Spat #261, right?
Unfortunately for Team Arrow, that meant Felicity couldn’t get the fancy gadget Noah needed to stop the nukes. That led to a contrived scene where Noah and Felicity break in and steal the device with an assist from Oliver. Was asking Curtis, you know, the Palmer Tech employee still in good standing to walk over and get the device too simple? Or at least mention a line that he was out of town and couldn’t help.
That gripe aside, the exchanges with Felicity and Noah were some of the better moments in the episode. Tom Amandes does a strong job of making Noah remorseful, but leave enough mystery that it’s hard to take his words at face value.
In the end, Noah and Felicity almost succeeded. One nuke was successfully launched so Felicity had no choice but to send it to an area with a lesser population. This follow-up is going to prove really important. Felicity in essence directly led to those deaths and if next episode she’s still making wisecracks and goofing off that’s going to be a massive disappointment. This could take Felicity in a very interesting place and with Diggle reeling from killing Andy, half of Team Arrow is going to be in a broken place from being unwilling executioners.
Thea’s subplot took an interesting turn before going silly again. Merlyn visited her and both seemed tired of him giving his whole ‘I’m only doing evil for you’ spiel. Remember earlier on when it seemed like Merlyn was being set up as Thea’s archenemy and her obsession with beating him?
That sure went nowhere. Lonnie Machin aka Anarchy crashed HIVE’s dome paradise and was being quite the nuisance killing random HIVE soldiers.
Merlyn figured the army at his disposal wasn’t enough and asked Thea for help, which ultimately led to Alex getting killed. I wish I had some feelings to spare for him, but after last night’s episode of The Flash, I’m fresh out. And it’s not like Alex ever had much of a chance to become a meaningful member of this season’s cast anyway.
The island flashback accomplished its usual nothing. I’d guess it got a whopping five minutes this week, which just isn’t nearly enough to make folks care about these events. Maybe the flashbacks were worth 10 episodes, but too often it’s felt like it’s been stuck in place trying to drag a nothing happening plot through the entire season. As we saw in Canary Cry, the flashbacks can still be impactful and meaningful, but weakly connecting an overarching story from Oliver’s past through a season just never worked this year.
Arrow and Diggle finally found HIVE’s secret getaway entrance just in time to see Darhk soaking in all the new souls he absorbed from the nuke. Does anybody have Vixen’s number?
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Donna made an annoying return and Arrow had little to do while Felicity and Hacker Dad failed to save the day and Thea’s subplot had a weak resolution. The show’s momentum is heading in the opposite direction as the season finale quickly approaches.