Oliver and company deal with Double Down.
The season seems to be progressing pretty quickly here, especially as it is only the 3rd episode and already A LOT has happened. Definitely feeling that the show is going in the right direction, and I think a lot of that has to do with how much I am enjoying Damien Darhk as the villain.
In the main story of the week, it seems the original Team Arrow (OTA as Felicity calls them, OQC [Original Quiver Crew] as I call them) has been left to defend the city while Laurel and Thea go on their “spa” vacation, which makes things tense as Diggle is still not very trusting of Oliver. The episode opens with the pair hunting down some ghosts, with Diggle managing to capture one and rip out his Cyanide tooth before the ghost ends his life, but the villain still manages to escape. Felicity checks out the tooth in the lab, and later discovers that the man is lacking some genetic markers in his DNA, a fact which is not revisited in this episode, but I’m sure will play into the story of HIVE and the ghosts in the future. Felicity suggests they all go out for margaritas to celebrate their night, but Diggle turns them down, clearly not wanting to be around Oliver outside of Vigilante work. Felicity pushes Oliver to figure things out with Dig, but it is clear Oliver is out of ideas.
At HIVE HQ, Darhk is visited by Mina Fayad (more on her in a second), who says their HIVE associates have sent an assassin to help Damien deal with his Green Arrow issue. Here we meet Double Down (a name that we are told Cisco comes up with later in the episode), a meta-human who can pull off his playing card tattoos and hurl the razor sharp objects at his targets with incredible accuracy. After Double Down kills the ghost whose tooth is currently held by Team Arrow, he is sent after the Green Arrow.
Back at Diggle’s house, he is visited by an ARGUS agent fulfilling a favor Lyla asked for months ago (before she left the organization), handing John a picture of the woman who hired Deadshot to kill his brother, and a name, Mina Fayad. Finally seeing a lead in his 2 year long investigation, Diggle tails the woman through Star City. Meanwhile Oliver and Felicity spot a bank heist in progress, and while Felicity tells Oliver a regular heist should be handled by the SCPD, he goes anyway, saying the police need all the help they can get. Felicity still worries though, aware Oliver is going out without backup, and unable to get ahold of Diggle. Oliver arrives at the heist just in time for Double Down to spring the trap and attack the archer, in a dangerous battle that leaves Oliver fleeing for his life, with a card embedded deep in his bicep. Diggle meanwhile is spotted by HIVE agents as he tails Mina, and barely escapes with his life even as he loses track of her.
They both arrive back at HQ to a haranguing by Felicity, who is pissed they were both out in the field without backup, and demands that they figure out their argument now, before she gets back. She leaves to go upstairs to Palmer Technologies to have Curtis go over the playing card that was embedded in Oliver’s arm, offering lame excuses to her IT guy the same way Oliver used to give her lame excuses when he was recruiting her for Team Arrow. Diggle and Oliver meanwhile talk, and realize it all comes down to trust, Dig still does not trust Oliver, which Oliver gets, but Oliver is angry that he is not being given the change to earn back that trust. Realizing what needs to be done, Diggle takes Oliver to his apartment and tells him about his 2 year HIVE investigation, and about Mina.
Mina however, is having a bad day, as her assassin failed to kill the Green Arrow, and Darhk is pissed. He senses her lack of respect for him, and asks Double Down to attempt to kill him as a demonstration. Darhk catches the card using his powers, and sends it across the room and into Mina’s throat instead, impressing Double Down with his talent. Darhk then demands that Double Down finish the Green Arrow job, making the assassin sure of what will happen should he fail.
Felicity and Curtis realize that there is still a link between the card and the meta-human who created it, but before they can use that link to track Double Down, he instead finds them. They flee the Palmer Tech lab, with Felicity leading Curtis into a secret elevator down to the basement of the building where Team Arrow HQ 2.0 is situated. They arrive to fleeting safety, as Double Down tracks them downstairs (how exactly he does that is never explained) and begins his attack. Fortunately Felicity is a badass, and grabs a gun and sprays down the area around Double Down, scaring him off but not before Curtis is injured.
Diggle and Oliver track Mina’s phone to her current location only to find her dead body tied to a chair, an ominous warning for the pair. They return to HQ where Felicity fills them in on what happened, assuring them that Curtis is fine and does not know Oliver’s identity. They use the card to track Double Down as he flees Star City (clearly afraid of Damien’s wrath), and Oliver and Diggle head him off on the road. They stop the metahuman, but not before Oliver dives in front of Diggle to protect him, taking a playing card to the chest (its ok, it does not make it through his kevlar). They send Double Down to Central City lock-up, and it seems the Original Quiver Crew managed to save the day even without the rest of the team.
In Nanda Parbat, Thea learns from Malcolm that her bloodlust can only be sated by killing the man who killed her (impossible as Oliver already killed Ras), or by killing a few people every few weeks to slate her gruesome appetite. Thea is appalled at her choices, and says she will not kill, until Malcolm orders a soft hit on his sleeping daughter. Thea wakes up in full battle mode and slays her attackers, and is later furious that Malcolm sacrificed lives that way. Meanwhile, Nyssa and Malcolm shoot down Laurel’s idea to resurrect Sara, explaining the monster she could become if brought back at this point, with Merlyn pointing out no one has ever been brought back after so much time. Laurel insists, and Nyssa is angry that Laurel could be so selfish. Merlyn is not swayed until he sees Thea’s anger and guilt about killing Sara, and agrees to try to it. Nyssa enters just as they are lowering Sara into the pit and is incensed, but there is nothing she can do to stop it. Sara is revived, but she is clearly not the Sara we knew. She is bound and chained, and while Laurel points out she is not much different than Thea was when she left the pit (how would Laurel know that exactly?), Thea was not crazy for nearly this long. Nyssa is angry, and tells Laurel that while Sara’s death was all on Malcolm, whatever suffering Sara goes through now is all on Laurel’s head. In revenge, Nyssa destroys the Lazarus Pit, claiming her father left her instructions to end the pit if it were to ever fall into the wrong hands, which to her clearly means Merlyn. Malcolm sends her to the dungeons.
In tonight’s flashback, we learn some of the product has gone missing, and the guards are hellbent on finding it, even if it means executing prisoners until someone confesses. Oliver offers an alternative to killing, torturing one of the workers until the culprit steps forth. It is a woman, explaining that she stole product to give to sick workers to help them cope with the pain. They guards want to kill her, but Oliver points out that the boss does not want to see mounting bodies, just work being done. Oliver offers to quietly get rid of her, and takes her out to the woods, accompanied by another guard. Oliver tricks the guard into stepping on a land mine, and then flees with the woman to presumed safety.
In the episode aftermath, Felicity, whose phone has been going wonky all episode with Matrix style code, looks down to find her name in the code, leaving her bewildered as to what is going on. Oliver and Diggle seem to be on better terms, and Oliver promises to help Diggle figure out who in HIVE gave the kill order for his brother. And lastly, Oliver surprises the team by announcing that with HQ 2.0 now compromised, he has a surprise for them: HQ 3.0. Looking forward to seeing that next week!
BOW STRING THEORIES:
* While I had guessed that they would remove the Lazarus Pit in some way this season due to the fact that is nullifies all the stakes of the show (why does it even matter if someone dies if they can be brought back to life?), I am now thinking that the show has left itself a loophole, because we already know Damien Darhk took water from the Lazarus Pit for himself.
* Is there a chance that microscopic Ray Palmer is what is causing Felicity’s phone to go haywire? That he can only send messages through the weird Matrix like code now taking over her phone?
* Project Genesis sounds ominously similar to the Undertaking…. I wonder if we will learn later in the season that Darhk and Merlyn are now working together….
I think the season has good momentum so far, and I look forward to seeing how Sara is going to fit onto the new team, and how the OTA are going to react to what went down in Nanda Parbat. See you back here next week!