Arrow Unchained

The episode opens (as these things often do) with the Quiver Crew chasing down a criminal, a burglar who proves himself to be impressive in his ability to outmaneuver the team, even with Felicity “Overwatch” coaching everyone through the radio, enjoying using everyone’s nicknames almost as much as she enjoys her own name. The burglar is good enough that eventually the only thing that stands between the man and his escape with his prize is Thea, who collapses and almost falls off the roof right before she can nab the guy. Fortunately, Thea is saved by the Team, but they are worried that something is wrong with her, and suspect (rightly so) that it most likely has something to do with the after effects of the Lazarus Pit.

With Thea sick, Malcolm Merlyn arrives back in town, continuing his crusade to convince Thea to kill someone to sate her blood lust, and explaining that if the bloodlust does not force her to kill someone else, it eventually turns on the “host” (a term Thea hates), which is why her repressing the bloodlust has now resulted in her getting sick. While the family discusses this, she and Merlyn reveal to Oliver the fact that Damien Darhk inadvertently halted her bloodlust for a time when he tried to kill her, and Oliver immediately tries to make plans to meet with Darhk and force the villain to help his sister.

Of course, Ollie has a lot on his plate right now (with his Mayoral campaign, Felicity being shot, dealing with Darhk) that it is no wonder he did not realize how much of an issue the bloodlust was becoming for Thea, as even dealing with the issue now is interrupted by a phone call by Alex telling him that a new player is running against him for Mayor, a woman who just happens to be Ruve Adams, the wife of Damien Darhk. Now that she is out in the open, Oliver approaches her and demands a meeting with her husband to discuss Thea, a plot point we will discuss later.

arrow ollie laurel and diggle in costumeAs for the strange burglar, Oliver is informed the man is on the prowl again while visiting Thea, and with her permission, he heads out to join the team and take down the man. After a long chase with many acrobatic moves, Oliver manages to tackle the man, pulling off his mask to reveal Roy Harper, who punches Oliver and escapes in the confusion. (of course, none of this is that surprising if you’ve been following the rumors about Roy’s re-appearance this season, especially since they made it a point to show off the acrobatics of the burglar, which was Roy’s signature in Season 3). Back at the Arrow Cave, the team discusses the possibility that it might not even be Roy (a shape-shifting Meta-human has already been dealt with back on ‘The Flash’ after all), though Oliver is fairly certain it was his one-time protege. Felicity begins to investigate the components that Roy has been stealing, realizing that he might be building a device that would basically nuke the internet, which leads everyone to wonder why Roy would be involved in such an enterprise when last year “he could barely spell computer.”

arrow felicity wheelchair presentationFelicity concludes that the only component still needed for the bomb is a power source, and she realizes that she and Curtis have been developing exactly that at Palmer Technologies. You see, continuing the storyline from earlier in the season where the Board of Palmer Tech gave Felicity a limited time to come up with something that could save the company, it seems that amidst the Darhk drama and her own paralysis, Felicity and Curtis have been fashioning a battery of the future, fully recyclable and capable of charging anything from an office building all the way to a device capable of destroying the internet. We, of course, learn about this device as Felicity and Curtis rehearse a presentation of the battery to the Board and the public at large, a presentation that the board feels Felicity might not be capable of handling due to her wheelchair-bound status.

arrow roy in new HQOf course, her hunch about the battery comes true as Roy attacks Curtis at Palmer Tech, and though the scientist manages to mostly hold his own, Roy does manage to grab the battery and toss is out a window, where a convenient drone is ready to catch it and take it back to the mastermind behind everything. Team Arrow does arrive in time to confront Roy, and under Felicity’s orders, Oliver loads a bow and shoots Roy with a tranq arrow, knocking him out, but making it seem as though he killed him. The ruse you see was for the benefit of the man watching Roy’s every move via a high-tech contact lens Roy had been sporting, which somehow Felicity managed to spot on the camera feedback at the Arrow cave. They remove the lens, letting the man pulling the strings believe Roy is dead, and Roy awakens in the new Arrow cave, impressed at the new Lair. arrow roy awakensHe explains that a villain known as the Calculator (I’m assuming his superpower is being able to push the buttons of those around him?) blackmailed Roy into helping, threatening to expose the truth about his identity to the world, which would invalidate Roy’s sacrifice from last season. And with the contact lens, Roy was always being watched, and could not escape until Team Arrow “killed him.”

Still, despite their victory in saving Roy, the Calculator now has all the components he needs to build the device Felicity warned them all about. While she attempts to investigate the Calculator, he happens upon her hacking, speaking to her via altered voice-chat, toying with her and the team and pointing out that he likes the internet, and he would rather use his new device to destroy the city. Felicity knows she needs more digital firepower to find out where the Calculator plans to deploy his device, so she returns to Palmer Tech to find an old Ray Palmer device known as the battering ram, which amps up her hacking prowess. As she is there searching for the battering ram, Curtis is impressed by her drive and determination, and reminds her that the wheelchair does not always slow her down, and if she was as confident and focus during the presentation as in that moment, she would be certain to wow everyone with the new battery.

arrow the calculatorDevice in hand and Curtis’ advice ringing in her ears, Felicity returns to the Arrow Cave and tracks down the deployment area for the web nuke, sending in the team to deal with it, including Roy, who apparently still fits in the Arsenal costume even though Speedy had it altered for her form. Thea meanwhile is not doing well, as during a visit with Roy her old wound from where Ras Al Ghul stabbed her re-opens and she struggles to breathe. The wound closes eventually, but Malcolm warns them all that she is getting worse, urging his daughter to kill someone, even though she insists it is her life and she has control. Eventually, Malcolm and Oliver talk, and both somewhat agree that it is Thea’s life, and they have to let her make this decision, even if it means she dies. Oliver does not fully believe it though, and he heads off to meet with Darhk, whose meeting was set up by Ruve. However, on his way there he learns the rest of the team is on the move to take down the Calculator’s device, and Oliver is forced to choose his priorities.

arrow and arsenalThe team is met with heavy resistance as the Calculator has hired mercenaries to set the device, which will flood the city, rupture gas lines, basically sabotage every utility in Star City that has any kind of digital automation behind it. Just when the team is cornered by the mercenaries Oliver arrives, taking down the enemies in spectacular fashion. Felicity meanwhile, realizes that even though her team has brought in a good amount of explosives to destroy the device, the Calculator is blocking all signals, so the explosives will have to be set off manually. Against Oliver’s wishes Roy volunteers, saying he brought this mess to Star City, and Oliver reluctantly allows Roy to do it, advising the young man to run like hell after he does. Fortunately, Roy is pretty quick, and after shooting an arrow into the explosives he manages to make his way out ahead of the explosion, zip-lining back toward the rest of the team.

In the B (or maybe even C) Story of the episode, Nyssa handily escapes from her imprisonment in Nanda Parbat, thanks in part to the fact that Merlyn is out of town taking care of Thea, and she flees to Japan, where she confronts the guardian of something called the LOTUS, who just happens to be Katana herself, Tatsu. After an evenly matched sparring duel, Nyssa offers to explain herself to Tatsu and see if maybe they can work something out. We do not see if Tatsu agrees, but based on the end of the episode, I sure hope she did.

In tonight’s flashback Oliver is being tortured by Baron Reiter, earning more of those scars his body has been covered in since the Pilot. Eventually, he is “saved” by Shado, and we learn in reality he had passed out due to his injuries and is having a fever dream. However, Shado assures him even in the dream she is real (owing to something mystical on the island I imagine), and she helps him learn not to take the weight of everything that has happened on his own shoulders, and that he needs to get through his darkness to survive. She gives him a familiar rock (which he eventually gives to Thea upon returning to his family) and Oliver wakes up, being tending to by Taiana. Trying to make things right, he confesses that he killed her brother, not Conklin, and she is shocked. However, we do not get to see what happens next.

arrow curtis at felicity battery talkIn the episode aftermath, Felicity gives the presentation, full of confidence, and impresses all in attendance, including the Calculator, who leans over to say how good the presentation was to Oliver (none of our heroes ever actually saw the face of the villain). As she leaves the meeting room, Felicity comes face to face with the villain. He offers congratulations, and we learn the Calculator is actually her father, who has been mentioned many times before on the show, but never in great detail. Roy prepares to leave town despite Thea’s health concern, though he and Thea did have a moment where they wished each other the best, with Thea insisting that Roy finds someone to marry and have kids with. Thea’s health meanwhile continues to deteriorate, and she ends up in a coma in the hospital, clearly without much time left. Nyssa shows up at that moment and offers Oliver a deal. She has the LOTUS potion, a cure for those suffering from the Lazarus Pit sickness, but in exchange, she wants Oliver to kill Malcolm Merlyn.

arrow arsenal canary and diggleBOW-STRING THEORIES:

* Will we ever learn WHY the Calculator wanted to destroy Star City? Was he working for Darhk? Was he holding a grudge? Did he secretly ask for ransom money from the city officials and we just never saw it?

* Are they now trying to trick us into thinking Thea ends up in the coffin? It all seems too easy, whoever is in there I feel met an untimely death at the hands of Darhk, not a slow sickly death due to Lazarus Pit poisoning.

* I saw the Calculator reveal coming about a mile away, though I am intrigued by the potential for his interactions with Felicity, her mom, and Captain Lance, as well as what the Calculator’s connections are to the rest of the villains (aka HIVE) in Season 4

* How long is this “emergency” mayoral election? I would think that Oliver running unopposed for this long would have resulted in him becoming Mayor much sooner, as it seems that Star City is operating without a mayor right now, and has been for quite some time.

Pretty good episode, good to see Roy back in action, and also great to see Nyssa again (I had almost forgotten about her myself). If this LOTUS thing works I hope it does everything Nyssa says as I’m officially tired of the Lazarus Pit and its side-effects, and want to put that plot point to bed. Other than that, looking forward to seeing where they go with Felicity and her dad, and continuing to unravel the coffin mystery of the season! See you next week!