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This week’s follow-up to the epic break-up of Felicity and Oliver starts with Oliver working with the Quiver Crew on their combat skills, handing each of them some sound advice while he beats the crap out of them, clearly letting out his aggression about losing Felicity. When the team calls it quits (apparently Thea is running low on excuses for all of her bruises, and does not want to tell people her brother gave them to her), they get to talking about Alex, and how he is applying for a position on Ruve’s campaign staff to help her in the coming election. While Oliver realizes that he cannot rejoin the race (because voters hate flip-floppers, even if Oliver only dropped to prevent Darhk from killing his son), no one wants Alex on Ruve’s team. Fortunately, Laurel suggests Thea asks Felicity about a new job opening at Palmer Tech, and Thea agrees to visit their old teammate.

Felicity meanwhile is having a conversation with Curtis about the proposed cost of the spinal chip that allowed her to walk again, as Felicity is unhappy that the board wants to price the chip out of the range of a lot of people who really need it (apparently only billionaires would be able to afford it). She notices that Curtis is sick, and decides to send him home, just as Thea arrives and the two begin to talk about Alex and a position at the company. Felicity knows she has a board meeting to attend, but figures they can wait, which is fortuitous as just then Brie Larvan crashes the board meeting, (having hacked her way out of prison…somehow) demanding the specs and the sole prototype of the spinal chip, which at the moment is inside Felicity. Brie takes over Palmer Tech, holding the board hostage while waiting for Felicity to give herself up, and using her bees (which she can now control with her mind) to lock down the building. Felicity and Thea have their hands full with trying to escape the bees, especially since Donna Smoake showed up right before the attack and has been tagging along behind the duo.

arrow curtis takes commandTeam Arrow meanwhile learns of the attack, and as they start trying to formulate a plan of action, they find Curtis on the elevator into the Lair, the man having seen the attack on Palmer Tech on the news and wanting to help, tracking the Green Arrow down to his secret lair using an old phone they gave him (this lair really is not that secret anymore). Curtis is floored by the identities of Star City’s vigilantes, and is amazed by their headquarters, wanting to jump right into Felicity’s old computers and get to work. They agree to let Curtis help, knowing his expertise will be handy since Felicity is not there to help (as Felicity was the one who out-hacked and took down Brie last year over on ‘The Flash‘). As Curtis tries to hack the bees, Oliver, Laurel and Diggle head over to Palmer Tech to try to save Felicity, Donna and Thea.

Felicity meanwhile, is not going to give into Brie’s demands, as she knows the woman will just kill the board anyway. So she leads Thea and her mother to the ventilation shaft, where they make good their escape. They even make it out the back door just as Curtis manages to hack and take down the bees, leaving an easy escape for the ladies, as they can even see the Green Arrow, Black Canary and Spartan approaching. Unfortunately, the bees this time around adapt very quickly to new attacks, and they manage to bypass Curtis’ hack and form a monstrous “bee-man” type figure, which blocks Felicity and company from escaping (they race back inside to take refuge in a supply closet) while Oliver attacks the bee man, taking a bad attack (sting?) to the arm.

arrow oliver with bee inside himBack at Headquarters, Curtis realizes that Oliver not just suffering from a bad bee sting, but that the bee is actually inside of Oliver’s body, and it is creating larvae inside of him to replicate itself and kill the Green Arrow. Curtis modifies Laurel’s Canary Cry device to emit a frequency that will destroy the bees inside Oliver’s body, which works, though it does shatter a lot of glass inside the lair. Felicity meanwhile comes up with a  plan to save the Palmer Tech board, utilizing the old secret elevator that only went down to the former vigilante lair (which they are calling the panic room). She gets Thea and Donna inside, and then manages to stop the elevator on the floor where the board is being held. Using some explosive devices that Curtis had been developing, they blast through the wall and get the board members onto the elevator, assuring them safety in the “panic room” below. However, Brie catches them in the act, and Felicity and Thea stay behind to distract Brie so the others can escape. Felicity learns that Brie has a tumor on her spine that will paralyze her, which is why she wants the chip, and Brie eventually figures out that Felicity was the one who hacked her into prison last year, and now wants revenge for that time lost.

arrow brie gun to thea felicity and oliverCurtis comes up with another plan to take out the bees, involving an arrow that if used near one of the bees, will allow a virus to be uploaded into the bees, which Curtis can then hack to take control of the bees and shut them down. (as Captain Lance points out, very similar to ‘Independence Day’). Oliver heads back to Palmer Tech to save his ex-fiance and sister, but not before chewing out Curtis for making jokes and not taking their business seriously, reminding him that lives are at stake. For the second time in the episode, Oliver has a heart-to-heart with Laurel, who reminds him that he is acting out because of the loss of Felicity, and though he cannot save his relationship, he can still do what he does best, and save the city.

arrow felciity takes down beemanAs Curtis preps the arrow virus, the bee sample they have been using escapes, and chases down Curtis, who flees the bug with surprising agility. His panic causes Captain Lance to spring to the rescue though, and Lance smashes the robotic bug with a tea kettle, promising he will not tell the others about how loud Curtis screamed. At Palmer Tech, Oliver is forced to take on the bee man once more (Curtis was still distracted by the bee), and Oliver also has to contend with Brie, who shoots him in the chest (fortunately his chest armor is bullet proof). Forced to save her former lover, Felicity grabs a lamp, breaks off the top, and smashes the live wires into bee man, shorting out all of the circuits of the little bugs. Soon after, Curtis’ virus is uploaded, and he takes control of the remaining bees, and helps the team apprehend Brie.

arrow darhk in prisonThroughout the episode we also see Darhk dealing with life in prison, as he is attacked by other prisoners (one of whom resembles the character Murmur from the comics). He is also visited by Malcolm Merlyn, who informs him that HIVE plans to go through with project Genesis without him, and will not be taking him out of prison. Eventually, Darhk manages to get the Murmur character onto his side, using Murmur to kill his attackers, showing that Darhk is still dangerous, even without his powers.

In tonight’s flashback, Oliver and Taiana confront Baron Reiter at the cave exit, but he reveals his invulnerability when Taiana tries to shoot him, and he shrugs off the bullets, then uses telekinesis to knock her into a wall, unconscious. Oliver tries to fight him, but it is clear the Baron used the idol and the death he caused to power himself up, wanting to kill more people on the island to make himself into a god. Fortunately for Oliver, the power eventually wears off, and Oliver is able to land a solid punch on Reiter, knocking him out cold.

In the episode aftermath, as Thea and Felicity help with the Palmer Tech clean-up, Thea tries to convince Felicity to return to the team, and be their beacon of hope once more. Felicity has her own plans though, and wants to turn Palmer Tech into a beacon of hope, starting with making the spinal chip affordable for everyone. After getting an apology from Oliver for his harsh words and an invitation to return and help when he wants to, Curtis returns home to a worried finance, lying to the man about where he was, and claiming he was just trying to help the police. Curtis is clearly about halfway through joining Team Arrow, and his lying to the man he loves is even more proof that he is joining the right team. Lastly, we see Merlyn meeting up with a character that Darhk described as his “ace in the hole,” and as the camera pulls back, we see Andrew Diggle talking to Merlyn, and we know John’s brother is not quite as reformed as we thought.
arrow felciity and beemanBOW-STRING THEORIES:

– Laurel and Oliver have been having a lot of talks lately. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, they are trying to get us back to the old Oliver and Laurel relationship… and I’m not sure how I, or fans, are really going to feel about that dynamic.

– Could Diggle’s brother actually be a double agent, pretending to still be cool with HIVE and Merlyn just to get information to John? Or is he really a bad guy?

– No new coffin information, except for the fact that with Captain Lance’s ‘Independence Day’ pop culture reference he is showing a more lovable and fun side to himself, all of which will make his death more tragic when it finally comes.

– Will Curtis replace Felicity on the team? Does that mean they are preparing to write her off the show? Is this even more evidence that Laurel and Oliver will be the new team couple?

Not a  bad episode, definitely felt a lot more well-rounded and fun than last week’s dark adventure. I am curious to see where the season will go, and just who will be the big bad they have to face at the end of the season (I know it is most likely still Darhk, but you never know, it might be Merlyn). See you back here next week for another recap!

Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.