The League of Assassins has been dealt with, finally. That doesn’t mean everything in Arrow Season 4 is all of a sudden all hunky dory for Oliver Queen and friends.
Damien Darhk has been biding his time, lying low for the past few episodes. Now he and his HIVE are ready to make a move at taking out Team Arrow, with the help of a Demolition Team that just might be up to the task.
To make matters worse, Malcolm Merlyn just supplied Darhk with critical information at how to strike at Oliver in the most painful, direct way possible, a payback of sorts for Oliver taking both his hand and his leadership of the League away. That bodes ill for our heroes as head into “Code of Silence.”
On-the-Mark Recap: Oliver gets the lowdown on the upcoming mayoral debate and meets Darhk’s wife, Ruvé Adams, for the first time. Or maybe not his wife since she claims to not be married. Team Arrow has been digging into her background but hasn’t found much yet, and Felicity Smoak shows him her exploding glitter engagement invitations. Seriously.
Team Arrow mobilizes quickly to follow Ms. Adams, who for once, isn’t headed home. Green Arrow follows her car on its final leg but somehow loses the vehicle. It’s a trap, complete with plenty of Ghosts, but Speedy and Spartan show up to help take out all the bad guys. Unfortunately, Adams slips away during the melee.
Back at Arrow Lair 3.0, the discussion turns to attempting to figure out what Darhk’s current game is. Maybe we’ll find out from Darhk himself, as he discusses the “early birthday present” he got from Merlyn. He also tells his business partners that Phase 4 is ready to proceed, but there are doubts about Phase 5 thanks to the problems in Star City. Darhk does the Force Choke thing to take out a doubter in Spain and promises that the Captain Lance loose end is about to be tied up.
Laurel Lance is worried about her dad, figuring that Darhk and his buddies must have figured him out as well. He has dinner plans with Donna Smoak, but Laurel is alright with going along.
Speaking of Mama Smoak, she’s been busy going crazy on the loft. She’s in her glory planning Felicity’s wedding shower, but Thea Queen arrives with some news. Oh, it’s not dirt on Adams but on Ollie. Specifically, it’s about the $1 million check to Samantha Clayton that Mrs. Queen wrote back in the day. We know what that’s about, but Oliver tells his sister not to worry about it.
Laurel accompanies her dad on a breaking and entering call, and her instincts are correct. Despite his assurance that it’s not a job for Black Canary, it’s definitely bad news as the building starts coming down around them. They manage to get out more or less unscathed.
As Lance gets patched up at the Arrow Lair, they ponder how a building getting destroyed could be made to look like an accident. Oliver has debate prep to do, though. Fun!
Donna is worried about her “pooh bear,” and Lance tries saying he can’t see her for a while because he owes people money. She’s not buying it, and she wants to break it off for good because she knows he’s lying to her. Lance, don’t be a dummy here … Felicity confronts Lance, and he gives the default Arrow response that he was lying to protect Donna.
Felicity has a lead on the bad guys (of course!), explaining how Lance was lured to the building earlier. Team Arrow follows her info to an abandoned factory and finds their enemies, one of whom swings a mean sledgehammer and another who uses a high-powered nail gun of some kind. Spartan loses his solo fight, and Speedy runs to grab the group’s laptop as this factory also starts imploding. She manages to jump out a window — barely.
Intel from Andy Diggle identifies the bad guys as the Demolition Team, which we already know. The problem is that they saw blueprints suggesting the DT is going to take down another building, and the woman with the nail gun did a number on the laptop. Lance briefly tells Oliver about his relationship issues with Donna.
The Smoak women have a heart-to-heart, with Donna admitting that she lives vicariously through Felicity. Mama Smoak does say that Oliver never lies to her and will be the best daddy ever, which is kind of ironic. Felicity suggests returning Lance’s love with a little bit of trust, because he’s probably lying to protect her. That’s so Arrow!
As Thea helps Oliver finish up his debate prep, she asks about Samantha again, and she’s connected all the dots herself. Confronted with that info, he tells his sister about the conditions Samantha set for him to see William, and Oliver is definitely having second thoughts. Surprisingly, Thea sounds like she thinks Samantha is right, feeling that keeping William away from the Green Arrow will keep him safe. Ah, but we know better. Diggle calls with a lead on a special acid that the Demolition Team uses to weaken buildings, but Green Arrow and Spartan arrive to find gallons of it already gone, enough to bring down a very big structure.
Hey, Curtis Holt. Haven’t seen him all that much lately. He has a surprise for Felicity, but she gives him the laptop to work on first. Elsewhere, Oliver and Lance give each other a pep talk, with Ollie suggesting that his lie to Donna to keep her safe is acceptable.
With the debate coming up fast, Curtis has already finished figuring out what the blueprints were for. You win the prize if you guessed the Demolition Team wants to bring down the building where the debate is being held.
Why would HIVE attack the debate while Adams is there? Because they’re trying to get Oliver and discourage others from entering the race. Thea pulls the fire alarm to evacuate the building, and Adams orders the Demolition Team to make sure Queen doesn’t leave the building alive.
Team Arrow locates the explosives in various locations around the building, with Spartan finding out the hard way that the bombs are booby-trapped. Green Arrow takes on the group’s leader, Spartan gets a rematch with sledgehammer guy, and Speedy and Black Canary get to fight the nail gun woman. I really need to look up these clowns’ code names.
The women and Spartan win their battles and neutralize the bombs, with Green Arrow doing the same shortly thereafter. Lance reminds the archer he has somewhere else to be. Donna sees Lance taking the criminals away, and Felicity tells her mom not to let her man get away either.
And it’s debate time! It happens all off-screen though, and we learn from the news that most pundits are calling Oliver the clear winner.
At the post-debate party, Lance gets his chance to come clean and apologize with Donna. I mean, all the way clean, about working with Darhk and the whole nine yards. That gambit works, if Mama Smoak moving in for a kiss means anything.
Curtis presents his gift to Felicity, and it’s pretty terrific. Ha! It’s an implantable bio-stimulant that might help Felicity walk again. He had been working on it for a while but needed a power source “that would last a lifetime,” finally getting it once the Palmer Tech power cell was finished.
Uh-oh. Darhk introduces William to his daughter and says he’ll be staying with them for a while. That can’t be good.
Meanwhile, (Back) on the Island: The dig is underway, and Reiter says everything is going as he has foreseen. The workers are none too happy about Oliver’s presence, recalling that Ollie killed Taiana’s brother. One guy gets the guards to go get a drink …
Taiana stands up for Oliver before he gets a chance to speak on his own behalf. Will they listen? They want proof, and say he can provide it by killing Conklin. Oliver tells Taiana he’s killed before and is worried about becoming a monster, but she says it takes one to fight them.
Reiter starts explaining a bit of his plan to Oliver, which involves a legend about a “device of untold power” which can only be found by a man who has been granted passage by the gods. Kind of like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, then? And it looks like we’re getting an Ollie vs. Conklin knife fight.
Yep, knife fight it is. Oliver wins, but Conklin is a jackass even with his dying breath, saying that Reiter will kill everyone no matter what he does. Good riddance jerk.
Oliver tells Reiter that he killed Conlin out of self-defence and gets a warning not to test him again. Back in his cell, Oliver informs Taiana that they don’t have much time.
#GraveWatch: William is still the sadly unfortunate leading candidate to be killed off and needing a funeral later this season — especially since he’s already under Darhk’s roof. Of course that will force Oliver to tell Felicity about him before that happens, one would think. I’m still calling Merlyn as the polling leader as the revenge target, but it’s a tight race with Darhk.
Final Thought: The pacing of Arrow Season 4 has been a little uneven, and this episode was a great example. There’s just so many subplots being juggled that there are hours that seem crammed to get them all in. We saw that this week, along with yet another set of villains that existed only as plot devices and foils for some (admittedly cool) fight scenes. They can’t all be amazing, and with Vixen arriving next week, things should only pick up.