This week will be the first Arrow recap, and until I catch up completely (I only watched the cross over. I know. Big mistake), it might be my last. After the mid-winter break, expect all my weekly articles to recur again. To recap what show’s I’ll be recapping: Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Gotham, and Agents of SHIELD/Agent Carter.
So let’s begin.
Ollie and Roy track Digger Harkness to his hideout, which is rigged to blow. They set off the explosives and move in. They don’t find Harkness, but they are interrupted by ARGUS. I’m intrigued to see ARGUS outside of the comics, and in Arrow of all places. For those that have been following, you know a little more than me, but ARGUS, if you didn’t know, is Arrow’s way of utilizing the Suicide Squad/Task Force X. With Harley Quinn having been shown in the show, and Deadshot being used, is it possible we could see more big name Justice Leaguers like Batman and Superman? There are rumors to Supergirl taking place in the CW universe, and possibly Constantine as well, so who knows? (In the comics, ARGUS is a group “Uniting Super-Humans,” so maybe they’ll eventually go that route?
We had some fun moments with Cisco and Caitlin in “The Arrow Cave,” (“We don’t call it that.”) and scenes of Captain Boomerang’s infiltration of Argus. He doesn’t sound Australian, so I have slight beef, but other than that, he looks believable. Probably my favorite DC Villain on TV so far, including Deadshot and Deathstroke. He uses boomerangs and ninja-like skills to take down a bunch of dudes.
Ollie and Roy come to save the day, and things get heated. Roy pulls out what appears to be escrima (in the comics mainly used by Nightwing, but this works, too), and they get into hand to hand combat with Harkness. Just as boomerangs are about to take out the emerald archer and his ward, the Flash runs in and grabs them out of the air. What in entrance, Barry!
Harkness was a member of Task Force X, and the bomb in his neck apparently malfunctioned. He has returned for… Some reason.
Barry’s favorite thing apparently is giving away his secret identity, after telling Girder, and now revealing himself to Ollie’s entire team, including Digg’s ex-wife, who didn’t know who he is. They essentially figure out that Lyla is the one that Harkness is after. She killed the lineup of Task Force X that Harkness was in, and he survived.
We then go to Barry and Ollie tracking down the guy that sold explosives to Harkness, and Barry takes an entire warehouse of guys out, and Ollie looks a little annoyed. It’s funny seeing the chemistry between these two, especially Barry using his powers and Ollie having to essentially take the backseat. He does, however, get to interrogate the bad guy, which might make up for not having to do anything getting there. Barry is clearly not a fan of Ollie’s methods, but they do get results. Two different styles of crime fighting. Ollie takes things to the next level, and Barry doesn’t think that’s a good idea. Over time I can see the two affecting each others methods. They argue over tactics, Ollie using his friends and family’s deaths as “an excuse,” as Barry puts it, to torture information out of criminals. Barry points out his own personal tragedies, and explains that that’s not an excuse to torture. “We’re supposed to be the good guys.”
“Sometimes bravery isn’t enough. Sometimes the world requires us to be bold.” Sound familiar?
These words from Lyla are her justification to Ollie about his methods. Apparently she takes his side, and she implied that Digg would be taking Barry’s side. Interesting. When we meet up with Barry at Harkness’ hideout, we see he’s a step ahead, and and left a phone behind for Ollie. Harkness makes it back to Ollie’s hideout and attacks Lyla. He sticks a boomerang in her chest, and Barry has to rush her to the hospital.
The episode ‘flashes’ back (see what I did there?) to Ollie’s history with Task Force X and torturing information out of a perp. He failed. The bomb he was trying to stop detonated before he got the information. This shows why he takes things so far willingly, and now he feels like he has to use excessive force for minimum acceptable casualties. A little later in another flashback, Oliver is seen confronted by Waller, and she blames him for the explosion. The blood is on his hands for not using extreme measures to stop extreme actions.
Felicity, Roy, Caitlin and Cisco head upstairs from the “Arrowcave” to the club Verdant to get away for a bit, and Cisco points out Thea as “a hottie” and asks who she is. Roy and Felicity explain that it’s Oliver’s sister/Roy’s ex… Once again Cisco is hilariously awkward. Some points are made about Cisco and Caitlin are hit hard by Lyla’s attack, considering how light things are taken at STAR Labs, and they realize that with metahumans having powers, it’s easy to make things less serious. They can take things lighter. The seriousness of the situation is pretty heavy for them, and it’s new to the team. This might have long-lasting effects, even on The Flash.
Oliver is starting to see the effects of his brutality on himself. He’s trading parts of Oliver Queen away for The Arrow’s strength. Barry thinks he’s full of crap. He’s convinced himself that it’s his lack of humanity that got him this far, but Barry thinks it’s the reverse. He’s not giving himself to the darkness to survive, he survives by the light inside himself.
They find out where Harkness and they go after him. Harkness uses the old Flash trope of bombs throughout the city, and they have to choose the bombs or Harkness. Arrow had this dilemma in the flashbacks: Torturing a bomber for the locations of the explosives, and he failed. So now it’s his second chance, and he has the Flash to back him up, this time. The Flash runs to stop the bombs, and the combination of Felicity and the STAR Labs team to find the bombs. He runs to stop the bombs, but he needs to be in five places at once to stop the bombs. He runs and grabs each member of the team and places them in place to stop the bombs all at once. It’s a risky move (if they all go off they all die), but it’s the only option they have. Conveniently everyone had wire clippers, which is clearly the biggest misstep in the show. Where did they come from? The Arrow lets Captain Boomerang live, and explains that it’s not weakness, it’s his humanity. Barry won over that part of Oliver.
Lyla lived, and Digg was there when she awoke. He proposed to her (again), and she said yes! We also find out that Harkness is on the island with Slade Wilson, Arrow’s version of the STAR Labs Prison, and you just know they’ll eventually find their way back. Together.
Oliver sets up a place for Barry to hang his suit alongside his own, for “The next time.”
While Cisco and Caitlin travel back to Central City, Barry and Ollie decide for one last sparring match to see who’s truly the best. Barry compares his speed to Ollie’s finite arrows, and Ollie mentions his tactical advantages. Barry and Ollie then fight to see who’d win. They don’t show the results, so it’s safe to say it’s a tie again. The moral of the story isn’t in the fights, however, it’s when Barry tells Ollie that he can inspire people. Not as Arrow, but as Oliver Queen. The episode showed Ollie being forced to move farther away from his darker methods, and towards being a hero of the light. I’ll have to catch up so I can see where this leads.