Synopsis: Diggle, Felicity and Oliver – Team/Arrow – infiltrate the Merlyn Global Corporation to hack into its mainframe but Malcolm Merlyn – aka Dark archer – discovers their intrusion and… the secret identity of Arrow in a second scuffle with Arrow/Oliver.
Details: The episode opens with ark Archer – aka, Eddie Haskell, Sr., aka Malcolm Merlyn – going on a killing spree at UNIDAC [the front company behind his earthquake-causing device and Starling City/world domination ploy] to cover all his bases.
The mood is then lightened somewhat with Oliver attempting to clear the air – sorta – with Laurel by telling her a blatant obfuscation about nothing having changed in his life regarding his feelings for her – meaning you’ll have to rewind to all those episodes prior to this one to prove that he said or inferred differently. Men are such pigs – they’ll say anything to a gullible woman to get her in bed – or writers will have their male characters prolong that stereotype. One or the other.
The flashbacks, regrettably, return to the island where we see bad guy Fyers informing his captors [Oliver, Shado and Slade] that he intends to shoot down a commercial airliner in the first flashback and in the second flashback, explaining that this tactic will be continued so they can decimate China’s economy and they will blame it on a rogue element of the Chinese military whose leader will be played by Yao Fei.
Roy Harper – the male version of Thea – “illegally borrows” a car so he can try and follow his obsession with Arrow and evidently give the show’s creators another reason to have Thea in a scene.
Dark Archer infiltrates the Queen Mansion and puts both Oliver and Moira to sleep with some sleepytime darts….zzzzz. When they awake, they find themselves strapped to chairs in an interrogation warehouse room of some sort where Dark Archer slaps around Oliver a few times to induce Moira to spill the beans about what she knows about the “Undertaking” [aka Malcolm Merlyn’s UNIDAC plan].
Flashback #3 reveals that Fyers answers either to a female boss or a man with very lady-like legs or a transvestite or an Elvis impersonator who’s feudin’ with a karate instructor for all we know, really.
Angry Police Chief Wiggum Detective Lance interrogates Eddie Haskel, Jr./Tommy Merlyn about the UNIDAC massacre while Laurel tells her dad she likes Oliver again – virtually ensuring a future yellfest in the season finale.
Because the Merlyn Global Corporation company files are so well-protected, Felicity suggests breaking into the MGC HQ to access the files the old-fashioned way – so Team Arrow [consisting of Diggle as security guard, Felicity as burger delivery girl and Oliver as Oliver] devise a plan to infiltrate the building and mainframe while also giving Oliver the chance to give Eddie, Jr. a brief Laurel lecture. Felicity is briefly detained but after Oliver is sidetracked unintentionally by Eddie Sr./Malcolm Merlyn, Diggle steps in with a last-minute field goal to win the game and save Felicity. Oliver sees Thea and Roy on the way out of the building and gives Roy yet another brief lecture.
In the grand episode storyline wrapup, Walter serves Moira with divorce papers, Thea finds out, boo hoo. Felicity doesn’t cover her tracks well enough to obscure a police department-employed hacker, who detects her attempts at hacking into the MGC mainframe. Oliver predictably hooks up with Laurel while Eddie, Jr./Tommy creeps from outside. The fourth flashback has Yao Fei delivering a fake speech taking responsibility for the downed airliner and Fyers – supposedly – killing him while Dark Archer meets Arrow in Round Two – and in highly unlikely fashion [check Mythbusters], Dark Archer catches an arrow in mid-air and wins again, then discovers the true identity of Arrow.
So, going into the season finale – entitled “Sacrifice” – here’s how we see it meshing out. Eddie Sr./Malcolm Merlyn/Dark Archer has had two chances to kill Arrow/Oliver and he hasn’t and both of those chances featured an older, less fit arrow-wielding guy beating a younger, more fit arrow-wielding guy – so we are left to conclude one thing – they must really want these guys to survive. At least for now. So unless they have Arrow killing off Dark Archer and having him be replaced by Eddie Jr./Tommy [unlikely] – then it looks like it is trending toward an all-out blood feud between the Hatfields [Oliver and Roy Harper] against the McCoys [Eddie Sr. and Eddie Jr./Malcolm and Tommy Merlyn] with perhaps Thea being “sacrificed” to the altar of the ancient god of poor characters. Oh yeah, and with island flashbacks moving to Maui and including more bikini-clad women and less bad-ass commandos.
The Poop and Skinny: One of the glaring inconsistencies in the series becomes even more apparent in this episode as Arrow, who, fresh off the island, could hear a pin drop in a room in the first few episodes of the series, now, suddenly, is unable to detect the presence of the Dark Archer in his own house before he and his mom get nailed by sleepy darts
The police department still hasn’t paid their light bill – and here we are almost at the season finale.
It seems highly unlikely – to the point of North Korea adopting democracy-level unlikely – that Fyers plan could work undetected for more than, say, oh, 37 hours without being discovered and either stopped or significantly hindered by covert operations [preferably led by Archer]. Where are the good old days when the megalomaniacs just wanted to paint naked women with gold paint and horde the world’s gold supply?
Technically, the Dark Archer episode-opening killing spree offs six scientists and three security personnel [including Brian Markov, the inventor of the earthquake device] – which we think may give Dark Archer the unofficial single scene mass murder record for the series.
Burning question for the next episode of “Arrow” – With the series filing in Vancouver, B.C., will there be any reason for Oliver to visit Victoria on, say, a honeymoon with Laurel or a spot of tea with Walter?
As always – it is important to remember that, at any juncture where the situation appears to be dire for Arrow/Oliver and his very life may be in danger – there would be no more show [and therefore no more money to be made] if he were to die. You continue to be welcome.