Oliver Must Not Tell Lies
Instead of opening on a fight scene like the show usually does, we instead see Oliver preparing for an upcoming mayoral debate against Damien’s wife, Ruvé Adams. Ruvé shows up as well to presumably do the same thing and she and Oliver take the opportunity to basically size each other up. Once Ruvé leaves, Team Arrow decide to try follow her back to Damien’s new lair but she proves to be one step ahead of them and lures the team into a Ghost ambush (though to be fair Team Arrow was being extremely conspicuous while tailing her). The team takes out the Ghosts without much problem but Ruvé gets away.
Afterwards at Damien’s lair, he and Ruvé once again have some vague discussions about his master plan. Damien also mentions Merlyn’s recent revelation about William. He then meet up with his associates (which now apparently includes Merlyn) and tells them that “Phase 4” is on schedule. However, some of them are concerned that the plan could still be derailed thanks to Oliver’s candidacy. Damien responds by basically force-choking one of the naysayers (even though he’s teleconferencing from Spain).
Meanwhile, Thea has been doing a background check on Oliver to see if there’s any dirt Damien can use against him and finds out about the million dollar check Moira had written to William’s mother, Samantha. When she asks Oliver about it, he pretends not to know anything about it but Thea is clearly suspicious.
Team Arrow go to an abandoned building to take down a team of H.I.V.E. mercenaries called the Demolition Team though that of course doesn’t go according to plan. The Demolition Team escapes and have rigged the building to blow with them in it. The good news is they are able to make it out in time and Thea manages to recover a laptop the Demolition Team had been using just before they fled. The bad news is that the laptop has several nails shot into it, so Felicity has Holt try to recover the data from it.
Back at Oliver’s campaign office, Thea is going over the probable talking points for his debate. Oliver appears to have things down until Thea starts questioning him again about Samantha. She tells him that she found out Samantha has a son named William and was able to put two and two together. Oliver admits that William is indeed his son and that he hasn’t told anybody about it because Samantha asked him not to. He also admits that he’s hated keeping it a secret from everybody especially Felicity and considers telling her about it. Thea tells him though that given the target Oliver has on his back now, keeping William a secret was probably the right move (even if it just so happens to line up with the mother’s contrived and asinine demands). I can understand Oliver wanting to keep William a secret from the public but what good could possibly come from not telling Felicity?
As Oliver prepares to take the stage for the debate, Holt sends Felicity the data he recovered from the damaged laptop, revealing that the Demolition Team are planning to blow up the building where the debate is being held. Thea pulls the fire alarm to evacuate the building while Team Arrow go to disarm the bombs which they are able do with time to spare as well as taking down the Demolition Team. The debate then goes off without a hitch with the experts declaring Oliver to be the clear winner (though since the debate happens off screen I guess we’ll just have to take their word for it).
As the team celebrates Oliver’s victory, Holt stops by with his husband to give Felicity some potentially fantastic news. He has been working on an invention that will allow Felicity to walk again and he hopes to finish in time for the wedding.
Captain Lance and Donna
It’s been pretty clear that Captain Lance’s cover against Damien has been blown for weeks now and in this week’s episode we finally get some fallout over it. He responds to a ridiculously suspicious call of breaking and entering which of course turns out to be a trap. The second he enters the building it begins collapsing around him though luckily for him Laurel is able to help him escape.
This brush with death has Captain Lance concerned for Donna’s safety so he decides they should probably take a break for a little while. He tries saying that it’s because of some gambling debts but Donna isn’t buying it. Apparently, her time with Noah has greatly honed her BS detector (by that logic though it seems she would’ve figured out Team Arrow’s identities by now) and she tells Captain Lance that he either needs to tell her the truth or she’s calling it quits.
Donna talks to Felicity about it and she’s able to persuade her that if Captain Lance is lying to her about something then he probably has a good reason. That proves to be a moot point however since Captain Lance then apologizes to Donna for being so secretive and admits that he’s being targeted by Damien and didn’t want her caught in the crossfire and they get back together.
Oliver appears to have finally healed from his injuries just in time to start helping Reiter dig something up and whatever it is Reiter is really excited about it. Unfortunately, all the prisoners apart from Taiana want to get even with Oliver for killing Vlad. Oliver tries convincing them he’s on their side, so the prisoners demand that he kill Conklin in order to prove it and he reluctantly agrees. Oliver is able to make pretty short work of Conklin but as he’s dying he tells him that Reiter will kill them all anyway no matter what.
Damien’s daughter Nora is seen coloring when in walks Damien. He introduces her to William, saying that he will be staying with them for awhile.
The first problem is that our villains of the week are probably the most forgettable I’ve seen in a long time. The show has enough problems giving personality to a one episode villain much less three (they barely have any lines). The writers apparently noticed how boring they are too since Team Arrow was able to wrap things up quicker than usual. They were so easy to defeat that I actually thought they had one of those plans where they let themselves get caught on purpose but nope it really was just that simple.
Aside from Conklin’s death, the flashback continued to be rather boring. Even the death scene fell flat for me since I never actually took Conklin seriously as a threat to Oliver anyway. If anything, I tended to laugh at him more often than anything else since the actor’s performance comes off like he’s trying to prove he could’ve totally done American Sniper better than Bradley Cooper while doing his lines for Arrow at the same time.
The cliffhanger also underwhelmed me for two reasons. The first is that we’ve barely even seen William up to this point so we haven’t been given much reason to be emotionally invested in this. The other problem is that this is that Damien has once again resorted to kidnapping Oliver’s loved ones which to me indicates they’re running out of things for Damien to do since he hasn’t really been actively involved in the plot since the spring premiere.
Tune in next week for ‘Taken.’