Betting on Fortuna
At what I’m guessing is H.I.V.E.’s base of operations, a couple of the board members are reasonably on edge, fearing that Damien will kill them in retribution for leaving him to rot in prison. Sure enough, Damien shows up immediately afterward to kill them both and announces that it is now time to begin the final phase of Genesis.
The bodies of the H.I.V.E. members are soon found by the SCPD bringing Team Arrow to the conclusion the Damien’s cleaning house. Diggle thinks that with Damien busy settling scores, now is a good time to fight back but Oliver insists that he is still too powerful to take head on. With that in mind, Oliver has arranged to meet with somebody in Hub City that may be able to teach him how to counteract Damien’s magic (thanks to a referral from Constantine off screen). Since Oliver will be out of town for the next couple of days, he tells the rest of the team to take some time off and lay low.
Diggle goes to visit Lyla and baby Sara, who have both gone into hiding at an A.R.G.U.S. base since the incident at Iron Heights. Diggle makes it clear that he isn’t happy with Oliver’s orders to do nothing for now but Lyla thinks he has a point and that it would be stupid to go against H.I.V.E. without a plan. Lyla then sends him out to pick up some diapers for Sara but on his way back he gets an alert that Andy has been spotted nearby. Despite Lyla’s warnings not to go after Andy without backup, Diggle pursues him anyway.
Meanwhile, Oliver has packed up to leave for Hub City but Felicity insists on going with him. Surprisingly, though, Oliver’s meeting is taking place inside an underground casino at a blackjack table, according to Constantine’s instructions. This gives me mixed feelings though not for the reason you might expect. On one hand, hearing Oliver’s impression of Constantine is actually fairly spot on and easily the funniest thing about this episode. On the other, it makes me wonder why Constantine couldn’t be the one to teach Oliver this stuff instead. Anyway, while they wait for Oliver’s would-be magic tutor to show up, Felicity decides to play some blackjack and seems to do pretty well. She passes some chips over to the woman sitting next to her and she introduces herself as Esrin Fortuna and asks Oliver to “Tell John Constantine that he still owes me money.”
Diggle continues to pursue Andy by himself which of course ends backfiring on him as he gets captured by H.I.V.E. When he wakes up, Andy tells him that Damien is on his way and that he’s supposed to prep him. He tortures him for a bit and brags about how awesome Damien’s plan is before Diggle manages to escape.
Light of the Soul
Fortuna takes Oliver and Felicity to a mysterious place called a Nexus Chamber. She tells them that there’s one just like it in both Lian Yu and Star City, which is part of the reason why Damien chose to attack Star City. She also explains that the only way to counter Damien’s abilities is to have magic powered by light and hope. She warns Oliver however that if his darkness outweighs the light then he will only make Damien more powerful. Fortuna tries testing Oliver’s abilities but gives up on him after about two minutes, saying that he has too much darkness in him (well that was disappointing).
Oliver doesn’t appear to be too surprised about this turn of events. He points out that his darkness has been a recurring problem since he got off the island and even reminds Felicity that she basically told him the same thing when they broke up. Nevertheless, Felicity tells him not to lose hope.
Meanwhile, it turns out that Andy let Diggle escape on purpose so he could lead them back to Lyla’s A.R.G.U.S. base. Lyla figures out that she’s the one they’re after and orders Diggle to leave with Sara. Andy and a few Ghosts chase after Diggle while Damien goes after Lyla personally. Damien rips a tiny computer chip out of Lyla’s arm but Oliver shows up just in time to keep Damien from killing her. Damien uses his powers to try to suck the life out of Oliver but at the last second, Oliver starts using some light magic to counteract Damien’s darkness and Damien flees.
Meanwhile, after dropping Sara off with Felicity, Diggle once again faces off against Andy. Before long, Diggle has a gun to Andy and is clearly conflicted about what to do. Andy takes this opportunity to goad him and makes it clear that Diggle’s family will never be safe as long as he refuses to kill him, angering the older brother enough to finally pull the trigger.
Afterward, Oliver tells Felicity about being able to neutralize Damien’s magic. When she asks how he did it, he says hearing her voice in his head inspired him to keep fighting and not to give up hope (personally, hope isn’t the emotion I feel when hearing Felicity’s voice but to each their own).
Diggle goes to check on Lyla and tells her about shooting Andy. Instead of telling her about how he killed Andy in cold blood, however, he claims that Andy tried reaching for his gun. Lyla is understanding about it for now but I get the feeling this lie will come back to bite Diggle in the ass later. That will have to wait though since Lyla notices the chip she planted in her arm is now gone which causes her to panic.
Lyla explains to Team Arrow that after Shadowspire tried to steal Rubicon, she had it hidden inside of her arm for safe keeping. As it turns out, Rubicon is a program designed to keep any country including America from firing a nuclear missile. Unfortunately, Rubicon can be corrupted and also be used to fire any nuclear missile in the world (man and I thought Red Tornado had a serious design flaw). This finally puts Damien’s master plan into focus and the team figures out that Damien is going to nuke the world and start civilization over from scratch.
Thea decides to take a weekend away with Alex and while it starts out innocently enough, things quickly take a turn for the bizarre. She wakes up inside of a suburban home with no memory of how she got there but Alex says that’s just because she fell asleep on the drive over.
Things get more strange though when they take a walk around the neighborhood and Thea notices something off about it. She thinks the place feels a little too perfect and the background noises of chirping birds and barking dogs seem to be going in a loop like something out of The Truman Show (I would also point out that the entire neighborhood appears to be completely another red flag but whatever).
When they make their way back to the house, Thea still can’t shake her suspicions and then she notices that Alex has been taking some vitamins provided to him by Ruvé, which turn out to be the same pills Damien gives to his new Ghost initiates. She tries making a run for it but gets stopped by armed guards. The camera then zooms out to reveal the neighborhood is part of a domed city hidden underneath Star City.
You might have noticed that there’s no section for a flashback this week and that’s because there wasn’t one. Other than Oliver having a vision of Taiana with the same glowing yellow eyes he had, the usual flashback is completely absent (though oddly enough this episode still had some awkward transitions that tricked me into thinking a flashback was still coming). That was probably for the best since this season’s flashback hasn’t been remotely interesting since Constantine’s episode.
As for the rest of the episode, while it wasn’t as bad as the last two episodes (which will probably make me give this episode a higher rating than it deserves), it’s still not what I would call good.
Diggle killing Andy was actually a fairly shocking moment and considering the path the writers have taken Andy on this season, it made sense and probably couldn’t have ended any other way. My problem is that this episode removed any kind of subtlety or nuance Andy had going for him before now and instead just made him into as much of a mustache twirler as Damien or Merlyn but without any of Neal McDonough or John Barrowman’s charisma to pull it off.
As for Thea’s subplot, I couldn’t really care much. Since The Truman Show is one of my favorite movies, I saw the twist coming from a mile away.
Tune in next week as Damien’s plan starts kicking into gear in ‘Monument Point.’
[Photo by Diyah Pera/The CW]