Damien has now officially taken control of Rubicon and now has everything he needs to basically nuke the world. The (slightly) good news is that a lengthy startup sequence on Rubicon leaves Team Arrow with about 21 hours to override the program. Oliver naturally figures this is a job for Felicity but she says that she’s going to need some additional help and the team is left with no choice but to enlist the aid of Felicity’s criminal father Noah.
Damien turns out to be one step ahead of Team Arrow as he sends some henchman led by Murmur and Brick (whom you might remember from the underwhelming three-parter in season 3) to kill Noah. By the time either side has shown up to Noah’s hideout, however, he has already fled.
Felicity takes a look through Noah’s files to see if she can figure out where he went and finds a clue to something called Ravenspur which sounds vaguely familiar to Felicity. She asks Donna about it and reluctantly admits that it’s a cabin her and Noah used to go to.
Meanwhile, Oliver and Diggle try fruitlessly to locate Damien’s nexus chamber. During their search, Oliver confronts Diggle about him telling Lyla that he killed Andy in self-defense. Oliver reminds him that at this point he knows better than anyone about how much damage lying to people you love can cause (I was really hoping the show could go one episode without mentioning the breakup).
Felicity tells Oliver and Diggle about the cabin but once again Brick and Murmur have already beaten them to the punch (how did Brick and Murmur even know where to find him?). Fortunately, before Brick can kill Noah, Team Arrow comes to the rescue.
Once Noah has been saved, Felicity gets right to the point and tells him that she needs his help to stop Rubicon. He’s more than willing to help but says that he needs a device from Palmer Tech to be able to do it. Unfortunately, this proves to be easier said than done since the Palmer Tech board has picked this exact moment to fire her as CEO. I can’t really say I blame them all that much since Felicity has regularly used Palmer Tech money and resources for Team Arrow activities and often without any kind of explanation to the board and her entire business strategy seemed to rely on Curtis to constantly pull some world-changing inventions out of his ass.
With Felicity’s access to Palmer Tech revoked, Team Arrow resorts to breaking in instead. Things don’t exactly go as planned though since the board wasted no time in deleting Felicity’s security clearance (which hilariously already makes Palmer Tech a much more secure place than A.R.G.U.S. or Arrow HQ). Noah is able to partially clone the device they came for but Team Arrow is forced to leave before he can finish it.
Team Arrow tries to make due with what they have and set up shop at a server farm. Felicity and Noah get to work individually disarming every nuke under Damien’s control while Oliver, Diggle, Lyla and a few faceless A.R.G.U.S. agents try fighting off H.I.V.E. Despite their best efforts, however, there is one nuke that still launches before they can disable it and is headed straight for a large city called Monument Point.
While Felicity tries to override the missile, Oliver suddenly realizes that Damien’s nexus chamber is located underneath City Hall and he and Diggle go to investigate. Luckily, Noah is able to stall Damien’s plan to nuke the world for about 24 hours and Felicity manages to reroute the missile. Unfortunately, while the missile doesn’t kill the two million people in Monument Point, it instead kills tens of thousands in a nearby town called Havenrock. This body count is more than enough for the idol to basically turn Damien into a god just in time for him to discovered by Oliver and Diggle.
Now that Thea knows she’s being held prisoner inside of Damien’s “ark”, she’s visited by Merlyn, who of course arranged for her to be abducted to spare her from Damien’s wrath. Thea is about as surprised as I am that her father would pull something like this, which is to say not at all. When she asks Merlyn why he went to the trouble of brainwashing Alex, he says that was actually Ruvé’s idea because she needed him to be compliant for the “final phase” (why a character as boring as Alex is apparently so important to the master plan is anyone’s guess). Merlyn then tells Thea the rest of Damien’s plan and again Thea isn’t the least bit surprised that her father actually thinks this is a good idea.
As more people start to move into the dome, Damien’s supposed safe haven gets an uninvited guest in Anarky. He decides to sabotage the dome’s life support system, which would make it just as uninhabitable as the rest of the world. Given Thea’s history with Anarky, Merlyn asks for her help in stopping him.
It doesn’t take them long to find Anarky and when they do Thea tries to reason with him. Unsurprisingly, this plan doesn’t work and Merlyn just shoots him with an arrow, causing him to flee. Thea and Merlyn notice that Anarky left a bomb behind, which they easily disarm.
Thea goes to check on Alex, only to find that he’s been knocked unconscious by Anarky. Their subsequent fight scene is relatively brief but probably my favorite of the episode. During the fight, Alex starts waking up, so Anarky decides to “liberate” Thea and kills Alex with what I can only describe as a super taser (at least that’s what I think happens). Thea is able to defeat Anarky, leaving Thea to grieve over Alex.
Meanwhile through all of this, it looks like Captain Lance’s suspension will be wrapping up soon one way or the other. He is about to sign an affidavit saying that he had no idea that Laurel was the Black Canary in order to get his job back. This doesn’t sit well with Donna, who doesn’t like that Captain Lance is willing to lie, basically implying that if he does that makes him no better than her dirtbag ex-husband (well now we know where Felicity got her holier than thou attitude about honesty). Captain Lance changes his mind at the last minute and decides to tell the truth about Laurel. Well, it sure was nice to see Captain Lance likely kiss his career and pension goodbye just to prove an asinine point to his girlfriend.
With Reiter out of commission, Oliver and Taiana look for a way to get them and the other workers off of Lian Yu. Oliver discovers that there’s a plane on the other side of the island but their plan hits a snag when they find out that Reiter is still alive. Oliver volunteers to stay behind and tells Taiana to take the other workers to the plane.
Shortly afterward, Oliver is found by Reiter who is now more powerful than ever after killing a few stragglers. The fight goes pretty much like you would expect with Reiter tossing Oliver around like rag doll until Taiana shows up to keep Reiter from killing Oliver. They shoot Reiter a bunch of times which barely slows him down, so they take the idol and run. They are able to put some distance between them and Reiter but then Taiana’s eyes start glowing yellow.
After so many episodes where little (if anything) actually happens, it was pretty refreshing to watch this episode. While it could certainly be argued that it tried to do too much I’ll take this over the over the dull Olicity drama any day of the week.
There was certainly no shortage of returning guest stars this week with Noah, Brick, and Anarky coming back for an encore performance. Brick wasn’t any more interesting than he was last season but as I said before Vinnie Jones is better used as the muscle than as the mastermind. Anarky may have actually gotten crazier since the last time we saw him since he now creepily refers to Thea as “mommy.” I’m not sure what the point of this is but since batcrap insanity is what makes Anarky one of Team Arrow’s most dangerous villains, I’ll let it go. If nothing else, he’s certainly a step up from the villains of the week we’ve gotten lately. I’m still not sure how I feel about Noah but it looks like he’ll be sticking around for the last two episodes so I still have some time to figure it out.
Come back next week for season 4’s penultimate episode ‘Lost in the Flood.’
[Photo by The CW]