Arrow Recap Season 5 Episode 16

Arrow Recap: The Chase Is On, as Prometheus Arc Shifts Into High Gear

The unmasking of Prometheus, almost as if with the flick of a switch, got The CW’s Arrow back on track in a big way this Wednesday.

Wasting no time since we the audience became privy to who is beneath that gauzy mask, Arrow looped in Oliver by sending him to a heavily CGI’d monastery where Talia has erected a Mini Parbat. Confronted there by her onetime padawan, she cops to training Adrian Chase for his mission of vengeance, if only because Oliver felled her (admittedly estranged) father, Ra’s. Yes, I’m an al Ghul she reveals.

Alas for Oliver, but great in the name of dramatic tension, there is precious little he can do with that intel, as he quickly learns upon demanding face time with the D.A. after blinking himself back to Star City. After all, Adrian has Susan held hostage… somewhere. So to kill Adrian would be to kill Susan, and, as later reiterated later, and often, it would basically kill Oliver.

What follows is a game of… well, Oliver isn’t exactly sure, though he is repeatedly reminded, verbally, that he is 10 steps behind his cunning adversary. Literally everyone is fit to be tied, including Lance and Rene as they lock horns with Prometheus’ mild-mannered alter ego within City Hall. Even when Team Arrow get the location of Susan’s whereabouts (thanks to Felicity’s sketchy Helix hook-up), they are only met by bombs (for Dinah and Rene) and beatdowns. Oliver thinks he has an ace up his sleeve, when Diggle arrives with Adrian’s wife, who is aghast to learn of the hub’s extracurricular activities. But rather predictably — but still damn cold — Adrian guts Doris, lest she be used as leverage. As Dig runs the bleeding woman outside for help, Oliver gets into an extended fight with Adrian and eventually gains the upper hand… only to get taken down by an arrow from Talia al Ghul.

The episode closes with Oliver held captive in a cellar, shackled, as Talia gloats (throwing Oliver’s taunted about sure-to-be-disappointed fathers right back in his face) and Adrian reveals what game is at hand: Just as Oliver helped him discover who he truly is, Adrian will now do same for his adversary. Which is a bit psycho-babbly of a game for my liking, but let’s wait and see how it actually manifests itself. Maybe there’s a thimble token?

Elsewhere in the episode:Arrow Recap Season 5 Episode 16

* As mentioned above, Felicity laid eyes upon Helix’s impressively appointed HQ — only to be told by Alena that there is a price for admission. So no, she can’t just use their gizmos for her pet projects; she needs to offer some pro quo for every quid. To that end, she helps them hack into a DHS drone, which raises all kinds of questions and eyebrows from Curtis. But for right now, whatever helps them find their latest missing friend, right?

* Felicity was able to deflect Oliver’s own concern about her welfare and the secrets she is keeping by producing Adrian’s real name: Simon Morrison. Oliver then tried to do an end run on Chase by tasking Pike with investigating the D.A.’s fraudlent identity, but that only got the captain stabbed into a coma. (Hope he doesn’t end up like this!)

* Surely met by cheers from some out there, Oliver at one point uttered, “I never should have gotten involved with Susan. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

* In flashbacks, Oliver introduced a skeptical Anatoly to his hooded, gravely voiced alter ego as they launched an assault on Gregor at his ice rink HQ. The caper mainly served to have Gregor echo Adrian Chase’s warning, that to kill him is for Oliver to kill himself.

What did you think of “Checkmate”?

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41 Comments
  1. kath says:

    Now that was a good episode! Where has *this* show been all season?

    Great twists and turns on the part of Prometheus. The is the Big Bad that Ra’s and Damian Darhk failed to be. I”m interested in what Talia’s role in this is going to be.

    Oliver remembered he has friends! Great scene with Oliver and Diggle, and Oliver actually noticed that Felicity was doing something off the radar.

    Good use of Curtis, Dinah and Rene too. Loved Dinah’s snark calling Rene “Lassie”. Susan is still pointless other than to be damseled.

    This is the show I’ve been waiting for. Why did it take 15 meh episodes to get here?

    • Rachel says:

      I agree with him being a better big bad than Damien and Ra’s.

    • Liz says:

      I think Talia might actually be the big bad and Prometheus is working for her.

      • jericho says:

        I certainly hope so. Charismatically Chase simply doesnt do it for me. Did anyone else feel like this episode came “early”? It just seems like it makes the setup to have Chase taken down and Talia to become the real big bad for the rest of the season. Or is Helix the real big bad?

        • Liz says:

          I really like Chase. It’s working for me. But I definitely think Talia is the one in control here and pulling the strings and we’ll find out more later. I also think Helix is all part of their plan too. Chase is the one who told Oliver he had a source to get Diggle out of prison. That source was discovered through Helix. He led Felicity to it. I think it’s linked.

        • kaliber says:

          I think Helix is being set up for a larger arc next season.

      • Rachel says:

        Big bad, villain, whatever….I just think chase is better than ra’s and Damien.

      • 134sc says:

        I don’t know about that. The line that really sold it for me was at the end of the episode when Talia told Adrian to make him suffer. Adrian responded that this was the plan all along. I think this whole thing was started by Adrian. It was his strategy and his execution, but he needed Talias knowledge in order to carry out his plans.

  2. M says:

    It’s definitely a much better dynamic with them knowing Prometheus is Chase. The storyline with Susan is a big miss though, because she isn’t someone we really care enough about for Oliver to be affected by it so strongly. Their love story has been so brief. Also I hate this Felicity storyline. Hopefully that gets less sucky.

  3. jrex says:

    Did I miss something? Why didn’t Oliver know Simon Morris was Prometheus’ real name since he killed the guy’s father based on “the book” from season 1? Sure he didn’t know Adrian was really Simon, but it doesn’t seem to be a key clue to what Prometheus/Adrian was up to.

    • kath says:

      Simon Morrison/Adrian Chase is Justin Claybourne’s illegitimate son and it wasn’t generally known that he had a son. Morrison is his birth name. His mother changed her name from Morrison to Westfield when she went off the radar.

      • jrex says:

        Still don’t see that as a helpful clue since at that point Oliver already learned Prometheus is playing him under the guise of “Adrian Chase”.

        • kath says:

          Oliver gave the info to Pike to investigate. If they can prove that Chase is really Simon Morrison, then they can probably prove that he faked his credentials to get the DA job and then the police will start investigating him and his background. At the very least, they’ll remove him from the DA posisiton.

  4. NolaNola says:

    So is Oliver going to be held for the last 7 episodes?

  5. Agent 86 says:

    Eh. Why would Oliver (and why should we as the audience) care that much about Susan? Oliver should have just put an arrow through Adrian and then worried about finding Susan.

  6. Drew says:

    Adrian Chase is probably the best villain Arrow, the series, has produced. I loved everything about the episode except for all of Felicity’s interactions with Helix. This is Felicity – the moral compass for the group, who was torn over the lives lost when a nuclear missile she diverted targeted and destroyed Havenrock – who suddenly does not care how this large, well-organized, non-governmental group of hackers will use her skills, whether they be for good or evil? This whole plot line through the last several episodes doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Goldenvibefan says:

      I completely disagree. Slade, and Malcolm during season 1 were fantastic villains.

      • Drew says:

        They were worthy opponents for a Season 1 Oliver and were pretty evenly matched for most of their battles, but Chase, with the help of Talia’s training, has outwitted and outplayed Oliver, Felicity, Diggle, Rene, Curtis, Lance, and Thea over and over again. Chase has been 10 steps ahead of Team Arrow from the beginning, with the team constantly playing catch up. That says a lot about the villain Chase is…

    • Christina says:

      I think Havenrock and Billy’s death rocked Felicity’s world so I can see how she is overlooking a lot of the red flags that are rising up with this Helix stuff and now that Oliver is missing she’s really not going to care what they want from her. I think as many times and Oliver needed either Diggle or Felicity to talk sense into him, she will need the same thing once they figure out all that is happening.

  7. Robert45 says:

    Have to be honest I didn’t love the reveal that Adrian was Prometheus but after this episode I take that back….he is just the right amount of psycho and I’m finally back on the Arrow train looking forward to the rest of the season.

  8. Adam says:

    2 questions where is Artemis and how did Prometheus know about Shado’s death, does Oliver talk about that a lot more than i noticed.

    • Rana Kercmar says:

      Didn’t Talia say she knew Yao Fei, Shados father?

      • Stacey says:

        Yes, she definitely did in the fb!

      • Lex says:

        There’s a theory going around that Talia may be Shado’s mother. I’ve mostly been dismissing it, but her knowledge about Shado and Yao Fei means there may be some connection there. Also, how’s Slade doing? If Adrian really wanted to f*** with Oliver, setting Slade free would be great fun.

        • kath says:

          Maybe. When Talia first met Oliver, she told him that she knew the hood because she had trained Yao Fei.
          Shado has a twin sister though. Wouldn’t Talia want to keep in contact with her?

  9. dancmh says:

    It was a good episode but I miss season one when Oliver used to be good at this.

    • jj says:

      Oliver is still good at this. All that is different is that he’s up against a more formidable foe.

    • 134sc says:

      This is really the first villain specifically targeting Oliver. An arguement can be made that Slade did this as well, but he also wanted to overtake the city. Adrian is soley focused on Oliver and the way he is going about it is psychological torture, with most likely physical torture to come. Really Oliver has to save himself and the city is an afterthought; something oliver really hasnt hadto deal with much.

  10. mike says:

    So Helix is going to be next seasons big bad. And Ironically enough considering how smart she is, Felicity will totally not have placed a back door in their system for later use.

  11. Dominique says:

    oh man, if only i actually cared about susan williams. but i don’t, so i fail to see the importance her relationship with oliver, and why adrian chase picked her to hold over oliver’s head as leverage. he could’ve literally picked anyone else; thea, felicity, diggle, quentin. hell even one of the new recruits. not no, let’s go with the one character practically no one cares about.
    arrow was off to a good start this season, but i’m getting bored again. the prometheus reveal was a let down, the follow up even moreso.
    what would nyssa say if she knew what her sister was up to.

    • Liz says:

      Susan was a plot device. This episode did nothing to show that she was super important to Oliver.

      • Lex says:

        I prefer the term “disposable love interest.” Because that’s how much the audience cares about her. There’s definitely a disconnect between the producers and the audience about how much we care about her relationship with Oliver. She’ll be gone next season–even if she survives this one.

  12. Liz says:

    Just when I’m about to give up on the show again it gives a great episode!

    Susan’s kidnap was boring though because I don’t care about the character & I don’t believe her relationship with Oliver is anything more than rebound on Oliver’s part. And that was kinda proven correct when he didn’t even know she’d been gone for a week. Damn, Oliver. That’s cold.

    Prometheus/Chase is so good to watch though. The actor is doing an amazing job. When he killed his own wife, I knew he was one of the best villains this show has had. Just legit crazy.

    I know it won’t end well but Felicity’s storyline with Helix is building even more and I love it! I also love how she’ll do whatever it takes to save Oliver. Yes, I still love Olicity and am rooting for those two in the end. It’s nice to see they still care about each other very much.

    I enjoyed the scene with Diggle and Oliver but can we stop with the pep talks? It’s season 5. They’re a retread now.

  13. Grace Angel says:

    I’m I the only one who feels felicity is not going to be a member of team arrow by season end or by early next season. I have a feeling she is heading to jail soon.
    Ever since felicity made it clear she’s willing to do anything to save her friends, I can’t help but picture her in Orange.
    I have a feeling orange is going to b felicity new outfit.

  14. Lex says:

    Well, it turns out Felicity’s ‘dark arc’ really is all about Oliver after all. I hope she’s not going into Helix blindly, and knows very well how convenient it was to get the Pandora drive right after Adrian suggested Felicity find something that would get Diggle out of jail. I hate the idea that she’s going to get duped, but I’m pretty sure this is where she’s going.
    .
    Knowing the *spoilers* floating around about 5×20, I’m pretty sure warrants will be out for both Oliver (outed as the Green Arrow) and Felicity, forcing them to go underground and possibly leading to the new Black Canary taking point for the team (I’m kinda in love with Dinah?). The sibling vibe between Dinah, Rene and Curtis is actually becoming one of my favorite parts about season 5.
    .
    Adrian has reached Barrowman levels of scenery chewing, and it is wonderful. There’s a playfulness about Adrian that reminds me of Malcolm at his best. Still disappointed it’s not Tommy, but there’s always the possibility of Colin coming back for a cameo arc in some future season.
    .
    And then there’s Susan. I’ve tried to get someone to give me a good defense of Susan and why we should care about her, but the only reason I’ve been given is “she’s not Felicity,” courtesy of the Felicity haters out there. Does anyone here have any reason why we should care about her?
    .
    Finally, with Training Day likely canceled after Bill Paxton’s death, can we get Katrina Law back as a series regular? Maybe Nyssa’s back to clean up Talia’s mess? I’m really open to any excuse to bring Nyssa back.

    • Charley says:

      ALL of this! It is very hard to work up any emotion with regard to kidnapped and suffering Susan (yawn). At this point I just keep reminding myself that I ‘should’ care about any human being in that situation… but that was your point…Susan holds no more emotional investment than any other nameless, faceless human being. (what a waste of so many things there!)
      I am LOVING the Chase/Prometheus/Simon as he ramps up in a sorta insane ‘Joker-esque’ way! (kudos to Segara!)
      I am hoping upon hope that they don’t run too far down the rabbit hole with the ‘twists’ on Felicity’s character… all of that fanbase emotion was not created in a vacuum… it was because that character really resonated with so many people… of so many ages/genders/ethnicities… and in so many countries. Be careful not to destroy valuable property that you already own Arrow writers! (again)
      +1 on Katrina Law returning… aren’t Nyssa and Oliver technically still hitched in the eyes of the LOA? I wonder how that will play out ‘League-style’ if one sister kidnaps and attempts to murder other sis’ hubby? Oh to be a fly on the wall at that next family meal! (dust off the Nanda Parbat set…again!)
      FINALLY I am liking all of the newbies more as they develop those relationship dynamics…fun! Previously I was really only invested in adorkable Curtis…. which made it frustrating to watch so many other characters take up my ‘viewing real estate’ when I couldn’t care less about watching them! Good job with that Arrow writers!
      I would love to see Walter Steele/Colin Salmon on the series again. That character brought something to the show no other character has been able to.

    • Ricky says:

      Actually that Adrian Chase actor (Josh Segarra) reminds me a lot of Christian Bale. Similar facial structure and expressions. If DC has anything over Marvel, it’s their villains.