Arrow Recap: In Love and War — Plus, Felicity's [Spoiler] Returns Next Week

This week’s episode of Arrow, despite its synopsis, wasn’t so much about the manhunt for Adrian Chase but the lengths that different factions were willing to go, who they would betray, to succeed.

With Chase in the wind for a week and neither Team Arrow, A.R.G.U.S. nor the SCPD anywhere close to closing in on him, Felicity appealed to Helix for their special kind of help. After accidentally killing an A.R.G.U.S. operative via elevator, Alena shared that Helix found Cayden James has tech that would be able to scan for Chase’s heartbeat. Thing is, the elite hacker is being held by A.R.G.U.S.

When Alena hires some mercs to hunt down a second A.R.G.U.S. agent and steal her key, Team Arrow intervenes — only to get waved off by Felicity. Back at the lair, Felicity argues that letting Helix have Cayden James back is the best/only way to find Chase, but Lyla refuses to roll over. Diggle suggests that Oliver is the only one who might get through to Felicity and pull her away from the dark side, so Oliver pays his former fiancée a visit at the loft, catching her just as she’s about to join Helix for their big op.

“Don’t do this,” Oliver asks, only to get promptly shut down by Felicity. Given all he has done in the name of saving the city, “How can you stand there and ask me not do same thing, to do whatever it takes [ to find Chase]?,” she marvels.

“The reason I fell in love with you was because you were willing to do what was right, no matter the cost — even if it’s unbearably hard. It’s what makes you you,” she continues. As someone who worked alongside him all these years, “How can I be any different?” Oliver doesn’t want Felicity to sell her soul in the name of destroying something he created, but Felicity asks him to let her share the burden of doing right. Oliver holds firm, “I can’t” — leaving her no choice but to say, “Then you’ll have to stop me.”

Oliver, Diggle, Curtis and Dinah prepare to help defend A.R.G.U.S. against the Helix attack, only they come to realize that Alena & Co. aren’t targeting HQ, but a black site 12 miles away, where Cayden is actually being held inside a cargo container. Team Arrow arrives on the scene and fights ensue, but Felicity keeps Oliver from stopping their getaway, with Cayden, by stepping in the path of his trained gun.

Afterward, Felicity returns to the Helix hideout only to find it evacuated. A video of Alena then explains that Felicity’s ties to Team Arrow made her a liability, so, “Let’s just be friends.” As a parting gift, Cayden whipped up a bit of code for Felicity, which she then brings to Oliver at the Arrowcave. But when she fires  up the program, it indicates that Chase is… where they are. And on that note, an explosion rocks the lair. And as seen in the promo embedded below (SPOILER ALERT!), it apparently was an EMP blast, because Felicity’s spinal chip has been powered down, returning her paralysis (as EP Wendy Mercile hinted was coming).

Elsewhere in the hour:

* In a rather random C-story that was partly saved by a sweet payoff, Quentin told Rene that he knows about his daughter — more to the point, how Rene has done nothing to actually see little Zoe, even though he technically could. Rene explains how he once “hurt her,” in a kitchen/hot soup mishap, and thus feels he is “bad news.” But by episode’s end, Lance — knowing how he’d given anything to (BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!) see his Laurel again — surprises Rene with a visit from Zoe, which moves the proud dad enough to decide to follow up with a lawyer about a proper reunion.

* Seeing how far down the Amanda Waller hole Lyla has fallen shook Diggle, lots. Especially the realization that Lyla had no qualms about keeping Cayden James in a black site, with no charges pressed, no judge, no jury. Back home after the Helix attack, Lyla wants to talk it out, but John fears he will say things he regrets. Still, he can’t help but observe, “The job has changed you,” to which Lyla argues, “The world has changed” — and “the world is safer” with her in Waller mode. Defeated, Dig notes to his onetime ex, “We know where this fight takes us….” When Lyla thus suggests they dodge it and “move forward,” John sighs, “I don’t know if I can.”

What did you think of “Dangerous Liaisons”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. jj says:

    I guess Dig is unaware of how many people that team Flash keep locked up without due process.

    • Steven Joey says:

      Exactly, I get him not wanting his wife turning into Amanda W. but due process…should she kill the captive instead, like a vigilante? And he had issues with an off the books black site…has he ever heard of the CIA? : )

    • Dave says:

      Exactly what I was thinking lol

    • Carla Krae says:

      They haven’t kept anyone in a long time. The metas got transferred to a meta wing of the local prison.

    • Mike says:

      Dig also forgot that he kept his own brother in a black box prison with no due process, that the team has sent prisoners to Lian Yu, and that they JUST sent Black Siren to Argus without a trial. He did not come off well in this episode.

      I think Oliver came off slightly better because he acknowledged the hypocrisy in their talk in the loft, and Felicity called him out on it in the last scene. I’d love to know how he was going to respond before they were interrupted by the heart tracker (lolz) because she was right. In season 3 he aligned with Malcolm, pretended to be brainwashed by the League and made his team think he was leaving them for dead in a dungeon, and yet Felicity forgave him quickly and gave him a big pep talk. In this episode, she tells him exactly what she’s doing, says she hopes he’ll understand and he’s all “don’t count on it.” Sit down, son.

      • 134sc says:

        Unfortunately there is a double standard. Oliver acknowledges and accepts is actions as wrong but needed. There is no such acceptance with Felicity because he holds her to a much higher standard and when she is more than willing to go down a dark path, not only is Oliver concerned and worried about her, he also feels as if hes failed her by even putting her in the position to have to make these types of decisions.

      • Carla Krae says:

        Lian Yu prison is ARGUS.

    • Nico says:

      Flash doesn’t do that much anymore, since Iron Heights was updated to be able to hold Meta humans, Yes they imprison people but so did team Arrow with Andy Diggle.Although A.R.G,U,S, is funded by the government (i think?) So I suspect DIggle’s issue is with non vigilante’s incarcerating people without trial. Althoughnobody has a problem with Slade on Lian Yu… Ok, Hypocrites abound in the arrowverse..

  2. Liz says:

    That was a fantastic character-driven episode. They’re always better when they’re flashback free too!

    Felicity making stupid decisions! Diggle and Oliver worrying about her and trying to save her! Lyla! Love it all.

    The Olicity scene was amazing. Felicity willing to sell her soul to destroy a threat Oliver created so she could help him and share his burdens. I’ve missed that connection so much. I cannot wait for next week now.

    • Lex says:

      Key words being “character-driven.” I’m actually shocked at how well it turned out. Usually this show is so plot-driven it turns into a garbage fire.

      • Liz says:

        I know. This show has suffered so much because of the plot driven crap. When they focus on character and relationships, it excels. Every time. I don’t know why they don’t learn from that.

  3. Patrick says:

    I’m getting a little tired of the “holier than thou” wishy washy ness of OTA. This show was dark and edgy and GOOD. Now they just want the bad guys to roll over. Felicity set loose a guy who seems like the bad kind of terrorist. I hope that comes back to bite her.

    • Liz says:

      I think it will, probably in season 6. Also, did you see what happens to her in the promo for next week? She’s gonna pay for her mistakes.

    • Lex says:

      This show is still dark and edgy, or did you miss the whole thing about black ops government agencies apprehending criminals without due process, or the part about independent hacker organizations using any means necessary to fight said black ops government agency? That was just rainbows and puppies, I guess?

    • kath says:

      They just had an episode in which Chase spent the whole time torturing Oliver mentally and physically. How dark and edgy do you want?

      This episode was all about whether the end (catching the bad guys) justifies the means (holding Cayden James without trial in a black ops location; letting him go to find out where Chase is).
      Like at Guantanamo Bay, ARGUS was holding a man without trial or any legal process because they thought he had the potential to do something in the future. That’s very dark when you think about it.

  4. Uno says:

    While I thought Felicity et al. Were in the wrong and I don’t trust helix… Olly and Diggle seemed a little too self righteous this episode even tho they were right and I’m sure this cayden James guy is probably gonna be an issue… Also maybe this is how they get rid of lyla so next season diggle and Dinah can hook up… Cuz they def had some sparks earler in the season

    • Lizzie says:

      Yeah. Felicity was in the wrong and trusted the wrong people but Oliver and Diggle are being a bit hypocritical. They’ve done the same thing so many times. Every season! I guess that’s the crux of the issue.

      I love Lyla but I can’t deny Diggle and Dinah have some chemistry!

  5. peterwdawson says:

    Oh hey, they did remember the spinal chip!

  6. Did Dig forget about that nice little prison ARGUS/Oliver have on Lian Yu where they keep folks indefinitely without due process? Or what about the dudes he helped Oliver put to death without due process?

    I swear to God this show just cannot stop tripping over it’s own two feet when it comes to placing people at odds on moral grounds because absolutely none of them have any high ground to stand on. At all.

  7. Rachel says:

    I do not like what they’re doing to lyla and dig. They are the best couple.

  8. JackT says:

    the fight between Diggle and Layla was stupid. he’s a vigilante and he’s complaining about illegal detention?
    Felicity was great – as always – but I wish her going dark ark had lasted for a couple more episodes.

  9. partisan says:

    Biggest “OH come on!!” moment of the episode, maybe one of the biggest of the series…super hacker/genius Felicity Smoak plugs an unverified piece of code into HER system without checking it?? I’m barely computer literate and I know not to do that. Maybe they needed to setup next weeks episode but couldn’t they have done it without making Felicity’s IQ drop by 100 points?

    • Alexandra says:

      I assumed the blast was put there by Chase, not a results of the Cayden James thing. Although we never saw that guy’s face, so he could have been a Chase plant.

      • partisan says:

        Even if the boom is the result of a HUGE coincidence it’s still a profoundly stupid move to plug a flash drive from a hacking group that just cut ties with you into your network without so much as a virus scan. OK maybe it was supposed to happen off camera but then at least acknowledge it. “I scanned this, It’s clean” or something,

        And what’s the deal with not showing us his face. Is this something that’s going to come up later or did they just not want to pay some actor to have his face on camera? Helix just did all this to rescue the guy and leaves the hood on his head?

  10. 134sc says:

    Havnt read the comments, but I can only assume the Felicity and Olicity bashing is in full swing. Let me just say as a nuetral observer that walks the line between being for and agaisnt, that I really enjoyed the Olicity interaction. It was well written dialouge that was adult in nature and was true to where the characters are at in this moment in the natrative. It also helps that both actors have improved immensely, so I really bought thier scenes together.

    • L says:

      I haven’t seen any Olicity bashing. Unless you go to reddit. They like to live there, lol. But this was a really strong episode for that pairing. They always excel in their scenes together.

    • Alexandra says:

      Surprisingly little bashing in these comments. So far.

  11. Ansing says:

    Can someone tell me why with Lyla being the head of ARGUS, she and Diggle still live in an apartment?! How much do homes cost in Star City?! Either that, or she must be WAY underpaid!

    • L says:

      This. While we’re at it can someone please tell me why Diggle and Felicity don’t have jobs? It’s not realistic!

      • Gary says:

        Diggle is still in charge of security for the Mayor – so I assume that’s how he’s being paid. Felicity was CEO of Palmer Tech, I am sure she built up a nest egg.

        Oliver is supposed to be a billionaire playboy and I am surprised that since what season 2 he hasn’t done anything to get any of his money back or his company back.

  12. AshleyR says:

    Every time I say I’m done with this show they come come back and give me an amazing episode. There has been a couple awesome episodes. Glad the show is getting to focus on the character I love the most and their relationships that mean the most. Can’t wait for next week. Also I love olicity but I’m kind of loving dark evil Felicity. Can we get a season of that? I love when women go dark. It’s all I wanted for Laurel in season 3 too. :(

  13. Sam Butler says:

    Totally agree with everyone on Diggles being hypocritical. ..I immediately thought of the Lian Yup prison they send criminals to and Felicity comment about Oliver should back her play simply bc she backed his….pure b.s….what if my friend backs my desire to sky dive even tho it’s dangerous but then they want to rob a bank?

  14. Sam Butler says:

    Just a honest question….what are u to do with James…..a known hacker for an org like Helix.if u let him go it is like a loose nuke yet holding him without due process is seen as wrong

  15. brenna says:

    Really enjoyed this episode!

  16. kath says:

    I really enjoyed this episode. That makes four since after Christmas (compared to 1/2 in the first part of the season).
    Finally, people are talking! I enjoyed Diggle trying to work out how to handle the fact that his wife is far more ruthless than he’s comfortable with, and Oliver and Felicity are finally talking to each other about how they feel.

    I really liked that the two smart women, Felicity and Lyla, were the ones making the decisions and they were both determined to do what they thought was right no matter the cost to themselves. Felicity is right to be angry that Oliver didn’t back her up after all the times she’s backed him up even when she disagreed with him..

    So Rene’s daughter lost her mother, and then was put into foster are because her father was too drunk to take care of her, and then he never visited? How much more can he traumatize his own child? Okay, he’ cant take care of her because he likes his guns and his booze more but jeez, don’t completely abandon her. If I hadn’t heard that the actor is going to be a regular next year, I’d say this was the way to write Rene off the show because it’s going to be hard redeeming him from that.

  17. Carla Krae says:

    Looks like Arrow might be preempted for LA and OC. Pacific time zone listings have the next episode airing as normal, but my cable guide for KTLA has baseball and Arrow next Saturday.

    So no idea what we’re getting until Wednesday at 8.

  18. Charley says:

    LOVED the more prominent OTA….and loved even more the wonderfully written dialogue between Oliver and Felicity. It is my hope that this is the writers ‘nailing it’ with the hypocrisy-laden-oblivious-self-righteousness rolling off Diggle and Oliver…and that it will lead to some wonderful ‘next level’ introspection and couple bonding for Diggle/Lyla and Oliver/Felicity. (fingers,eyes,toes…CROSSED!)
    Does anyone else think that ‘Cayden’ will either be Felicity’s Dad, or her ex-boyfriend Cooper? (I am leaning towards ‘The Calculator’)
    I thoroughly enjoyed EBR’s look and performance this episode….very solid writing (F.I.N.A.L.L.Y.!) The PTB for the show must have finally realized how much valuable real estate they were dumping on with how the Felicity arc has been handled this year…whew! I just hate waste!
    I thought the ‘action’ was in a solid ‘B’ range….but I am still having trouble becoming invested in the Rene character. For all the emotional baggage they laid out there this week … I ‘should’ care more about him, his daughter and their relationship.
    I very much enjoyed the adorkable tech-nerdy scenes between Curtis and Felicity, and I wish they would fold Dinah’s character in more fluidly instead of it feeling like ‘plug-ins’.
    Overall one of the better episodes this season IMO.

    PS: TVLine…’hopping’ to this site to read and comment has been a ‘guilty pleasure’ for me when I need a quick break from work…because of the ads on this page it is no longer a ‘hop’ and more like diving into a time-sucking tar pit! PLEASE consider fixing this or I may have to block this site so I am not even TEMPTED to hug that [REDACTED] in the future.