ARROW finally returned last night after a few weeks off with its latest entry, “Dangerous Liaisons.” Last we left off, the authorities finally found out about the true nature of DA Chase aka Prometheus who’s now on the run. We pick up with Mayor Oliver Queen announcing that the city is doing everything they can to find the serial killer. Oliver also has to explain– well lie– how this has been happening right under his nose.
Last night’s episode was satisfying from an action standpoint and is one of those giant and sprawling episodes that involves ARGUS, Helix, Star City Law Enforcement, and Team Arrow. The many players involved might suggest that there’s not much personal at stake, but the episode smartly takes the time to home in on Felicity’s seasons’ long journey with Helix, and how Oliver and the rest of the team reacts to it.
Yes, this is Felicity at her most defiant and unapologetic when it comes to Oliver. Sure, she’s has come a long way from her nebbish sidekick beginnings, and has called out Oliver on a number of occasions. But going ahead with an attack to take down Oliver’s archnemesis Prometheus while locking Oliver in what effectively is a cage?! This is new and it was great to see Felicity to active and certain. I do think the episode undersold Arrow’s feelings toward this action however. He’s upset in the moment but later returns to Felicity and is oddly sympathetic.
The basic premise here is that Helix agrees to help Felicity track down Prometheus, but only if she does them a solid in return. What’s the ask? Well, help get an ARGUS captive who is a friend to Helix. Simple enough, right? But while Helix has seemed like a shadowy but mostly benevolent organization up until this point, we finally get a sense of what its operatives will resort to if need be. Actually, check that. Helix has always been morally sketchy, but at least they dealt their blows against, say, massive corporations instead of actual human beings. Consider Alena, who seemed like a pretty chill person up until this point. Now she kills an ARGUS agent without batting an eye.
This more brutal and ruthless side of Helix also helps sell the episode’s big twist, with the organization dropping Felicity from its ranks because of her proximity to the Green Arrow. This isn’t the most surprising reveal, but it comes at a time when Felicity was really getting the most meaning from her hactivism,even setting herself apart and creating an identity away from Team Arrow. I’m slightly disappointed, though, that Helix giving Felicity the axe didn’t come on something specific that she did. Why now? It kind of seemed arbitrary, unfortunately.
In terms of subplots, I should mention that there are no Bratva flashbacks on this week’s episode, which for me allowed the episode to dig deeper with its present day storylines a bit more. Rene continues to work alongside Quentin and this time Quentin helps Rene reconnect with his daughter. The two characters are pretty stoic (while also carrying around a lot of deep emotional baggage) so it’s been nice to see them paired alongside each other this season and be vulnerable.
Dig, meanwhile, is uncomfortable with Lyla’s new tactics as head of ARGUS. He thought these moral conundrums were done when Amanda Waller left the scene, but as it turns out Diggle is still unnerved by ARGUS’ tactics. And now it’s his wife making those tough decisions. The two have a fight and things are left unsettled.
While this episode is very much about Prometheus, the major villain essentially remains in the shadows. Though when Felicity and Oliver finally get a read on Chase’s location, they find he’s been hiding right under their noses to begin with.
While this episode was entertaining in isolation, it almost feels like a step back in terms of Oliver’s storyline. As I’ve said (and will continue to say), the show still has yet to settle whether Oliver is a stone cold killer or not, and until Oliver and Prometheus finally have it out, I feel a bit lost late in Arrow’s fifth season.
Season 5, Episode 19 (S05E19)
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8PM on CW
Ade Adeniji | Contributor