Holy T-Spheres! Tonight’s Arrow was filled with some pretty major moments, from the Prometheus reveal to the development of Curtis’ Mr. Terrific tech to Felicity’s big decision regarding Helix. Does anyone else feel like Arrow is getting ready to sprint the home stretch of Season 5?
But first …
Prometheus is Adrian Chase.
Let’s get the big moment of the night out of the way because, while it may have been dropped midway through the episode like a casual aside, the reveal that Prometheus is none other than Adrian Chase is a big deal. Though it’s been clear that Adrian has been manipulating things throughout the season, most fans were operating under the assumption that Adrian was (as is is in the comics0 the slightly-less-evil Vigilante. As we demonstrated tonight, Vigilante also wants to hurt Oliver, but it’s kind of for selfless (if not misguided) reasons.
The twist that Adrian is actually Prometheus, who is intent on slowly torturing Oliver, is much, much scarier. Because this means that Adrian has known Oliver is the Green Arrow since early in the season, and has been playing the seriously long con when it comes to taking him down. He has helped Oliver again and again. And, sure, some of that “help” has really been setting the stage for later betrayals, but Adrian could have let Diggle die in jail rather than go above and beyond to keep him safe.
It makes me wonder what kind of terrifying madness Adrian has planned. We started to see some of it unfold in these last two episodes. In retrospect, it’s clear that Adrian has masterfully arranged Oliver’s denouncement of the Green Arrow persona. It’s pretty genius, though also a moment of quiet triumph for Oliver, in some ways. For so long, Oliver has let his Arrow identity become all that he is. His willingness to sacrifice him in favor of letting Oliver Queen continue to do good as mayor shows how far Oliver has come.
Adrian also seemingly kidnaps Susan Williams in the episode’s final moments. It’s a bit of a surprise that Adrian goes for Susan, rather than Felicity or Thea, but who am I to argue with the supervillain’s master plan without having seen his full crazy wall? So far, his nefarious judgment has been sound. Who knows what this most recent move means for the larger chess game?
Felicity joins Helix; Thea quits.
Continuing on from last episode, we saw both Felicity and Thea being questioned for their ends-justify-the-means behavior. (Which, let’s be honest, is pretty hypocritical coming from both Oliver and, to a lesser extent, Diggle). While Thea ultimately decided to end her short, yet glorious career in politics in favor of trying to nurture her humanity, Felicity leaned in to her potentially dangerous career as a hacktivist.
Personally, I am all for both Felicity’s hacktivism and Thea’s machinations. I understand why the people around them worry that they might get in over their heads, but I’m here to be entertained and Thea’s pragmatic conniving and Felicity’s all-powerful hacking is highly entertaining. It’s also annoying to see two morally-questionable dudes police the empathy of two historically good characters.
Thea has mostly only ever accidentally killed people because she has been under the influence of either a) drugs her biological father gave her or b) affected by the bloodlust from her resurrection. Girl has had a lot to deal with and she has, generally, not killed people for it. Which is more than I can say for her brother.
Unfortunately, Thea won’t continue scheming her way through mayoral politics. (And she spent so much time at that conference!) In a powerful scene, she asks Oliver to let her go. For her own sake. He does. Because, even when Oliver has been at his worst, he has tried to be a good brother. (Remember that time he killed Thea’s drug dealer?)
Elsewhere, Felicity decides to officially commit to Helix, the mysterious hacktivist organization that tried to recruit her a few episodes ago. I really, really want Team Glasses not to be secretly evil, but when has any group that isn’t Team Arrow ever not been secretly evil on this show? For now, I’m just glad someone — i.e. Diggle — is paying enough attention to Felicity to notice that she is not only a) probably still grieving the murder of her boyfriend, but b) asking her about the secret hacktivist organization she has been hanging out with.
Curtis wins some… and loses someone.
This was such a great Curtis episode. Inspired by something Rene forgot about telling Curtis last episode, Curtis decides to focus on what he could contribute to Team Arrow and his own superfighting: namely, tech. He creates the T-Spheres, which not only serve as a near inexhaustible source of joke material, but also end up saving Oliver from being assassinated during his The Green Arrow Is The Worst press conference. Mr. Terrific is the best here.
The T-Spheres were Curtis’ win, but his loss was much more personal. When his estranged husband Paul invites him to dinner, Curtis is sure it’s because he wants to reconcile — and he can’t wait to tell Paul all about the T-Spheres that will keep him safe on missions. As you probably saw coming, Paul doesn’t want to reconcile; he wants to give Curtis divorce papers.
Can I just say: Paul is the worst. Maybe it’s not fair to begrudge Paul his concern and hurt over Curtis’ superhero secret, but it seems like he never really gave Curtis the chance to explain. Instead, he left Curtis for a few months, then divorced his sad puppy dog face two minutes into a dinner date without even warning the guy what the dinner was about. Not cool, Paul. Not cool.
Flashback time: The Hood saves Anatoly.
The main plot of this week’s very brief flashback story involved Anatoly using a Bratva custom to not die in a hospital basement. Basically, the custom asks the Bratva captains to vote for either Gregor or Anatoly. They all vote for Gregor… until Oliver shows up with some Hood-acquired evidence that Gregor has skimmed a considerable amount off the top of his Kovar deal. The Bratva captains side with Anatoly, prompting Gregor to start shooting up the entire room. Never a dull moment in these Bratva flashbacks.
More seriously, though, the fact that Arrow a) kept the flashbacks brief and b) relied on the chemistry between Oliver and Anatoly proves that they might have cracked the flashback formula. The flashbacks will probably never be the best part of this show, but, on the whole, they’ve been far less frustrating this season.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good
— Following the Billy Malone cover-up scandal announcement, Adrian comes in to give Oliver his letter of resignation. Oh, he’s good.
— “It’s Oliver, and I’m not your boss anymore. I’m your client.” Oliver, to Adrian, moments after he asks him to represent him at his impeachment trial. I’m no lawyer, but maybe you shouldn’t have your cover-up co-conspirator represent you on such occasions.
— “The boss is getting impeached and you’re down here playing marbles.” — Rene, to Curtis
— “That woman never reports good news.” — Felicity, on the Channel 52 news reporter
— Felicity calmly tells Oliver that he needs to fix his own girlfriend problems, which is kind of amazing. This woman has the patience of a saint.
— “Everything I know from politics, I got from Keeping It 1600.” Great podcast!
— “Hi, Susan.” “Sorry, busy reporting for my new blog.”
— “He’s clearly been determined to protect the Green Arrow for his own purposes. I think the question here is why?” —Pike, spelling out the Oliver Queen/Green Arrow connection so obviously, but just refusing to take that final step.
— Seriously, though. Never get into a limo with Oliver Queen.
— “Yeah, he flipped our limo in the air.” “Cool.” Rene continues to be a Team Arrow fanboy, even though he’s on Team Arrow.
— “It’s not blackmail. It’s politics.” — Thea Queen
— “Dr. Schwartz, are you prescribing me a girlfriend? “Or just a friend.” I forgot how much I like Dr. Schwartz
— “Anatoly, why bother” “I did not want to die in hospital basement.” Seriously, though. Why haven’t all of the Arrow flashbacks just been an Oliver and Anatoly odd couple drama?
— “What’s T-sphere?” “Curtis’ balls.” — Rene
— “Come on, this isn’t you.” “It pretty much is.” — Diggle and Felicity discuss Felicity’s empathy
— “Sometimes, I can’t help but feel like this city is trying oollapse in on itself.” — Pike, almost understanding what show he’s on.
— “Is my team inside? Then, I’ll be fine.” — Oliver
— Of course Oliver Queen has his press conferences at night.
— “No more ball jokes?” “Hell no.” Curtis and Rene are one of my absolute favorite dynamics on Arrow right now. I wasn’t expecting that.
— “The Green Arrow is not a hero. He is what’s keeping star City from being the best that it can.” — Oliver
— The Bratva take their spreadsheets seriously.
— “This is most disappointing. I liked many of you.” — Gregor
— Curtis interrupting Oliver’s heartfelt apology to get to dinner with Paul was both hilarious and really sad if you guessed what was coming.
— Wanna say you’re busy?” “No, I’d like to tell the truth for the rest of the day, if at all possible.” Man, Oliver has come so far.