Notably absent, Wednesday’s episode of Arrow (“A.W.O.L.”) had us craving answers from the season’s flashbacks. From questionable to poignant, are this season’s trips to Lian Yu finally gaining relevance?
In “A.W.O.L.”, after Diggle and Lyla are approached by a member of A.R.G.U.S to warn them that A.R.G.U.S had been compromised, we are left wondering how the events of this episode will give us any answers about our tragedy 4 months down the line.
Running with an idea posed in last week’s recap, what if Damien Darhk isn’t the focus of Oliver’s revenge?
As Oliver carries a paralysed Felicity – and our swooning selves – down the stairs of their loft, we’re given hope much longed for, that Felicity just might make a full recovery.
Believing in the impossibilities of Meta-humans and the Lazarus pit, we’re with Oliver on this rare glint of optimism. Not ready to see Felicity take on a darker side, her psychological suffering is not irreversible. Taunted by the hallucination of her old self, we’re relieved that Felicity’s darker roots (self-named Dark Smoak) are not temptation enough to irrevocably alter this much-loved character.
Reasserting the epiphany of her origin story in season 3 episode 5, this is Felicity. Whilst she may move forward, we seemingly have no need to worry for her character to regress in her forthcoming grief.
Put to rest is the rumours of Felicity’s codename. Whilst confirmed weeks ago by Arrow EP Wendy Mericle, the presence of the Calculator and his link to the rumoured ‘Oracle’ are somewhat confirmed. As Tom Amandes is cast as the villain, his link to Felicity seems to be both paternal and professional. Given the codename Overwatch, quoting Oliver as he says ‘Oracle’ was taken, are we given hints as to Felicity’s future on Team Arrow.
“I love how playing Superhero is what we consider normal” – Felicity to Oliver
As the Calculator targets the Oracle in the DC verse, alongside the Canary, and the Huntress (should she return), could his involvement with both Team Arrow and Felicity make for the perfect enemy.
Recapping last week’s review, Donna is shaping up to be a potential victim. At danger from, not knowing Oliver’s secret, and her own links to the Calculator, Felicity’s grief would be explained as well as Oliver’s responsibility; in his exclusion of Donna from the team.
“I don’t know what the point of what I’m doing as Green Arrow is if I can’t protect the people that are closest to me.” – 4×10
Elsewhere, A.R.G.U.S’ enemy plays into a flashback-centric episode for Diggle and Andy. With insight back into their Army days together, and reveals Andy’s Drug-trafficking ties to the present day enemy; Shadowspire.
Moved to the A.R.G.U.S prison with his intel on Shadowspire, the scene is set to threaten the lives of Lyla and Amanda Waller.
Demanding the codes to ‘Rubicon’, ultimately leads to the shocking death of Amanda Waller, and answers no questions about the details of ‘Rubicon’. As Felicity is able to prevent the codes being stolen in time for Shadowspire to be stopped, it is the words of Lt. Joyner that have the greatest effect.
As another flashback, reveals that Reiter – the mystical antique hunter from Lian Yu – is part of Shadowspire, and knows Diggle and Andy, we really begin to question our enemy.
As Andy states “Shadowspire is all about misdirection” have our dealings with Damien Darhk distracted us from focusing on Oliver’s time on Lian Yu, in flashbacks that have been greatly criticised this season.
Taking note, from Lt. Joyner who says “vengeance and retribution are fruitless pursuits”, will it be Team Arrow’s involvement with Shadowspire that puts the emphasis on Oliver’s Graveside reaffirmation of responsibility?
As the episode ends with Oliver seeing Felicity’s photo of Dark Smoak, with a promise to let her past stay in the past, is it Oliver’s past that re-emerge? given the actions he’s taken to leave it behind. With his Shado tattoo removed, his sentimental green hood replaced for a new codename at the beginning of the season, Oliver Queen stills has some battles to overcome.
Who do you think is responsible for our mystery death? Damien Darhk, Shadowspire or, the Calculator?
Wednesday’s episode of Arrow, “Unchained”, welcomes the Calculator to Arrow in a battle of wits (and skills) against Felicity and her suspected Father.
Arrow airs Wednesday at 8|7c on The CW!
[Featured Image Courtesy of The CW; Source Content for Gifs: Arrow, The CW, 2014-16]