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Arrow Recap: Keep Your Enemies Closer


We’re getting to the point in the series where bad guys from the past start re-appearing. Because unlike everyone else, The Hood did not kill them. 

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Roy leaves a red arrow signal for The Hood as Oliver and Isabel argue about board meetings at the office. Felicity interrupts in the worst way possible to let Oliver know Roy needs him and tells her they’ll need to work on her excuses. Roy is spying on various bad guys when The Hood surprises him from behind. “I totally knew you were there,” he tries to sell. Oliver is totally not buying. However, some bad guys are currently buying counterfeit molds for US currency. Roy goes after one that tries to escape as Diggle helps from the rafters. But the police show up, and once again, Roy does a bad job of convincing them he was trying to make a citizen’s arrest. At police station, he gives vague hints to Officer Lance of a Hood relationship and when Thea shows up, Lance takes a leap of faith and decides to let him go. Significant looks are exchanged.

At the end of their bad guy pursuit, Diggle is abducted by some special forces group. He is held in a room where our new Amanda Waller introduces herself, saying she works for ARGUS. She seems to have no time to mess around and quickly tells him Lyla is missing. She was running down a lead in Moscow but has since gone missing, and to avoid an international incident, Waller wants to send Diggle to retrieve her. And just why should he help them? “I know how you and Oliver Queen spend your nights,” she says. Oh, that’s a good reason. Also, Lyla was looking for Floyd Laughton, aka Deadshot. aka the man who killed Diggle’s brother. Ok, fine, I guess I’ll go.

Oh my god, you guys! Look at that news report about the dangerous particle accelerator!! Someone should really take care of that before someone gets hurt…

Diggle returns to the Arrow Lair saying he needs a few personal days. Just when it seems he’s about to clam up, he goes on to explain about Deadshot and Lyla being missing, but leaves out the important shady organization details and the even more important fact of them knowing Oliver’s alter-ego. Obviously there’s a Queen Consolidated subsidiary in Moscow so you know what that means…FIELD TRIP!

Isabel shows up just as they’re about to leave from the airport, obviously, and Felicity tries to lie about where they’re going. Whatever, says Isabel, I’m from Russia and I’m a fast packer. In Moscow, Isabel is already planning meetings for her and Oliver and reveals to him that she thinks he and Felicity are sleeping together. Oh and also that her skirts are too short. Uneccessary cattiness from what is supposed to be a classy business lady. Hrm.

Oliver and Diggle take a meeting with Anatoli Knyazev (aka the guy from the freighter who I thought looked like Hugh Jackman, aka KGBeast from the comics). And for some reason, Diggle thinks he can seriously turn down a drink from this guy. He has a picture of Lyla from a Russian gulag, aka prison but like, way worse. He tells them she was trying to break in and the only way they will be able to get her out is if they go in as prisoners. But it’s silly for them both to go so Diggle volunteers. They get a bunch of drugs for him to get caught with and Felicity gives him a jacket equipped with what I’m assuming is a tracker. And then…Diggle reveals Lyla was not just a good friend, but his wife. They met in the army but weren’t married long once they got back. Anywho, he manages to get arrested successfully and the coat is put in storage. Once he’s put in a cell, a fellow prisoner feels the need to let him know they don’t see many black people in Russia/the gulag. Uhh…

Meanwhile, Oliver, Felicity, and Anatoli are trying to buy a Russian police truck for Diggle’s extraction but the men selling don’t like their offer. Oliver walks over to the main dude, talks some serious shit to him in Russian, and then they hand him the keys. No explanation other than possible threat of getting beat up but the Russians did have machine guns so I’m not sure about that. In the prison, Diggle is finding a good seat in the lunch room when his bunkmate points out which prisoners are in charge and warns him to stay away from them. He also helps by pointing out the guard on the inside he’ll be meeting. And then those prisoners pick a fight with Diggle which doesn’t go well for them but he’s the one to get locked up in cold storage as punishment. Oh and look who’s also locked in there – Deadshot.

And then we get our second Bose commercial break minisode. We pick up where we left off last week with Felicity talking to Lance. He let’s her know a blood sample from The Hood wasn’t destroyed like they thought and that he police will name him soon if she doesn’t do something. So she calls Roy, using Hood’s voice changer, and tells him she’ll help him break in and get the sample. I will cease recapping these commercial episodes now.

In the prison face off, Deadshot wonders why Diggle hasn’t forgiven me for shooting his brother yet and also reveals he knows why here’s there. In the meantime, Oliver is tryign to save face by meeting Isabel for drinks. She let’s him know everyone at Queen Consolidated thinks he and Felicity are banging, and Oliver is all, “She’s just a friend!” And then they get some sharing time in. Oliver wonders why saving his company mean so much to Isabel and she name checks Cheryl Sandberg while talking about how hard it is to make it as a woman in business. To which she poses, “Why do you try and make me think you’re a lazy idiot?” She knows he’s intelligent, driven, but also lonely. And then he speaks some Russian which totally turns her on and she decides to fill him in on her youth. She was raised in Moscow, adopted, and then taken to the US where she tried her damndest to get rid of her Russian accent. “You’ve been lonely a long time,” says Oliver as they fall into bed together. Jesus, dude, more important things require your attention right now. But don’t worry, Isabel says, I’ll be fast.

As promised, the sex was fast and Felicity shows up just in time to get upset over seeing Isabel leave Oliver’s hotel room. Even if it makes no sense really. And then Felicity gets really angry with him. Like, really angry. There’s some fun banter though. “We’re not doing the ‘what happens in Russia, stays in Russia,’” says Oliver when Felicity judges his sexual partner again. “We’re still IN Russia,” she replies. No, seriously, what is her problem?

The prison guard comes for Diggle but Deadshot kills him with an icicle because, um, reasons. Diggle is enraged but Deadshot says, “You won’t kill me, I know where Lyla is.” So they work together to take out a few guards and Diggle says honor is keeping him from shooting Deadshot, you should try it sometime. They find Lyla and as it turns out, Diggle’s coat didn’t have a tracker, it had a big bomb on it. Guess they don’t mind killing Russian police? Deadshot gets his “eye” back, another fight with guards as Oliver jumps in to help. Once they’re clear, Diggle tells Deadshot to get out, he wants to kill him but doesn’t and it’s a good thing because Deadshot reminds him he doesn’t miss. His brother Andy was the target that night, not his client. He let’s him know H.I.V.E. is the alias behind the hit and Diggle lets him go.

Back in the US I wonder if  they bothered to explain the tortured-looking woman they picked up in Russia just before Isabel is all, “I’ll see you in the office tomorrow!” Diggle has a romantic reunion with Lyla just before looking up H.I.V.E. on Bing. Did he find the Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination, the Holistic Integration for Viral Equality or something else entirely?

Back at Verdant, Moira’s lawyer comes to speak with Thea. Considering his recent arrest, she doesn’t think her dating Roy is good for Moira’s image and tells her to end the relationship. She tries asking him for some space but when he doesn’t get the message she just breaks up with him. Thea goes to see mom in prison but Roy is already there. Moira tells her she’s stupid for dumping him, “You’ve not only survived, you’ve flourished, I think that has to do with Roy,” and let’s her know she is totally cool with her continuing the relationship.

In our flashbacks this week there’s some treachery. Sara tells him not to reveal his real name why Ivo asks if they found a Japanese Imperial Navy submarine. He goes into a story about World War II and how Japan was doing stem cell research and genetic therapies, way ahead of its time. They had something that would give increased strength and rapid cell regeneration they called “Miracle.” The only supply of this super soldier serum was on that sub Super soldiers. Later, Sara shows up and explains how they saved her but that they’d both die if they knew they knew each other. Meanwhile, back on the island, Slade has some serious burns being tended to by Shado. They both reveal they care about each other but it’s clear Slade feels a bit differently than she does. On the boat, Sara lets him out of his cell, Anatoli asks him to remember the rest of them, and he promises he will come back. Sara urges him to use the radio to reach his friends on the island. Is this a trap? Of course it is. Sara saves him from being shot but the other guy on the freighter questions who is really in charge, Ivo or Sara?

We revealed a lot of things in this episode which is a great way to move the story forward but a few things bugged me. The remark about Diggle’s race was wholly unnecessary. I thought it might play into something later in the episode but it absolutely did not so I’m not sure why it was included. And Felicity’s anger over Isabel seems unfounded to me. From my perspective, there’s been hints she finds Oliver attractive but not that she has real romantic feelings toward him. And yes, Isabel did a hostile takeover thing on the company but she is actually trying to help it survive. They had not one, not two but three conversations about the sexual encounter, which seemed a bit much. The last had Felicity asking, “Why her?” Oliver tells her it didn’t mean anything and that because of his life, it’s better to not be with someone he could really care about. Felicity insists he deserves better. Of course we did get the new, svelte Amanda Waller in this episode but we didn’t get to see what she’s really capable of yet.

What did you think of the episode?

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."

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