The Darhkness just got even darker, guys.
Damian Darhk, having recently come into possession of the Rubicon, is moving quickly on his plan for world bomb-ination, already tucking away new residents to his little HIVE hive (a Cabin in the Woods-meets-Truman Show dome made to withstand the nuclear havoc he’s planning to wreak on literally the rest of the world — Noah’s Ark for the nuclear age, basically).
So, whether Felicity’s happy about it or not, Team Arrow will have to call in the one potential game-changer it’s got on speed dial: Noah Kuttler, a.k.a. The Calculator.
Daddio might have tried to use the five-finger discount on his own daughter’s devices last time she saw him, but when the fate of 7-plus billion human beings is on the line, ya gotta table the butthurt and get down to business. “I’m not saying we should trust him,” she tells her squad. “I’m saying we need to.”
Indeed, every NATO ally’s warheads (hint: there are a LOT of them) are now just 21 hours away from being detonated — which’ll allow Damien to harness nearly all of the death power on the planet in his Star City nexus chamber — so the stakes are at an all-time high right now. Can they pull off a squeaker save for all earthlings, or will Team Arrow slip? Let’s review.
Hello from the other side…of the biodome
Whatever you want to call this thing, it’s got the outer layer texture of a Hunger Games arena and/or the Cabin in the Woods shell, and it’s slowly filling up with new, gray-clad inhabitants whom Thea regards as innocent. We know squat about these people, so, sure, we’ll go with that they’re completely pure, helpless people who were just randomly chosen by the HIVE crew to survive this thing and agreed to uproot their entire families without knowing what was gonna happen. Surrrrre.
Anyway, we find out why it is that Thea and Alex have been roped into this place, too: Malcolm Merlyn (which means we’ve got even more dad-daughter issues to grapple with tonight, folks). He drugged Alex into submission with Darhk’s zombifying pills and brought them here because he wants his little girl to be safe. But he’s fully onboard with the Genesis mission. “The world is what’s insane,” he says to justify the plan. “It is beyond saving. It needs a do-over, a reset.” Malcolm’s obviously happy to drink that Kool-Aid, so Thea doesn’t even bother fighting his crazy.
It doesn’t matter much right now anyway because guess who’s decided to come and play baddie in the new town? That’s right. Lonnie “Anarky” Machin. He’s decided to blow the scrubber and deprive everyone in the dome of their air supply because, well, just because, and since Thea kinda-sorta knows the guy, she’s sent in to do some negotiating with him. She offers to join up with the guy whose face she destroyed if he’s out to take down Darhk, but she doesn’t want all of these bystanders to suffer for Darhk’s misdeeds. Malcolm sees something Thea doesn’t, though; it doesn’t matter how much talking they do; the explosives are already charged, so he shoots Anarky mid-negotiations and disarms the bomb.
Lonnie, of course, is pretty perturbed that Thea’s now foiled his plans for revenge not once but twice, so he’ll have to wait for Darhk to arrive in his little bubble fort before he can do anything to him. Harrumph. Meanwhile, he’s got some time to kill so he decides to play a little mind game action with Thea. “What is it with you? Why are you always at the mercy of some guy? You could make your own decisions; you’re not some pawn. You’re a Queen, get it?” Somehow, this leads to Thea kicking his butt with his own baton-slash-nunchucks device — probably because he keeps calling her “Mommy.”
NEXT: Things are about to get extra explosive…
I fought the law
Donna and Quentin, meanwhile, are unaware of the impending doom that looms heavy with Team Arrow and, ya know, THE WORLD because they’ve got their own minor problems to tend to right now: If Quentin wants to get his badge back and re-join his pals at the police station in an official capacity anytime soon, he’ll basically need to disavow everything his recently deceased daughter was doing in her Black Canary gear. (Thanks again for spilling the beans on that one without talking to anyone first, Oliver! So swell.)
Donna could honestly not care less whether Quentin gets his job back; she just doesn’t want him to lie about his knowledge of Laurel’s masked superheroine status. What good would outing her as the stealthy savior do if her own father won’t stand by her legacy? It doesn’t take long before Quentin tells her that he has decided to go ahead and sign the affidavit — but only after a few key line-item changes have been made. Rather than distancing himself from Laurel’s work, he defends it, writing, “Although I was against it at first, I came to see what Laurel was doing was vital and important and good, as the Black Canary.” Cue the feels!
Down with the sickness
This week’s flashback sequence (read: popcorn break time) centers on Oliver and Taiana trying to save people from Reiter. He radios in for some help and tries to send Taiana off with a map to get people out by plane, but she wants to stick around. He tries to dissuade her by saying, “You know what you told me, ‘It takes a monster to kill a monster; now get these people home,’” but she’s not budging. And, frankly, it’s a good thing she does stay because the baron isn’t playing around tonight — his eyes are aglow, for real, and no matter how many times you hit the guy, and no matter what you hit him with, he’s bouncing back every time.
Taiana’s able to swoop in and buy them both some time — long enough to snag the idol and make a break for it, at least — but the next time we see her, she’s being overtaken by the idol, and her eyes light up with the same sickly yellow that Reiter’s did before. To be continued…
And boom goes the dynamite
Before the Calculator can do the math it’ll take to save the world, Team Arrow’ll have to find him first — and before HIVE can, at that. Felicity’s found a lead on a filename called Ravenspur, which, thanks to a highly awkward conversation about the place of her possible conception with Donna, pinpoints Noah’s hideout locale.
There, Team Arrow comes face-to-face with Brick, Darhk’s henchman who has authority problems but also a mighty fist, and his team of ghosts. They’re able to scoop up Noah in the midst of the skirmish and ride off to safety, knowing full well that they’ve not seen the last of Danny Brickwell, no way.
And while Felicity and Noah begin slowly navigating the murky waters of their torn-apart relationship — “this isn’t a reconciliation, this isn’t a reunion, this is you helping me,” she clarifies — she’s also gotta figure out a way to get the super processor she created from the office after being coldly canned with a security escort (ouch!). But with Team Arrow, when there’s a will, there’s a way, and indeed they’re able to infiltrate the lab with surprisingly little effort. Security shows up, sure, but by then Noah’s copied 99 percent of the structure of the device, so now it’s just the small matter of overriding the codes for every nuclear warhead one by one… Oh wait, that’s actually hard.
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Oh, and good news! Noah’s just accidentally activated the failsafe and notified HIVE of their exact location and activities, which means they’ve got 90 seconds ‘til they’re swarmed with ghosts. Apparently even the president’s got little faith in their odds right now, asking Lyla if “the fate of the world is resting on an IT girl, a criminal, and two guys in Halloween costumes.” Why, yes, yes it is.
They do a pretty good job of battling back all the firepower to buy Noah and Felicity time. Brick’s a tough cookie, and Michael “Murmur” Amar is able to give John Diggle the slip, but it’s nothing unusual and certainly nothing compared to what Felicity and Noah are fighting right now. As for how they do… Well, they’re mostly able to accomplish what they set out to do. One nuke — Russia’s RDS-37, to be exact, has still been activated and is heading straight for Monument Point in the U.S.
Felicity thinks to re-route the GPS a few miles to trick the missile into landing on another poor town called Havenrock instead, and tens of thousands die in the full-force eruption. It’s better than millions of people, but still. Majjjjor bummer. To add insult to injury, Darhk’s just gotten a serious power boost, so if he wasn’t unstoppable before, well, Oliver better call that immortal woman back for some more dark magic training sessions stat.