We gave it an A-
Oh, Team Arrow. If you’d only realized you were still two episodes away from the end of the season, you never would’ve let your guard down to celebrate Chase’s defeat and Oliver’s birthday. But of course, the man known as Prometheus proves himself to be several steps ahead of Oliver yet again, and his team suffers because of it.
First, in tonight’s flashback, Kovar introduces Oliver to a wicked method of torture: a KGB interrogation drug called the Red Death that makes its victims relive the pain of each injury they’ve suffered. “Every cut, every bullet, every wound, like you’re feeling it for the first time,” Kovar says, explaining that this drug breaks even the strongest men.
Oliver and his wig scream in pain as each memory rushes back, and once he’s sufficiently weakened, Kovar hands him a gun with one bullet and invites him to take the permanent way out, betting that Oliver will last all of 14 minutes (which beats the previous record holder by 120 seconds).
Oliver first hallucinates Yao Fei, who tells him to spare his loved ones by killing himself. Then a woman’s voice cuts through his anguish. It’s Laurel, telling him that if he doesn’t come home to her, his father and her sister will have died for nothing. This does the trick, and Oliver uses his single bullet to shoot open the lock on his cell door and free himself.
Now, to a happier time in the present. The media are calling Green Arrow a hero for capturing the Throwing Star Killer, and Oliver’s mayoral approval rating is at 70 percent. He’s also got dinner plans with Felicity for his birthday that night, although he assures a delighted Thea that it’s just dinner, not a date.
When he arrives at the loft to collect Felicity, he finds the door ajar and body-slams the person lurking inside. It’s Curtis, who whimpers, “Happy birthday. Everything hurts,” as the rest of the team weakly yell, “Surprise!”
The team eat cake and discuss what they want to do with their “summer break” now that Chase is behind bars. Curtis wants to see Florence — “the city in Italy, not the woman or her weird machines.” John wants to teach J.J. how to fish. Felicity wants to spend time under the Pacific Crest Trail stars, followed by a mani/pedi. Oliver just wants to buy some socks. (This is not a euphemism; the man needs socks, okay?)
Seeing the hungry way Oliver’s looking at Felicity, Thea claims to want to eat more cake in the other room, and everyone takes the hint but Curtis, who gets dragged away by John. Now alone, Felicity and Oliver agree to take things one step at a time, and Oliver admits that hypothetically dating his ex-fiancée’s a little tough. She urges him to relax and enjoy their victory over Chase, reaching up to loosen his tie. It’s playful and intimate and, per Marc Guggenheim’s Twitter, was completely unscripted.
However, that palpable sexual tension pops like a bubble when Curtis realizes Dinah’s missing and then is abducted himself. Rene’s gone, too, and Oliver and John realize that this was Chase’s plan all along. Worse, since he’s locked up, he must have help. This is confirmed when Oliver finds a League of Assassins arrow, which tells him Talia’s in town.
Oliver storms to Chase’s cell to ask where “they” are. Chase plays dumb and then, predicting exactly what Oliver’s going to say, yells along with him, “You know damn well who!” LOL forever! Also, how is Chase pulling off that lemon-yellow jumpsuit so well, and why is his hair still flawless even in custody? It’s a supervillain mystery.
Next, Oliver heads to the Arrow Cave, where he tells Felicity he wants her to stay there with him — and for more than just tactical reasons. Oliver being Oliver, he also blames himself for letting his guard down, and he frets that William, the purest part of him, could be put in danger because of something the worst part of him set in motion.
Then things get even more tense when Felicity learns that Black Siren’s no longer in her cell, and, oh yeah, they never did tell Quentin about her. Oops.
(Recap continued on page 2.)