Oliver and Diggle attempt to save Thea while Felicity and her father use all their hacking prowess to stop Damien Darhk's use of Rubicon
Picking up right where the last episode left off, “Lost in the Flood” sees Damien Darhk spare Oliver and Diggle, mostly to enjoy watching what he expects to be much more painful deaths during his planned Armageddon. (And, well, for narrative convenience, it sure doesn’t hurt either.)
That leaves Team Arrow to stop Darhk’s use of Rubicon to cause worldwide nuclear devastation while also figuring out just where exactly his ark is. A clue in that direction comes via Thea, who hasn’t contacted Oliver but has gotten in touch with Felicity during her absence.
She tracks Thea’s location to an intersection that should hopefully provide some answers, but when Oliver arrives, he finds… well, nothing. Save for a conspicuous sewer access grate, which Felicity confirms should not be there.
And so the team splits up to cover every aspect of Darhk’s plan. Oliver and Diggle head into the fake sewer pipe only to arrive in not the Mushroom Kingdom but Damien’s idyllic ark of a town to save Thea. Topside, Felicity is working alongside her father to prevent Rubicon from destroying the world.
There’s one complication to Felicity’s work she doesn’t expect, as Curtis, who has been pulled into the calamity, texts her to come back home to help with an urgent matter. When she arrives, Felicity finds Curtis with his feet up, sipping a beer and waiting to give her a hug because now he understands how tough her childhood must have been.
Why does he believe that? Well, because Donna has arrived at the apartment and has been bickering almost nonstop with Noah since she arrived. Realizing she has no other option, Felicity breaks the news to her mom — the attack on the nearby town was just one of many possible horrors, and she has been working with the Green Arrow for years to help fight against evil, as they have to do now. Donna isn’t pleased with the lying, but leaves her daughter and ex-husband to what they know best — hacking, a sight that Curtis revels in watching. (Noah is well known on the dark web, and Curtis is practically star struck when he learns Felicity’s dad is the Noah Kuttler.)
While the hackathon gets underway, Oliver and Diggle are searching the streets of Darhkville. Those streets are anything but as quiet as Damien might hope, though, with Anarky having escaped after his fight with Thea. The possible wildcard certainly has vengeance on the brain and could pose a threat, one that Ruve Adams wants Malcolm Merlyn to handle. Oh, and it couldn’t hurt if he cleaned up the streets by finding Diggle and Oliver, too, as she receives an alert that they have been sighted around town.
That becomes somewhat easier for Malcolm when Oliver stumbles upon the house at which Thea is being held, noticing Alex’s body on the back porch. He sneaks in, taking down the two Ghosts guarding her and freeing Thea from her restraints. Surprisingly, he’s met with a kick to the guy from Thea, who holds her brother at gunpoint.
She’s been drugged by Malcolm, who needed her to comply so he could maintain order. Diggle rushes in with some gunfire, distracting Thea long enough to ensure Oliver’s safety but also to allow her to escape. With their cover blown (though with everyone in town wearing the same colored jumpsuits, it’s tough to imagine they would have remained hidden for much longer anyway), the two flee through the shrubs and streets of the underground incorporated village of Darhk, dodging fire and taking out Ghosts in equal measure.
NEXT: An ark devastated by Anarky.
They eventually take solace in a random home, believing it to be free of any of the brainwashed masses only to discover a full family living in the house. And to make matters worse, Ruve has made a town announcement declaring the man in green and the man in black are outsiders threatening their entire way of life, their collective safe future. They must be found and they must be killed, she says.
The family tries to get Oliver and Diggle caught, yelling out their location before they’re quickly silenced. Diggle has no time for their antics, his edge still not gone from having to kill his brother. Diggle has no time for these people and their beliefs in Darhk, believing them to be part of his hypnotized flock, but they’re lost to Damien in a much worse way than he could imagine.
This family hasn’t taken any of Darhk’s brain-altering pills. They’re under no spell. They simply believe in his message. The word is beyond saving. They’ve been promised time and again that their city would not be failed, and yet it continues to fall apart. Damien gives them hope, and his grand displays of power and resources give them plenty of inspiration.
And Oliver thinks they have a point, as displeased as Diggle is with all of what they have to say. Diggle calls them psychotic, but Oliver has seen the city he’s promised to protect on the brink of collapse over and over (strange how it always happens right around May…). The people of Star City need hope, and though Oliver wanted to be that hope this season, he sees he may have not fully succeeded in that respect.
Time for contemplation runs short, however, as Ghosts break into the house and they attempt to flee for their survival. Eventually, Thea catches up with Oliver, who begs her to fight against whatever Darhk and Merlyn have done to her. She never gives up when they fight together, and he doesn’t want her to give up now.
His little pep talk works, as he and Thea come back together, and just in time, stopping Merlyn from harming Diggle. But they all face a collective threat, as Anarky appears on the home’s TV screen (and likely every screen in the town), doing his best Joker impression. Broadcasting live, he shows Ruve and Darhk’s daughter tied up. He promises in 20 minutes, Ruve will die, and then in 21 minutes the entire safe haven will be destroyed if Darhk doesn’t meet Anarky’s demands.
Oliver immediately springs into hero mode, wanting to make sure as many lives as possible are saved. Oliver goads Malcolm into leading an evacuation of the civilians (only under duress from Diggle’s gun does he do so, of course), while he, Diggle, and Thea will track down Anarky.
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They find him taunting Ruve, with Anarky recalling the last time he had her hostage to bait Darhk. And, like last time, Oliver and the others are there to stop him, but Anarky notes one important difference this time around — the structure they’re in uses dwarf star alloy, and a stray shot could cause the whole place to blow. And naturally, a single arrow does, hitting a gas tank that causes a chain reaction of chaotic explosions. Above them, Malcolm is ushering civilians out as geysers of fire erupt from the street.
Anarky, plunging the arrow Oliver shot him with upon first entering the room into Ruve, dukes it out with the trio of heroes, holding them off until the building begins to truly fall apart. Rubble falls onto Ruve, while Oliver has to spring into action to help keep Damien’s daughter safe. Anarky uses the cover of the commotion to escape, while Diggle takes her away as Oliver investigates Ruve. In her dying breaths, she asks Oliver to keep her daughter safe, and he agrees.
NEXT: Damien Darhk’s plans are far from over.
They all escape aboveground, including Darhk’s daughter, but that’s not the only way they hit Damien where it hurts.
Felicity and Noah try their best to stave off Rubicon, but Darhk has his own hacker in place, Felicity’s college love Cooper, to fend off their attacks. He not only does that but also manages to take over their system and seemingly lock them out just as they’re making progress. He’s sending electrical surges their way, but they trace it back and reverse it with Curtis’ help. His terminal explodes, and the father-daughter-daughter’s-former-employee team take control once again.
Felicity calls into them after Darhk’s underground town is decimated, as it causes explosions and some devastation aboveground as well. She’s thrilled to hear they’re safe, and can even offer them the good news that they have Rubicon in their control.
The city seems, shockingly, safe, though Oliver knows now he needs to actually offer them the hope, and the hero, they deserve.
In the victorious aftermath, Felicity finds herself at home with both of her parents around her for the first time in years. Throughout the hack off she learns a bit more about her parents’ relationship beyond the bickering, including that it wasn’t her father who left but her mother who forced him out of the picture.
And Donna does so again. She gives Noah a few looks throughout the episode each time he and Felicity seem to be growing closer (including the moment where she calls him “Dad” instead of “Noah”), and in the end they’re all looks of worry. She confronts him at “Flood’s” end, asking him to leave and not come back. Felicity will survive whatever heartache she experiences, Donna reasons, but this mother knows what’s good for her daughter. She also knows Kuttler is still the same man he always was, and if he truly cares about her, he’ll leave.
Noah does in fact disappear, Donna breaking the news to her daughter shortly after Curtis draws a few parallels between Felicity’s parents and her relationship with Oliver. Felicity, in the moment, seems to accept that he’s out of the picture, but trouble lurks just around the corner regardless.
Actually, danger isn’t so much around the corner as it is in the very room with her. Damien Darhk strolls in, after having Malcolm fill him in on the losses of Genesis (including his wife and his daughter currently being missing so far as they know), fueled almost single-mindedly by his rage. He’s willing to let the whole world burn, no matter what the condition of his ark is, and he knows just who can help him take back Rubicon.
So he comes to Felicity (who, if he had really wanted to this whole time, he could have just killed and saved himself the trouble of a hacker war), promising to bring them hell on earth.
On the Island
Oliver and Taiana are looking to make their final escape, but Taiana is beginning to succumb to the power of the idol Reiter treasured. She craves its energy, the energy of death, and wants to use it to free her home in Russia from imperial rule. Unfortunately, her behavior worries Oliver as they make for an escape, as she’s willing to let people die solely to fuel her thirst for power. Oliver can’t defend against her supercharged strength, but he attempts to make a final stand and stop her from using it by saying she’ll have to kill him first.
Taiana doesn’t want to kill Oliver, but Reiter, who appears yet again, is more than willing to if it means reclaiming his idol.
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