Mayor Handsome keeps his job by throwing Green Arrow under the bus, and Prometheus is unmasked

By Sara Netzley
March 01, 2017 at 11:37 PM EST
Diyah Pera/The CW
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Oliver pushes his way through so many press scrums tonight, but it’s okay because we finally learn a villain’s identity — but it’s not Vigilante, as the episode description led us to believe.

That’s right. Adrian Chase is one sneaky, Prometheus-ian son of a gun.

The City Council’s convened a mayoral impeachment hearing extraordinarily quickly, and Oliver’s frustrated that he likely won’t be allowed to testify. When Adrian offers to take the fall for Oliver and resign, Oliver instead asks Adrian to be his lawyer for the proceedings. I’m sorry, but does Oliver not know a single other lawyer he could call? And can the city attorney even do that? Man, Star City’s bar association rules must be the size of a matchbook.

In the Arrow Cave, Curtis is perfecting his T-spheres (round mini-drones for attack and defense) while Rene makes many, many testicle jokes that are best ignored. When Paul calls to ask Curtis to dinner, he’s overjoyed: “He wouldn’t be asking me to go out to dinner if he wasn’t ready to reconcile.” We all sense this is going to end badly, right?

Speaking of ending badly, Oliver orders Thea to make things right with Susan. Susan, who lied to Thea and manipulated her for a hit piece on her brother, the mayor. Susan, who’s been sleeping with the source she’s investigating. Susan, who’s honestly given us, the audience, and Thea, the sister worried about her brother’s secret, not a single reason to trust her.

As if that’s not enough, Oliver next guilts Felicity into helping him because Susan’s not returning his calls. Felicity’s clearly not okay with this, pointing out, “Susan is your girlfriend, so if anyone is going to fix it, I think it has to be you.” Oliver says he’s busy with, you know, being impeached, so Felicity reluctantly agrees to help. Look, I’ve never ended an engagement with a former billionaire playboy/masked hero after he lied to me about his secret child who was never seen again, but I don’t think I’d be cool being his wingman, no matter how much time has passed, ya know?

A press scrum greets Oliver as he enters City Hall for the impeachment hearing. Susan’s there covering it for her new blog. Oh, honey. She talks to Oliver long enough to blame him for trashing her credibility. At the hearing, the medical examiner testifies about falsifying the autopsy results because Adrian told her that the mayor wanted it done, and Captain Pike testifies that Oliver said he was protecting the Green Arrow after Prometheus manipulated him.

Leaving for the night in the mayoral motorcade (LOL), Quentin predicts that it’ll be a tight vote, and Thea suggests throwing poor dead Billy under the bus as the bad guy. Man, she’s dark, but she’s pragmatic, and I’m here for it. Then Vigilante fires on Oliver’s limo, flipping it. Vigilante shakes off Dinah’s Canary Cry and Thea’s attacks, then shoots at Oliver until the police arrive and run him off.

A banged-up Oliver gets a checkup from Dr. Schwartz, who knows his secret identity and insists that his mental strain is a bigger problem than his physical woes. “Are you prescribing me a girlfriend?” Oliver asks. That, or just a friend, she replies. Just as I’m thinking how good Oliver looks in his gray hoodie, he picks up his phone and calls … wait for it … SUSAN FREAKING WILLIAMS.

Guys, help me out here. Has this show ever once explained why Oliver cares for Susan so much? Have I missed their explosive chemistry, or all the things they have in common, or evidence that she likes him for him and not for the chance to get his shirt off to investigate his Bratva tattoos? Why is Oliver so doggedly sticking with this? Just… why?

NEXT: And the identity of Prometheus is…

At the limo crash site, Dinah finds a piece of Vigilante’s visor, but before she can get it to the Arrow Cave scientists, Adrian grabs it to put into evidence himself. Hmm, suspicious.

And my suspicious are swiftly confirmed, but not in the way that I expected. Vigilante’s on the prowl when the creepy Prometheus music trickles into the soundtrack and this season’s big bad shows up to toss Vigilante off the roof. Then we see Prometheus take off his hood and casually call in the Vigilante sighting, and it’s Adrian Chase!

BAM! Okay, I admit I haven’t loved the thought that Prometheus was the never-before-seen illegitimate son of a season 1 Hood-list casualty that was mentioned for the first time this season. While I was hoping for an improbable Tommy Merlyn-as-Prometheus reveal, Adrian Chase will do nicely.

Even though Thea’s scraped up from the Vigilante limo attack, it doesn’t stop her from suggesting that Felicity use the Pandora data dump to find blackmail material on Kullens, the likely swing vote in the impeachment hearing. This alarms John, who’s already worried about Felicity’s Susan frame job and her shady actions to get him out of military prison.

When Felicity learns that Kullens made his wife’s suicide look like an accident, John urges her not to act on the information. He says her superpower is empathy, “big, reflective, pure empathy.” But Felicity says she’s fresh out and gives him a heaping dose of “I learned it from watching you” (and Oliver and Thea and Laurel and…). John clichés that when you fight fire with fire, you risk being burned. Also, in the wrong hands, he worries that Pandora could be a weapon, and more and more, Felicity’s hands are looking like the wrong ones. Felicity’s undeterred.

As is Thea, even though Oliver begs her not to be cruel to Kullens. In return, Thea lists all of the good things Oliver’s done so far as mayor and argues that Star City need him. Plus, all’s fair in politics. Oliver is concerned that she’s going too dark and won’t know when to stop, so Thea pulls herself back and agrees to drop the blackmail.

Unfortunately, this means Kullens can’t be forced into letting Oliver testify at the hearing, which leaves Oliver with one choice: a press conference at which he’ll place all the blame on the Green Arrow. Umm, Oliver? Why are you doing this, baby? Swear to God, it feels like he’s about two episodes away from pulling a Tony Stark about his secret identity, yet he’s also about to publicly denounce the Green Arrow. It’s confusing.

But hey, how handy is it to have a team member back on the police force? Dinah swipes the Vigilante visor scrap from evidence, which Adrian notices and seems to expect, making you wondering just how many secret identities he actually knows. At the Arrow Cave, Curtis calibrates his new T-spheres to pick up the signal from Vigilante’s visor, so now they can track him.

This is lucky because they locate him in the perfect sniper position in the building across the street from Oliver’s outdoor nighttime press conference. (Also, who holds press conferences outside at night? Let the media come inside! Poor Stephen Amell’s nose is bright red by the end of this scene because, you know, Canada.)

Honestly, one of the only nice moments of this episode is when Dinah warns Oliver that Vigilante is set up across the street to kill him. Oliver asks, “Is the team outside?” Dinah responds in the affirmative, and Oliver says, “Then it’ll be fine.” It’s a lovely moment of trust in an otherwise infuriating episode.

While Oliver addresses the media, John, Curtis, and Rene attack Vigilante, who gets the drop on John (his life is saved by Cisco’s upgraded Kevlar). He’s about to pump Rene full of lead when Curtis unleashes his T-sphere, which does its job and blows Vigilante through a wall.

How exactly are the people on the street in front of the building not hearing the loud, sustained gunplay right behind them? These are not quiet weapons! But the media only have ears for Mayor Handsome as he explains that he was protecting the city from the truth that Green Arrow had become a cop killer and, therefore, had failed this city.

“The truth is that the Green Arrow has gone rogue,” Oliver says. “Green Arrow is not a hero. He is what’s keeping Star City from being the best it can be.” Okay, not only is this a terrible idea, but Oliver still did the things he’s accused of doing. Covering up a crime, even for a good reason, is still illegal. His crappy excuse just made Oliver’s second job so much harder to do, and for what? Yeah, in the end, the council members agree not to impeach Oliver, but dang. How much political clout will he and Adrian really have at this point? The realpolitik of this all makes zero sense.

NEXT: Don’t worry, guys. Oliver and Susan make up.

At this point, Susan arrives at Oliver’s office to say that an anonymous hacker confessed to planting the plagiarism evidence on Susan’s computer, so she got her job back and now believes that Oliver didn’t know about the hack job in advance. Oliver’s delighted that Susan’s career is back on track and that she’s agreed to keep his secret and will be his girlfriend again.

Sweet galloping zebras, I am done with this character and this story line. THE REPORTER WITH A RECORD OF LIES AND MANIPULATION PROMISES TO KEEP OLIVER’S IDENTITY AS THE GREEN ARROW A SECRET, AND HE IS EXCITED THAT THEIR FIVE-MINUTE-OLD RELATIONSHIP IS SAVED.

I … need to lie down a second. Possibly with some vodka.

Next, Oliver says he’s going to give Thea the good news, and I hope he doesn’t mean about him and Susan getting back together. He finds her packing her office because she’s worried that her bloodlust has shifted from arrows and swords to politics and slander. “Please don’t ask me to stay,” she begs Oliver. “But I am broken, okay? I need you to let me go.” She wants to try to fix herself, and Oliver reluctantly accepts her resignation.

No! Don’t leave us again, Thea! She’s been so rudderless this season; it’s been painful to watch and is one of the things I’m hoping the show can course-correct before the end of the season. The only saving grace in this scene is that Oliver is much kinder to Thea than he was last week.

When a triumphant Oliver strolls into the Arrow Cave, his friends don’t join in his jubilance because he just made their job as Team Arrow a million billion trillion times harder. Oliver starts to give a big thankful speech, which Curtis hilariously interrupts because he’s super late for his reconciliation dinner with Paul. HA! But when Curtis gets to the restaurant, Paul slaps him with divorce paperwork. Poor guy!

Felicity, meanwhile, is making alliances, agreeing to join hacker group Helix because she was reminded this week about the importance of having a team to back her up. Oh, I’m sure this won’t end badly.

Finally, Susan’s walking to her car when Adrian approaches her about an exclusive. Prometheus music plays as he describes the story as “life or death.”

Yeah, I don’t know anymore, guys. Oliver’s making ridiculous decisions, Felicity’s sneaking around with questionable groups, Thea’s unnecessarily exiling herself, and Susan is still here. But so help me, loathsome character or not, if they’ve kept Susan around just to fridge her in the next episode, Arrow and I will have words. WORDS!

Thoughts for your quiver

  • In tonight’s flashback, Anatoly requests spross dopross, which calls a pakhan to account for his actions. He could be ousted, but if the vote’s in his favor, the man who called the vote is executed. Great. So Oliver and his wig have one hour to prove that Pakhan Gregor’s deal with Kovar benefits him personally and not the Bratva. Oliver being Oliver, he finds evidence that Gregor kept 40 million of the 120 million rubles from Kovar for himself. The Bratva side with Anatoly, who’s set to become the new pakhan… until Gregor’s side opens fire. Whatever will happen next? (I’ll tell you: He survives, because we’ve seen him in the present.)
  • Felicity listened to Keepin’ It 1600! I knew I liked her for a reason.
  • Okay, so if Adrian’s Prometheus, who’s Vigilante? Economy of characters says it’s someone we already know, but who’s left? Pike? Dr. Schwartz? Councilman Kullers? Oliver’s forgotten son? Laurel from Earth-19? Give me your best guess in the comments!

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Billionaire Oliver Queen — under the vigilante persona of Arrow — tries to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society.
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