Given Arrow’s history, there’s always reason to worry when it starts to focus on Olicity. It’s definitely fair to say it usually doesn’t bring out the best in the show; however, as last week’s episode showed and this one reaffirmed, the writers have really nailed how to explore this new-old couple without it dominating the story or becoming to melodramatic. While “Reversal” is about how both Oliver and Felicity are navigating their new dynamic (relationship plus Oliver not being on the team anymore), it’s mainly about Felicity and how she’s adjusting to everything that’s going on in her life, which is a nice change of pace.
When we pick up with Oliver and Felicity tonight, they’re enjoying a nice dinner date, which reminds both them and the audience of the first time they did this (see the season 3 premiere). Oliver continues to show how much he’s grown and acknowledges the fact that he wasn’t ready for this three years ago, but now he is. He also tries inviting Felicity to be his date to the fundraiser, but she says no because she has her hands full with the team and her new startup with Curtis. She still hasn’t come up with an idea for the startup and, as we learn later, hasn’t filed the article of incorporation either. While the date, thankfully, doesn’t end in a bomb going off, it does end prematurely because Felicity gets a call from the team and has to run off. “This is how it felt to be you, isn’t it?” quips Oliver before Felicity runs off.
Felicity was called away because Black Siren is causing trouble again. She seduced and eventually murdered a seemingly unimportant numbers cruncher at a bar. At this point, they have no idea what Black Siren is up to and just have to wait for more information to come through. Curtis, Arrow‘s resident Olicity ‘shipper, tells Felicity go back to her date with Oliver because he can hold down the fort in the meantime. Unfortunately, Felicity ends up getting pulled away from Team Arrow, and in her absence, Curtis acquits himself fairly well and is able to track Black Siren via her sonic scream. But it’s not enough, and Black Siren goes on to kill two more seemingly random and boring people.
What calls Felicity away from Team Arrow in this time of need? Her good ol’ friend Alena (Kacey Rohl). Alena shows up at Felicity’s apartment because she needs her help in stopping Cayden James, who is apparently planning something so terrible that it will result in the death of at least 4 percent of the population. (To put that in perspective, that’s double the amount of people who disappeared in the Sudden Departure on The Leftovers.) Obviously, Felicity questions Alena’s motives, but Alena says she’s a hacktivist and Cayden is crossing the line. Oliver shows up right as Felicity and Alena head out to get what they need to stop Cayden; he offers to join them, but Felicity says they don’t need his help.
Felicity and Alena head to some club, which looks awful, in order to secure something called a ghost drive. What does it do? No idea and it’s not important. What is important is the guy who has it, Amnesiac, suspects Felicity and Alena are narcs and has his men apprehend them. Unfortunately, a masked man bursts into the club and knocks out all of the guards. Surprise — it’s Oliver, who couldn’t resist his overprotective impulse and got worried when he saw Amnesiac’s men take them away. Felicity is justifiably annoyed; it was her turn to protect him. She didn’t want him involved because the FBI is tailing him. Nevertheless, Felicity gets the ghost drives she needs, and once Alena comes to, they head off to Helix’s old lair to gain access to the technology Cayden built and stop him. (Next: Cayden James menacingly enters stage left)