Arrow recap: Oliver and Emiko hit some speed bumps on their first team-up
After several weeks off the air, Arrow is finally back — and with quite the twisty episode. In case you forgot, the last episode dropped several big developments on us. First, Curtis made the very smart decision to leave Star City in favor of a (hopefully) calmer life in Washington D.C. (and thus Echo Kellum left the show…for now). Secondly, we all found out that Mia is actually Felicity and Oliver’s daughter, a.k.a. William’s half-sister and Felicity discovered she was pregnant in the present-day.
While tonight’s episode “Brothers & Sisters” does touch on Curtis’ departure a couple of times, it’s more concerned with that latter development. In fact, the episode digs into Felicity’s anxiety over becoming a mother and starts to explore William and Mia’s dynamic, as well as Oliver and Emiko’s.
The hour’s concern with Felicity’s fears about bringing a child into this crazy begins from minute one. “Brothers & Sisters” opens with Felicity waking up in a cold sweat after having a nightmare about Diaz chasing her through the forest and threatening her loved ones, which is the same kind of dream Oliver had at the beginning of the season. Of course, her anxiety is compounded when Diggle finally comes clean about the Ghost Initiative and Diaz’s place in it, thus ruining the impromptu OTA moment she, Oliver, and Diggle were having. Right after she finds out about the Not Suicide Squad, Felicity texts Laurel that their plan to kill Diaz is back on.
Laurel shows up at Felicity’s apartment and tries to talk her out of her plan because she likes being a D.A. and is worried about the consequences. Laurel also deduces that Felicity is pregnant, and becomes the first person that Felicity tells since she still hasn’t told Oliver. But the friendship bonding doesn’t stop there. Laurel eventually returns to the apartment with groceries for her new bestie and gives her the pep talk she needs. ”There will always be another Diaz. You just need the faith that you can handle the next one, and the one after that, and the one after that,” says Laurel, explaining that Felicity shouldn’t kill him out of fear.
The development of Felicity and Laurel’s friendship has been one of the best parts of the season, if only because I don’t think we’ve ever had anything like this on the show. I could be wrong, but Arrow has never really given Felicity another female with whom she could bond. I don’t remember her having too many meaty scenes like this with Thea or the original Laurel. Sure, she was friendly with Alena, but their relationship didn’t have the emotional depth as the one she has with Earth-2 Laurel now. For the most part, Felicity has always been closest with Oliver and Diggle, which makes sense and is great, but this is great because female friendships are important and it further helps Felicity have a life outside of her relationship to Oliver.
While Felicity and Laurel’s relationship continues to blossom, Oliver hits a roadblock with Emiko. After Rene reads Oliver in on Emiko’s revengenda, Oliver decides the best way to earn her trust is to help her find her mother’s killer. Spoiler alert: he ends up coming on way too strong and offers unwanted advice and criticism about her knife throwing ability, arrow-making, and more.
Next: A Dante twist!
Oliver, Emiko, and Rene use an algorithm to identify Andrew Thornton as the shooter. Of course, Emiko wants to rush into the field and capture him, but Oliver forbids her from doing so because, unlike him and Rene, she’s not deputized. And of course, Emiko ignores Oliver’s commands and follows them when they break up Thornton’s shady nighttime meeting with another criminal. Emiko tries to interrogate Thornton for herself, but Oliver shuts her down, arrests Thornton, and takes him into custody. And yes, it is freaking weird to see Oliver arresting people. It stretches my willingness to suspend my disbelief.
After their confrontation, Rene helps Oliver see the errors in how he acted. However, before he makes amends with Emiko, he uses this new lesson — you know, not forcing his way on people — in his marriage. See, Diggle asks Oliver to accompany him, Lyla, and Diaz on a mission to capture Dante; however, Oliver realizes he needs to check with Felicity first. During their conversation, he tells Felicity he knows she’s planning to kill Diaz and promises he won’t try to stop her because he realizes he doesn’t have the right. “I just want you to get closure because I want us to be able to move forward,” he says. “I have your back no matter what.” And with that, Felicity says yes to the mission and even agrees to accompany him on it.
So, Oliver, Felicity, Diggle, Lyla, and Diaz head to an embassy where Dante is supposed to be meeting with a princess from a foreign country who is staging a coup. To their surprise, Director Bell is also at meeting, which means he’s one of Dante’s sources in A.R.G.U.S. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the sting goes to hell because Diaz betrays them — because of course he did! He fries the chip in his brain, tells Dante that he’s been set up, and proceeds to shoot his way out of the embassy. Unfortunately, Dante escapes in the chaos, because it looks like he’s the season’s big bad. But it’s not all bad news, because Diggle makes up for his past mistake and helps Felicity capture Diaz instead of going after Dante. And it seems as though Laurel’s talk actually helped Felicity because she decided not to kill Diaz when she got the chance.
Alas, the failed operation ends up having major consequences for Diggle and Lyla. The Pentagon, which was already trying to fire Lyla after learning about the Ghost Initiative, pushes even harder for her resignation. However, Diggle volunteers to take the blame for it all and leave A.R.G.U.S. because he realizes that Lyla can do more good there than he can.
After all of the excitement, Oliver visits Emiko and apologizes for how he acted, explaining that he was just desperate to make up for lost time. Emiko accepts his apology; however, after he leaves, she receives a visit from her “old friend” Dante, who is happy that she’s growing closer to Oliver and believes it’s time for her to go home.
When Oliver returns to the apartment, he asks Felicity why she didn’t kill Diaz. Felicity explains that she realized that their family needed a fresh start and that she wants their children — yes, this is how she breaks the pregnancy news to him — to know that they’re the most important thing to them and they’do anything for them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like William and Mia got that memo because, in the future, Mia is very bitter about Felicity’s parenting skills.
This isn’t totally surprising, but Mia isn’t interested in getting to know William or getting caught up in Dinah et al.’s superhero nonsense. In fact, she even tries to ditch them all to search for Felicity on her own. However, William follows her and opens up about his difficult relationship with Oliver and Felicity — it turns out they never kept in contact with him after he moved in with his grandparents — which convinces her to give this whole family thing a shot. William shows Mia the Rubik’s Cube Felicity left for him, and Mia uses her magic to reveal that there’s something hidden inside of it. What could it be??
Wall of Weird:
- The episode ends with someone — presumably Dante — covering Diaz in gas and setting him on fire in his cell. Wonder how the Dragon likes the fire now?
- It turns out Conner is actually Diggle’s adopted son. Mia didn’t know that, but Conner knew who she was because his father asked him to keep an eye on her.
- “What’s an answering machine?” asks Mia. LOL.