Starling City finds itself under cyber attack this week, and Felicity is the best person to deal with it. With old memories from her past being dredged up, Ms Smoak is the focus of this week’s episode (if the title didn’t give it away).
We begin with a truly spectacular opening of Oliver/Roy, Laurel/Ted, Thea/Merlyn sparring with one another. What follows is Felicity struggling to finish 5 situps, only for Ray Palmer to drop in, shortly followed by her mother. This is a fairly weighty episode on the emotional side. We learn that in her college years Felicity was a hack-tivist, and her then-boyfriend was arrested by the FBI for using a virus she wrote to wipe off 3000 student loans.
Anyhow, Felicity’s mother is a character who could well have walked out of a comedy show. It might have been better to save her for a different episode or to have introduced her sooner because the whole thing seems rather rushed.
Starling City falls under attack from cyber terrorists this time around. I’m not going to weigh in on how hacking works on television, I don’t know the first thing about it. Generally there’s plenty of jargon being thrown around, and it’s quite amusing to have the characters either ask for it to be dumbed down or managing to do so themselves. What I will complain about is the fairly predictable reveal of the villain. This plot bears striking similarity to an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, wherein which a character’s ex turned out to have “sold-out” whilst ironically accusing a character of doing the same.
There’s something farcical in the situation wherein which Oliver and friends are considering taking Diggle’s baby Sara into The Arrow hideout – “Who’s she going tell?” Diggle asks an uncomfortable Oliver when he protests taking someone not of their group into their secret base.
Speaking of secrets, Thea’s still keeping hers in spectacular form. When this situation blows up, that is not going to be pretty regardless of how it turns out. Considering all the flack Thea (still) gives Oliver for being secretive, it’s getting beyond irritating to see her dancing round the fact that her crazy dad is training her to most likely kill people. Merlyn himself only appears briefly in that opening scene I mentioned earlier, and again spying on Thea and Oliver.
Felicity does get the most emotional development of the episode. The back-story goes a long way to explaining why she is the way she is now. Oliver even asks her at one point why she never mentioned her past hacking ventures. He gets a fairly solid “Do we even know a fifth of what happened to you on that island?”. Sure, she wasn’t stranded on a deserted island, but her flashbacks reveal a whole heap of traumatic experiences (coupled with the knowledge that her imprisoned boyfriend committed suicide), it induces a sort of ‘oh, that’s why’ reaction.
Laurel makes some head way this week. Fortunately her father cares enough to not press her into telling him what’s bothering her, but pleads with her to tell someone, anyone. Ted, as it turns out, might be the right person to have told, because apparently he now knows the best way to teach her how to fight. She’s definitely still a long way off, but it’s considerably more pro-active than hitting the bottle like she spent most of last season doing so bring it on.
What’s troubling is this week’s ending scene. Throughout previous episodes, we’ve had mentions and the like that Roy hasn’t been sleeping well lately. Now we find out why: turns out he’s been having nightmares that he’s the one who killed Sara. This comes complete with dialogue from the scene that only the killer could know. The possibilities opened up by that particular threat are quite horrifying to contemplate, and will doubtless be the focus of the next episode or so.
Will Oliver find out that Thea’s lying to him? Do you think Roy killed Sara? Let us know what you think in the comments below…