Spoilers ahead for "Dangerous Liaisons," the latest episode of The CW's Arrow!
The short version: Felicity's allegiance to Helix is tested, as the hackers try to take on Argus to free their imprisoned leader. Felicity sides with Helix, with Oliver and Team Arrow stuck in the middle questioning her methods. Felicity gets the tracking tech to find Prometheus, only to realize he's in the Arrow Cave and setting off a bomb. Doh.
The good: Felicity faces a real crisis, Rene's family story, Diggle is torn
The Helix story has been brewing in the background for a while, but it finally came to a head this week. With the hacking group promising a magic tracking algorithm that can find Prometheus anywhere, Felicity goes all in to help Helix break into Argus and rescue the group's founder — literally stepping between a gun-toting Oliver as he tries to apprehend Helix's team. It was a bold move for Felicity, and though they only really scratched the surface of it here, it's a story of how she's grown into someone capable of making tough (and brutal) decisions all on her own. Now? She's going toe to toe with Oliver, and actually getting the upper hand.
Dating back to her pulling the trigger to reroute the nuke that destroyed Monument Point (speaking of which, is Ragman ever coming back? That guy was cool), Felicity has been learning a whole lot from Oliver's moral ambiguity over the years. In "Dangerous Liaisons," she finally owns the person she's become (for better or worse) but literally working against the team to do things the way she thinks is right. Even better, they never actually answer the question. Did Felicity go too far, or simply do what's needed to find Chase? Everyone else can blur the line to do what they believe is right, so why not Felicity?
The subplot surrounding Rene's estranged daughter has been left dangling for a while, but it got some focus this week when Quentin decides to insert himself into the equation to try and get Rene fired up to reconnect with his daughter. Considering everything Quentin has been through with his own girls, it's hard to argue when the dude drops some knowledge. We learn Rena believes he doesn't deserve his daughter, which could be an interesting story, but c'mon. He dresses up in a costume and literally tries to right wrongs every night. This is a guy with moral potential, people. The reunion is a bit shaky, but it seemed to push Rena into trying to actually get his daughter back. So, progress.
The shadiness of Argus hit home for Diggle, who has to try and reconcile the fact that this illegal black site, and holding of this hacker with no trial or charges, is all being perpetrated by his wife. It's been a slow evolution, but Lyla is slowly starting to become her own version of Amanda Waller. At first, it seemed she might drag Argus into the world of accountability under a new regime. But now? She's running plays straight out of Waller's playbook, and it looks like it could tear their marriage apart (again). As always, David Ramsey is lights out playing this story.
Last but not least: Getting a glimpse of how the reveal of Chase's secret identity played out in Star City was fascinating, and I'd really have liked to see more of it. We get some peeks thanks to Oliver's brief press conference, and Quentin meeting with a victim's family. It's rare we get to see how these twists and turns affect the community at large, but with Oliver being mayor, it's the perfect window into a new perspective. A district attorney who turns out to be a serial killer? That's one heck of a story, and it was refreshing to see Star City going bonkers over it.
The bad: The Helix story seemed to fizzle (at least for now)
It's likely just for now, but after all that set-up, the Helix story seems to almost immediately slide back onto the back burner by the time this episode comes to an end. The hackers freeze out Felicity after bailing out their mysterious leader, and she seems to accept that. But, she at least made it out with the tracking code … which didn't really help much once the EMP bomb went off in her face. But still. We still don't really know where they're going with this Helix story, but here's hoping it's somewhere, and not just a red herring subplot to burn some episodes off the count.
So, what is Chase's end game at this point? He's on the run, but apparently still taking shots at Oliver. Is it just good, old-fashioned revenge now? He's just out for blood? Also, we want Deathstroke. Now-ish, please.
What's next: That explosion seems to have trapped Felicity and Oliver in the Arrow Cave, while also knocking out Felicity's implant that allows her to walk (remember, she's still technically handicapped from the waist down). So … a bottle episode! With rubble!