Spoilers ahead for “Code of Silence,” the latest episode of Arrow!
The latest episode of Arrow did a solid job of keeping the plot rolling, though it was really that final scene that pushed things into new territory. But that’s not to say it didn’t have some cool things to offer.
The rundown: “Code of Silence” introduced the HIVE demolition team, tasked with blowing up a bunch of buildings in Star City, and brought the long-awaited mayoral debate between Oliver Queen and Darhk’s wife (who is running under an assumed name). It also brought Malcolm Merlyn into the fold with Darhk’s forces, as the final scene revealed Darhk has already kidnapped Oliver’s secret son, William. Yeah, the good stuff is probably coming next week.
Vote Oliver Queen
After hanging around the narrative fringes for much of the season, Oliver’s mayoral campaign was a piece of the A-story this week, as the long-awaited mayoral debate finally arrived. Oh, it was also under a bomb threat from HIVE forces, because apparently a mayoral debate isn’t interesting enough for a superhero show. We also got to see Oliver doing some debate prep, which at least helps make this political run more believable.
But I gotta ask — am I the only one who actually wanted to see a few minutes of the debate? Sure, real politics don’t really fit into the style of the show, but with the future of Star City such a major component of the season, why not show us a scene or two of it actually up for debate? We’re later told that Oliver dominated the debate (apparently) — but they really should’ve showed a bit of that political acumen in action. If the real-life Republican debates this year have taught us anything, it’s that political debates can be as exciting and insane as anything else on TV.
HIVE is just blowing crap up now
The next phase of HIVE’s mysterious master plan apparently calls for a team of demolition experts (thank you Andy Diggle for the intel!), who are introduced blowing up a building in an attempt to take out Capt. Lance (it seems that loose end finally needs to be tied). This makes for a very cool action scene, loaded with practical effects, as Lance and Laurel navigate their way through the collapsing building looking for an escape.
But it begs the question — why go to such elaborate lengths to take out Lance? It’s implied that HIVE doesn’t want to do something as high-profile as just shoot and kill a police captain. But isn’t this the same organization that sent a team of hitmen with machine guns to take out a mayoral candidate earlier this season? If you want to do a cool building demolition scene, that’s fine, just maybe do a slightly better job selling the point of it all.
Though it’s worth noting: The attack on the debate venue made more sense, as it would’ve had the political effect of making Darhk’s wife a sympathetic figure. So maybe the attack on Lance was a dry run before the bigger attack? But, if that were the case, wouldn’t that only serve to put authorities on alert that some nuts are blowing up buildings? Maybe I’m just thinking about this too hard.
Capt. Lance isn’t good with secrets
Speaking of Capt. Lance, he got a chance to keep up with his own big secret this week, and gained a newfound respect for Oliver’s dilemma and dual identity. In an effort to keep Felicity’s mother safe, he tells her they need to take a break from their burgeoning romantic relationship, because he’s afraid it might put her in the crosshairs. To that end, he tries to keep her in the dark about the whole thing, and makes up some weak sauce story about owing cash to a bookie. Surprise: It doesn’t work.
Thankfully, he sees the error of his ways by episode’s end, and comes out with the truth. It was a nice mini-arc for Lance, and gave him some much-needed perspective for all the things he bashed Oliver for over the past several seasons. Lucky for him, he figured out the futility in trying to push away the people he loves a whole lot faster than Oliver.
Oliver’s secret son is not so secret anymore
This is the big one. Last week’s big cliffhanger saw the spurned Malcolm Merlyn reveal the existence of Oliver’s son to Damien Darhk, and the Big Bad did not wait long to take advantage of this juicy new leverage. As Thea stumbles onto the truth about William, Oliver comes clean, as she provides some nice encouragement that he’s making the right (albeit hard) decision to keep him a secret.
Yeah, that’s not going to last long. The closing scene reveals Darhk already has William, and is keeping him at his home. Interestingly, he introduces the boy as a houseguest, and lets his young daughter make friends with this new potential playmate. They’ve been setting this story up for a while now, and it’s finally coming to a head in a big way next week.
Felicity might be able to walk again!
We were wondering exactly how long Felicity would actually remain in a wheelchair, and the brilliant Curtis Holt seems to have given us the answer this week. Curtis has been burning the midnight oil at Palmer Technologies, and now we know why: He’s been making a McGuffin that could let Felicity walk by the time her wedding day comes around, meaning she could start transitioning out of the wheelchair as early as next week.
It didn’t take a genius to guess they wouldn’t leave Felicity in the wheelchair forever, and the past few episodes really have done a solid job of exploring how the injury has affected her life and work. Considering they’ve used mystical McGuffins to solve the past few big problems on Arrow, and using science this time around is a nice move for Felicity. It’ll be interesting to see where this one goes next.
Did you catch that? Lyla is apparently the new head of ARGUS, as we learn with a throwaway line from Diggle. It seemed like they’d be going this route after the shocking death of Amanda Waller a few weeks ago, and now it’s confirmed. So, look for more ARGUS in the future (probably).
Go Diggle! Oliver usually gets the cool fights, but Diggle took the top prize this week. His fight with the hammer-wielding HIVE agent was an awesome change of pace, as was that nifty anti-magnet he used in the second face-off.
Latest odds on the mystery grave: Phew, this is a tough one. Obviously, they’re leading us to believe William could definitely be in that flash-forward grave, and that’s a possibility. But, we’ve also now seen Dhark going after Lance, so his odds have increased (along with Felicity’s mother, who could still get caught in that cross fire). Oh, and with Merlyn now wrapped up in Dhark’s gang, you just know he’ll play some key role in the insanity.
Next week: Dhark plays the William-card, as Oliver’s secret finally comes out. Felicity will know! Oliver will also be getting an assist from the live action Vixen!