And we’re back, Arrowheads! Welcome to another thrilling episode of Arrow! Last week, things ended on a pretty sour note with the nuking of a small city, which caused Damien Darhk to grow even more powerful. Not to mention the absence of Thea, who’s still trapped in Darhk’s Arc. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in and see how our band of vigilantes figures this mess out!
We pick up right where we left off, with Oliver and Dig confronting Darhk in the Nexus Chamber. Unfortunately, after the bombing of Havenrock, Darhk is virtually unstoppable, flicking them aside like annoying flies as he explains why his Genesis plan is totally valid. He tells him of his plans to regain control of Rubicon, letting the two of them live long enough to experience Armageddon.
Meanwhile, in the Arc, Thea sits crying over Alex’s dead body. Malcolm shows up and notices that Machin’s body is gone, and assumes Thea had something to do with it. He has his soldiers take her captive. Back in Star City, Felicity is grieving over the loss of lives in Havenrock when Curtis shows up. She introduces him to her father and they explain the Rubicon situation. While Curtis agrees to help, Felicity gets a text from Thea, stating that she’s trapped by H.I.V.E, and leaves to tell Oliver.
Speak of the devil, Darhk and Ruve brainstorm ways to regain control of Rubicon from Felicity and Kuttler. Enter Cooper Seldon—if you don’t remember, he was Felicity’s very hot but super evil college ex—who’s been hired by Darhk to help with the hacking. Down in the Arrow Cave, Felicity tells the team about Thea’s text and tracks the location. Oliver and Dig head off to get her, leaving Lance in charge of calming the city.
In a flashback, Taiana stresses about the effects of the idol but Oliver tells her not to worry. They’re confronted by soldiers and Taiana is shot. Of course, with the idol’s power, she’s unaffected. Oliver shoots the two soldiers and Taiana draws their powers, stating that she now knows why Reiter sought the idol’s power.
In the Arc, Malcolm warns Thea that if she causes any problems, especially with Machin on the loose, he’ll have to force her to comply. At the same time, Oliver and Dig arrive at her location to find—nothing. Finally they deduce that she’s underground and blow their way in. Elsewhere, Ruve confronts Malcolm about Machin’s presence and tells him to handle the Oliver situation himself. Dig and Oliver are shocked to find a small city instead of a tiny lair. (Side note: Did anyone else catch that “Mount Weather” shout-out to The 100? It’s actually a little alarming considering the impending nuclear destruction, right?)
Felicity gets a 911 text from Curtis and returns to find her parents arguing. Felicity catches her mother up on the situation and finally tells her that she works with the Green Arrow. Donna’s upset that she’s been lied to for 3 years but leaves them to work, with Curtis eagerly fangirling on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, Oliver and Dig case the underground neighborhood. The two split up to search for Thea, with Oliver finding her first. He shoots his way in, but unfortunately Thea’s been “persuaded” and holds Oliver at gunpoint. Malcolm comes in and taunts Oliver for not killing him when he had the chance. Enter Dig, guns blazing. He manages to take down Malcolm and the guards, but Thea flees.
Oliver and Dig are pursued by guards and forced to fight their way through the city. Elsewhere, Cooper continues his hacking efforts. Oliver and Dig break into a house, where they find a terrified family. Oliver urges the family to help him find his sister but Ruve comes on the news and declares a citywide manhunt for the two.
In another flashback, Taiana is hungry for more power from the idol. She tells Oliver that the idol has given her the strength to free her home but Oliver urges her to stay and help the captives on the island, at the very least, to honor her brother’s memory.
Back in the present, Machin hides out in H.I.V.E. headquarters. In Star City, Curtis suggests that they overload Rubicon with too many access requests, causing Rubicon to shut itself down. Kuttler is against this plan but Donna tells him to let them try. Of course, this causes another parental argument. Cooper comes over her system and tells Felicity that, once again, she’s lost. He shuts their system down using Felicity’s own virus and sends electrical surges to their IT. Thankfully, Felicity and Curtis use the surges against him, causing Rubicon to lock itself out.
Kuttler tells Felicity that he’s proud of her and she thanks him, calling him dad. Donna is clearly bothered by their bonding and walks out. Back in the Arc, Oliver and Dig hide out in the house, despite the family’s protests. The father reveals that they’re there by their own free will. They believe that Darhk will actually save the city.
Back on the island, Oliver and Taiana confront the soldiers, with Taiana drawing power from every kill. They find a captive, nearly dead and Oliver wants to save him. Taiana, still mad with power, has other ideas. In the present, Felicity talks to Donna about her father. Donna tells Felicity that her father didn’t leave them, they left him. She apologizes for lying to her and they hug it out.
Back underground, Oliver wonders if Darhk has a point about the state of the world. The soldiers ambush the house and Dig stays to fight while Oliver leaves to find Thea. Unfortunately, she finds him first and they fight. Oliver tells her to fight through the drugs and not shoot him. Thankfully, it turns out Thea’s stronger than any drug and she and Oliver head inside to help Dig fight off Malcolm. Thea tells Malcolm that if he drugs her again, she’ll kill him.
Machin hacks the intercom system and reveals that he has Ruve and her daughter captive. He gives Darhk 20 minutes to save his wife and daughter and tells him that a minute later, he’s going to blow the neighborhood up. Team Arrow and Malcolm agree to temporarily join forces to stop Machin. Oliver urges Malcolm to evacuate the city but Malcolm tells him that their world won’t be around much longer. The team heads off to try and stop Machin, despite Malcolm’s protest.
In another flashback, Oliver tells Taiana that he can’t let her kill the captive. He tells her that the idol is warping her brain. She knocks him out of the way and snaps the captive’s neck. Down in the Arc, Thea and Oliver confront Machin. He tells them that the place is rigged to blow and uses one of Oliver’s arrows to prove his point. He stabs Ruve and triggers an explosive. Oliver manages to save Darhk’s daughter but Ruve is trapped under rubble. Malcolm evacuates the Arc as it begins to collapse.
Oliver tells Felicity that they all survived but that the city still needs saving. In the final flashback of the episode, Oliver keeps the idol from Taiana, but Reiter shows up to take it from them both. In the present, Malcolm tells Darhk that his plan is essentially dead. Rubicon is offline and their safe place has been destroyed. Darhk says that he still wants to watch the world burn.
Meanwhile, Donna tells Kuttler to leave and never come back. She tells him that he hasn’t changed and that she doesn’t want him near their daughter. She says that if he cares about her, he’ll walk away. Felicity tells Curtis about her family’s situation, stating that he father would have eventually gone back to his criminal ways, had he been allowed to stay. Curtis tells her that her parents sound an awful lot like her and Oliver. Donna comes in to tell Felicity that her father is gone. But before they can talk about it, Darhk comes in and asks Felicity for a favor. She tells him to go to hell and he ominously ends by stating that he’d rather bring hell to them.
Wow! A lot took place in this episode. Things I’m happy about: Thea is back (yay!), Felicity bonding with Papa Kuttler, Ruve is dead (grim but still pleasing), and Rubicon is offline. Not to mention, any episode with this much Curtis is already awesome! Things I’m unhappy about: Donna making Kuttler leave and Darhk asking Felicity for help. Please don’t make her help end the world! She’ll never recover from that! Well… I guess no one would recover from that… but still! In any case, I’m seriously looking forward to next week’s finale. Is it Wednesday yet?
Until next week, Arrowheads. And if you’re just as overwhelmed by this episode’s events as I am, feel free to purge in the comments!