HIVE makes their move against Team Arrow and Quentin Lance, bringing in some outside muscle in the form of The Demolition Team. This causes some tension between Quentin and Donna Smoak, as he lies to her about why he has to go into hiding to try and protect her. Meanwhile, Oliver prepares for his first debate with Ruve Adams and wonders whether or not he should, with his wedding to Felicity approaching, tell her the truth about his illegitimate son... right before Thea uncovers the truth herself!
In the flashbacks, Oliver must win the trust of Baron Reiter's slaves. And only one thing will accomplish that - killing the overseer Conklin!
Green Arrow: Year One (the flashback sequences on Lian Yu), the Green Arrow comics of Elliot S! Maggin (the plot of Oliver Queen running for mayor and various corrupt forces working against him), The Empire Strikes Back (Darhk kills a man from a great distance while observing him through a monitor), the original story of Aladdin (Reiter's story of a hidden place only one chosen of the gods may enter to retrieve a magic item is reminiscent of the cave holding the lamp), Gail Simone's New 52 run on Batgirl (the implant Curtis develops is similar to what was used to enable Barbara Gordon to walk again in the comics) and the writings of Nietzsche (Taiana's line about needing monsters to fight monsters contradicts one of Nietzsche's most famous sayings, "Battle not with monsters, lest you become a monster.")
Given how thoroughly screwed up her own life was by people keeping secrets from her, Thea should be about the last person justifying Samantha's unreasonable request that Ollie not tell even his own family or the woman he loves about his son. Yes, keeping William a secret is keeping him safe, but there's no good reason - especially with Thea having figured out the secret - to try and keep Felicity in the dark. Hell, Felicity could probably do a lot to hide the clues that Thea followed to figure out the truth!
After all the hype regarding the debate between Ruve Adams and Oliver, why aren't we allowed to see the debate or at least see a clip of it? Admittedly watching Ollie engage in a mental/verbal battle may not be as exciting as watching him pummel the villain-of-the-week, but it still seems like a heck of a Chekov's Gun to leave on the wall after all the time focusing on his preparing for the debate!
The action sequences for this episode are amazing, even by the standards of this show. From the multi-vehicle chase sequence at the start of the episode, through all of the fight scenes and up until the final fight between Team Arrow and The Demolition Team, everything is well-blocked and well-directed.
The special effects used for the destruction of the buildings by The Demolition Team are also great.
This episode sees the return of Milo Armitage as part of HIVE's command staff. In the comics, Milo Armitage was the step-father and frequent enemy of the second Green Arrow, Connor Hawke.
A 602 is the police code for Breaking and Entering.
The Demolition Team is a mercenary group from the DC Comics universe, first appearing in Green Lantern #176. Armed with high-tech weaponry based on construction equipment, the team came into conflict with Hal Jordan after they were hired by a corrupt congressman to destroy the Los Angeles branch of Ferris Aircraft.
The Demolition Team includes Hardhat (a former boxer with a special helmet and harness that increases his strength and durability), Jackhammer (a former oil-rig worker, armed with a high-powered jackhammer), Scoopshovel (a former professional jai-alai player, with a hydraulic arm), Steamroller (a former motorcycle stunt driver who drove a high-speed, compact steam-roller) and Rosie - the team leader - who was armed with a high-power rivet gun.
The DCTVU Demolition Team are a mercenary group made of three former GRU, IRA and MOSSAD agents who were experts in precision demolitions. Unlike their comic book counterparts, they do not used specialized weaponry. Jack uses a sledgehammer rather than a jackhammer and Rosie uses a high-power nail-gun rather than a rivet gun. The third member, Hardhat, does not wear a hard hat and seems to be the team's explosives expert.
In another nod to Curtis' eventual role on the show, Oliver calls him "terrific" in response to his invention that will cure Felicity's paralysis. Curtis Holt is, of course, based on the superhero Michael Holt a.k.a. Mister Terrific.
The Demolition Team make use of a specialized acid used to weaken building foundations.
John has access to some kind of technology that allows him to repel Jackhammer's sledge-hammer strikes, forcing the hammer-head away from him - perhaps some kind of magnetic force-field?
Curtis' wedding gift to Felicity and Oliver is an implantable bio-stimulant - one that, coupled with Palmer Technologies new power cell, should allow a paralyzed person to walk after the bio-stimulant is implanted in their spine.
(As he is getting ready to go change into costume in order to follow Darhk's wife.)
Ollie: Are you going to be alright in here?
Felicity: Oh yeah! Great Wi-Fi.
Taiana: Aside from my brother, have you killed before?
Oliver: Yeah. There was a man in Hong Kong. And I did terrible things to him. And that made me a monster.
Taiana: And you're afraid killing Conklin will make you into this monster again?
Oliver: (pauses) Yeah.
Taiana: Good. It takes a monster to fight monsters.
Felicity: You know, the first time we met? The first thing you asked me was pull data off a damaged laptop. It's kind of romantic.
(Oliver is changing into a nice suit and tie in the Arrow Cave. Quentin enters.)
Quentin: Well, that's not your typical night time suit.
Oliver: Well, you're the reason I'm wearing it. Inspiring me to save the city in the light of day.
Quentin: (scoffing) Fine inspiration I turned out to be, hiding down here in the dark.
Oliver: For your protection. You haven't told Donna, have you?
Quentin: No. (sighs) How you kept this up for four years, huh? This double life? These secrets? Lying? I mean...
Oliver: I'm trying not to live that way anymore. (sighs) Trying.
Quentin: You know, in AA, we say you're only as sick as the secrets you keep. You're looking pretty healthy these days. Let's just hope I can get back to that place with Donna.
Oliver: For what it's worth, you're in a tough spot and you're trying to keep her safe. You know, sometimes a lie isn't wrong when it's for the good of someone you love.
Oliver: Can you hack the fire alarm? We need to evacuate the building.
Felicity: (typing furiously on her phone) It's an old system. It might take me a minute.
(Suddenly, the fire alarm goes off. Felicity and Olvier look up to see Thea standing next to an emergency fire alarm switch.)
Thea: Yeah. I learned that back in high school.
(whispering to Ruve Adams as the crowd applauds as they enter the debate)
Oliver: That's nice applause. It's enough to bring the house down. (grinning) Almost.
Reiter: I need you alive, Mr. Queen, but there are different forms of alive. Don't test me again.
(In response to the news that Curtis has developed a bio-stimulant that can cure Felicity's paralysis.)
Oliver: Curtis, you're terrific.
Ollie makes reference to Anarky's attack on Damien Darhk's family (410), HIVE's attack on other mayoral candidates (402) and their attempts to take over the Queen Campaign (407).
HIVE's plan has entered Phase Four.
Phase Five if HIVE's plan requires their controlling City Hall.
Malcolm Merlyn is now part of HIVE or is, at least, being allowed to sit in at their meetings.
Arms dealer Milo Armitage - last mentioned in 303 and last seen in 212 - is part of HIVE.
Thea discovers the check that Moira Queen wrote to Samantha Clayton in the flashbacks for 220.
Lyla Michaels is apparently now the head of ARGUS in the wake of Amanda Waller's death in 411.
In the flashback, Oliver refers to torturing General Shrieve in 323.
Felicity refers to the encrypted cel phones used by HIVE, one of which Merlyn gave her in 409.
Felicity makes reference to 103 and how the first time Oliver met her he asked her to pull information off of a damaged laptop.
Oliver names Quentin Lance as his inspiration for running for mayor and quotes Quentin's speech to him about saving the city in the light of day from 402.
Oliver is agreed to have won the debate by most pundits afterward.
Laura Hoffman - Felicity and Ollie's neighbor from Ivy Town - appears at the party at the end.
In the final scene, we find out that Damien Darhk has kidnapped William .
The Bottom Line
A mixed bag, once again. The script and the villains-of-the-week are unusually weak with very little of the wit we've seen this season. Despite this, the cast manage to sell everything, though there's little emotional investment in the Quentin/Donna romance given how little time they've been given over the season. And how anyone on this show can possibly think keeping secrets from their loved ones won't blow up in their face is beyond me at this point. That being said, the action sequences here are some of the best the show has ever seen and the episode is, on the whole, enjoyable.