Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 16 - Checkmate

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.




Plot

Oliver learns the truth of who is behind Prometheus's mask but will that help him to save Susan Williams? Meanwhile, Felicity finds that the hacker group Helix won't help her anymore until she starts doing some favors for them.

In the flashback, Oliver reveals his new identity to Anatoly as they plot how to take down Gregor and his captains with an army of three men.


Influences

The comics of Dennis O'Neil (presence of Talia Al Ghul, the opening sequence in the dojo) and the I Am The Night episode of Batman: The Animated Series (Oliver has a similar tantrum to one Batman has where he destroys part of his lair in the wake of a police officer ally being shot.)


Performances

The chemistry between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards is as strong as ever.


Artistry

The opening fight scene where Oliver fights all of Talia's students is brilliantly choreographed and well filmed.


Trivia

It is confirmed that the Talia who trained Oliver in Russia is Talia Al Ghul. In the comics, Talia Al Ghul is Ra's Al Ghul's most recent child - one he sought to marry off to a worthy male heir. She first appeared in Detective Comics #411 (May 1971). 

Talia confirms that she had a disagreement with her father and broke away to form her own clan of assassins. This occurred in the comics as well, following the events of the story Batman: Legacy. There, Talia abandoned her father after he attempted to force her to marry the villain Bane and took up a position managing Lex Corp after Lex Luthor was elected President of the USA. She would later take control of the League of Assassins, following a war for control of the organization after her father's death. She also established another group - Leviathan - purely for the purpose of fighting Batman.


Technobabble

Helix has 3-D nano-electrics designed to interface with a neural network. They stole the prototype from Palmer Tech.

Helix has a giant monitor showing multiple real-time feeds from every cell phone camera in the world, running through a pattern-recognition algorithm. According to Felicity, this is more complex than anything the NSA has in the DCTVU.

The T-spheres are capable of detecting resonance frequencies.

Oliver keeps a hand-held flash-bang in his quiver for emergency escapes.

Felicity hacks a DPS drone, feeds the receiver false information and then spoofs the GPS system.

Curtis has also programmed the T-Sphers to act as independent search drones.

Oliver has a camera capable of being snaked under a sealed door that broadcasts to a small monitor on his wrist. This allows him to spy the C-4 trap that is rigged to go off if the door is opened.

The T-spheres are capable of generating sufficient force to break through a solid wall.


Dialogue Triumphs

Oliver: One of your former students is trying to kill me.
Talia: Oh, he doesn't want to kill you, Oliver. He means to destroy you utterly.
Oliver: (in realization) You knew!  If you knew, then why would you train him? Why wouldn't you warn me?!
Talia: Two years ago he sought me out. He'd already learned much about you. He's a man of remarkable capacity-
Oliver: Talia, enough! If you knew what he wanted, then why would you train him?!
Talia: You killed his father. And I helped him in his pursuit of vengeance because by then you'd killed mine!
(Oliver just stares at her, stunned.)
Talia: I never told you my full name, did I?
Oliver: No, you didn't.
Talia: It is Talia Al Ghul.
(Oliver exhales slowly.)Oliver: Ra's Al Ghul was your father.
Talia: Yes. My father and I came to be at odds, so I forged by own path. (pauses) But he was still my father when you put a sword through his chest!
Oliver: So that's why you're not going to help me? That's why you won't tell me who this Prometheus is?
Talia: Of course I will, Oliver. Because I want you to suffer. He calls himself... Adrian Chase.

(Adrian Chase is walking to his car. An arrow suddenly passes him and shatters the driver's side window. He stops dead as Green Arrow emerges from behind him, drawing another arrow.)
Chase: Gonna try it this way now? (turns to face Green Arrow) I gotta tell you, I don't know how that mask is going to play here. Especially since the city's not too fond of your alter ego these days.
Green Arrow: I'll give them The Throwing Star Killer. See how they feel.
Chase: Wait, that's your big plan?  Arresting me?  Oh, man - that's a bit of a letdown, I have to say.
Green Arrow: (lowering his bow) Well, I'm not gonna kill you. If only because that's what you want me to do.
Chase: But you've done everything I've wanted so far. Did you really think I'd let all this end in a parking garage?
Green Arrow: What did you do?!
Chase: I gave your girlfriend an exclusive. (pauses) Wait - are you still dating Susan Williams? I gotta tell you, buddy, it's been a little hard to keep track.
Green Arrow: What did you to do her?!
Chase: She's fine. Don't worry. As long as I'm around to make sure she gets some food and water. Starvation and dehydration? Terrible way to go. Bottom line - I die, she dies. I don't make it back to her in time? She dies. Now, you could try torturing me for her location. We both know what you're capable of in that department. But... I think that we both know what I'm capable of. So Ollie?  Who do you think will last longer? Susan or me? (sighs happily) Ohhhhhh, I'm ten steps ahead and you don't even know what game we're playing yet!
(Chase laughs as he gets in his car.)

Felicity: I'm... sorry.
Oliver: I'm not angry. You don't... you don't work for me. I'm worried.
Felicity: Right. Of course! For all you know, Prometheus could have...
Oliver: Not... I'm worried about you.
Felicity: ...Oh.
Oliver: Because you're into something. And you don't want to tell anyone about it. Or maybe you just don't want to tell me? I think we can both agree that keeping secrets doesn't end well. So..
Felicity: Yeah. You're right. It's just... right now's not really a good time with everything going on. You just have to trust me on this one, ok?
Oliver: Okay.

(Anatoly enters the room to find Oliver changing into his Hood costume.)
Abatoly: There you are. Viktor has confirmed Gregor's location. But tell me, why did you want him gone? And... why are you playing Robin Hood?
Oliver: I met a woman. She taught me how to give my darkness an identity so that it doesn't consume me.
Anatoly: And you believed her? (mutters in Russian) Oliver... whatever you think is inside you ... is inside you. You cannot name it like that and keep it apart from you.
Oliver: This woman's taught me differently.
Anatoly: This woman does not know what she is talking about. And if you are not careful, Oliver, one day she will be the source of your greatest pain.

Ollie: Me and my team are gonna find her. And when we do - the second that we do - I'm going to put an arrow right through your heart.
Chase: You do realize how impotent you sound right now, right?
Ollie: You think this is a game? (grabs Chase by the lapels) I don't feel like playing anymore.
Chase: But you don't have a choice, Oliver. If you kill me, you kill Susan. And she will be as dead as your mother. As Tommy. As Shado. As Laurel. As your friend Pike here, probably. All dead because of you. So go ahead. Kill me. Let's find out how much more loss you can take. Because I don't think it's much. I think you're one loss away from being destroooooyed...
(Ollie slowly lets go of Chase.)
Chase: I guess we'll have to find another way to handle this then. You see, that's the beautiful thing about all of this, Oliver. If you kill me, you'll only really going to be killing yourself.

(The Hood shoots one of the Bratva guards. As his partner turns to see what happened, Anatoly comes up behind him and snaps his neck. The Hood nods.)
The Hood: (in the deep voice Oliver uses as The Hood)
Thanks for the assist.
Anatoly: What is thing you are doing with your voice?

(Prometheus removes his mask.)
Prometheus: I'm glad Talia told you. I prefer it this way. Face to face. There's an honesty to it.
Green Arrow: Well, honestly? I'm going to keep both of us here until this building comes down on us.
Prometheus: Then you'd be dead
Green Arrow: So would you.
Prometheus: Really? You really think I'd let that happen, Oliver?
(Prometheus flips a switch on his detonator. The bombs are all deactivated.)
Prometheus: Remember - I'm always ten steps ahead of you.
Green Arrow: You know...if that were true...you probably would have seen this coming.
(Spartan walks around the corner with a horrified Doris Chase.)
Prometheus: I told you Oliver - I'm not going to kill you... and you can't kill me!
Green Arrow: Yes, Adrian! Yes I can!
(Green Arrow is about to move in when an arrow strikes him in the back of the leg. He falls down and turns to see Talia Al Ghul, glaring at him, bow in hand, as he falls unconscious.)


Continuity

Talia confirms that she is the daughter of Ra's Al Ghul and that she trained Prometheus, in part, as revenge for Oliver Queen killing her father.

Talia says that Prometheus came to her about two years earlier, shortly after Oliver killed Ra's Al Ghul.

Talia tells Oliver Prometheus' identity, saying that she wants him to suffer.

Oliver finds out that Adrian Chase is Prometheus.

Thea, Lyla and John Junior are confirmed to be safe.

Curtis and Dinah travel to Opal City to check out Prometheus' mother. They discover her house abandoned, save for a monitor showing a 30-second clip of Prometheus menacing Susan Williams.

Felicity discovers that Adrian Chase's real name is Simon Morrison and that his mother's name - Amanda Westfield - was an alias.

Oliver gives the evidence of Adrian Chase being an alias to Captain Pike. He is later stabbed by some random mugger outside of police headquarters.

Adrian Chase stabs his wife after she finds out he is Prometheus.

Talia ambushes Green Arrow, shooting him when his back is turned as he fights Prometheus.

Susan Williams is able to escape Prometheus' base.

Doris Chase dies en route to the hospital.



Location

An unnamed monastery in an unnamed mountain range.
Prometheus' mother's house in Opal City.


The Fridge Factor

Susan Williams - a secondary villain for most of the season - is reduced to the role of girl hostage.

Doris Chase is killed with very little sense of ceremony.


The Bottom Line

A solid episode, despite it giving the ensemble little to do for most of its run-time. For all the talk of Oliver's teammates being his strength, this episode is heavily focused on the one hero vs. the one villain and everything else is surplus to requirements.

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