Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 5, Episode 20 - Underneath

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



Plot

Prometheus bombs The Bunker, leaving Oliver and Felicity trapped underground. Worse yet, the bomb generated an EMP which has fried Felicity's spinal implant, leaving her paralyzed once again. As the two struggle to survive and the rest of Team Arrow moves to save them, John Diggle and Lyla Michaels confront the sudden strife that threatens to destroy their marriage.


Influences

The 1996 movie Daylight (people trapped underground by an explosion fight to escape.)


Goofs

Why didn't Oliver of Felicity know about the Doomsday Fail-Safe on The Bunker's generators?  If they had, couldn't they have just sat tight and waited for them to kick back on instead of trying to repower the generator as a way of escaping, thus leading to the methane link that made the generators into a death trap?


Performances

Again, the chemistry between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickard's is fantastic and the best moments of the episode involve Felicity and Ollie talking.

A close second, however, is Juliana Harkavy brief moments as Dinah Drake. Whether she's playing Den Mother to Curtis and Rene as they fight or offering John the supportive shoulder he needs as worries about where he stands with his wife, she's easily the best addition to the cast this season.


Artistry

The direction of the episode is very tense and tight, with the flashback sequences perfectly counter-balancing the action.

The script is solid, well-paced and features a lot of great dialogue with nearly every core cast member getting at least one good scene.


Trivia

Curtis named his T-Spherrs Kodo and Podo after the thieving ferrets from the 1982 movie The Beastmaster. Both he and Dinah agree that a young Marc Singer - the actor who played the titular Beastmaster, Dar, was quite helpful in discovering their respective sexual orientations.

Interestingly enough, Marc Singer played the role of General Matthew Shrieve in the third-season flashback sequences of Arrow.


Technobabble

An electromagnetic pulse or EMP is a burst of electromagnetic radiation that damages electronics.

Palmer Tech developed an advanced thermal imaging prototype which Curtis borrowed, tweaked and developed into a tool that could track down Count Vertigo.

The Bunker doors are made of Keltium - a proprietary alloy developed by the US Government to repel nuclear blasts.

Curtis says that breaking into The Bunker will require rappelling gear, acetylene torches, wide-band active field probes and tungsten-carbide drill bits.

Curtis estimates that The Bunker holds enough air to support two adults for five to six hours if they don't exert themselves.

The mainframe computer in The Bunker has a built-in cellular chip. The rewiring job Felicity and Oliver do doesn't generate enough kilowatts to jump-start it.

Since Oliver's old motorcycle is run of of a pure combustion engine, it is still working despite the EMP - meaning they can use it as a make-shift electrical generator.

Curtis determines that the EMP fried the hydraulics of The Bunker's elevator. In order to reach the manual override, they need to cut through the magnetic seals. This requires an acetylene torch and the wide-band active field probe.

Cisco developed a special epoxy spray for repairing Team Arrow's suits.

The magnetic seals of The Bunker's elevator car are made of pure titanium.

The melting point of titanium is between 1600 and 1700 degrees Celsius (1668 degrees, to be precise.)

Hydrochloric acid is strong enough to melt titanium.

The Bunker's generators have a Doomsday Scenario Fail-Safe. They are tamper-proof, in case of catastrophic attack, so nobody can stop them from turning back on. This is only a problem when the generators turning on might ignite a collection of flammable gas.. like what is currently flooding The Bunker.

The improved T-Sphere contains a hypodermic needle and can be fitted with small doses of drugs. In this case, Curtis filled it with 20 cc of adrenaline.


Dialogue Triumphs

(Curtis is checking out The Bunker entrance.)
Curtis:
No power. Whole place.
Rene: What are the chances Oliver forgot to pay his electric bill?
Curtis: Infinitesimal, considering I rigged the place so it'd be off the grid and -
(An explosion is heard in the distance.)
Curtis: - and a bomb just went off!
Rene: Not funny.
Curtis: I'm not kidding!  I heard some kind of explosion.
(Cut to Oliver, shooting explosive arrows at the welded-shut emergency exit of The Bunker.)

(Felicity is sewing Oliver's wound shut.)
Felicity:
Do you remember what were were discussing before we got EMP blasted? The fact that I back your play even when I don't agree but you don't have the same consideration for me. You didn't listen to me when I wanted to join Helix.
Oliver: With good reason.
Felicity: I could say the same thing about you a million times over. I support you. Because I trust you.
Oliver: Felicity!  I trust you.
Felicity: Really? Because the hole in your back says otherwise.

Curtis: Look, I know that he hurt you by not telling you about his son, but -
Felicity: Look. It's not about William. It's about what William represents.
Curtis: Oliver having sex with another woman?
Felicity: No. But thank you for that visual. William is symptomatic of a larger problem between Oliver and I.
Curtis: That being?
Felicity: Oliver doesn't trust me.
Curtis: (laughing) Right. The man who has put his life in your hands a couple of thousand times?
Felicity: Trusting me as Overwatch is one thing, but we're talking about his son, Curtis. His child. Oliver doesn't trust me enough to share important information and crucial information with me. What's the point of being in a relationship at all?
Curtis: I'm not going to say that Oliver Queen plays great with others...
Felicity: But?
Curtis: But he can still change that about himself.
(Felicity scoffs.)
Curtis: You know what he can't change?
Felicity: What?
Curtis: That way he looks at you.

Dinah: (listening to an arguing Rene and Curtis) I swear, those two are going to make the cutest couple one day.

(Dinah has noticed the tension between John and Lyla.)
Dinah: Let me guess - you confronted Lyla about the ARGUS black site and it didn't go too good?
John: Something like that.
Dinah: You wanna talk about it?
John: Not really.
(Dinah nods and turns around, back to the comm station.)
Dinah: Well, if you did, I'd tell you about Vinnie and me.
John: Vinnie?
Dinah: My undercover partner. On and off the job. (pauses) Working UC, we had to keep certain things from each other. And we didn't do it because we wanted to. We did it because we had to.

Felicity: Thanks again for trying things my way.
Oliver: First time for everything.
(There is a long silence.)
Oliver: Regarding Helix... you know why I didn't back your play. And you know - or you should - that it had nothing to do with a lack of trust.
Felicity: If you're going to start saying - yet again - that it's because you don't want me to be like you, than you canhold your breath. Particularly since we are running out of oxygen.
Oliver: Cayden James is a criminal -
Felicity: Cayden James is a hacker! As in -so- much less worse than The Bratva. I made the exact same trade off you did to get Chase. I picked the lesser of two evils.
Oliver: The fact that I didn't want you to do that doesn't make me a hypocrite!
Felicity: What does it make you then?
Oliver: It makes me someone who doesn't want you to... be like me.

Felicity: Okay. This may be the fumes talking but I think I have a slightly insane idea.
Oliver: How insane is slightly insane?
Felicity: Well... that depends on how you feel about setting off an explosive arrow in a room full of flammable gas.

Oliver: I'm so sorry...
Felicity: Normally, I would relish an Oliver Queen apology, but this sudden admission is making me nervous.
Oliver: You were right. I didn't have your back. But it wasn't because I don't want you to end up like me, Felicity. It was much more than that.
Felicity: Okay. Lots of blood loss with exposure to toxic gas makes you go crazy. Now we know that...
Oliver: I need you to hear this.
Felicity: I will. Later.
Oliver: I might not have a later.
Felicity: Do not talk like that!
Oliver: I need you to know the truth...
Felicity: About what?
Oliver: (blearily) I didn't have your back. It was not because of you. Or a lack of trust. It was because of me... It was because of me. I'm not the man you think I am. I'm not the man you fell in love with. I put on the hood to right my father's wrongs. But the basis of it... the.. the... foundation of it... and what you did and what Digg did and what the team did in my name... it was all based on a lie.
Felicity: What are you talking about?!
Oliver: Chase, he showed me when he held me hostage... that I didn't do what I did to be a hero. I did what I did... because there was  a part of me... a bigger part than I would like to admit... that I enjoyed it. I enjoyed killing. It's not about not trusting you... I will always trust you.... I don't trust myself.

(Felicity and Oliver are cuddling on the floor of The Bunker.)
Felicity:
Promise me you're not going to tell anyone that we had Bunker Sex. And by anyone I mean Curtis. Because he'd never look at me the same.
Oliver: (chuckling as she giggles) Are you sure? Because he had me pick-up Chinese food and then he suggested wine. I'm pretty sure he was rooting for exactly this. So... maybe he saw something that we didn't see?
Felicity: (sighs) I think Curtis watches too many Rom-Coms with Paul.
(Felicity pulls away from Ollie and sits up.)
Oliver: You okay?
Felicity: Yeah. I'm fine. It's just...
Oliver: Talk to me. What's going on?
Felicity: This was nice. You know, it was really nice? But it doesn't change things between us. We still have our problems.
Oliver: Because we never talked about our problems. We never talked about William-
Felicity: Even if there was no William, there wouldn't be an us. Because you don't trust me. I was hoping that you'd change. But you don't trust anyone. And I don't know why. You know, maybe if I knew why, things would be different. I don't even think you know why. I love you. But that is why I can't settle for anything less than your full trust.
(Felicity gathers up her blanket and stands, walking away from Oliver.)

Felicity: Oliver, you said that I don't know the kind of man that you are. I wouldn't have fallen in love with you or wanted to marry you if I didn't know exactly the kind of man that you are. Chase tortured you for a week. You're the toughest person I know. But anyone - anyone - would have admitted to being a tap-dancing flamingo after what he put you through.
Oliver: Adrian Chase didn't make me a killer.
Felicity: No. Five years in hell did that. Five years dealing with this city's worst did that. You have spent a decade dealing with horrors that most people don't even realize exist and the fact that that didn't turn you into a monster proves exactly kind of person that you are!
Oliver: (tiredly) I don't know what kind of person I am.

(Felicity grabs the T-sphere which suddenly sprouts a hypodermic needle.)
Felicity: This looks like The Death Star interrogation droid.
Curtis: (over the radio) I loaded it with 20 cc of adrenaline. You're going to have to inject that into Oliver-
(Before Curtis can finish giving the directions, Felicity is stabbing the droid into Oliver's chest, Pulp Fiction-style. Oliver sits up with a start, screaming - a noise that causes Curtis to shut up and Lyla to stare at the Comm System in disbelief.)
Oliver:
I'm okay!
Felicity: Nowhere close. But we gave you enough adrenaline to get us out of here.
Oliver: (confused) Good. Ok. All right.

Felicity: I'm sorry.
Oliver: For what?
Felicity: For being a hypocrite. You were right. I was starting to become like you. And not in the heroic, honorable, muscular way. It was just... after I lost Billy, I was willing to do whatever to get Chase. It drove me to work with Helix and I was wiling to break any rule or do anything to get payback. And, (sniffles) you know... what I'm trying to say is that I think I got the tiniest taste of what you've been through... the tiniest and.... I get it now. (pauses) I understand... why you lied to me about William. Why you had to. I get it. And for the extent that I judged you- and I did judge you- I am sorry. (pauses) You know, you said you didn't know what kind of person you are.
(Felicity slowly smiles.)
Felicity:
I think you should figure that out.


Continuity

The flashbacks in this episode take place 11 months earlier, in June 2016, shortly after Team Arrow's defeat of Damien Darhk.

After Damien Darhk's death, several criminals tried to fill the sudden void in the underworld. One of them was Werner Zytle - the second Count Vertigo, last seen in 313.

Oliver decided to switch back to a costume with sleeves shortly after his defeating Damien Darhk, due to his getting cut on the arm.

According to Quentin, every defense attorney in Star City is working overtime trying to overturn every conviction Adrian Chase made as D.A.

Felicity mentions having a generous severance package from Palmer Tech.

Curtis reveals that he named his T-Spheres Kodo and Podo after the ferrets from the movie The Beastmaster.

Dinah confirms that she is heterosexual.

Curtis says he can't use his T-Spheres to help Ollie and Felicity since - while he can control them remotely - they were in The Bunker when the EMP went off.

Curtis suffers second degree burns after their torch ignites the methane.

Dinah once worked with a gang of safe-crackers while working undercover.

In the flashback, Felicity and Oliver had a one-night stand in The Bunker.

ARGUS stole and enhanced the design of Curtis' T-Sphere.

Lyla gives John an audit of every decision she made as ARGUS Director. The two later make-up, with Diggle admitting he should have trusted her as she trusted him in his dealings with Team Arrow.

The episode ends with Adrian Chase approaching William - who is now using the name Matthew.


Location

Wherever William was relocated after being abducted by Damien Darhk.


Untelevised Adventures

The flashbacks in this episode depict a night Felicity and Oliver spent in The Bunker together 11 months earlier, just after the defeat of Damien Darhk.


The Bottom Line

One of the best episodes of the Season. Possibly one of the Top Ten best Arrow episodes of all time.

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