Arrow returns with a really good episode this week. A little different from the normal formula and the focus is on supporting characters instead of Oliver Queen himself. It was a refreshing change although some story arcs were omitted completely almost as though they weren’t happening anymore

Here’s our recap and review of Episode 11!

John Diggle and Felicity Smoak take centre stage this week, each struggling with personal issues which are affecting their role within Team Arrow.

Whilst on date night with Lyla, the romance is interrupted by Agent Chang, a former ARGUS colleague of Lyla’s who claims his mission has been compromised and needs her help.

chang

Before they can assist, Chang is taken by a group of heavily armed military troops. John takes a bullet in the arm and the two are left stunned by the recent events.

Later John goes to see his brother Andy, who he still has locked up, and gives him a cheeseburger. It looks like he is still trying to be the older brother and being nicer to him. Andy wants to ask his own questions and asks why John is involved in the Vigilante life.

This leads into the first of this weeks flashbacks! A bit different this week, the flashbacks focus on John and Andy when they were in the army.

We see them in a troop transport that gets attacked and they both help fight the enemy off, Andy getting to close to an explosion in the process.

Diggle and Lyla go to see ARGUS director Amanda Waller after Chang is found dead (and without an eye!),  to find out what Chang was working on.

Amanda_Waller_(Arrow)_001

She claims to know nothing about his mission but after sharing a strange look with Lyla as they shake hands and leave, Lyla reveals she gave her a flash-drive which has the same logo on it as the troops that kidnapped Chang. It is the logo of an organisation called Shadowspire.

Back to the flashbacks, Diggle and Andy are approached by one of their officers who has the same logo on his arm.

AndyDigarmy

He offers a position within their ranks in exchange for their assistance with some drug thefts, Andy outright refuses which makes John feel really proud of him, in the old days Andy would have jumped at the change to make some extra cash!

In a later flashback however, John sees Andy talking with the officer and when he confronts his brother Andy claims he was just telling him how to count cards. John is sceptical but lets it go.

Now that John knows Shadowspire is involved, he goes to see Andy as he did end up working for them. Andy claims to not be working for them any more but he can help as he knows how they work.

Team Arrow go searching for some other ARGUS agents who have gone missing and are ambushed by Shadowspire troops, Oliver and Diggle barely escape with their lives after discovering the bodies of the agents.

John decides to take Andy to ARGUS so he can help them stop Shadowspire. he tells Waller than Shadowspire is all about mis-direction, what they appear to be going after is not their actual goal.

AndyArgus

Ignoring this advice, Team Arrow go to keep an eye on a shipment of rail guns that Shadowspire are apparently interested in. Inevitably, the stake out is a bust as Shadowspire troops break into ARGUS HQ (using Chang’s missing eye) and hold Waller and the control centre ransom demanding codes to something called Rubicon.

While this attack is happening John and Andy are down in the holding cells. John tries to rig a video monitor to broadcast a signal to the Arrow Cave but Andy says there isn’t time to wait, they need to do something now.

There is a fair amount of talk involved in the hold up scenes but it ultimately results in Amanda Waller getting killed, Andy offers to lend his assistance to Shadowspire,

AndySS

tells them that his brother is in the facility, John gets found and brought to the control centre where Lyla is forced to enter the Rubicon codes, and then Andy fights back at the same time as Oliver and Co. arrive to save the day.

It was John’s plan to have Andy appear to betray the others. This mutual trust and successful plan leads John and Lyla to release Andy from his cell so he can meet their daughter Sara. But can Andy be trusted?

andysara

The last flashback reveals that Andy was working for Shadowspire, and meets the boss of the organisation, none other than Baron Reiter!! It’s a small world after all!

baron-blitzkrieg

Reiter tells Andy about an island he is looking for known only as Purgatory but shows him a map of Lian Yu!

Now onto Felicity. She is recovering from her injury but is unable to use her legs. She is not hopeful that she will make a full recovery, but Oliver is trying to be as positive as possible and even encourages her to come back to the Arrow cave and help them out.

Fchair

Felicity struggles when she is on her own and has started seeing the Goth hacker version of herself, who appears to be the voice of all her doubt and uncertainty. Trying to ignore this hallucination, Felicity helps the Team when they are looking for the ARGUS agents. Things don’t go so well, and Felicity soon feels overwhelmed and unable to help her friends.

The other Felicity keeps putting her down and making her question her skills, claiming she has been pretending to be someone she is not. This makes her feel like she can’t be part of the team anymore.

F&F

Later on, Felicity has picked herself up and arrives back in the Arrow cave as she has realised why she helps Team Arrow, she wanted to do good in the world and her old self was the opposite of that. She acknowledges that what happened to her is not Oliver’s fault or hers! She is back on mission!

OFchair

Showing that she hasn’t lost any of her skills, Felicity helps the team infiltrate ARGUS HQ and Oliver even gives her the codename of Overwatch! Felicity is the one that buys the Team time as she prevents the codes Lyla enters from opening the Rubicon vault.

We then get some typical Olicity feels when the two have a joint pep talk and re-affirm their love for each other. Felicity symbolically burns a photo of her Goth self.

fphoto

Oliver is determined to find a cure for her paralysis and is convinced they can, they have witnessed stranger things in their life, people who can fly and come back from the dead for example. The couple seem stronger than ever!

As always, here’s a few things that piqued my interest during the episode;

  • Lyla no longer works for ARGUS but she has no qualms about discharging a firearm in the middle of the street.

LylaD

  • Laurel is not shy about using her rank as the Assistant District Attorney to get a look at Chang’s body.
  • Oliver and Laurel’s sparring is good to see, I was wondering who they were both training with!

OLspar

  • Oliver tells Laurel about Barry time travelling and she just accepts it like it’s normal!
  • Apparently organisations like ARGUS have special secret buttons in the control centre that re-route a video display of the control centre to the holding cells area. That is really convenient!
  • Oliver calls Felicity Overwatch and then says that the Orcale name was taken! Blatant Batman reference! And confirmation to the fans that Felicity will not assume the role made famous by Barbara Gordon. Loved it!

I really liked this episode. It was good to see the focus on characters other than Oliver and both John and Felicity are awesome in their own right so deserve as much screen time as they can get. I was starting to get a bit bored of Felicity this season but this episode showed that she is still a kick ass tech genius with a heart of gold but is just as vulnerable as anyone else.

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How much does Andy know about the work that Baron Reiter was doing on Lian Yu? Does he know Oliver was involved too? Neither Andy or Oliver have shown any indication that they knew each other in the past but we have been surprised by similar things before.

As I mentioned at the top, certain story points have been completely left out this week. What is going on with Damien Darhk??

darhk

I know in the last episode he gave Oliver a few weeks to spend with his family, but I didn’t think this meant we wouldn’t see him at all. I guess because the focus was on Felicity and Diggle, there wasn’t much room to put Darhk in there too. Great episode and I’m looking forward to next one, but we still don’t know who is going to be in that Damn grave!!!

grave

What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @JackGeekstalk and subscribe to our YouTube channel Jack Geekstalk for all kinds of news, reviews and discussions!

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