NOC Recaps Arrow: Couples’ Therapy

I was going to go with a honeymoon themed subtitle, but it wasn’t working and seemed on the nose, but then I noticed that there were a lot of scenes between duos in this episode (Diggle/Lyla, Diggle/Deadshot, Felicity/Oliver, Felicity/Ray, Oliver/Ray, etc), where each couple sorts out some major problems in their relationships, so I went “Couples’ Therapy” instead.

First let me say that Lyla and Diggle’s wedding was GORGEOUS! Baby Sara was SO CUTE! Lyla looked amazing in her beautiful dress. Also, despite the fact that Oliver was 45 minutes late because he missed the photoshoot, the fact that he thought he was early  (when he never is) is a testament to how important he thinks Diggle’s wedding is. Though, why didn’t he know about the photos? He gets a You Tried Gold Star I guess.


And he says this as the one who’s NOT the vigilante who is madly in love with her. I need more Big Brother Diggle Little Sister Felicity moments soon, please!

I love that Felicity was immediately ready to take over ministerial duties (though Oliver might be more solemn and suited for the job, but I would have loved to have seen Felicity ramble her way through the ceremony). But WHY oh WHY does Ray have a officiant’s license? Is this comic canon? Or just a quick way to not have to cast a speaking extra role? For a moment, I thought Laurel and Oliver were going to dance, but is it consistent that Oliver (ahem, Stephen) doesn’t dance? Ever? I can’t remember if he has or not, remind me in the comments! But I’m glad their interactions have remained platonic (if slightly antagonistic with how much he doesn’t want her training), since it would be so easy to push them together with Felicity with Ray. But they’re not doing that tired love square, at least (triangle’s more than enough, thank you).

For how much Oliver and Felicity talk around and around their relationship, the last couple of episodes they’ve been pretty outright with talking about it. It’s surprising, but kind of refreshing? They’re both keeping things from the other person, of course, but just the fact that they’re even mentioning things is new. Oliver asks if she’s happy, and she says yes. He then says that he just wants her happiness and for her to have a normal life. I think that’s why he gets so upset later when he finds out she’s working with Ray as the Atom. But more on that later.

While Oliver and Felicity watch Lyla and Diggle dance (so cozy and cute!), they all get notifications that the Arrow has resumed killing his victims. Well, all of Team Arrow except for Oliver. Does he not have alerts for himself on his phone? Did Felicity think that was too telling if someone happened to come across it?

This revelation means the wedding is over. Team Arrow plus Lyla head to the Arrow Cave. I was going to ask if Ray wondered why they all left at the same time, but then I remembered that he and Laurel (who must have performed a quick change) go to Lance’s press conference.

Oliver tells Lyla and Diggle to go on their honeymoon, the rest of the team can handle things. I really like how supportive of Team Arrow Lyla is. She’s a soldier too, so she of course understands the mission and the importance of brotherhood, but it’s just so wonderful to see. She’s never told John to quit or that the work was too dangerous (it would be hypocritical considering her job at ARGUS, but still). But before they could fly off to Fiji (who has Sara, was Sara going with them or staying with a sitter or a relative for a week?), they’re meet Deadshot in their limousine (did the driver not think it was weird that a locked and loaded eye-patched dude got in the car and waited? Or was the driver on the A.R.G.U.S. payroll anyway? The latter probz.)

“The suicide squad rides again.”

Amanda Waller is as douchey as usual. “Sorry to interrupt your wedding night.” “Somehow I doubt that.”

Somewhere in Kasnia, Senator Joseph Cray (this last name was a sign right here) is trapped in a hostage situation and needs extraction. (Why is the word “ethnic” the buzzword of the week, though? Especially from Waller, a black woman.) Diggle insists on going with Lyla, Deadshot, and Cupid to Kasnia. (I don’t think I’m a big fan of Cupid.But I can’t really settle my brain on why just yet.)

Back in the Foundry, Oliver decides to let off some steam by sword training shirtless in front of Felicity the day he happened to meet her handsome, billionaire, company stealing MINISTER of a boyfriend. Yup, total coincidence. (I do recognize that her workstation facing the training area is totally her own doing from years ago, but still, he’s definitely taking advantage.)

Roy comes back with news of the perfect place to find the fake Arrow (Farrow?) amongst some drug dealers unloading a shipment. Oliver insists on going alone, because he’s a masochist.

Over in Kasnia, while Cupid asks questions about John and Lyla’s wedding, Deadshot shows his cynical self, saying love is like a bullet to the brain, it’s a distraction, etc. He seems vindicated when John and Lyla have a brief argument about the fact that their mission doesn’t include getting the hostages out.

This week’s flashbacks, while initially seeming like it could have been John-centric, were focused on Deadshot (a sure sign of his fate in the episode). He comes home from war to his wife and his daughter Zoe who is scared of him. His post-war PTSD kicks in and he scares his wife and daughter (pulling a gun on them) and gets himself arrested. While there, he meets mysterious woman who inducts him into a new organization: the H.I.V.E. (!!!).

His first target? Andrew Diggle. (I cannot WAIT to find out why Andrew was a target.)

Back in the present, Oliver finds his Farrow nemesis at the drug deal, but learns that it’s infact PLURAL. Maseo has an entire team of League Mercenaries who have gone to Arrows ‘R’ Us to find green hoodies and arrows to use to mimic him. Darn you Maseo! Just when we thought you were still on the side of light after saving Oliver’s life! Meanwhile, Ray is flying around in the A.T.O.M. suit, meddling his life away, when he uses X-Ray vision and Felicity’s face recognition software to be the first person to not be told that Oliver was the Arrow.

He tells Felicity (thanks for rubbing in your 140 IQ there buddy. Remember y’all, I do not like Ray Palmer) then gets up with her for not telling him. Notice, he also didn’t tell her about getting the suit to work. He hid that from her despite all her hard work in helping him crack the code.

Give it up Felicity, you will always choose Oliver first. Now that Ray knows, it will be much harder for you to slip away and help him without Ray getting jealous or upset. She will be forced to make a choice at some point. Here, she shows us Oliver is still first in her heart. Ray leaves to go to the police and Felicity rushes to the foundry to tell Oliver. Oliver gets upset with her too (you’re all idiots! And it “wasn’t [her] secret to tell,” right Oliver? You’ve yelled at her about it before. The burden you face when you’re a secret keeper. At the precinct, thankfully for Team Arrow, Laurel is the person who got Ray’s case. She tells him that none of his evidence can be used in court (giving away her Canary secret in the process), so he (foolishly) rushes off to “seek justice” on his own.

Over in Kasnia, Senator Cray seems too well assured that his title as Senator will get the hostages out alive. When the squad bursts in, however, he’s UPSET? “They weren’t supposed to send anybody. That was the whole point!” I screamed, “OH SO HE’S CRAY?,” legit not realizing that that was his name. He wanted to use the hostage situation as a political move (what is this, Scandal?) to seem the hero to get closer to the presidency. With his plan shot to hell, he and his men attack the squad and Deadshot gets shot saving Cupid’s life. As Diggle gives him first aid, he sees Andy’s name tattooed on his chest, giving him only momentary hesitance before patching him up.

Now Cupid’s in love with Floyd and he doesn’t exactly reciprocate. I wonder why they had her fall for him in this episode, considering the outcome. I suppose to eliminate her obsession with Oliver but maybe somehow it will be important later in a future appearance of hers?

Oliver goes to see Ray himself at Queen Consolidated Palmer Technologies HQ. Ray gets one thing right in his ridiculous read on Oliver, “pretending you have everything under control.” The point of the season is Oliver learning time and time again that he doesn’t. He hasn’t quite learned the lesson, but it’s the one thing Ray is right about. Everything else? Nah son. You not ready! What’s interesting is that Oliver goes to Ray, not just to plead his own case (though who is Ray that he actually needs to) but to get him to trust Felicity. He’s upset that Ray made her cry, I think, and he’s trying to rectify his part in it.

“Find the place alright?” WOW, you JERK! Uncalled for, really.

It’s so frustrating that he will bend over backwards to make others treat Felicity right, but has such a hard time doing it himself. Ray childishly shouts after Oliver that he’s going to stop the Arrow (seriously, he looks like a little boy shouting after a bully), but he really has no idea. If he stopped for a moment to understand why the Arrow exists in the first place, he’d see that it went deeper than just a vigilante. Also, he’d be mulch against Ra’s and the League. If he weren’t getting a spin-off series (probably, though not official yet, right?), I’d say he’d be downed by League assassins in the finale. But alas, he’ll probably live.

Lyla and Diggle learn that the hospital they’re in is set to explode, with little chance to get them or the hostages out before Cray blows the place. They wax philosophical about the jobs they do, their commitment to the mission and how they’ve put it over their families for so long, with cynical Floyd snarking sadly in their ear. But you can see his heart softening and they come up with a plan to get Cray down before he can torch the place. It involves Deadshot’s favorite activity: sniping.

“You never wanted me to be with him. All that talk about you wanting me to be happy was just talk.”

When you have a type, it really can backfire like this, especially when you’re talking to them both at the same time. Oliver wants her to be happy and have a normal life. Her choosing another hero isn’t going to give her a normal life (the way he envisioned it anyway, but she’ll never be normal if she continues working with you, either, Oliver, even if you’re not dating) and he fears that Ray will realize (as he has) that you can’t choose the mission and love and that Ray will pick the mission, like he did. “You deserve better.” Before they can really get into things any further, an alert pops up warning them of another potential attack at a powerplant.

Roy and Oliver meet up at the plant but it’s empty. Turns out, Ray has a death wish. Luckily for him, he doesn’t run into Maseo’s Farrows, just the real thing himself. After a brief battle (lasers vs arrows! I’m sure Cisco (which if Cisco is still around in this timeline… DUN DUN DUNNN!) could come up with something for that), where Ray goes on the offensive, knocking Roy out cold. Oliver analyzes the suit and throws a flechette at some wiring, causing the system to fry. Ray thinks Oliver will kill him them (which, even if Oliver WAS a killer again, would make no sense) but Oliver instead gives him relationship advice:

“She chose you. So trust her.”

It was admirable when Oliver was so cool about Tommy being with Laurel. Now it’s just frustrating. The further you push them together, the longer it will take for her to be with you when the time is right! Stop giving all your romantic nemeses relationship counseling! Take your words for yourself and stop being an idiot! Just with Felicity though, don’t go down that other road again.

Deadshot takes out the mercenaries and the Squad gets the hostages out, but with the building set to blow, Floyd has no way to get off the roof. He sacrifices himself so that Lyla and Diggle could get back to Sara. With 7 seconds left. Floyd takes out the picture of his family and gazes at it one last time before the building explodes. I totally think he could have survived that. Characters on TV, comic based or not, have survived worse. This was his way out of the Suicide Squad.

Felicity and Ray apologize to each other, partnering up and whatever. Lyla and Diggle are just glad to be home with Sara (I could watch John and those arms rock Sara ALL DAY). John threatens to quit Team Arrow, even though they weren’t even the issue today, but Lyla once again shows how much she’s in favor of the work they do. Instead, she reveals that she’s quit A.R.G.U.S.! Though, I have a feeling that they take “no” the same way the League does…

Oliver and Felicity have one last chat, Felicity is off to meet with Ray, Lance, and the Mayor about their mission against the Arrow, but she thanks him for getting Ray to trust her. She kisses him on the cheek (as I said earlier, possibly payback for him shamelessly working out in front of her earlier), which cuts right into my shipper heart that they’re not together. Oliver and Diggle share a drink (brothers!!! <3) and toast Deadshot.

At the mayor’s office, Ray tries to convince the mayor of Arrow’s innocence, but she GETS SHOT by an arrow through the window! Starling City really goes through Mayors. I’m telling you, they’re the Defence Against the Dark Arts Teachers of Starling City. The episode ends with a fake cliffhanger as the shooter sets his sights on Felicity, who is running around with everyone in the chaos. DON’T GIVE ME YOUR FALSE CLIFFHANGER (even if she’s not at ALL in the promo for next week that they played), I KNOW FLASH SPOILERS SHE AND RAY VISIT CENTRAL CITY. Also, Oliver in the promo would be singularly focused on the fact that she’s hurt. So I’M NOT FALLING FOR IT LALALALALALAA.


  • At the wedding, I loved the small shot of Roy pulling Thea on to the dance floor. I’m worried about that boy… I don’t think he survives the season. I think he’s the one Stephen Amell tweeted about when he said it was hard to say goodbye to a fellow cast member.

  • Stephen Amell in suspenders. Yes, please. Really, everyone looked amazing. Well done, wardrobe department and attractive CW cast…
  • If you watch the press conference scene in the beginning again, don’t Felicity’s earrings look like arrows? Just putting that out there. She just can’t help herself.
  • We know Deadshot will be back. We have to find out why he killed Andrew!
  • “Ray built a super suit? That’s kind of awesome. And reckless.” Oh Roy. I’ll miss you when you inevitably die this season.
  • Wow. Lyla and Dig don’t fly together for fear of orphaning Sara. That’s so incredible heartbreaking. I love them as a couple more and more.
  • I wonder if we’ll see more of Senator Cray. I wish Deadshot had killed him before he “died.” (I’m telling you, Deadshot will rise again. And I’m not talking about Will Smith.)

  • So, is Oliver paying Diggle, Felicity, and Roy for their Arrow time? If Lyla quits ARGUS, where will they get their income? Felicity has a real job, and Roy works at the club, but what does Diggle do when he’s not in the foundry and doing side jobs for A.R.G.U.S.? We need to get this man a job! (And a suit, but I won’t bring that up this week.)

Finally, it was really great for this episode to have been dedicated to the Wounded Warrior Project. For more information, go here.

Thanks for enduring my recap novels. You are all true heroes. Let’s discuss in the comments. Until next week!

EDIT: Here are some thoughts on why Ray is problematic by tumblr user ‘ah-maa-zing‘. It really outlines why, especially in this episode, Ray’s actions are not worthy of Felicity’s time, and not just because of the Olicity of it all. It’s a great read. She mentions what I mention above, Ray didn’t even tell Felicity that the super-suit was working. How is that a true partner? She goes on to mention how he didn’t even consult her before using her software. Go here to read more: 

14 thoughts on “NOC Recaps Arrow: Couples’ Therapy

  1. I forgot what I was going to say because now my whole body is filled with concern for Roy.


    I’m thinking his death would catapult Thea’s “Speedy” vigilante beginning….

    Why can’t there be two Speedys? It’s not fair!!!

    1. Yeah I just realized I didn’t elaborate all that much on my Roy theory, but you understand because we’re #superfriends. He really doesn’t have any were left to go story wise and it would definitely allow Thea to be the proper Speedy. (also his Instagram pics are not in Vancouver right now, when everyone else is presumably still shooting. #detectivework)

  2. There was an interesting moment during the wedding when Ollie was talking to Laurel. Just seconds right before Felicity came over and right after Ollie asks about the cast, Ollie places his hand on Laurel’s back, and she takes a really deep breath?

    1. Yeah I caught that too. They have too many fundamental differences that didn’t work before the island and won’t work now. They’re both too stubborn and come at problems in completely different ways. I hope it’s not too much of a *moment* (perhaps she hurt her shoulder sparring and he touched a sore spot? lol). Thanks so much for commenting!!

  3. Great review. This was another solid episode of Arrow, my only problem this week was that after Roy got blasted there was never any concern about him! Ray just blasted him and then we forgot about him. Poor Roy. Haha

    1. Haha seriously! They could have at least showed him ok later! This is why I think he’s headed for death! The story still worked/resolved without him. He is tied to Thea’s journey and she’s heading in a possible direction where Roy’s death I think will be a catalyst. But poor, poor Roy.

      1. i’ll hate it if Roy ends up being rubbed out but you’re right it probably is essential for Thea’s journey. Will be a shame if we lose him though as he’s come a very long way this season. Then again, if we’re heading toward psycho Roy Harper maybe it wouldn’t be so bad?

  4. Like you, I was so flashing back to Tommy when Oliver told Palmer that “She chose you” although I think the choice dynamics are working differently in this situation.

    Oliver seemed fairly on-point emotionally this episode. He had plenty to freak out about what with being framed and vilified, having the League constantly breathing down his neck, and the Olicity of it all. He was calm but not cut off. He didn’t shut down, he talked to people honestly and he did his best to help Felicity (and thus Palmer). I am still saddened by how deeply he believes he cannot not have a life and still do his work but I see progress in the boy. Now he just has to deal with that martyr complex he has going…

    We only got a tiny glance of Thea this ep after weeks of fairly heavy lifting for her character. I missed her but I am also glad she is getting a tiny break from the trauma. I am getting increasingly foreboding feelings about where she is headed.

    Absolutely loved Michael Rowe’s performance this week as Floyd Lawton. His flashback were short but powerful and love how they simultaneously fleshed out his character and helped us to understand him, contrasted with Diggle and Lyla, reminded us of Andy, and connected back to HIVE all in a matter of minutes. That is how you do flashback people!

    Dig and Lyla are an oasis of reason and maturity this season. I love seeing them share the screen and their lives. It’s not like they are perfect or they don’t have their issues but they deal with everything like actual partners and everyone else should be taking notes. And I was so proud of Lyla. ARGUS really bothers me and I’m glad she could not continue something that wouldn’t make her daughter proud; John has dangerous work with Team Arrow but Lyla calls it good work.

    1. Yes to so much of what you said! Oliver and Felicity spoke more directly about their feelings in this episode than maybe any other episode so far! And he definitely has such a weight on him right now (next week will certainly up the ante if the promo was to be taken at face value (which it probably shouldn’t lol trailers always lie). I’m glad Thea had a break too, but as I wrote, it’s not her I’m worried about (well, worried by proxy since it will certainly affect her if Roy dies). But for now they are more content (I guess malcolm is still recovering on her couch lol). I love lyla and diggle’s relationship and hope that Oliver gets to see how they compromise and make it work (they’re BOTH soldiers and heroes on their second marriage to each other. They have such valuable lessons for Oliver to learn about how to manage relationships. If only he’d listen). I’m also glad lyla left Argus, hopefully they LET her leave and if so, what might she do next? (maybe she’ll work for HIVE? Which WE know if responsible for Andys death, but they might not know that..?!

      1. No, Diggle knows that HIVE called the hit on Andy. Deadshot told him after they broke him out of the Russian prison. I really want to see some forward movement on that info soon. I too want to know what Lyla is going to do next. I hope there is something interesting and they don’t just leave her hanging.

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