NOC Recaps Arrow: Demolition Team

On this week’s Arrow, Oliver gets justification for his lies and it still starts to blow up in his face: there’s a debate, an engagement party, and lots of buildings blow up. The episode is full of Darhk’s demolition team, but I actually use it to refer to all the people in this episode co-signing Oliver’s lies, which will clearly hurt him with Felicity, but also with William and who knows how it will play out with Samantha and Darhk’s larger plans. They’re laying down the explosives. It’s all gonna blow soon.

So it looks like Malcolm is now apart of Damien’s team. They’re in Phase 4 of whatever plan they have — the Undertaking Squared? Phase 5 depends on Ruvé now getting control of City Hall — the Darhk Council doesn’t agree but Damien force chokes the dissenter. Guess he’s watched The Force Awakens and gotten some ideas from Kylo Ren?

Thea and Oliver’s campaign team uncover the post-Earthquake Queen Tax Audit, which reveals Moira’s million dollar payment to Samantha, aka the Baby Momma Drama. “I dont see how something like this would blow back on me.” LOL You KNOW this is going to blow back on you, you idiot.

Later, Laurel senses her father’s 602 police call from dispatch is a trap and saves him from an self-exploding building. Hey, look at Laurel being useful (!) — mostly at the expense of Quentin’s stupidity. But hey, the man didn’t know Oliver was the Green Arrow for YEARS, so, he’s got something missing up there. Quentin then uses this scare to lie to Donna, distancing himself from her, when no one from Team Arrow (including her own daughter), said anything about doing that or it being a good idea. But the parallels are set and we must watch with heavy handedness, how the characters’ decisions in this episode mimic the future Oliver/Felicity blow out. The arguments made in this episode for keeping the secret are also given to Oliver with approval. I just wish in this Quentin/Donna instance, that people would stop underestimating her. She’s a survivor.

Lance to Oliver: “You’re lucky you’re with someone you don’t need to keep secrets from.” EYE ROLL.

The Felicity/Mom talk obviously parallels the future Oliver/Felicity talk about HIS big secret, but what are we supposed to take from it? That Felicity will be understanding? Or will she just ignore what she said this week and get mad at him anyway? (It IS a bigger secret, with consequences that involve both of them as they are getting married, but why go so hard this week establishing Felicity’s forgiving and understanding nature?)  

Thea confronts Oliver with William. “How can I marry Felicity with this lie between us.” Exactly! But somehow Thea agrees he should keep it a secret. WHY IS THEA CO-SIGNING THIS?! She presents it as the right thing for William, but CLEARLY IF THEA AND THEIR OWN CAMPAIGN team CAN FIND OUT ABOUT HIM AND FIGURE IT OUT, ANYONE ELSE CAN TOO.

This is not a well kept secret. It took a night of Googling and access to Moira’s apparently public or at least easily accessible records. Especially with Malcolm Merlyn, who Oliver knows KNOWS, is in the wind. You don’t think he’s going to Darhk with this info? You think he’s gonna sit on this, when he’s FURIOUS that you gave Nyssa power and destroyed the League? He threatened you last week! Naiive Notions still reign, it seems.

“Thank you. For saying what I needed to hear.”

You mean, saying what validates the plot point? It feels like I got hit with a Plot Truck and every time I think a character has reason to disagree with this secret being kept, I’m hit by the truck and they defy logic and past actions. I don’t think Thea would agree with this if it weren’t for plot. She grew up not knowing her father was Malcolm Merlyn, and yes she still had him in her life, but that didn’t ease the betrayal of the lie. It wasn’t the same as knowing he was her father, despite their severe disagreements. She HAS been in William’s position and knows what it feels like to have been deceived her whole life (I feel like there was an arc in Season 2 where she was pissed Moira didn’t tell her about Robert’s misdeeds, right? There was def a time when she was pissed at Moira for lying), so why are they having her co-sign Oliver’s lies? And we know that Moira and Robert’s lies have tarnished their memories in the eyes of their children. Does Oliver want that for William and Samantha?

“Sometimes a lie isn’t wrong if it’s for the good of someone you love.”

I assume Oliver is speaking more of William here than Felicity, but how is lying to your son and your future wife for their good? This seems to be for the good of Samantha, who you don’t love. Felicity will figure it out (the crossover fight didn’t give her enough time to recover from the shock, especially when Oliver just found out himself). William will stay in Central and see Oliver from time to time. Everything would have been fine if you’d told the truth.

But now — as ALWAYS in superhero fiction — the person being kept in the dark for their “protection” ALWAYS ENDS UP IN DANGER ANYWAY. Always. Every single time. I will gladly hear of a time where this didn’t happen. Name them in the comments. But in my recollection, the secret never protects and always backfires on the protected person, who gets angry for being lied to anyway. (Unless you’re a cinnamon roll like Iris West.)  

Anyway. Somehow, the team couldn’t see it coming that the prime target for building demolition would be the debate one. Ruvé’s plan fails, but Oliver gets a bit cocky. “Nice applause. Might bring the house down. Almost. Good luck!” Sure you should be taunting her Oliver?

Oliver wins the debate and has a sparkly engagement party thanks to Donna, and Curtis presents Felicity with a chip that could end her paralysis.

I’ve written about the treatment of Felicity’s paralysis before again: why do it if she’s 1.) not Oracle (and I understand why she’s NOT) and 2.) it’s not permanent, so I don’t want to hash it all out again, but I suppose we knew Curtis’ implant was coming. In a way, it helps his character have more to do (please give him more to do). But the simplicity of this disability storyline didn’t really give Felicity much struggle or really affect the characters or the storyline in any major way, especially if it is undone so quickly. Viewers who are disabled (temporarily or permanently) don’t get an accurate representation of their point of view and it trivializes their struggle. I’m almost glad we can be over it soon, because it didn’t add much to the show. (Now let’s do the same for Oliver’s Baby Mama lies, thanks.)

Then there’s the tag:

Darhk: “William’s mother asked us to look after him.” Dun dun dunnnn.

This blows up next episode in what will probably be a spectacular and painful fashion. But VIXEN!!!!! At least we get Vixen.


  • “Darhk did not destroy Star City so his wife could be mayor.” Look at you using your thinking cap, Oliver!
  • “You look good in glitter.”

  • Since I’m writing this after watching the next week’s Flash, I’m really glad Cisco is gonna “take a look” at Diggle’s helmet. Seeing it in the trio shot of GA, Speedy, and “Spartan” made me wish Diggle could breathe in that thing. I know he can, but I felt suffocated just looking at it.

  • “The first time we met, you asked me to pull data off a damaged laptop. It’s kind of romantic.” (Or it would be without the sense of impending doom surrounding their relationship.)
  • I love that Felicity is wearing a S.T.A.R. Labs shirt at home! (But she can’t take Barry’s calls? What’s up with that?)
  • What’s Andy’s status right now? I suppose they couldn’t squeeze in Eugene Byrd for the episode, but what’s he doing? How does he feel about giving up Ghost secrets these days?
  • “You sound surprised. I don’t know whether to be flattered or insulted.” I need Curtis and Felicity to be best friends. They are the same person. Better yet: give me Curtis, Felicity, Barry, and Team Flash geeking out over science stuff. Please and thank you.

  • Thank goodness for Thea and her simple, direct approach. “Can you hack the fire alarm?” lol “Can you hack my phone and call Diggle?” “Can you hack my bathroom and shave my face?”
  • “Curtis, you’re terrific.” I see what you did there.

  • Someone’s gonna wonder why Mayoral Candidate Queen carries a heavy duffle bag with him everywhere. Does the bow even fit in there? If not, where does he keep it?
  • Their neighbor from Ivytown visiting was hilarious. Also enjoyable? The way Felicity squeezes Oliver’s hand, arm, jacket pocket whenever she is reigning herself in from embarrassment or saying something she shouldn’t.
  • The flashback theme this week is apparently: “It takes monsters to fight monsters.” Except we know that it doesn’t? Oliver spends the next few years finding another way.
  • Also in the flashbacks, I think Oliver is the Diamond in the Rough — “One who has been granted passage by the gods. I believe that person is you.” Are the flashback baddies looking for the Cave of Wonders?

VIXEN VIXEN VIXEN VIXEN! I’m excited for Vixen next episode, and… that’s it.