Arrow Season 5 Episode 16: Checkmate

Oliver (Stephen Amell) is at a monastery in the mountains. Inside are students practicing fight techniques. The students try to practice these techniques on Oliver when he enters. Oliver easily schools these youngsters. The student’s teacher is none other than Talia al Ghul (Lex Doig), Oliver’s old instructor. Strangely, Oliver never caught her last name in Russia. She is the person who trained Prometheus, one Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra). Her reason, to make Oliver suffer for killing her father. Oliver just learned a valuable lesson here; killing people’s fathers might not be a great idea. People are touchy that way.

Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is at Helix headquarters. Alena (Kacey Rohl), her contact at Helix shows her around. There are hackers everywhere. Monitors fill the office doing surveillance on everyone. This is a much bigger operation than Felicity could imagine.

The upper hand

Oliver storms into a meeting in city hall that Adrian is conducting. Adrian acts normally, but he directs subtle barbs at Oliver. Later in the parking lot, Oliver confronts Adrian as the Green Arrow. Adrian isn’t fazed, he knows Oliver knows who he is but is confident Oliver can’t do anything about it. He has Susan (Carly Pope) and if he tries to harm him, Susan will die.

Oliver informs John Diggle (David Ramsey), Curtis (Echo Kellum), Rene (Rick Gonzalez), Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), and Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) on Prometheus’ identity and that he has Susan. They can’t make a move on Chase until they have Susan. Oliver wonders where Felicity is but Curtis can’t contact her. Curtis and Dinah go to Adrian mother’s house. His mother has cleared out but they find a recording of Adrian torturing Susan.

Rene and Lance run into Adrian at city hall. Outwardly, he is acting normal, but if you watch him closely, he acts weirdly at the same time. Rene wants to shoot him, and Lance would like to arrest him, but Adrian points out they can’t do anything. He also wants Rene to have his report on his desk in the morning. Adrian is a smug prick. Green Arrow and Spartan go to Adrian’s house. His wife Doris (Parveen Dosanjh) is there. The Green Arrow tells her who her husband really is. The cops from the ESU unit bust in to arrest the Green Arrow but he uses the smoke arrow trick to escape from them again. (One thing that has stayed constant on this show, whether they are Starling City or Star City, this city’s police force is inept.)

Back at the Arrow Cave, Team Arrow studies the video; Oliver sees it as proof of life. Felicity finally shows up, Oliver wants to speak to her alone. Felicity is ready for a tongue-lashing but Oliver is calm. He is not angry but worried about Felicity; he knows she is in into something she doesn’t want to tell him. Felicity tries to assure him she is okay. She is able to give him some valuable information. Adrian has falsified his records; his real name is Simon Morrison. Later in the day, Oliver holds a press conference about the Green Arrow breaking into Adrian Chase’s house. He gives the Green Arrow 24 hours to turn himself in to the police. If he does not he will give the police a shoot to kill order. After the press conference, Oliver meets with Frank Pike (Adrian Holmes) and gives him the information on Adrian Chase proving he falsified his record and is the throwing star killer.

Felicity shows Alena Susan’s video. Alena acts ‘appropriately’ shocked by it, but tells Felicity some in the group feel like they have done a lot for Felicity but she hasn’t done anything for Helix. Felicity catches on and realizes they want quid pro quo from her. For their assistance in finding Susan, they want Felicity to hack a Homeland Security drone. Alena says she feels gross for asking, but I get the feeling she’ll get over it quickly.

Pike walks outside the police station and sees a homeless man who needs help. When he goes over to check on him, the man stabs him. It was Prometheus in disguise. When Oliver gets to the hospital, he finds Adrian in Pike’s hospital room. Pike is in a coma. Oliver issues a threat to Adrian and he laughs. He tells Oliver his threats are as impotent as he is. He is 10 steps ahead of him. Oliver goes back to the Arrow Cave and wrecks stuff. That will show Chase who’s the boss.

Felicity and Curtis are busy hacking the Homeland Security drone. Curtis point out this is illegal. Felicity explains how these people have helped her in the past, like get Diggle out of prison, and this is their payment. John walks in and sees the damage Oliver has done. Oliver feels completely defeated. He feels like because he let people into his life, it has allowed all of this to happen. John tries to tell Oliver the team gives him strength. Oliver says they make him vulnerable, John points out that makes us human. Oliver wonders if he has that luxury. I guess after working on the hack; Felicity found the time to find Susan. Oliver wants John to pick up Adrian’s wife, the person who makes Adrian feel vulnerable.

Team Arrow goes to the apartment building where Adrian holds Susan captive. The building is of course bobby trapped with explosives. Oliver finds Susan tied up in an elevator. The building is ready to explode. Curtis rescues Rene and Dinah courtesy of the T-spheres. Diggle brings Doris Chase to the building. She knows the truth about her husband now and wants him to stop killing people and turn himself in. Once he knows she hasn’t told the police about him yet, he stabs her. Diggle rushes her out of the building to get her an ambulance while The Green Arrow and Prometheus fight. Talia shows up and shoots Oliver in the leg with a tranquilizer gun. They capture Oliver. Doris dies on her way to the hospital.

Quentin and Susan run into Chase. He pretends to be in mourning. He blames his wife’s murder on the Green Arrow. He threatens them that if they tell the police about Susan’s kidnapping or anything else about him, they will be receiving pieces of Oliver.

Felicity is back at Helix trying to find Oliver. She promises Alena she will do whatever Helix wants her to do to be able to use their resources to find Oliver.

Talia and Chase have Oliver shackled. Oliver tells Talia her father was an honorable man and he would be ashamed of her. She tells Chase to make Oliver suffer as she leaves the room. Chase tells Oliver that he helped reveal to Chase who he really is and he will do the same to Oliver.


There is a shootout in Bratva headquarters between Gregor’s (David Neunier) forces and between Anatoly (David Nykl), Viktor (Mike Dopud), and Oliver. They survive the shootout with Gregor’s men. Oliver suggests to Anatoly and Viktor they kill Gregor. Later Oliver dresses in the Green Arrow costume. Anatoly of course thinks this is nuts. He warns Oliver that the stuff Talia is teaching him makes no sense. One day she will be the source of his greatest pain. He tells him his darkness is part of him. You can’t give it a name and keep it apart. Oliver and Anatoly go to an ice rink where Gregor and his men are enjoying some hockey. With his arrows and Anatoly with a gun, they start killing a lot of Russian mobsters.


Oliver Queen has led a very violent life and this season it seems to have caught up with him. His primary antagonists this season are two people whose fathers he has killed. While both killings were somewhat justified, there is a price to that much bloodshed. Prometheus is a great antagonist for Oliver, last season’s antagonist Damien Darhk was too powerful for a mere mortal like Oliver to tangle with. Adrian is a regular human too, but he is highly trained like Oliver and has the added bonus of being a complete psychopath. Adding Talia al Ghul to the mix creates the best opposition Oliver has had since Slade Wilson. To defeat these two, Oliver is going to need his team. I think John is going to be right that the team will give Oliver strength to defeat his enemies.

Felicity is in a bit of trouble herself, though not as much as Oliver. Of course, who can beat Oliver in that department? When we first met Alena, she seemed harmless enough. A hacker fan girl of Felicity. Now we are beginning to see her claws. They have been helping Felicity, but by doing so have brought her closer to their circle. With her promising to do anything they want so she can save Oliver, Felicity has made a deal with the devil she is going to find hard to break. I wonder if they will end Helix’s threat this season or if they become more prominent next season. A major hacking group playing havoc seems very relevant to our times.

Grade: B+

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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