Arrow Season 5 Episode 19: Dangerous Liaisons

A SCPD SWAT team and their allies Team Arrow enter an arcade looking for Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra, who wasn’t in the episode). Curtis (Echo Kellum) spots a vintage video game and freaks out about it to an unimpressed Rene (Rick Gonzalez). Curtis wants to make sure it’s not damaged. Chase has bobby trapped the arcade, one of the games has a real machine gun which shoots at the SCPD and Team Arrow. He also includes Prometheus in one of the games. The vintage video game catches the brunt of the damage. (Thanks for jinxing it Mr. Terrific.)

Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is at Helix HQ discussing the failed raid with Alena (Kacey Rohl). Somehow, Chase knew that they were coming. The SCPD, FBI, Homeland Security, and ARGUS are involved in capturing him. Alena suggests that Chase might have a buddy in ARGUS who is tipping him off. Felicity hacks into the ARGUS system. An ARGUS agent gets in an elevator, when it opens he is dead. A woman wearing a hood takes a security badge off him; the woman is Alena.

Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson), Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) and Oliver (Stephen Amell) are looking at a video of the ARGUS agent’s death. The elevator accelerated 9 Gs’ and had a freefall of 40 stories. Someone hacked into the elevator. Oliver sends the code to Felicity and Curtis. She recognizes the code but doesn’t tell Curtis. She tells him she is going to take it over to Helix for their help identifying it.

Felicity identified the code as Alena’s; she confronts her with it. Alena admits she caused the elevator to accelerate. She accidently killed the ARGUS agent; she only wanted to knock him out. Accelerating elevators so not to kill them is hard. Felicity is aghast. Alena assures her it is for a good cause. ARGUS is holding the founder of Helix, Cayden James, illegally. The ARGUS agent she accidently killed had a key (the security badge) that could help them free him. She tells Felicity she is going to help them break out Cayden James. Felicity wonders why she would do that. Cayden James is one of the world’s foremost hackers and he created a biometric tracker, they could use it to find Adrian Chase. Felicity is all in.

John Diggle (David Ramsey) is talking to his wife Lyla. She tells him that the theft of the key from her agent has compromised ARGUS security. The parties that stole the first key will need a second key. All of her agents with keys are on lockdown accept for one agent in Port Talbert. Could Team Arrow escort that agent back to ARGUS? Oliver would like to concentrate on getting Chase, but since ARGUS has helped them out in the past, he consents to aiding them. He calls Dinah and Curtis. Helix knows about the agent in Port Talbert. Alena hires some mercenaries to grab this agent and her key. Curtis is back at the Arrow Cave running Ops, while Oliver, Diggle, and Dinah head to Port Talbert. The mercenaries stop the ARGUS agent’s car, but Dinah arrives on motorcycle and uses the canary scream to stop them. Oliver arrives and a fight begins between Team Arrow and the mercenaries. John is driving in when he receives a frantic call from Felicity. She tells John that they have to let the mercenaries take the key. He asks why. When he gets to the scene, he tells Oliver they have to let them take the key. Oliver asks why and John tells him Felicity said it would help them find Adrian Chase. Oliver allows the merc to ride off with the key.

“You’re the last person on Earth who gets to give that lecture, Oliver. Or second to last . . .” Felicity Smoak

Felicity demands that ARGUS release Cayden James. Lyla refuses to comply. John is surprised and upset that ARGUS is holding Cayden James without due process. Felicity threatens to help Helix free him. Oliver tries to lecture Felicity about crossing certain lines. “You’re the last person on Earth who gets to give that lecture, Oliver. Or second to last,” while glaring at Lyla. She storms out of the room and tells them she is going to find Chase and bring him to justice.

Lyla tells Oliver and John she is going to use Cayden James as bait to capture Helix. John tells Oliver he has to talk to Felicity. He is the only one she will listen to; Oliver can bring her back from the brink. Oliver goes to see Felicity. She is heading out to join her new comrades at Helix. He asks her not to do this. Felicity explains that one of the reasons she loved him was that he was willing to do whatever it took and sacrifice himself to accomplish something good. How can he ask her not to be willing to do the same? Oliver tells her she can’t do this. Felicity tells him he’ll have to stop her.

Both ARGUS and Helix are preparing for battle. John is having an intense conversation with Lyla. He assures her he is not judging her but he is concerned about her following the actions of someone like Amanda Waller. Lyla says being the head of ARGUS means sometimes you have to do unpleasant things to protect public safety. John’s response, “Felicity Smoak is one of the best people I’ve ever known, and she’s gone over to the dark side. I don’t want that to happen to my wife.” Meanwhile with fully armed mercenaries and carrying a gun herself, Alena assures Felicity they won’t hurt anyone if the plan goes well.

“Felicity isn’t the only lady to think the ends justify the means. When Lyla and Felicity Smoak are willing to cross the line; it makes you wonder if there even is one.” John Diggle

John and Oliver are at ARGUS waiting for the Helix assault. Both are feeling confused by this turn of events. John says, “Felicity isn’t the only lady to think the ends justify the means. When Lyla and Felicity Smoak are willing to cross the line; it makes you wonder if there even is one.” Felicity and the Helix gang are in a van heading to Cayden James’ location. A van pulls up to ARGUS, but Felicity and Helix aren’t in the van. Oliver and John are wondering what is going on. Oh yeah, Lyla didn’t bother to tell them that they aren’t holding Cayden James here. He is at a black site 12 miles away. They shouldn’t worry; Helix wouldn’t know that. The Helix van pulls up at the black site. (Lyla is crossing over to both the dark and dumb side.)

“Don’t grab a woman unless you have permission, dumbass.” Dinah Drake

The mercenaries quickly overpower the ARGUS security team. Alena uses her iPad to disable the lazar grid around the container where they are holding Cayden James. They have a bag over his head so we don’t get to see who he is. Just as they are about to make their getaway; we hear the canary scream, Team Arrow has arrived. Dinah handily beats up a mercenary and quips, “Don’t grab a woman unless you have permission, dumbass.” Curtis uses his T-Spheres to take out two mercenaries. Alena uses her iPad to activate a mounted machine gun to fire at Diggle. Helix gets Cayden James in the van; Oliver pulls his gun and tells them to stop. Felicity gets in front of him. She uses an iPad to turn on the lazar fence and traps Oliver behind it. She leaves the iPad so someone can free him later. She hopes he understands. He doesn’t.

Felicity goes to an abandoned Helix headquarters. Alena appears on a screen, they have cleared out since ARGUS is looking for them. They couldn’t bring Felicity along because of her connection to the Green Arrow. She enjoyed working with her and she left her a present. It is the biometric tracker.

John is home with Lyla. He doesn’t want to discuss her job because he is afraid where it could lead. He doesn’t like the path she is taking. They are both afraid they are heading towards another breakup.

Oliver had thanked the team earlier and stayed behind at the Arrow Cave to drink and brood. Felicity shows up with the biometric tracker. She and Oliver argue. After all the times she had supported him even when she thought he was wrong; she is upset he wouldn’t back her play. The biometric tracker detects where Chase is, he is in the Arrow Cave. The panel Felicity was using explodes.

Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and Rene are meeting with the families of the people Prometheus killed. The man they are meeting with is angry the serial killer who killed his wife worked with them. He hands them a picture of his wife and begs they find him. Lance takes the picture and solemnly promises they will make sure he is brought to justice. Rene is tired of meeting all these families. Lance thinks he would be more sympathetic considering what happened to his wife. Curtis had told him about it. Rene doesn’t appreciate Curtis’ big mouth. Lance asks why Rene hasn’t filed to regain custody of his daughter or visit her under supervision. Rene initially doesn’t want to discuss it. Later when Lance pushes him on it, he tells Quentin he is bad news; he hurt her. He was heating up some soup for her after her mother died, he passed out drunk, and she burned her hand trying to get the soup. He feels like Zoe (Eliza Faria) deserves better. Later on, Quentin arranges for Zoe to come to the office to see her dad. Rene is glad to see her and is proud she made the hockey team at school. She asks him when she can come home. Rene is going to try to get her back home soon. A few days later Rene informs Lance he has spoken to Curtis’ lawyer friend and has filed to regain custody of Zoe. He thanks Quentin for his help. Lance misses his daughter and believes a daughter needs her father and that Rene deserves to be with his daughter.

This was the conclusion of the Helix storyline, at least for this season. “Second Chances” was the first episode that Alena and Helix appeared. The Helix storyline wasn’t in every episode, but it has been part of most of the later part of the season. Even though they have been part of this season’s storyline, Helix has taken a big back seat to Prometheus and Bratva. I don’t really care about Helix that much. I never got a sense of who they were or what they wanted. I like the idea of a powerful hacker collective, but the execution of it was never there. Therefore, when they became more prominent in this episode, with Alena ‘accidently’ killing government agents with elevators and hiring mercenaries, I couldn’t take it seriously.

We already have Felicity prime, male Felicity (Curtis); we don’t need another female Felicity.

Helix or should I say Alena, threw the tone of this episode off. This should have either been a more light-hearted episode, or been more dark and intense as the previous episodes have been. It was a mix bag; the conflict between Oliver and Felicity and between John and Lyla was serious, while the Helix plot to rescue Cayden James were just hijinks. Alena is a lot like Felicity. We already have Felicity prime, male Felicity (Curtis); we don’t need another female Felicity. Three Felicity(s) are too much for one show. If Alena comes back, they need to differentiate her character from Felicity.

You can’t be hanging out with Oliver Queen for five years, breaking the law every night and then criticize Lyla for going to the dark side.

Oliver and Diggle’s reactions to Felicity and Lyla’s behavior felt hypocritical and patronizing. Even Oliver recognized he wasn’t in a good position to criticize Felicity. John Diggle didn’t have that same self-awareness. You can’t be hanging out with Oliver Queen for five years, breaking the law every night and then criticize Lyla for going to the dark side. She is the head of ARGUS, an organization that is quite dark and brutal, something he already knew. Even if she reformed it from the depths of Amanda Waller, the organization would still require its leader to make some questionable calls. Him being surprised that ARGUS could be holding someone without due process felt laughable. Get off you high horse, John.

I like when Lance and Rene work together in a storyline. Lance with anyone is usually good. This one was good also. They have only mentioned his daughter once, so I don’t have an investment in their relationship, but I’m not a monster, I want to see families back together. They could have used Rene with Curtis more; he was more annoying than usual this episode. Rene has a way of grounding Curtis’ silliness. They could use Dinah more. When she does something, it is usually badass. I enjoyed all of her fight scenes. More Dinah kicking ass.

Grade: B

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