The season is heating up with only five episodes left and we’re staring to really get a feel for the end game. Last night’s episode was pretty heavy emotionally and plotwise. Let’s talk about it this week’s recap. Spoilers ahoy!

“I will always have this city’s best interests at heart.”

After Malcolm contact Andy in the last episode, we see him head to Diggle’s where he get a gun. Diggle finds him and asks what has him sounding so shaken on the phone. Andy explains that HIVE still knows he’s alive, and one of them reached out. After hearing the description, Diggs realized it was Malcolm. Andy also tells him of a plan to rob a missile shipment and break Darhk out.

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At the Quiver, Diggs fills the rest of the team in on what happened and they try to work out a plan. They decide to let Andy infiltrate the operation and get them the info they need to stop it. Ollie is reluctant, but Diggs trusts his brother now.

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Then, as tradition indicates, Ollie, Thea, and Laurel attend Ruve’s acceptance speech. Ruve also tells Laurel that with the current DA moving into the position of deputy mayor, she would like Laurel to succeed him to the DA seat.

“It’s the US Army, late means on time.”

The Team is watching the heist closely. Laurel and Thea are in the Quiver talking about Laurel’s new job offer. That’s when Malcolm and several league members attack. The girls keep the goons busy as Malcolm goes after the idol that the team took from Darhk.

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Spartan and Green Arrow eventually get a text from Andy, their signal that it’s happening, right as some guys attack. A slow speed chase ensues. The men are easily defeated, and that’s when they realize it was all too easy. It was a set up.

Thea has Malcolm pinned under her blade, but hesitates. That’s all Malcolm needs to get out, and he takes the Idol with him. Spartan and Green Arrow rush back to the Quiver, but it’s too late. Thea goes to punch some people on the streets, though Ollie points out they won’t give him up. Diggs goes to question Andy.

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When they’re alone, Ollie confines in Laurel that he’s not so sure he can trust Andy. After the way things went down tonight, he wonders if maybe it was Andy that played them. Laurel says that he should be sure about that before he makes an accusation that neither he nor Diggs can recover from.

“A Magician never reveals his secrets.”

Laurel goes to meet with her father. Lance wants to talk Laurel out of taking that DA position. He points out that if she did, the 24/7 protection that has become standard with that position since one of the previous DA’s died on the job would mean she would never be able to be the Black Canary, and he truly believes in the Black Canary.

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At the Quiver, Thea is ready to draw some blood but is instead sharpening her weapons. Andy gives Diggs a call on the location of Malcolm, and they all head out. Andy takes an arrow for Green Arrow. Andy says they need to head to Iron Heights now, because if Malcolm isn’t there then he’s headed to give Darhk back his powers.

Which is accurate, as Malcolm is paying Darhk another visit. Apparently his reward for his favors to Darhk is that his and Thea’s lives are spared in the Genesis project. Malcolm then show the idol to Darhk, but something is wrong. Darhk calls it a Khushu idol, and Malcoml points out that Khushu is an Arabic term for humbleness. Darhk gives a lecture on the idol itself before pointing out it’s missing a piece-the ribalvei stone.

“A father would do anything to protect his daughter from the dark.”

Back at the Quiver, Andy is getting patched up by Diggs and is freaking out just a little bit. Andy says that the men saw him fighting for Team Arrow, and is worried about retaliation not just aimed at him, but at Diggs and his family as well. Diggs calms him down, and also tells him that the idol was incomplete as he hid part of it himself.

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Ollie pulls Diggs aside and questions him telling that sensitive information to Andy. Diggs reassures him that Andy has his trust, and he deserves to know because he was anxious about harm to his family. Before Diggs can confront Ollie about why he doesn’t trust Andy, Laurel interrupts. She says that they need to check on Darhk, as Merlin will want to deliver the idol as soon as possible.

Laurel goes to her position as ADA to check on Darhk in an authorative capacity, and search his cell if needed. Thea and Diggs go to check CCTV and facial recognition to see if they can get eyes on Malcolm. Ollie says he’s going to try running down a lead.

Laurel does go to the prison, and after the guards search his cell and find nothing she sends them to search the other cells to ensure one of his friends isn’t hiding something for him. She claims that her office got an anonymous tip that someone smuggled contraband into Darhk. Then Darhk and Laurel are alone and Darhk ties to get under her skin, he says maybe Lance isn’t as sane as everyone thinks, stating that dementia can be brought on early by alcoholism. It doesn’t work as well as he might have thought though.

“I’m what they turned me into.”

At the Diggle residence, Andy is searching for something when Green Arrow finds him. He asks what Andy is trying so hard to find but Andy claims that he was just looking for surveillance since Merlin knows that him and Diggle are brothers. Green Arrow isn’t buying it though, and puts pressure on the parts of Any he knows hurt from that arrow he took for him. Then Diggs arrives home to find them both and freaks out.

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Then they head to the Quiver, and Ollie and Diggs have it out. Both of them throw eachother’s words back in their face. Diggs says Ollie is the one who said to give Andy a second chance and that he might be able to come back from the darkness. Ollie points out that Diggs is the one who said that you cannot have a blind spot when it comes to family.

Very little of the argument is new, but it was long overdue. In regards to Any, Ollie points out that he could have been searching for the finial pieces of the idol for Darhk, since Diggle told him that he was the one who hid it. Diggle says that Ollie has no right to judge him, and walks out.

“Cry havoc! And let slip dogs of war.”

We get another Laurel and Ollie heart-to-heart moment Laurel says that she’s turning down the DA job because she doesn’t want to give up her place on the team or her role as Black Canary. Ollie tells her what happened with Diggle and how he’s furious. That combined with Thea’s consuming rage towards Malcolm effectively means that the team isn’t so unified at the moment. He says that Laurel channeled her grief at her sister’s death into becoming the Black Canary, but Sara isn’t dead anymore so maybe he needs to do something for herself. He points out that the city needs heroes without masks too, and it needs Laurel Lance.

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At the prison, Murmur serves out books with weapons hidden within them. They start an uprising and take the guards hostage. At the Quiver they’ve been monitoring the situation and as soon as the scene is set they gear up and head out. Laurel looks as her mask and claims “one more time.”

“I’m going to turn that wall into a Jackson Pollock painting with his brains.”

Lance gets to the scene as well, despite him being suspended. He distracts Pike and the other just long enough for the team to get in. Diggs also brings Andy, despite Green Arrow’s warning to come alone, and Andy says he wants to prove his loyalty. They take out the inmates. Then Thea comes face to face with Malcolm for a rematch. Malcolm disarms and pins her and tells her she will never be able to beat him. Ever since they ‘cured’ her of her bloodlust she has lost the drive to kill and it is a weakness.

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The rest of the team finds where Darhk has been held up and takes out his fellow supporters. One of them gets the upper hand on Andy though and Darhk points a gun at him. The team lowers their weapons to get Darhk to spare Andy though and are taken hostage themselves. Then Darhk asks for what Andy has been waiting to give him and Andy hands over the last piece of the stone so Darhk can complete his idol.

Speedy puts two arrows in him before he can use it though, and it’s just the opening the rest of the team needs to break free. They don’t get far though. Darhk sacrifices a few men to absorb them to replenish his powers. He uses his powers on the team, and unmasks their identities to everyone present.

He takes a special interest in Laurel, pointing out that he made Lance a few special promises regarding what would happen if he betrayed him. He says for her to deliver a message to him, and stabs an arrow through her abdomen.

“Tonight was just a reminder that anything can happen.”

Green Arrow gets Black Canary to the hospital and the doctor calls for a trauma team and orders him to leave. He flees.

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At the police station, Lance is asking about what happened at the Prison (after he punched out his replacement) and he’s not reassured by what he hears. Not only did they not recapture all the inmates, he’s told one of the vigilantes, the Black Canary, was hurt real bad. He needs to get out of there and asks the cop to find Pike so he can.

The rest of the team change back into their civilian clothes and head to the hospital. Felicity joins them. Laurel is rolled out of surgery, and while she isn’t in perfect health, she looks well enough. She says that this isn’t how she wanted her last night to go. She was ready to give it up after tonight, but now she doesn’t think she can because she loves it all too much.

The rest of the team leaves her to give her some rest, but Ollie stays. She asks him to get something from her coat and he does. It’s a the picture that Ollie kept of her while he was on the island. She says that she’s glad that Ollie found Felicity, and she hopes he finds his way back to her. That while she might not be the love of his life, he was the love of hers. Then she asks Ollie to promise her something that we don’t get to hear.

Then something happens to her and she starts seizing. The team of medical professionals and the team of vigilantes head in to watch in awe. They watch as they try to resuscitate her, but fail. The doctor calls the time of death at 11:59. Lance arrives too late, and when he sees Ollie’s face it’s all he needs to know what had happened.

Assorted Musings

LOOK! They’re connecting the flashbacks to present day! It all fits together now! …and I’m still 100% not caring. Seriously. I’m just glad that next season they will be done with them.

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I’m loving Thea more and more as this season goes on. Everything in her life, especially as it concerns her father, is fucked up and she’s coping with it pretty well.

More and more Ollie and Laurel one-on-one time. I know it’s end game for comics-and it worked well in the comics I’m not denying that!-but for the show it still doesn’t feel authentic. They made it too complicated for these two to work I think. Not because I’m #TeamOlicity, but because it doesn’t fit with the story they’ve told so far.

(I wrote the above before the end, but I’m leaving it in because I do not think for one second that Laurel is going to stay dead. Not because they’ve done resurrection left and right, but because I don’t think they can kill off the Black Canary for good on this show.)

“Not getting a chance to work with Katie day in and day out is tempered by the fact that we now live in a universe where there’s resurrection, parallel earths, time travel, flashbacks — we have all these different ways of keeping Katie in the Arrow-verse family,” - Guggenheim in an interview

While her appearance in the next episode of the Flash is going to be as her Earth-2 counterpart, Katie Cassidy will also be in season 2 of Vixon, as the original Laurel Lance so take from that what you will.

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So if Reiker only found the idol 5 years ago, what was Darhk using to stay alive before that?

Apologies for having fewer gifs than normal. All anyone is focusing on is that last scene with Laurel, and who can blame them? If I come across some good ones tomorrow I’ll add them in.