Adrian Chase is a known serial killer after the epsiode “Disbanded,” but Team Arrow is no closer to finding him. Chase has been off the map since his identity was revealed by Team Arrow and there is no hope or way of tracking him down. However, Chase doesn’t need to be around to cause mayhem for Team Arrow as a conflict explodes within the team’s ranks during the search for the villain. In this episode entitled “Dangerous Liaisons,” Felicity’s partnership with Helix reaches its climax as it puts her up directly against Oliver and the team.
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Green Arrow: Civil War
The Team Arrow civil war is borne directly out of the hunt for Chase. Felicity learns from Helix that their leader and founder, Cayden James, has been captured by ARGUS. Before James was imprisoned without a trial, he was working on technology that Felicity could have used to help find Chase. Since the head of ARGUS, Lyla, is Diggle’s wife and Team Arrow’s frequent ally, this puts Felicity a little bit at odds with Oliver and company.
The conflict isn’t as simple as Felicity. Her people want James and ARGUS is just being big ole meanies about it. Through a couple scenes of conversation, Arrow makes this conflict not only feel it was where Felicity’s story was heading this entire season but for the whole series. Felicity argues to Oliver that she has seen him over the years doing whatever is necessary to save the city. Now, Felicity is willing to do the same and she wants Oliver to let her. Oliver knows the consequences for those actions and wants Felicity to stop. These arguments between Felicity and Oliver are excellent as they combine all of the characters’ messy, complicated (and sometimes romantic) history into some brilliantly acted exchanges. It’s also the perfect conflict as it easy to see both character’s point of view and neither of them is exactly right.
It’s a fair sight better than a similar argument playing out with Diggle and Lyla. Dig is horrified to learn that his wife, who runs a super-secret, morally-ambiguous spy organization, is doing super-secret, morally-ambiguous spy organization things. Dig is worried that Lyla is changing and they might be on the road to breaking up once more. This argument would be compelling if Arrow just hadn’t put Dig through the last two seasons dealing with killing his brother in a fit of rage. Dig doesn’t really have the moral high ground anymore. At least not to lecture Lyla about making some morally gray choices for justice.
Star (City) Crossed Lovers
Although Dig is angry at Lyla (for doing her job) he does work with her as Felicity and Helix prepare to invade the illegal blacksite where ARGUS is holding Cayden James. (Dig throws a hissy fit about this as well.) Arrow is smart enough to show Felicity being concerned about attacking the ARGUS facility. Felicity is not only opposed to killing people herself but anyone else who is involved with Helix pulling a trigger. This is a welcome sign hinting that Felicity hasn’t completely crossed over to the dark side.
Felicity might not be willing to kill but she is fully committed to Helix and freeing James. When Team Arrow arrives, Felicity ends up putting herself in front of Oliver’s gun to allow her Helix cohorts to escape with James. Arrow might have proven in season 5 that Felicity and Oliver are better as platonic partners than romantic ones. The show did squander their relationship in season 4 and have done nothing romantic with them in season 5. Yet, there is so much pain and tension in Oliver being forced to point a gun at Felicity and her standing up to him. It’s not super clear if the two need to fight or make out to work out their problems, but it is something. I’m not sure which one I want to see as a viewer. I’m leaning toward both. The spark between them looked to be dead but it might be still be there.
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There are no flashbacks in “Dangerous Liasons” but there is a rather bizarre story about Quentin added about him trying to get Rene to see his daughter again. It is an emotional side story as far as side stories go. The highlight is that Quentin tells Rene he would do anything to see his daughter again.This is heartbreaking and a good use of Quentin and Rene, but the story feels completely out of place with in the episode. Rene does promise (seriously this time) to get back custody of his daughter, so while it is odd, it is nice to have something happy happen in the episode.
Parting Gift or Parting Curse?
Felicity sacrificed a lot to save Cayden but Helix isn’t interested in sacrificing for her. When Felicity goes back to Helix HQ she finds that everyone has cleared out. Alena is kind enough to Skype in and tell Felicity that this is the end though. Alena also leaves her a parting gift. Cayden has evidently worked out the tech that will allow the team to find Chase and it’s there for her use.
Felicity rushes to the Arrow Cave where Oliver is sad drinking. Felicity does her furiously typing routine and declares that the tech is working. The tech has found Chase but there is a problem. According to Felicity’s screen, Chase is in the building with Oliver and herself. Before this information can be registered by Oliver or Felicity, the computer explodes. An EMP has gone off and the explosion sends both of them flying and the episode dramatically cuts to black.
How do you feel about this heavy but excellent episode of Arrow? What do you think it means for the future of Oliver and Felicity? Are Dig and Lyla headed for another divorce? Whose side were you on between Oliver and Felicity? Were you charmed by the Rene and Quentin subplot?
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(Image courtesy of The CW)