Lyla and Digg are on a much-deserved night out when their walk home is crashed by an ARGUS agent, Allen Chang. He has a message for Lyla, but before he can deliver it, he’s grabbed by mysterious baddies. His body is eventually left for the SCPD, but there’s not much left of it.
Digg is able to recognize a patch on one of the bad guys. They’re part of a group known as Shadowspire. When Digg and Lyla head in to the ARGUS office to talk to Waller about it, Waller is super cagey, which surprises no one. What IS surprising is the thumb drive that Waller slips to Lyla as the couple starts to leave. With it, Team Arrow learns that Shadowspire was a group of war profiteers within the military. Digg remembers back in Afghanistan when Andy was almost recruited by one of them, a Lieutenant Joyner. And for “almost,” read “secretly was, but kept the fact from his disapproving older brother.” This does not particularly endear Andy to John in the present.
To mitigate this, Andy offers to help Team Arrow with their little Shadowspire problem. He sends them down to the docks, where the team runs into some pretty high tech security. If only they had a computer genius to help them out. Up to this point, Felicity hasn’t really felt ready to jump back into the fray, especially as her pain medication is causing her to hallucinate a rather mean-spirited version of her formerly gothy self. That aside, she’s not one to leave her team (or her fiancé) hanging. She provides her usual assist, but has one slip up in which Digg almost gets captured. Regardless, they learn that Shadowspire is in the market for some seriously destructive railguns.
Except that Andy says maybe not so much. Shadowspire operates on misdirection, so if the railguns were the obvious target, then the real job is going down somewhere else. Nevertheless, Team Arrow splits up with Arrow, Speedy, and Canary watching the railguns while Digg and Lyla take Andy into ARGUS to discuss the new developments with Waller. One guess as to which team is going to see action. While Digg and Andy are down in the detention level, Shadowspire attacks the ARGUS HQ with Andy’s old buddy Joyner in the lead, taking Waller, Lyla, and a roomful of ARGUS agents hostage. He wants Waller to give up the codes for Rubicon. He threatens to kill the ARGUS hostages, but Lyla, Waller’s “most trusted second,” gives it to him straight: Amanda Waller would watch every agent in the room die before she gave up the codes. Joyner makes it so that she doesn’t have to, killing Waller point blank.
The Brothers Diggle have been watching all of this go down from a few floors below. Digg uses the monitor to send an SOS to Felicity. Andy begs Digg to let him out of his cell so that he can help, but it doesn’t look like Digg is buying it. Shortly thereafter, we see Shadowspire grunts leading Andy in to see Joyner. Andy gives up that Digg is in the vents and planning a counterattack. Digg is pretty swiftly captured, but it’s blatantly clear that John and Andy have a plan. Meanwhile, Felicity is guiding Team Arrow through the facility while keeping Lyla’s Rubicon codes from working. Once the rest of the heroes arrive, things devolve into the usual episodic badass fight choreography, leaving our guys once more on top.
Once the dust settles, John brings Andy home for dinner and to meet Little Sara. In the Queen loft, Felicity has presumably told Oliver all about her goth hallucination. The two are curled up together and laughing about Felicity’s more interesting fashion choices. Felicity burns the picture of her old self to show that she’s happy with who she is now and that she’s ready to be fully part of the team again.
Hey! It’s an episodic flashback that I didn’t hate. Who knew? As of this moment, I would totally watch a spinoff about the Diggle brothers during their Army days. That may change should their flashbacks become as ubiquitous as Oliver’s, but for now I’ll take the Diggle flashback as a welcome relief from Oliver’s Island Days, Part Two. Granted, seeing Baron Reiter show up as the one to whom Joyner was reporting makes me slightly more interested in what’s going on in the big flashback picture, but only slightly. I dearly hope that The Powers That Be will finally drop Oliver in Russia next season so we can get that much closer to wrapping up this particular storytelling conceit.
On a lighter note (well, okay, technically a darker note), I’m never not going to love Gothlicity. Yes, in this episode she was the embodiment of every negative thought that Felicity has ever had about herself, but I think that the writers found a fantastic way to let us as the audience into Felicity’s head while she’s recovering and finding her place in Team Arrow again. Goth on, you crazy past hallucination, you.
Arrow 4.11 Episode Recap and Review: AWOL
Oliver: “I was going to go with ‘Oracle,’ but it’s taken.”
Things to Ponder:
- If Baron Reiter was Joyner’s boss back in the flashback days, what do you think is the likelihood that we’ll be seeing him in the present day?
- “Oracle” was taken and Walter was found in Bludhaven back in season one. I need one reference to Oliver knowing either Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson back in his rich playboy days. Please and thank you.
- Can we talk about how stupidly cute Little Sara is getting? Because I think we should.