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Arrow S02E06: "Keep Your Enemies Closer"


It was Diggle's turn to have an episode focused on him this week, after what seemed like a long stretch of episodes where he operated in just a supporting capacity. Sure, that's his job, and his function in Oliver's work, but between his ongoing search for answers regarding his brother's death and his competency in the field when it comes to duking it out with the bad guys, I like it when Diggle's a little more active, as opposed to someone whose role is to say "Hey, Oliver, you're acting like a jerk." Not that I don't enjoy it when he does that, too, but I like to be more fully reminded about Diggle's life outside of Oliver's goals.

"Keep Your Enemies Closer" was just chock full of stuff for Diggle to do, which made it an entertaining-enough episode. It also achieved some more world-expansion for the show, including the introduction of Amanda "The Wall" Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) of A.R.G.U.S.—though in the Green Lantern/New 52 relaunch incarnation, The Wall is more like The Twig—and shifted the search for Andy Diggle's murderer away from Deadshot and onto a new-to-the-series organization called H.I.V.E.

I've always appreciated Diggle for being incredibly sensible; he certainly provided a conscience for Oliver at a time when Oliver very desperately needed one. But that characteristic was toned down when it came to tracking down Deadshot and getting answers about Andy's death. Of course, it wasn't too toned down: His drive to find the truth about Andy's death and get revenge—not justice, importantly—aligned him with Oliver in Season 1, but still caused tension when Deadshot was less of a priority than Oliver's list.


Deadshot never really went away, regardless of where he ranked as a priority for Team Arrow. Even as we've waited for him to make a physical appearance on the show once again, Deadshot's been haunting Diggle, holding him back from being happy. Diggle's obsession with him drove him away from Carly, and then Lyla—who turned out to be Diggle's ex-wife—ended up in a Russian prison because she had tracked Deadshot down on Diggle's behalf. Diggle couldn't afford to lose one more person he cared about to this man, emotionally or physically.

It's what kept Diggle from killing Deadshot when he had the opportunity to do so. All last season, he worried about Oliver chipping away at his own soul in his relentless pursuit of crossing names of the list and killing who knows how many people in the process. With all the losses Diggle's already suffered, killing Deadshot may've been the last hit his soul could've taken. I liked that Oliver didn't need to remind Diggle of this, and that "Keep Your Enemies Closer" allowed Diggle to make this decision without an outside influence. It might've made for some nice character symmetry, but it felt more consistent for the character, in addition offering some additional development.

Of course, letting Deadshot go and giving up the war are two different things. Had Deadshot not dropped the tidbit about H.I.V.E., I like to think that Diggle would have found himself at peace with Andy's death, and moved on with his life. With this new information, there's Diggle has a new target. If you think about how Diggle described the end of his and Lyla's marriage—"couldn't figure out a way to stay married without a war to fight"—he found Lyla willing to fight this battle with him, and this not only provided a justification for their probably re-kindled relationship, but also for Diggle to extend his crusade by beginning to research H.I.V.E., albeit through Bing instead of by asking Felicity to do her computer wizard thing.


If you're an Oliver/Felicity 'shipper or a Diggle/Felicity 'shipper, this episode was rough for you. Not only did Diggle and Lyla have themselves some sexytimes—yay for Diggle getting some sexy times!—but Oliver and Isabel hooked up after bonding in the hotel bar and downing vodka, as you do. I'm willing to roll with the "Felicity has a crush on Oliver" thing due largely to the strength of Emily Bett Rickards' performance in hitting those hurt and occasionally passive-aggressive notes and Stephen Amell's nice conveyance regret/guilt, even though it felt slightly out of left field, narratively. Sure, Felicity has made inadvertently suggestive remarks about Oliver's appearance, but if you were socially awkward and didn't have much of a filter, you'd do the same thing. He is dreamy, after all. That it translated into something more than just physical attraction, however, felt very new, and might've just been stirred up by Oliver sleeping with Isabel.

However, if I were Felicity, I'd be questioning my choices in men just a smidge. I mean, if Oliver's willing to sleep with Isabel because he doesn't care about her, and thus doesn't care if she gets hurt somehow, well, there's a compartmentalization of empathy there that might be worth addressing in couples' counseling, should things progress to that point. What happens if he stops caring about you, Felicity? Yeah. Guy's got issues.


Speaking of couples' counseling, Thea and Roy broke up! And then got back together! And I didn't really care because this plot was very dumb. I get Loring's concern over the optics of Thea dating a felon, but it's as if everyone forgot that Thea crashed a car during her birthday while high on Vertigo and even went to court over it. That doesn't say much about Moira as a parent at the time, and it certainly isn't any less damaging than Thea dating Roy now. 

Of course, Thea's gotten significantly better, and she's managing Verdant all by herself, but that's without Moira's positive mothering since, well, Moira's in prison. Thank goodness Moira was the voice of reason who told those two crazy kids to ignore her attorney and just be a couple. And all was right in the world of episode-padding subplots once again! Hey, at least it wasn't Laurel hanging out in her apartment, drinking wine and downing pills.


In the flashbacks, we learned a fair bit. Ivo's after a supersoldier serum that the Japanese developed in World War II, and thinks the supply is located somewhere on the island, probably in that grave site that Oliver, Slade, and Shado found. My mind immediately went to Blood's syringe full of green liquid from a few episodes ago, which the Mayor had injected into his body, but maybe that's just what the show wanted me to think!

We also found out that Shado and Slade survived the bombings, so good news on that front! The bad news is that half of Slade's handsome mug is burned and not-so-handsome anymore. With Slade in less-than-good shape, Shado's going to be left to her own devices to defend the two of them from Ivo and his team of pirates, unless Oliver is somehow able to exploit the tension between Ivo, Sara, and the captain. And if Sara stops being a double agent long enough for that to happen, too.



FROM THE QUIVER

– H.I.V.E. is a pretty run-of-the-mill supervillain organization in the comics, like the Secret Society or the Legion of Doom. It used to stand for Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination (sinister!) but was changed to Holistic Integration for Viral Equality (not all that sinister) in the New 52 relaunch. If you watched the animated series Teen Titans, though, I imagine you're probably stroking your chin and thinking, "Hmm..." If you want to know more, you could just give into the product integration and Bing it! 

– I won't harp on the physical appearance of Amanda Waller, as it's been done to death elsewhere. So long as Waller's still being an untouchable and ruthless badass who doesn't take crap from anyone—and "anyone" has included Batman in the past—I'll be happy. I did appreciate Arrow keeping her codename as Mockingbird, and, yes, I'm staying mum on the whole Task Force X thing. I expect it'll return to the show at some point, especially since Waller knows about how Diggle and Oliver spend their nights. Which means she's been reading my fan-fiction, right?


– Since he had more than just a cameo this week, it's time for Anatoli Knyazev's comic book tie-in mention! In the comics, he's the unfortunately named assassin KGBeast. It was the late 1980s! What'd you expect? I'm not really all that familiar with Knyazev, so I'll leave it for someone else to compare/contrast in the comments; I do think that David Nykl was having a great deal of fun playing your standard Russian mobster, though.

– "It's been a while since I've arrested you. I've forgotten how good it feels."

– "If Oliver vouches for you, you're my second-favorite American!"

– "[Long spiel in Russian.]" "What'd you say?" "'Please.'"

– "Do I strike you as someone who needs to cuddle?"

– The "no kill" rule does not extend to Russian prison guards who get themselves blown up by a lapel pin. Remember: What happens in Russia stays in Russia, including the body count!


What'd you think of "Keep Your Enemies Closer"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/25/2016

Season 4 : Episode 23

Next Episode

AIRS ON 10/5/2016

Season 5 : Episode 1

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so brother blood ordered the hit on Andy????????????!?!??!!?!?!

I just really want to see slade in the present day

2 more eps till the flash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I'm not sure I liked how the Felicity stuff went down, but I hope it gets somehow amended in coming episodes. In the sense that I don't want (and I don't believe in) a whining Felicity.

All the rest of the stuff was very entertaning!
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Yes, this is not Season 1 Felicity. They ruined her because people are supposed to ship Oliver and Laurel. ^

Season 1 - charming, smart, and fun
Season 2 - annoying, bratty, snarky, talks back to Oliver/calls him insensitive, and acts like a jelous ex-girlfriend

and I doubt they'll fix her. in their desire to please Katie Cassidy, they ruined Felicity.
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Yikes, I hope that you are wrong...! But I can see your point just too clearly :( Well, on the good side of things, I still like Felicity this season, this was the first intervention that I didn't buy at all. She's still brave, curious, laid back and funny. Just maybe not as funny as last season.
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I wonder how the child molestation accusations against Roy Harper will affect his relationship with Thea.
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I liked this episode, even when I am scared for Slade/Shado. I am afraid they would think Oliver betrayed them.
I am glad Harper was doing something and Laurel was no present, and I even liked Isabel and I am glad Waller is in the show, but I was annoyed by all the jealousy and about the fact that Isabel didn't realize how useful and bright is Felicity as an assistant in her own right. She should hire her!
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This version of Slade is way too nice . Seemed obvious to me something would happen to his face (Checked!!) and seems obvious to me Shado dying , in his mind because of Oliver , will push him as an enemy and the Deathstroke we usually know
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Yes, I've been thinking the same for a while. Shado will die, Slade will blame Oliver, Slade will become an enemy. But I was hoping the good friendly times were more lasting.
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The thing about his avoidance of a relationship with Felicity is pandering TV drama nonsense. Fact is, he cares about her enough now as he ever would if he was romantically involved / sleeping with her. So all he's really doing is making her unhappy and feeding his own self-destructive ego. If they were involved, the level of danger etc. would be exactly the same for both of them, but they'd each at least be getting some on a regular basis with someone they respect and don't need to keep secrets from. It'd honestly be the healthiest relationship on TV. BUT this is the CW so I don't expect much more than high school level relationship angst from any character at this point.

That aside - entertaining Russians, cool fights, and explodey action were all a win.
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In the past I have found the flashbacks to be an annoying and unnecessary interruption, but now I'm more interested in the island tales than the present!!!

Could we have a flashback episode please?
:)
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Diggle in action, great. Felicity loves Oliver but he is an idiot. Laurel is dull compared to her. Olly went for a quickie but Summer Glau is irresistable so I don't blame him. Felicity is the one for him though.
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I have to say I am pleasantly surprised about how good Arrow is this season. I have liked and enjoyed every single episode so far. In this episode, I really appreciated Diggle's honor. Their interactions with the Russian guy were so much fun!!!! Sarah betrayed Oliver and I now like her to the same level as I like her sister, whom I was extremely pleased not to see in this episode. The sub plot with Roy and Thea was a little bit boring and unnecessary, but anything is better than Laurel. The thing between Oliver and Felicity was a little weird, I have to admit. We always knew that Felicity had a crush on Oliver, the kind of crush that socially awkward girls have when they are around people like, well like Oliver. And Oliver was certainly feeling protective of her. In this season we have seen them coming closer. However nothing we have seen so far justifies Felicity's reaction (she was ready to cry) or Oliver's need to justify himself. :/ Felicity was not jealous about him and Laurel for example. And as exactly these kind of feelings might have come up because of Oliver and Isabel sleeping together, maybe the reason they emphasized them so and made them reciprocal in order to put this story in the table as well? Anyway, still loved their interactions. And even though I don't really care if they will be together or not, I hope they will continue having this hilarious conversations. I laughed hard with the fact that everyone in the company thought that Felicity and Oliver had a relationship and that was why she got that position. "They aren't that short" :P
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Careful Arrow.. you're getting a little too soapy now with the whole Moira in prison redemption/Thea-Roy relationship troubles/Laurel falling off the deep end/Oliver-Felicity odd-brewing relationship. Wait.. is this actually a superhero show for the ladies? no.. shirtless hunks.. NO.. soapy drama.. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
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I just loved every single thing about Oliver and Felicity. She is so amazing, if only Ollie would choose her instead of annoying Laurel. And Diggle having an actual A-storyline makes me really happy.
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I completely agree....I'm on team Felicity/Olly but I know it's futile bc theybdon't end up together in the comics. But why oh why can't the guy ever end up with the girl he knows he should be with. But won't bc they're friends and he cares too much about her. hello Clark and Chloe from Smallville I'm talking to you!
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Lance lets Roy go - Go Team Arrow!,

Shirtless Diggle - more please.

I don't even know or care what Oliver said in Russian to that man but I would have handed the keys over too.

Felicity's: "what ever happens in Russia stays in Russia even when it makes no sense whatsoever." and "There are over 64 million woman over the age of consent in Russia and you choose to sleep with her."
Roy: "I got a lot of calls from prison but never from my girlfriends' mother"
Felicity and Oliver's moment at the end --> Me: Fangirling so much.

Best of all - No Laurel!! Happy Day!!
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Diggle with his shirt off; episode made!
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At least Felicity took Oliver's tryst with Isabel better than Laurel would have. Although I could picture her saying to Laurel: "Laurel, have you met Isabel? She's Oliver's ice-cold business partner whom he slept with a couple days after ditching you at your apartment door. But it's Ok--he ditched you that night to go be with your sister. No, wait, not like that---um, I'm gonna stop talking now."
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What an amazing!! Laurel free episode!! This was a magnificent view of what this show could be if they just dropped that character! They don't even have to explain her away just drop it. Anyway thought this was a well done episode and I'm very happy they quickly resolved the Thea/Harper "break-up" drama. Question: Since you mentioned Teen Titans the animated series.. Is the Slade on the island the same Slade on the show?
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This Slade is different than the comic book incarnation, at least thus far. Slade in this case is an MIA Aussie operative who, for all his brusqueness and self-interest, has grown into a caring (tough love) and concerned mentor for Oliver. In the comics and animation, Slade has never been a really redeeming character, but rather has ranged from mercenary to assassin. Granted, these aren't far from where he is now, and to me the show seems on a course to convert him into the Deathstroke we're more familiar with, albeit a more layered one.

Since they've started him as a (anti)hero, the developments of this season seem to be moving toward an eventual falling out between him and Oliver, likely after Sara's second apparent death (Sara asked about him, but Oliver avoided the question). The potential love triangle with Shado, coupled with his Two-Face style wounds (which were a result of Oliver's recklessness), and the coming camp raid all seem to be building to that (especially given the warm big/little brother moment he and Oliver had right before things went south, a common plot device in such cases). After all, it was Deathstroke's mask (with an arrow through the right eye) that was the warning post in the opening of the pilot last year--granted, maybe they saved Billy Wintergreen's mask, but he was taken down by a knife through the eye, not an arrow--and why would they not have posted it by now?

Side note: If Slade does become Deathstroke, it would stand to reason that he will lose his right eye at some point in that process, as in the comics. Of course, keeping things that closely with the comics would also indicate that Roy will also sustain a significant injury at some point (don't want to spoil anything by saying just yet).

Of course, all of this setup may be red herrings. Slade may have left the island (or died on it) still more or less a hero. The mask may have been Billy's (or even Slade's, posted so that ASIS will presume him dead). The love triangle may not fully develop (or become a major issue). And the fire doesn't seem to have claimed his right eye, so it may have been a tease (especially for those familiar with the comics Deathstroke and the most recent film Two-Face), and Slade will never lose his eye or his sanity/goodness. It wouldn't be our first bait-and-switch.

Whatever becomes of him, I just hope the writers don't lose sight of the layers they've built with him, as his character is easily one of the best-developed on the show (and that's without knowing all that much about his background).
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Sorry but Amanda Waller is and will always be played and/or Voiced by CCH Pounder in my heart
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Does anyone know the spelling of the term the prisoner called Diggle when he enter the cell in Gulag?
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I believe it was черная кожа (pronounced chernai koja) which means black skin.
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thanks
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Over all a decent and complete ep in scope. However, the thing that kills it for me is the Amanda Waller gang being in the know - not to mention that they just nabbed 'the Digster' so easily. The whole conceit of Arrow et al. doing their thing under the radar is somewhat spoiled and begs the point of whether Waller's gonna come a knockin' when ever she wants to use them. The latter is ultimately what happens in so many shows and much to the worse for it.
I liked killings again. All the "I will not kill", feels a bit neutered this season - and I've been blaming the T2 writers for this in PoI too!
Hearing 'suka' made me realise how long it's been since I last played RAGE...
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It's obvious how Waller if not the rest of ARGUS knows about Oliver and Diggle.
Edward Fyers knew who Oliver was and would have reported it to his boss, the lady in the red stiletto's.
The first shot of Amanda Waller is a pair of red stiletto's that look exactly like ones Fyers' boss was wearing.
Waller was Fryers' boss and knows all about Oliver, Slade, Shado etc.
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Aye. As above, hoping this isn't going to be intrusive; unless Oliver decides it's time to kill again and picks her and her red stilettos.;)
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Very cool episode! But then, I do love this show...

Speaking of love, I've had a long and storied love affair with Felicity Smoak- but now this bad ass, Sara?? Quirky/sexy vs. the Xena button... That's a toughy. Then I just have to remind myself that it's a good thing Summer Glau doesn't have more screen time- or I'd really be in trouble.

Thank you, Arrow! For both the consistently engaging stories, and for doling out the eye candy plentifully all around!
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After I finished watching, I felt like something was different. Then it hit me - no Laurel. Sadly, the episode was better for it.

Loved this episode! Mainly because I absolutely love Diggle and we learned a bit more about him here. He was married to Lyla - that was a twist! The reason he gave for the failure of their marriage made a lot of sense, actually. I definitely want to see more of Diggle on the show outside of his role as advisor to Oliver. Now if they could just fill in some blanks for Felicity's character - by the way, have you seen the character card they released for her this season? The 'mysterious past' wording made me wonder about her backstory.

I'm an Olicity shipper, but this episode didn't bother me. Maybe because I'm not in a hurry for them to get together, so I expect Oliver to have these kinds of bedroom shenanigans. As you said, guy's got issues. Felicity had a point though - Isabel? I think her reaction was mainly due to his choice of bed partner. But I feel like Felicity's crush (mixed with a little superhero worship) has been kind of obvious, and I can accept that her feelings might have grown deeper since she spends all her time with Oliver. She doesn't seem to have a life outside what they're doing. I'm kind of glad they addressed it even though I wasn't expecting it to turn quite so serious at the end. I think Oliver is still in the friend zone, but it would be unusual if he'd never considered it - proximity, availability and curiosity, you know? So this was their 'When Harry Met Sally' moment IMO - the show has thrown the possibility out there, laid the groundwork so to speak. Will they or won't they? It'll be interesting to see how they use the tension they created here. Also, Oliver is now aware that everyone in the company thinks he and Felicity are sleeping together - that whole bit was pretty funny, actually.

Love the A.R.G.U.S. and H.I.V.E. angles here, but I wasn't impressed by Amanda Waller. Was she supposed to be intimidating? Kind of disappointing, but we'll see how that develops. And they're really gearing up for the upcoming Flash storyline. Can't wait for that!

I see there were some complaints about Russian stereotypes. I think the writers went with the stereotypes because they're recognizable and fit the story. And it's the CW - I'm from Alabama, and I watch Hart of Dixie sometimes to get a good laugh over the stereotypes (and holy cow, the accents lol.) Don't get me started on the Hollywood version (Forrest Gump and Sweet Home Alabama.) In the end, I can still enjoy the story in spite of clichés.

Saw the promo for next week! Excited to see Seth Gabel back, but I can already tell I'm going to be grinding my teeth during this mockery of a trial that's coming. If the DA is down, we all know who's going to be trying the case **sigh** Hopefully, she'll at least be sober for that! Still think season 2 is awesome so far - much better than season 1.
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It was an ok diversion, lightweight but at least a thing. About on par with the lesser elements of season 2, but not the worst elements of season 1.

I like when Diggle is more than just black Alfred the butler, but he too often seems to go out on his own with this "whoa, is this happening to me???" look on his face that seems out of place. Also, Ollie should be his own man, it never fails to annoy me a little when Diggle is there to teach or guide Ollie, and that's not taking into account the fact that Diggle rarely fares any better. Here he was ok, but too often was the meat, the punching bag, the passive subject of the moment rather than taking an active role. And for him to just let Deadshot go at the end, you can have him around to take him to justice without killing him, you know. Still, the biggest WHAT THE FUCK DIGGLE?!? moment was when he tried to turn down the drink - he's lucky he didn't get shot in the face for that insult! What was the point of that scene, that Diggle is a complete moron? If he had reservations about it, all that was required was a look between Ollie and Dig, not the world's dumbest thing to say to a Russian mafia guy.

"The Twig", good one. Ugh, stupid New 52 Amanda Waller! I hate you New 52, go suck an egg.

Man, Arrowverse's version of Bing sucks worse than ours! Nothing on "HIVE" there despite plenty of non-comic-book links coming up here.

Why was Felicity on this mission at all? Her presence for once actually brought an episode down for me, all she did was pine over Ollie which led to forcing that awkward moment about their "relationship".

The worst whiff punch ever was Roy in the beginning of the episode, the stuntman reacted before Roy finished drawing his hand back, that was hilariously bad.

"No kill" except a shitload of guards who are just doing their jobs. How many guys does Diggle gun down in that scene?

Isabel came out of her shell and it barely felt like it mattered. This character needs to step it up faster. Her bed-hopping did remind me of '80s DC comics though, someone sitting upright in underwear maybe putting on a boot while the other lays under tangled sheets, then they have some quip come up in another panel.

So I'm a comic book reader from when Brother Blood and HIVE and Deathstroke originally came about and mattered, and the idea that HIVE is the one who killed Diggle's brother has a touch of the "it turns out one guy caused everything and everything's connected" nonsense that these sorts of shows and movies pull on comic book projects. I assume that Brother Blood will be taking over HIVE in this incarnation, and that Deathstroke probably won't be dragged into this until pretty late in the game, if at all. I also usually get annoyed when season 2 puts a spin on an established origin from season 1, Sara on this very show would be an example of that. But with Diggle's brother Diggle (and his other brother Diggle?), there really wasn't a satisfying-enough motive to get Deadshot, the idea that he hit a guard instead of his target wasn't the most compelling or believable thing once we got more info on Deadshot, and machinations are what HIVE is all about. So maybe this could work, and with entertainment news revealing Nightwing/Dick Grayson entering the fray, we're getting dangerously close to Arrow reliving The New Teen Titans major storylines which were pretty compelling.
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all I need to say is EXCELLENT REVIEW BY Noel Kirkpatrick.
and yes "Do I strike you as someone who needs to cuddle?" made me LOL
Summer Glau is SO Terminator/River Tam
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Seems like people more or less liked this episode whereas in my opinion it's episodes like this that could end a show. The name of the episode should have been "Keep the cliches coming" and it was annoying beyond belief.

I know that the show is american and the target audience for the network is american and they don't care what happens once they sell the rights for it overseas, but come ooooonnn. Contrary to popular belief vodka is NOT the only drink in Russia, it's not ALWAYS winter there, you can't "buy everything if you have the money", prisons are not extra hellish, and speaking russian is not something you can do just by opening and closing your mouth and making incoherent sounds appear. And also Oliver will not kill people in his town anymore, but he has no problem blowing up 4-5 russian prison guards so he can make a hole in the wall???

I felt angry at the episode and i'm not even russian. Can't even think how russians gonna feel after watching this piece of bad television.

Other things not russian related were the poor excuse of trying to show that Thea cares so much about her mother that she will brake up with her boyfriend, Deadshot conveniently freeing himself from his restraints in the fridge, Oliver having sex while his friend is in a gulag just so we can have a few more good chemistry moments between him and Felicity and a rescue operation from "THE NIGHTMARE" prison that involved them strolling in with a car, beating up 10 guys and then strolling out.

Bad thing is i actually love Arrow and i hope this episode will be a one time occurrence and not the trend.
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I liked 1st season. 2nd season is awesome. Total characters and organisation overload. I was saying through all episode: "whatttt".
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It was a great episode for Oliver / Felicity fans, great chemistry again! The episode was very interesting and dynamic, a lot got revealed. But please don't ever let Oliver speak Russian ever, ever, ever again! The guy couldn't pronounce a single word from the script, it was awful... Why don't they stick with the English. Just because the story is in Russia doesn't mean you have to speak Russian and if you do make sure you can do it properly. The scene were Oliver was speaking in that guy's ear was so funny because he was saying basically nothing :)
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i don't speak Russian, but it sounded vaguely guttural and menacing and that is all I expect. they didn't hire steve for his facility with foreign languages
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His character speaks Russian so don't you think he is hired for this after all :)
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Another great episode.

As for Felicity, I think her reaction was more so about whom Oliver hooked up with. When its Laurel, Felicity understands. But Isobel? Felicity made it clear that Oliver can and should do better. I think she now thinks, why not me? And thats where the mild jealousy came from. It was a little out of left field, but really its been brewing since last season.
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I was planning to bring this up. Isn't what she did like the international fiction sign for why not me. Is it? I'm not saying its cliches and I think she's awesome. I want them to get together. but what happens after? If they break up.

I think Felicity/Emily Bett is the prettiest woman on the show. I'm kinda sad she's not the future canary or would play a more prominent role.
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This was Arrow's best episode because there was no LAUREL in it!!
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You absolutely read my mind! I kept hoping they were going to kill her off on the doll episode. This episode showed more than anything how unnecessary her character is a bad it would be if they killed off Sara and resurrected Laurel as Black Canary as they plan!
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Laurel adds absonothing to the show, nothing but whingeing
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(I am commenting before I have read the review.)

Why did they do the whole Russian thing? SO ridiculous. I mean.. I do not know if it was so bad it was good or plain old bad. Ha, maybe I should take it easy and not expect authenticity from a CW superhero show but perhaps because I know the real thing, it was like a splinter in my eye throughout the whole episode.
So many stereotypes done no justice at all. It could have been hilarious. (Omg, I just remembered the Russian hussies and the vodka, bad accents and the FUR, hahahaha the FUR hats !! and the prisoners that had the reseblance to real Russian thugs with their pointy hair negative 200 per cent. Ok, actually I think it WAS hilarious)
Oh, another thing, I loved when Lyla left the room, DIggle immediatly dug out his phone and BINGed HIVE. hahahaha trolololo I bet the search came up with "A mysterious evil group of super villains."
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No more Russian and furry hats for this guys !!!
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Dude, it's a show based on a comic book. Comics tend to have the over-the-top stereotypes when it comes to region-style: clothing, props, etc. Not so much the religious / racial / cultural stuff -- they know not to go there. But when it comes to setting-changes, they go over the top to know that "this is somewhere else" even if it's corny props.

It's one of those things you live with when it comes to comics and comic-based shows: REALLY bad physics, suspension of disbelief, and props/settings that are a little too cliche or stereotypes.
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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LAUREL YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY =D
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Starling City: Attorney gets fidgety about Thea dating a known felon.

Meanwhile the headline in The Moscow Times.
Billionaire Oliver Queen's bodyguard gets arrested with halve a billion Rub. worth of drugs.
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In all fairness, I don't think they bothered to even ask Diggle's name before throwing him in the Gulag for life. Basically an accurate reflection of the Russian criminal justice system.
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Another great episode. The show just keeps getting better and better.
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I didn't really care for most of the Roy/Thea story, but I did love Roy's scene with Detective Lance at the beginning! Team Arrow unite. I loved that Lance just believed him and let him go. Although maybe Oliver should let all the respective members of his team know who's who so things like that don't happen in the first place.

Also, just realized why I enjoyed this episode so much - no Laurel :P

I really liked the exploration of Isabel this episode, too. I really like the character.
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The problem is, if he starts letting everyone know who's who, then even an idiot can figure out that Ollie is the Vigilante. I mean, to be honest I'm surprised Lance hasn't figured it out already considering he knows Felicity works with the Vigilante and is Ollie's assistant.

Firstly, Officer Lance would probably want to either A) kick his butt or B) turn him in. And even if Lance is in a forgiving mood... he gets into a lot of trouble. If HE knows then one of his kidnappers or enemies may eventually find out.

I can see it now
  • Cryptic Voice: So Lance, the following people work for me in case you need something
  • Cryptic Voice: Felicity, Diggle and Roy
  • Lance: Wait wait wait... Diggle as in Oliver's bodyguard and driver? Felicity as in Oliver's assistant? And Roy, Oliver's sister's boyfriend?
  • Cryptic Voice: Ummmm
  • Lance: Oliver, I'm SO gonna kick your arse when I see you next time. YOU DIDN'T TELL ME ABOUT MY DAUGHTER and made me look like an arse way too often.
  • Cryptic Voice: Umm, sorry I'm *static* oing through a *static* tunnel will *static* lk to you later.
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I think Lance knows or should have realize it he just doesn't want to admit it out loud all the clues point there anyway and like he said he isn't particular where help comes from now.
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Still missing the BOSE serial, Noel? Great Felicity moments abound.

(Although Blackthorne's performance--usually spot on--seems a bit "phoned in" (pardon the pun)--almost video-gamey. But then again, it's supposed to just be a Felicity and Roy story, so I can overlook it.)

Also loved Stephen Amell's reaction at the end of Flash setup number 5. Almost as if identifying with the viewers' expected reaction of "What does this have to do with the price of rice in China anyway?"
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Nope. Saw it, had nothing to say. *shrug*
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"Whatcha say?"
"Please ;)"
It just keeps getting better and better! I liked the episode as it explored Diggle and i loved the talk between Oliver and Isabel. The look on Felicity's face when she saw Isabel coming out of Oliver's room, priceless :)
With STAR Labs popping up every now and then I think the Flash story will develop soon.
Arrow is currently my favorite series on television right now.
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My Olicity shipping heart feels like it got sucker punched in this episode!!!
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Actually I found this episode encouraging on the Olicity front. If Felicity had brushed off or teased Oliver about his hook-up, or even berated him for his poor taste, that would suggest she has no romantic feelings toward him. Instead we saw that she is HURT by his choices. Oliver for his part gets the closest we've ever seen to indicating he could potentially have romantic feelings for Felicity. He says to her that he slept with Summer's character because he doesn't have feelings for her and he can't risk getting involved with someone that he could. He is admitting to Felicity he would never go near her romantically because she is someone he could love. We've got to start somewhere.
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Exactly what I thought! If they hook up too early, it'll never last. I just want them to end up together in the end!
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I'm not so sure that Oliver's reaction to Felicity was as out of left field as Noel thinks. The revelations from Sara about what's going to happen on the island before she appearently dies again, (which I'm guessing happens at the end of this season) and from what we've seen this season suggest the Slade and Ollie are going to have a big fight about Shado, which Ollie 'sort of' wins because otherwise why is going to get a copy of Shado's dragon tatoo on his back?
It's not too hard to see how an island love triangle ending very badly would give Ollie commitment issues.
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I don't know if me meant left field as in Oliver wouldn't make that choice with a female in order to avoid the commitment. I think he meant left-field as in the way the scene tried to imply who he could care about that way was Felicity. I may be wrong, but that's what I interpreted the comment as , as Oliver hasn't shown any interest in Felicity prior
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Left field in terms of Felicity's feelings, not Oliver's reactions. Bad wording. Allergy meds.
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It was good to have an episode that focused on the supporting cast Diggle got a lot of action this week and Felicity told Oliver she cares for him in a clear and deliberate way. Oliver had a fling with Isabel after bonding over Vodka and learning that they had a few things in common like speaking Russian, having to fight against stereotypes and prove themselves to the world, and knowing what it is like to be lonely.
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David Nykl totally looks like Hugh Jackman. I was like: Wow, wow, Wolverine's here?
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Loved the episode. If this series is separate from the movies, may I suggest they bring in another Spartacus alumnus Liam McIntyre as a Bruce Wayne cameo for just one episode. No Batman, just as Bruce Wayne and have Steven R McQueen get his wish and appear as Nightwing in that episode. Do it CW!!!


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I like this show. A lot. I'm a big fan of Summer Glau, but she definitely plays emotionless robots better than any other role. Also, is it just me or does Felicity look way better with her glasses on?
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Nice to see David Nykl back on the tele box. All we need now is David Hewlett as his antagonistic friend (I hereby formally request this....)
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I think Zelenka was SG:Atlantis's Felicity, a bit part that became central to the show, and how is anyone who appears in over half a shows episodes a guest star ??

But yes more Nykl is needed
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The guy playing Deadshot looked like Milo Ventimiglia.
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Glad I'm not the only one who saw Peter Petrelli.
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Now I can't unsee that.
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So, I just have to get this thought out so I can actually focus on work today....

So, I put this out there that I thought Deadshot said IV not Hive and so my mind leapt immediately to Dr. Ivo on the boat. That lead me to think, so Oliver is initially able to evade the freighter boat guys once they get on the island and get to Shado and Slade (who if not for Slade's condition, would have moved after Oliver's aborted phone call) and between Oliver and Shado they are able to get Slade to the Japanese boat where, totally out of an attempt to save him, they expose Slade to the serum (if the three of them already haven't been exposed) and Slade is better (still scarred, but not dying anymore) and seems like his normal self. They pull themselves together to basically mutiny the freighter boat, but maybe initially all they manage to do is free the prisoners and get Sarah on their side. But, I am guessing they are unsuccessful, and there is briefly five people left on Lian Yu (Oliver, Shado, Slade, Sarah and Anatoli) and some contingent of the freighter people escape with the serum where they go and start S.T.A.R. laboratories. But Slade's exposure starts to warp him (after him seeming to be super human for a bit) though my guess is Sarah leaves before he goes totally Deathstroke on us. I do wonder if we will see Sebastian Blood in a totally unrecognizable role on the freighter or otherwise since I am guessing that's the serum he is testing out (eek, you kind of know it is going to work on Vertigo). I mean, S.T.A.R. labs has been getting more and more screen time each episode..

I really liked this episode, I kind of think I saw the Oliver/Felicity thing a little different. Like, he was communicating what we all thought he was, but, I kind of think she was not thinking of herself necessarily when thought he needed someone better (like even though she would still be kind of jealous, I think she would still be fine with McKenna). But I have weirdly been in that position before where you know you have a valid opinion and you are pretty sure it is an objective opinion but you have feelings too.
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That's all well and good, but we saw Diggles actually binging H.I.V.E. .....
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Yeah I know, that's why I figure I am totally wrong in my theory because it kind of was all based on my mishearing. My freshmen year English teacher and my French teacher all also didn't pronounce their h's at the beginning of words (like saying uman as opposed to human), I have figured it was that problem.
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Can any Russian-speakers tell us what Ollie's threat was?
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Basically - Bla Bla Bla... Whatever this was it wasn't Russian so I don't think anyone could translate it. Maybe we can find the script and read what he meant to say :)
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not russian speaker myself. according to posters on the IMDB forums the best anyone could make out was something along the lines of "if you do(n't do) this me and my people will come after you and make your children orphans."
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These people are all seriously good looking....seriously!
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Crixus & Naevia find themselves together again...sorta. OPA! I knew death couldn't keep those two crazy kids apart.

Waller is skinnier and prettier than other incarnation? Hello...this is the CW we're talking about, right? They don't do non pretty people. In the universe that is show/movie casting, this is about as big a party foul IMO as changing hair colour. Oliver Queen traditionally is a blond pretty boy, but there's no question as to the character played by the brown haired Steven Amell. By all accounts, Waller is still Waller. Skinny...stubby...makes no never mind.

Felicity, oh Felicity {sigh}. Agreed though that the post Isabel banging reaction did seem a little out of place. If nothing else, presumptuous on somebody's part. Felicity has a case of the Oli's. A little flirt here. A little sass there. But at no point has she displayed any actual romantic interest, so her reaction seemed a little "extreme". Oliver on the other side of the coin seemed way too contrite. If Felicity were outside of his legit dating pool (too young) then I could see him feeling bad getting caught. But Felicity is a big girl, it seemed a little condescending. Perhaps disappointment in Oliver's choices is what they were going for, but Emily Bett Rickards came off as genuinely hurt.

But who cares, 'cause #TeamFelicity is the best place on earth...even if I don't think I ever actually want she and Oliver to hook up. Maybe at the conclusion of the series.
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Wow lots of reviews regarding Felicity's behaviour this week and I'm a bit surprised! I thought her reaction was completely justified. I saw it not as being disappointed that Oliver slept with someone but that he slept with *Rochev*, someone who berates and belittles him constantly in public and otherwise, tried to take his family's company out from under him and has basically proven herself to be unlikable and untrustworthy at every turn. Frankly I was right there with her! Felt like this was a huge step back to pre-island Oliver, sleeping with any pretty face (and sob story) that comes up and I was disappointed in the characters choices as well.
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Eh I thought Felicity's reaction was rather unjustified. Yeah, she was crushing on him sure, but they were just friends. She acted like a jealous ex. The whole thing felt ridiculous and out of place.
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I certainly like that read, but the way in which Rickards played it, doesn't make it seem as true as the serious crushing on Oliver.
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Bring on more former Spartacus cast members! Aaaw for all the hook ups this episode - now we have Crixius and Naevia 2.0 in the same universe once again. Can't wait to see Waller fight - Cynthia Addai Robinson is kind of awesome in that regard. Another fantastic episode with many pieces at work and all working at an excellent pace. I too thought the Felicity reaction to Oliver's hooking up with Isabel was a tad odd. She seemed to overreact just a little. A little out of character but maybe that is what she needed - him to hook up with someone she really seems to intensely dislike - for her feelings to come to the surface. He's on a trip with two beautiful women who both want him. Tough life Oliver.

Wow, the island story got very intersting this week and now we know why Oliver and Sara had such an tension filled awkward reunion. And Slade and Shado? Oliver probably isn't going to be too happy about that. Another appearance by Caily Loitz another example of how this show needs more of her and less of she who was absent and not missed at all this week.

Now that we've seen that this show can work beautifully without 'woe is me' Laurel, how are they going to redeem her character to bring her back into the fold? Even Blackthorne's daddy Lance has had a better story this year. Kind of mean keeping daughter's ressurrection from mom isn't it? When are we going to get a little more River Song in Starling City?

Another great episode showing how to make a show really take off in its sophomore season; seemingly correcting everything that didn't work. It has been a fun ride so far and looks like it isn't letting down at all next week with the return of Seth Gamble's Count Vertigo.

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by far the best episode till now..must admit this season is looking much better than the first one!!
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Definitely enjoyed this episode! It was great to see a lot more of Diggle. One of the best parts were that Oliver and Felicity called him John, that just seems more intimate. Their bond as a team is continuing to strengthen.

Heck, I even liked Isabel in this episode. She is not just some robot, but a woman trying to run a company successfully. That alone makes me want her around more.

Felicity scenes were good, but like Noel said, the crush was a little out of nowhere. Don't get me wrong i'm a huge fan of Olicity but i've never gotten the sense that her musings were that much more than over sharing. Those two have a long way to go before anything believable could occur. Right now they are partners and co-workers, I would like to see them strengthen their friendship/ bond outside of the arrow cave and work (like Oliver has done with Diggle).

This episode totally solidified the fact that Felicity should get some too!!! Everyone else has/had someone so far, i think its Felicity's turn! lol
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