Episode Title: Code of Silence
Original Airdate: 2-17-16
This season started off rough for Arrow. Instead of building up the rivalry between Oliver and company vs. Damien Darhk and HIVE far too much time was devoted to being used as a springboard for the Legends of Tomorrow spin-off.
And even then it took a while for the season to find its footing. This week was another indicator that the season is on an upwards trend as the season is getting to the nitty gritty and delivering on its promising beginning.
I’d complained a few weeks back that the whole Oliver as mayor subplot seemed to have been cast aside so I was glad to see some attention paid to it again with Oliver preparing for the debate against Darhk’s wife, Ruvé. Oliver is being much more cocky than normal — it’s nice seeing the TV version acting more like his comic book counterpart in that regard — but you know it’s gonna bite him sooner rather than later as Darhk knows about his son, William.
With Merlyn earning his seat at the table thanks to giving up that valuable info, he continues to solidify his place at the HIVE inner circle by confirming Lance is acting as a mole for Team Arrow. Merlyn is such a terrific villain and I’m glad there is no uneasy truce or temporary alliances anymore. It’s back to Merlyn vs Oliver as it should be.
To tie up their loose ends, HIVE sics The Demolition Team to take out Lance and Oliver. The DT are a five-member group of Green Lantern villains pared down to three for the sake of the show. That was sorta odd since Team Arrow outnumbered them during the fights. Even when the main story faltered, the action scenes were outstanding. Now the story has caught up, the action scenes are even more satisfactory.
Tackling the theme of secrets this week led to very fertile story line material as Oliver and Lance took different approaches with the women they love. Lance decided losing Donna by lying wasn’t worth it and ultimately revealed all of his involvement with HIVE. While looking for potential dirt Ruve could use against Oliver, Thea learned about William and strongly supported his decision to keep him away from their crazy lives. It’s rare to see someone else fully backing a secret on this show and it made sense here.
The island flashbacks continue feeling like nothing of consequence is happening largely because Baron Reiter’s scheme is still so up in the air. With so little time devoted to the flashback sequence, it’s hard to get especially wrapped up in those events. It was shocking that Oliver killed Conklin though since he seemed poised to be Oliver’s enduring threat through the end of the season.
At the engagement party, Curtis presented Felicity with his gift — a bio chip that when perfected, will allow her to walk again. Hopefully that will take a minute as it’s taken three to four episodes to build to Felicity’s new status quo and that would undo all of that effort. Plus, it’s not like she has to get back into her superhero identity and hit the streets anyway.
The episode ends on a strong cliffhanger as Darhk arrives home and introduces his daughter to a new guest who will be staying with them while his mother is out of town — William. I appreciate Darhk not wasting any time on carrying out this plan and if next week’s teaser is any indication, things are definitely going to heat up.