Arrow, Season 4, Episode 19, “Dangerous Liaisons”
When we last hung with Ollie and Team Arrow, Adiran Chase was revealed to the world to be the serial killer Prometheus and he broke out of federal custody just before getting arrested.
Chase is on the loose, and the team is desperate to find him for their own safety and the safety of the city at large.
Against that backdrop, Arrow chooses to use the chase for Chase as more of a catalyst for the resolution of the Felicity-Helix subplot that has been bubbling for a number of weeks now.
The Helix story line has produced mix results for Felicity. It’s demonstrated her value as a strategist and her own heroic nature, through her relentless drive to use any means at her disposal to track Chase down. However, in the process she’s fallen into the same “keeping secrets from those closest to her trap”, and in with a group that it is obvious to everyone with working eyes and ears, they’re manipulating Felicity every step of the way.
All of this comes home to roost for Felicity, and creates a one-episode version of Captain America: Civil War. Felicity has to pay her debt to Helix by helping bust their leader out of Argus’ custody (and in the process receive a gizmo that will help locate Chase more quickly), but she has to run against her own team, given that Diggle’s wife is the head of Argus.
Felicity goes into field mode (you can tell by the heavier-than-normal eye makeup), and joins the cast of Jabbawockeez in attempting to rescue the Helix leader from a hole in the ground, while the rest of the team tries to help/not help, depending on their depth of knowledge of the situation.
The high point of the episode is another classic heart-to-heart between Felicity and Ollie, where their past (and persisting) love is invoked, and Felicity pretty much says she is following Oliver’s example of doing the right thing, no matter the personal cost. The show does take much of the sacrifice away from the situation by giving Felicity plenty of high ground, hammering home that Argus is holding the Helix member illegally, then having Diggle struggle with the idea that an organization like Argus (that exists in a morally gray area) would do something morally gray like hold a suspected terrorist without due process.
In the end, Felicity accomplishes Helix’s mission, despite the fact that it puts her at odds with the team. It doesn’t hurt that Felicity’s move does ultimately benefit the team, and that Helix dumps her immediately after, so any sense of betrayal fizzles out quickly.
Over in B-plot land, Deputy Mayor Lance and Wild Dog continue to have some nice moments. Lance has been acting as a surrogate father of sorts for Rene, and has been instrumental in pushing Rene to start the process of getting his daughter out of foster care, where she seems to be thriving. Rene is resistant at first, but it only takes one visit from his adorable moppet of a daughter for Rene to want her back in his life. The whole enterprise makes Lance’s heart grow three sizes larger — so, good for him.
In all, this was a fine episode. While it is disappointing Arrow had to make yet another detour while the main villain lays low, the Helix situation did need to be resolved. It would have been nice if it felt like Felicity was having to burn the Team Arrow bridge for the larger mission of taking down Chase, but it’s difficult to expect the series’ writers to do that to a character who is beloved by the writers and fans, alike. However, what we got was the most action of any of the CW shows that returned this week, some interesting twists and a mini-cliffhanger cherry on top.