ARROW Season 3×05, “The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak” recap

6 Nov

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Welcome back, Arrowheads! With the title of this episode, maybe we should start this recap by asking: what do we know about Felicity Smoak? She’s a computer prodigy, possibly Jewish, and has a mom who’s a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas. As you can expect, we’re about to learn a bit more about Team Arrow’s genius. Also unrelated to Ms. Smoak, Thea is running the Verdant again, Laurel is taking to training to vent her anger, and why should we be concerned about Roy’s sleep trouble?

Five Years Ago. Felicity, in her college years, hanged out with several “hacktivists”, like Myron and her then boyfriend, Cooper. Cooper had an interest in a super-virus Felicity made that could hack into servers, and used it in a relatively innocuous cyber-crime of wiping out some student loans. Felicity managed to keep Cooper from going further with the program, but it didn’t matter in the end because he ended up in prison for his cyber-crime. And to make things worse, he willingly took the fall for Felicity’s virus so she could not end up in prison. A little more happened, but let’s get to the present…

Smoak-ing Goth, am I right?

Smoak-ing Goth, am I right?

Morning Workout. We start off with a montage of people working out: Ollie with Roy at the HQ, Laurel and Ted at the gym, and Thea and Malcolm. The latter of the three groups seems to be doing fine, while Laurel seems to be using more anger than actual technique, and Roy, well he’s had trouble sleeping. Felicity on the other hand, is at her apartment when Ray arrives to talk about diverting energy from the Queen Consolidated building to the people, and then another unexpected guest arrives: Felicity’s mom! She came by to see her little girl, and apparently forgot to text Felicity she was coming! Ray, being the nice if slightly stalker-y guy he is, offers Donna, the elder Smoak, a prototype computer wristwatch because, he’s that kind of guy (and its an important plot point later on, so keep that in mind).

Power Outage. Later that night, Ollie gets called over to a really swanky apartment by Thea, who bought the place and is moving in. Ollie finally asks how Thea can afford the place, let alone buy back the Verdant, and she says she’s got access to Malcolm Merlyn’s estate. Surprise here, Ollie’s not cool with this (he’ll probably be less cool about that “access” being she’s secretly hanging out with Malcolm), but before that argument can go further, there’s a citywide blackout that catches pretty much everyone’s attention. A transmission appears from some weird Eye of Sauron-esque screensaver calling itself Brother Eye, and warning this was just the warm-up for bigger stuff. Pretty much everyone of Team Arrow arrives at Verdant (sans Roy, who’s hopefully getting some sleep), except Felicity had to bring her mom along (and Diggle got left with baby Sara in a baby Bjorne). After everyone makes up a flimsy excuse to head downstairs without Donna, Felicity mentions she has a search program on to pinpoint the origin of the Brother Eye signal.

Discovering Your Handiwork. The next day, Brother Eye leaves another message, threatening to zero out bank accounts in Starling City. This causes some rather strong reactions from the public, like a mob storming the bank to get their money out. With Quentin being out of the office briefly, Laurel answers a request on how to solve the riot by pulling some “assistant D.A.’s got power to order a SWAT team to handle this” thing. Ollie and Roy hear about the SWAT team and manage to break up the riot. Later, Quentin confronts Laurel about this extreme overuse of power, but knows she’s angry about something, and suggests talking to someone before it gets worse. Meanwhile, Felicity has discovered something about that Brother Eye signal: it has the code she wrote all those years ago!

Ollie: "The eye of Sauron watches us, Team Arrow, so we must take his cursed ring to Mount Doom to be destroyed quickly..."

Ollie: “The eye of Sauron watches us, Team Arrow, so we must take his cursed ring to Mount Doom to be destroyed quickly…”

Family Issues. After Felicity talks about (but not everything as we find out) her time with Cooper and Myron, and the Team wonders if one of them is behind Brother Eye. After the Team shakes down an innocent Myron for answers, finally someone asks why Cooper couldn’t be the culprit. Because, as Felicity says, he hanged himself in custody. She leaves a bit too broken up to talk about it, and heads back to her office at QV, where Ray offers a kind ear to talk to. But, her mom shows up, wanting to know where her daughter’s been. Felicity, not being in the best mood, rants at Donna for not being more like her and being more like her absentee dad. Donna’s hurt by this, feeling her daughter doesn’t want her around, and wanders off. Awkward.

The Bigger Picture. During this, back at Arrow HQ, Ollie sneaks out to deal with Thea trying to force her way through the secret Arrow HQ door. After coming up with a decent excuse to keep her from looking in the basement for the time being, there’s still a little friction about Thea taking Malcolm’s blood money, so we’ll get back to that later. Felicity comes back to HQ later, ready to work, but after a talk about her blowout with Donna, Ollie suggests going back to her place to patch things up with her mom. Well, she’s got some time, so Felicity arrives to apologize to mom, and then comes an odd conversation piece: Donna decided to visit after winning a plane ticket to Starling, but who did she win it from? And just like that, some masked men crash in and kidnap the Smoaks. They are in a abandoned warehouse (obviously), when we discover who’s behind Brother Eye: Cooper!

Brother Eye of the Beholder. Hang on, didn’t Felicity hear that Cooper killed himself? Well, he got offered by some government cronies to work for them, so his death was faked, and he took off to so his own thing. And that thing was to empty the city’s banks so he could heist the emergency funds from the federal reserve (ok, sure…), but he needed Felicity’s expertise to finish the job, and Donna as leverage to get it done. Well, that threat makes Felicity comply, but as Cooper and his goons leave to prepare for the money truck headed to the warehouse, Felicity uses that smart watch Donna still has from Ray as a wi-Fi signal to call for help. Thanks to that, Roy and Diggle take out the goons, Ollie plays around with some automated gun turrets, and Felicity is able to knock out Cooper. Yay!

Meeting Halfway. So, everything’s back to normal. Felicity decides to take a sick day to spend time with her mom, Laurel tells Ted about her anger trouble for tailoring future training, and Ollie spends time in Thea’s new pad, besides getting an offer to be her roomie (and lookie, Malcolm is watching the two of them from another building!). And how’s Roy doing? Well, we see what he’s been dreaming about, which is the night of Sara’s death, and flinging arrows (with his hands!) into her chest! Um…that’s weird…let’s just curb any questions to what that means until next time, Ok?

Diggle with baby Bjorn.  Knowing his luck, I hope its bulletproof.  But still, awwwwwww...

Diggle with baby Bjorn. Knowing his luck, I hope its bulletproof. But still, awwwwwww…

–Comic book connections: Brother Eye is a reference to the cult-ish DC book OMAC, but in recent continuity, has been a Big Brother-esque planetary defense network.

–Other Felicity fact: she’s a dyed blonde. Figured.

–Ollie isn’t comfortable with bringing baby Sara into Arrow HQ. I’m sure it’s not so much a matter of “Who’s she going to tell”, as much as all the pointy stuff she could get injured with.

–Laurel picks a black workout robe. Yeah, I get it. I really do.

–(with hand quotes) “Get better.”

–“I am running out of expletives!”

–“Are you adopted?”

Well, that’s it for now, so leave you thoughts/theories below, and come back next week for the recap of “Guilty”…

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