ARROW Season 5×16, “Checkmate” recap

16 Mar

Welcome back, Arrowheads!  Oliver and company had their fill of bad guy Prometheus, and so far, have no clue who this guy is.  What they don’t know is our Big Bad for the season is Star City’s own District Attorney, Adrian Chase!  This helpful yet mildly unstable public servant has a beef with Ollie, and may have another connection to Ollie’s past: being trained by the woman who helped him become the Hood, Talia Al Ghul!  Meantime, Felicity is getting in deeper with the computer hacking group HELIX, and Ollie’s current girlfriend, Susan, may have just gotten herself in trouble with Adrian.  Let’s see how Ollie reacts to discovering his new buddy is his new bad guy…

On Ice.  In the flashbacks, Ollie, Anatoly,  and that other Bratva boss send Gregor and his buddies running.  But the trio realizes that keeping Gregor alive is going to be a big problem, so Ollie suggests finishing the job by hitting his hideout, a hockey rink.  So Ollie puts on that hood of his, and with Anatoly’s help, kills Gregor and the rest of his buddies.  Simple enough.

Dead Fathers.  In the present, Ollie is scaling some mountains, with some tech help from Curtis (Felicity is busy doing stuff that clearly has nothing to do with some hacker cabal), and finds a monastery.  There, he finds Talia, and instead of the usual catching up chit-chat, he asks her about training Prometheus.  Why did she do that, knowing Prometheus would come after him, Ollie asks.  Well, apparently he was not told her last name was “al Ghul”, and oh yeah, Ra’s al Ghul was her dad until Ollie killed him.  And just as one more “here’s something else you didn’t know”, Talia tells Ollie that Adrian is Prometheus.  Someone just got burned hard.

Ollie heads home to confront Adrian at his office, only to find him in the middle of a budget meeting.  Not the best place and time to confront Adrian, obviously, so Ollie gets into his Green Arrow gear and sees Adrian in the parking lot.  Adrian’s a bit surprised that Talia revealed who he was, but isn’t panicked about Ollie attacking him because, oh yeah, he has Susan captive.  Which means, if Adrian dies, Susan will probably die, since Team Arrow has no clue where she is.  Grrrrr.

“You killed my father!” “He married me off to your sister!” “I…WHOA, WHAT? SERIOUSLY?”

Monster In Their Midst.  Ollie meets up with Team Arrow (minus Felicity, who really isn’t involved with HELIX right now, even though she’s totally visiting their super secret high tech enclave right then), and they get to hear about Adrian and his sick plan.  They got nothing to move on Adrian with, as he has Susan and they have no evidence to bring against him.  So the Team moves on two leads: Dinah and Curtis head to Opal City to check on Adrian’s mom, while Ollie and Diggle decide to check out Adrian’s house.  Sounds simple enough, right?

Dinah and Curtis can’t find Adrian’s mom at her house, but do find a video of Adrian threatening a tied up Susan on loop for them.  After Quentin and Rene confirm Adrian is at the Mayor’s office, Ollie comes in and stumbles upon Adrian’s wife, who doesn’t seem to buy his story about her hubby being a mass murderer.  And the SCPD show up, getting a call from Adrian, leaving Ollie little choice but to hightail it out of there.  Could this get any worse for Team Arrow?

Play Along.  Felicity finally arrives back at Arrow HQ, and Ollie calmly asks her what’s going on.  She doesn’t say what, because she clearly does not remember what secrets did to their relationship.  But she has some good news, as in proof Adrian is not who he says he is.  She tries to enlist HELIX’s resources to find Susan, but they would like some “quid pro quo” for this.  That involves retasking some military drones, which is totally not bizarre at all.

After having to host a press conference condemning the Green Arrow for breaking into the DA’s house, Ollie visits Pike with that evidence on Adrian, hoping to get the guy off the streets. Too bad Pike gets stabbed by some conveniently masked guy in front of the precinct, and is left comatose.  Well, we can guess who did that to Pike, because Adrian is at Pike’s hospital bed, waiting for Ollie to show up.  Adrian’s being all smug because he knows Ollie is playing into his hands, even if Ollie decided to snap and murder him.  Probably for the best Ollie takes out his rage on stuff around the HQ instead.


Questioning Your Humanity.  While Felicity is running that favor for HELIX of relocating those drones, Diggle comes in to find Ollie once again questioning whether he made a mistake letting people into his complex life.  Considering what happened with Adrian Chase and Artemis (where is she anyway?), he may have a point this time around.  But before we dwell on that, Felicity calls with info where Susan may be held.  He calls the Team to meet him there, except for Diggle, who he sends on a separate mission.  Ollie needs an advantage over Adrian, and he knows what that advantage is.

Delivering A Message.  The Team arrives at an abandoned apartment complex, and find multiple heat signatures there.  Clearly Adrian didn’t hire backup, but he did rig up a lot of bombs, and the clock is ticking down on that.  While the Team has to get out of there, Ollie finds Susan alive and well, and frees her to escape.  Ollie heads into a main room to find Adrian there, and admits he’s gonna hold him there until the bombs go, even if both of them die.  Of course, Adrian hits a kill switch for the bombs, planning way ahead.

Except he doesn’t see Ollie’s big move, which is Diggle bringing in Adrian’s wife, who can see her hubby is Prometheus.  She appeals for him to stop this madness, and he’s just stunned that she was brought here.  That shock doesn’t last long as he stabs her, and Diggle has to get her clear of the building.  Ollie and Adrian fight, and it looks like Ollie might just kill Adrian anyway, until Talia appears to hit Ollie with a stun arrow.  The Team heads back into the building to find both Adrian and Ollie gone.  Oh boy.

“Honey! Oh man, the Green Arrow totally ruined my surprise! Guess who I’m dressing up as for Comic-Con this year?”

The Real Game.  The Team returns to the HQ with the bad news about Ollie, and Adrian’s wife being dead, and Felicity decides to help HELIX in order to use them to find Ollie.  Adrian even runs into Quentin helping a recovering Susan, suggesting if they come after him, he might send the mayor back to them in pieces.  Now, he has to mourn his wife, murdered by the Green Arrow.  Bastard.

Ollie is chained up in a cell somewhere, and Talia and Adrian are there.  She just wants Ollie to suffer (never mind, aligning with a psychopath because the father she ran away from was killed by her student) and leaves the two men alone to chat.  Adrian tells Ollie not to worry because, he really doesn’t want to kill Ollie.  This whole plan has helped Adrian see who he is, and now, he wants to help Ollie see who he is.  Great, Ollie’s being held by the world’s craziest life coach.  Lets see his technique in effect next time.

–Comic book connections: Simon Morrison, the real name of Adrian Chase, is clearly a homage in the last name to the creator of Prometheus, writer Grant Morrison, who created him for his classic run on JLA.  

–Where is Adrian’s mom, anyway?  Did she get moved away by the feds?

–HELIX is clearly up to something, and I’m worried this won’t be answered anytime this season.

–Talia clearly has some guilt over not being there to help her father when he needed it the most, which makes me wonder how her arc in the present is going to go.

–“You think I went through all of this to have it end in a parking lot?”

–“Um, what is your toy doing?”

–“Being human is a luxury I might not have.”

–“What’s this thing you’re doing with your voice?”

That’s it for now, bit comment below and come back next week for the recap of “Kapiushon”…

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