ARROW Season 7×19, “Spartan” recap

25 Apr

Welcome back, Arrowheads! Team Arrow is dealing with the Ninth Circle, a deadly crime organization that has made Emiko Queen, Ollie’s other step-sister, part of its ranks. But Ollie may have found a way to break the group’s hold on Emiko, by revealing that they were responsible for her mother’s death. Will this turn Emiko over to the good guys? Meantime in the future, our baddies there have put out some new super soldier that has been putting our heroes on the ropes, but Mia (along with some help from an older Black Canary holder) has retrieved the tech filled helmet from that super soldier and maybe will provide some answers. So let’s jump into that first…

A Chat About Brothers. In the future, Felicity is doing what she can with that helmet, which uses all kind of technology to enhance its wearers capabilities, but she needs a part to replace a damaged one on it to access it’s data. Mia volunteers to go with Connor, and he turns out to be really helpful as the part is with a seller in territory controlled by the Deathstroke gang. The reason this is advantageous is because “J.J.”, the gang leader, happens to be…John Diggle Jr., Diggle’s actual blood related son! J.J. and the family must be going through a minor rough patch because he sends some goons to rough up Connor and Mia after they get that part. Connor and Mia bring back the part to Felicity, who confirms the worst: this soldier was a test run for whole squads of soldiers with this helmet! One was tough enough, but a small army of them? That’s B-A-D.

Good thing Connor fought hard to get that Deathstroke tattoo on his neck than as the mandatory tramp stamp for other members.

The Stepfather. In the present, Ollie and Diggle break up a buy between a seller and Virgil (that slimy Ninth Circle guy who I could swear was killed episodes ago), and discover Virgil was trying to buy access to military records. This is way above the Team’s scope to hack, so Diggle suggests going to a source of his: a General Stewart. Ollie and Diggle meet the General, and despite wanting to be helpful, can’t reveal much of anything regarding what they were looking for. Then we learn that Diggle neglected to mention that General Stewart is Diggle’s stepdad!

Meantime back in that little office for Smoak Tech, Felicity and Alena are both trying to figure out how to improve the Archer system, especially with a rather lucrative offer for it now on the table. But Virgil and some Ninth Circle goons come by, looking for that handy tablet with Archer on it. They grab it, and narrowly avoid some military guys who come in at the last second to save Felicity and Alena. So, what exactly is going on?

Stolen Archer. General Stewart is brought to the Arrow Bunker, and he reveals that they been shadowing Felicity’s office since Diggle and Ollie told him about that stolen access info. The Ninth Circle seems to be looking for a list of undercover assets that Colonel Stewart knows of, and with Archer, they can locate all of those assets now. Diggle is not happy his stepdad lied about this to him, and the General explained he was following military procedure, and Diggle didn’t need to know. While the General starts making calls to round up his assets, Diggle is in a corner grousing about all of this, where Ollie comes by to ask about why he’s never known about Diggle’s stepdad until now. Well, things have been frosty because when his real dad and his then not-stepdad were on a mission, the General got out alive and his real dad didn’t. It wasn’t a help that the General became part of his family not very long afterwards.

Later on, the General finds he’s accounted for all but one asset, so the Team and the General go to find the guy. But, he seems to be fine, so…what is the Ninth Circle up to? While the Team is with the asset, Diggle and his stepdad are in another end of the building, and they get tranquilizer darts! Looks like the Ninth Circle has what they are looking for.

“Soooo…who are we gonna call, dad?” “Shut up, son.”

(Step)Father/Son Bonding. The Team reconvenes at the Bunker, trying to locate Diggle and General Stewart, while those two are shackled in some hideout, being tortured by Dante, who wants codes for something called Cygnus X-1. The General refuses to cooperate until the torture turns towards Diggle, and then he gives Dante the codes. While Dante is off with those codes, General Stewart improvises a way out of their restraints, and use Diggle’s helmet to send an SOS to the Team. The Team arrives in time to get Diggle and stepdad out of there, and when they all get back to the Bunker do we learn what Cygnus X-1 actually is.

The short of it: it’s a substance that can eat through anything, even nuclear material, and it was a project Stewart buried years ago because he thought better to have that floating around for use. While Felicity and gang look for where Cygnus X-1 is, seeing as how that Archer tablet is probably being used to locate it, Felicity also found out something regarding the General That Ollie tells Diggle about. The details regarding the mission that killed Diggle’s father were wrong, and that in reality, Diggle’s father messed up the operation, and it was only because of Stewart that anyone got out of that mess at all. Of course, Diggle wonders why his stepdad would keep that information from him and his brother as they grew up.

Signal Boost. The Team locates where Cygnus X-1 is being stored, and arrive just as Emiko, Dante, and the Ninth Circle are taking off with it. The General uses his knowledge of the facilities to help the Team evade a hairy fight with Ninth Circle goons, while Felicity is finally able to erase the Archer program with a slightly reluctant Alena’s help. Emiko stays behind to cover Dante’s escape with the Cygnus X-1, and confronts Ollie in a one on one fight. He tells her about Dante’s involvement in the murder of her mother, and she doesn’t quite believe him (or maybe she does…), escaping capture yet again. So we got a deadly chemical weapon loose, and Archer is destroyed. Hmmm, something seems wrong with that news, particularly the latter half of that…

Legacy. At the Bunker, while the Team considers the good news/bad news of the day, Diggle finally asks his stepdad why he lied about that mission. The General tells him that he didn’t want to tarnish the memory of Diggle’s father to his kids, even if that meant he would be hated for not bringing those kids’ father home. That seems to patch things over with the two, so that’s a little more good news. As for Archer, Alena says she managed to salvage the source code for it before it was deleted, but Felicity thinks maybe it’s better to let the program die off, as it’s too dangerous as it was. So why do we linger on Alena looking at that source code file unless…hmmm…

Elsewhere, Dante is meeting with Emiko to discuss things, when Emiko decides to put a few arrows into Dante! She confronts him about what Ollie said, and he confesses to killing her mother, in order to ensure her allegiance to the Ninth Circle. She repays that knowledge by finishing him off, and…well, now what? Is she still going to be aligned with the Ninth Circle? That’s a big question to figure out in these final episodes of the season.

Immortals can be killed by beheading OR getting a lot of arrows shot through them. Important info to keep in mind.

–Comic book connections: Dr. Will Magnus is a deep pull from DC comics lore, being the creator of the superhero group The Metal Men.

–So great casting pick with Ernie Hudson as General Stewart. An always welcome appearance anywhere.

–An odd connection that’s come up this season, is the “John Diggle is a future Green Lantern” fan theory. This got hinted to in the Elseworlds crossover, but General Stewart’s appearance suggests some lip service to that. John Diggle/Stewart? As in John Stewart, Green Lantern? I mean, I doubt we’ll see this come to fruition, but…it’s a fun tease.

–Hearing Felicity talk about leaving her own “legacy” is a bit on the nose, especially considering she won’t be a regular for the next and final season.

–Rene still thinks Emiko can be redeemed as well, and maybe he’s right based on that last scene, but I have a bad feeling he’s going to be disappointed.

–Apparently you can cut through plastic with shoelaces, but just not as fast. The things you learn on this show.

–“John, call your mother.”

–“Oh my god, I’m a mad scientist!”

That’s it for now, but come back next week for the recap of “Confessions”…

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