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Arrow – Recap & Review – Underneath


Original Air Date: May 3, 2017

Brianna – Managing Editor

This week’s Arrow was essentially an Olicity-centric bottle episode that gave viewers what they have been waiting for since the season five premiere and pretty much the end of season four…context and communication. And really, it was a wonderful thing.

Oliver and Felicity are stuck in the bunker with no simple means of getting out and no way to communicate with the team thanks to the explosive trap Chase set. The pair are forced to not only work together to find a way out but also confront their issues and talking about what kept them apart.

Bottle Episode Olicity Means Talking and Heart Eyes

The EMP leaves almost everything in the bunker fried, including Felicity’s spinal implant leaving her without the ability to walk. With no traditional way out, Felicity and Oliver try and find other ways, first trying Oliver’s way (which gets him hurt) and then Felicity’s way (which ends with a broken methane pipe leaking into the bunker). With the pair working together and stuck there throughout the hour, we got to see them work towards moments of honest communication.

 It only took a lack of exit opportunities and no outside communication to bring this on but it was so important that it finally gave them the chance to talk. The chance for Felicity to confront Oliver about what she felt the whole William situation meant for their relationship and in turn having Oliver tell her about what Chase forced him to confess while he had him and what was holding him back and it was honestly a long time coming for them.

Oliver’s moment of completely openness and honesty with Felicity comes as he’s about to pass out from the gash on his side and heartbreakingly believes he won’t get another chance to tell her. He apologizes and admits that it’s not her he doesn’t trust, it’s himself. He doesn’t believe that he’s the man that Felicity fell in love with and that he really is not the hero everyone believes he is. That moment gives Felicity the clarity she never truly had when it came to his decision not to include her when it came to William. It wasn’t about placing trust in Felicity to make these decisions with him; it was the trust he had in himself to not mess the things in his life up, and it shines through in her impassioned speech about the person she believes he is.

Meanwhile, in the flashbacks which paralleled so wonderfully with the present-day situation, we get to see an explanation and get context for the Olicity awkwardness for the first 16 episodes, and it’s all tied back to the summer after the events of season four. They seemingly still had that closeness and those flirty looks, which don’t go unnoticed by the only other Bunker visitor Curtis. Curtis’ request for Chinese food, wine, and a terrible excuse later and Oliver and Felicity are having what looks like a little dinner date in the bunker. It was adorable seeing her trying the salmon ladder with his help. That flirty moment quickly turns heated giving us another steamy scene that rivals their love scene in “The Fallen.” Those moments are always nicely balanced between the heat and the love, adding depth to it. It’s the moment after their bunker dinner date when we find out that the pair has known exactly what it will take to find their way back to each other: Felicity needed to know that Oliver has full trust in her in terms of the personal decisions and not just the team ones.

Both Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards deliver wonderful performances when it comes to this dynamic and this week’s relationship-centered episode was no different. Their chemistry makes these stories work so well, and it was great to see it on full display throughout the hour giving us heartbreaking, happy, and hopeful moments.

The ARGUS hospital scene was important in setting the stage moving forward; both have things they have worked on or are working through. With Felicity, her path during 5b, from Billy’s death to joining Helix, she’s been in Oliver’s position in certain situations, definitely with Helix. While with Oliver, he’s opened up to Felicity about his own issues and now has to figure out exactly who he is and how he’ll work his way to believing what everyone sees. That scene where she tells him exactly that left things for them on the most hopeful note this season in seeing their relationship being rebuilt with a stronger foundation.

And the Dyla Parallel

Tensions are still running high between Lyla and Diggle as morality in what they do day-to-day and her husband’s willingness to give that trust she’s asking for to Oliver when it comes to making decisions, but not to her. It was an interesting parallel to the conversation Felicity and Oliver were having while stuck in the bunker throughout, specifically when it comes to trust making decisions (though theirs has more to do with their work).  It takes a story about Dinah and her undercover partner, Vinnie, and a moment where Lyla discloses ARGUS files to lead him to apologize to Lyla and tell her they are going to work through it, ending the hour with a partial resolution and a bit of uncertainty about what it means for them. Though, there was nothing but determination when he told her they were going to face it together. It’s been interesting seeing this parallel because, before this, the idea felt like they were a few steps ahead and kind of a future look at what Oliver and Felicity could be. But with this story, it’s felt like they are more on pace with each other than I thought before.

Elsewhere in Star City and Chase’s Next Step

While Oliver and Felicity are trapped in the bunker, Lance is left to deal with the ramifications of the discovery that Chase is actually a sociopathic serial killer. The consequences seem to lean towards potentially releasing everyone Chase has put away.

Speaking of Chase…we find out what he’s up to in the final moments of the episode and in a strangely Damien Darhk-esque way, he ends up finding William despite the name change and the completely different city and strikes up a conversation with the boy. What makes the whole thing so unsettling is the kind of unhinged, smiley face he had at the very end. On the bright side, everyone who needs to know about him does at this point?

Random Highlights

  • OTA in action was fantastic, and an awesomely anxiety-inducing rescue mission, especially that air shaft scene as Digg held on to Oliver, who held on to Felicity, for dear life.
  • “My math is probably right, but what if it’s wrong?” “Are you still Felicity Smoak?” “Yeah.” “Your math is always right.” It was these little moments as they were working their way out of the bunker leading up to his confession that made the confession all the more substantial.
  • “The fact that didn’t turn you into a monster proves exactly the kind of person you are.” Felicity telling Oliver what every viewer at home pretty much knows. Now to see how long before Oliver really believes it.
  • The Team Arrow newbies offered a bit of comedy in a few moments, from them knocking on Digg and Lyla’s door to Dinah teasing Curtis and Rene over comms. It was borderline adorable.
  • Curtis’ advice, (sorta) Parent Trap moment, and that little “oh, yeah!” line was hilarious and highly relatable. Also, absolutely loved his line about what can’t be changed and his response to Felicity “the way he looks at you.”

What did you think of the episode? With what we know now about their conversation about giving her time before broaching that “talk,” how did she end up with Malone in the first place? Did the Olicity conversations end on a hopeful note for you? Who else thought it was a step in the right direction? Who else is curious about what Chase is going to do with William now and if it will involve Samantha?

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