by Ryan Rigley
It's been a while since the Dark Archer has made an appearance in Starling City (since Christmas to be exact) But with only two episodes left this season, including last night's "Darkness on the Edge of Town," it makes complete sense that he'd pop back up just in time for his rematch with the hooded vigilante.
Malcolm Merlyn, as we learned in last week's episode, is plotting to level a 24 city block radius within Starling City by way of a mysterious earthquake machine manufactured by Unidac Industries, which is exactly where "Darkness on the Edge of Town" begins. Two scientists walk into a research lab only to discover that the Dark Archer has killed several of their co-workers (6 scientists and 2 security guards to be exact).
In the Arrow Cave, Oliver Queen and company discuss Moira Queen and how she could factor into Malcolm's plans. But with little else to go off of other than the conversation that Oliver overheard in last week's episode, the team decides to hack into the Merlyn Global mainframe in order to find the answers that they so desperately need.
Upstairs in Club Verdant, Laurel pays Oliver a surprise visit questioning him about his feelings for her. Laurel admits to Oliver that she's been thinking about what Oliver said for the past week and is finally able to admit to him that she still has feelings for him as well. Surprisingly, Oliver tells her to go back to Tommy and then leaves her standing in the club, lonely and confused.
Over at Unidac Industries, Detective Lance studies the recent crime, deducing that the Dark Archer is indeed back in town. Across the street, Roy Harper and Thea Queen spy on the police with the help of a stolen camera and stolen car. Roy claims that both the camera and the car were "borrowed" and insists on finding the vigilante so that he can learn how to be more like him. Thea suggests finding the Dark Archer in order to find the vigilante.
At the Queen residence, Oliver confronts Moira about Walter's kidnapping. Suddenly, the power goes out and both Queens are shot with tranquilizer darts. Waking up in a dark room, Oliver and Moira find themselves tied to chairs with the vigilante (Diggle) standing between them. Diggle starts beating Oliver up in order to make Moira confess. She does exactly that and informs the two of Malcolm's plans to level the Glades.
In a flashback, Oliver, Slade and Shado are taken to Edward Fyres' camp site. He explains to them his plans to use the recently acquired missile launcher to blow up an oncoming commercial airplane from China, hence destroying the Chinese economy. Fyres then makes a phone call to his superior, who is revealed to be a woman.
Back at the Arrow Cave, Felicity is still unable to hack into Merlyn Global's mainframe. Oliver suggests that the three of them need to break into the building in order to direct access. Taking a page right out of "Ocean's Eleven," Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity suit up and head over to Merlyn Global.
Oliver shows up first, checking in as himself for a scheduled appointment with Tommy Merlyn. Then comes Felicity, disguised as a burger delivery girl, who brings a burger filled with sedatives to the security control room, in which Diggle has just been employed. Knocking out Diggle's security cohort, Oliver and Felicity break through the ceiling of the elevator and make their way towards the 25th floor.
After dropping Felicity off at the mainframe room, Oliver pays Tommy a visit and tells him that Laurel chose him and that he should go back to her. As Oliver leaves, Felicity is burdened by two oncoming security guards. Oliver starts making his way towards her, but then bumps into Malcolm Merlyn who insists on taking the elevator with him.
Finally ditching Malcolm, Oliver then bumps into Thea and Roy who have come to Merlyn Global looking for the Dark Archer. Luckily, Diggle manages to save Felicity just as she's about to be busted by an actual Merlyn security guard. Oliver approaches Roy and warns him about messing with the vigilante, claiming him to be a dangerous psychopath. Taking her brother's advice, Thea suggests forgetting the whole vigilante thing but Roy's not ready to give up. With that, Thea storms out of his trailer and out of his life.
At the Queen residence, Walter hands Moira divorce papers suspecting that she had something to do with his kidnapping. Meanwhile, over at the police station, Detective Lance learns that someone has hacked into Merlyn Global's mainframe and that that someone is Felicity Smoak, Queen Consolidated's entire I.T. department.
Having a sudden change of heart, Oliver heads over to Laurel's house in order to profess his love for her. She reciprocates and the two of them kiss each other hard on the mouth. Unfortunately, they make out way too close to the open window allowing for Tommy to see the two of them going at it from across the street.
Getting a call from Felicity, Oliver suits up and heads over to the office of Malcolm Merlyn. At the same time, Diggle heads down to an old fruit warehouse in an attempt to locate the Unidac earthquake machine. Unfortunately, Malcolm got to it before them and hid it some place safe. Malcolm and the vigilante beat the crap out of each other, resulting in another defeat for the vigilante and Malcolm unmasking him to learn that he is, in fact, Oliver Queen.
With this being the second to last episode of this season, I must admit that I am thoroughly enjoying the recent questions to answers ratio. Last night, Oliver and Laurel got back together, Tommy turned evil, Thea left Roy, Walter left Moira, and Malcolm discovered the vigilante's secret identity. But there are still a few key questions to be answered. How will Oliver defeat Malcolm? Where is Malcolm hiding the earthquake device? Who is Edward Fyres working for? My guess is China White, being that she's the figurehead of the triad and the most prominent of the "Arrow" female villains, but it's really anyone's game! Tune in next week for more questions and/or answers in the shocking and suspenseful "Arrow" season finale!
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