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Arrow - Code of Silence - Review

Arrow, “Code of Silence,” was written by the team of Wendy Mericle and Oscar Balderrama and was directed by James Bamford. With Darhk’s (Neal McDonough) Demolition team running around, there was plenty of action, stunts, and explosions in the episode.

Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Ruvee Adams (Janet Kidder) prepare for their big mayoral debate as the episode opens. Ruvee tells Oliver she’s not married, and he responds, “Maybe you just haven’t met the right person yet.” Thea (Willa Holland) hasn’t found any dirt on Adams, but points out that maybe they don’t want Adams digging too deep into their background. Of course, that was always a threat regardless of who they were running against. Even as a single candidate, reporters should have been tearing Oliver’s life apart…

Donna (Charlotte Ross) is going totally overboard on the wedding shower preparations. I loved Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) handing Oliver the very pink invitation and it exploding sparkles all over him. Diggle (David Ramsey) tells him – totally deadpan – that he should have totally seen it coming!

The team tails Ruvee when she leaves the meeting – and apparently have a few times – trying to follow her back to Darhk. We get some great motorcycle stunts. And Ruvee has set a trap for them, which leads to another great team fight scene. Ruvee gets away during it.

Oliver is sure that Darhk has gone to another phase of his plan. And he’s right. Darhk holds a meeting, and Malcolm (John Barrowman) has officially joined Darhk’s team. When Tomas (Tim Perez) insults Ruvee’s political skill, Darhk asks how Madrid is and comments that he remembers being in Tomas’s office once. But he can still picture it like he’s actually in it, and Darhk kills him with his mind! Even Malcolm is freaked out. Malcolm also confirms that Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) is working with the Green Arrow, and Darhk has a plan to kill him.

Laurel (Katie Cassidy) stops by to see Quentin and is going to tag along to join him for dinner with Donna when he gets a breaking and entering call. He goes in to investigate and the building essentially attacks him. Laurel has followed him in, and the two have to run for their lives to make it out. Really great effects and pyrontechnics in this episode! At first it seems that this might be another mystical Darhk thing, but there turns out to be a scientific explanation.

Diggle patches up Quentin, and Oliver tells him to stay put in the lair. Diggle leaves to check with Andy about HIVE tactics, and we learn that Lyla is now head of ARGUS! Andy identifies the bombers as the Demolition Team. Oliver and Thea go to work on debate prep.

Donna runs into Quentin and goes from flirting to concerned when she sees his injuries. Quentin lies to her saying they need to spend some time apart because he’s got people after him for gambling debts. She insists that her bullshit detector is flawless, and if he doesn’t respect her enough to tell her the truth, they’re done. Felicity is there as Donna storms out and immediately blames Quentin – because he’s a man! Quentin explains that he couldn’t stand for anything to happen to Donna. Aw!

Felicity identifies the HIVE base of operations by tracing the 911 call. We get another great fight scene – and a maniac with a nail gun for a weapon! Diggle takes a beating and Speedy just makes it out with the laptop. The building coming down isn’t a perfect special effect, but it’s not bad. I loved Felicity think it was romantic for Oliver to ask her to get data off a damaged laptop because that’s the first thing he ever asked her to do!

Donna calls Felicity, and Oliver learns that Quentin has broken up with her to protect her. Ironically, Quentin tells Oliver that he’s lucky he doesn’t have to keep secrets from anyone.

Donna has transformed the loft – over the top! – for the shower. Felicity and Oliver are both taken aback. After breaking with Quentin, Donna apologizes for going Mom-zilla and explains she’s been living vicariously through Felicity. She says what every fan has thought – that Oliver and Felicity are one of those couples that everyone believes in. But then she goes on to say – what we all fear will break them apart – That they don’t lie to each other, ever. And that he’s going to be the best Dad ever. It’s dripping in irony as Oliver is hiding William (Jack Moore) from Felicity. Felicity tries to convince Donna to return Quentin’s love with some trust.

Thea (Willa Holland) looks into what Ruvee’s team might get on Oliver and finds out that Moira wrote a million dollar check to Samantha Clayton. The check was never cashed, and Thea suggests looking into Samantha. Oliver puts her off, suggesting that there’s nothing that could blow back on him. Oliver surprises Thea by nailing his debate prep.

Afterwards, Thea reveals that she’s discovered he went to college with Samantha. He says he was with her at the same time as Laurel and he’s not proud of it. Thea has put two and two together and knows that William is his son. He tells her he had to keep it a secret in order to see him. Oliver is worried about the lie between him and Felicity. Thea tells him to think about it from Samantha’s perspective and even more importantly, keeping William secret protects him too. Oliver thanks her for saying what he needed to hear.

Diggle has figured out that the acid needed to help take down the buildings is in one warehouse. When Diggle and Oliver get there, the acid has been cleared out, and they know from the amount that the target is something massive.

Felicity takes the laptop to Curtis (Echo Kellum). We see a glimpse of something on his computer screen until he pops up an hilarious screensaver of Felicity! He tells her it’s an early wedding present that he doesn’t want her to see and that he’s really bad at secrets. That bad at secrets thing may just turn out to be a big problem. I have to admit that I thought the screensaver was the gift somehow. The important thing is that Felicity doesn’t give it any more thought.

Quentin is going stir crazy in the lair and asks Oliver how he kept up the secrets and lies for four years. Oliver says he is trying not to live that way anymore. I thought it was a really nice touch for Quentin to bring up the AA saying that you’re only as sick as the secrets you keep. Oliver tells Quentin that sometimes a lie is the right thing if it keeps someone you love safe.

It’s the night of the debate and Alex is with his sick mother. Curtis cracks the laptop and finds the blueprints to the theater that the debate is being held in. Thea sets off the fire alarm. I love that we see the team with their go-bags twice in this episode. The team suits up to take out the bombs. Ruvee tells the Demolition Team not to let Oliver Queen leave the building alive – is she taking control of her campaign and going against orders.

There are some awkward moments between Donna and Quentin – and some longing looks. As Quentin escorts the Demolition members out, Felicity remarks that he always gets his man – and suggests that Donna should follow his example.

The team fights the Demolition team while trying to avoid booby-traps. Diggle has a rematch with Sledgehammer guy, and Laurel and Thea tack on Nail-gun – though Laurel picks up what is sure to be a new scar. I loved that Diggle came prepared with his own surprises too! Great fight with Oliver in the theater and on the stairs.

Oliver wishes Ruvee luck, but also tells her that the applause are “enough to bring the house down.” She looks thoughtful – is he tipping his hand too much? Oliver handily wins the debate.

We end the episode with the engagement party. Laura (Enid-Raye Adams), Felicity and Oliver’s neighbor from the first episode this season, has made the trip to Star City for the party! Remember how excited she was when Oliver was first going to propose. I can’t help but wonder if there is more to her though…

Quentin shows up at the party and tells Donna the truth about Darhk and HIVE. Donna totally understands his need to protect Laurel and appreciates him trying to protect her too.

In the flashback, Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola) puts Oliver to work with the other men, digging for the artifact. The other men are out to avenge Vlad, however. Taiana (Elysia Rotaru) tries to defend Oliver, saying he saved her at risk of his own life. It bothered me a bit that Oliver seems to be wearing the same shirt in the present and the flashbacks. He tries to defend himself by telling them that Conklin (Ryan Robbins) put Vlad up to trying to kill him. Oliver tells them he wants to get them all free.

They want him to kill Conklin to prove it. Oliver is afraid that killing Conklin will turn him into a monster, but Taiana thinks that’s good because it takes a monster to kill monsters. Reiter has Oliver brought to him, telling him he can’t let him risk himself. Reiter thinks that Oliver is providence – one who has been granted by the gods – and therefore necessary to get what he wants.

Oliver is left alone with Conklin. They fight and Oliver kills Conklen, whose dying words are that Reiter is going to kill everyone whatever Oliver does. Reiter is pissed, but he needs him alive. He tells Oliver that there are different forms of alive. Taiana thanks him, but Oliver tells her what Conklin told him and they don’t have much time.

Curtis and Paul (Chenier Hundal) show up at the party with Curtis’s wedding present. It’s an implantable bio-stimulant! Oliver and Felicity are both completely overwhelmed. It took the new Palmer Technologies power cell to make it a reality, but Felicity should be able to walk down the aisle!!

The final scene is Darhk introducing William to Bethany (Keri Adams). He tells her that William’s mother has asked Darhk to look after William – but it’s clear that Samantha would never do that. The big question now is where is Samantha?

What did you think of the episode? I thought the basic case was a bit ho-hum – thought the fights and chases were excellent. Once again the flashback didn’t seem to have a lot to do with the present storyline. I did love the Donna/Quentin story, and Curtis really is the best! So some nice surprises. Did you have a favorite scene? Favorite line? Should Oliver tell Felicity about William? Is there any way he can keep this secret now? Is Felicity going to be mad? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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