Arrow Episode 22 - Darkness at the Edge of Town (2013): TV Recap
Watch "Darkness at the Edge of Town" Now!
A nerdy doctor and a cute doctor are walking together through the halls of Unidac Industries, and as the nerdy one tries to ask the cute one out on a date, they stumble upon a room full of dead scientists. How romantic! The Dark Archer has already been on a rampage, and executes seismologist Brion Markov, the namesake of the devise that is going to level Starling city. As the Dark Archer destroys all the evidence, he unceremoniously also shoots the two young scientists who were planning on hitting up happy hour, shattering a blossoming love (or at least a hook up).
Since Oliver realized his mother was involved in the Undertaking, Diggle has been watching Moira and Felicity has been monitoring her home and office phones, but nothing is out of the ordinary. If they are going to figure out what the Undertaking is, Oliver is going to have to ask his mom himself.
Though it’s not even 7 a.m., Laurel is in the club when Oliver goes upstairs. She wants to know why Oliver told her he had feelings for her when he could have just kept quiet and let her try to get back together with Tommy. Oliver claims he didn’t have an agenda, which is kind of a cop out. Everything he does is calculated, and his life is already full of lies. This is the one thing he can’t bear to lie about? But it got Laurel thinking, and it made her realize she can finally admit to having feelings for Oliver. This starts the cycle that Oliver is perpetually locked into: Laurel gets hurt by Oliver, then realizes that he has changed since being on the island and tries to get close to him, then Oliver pushes her away. That hurts Laurel, and the pattern begins again. This time, Oliver tries to push Laurel away by claiming that he hasn’t changed since being on the island, a statement that is supposed to cue Laurel’s pre-island memories of him and get her to stay away.
Oliver decides to finally ask his mom the tough questions about who took Walter. She is, of course, evasive and tries to get Oliver to stop pressing the issue. Oliver wants to help, but Moira wants to protect her family. Before she can say anything that might make Malcolm Merlyn upset, she and Oliver both get hit with tranquilizer darts, and the menacing shadow of an archer appears on the wall.
Moira and Oliver awaken tied to chairs, with a menacing green-hooded archer telling Moira that she failed the city. That’s weird, because Oliver is currently tied to a chair. When Moira refuses to divulge the nature of the Undertaking, Oliver gives a signal to the vigilante, who turns out to be Diggle wearing Oliver’s night clothes. After a few good punches to Oliver’s face, and telling Moira that she needs to worry about him and no Merlyn, Diggle finally gets Moira to spill. Merlyn took Unidac’s earthquake machine, mixed in some of Queen Industries’ Applied Science, and weaponized the device. At least she was able to blame her involvement on her dead husband, saying she would never willingly be a part of this. Satisfied with her answers, Diggle releases them both.
By digging up information on Unidac, Felicity discovers the police suspect the copycat archer in the slayings at Unidac. Oliver realizes that Merlyn is tying up loose ends so no one can trace the earthquake machine back to him. To find the location of the device, Felicity decides to try hacking the Merlyn Global mainframe. She can’t get in using her usual tricks, so they are going to have to break into the main building.
To gain direct access to the Merlyn mainframe, Oliver schedules a meeting with Tommy, Diggle poses as a security guard, and Felicity poses as a Big Belly Burger delivery girl. Felicity delivers her drug-laced burger to Diggle, who graciously shares it with his partner on duty. Felicity gets onto an elevator with Oliver, but they can’t get to the right floor without climbing on top of the elevator and swinging up higher. Oliver warns Felicity not to look down, but it’s too late. “I should mention I’m afraid of heights… which I just learned.” Hoping to calm her down, Oliver offers, “Felicity, hold onto me tight.” “You know,” she says, “I imagined you saying that under different circumstances.” When Oliver gives her a funny look, she adds, “Very platonic circumstances.” Oliver shoots a line to get Felicity to the right floor to hook directly into the mainframe and she begins her hack, while Oliver heads to his meeting with Tommy.
Tommy is upset that Oliver is there, especially when Oliver tries to convince him to give Laurel another shot. Tommy’s convinced that he shouldn’t have to settle for being anyone’s consolation prize, but Oliver reminds him that Laurel chose Tommy of her own free will until Tommy couldn’t handle it any more. Asking one last question, Oliver wonders what Tommy does here. Tommy tells him, “I work closely with my father,” ominously foreshadowing a time when Tommy is going to either assist his father as the Dark Archer, or take up his mantle entirely. Knowing that Merlyn is in control of the Undertaking, this revelation of “closeness” between Tommy and Malcolm unsettles Oliver.
Roy Harper is still planning to find the vigilante, this time by staking out a Vertigo dealer. Thea, who has been supportive of this obsession until Oliver warned them both to stay away from the hood, tells him he needs to give this up. Roy reveals that he lost someone, probably to the Glades, and needs the vigilante to train him so he will never lose anyone again. Thea slams down the ultimatum: if he doesn’t give this up, he’s going to lose her. “Better now than later,” Roy says, choosing a potential future as a second-rate super hero over a relationship with a rich girl.
Walter hasn’t been too jovial since being released from the hospital. He finds being abducted on the same night Moira warned him he was getting too close to her conspiracy more than a coincidence. He serves her with divorce papers and the ultimate slap in the face, telling her that because of her betrayal he couldn’t use warm, happy thoughts of his family to get him through his captivity.
A cyber-expert for the police has been trying to crack the Merlyn mainframe for evidence about the Dark Archer, and reports to Detective Lance that he has been unsuccessful. The only thing he was able to dig up was that someone else was trying the same methods. Though she was pretty good, she still left enough evidence for the police to find out it was Felicity Smoak from Queen Consolidated. If she’s going to sign her work like that, maybe Oliver needs to find a new hacker. With this connection, it’s very possible the police will get back on Oliver’s trail.
As the arrow team tries to locate the seismic device, Oliver has an epiphany. He’s been trying to treat the symptoms, taking out the names in his father’s book, instead of curing the disease, stopping Malcolm Merlyn and the Undertaking. If he can prevent the Glades from being razed, he will have fulfilled his mission, the reason he came back from the island. And after that, he could stop being the vigilante. This thought immediately sends him to Laurel’s apartment, where he admits that they keep coming together and he pulls away. He admits that she is more important to him than anyone, and he hopes that he’s not too late. This triggers a massive make-out session that takes a shirtless Ollie and Laurel to a nearby window. As Laurel’s shirt is coming off, Tommy appears on the street. And yes, he’s very familiar with the bedroom window of Laurel’s apartment. Wasn’t it just a few short hours ago that Oliver was exhorting Tommy to get back together with Laurel? He sucks up his pride and comes over, only to find her in the arms of his ex-best friend, his worst fears about himself realized, that he will always be second in Laurel’s heart.
Diggle calls Oliver, getting him out of Laurel’s bed, to tell him that they’ve located the device. Oliver sends Diggle after the device, while Oliver plans to take out Merlyn. As he approaches, Diggle gets on Oliver’s earpiece to tell him the device is missing. As it turns out, hacking Merlyn’s system only warned him to get the device somewhere safe. Oliver has had enough of Merlyn, and fires an arrow at his chest, but Malcolm catches it, revealing his identity as the Dark Archer. An epic fight ensues, destroying Merlyn’s office and Oliver’s bow. When all is said and done, Oliver lies beaten and bloodied on the floor as Merlyn lifts his hood.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm Eastern on CW. Darkness on the Edge of Town originally aired 5/8/13.