This article contains spoilers for the Arrow episode – Checkmate.
The latest episode of Arrow came down to two basic storylines and four actors. Stephen Amell playing off Josh Segarra and Kacey Rohl manipulating Emily Bett Rickards. Sure it had a lot of other things like Curtis using his balls and Quentin saying, “You son of a bitch”, which improves every episode that happens in. But the main focus is the battle between Oliver Queen and Adrian Chase as we learn that Chase has no limits. Felicity discovers Chase’s real name and Oliver gives it to Pike to investigate. Chase finds out and stabs Pike. The Green Arrow has Spartan bring Chase’s wife to confront him… and he stabs her. The only thing that matters to him is destroying Oliver.
Chase has out maneuvered Oliver at every turn. Forcing Oliver to do whatever Chase wants. He turns the city against the Green Arrow, handcuffs the Mayor and takes Susan Williams hostage so Oliver can’t even kill him. Everything Oliver tries, like checking out Chase’s house, leads him further down the path. Oliver also discovers that his former mentor, Talia, is the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul and has sided with Prometheus because Oliver killer her father. She even helps Prometheus capture Oliver after the two confront each other and it almost looks like Green Arrow might win. This leads to Oliver being a shackled prisoner and Chase promising Talia that Oliver will suffer.
As this is going on, Felicity gets drawn in deeper into Helix and starts returning the favors. Which is exactly what Kojo Sledgehammer is hoping for. The more they help Felicity, the deeper into debt she will be and the more they’ll get her to do. Like hack DHS drones on the boarder. Felicity justifies all of this because she is helping her friends… but at what cost. There is no way this doesn’t get a lot darker before the season ends.
This whole episode gives us a very bad view of trusting people. Oliver trusted Chase and now his entire life is unraveling. Felicity trusts Helix and we can see that it’s not going to end well. What exactly are the writers trying to teach us? This episode was difficult to watch as a fan, to see the character beaten so severely on every level. Just how much further down can Oliver fall?
Oliver is captured and it looks like what Adrian wants to do is break him. Reveal who the real Oliver Queen is. If we’re at this point already this season, what is going to happen in the six episodes after?
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