‘Arrow’ recap: ‘Checkmate’
Has Oliver Queen forfeited the right to human connections? By killing for justice, is he slowly killing himself? By the end of the hour, he’d probably give a resounding yes to both of those questions.
First, Oliver travels to Talia’s monastery (located on top of an unnamed mountain in an unnamed country), where she tells him that she started training Prometheus, a.k.a. Adrian Chase, two years ago to destroy Oliver. Why? To the surprise of Oliver and Oliver alone, Talia reveals that her last name is al Ghul, then basically tells him, “You killed my father, prepare to die.”
When Oliver’s back in Star City, he bursts into Chase’s meeting with city officials, and Chase, speaking in code so the civilians don’t catch on, tells Oliver that he’s glad everyone knows what everyone else has been up to.
Almost immediately, Oliver changes costumes and, as Green Arrow, stops Chase in the parking garage and threatens to expose him as the Throwing Star Killer. That’s when Chase announces that he kidnapped Oliver’s girlfriend. “I’m 10 steps ahead of you, and you haven’t even figured out what game we’re playing yet,” he evil-laughs. Now that Chase is out of the serial murderer closet, he’s gotten all growly and monologuy, and I… don’t hate it.
Next, Oliver swings by the Arrow Cave to tell the team that their big bad is the DA. “This is a hell of a city you’ve got here,” Dinah says. They don’t have enough evidence to go the police, and Oliver laments that Chase has them in check. “For now,” John assures him.
The team is short one member for Oliver’s update, as Felicity is ignoring Curtis’ many tests during her introduction to Helix central. It’s vast and well staffed, and Kojo Sledgehammer describes the group as “kind of like the UN, but it actually accomplishes things.” As they should, with a real-time feed from every cell phone camera in the world running through a facial recognition program. Felicity worries about this setup, but Kojo replies, “Power to the people, right?”
At City Hall, Rene and Quentin wonder if they should just be showing up like normal when Chase strolls by to gloat about how evil he is and also to yell at them for not providing him with some reports he’d asked for. Not only is he a murderer, but he’s a stickler for paperwork? He’s a monster.
Since Rene and Quentin have eyes on Chase, Oliver and John feel safe heading into Chase’s house (in what looks like the middle of the night – why is everyone still at City Hall?). They find Chase’s wife, Doris, and try to convince her that her husband’s the Throwing Star Killer. But the police break in, responding to a call from Chase, who does, in fact, seem to be 10 steps ahead. But Oliver’s also prepared, and one flash grenade later, he and John escape.
When video of a bloody-faced Susan being menaced by Prometheus turns up, the team wastes no time in analyzing it, but they don’t find any clues to her whereabouts. Naturally, Oliver beats himself up for getting involved with her. “I don’t know what I was thinking.” Yeah, dude. Your viewers have been saying that ALL SEASON LONG. But he doesn’t mean it the way we do, instead blaming himself for putting her in danger because he’s a vigilante.
Felicity comes racing in at this point to receive a tongue-lashing from Oliver (settle down, everyone; it’s metaphorical) for being MIA. Oliver says it’s fine, she doesn’t work for him, but he’s worried about her and the secrets she’s keeping.
She acknowledges said secrets but asks him to trust her. He agrees, and she gives him an update: Thanks to Helix, which she leaves out of her info-dump, she knows that Chase’s birth name is actually Simon Morrison, which makes his current ID an alias — and enough for an arrest.
Armed with this knowledge, Oliver leaves for a press conference about the break-in at Chase’s house. What time is it? Is it like 2 in the morning now? Why do they love press conferences so much? Do the Star City citizens get tired of every show being preempted by Mayor Mopey’s face?
He and Chase both earnestly address the press corps about the awfulness of the hooded menace threatening Chase’s wife, and Oliver announces that Green Arrow has 24 hours to turn himself in “before I am ordering the SCPD to shoot on sight.” Um, do mayors even have the power to do that?