Original Air Date: Nov 2, 2017

Brianna – Managing Editor

Cayden James and Helix make their return in a solidly entertaining Arrow that showcased terrific character work and an intriguing villain set up can be done without sacrificing quality on either end. Arrow feels like it’s finding its groove this season and this was a great example of that.

Alena comes to Felicity for help after finding out that Cayden James is plotting something that is projected to kill approximately four percent of the world’s population. Though initially reluctant, she agrees to help track him down and stop him. The pair soon find themselves in trouble when they come up against Cayden James himself and his goons (which included Black Siren).

While Felicity, Oliver, and Team Arrow are dealing with Cayden James, Oliver and Felicity find themselves going through a role reversal. As Felicity set out to do all of it on her own to protect those she loved, Oliver was determined to make sure that Felicity always had back up. The reversal and dynamic mixed in with the pair’s attempt at alone time and the elusive “dessert” for most of the hour added a different tone to the show that is very much the trend this season (in the best way).

Felicity Deals with Alena’s Return and Finding a Name

“Reversal” was a great hour for many reasons. One of the top reasons was because of getting to see the ramifications of Felicity’s decision last season and seeing how she deals with her side mission. She would want to protect everyone she cares about and shoulder that blame considering how the Cayden James situation played out. It was equally as enjoyable to see her open to accepting the help and being receptive to the back up from not only Team Arrow but Oliver as well.

Helix was one of those loose ends at the end of last season that had me curious, and with what feels like been hinted with Cayden James’ appearance, there’s going to be more coming.

We also got treated to more forward movement on the start up front! After a visit to Alena, Felicity’s able to zone in on exactly what she wants from the startup, and it has everything to do with the reason she is still able to walk. Though the name, Helix Dynamics, was unexpected, the idea of developing her spinal implant wasn’t. It was something that affected her significantly and reproducing a chip like that definitely falls under her goal of making the world a better place (like she told Thea back in season four). Now to see the next steps!

Supportive Olicity and The “Reversal”

The crux of the episode felt like a look at how Oliver and Felicity have grown separately and how that growth shines through when they’re together. With Oliver out of the field, it was interesting to see him assume the role of Overwatch for Felicity. Oliver never once doubted her ability to do the job or asked her to stop, simply reminded her that backup is always best.

It was wonderful to see him mirror some of their pep talks from earlier seasons when he spoke with Felicity. His unwavering support for her skill and ability to beat James was sweet and endearing to watch as he offered her his words, his voice, and his ear regardless of if she was out in the field and racing against the clock to stop the mainframe from being destroyed or if they were in her loft and recovering from first coming up against Cayden.

One thing that stood out with their interactions is that Oliver and Felicity actually talked about what was bothering them, openly communicating with each other about their doubts and their concerns. It was just so refreshing and beautiful. I hope we get to see more of that throughout the season.

Cayden James Unmasked! And Hints of His Plot Unveiled

After spending the end of last season wondering who Cayden James is, he was revealed to be Michael Emerson! His casting announced at Comic-Con left me hopeful that it would be him. Seeing it confirmed and officially introduced into canon was great. In his first outing, he perpetuates this air of sinister calm that was exciting to watch and has me looking forward to seeing more of him coming up against the team.

And there is no doubt that James will be sticking around and wreaking havoc if that ominous statement about leaving Felicity’s prints on the mainframe is any indication. Might we see Overwatch get set up at some point down the line?

A Few Stray Observations

Oliver and Felicity are trying to find some time alone without interruptions from the team or otherwise was hilarious but felt like a good fit for the show. Their date at the beginning of the episode was so cute and offered little nods to their first date back in season three as they joked about the explosion.

I loved the little mention about William picking out the tie and wanting to join them for dinner.

The number of people commenting on Oliver and Felicity’s relationship status was hilarious, from the random Star City citizen at the restaurant to Curtis (of course) to Alena saying she didn’t know they were back together. Just solid little moments throughout the episode.

Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards’ chemistry has always been undeniably strong from the very beginning. So seeing them play off each other when Oliver and Felicity have no more boundaries and aren’t working with the barriers they had in season four has been fun.

So, does anyone else think that there was some heavy foreshadowing of trouble for Felicity? Who else loved Oliver assuming the Overwatch position? How about that Michael Emerson reveal?