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Holy cow, you guys. Where do I even start with this episode? I’m going to need a drink (or five) after watching this one! So very, very much happened.
Through flashbacks to ancient Egypt, we learn more about where Kendra and Carter first knew each other, the nature of their relationship and why Vandal Savage is bent on killing them over and over again. You want to talk about complicated relationships? He was a prince and she was a priestess and apparently that was forbidden so when Savage caught them together in her room, he threatened to use the information to tear the prince’s kingdom apart and then he wanted the priestess for himself. Nice, huh? They all killed each other using a ceremonial knife and then a meteor shower rained down sealing the spells that Kendra and Vandal both cast, which locked them into this vicious cycle of immortality and reincarnation.
Poor Cisco, though. He really likes Kendra, but realizes over the course of the episode that he can’t fight against the soulmate thing they have going between them. Kendra and Carter still don’t get along, like, at all. But they can’t deny the draw to one another. He takes the news from Kendra at the end of the episode like a champ and I’d just like this poor guy to find a nice girl who won’t use him or leave him for some reincarnated soulmate. Is that so much to ask?
It’s a little confusing why Malcolm is inserting himself into this story. He even sets up a meet and greet between Barry, Oliver and Vandal. It’s less of a meeting and more of a “bring me the Hawkpeople in 24 hours or I will kill millions of people and everyone you love” ultimatum. Malcolm even lays a threat on Oliver, if he does anything that results in his daughter’s death. Yes, like Oliver would chance Thea’s life. Did Malcolm even pay attention during season 3?
The end of the episode shows us Malcolm stealing into the warehouse where the final battle took place and scooping up some of Vandal’s ashes into a jar, reciting something as he does so and looking very smug and proud of himself. No good ever comes of that look on that man.
Listen, I’m not a fan of time travel on television shows. It’s often lazy writing, a difficult trope to use well. The Flash has used it poorly in the past and made me extremely hesitant about it being used on Arrow. And guess what? They used it on Arrow. Sure, it ultimately saved everyone’s lives, but at what cost?
No good can come of this, mark my words. I have a feeling we’ll see some repercussions of this altering of the timelines and the only question is if it will affect The Flash or Arrow or both. And who! Still, this has to be good news for Barry’s speed because at least he can run fast enough to time travel, right?
Oliver goes to Samantha’s house and finds her with her son, who’s name is William. He gets a hair off William’s hat while Samantha is telling him that he’s not the dad and has Barry run a DNA test on it. Surprising no one, it confirms Oliver is the father. He asks Barry not to tell anyone about this so clearly, when Felicity arrives and demands to know what’s going on, he shows her the DNA test results. GOOD ONE, BARRY. This man would make a terrible Secret Keeper.
Oliver takes his knowledge to Samantha, who is reluctant to let Oliver be a part of her son’s life. She will only allow it if he promises not to tell anyone. Including Felicity. Feeling as though he doesn’t have much choice, he agrees. We get an adorable scene of him playing with William in his bedroom. It’s clear that having a relationship with this child, getting to know him and that child getting to know him, is important to Oliver.
That’s the big takeaway I got from this episode. When Felicity confronts Oliver about the DNA test, she explains that she’s not upset that he has a child, but that he kept this from her and that he lied to her. She doesn’t think he trusts her. It seems like a dealbreaker for her, and Barry witnesses a dramatic end to the confrontation, with Felicity walking off. Did they just break up? Oliver seems to think so and is visibly shaken as the two heroes meet with the rest of the teams about confronting Savage.
Predictably, with Oliver off his game (and the special Staff of Horus-grabbing gauntlets not working right) (and Hawkgirl not being in touch with her inner bird yet), Savage quickly gets the upper hand and not only murders Kendra and Carter, but lays waste to the city. Oliver is vaporized and Barry runs ahead of the shockwave, eventually racing back in time to fix the snafu, but not before we’re treated to a scene of everyone in the farmhouse being vaporized as well. LOVELY.
The second confrontation against Savage goes much better and one can’t help but think it’s not just because Kendra now has a better handle on her powers and the gauntlets now work much better. The teams are fully assembled and work together to take down Savage and save the Hawkpeople.
Barry and Oliver wield the staff together and vaporize Savage, leaving him in a pile of ashes that someone REALLY should have swept up and/or scattered to the four corners of the earth.
Returning to Star City, Felicity asks Oliver if he’s going to tell her what was on his mind back in Central City. He had promised to tell her everything when she’d first noticed his sketchy behavior. He dodges this, telling her it’s all over. Felicity professes her love for him, how she wants to be a true teammate for him. The only way she can help him with something that’s bothering him, is if he tells her about it. Oliver stays mum and they snuggle on the couch but one can’t help but think about how this is all going to blow up spectacularly in everyone’s faces.
Because secret children never stay secret forever.