“Arrow” went a little crazy with the plot twists in “Keep Your Enemies Closer,” a Diggle-centered story in which the audience learned:
a) Diggle used to be married.
b) Diggle used to be married to Lila Michaels, his military-contractor friend.
c) Isabel Rochev finds Russian-speaking men hot.
d) Shado and Slade Wilson survived that assault on the island.
e) Sara was a bad, bad girl back in the day.
If you don’t think what happens in Russia, stays in Russia and want to know more plot twists, keep reading this recap.
Diggle and Lila, sitting in a tree …
You’d have to be blind not to notice that John Diggle and Lila Michaels were attracted to each other. But it turns out that there is so, so much more going on there.
When Lila’s boss at Argus, Amanda Waller, informs Diggle that the military consultant has gone missing in Russia, the truth begins to seep out. Lila had gone to Moscow to hunt down Deadshot — for Diggle. In turn, Diggle wastes no time in heading overseas to rescue Lila from the gulag in which she’s languishing.
Why so much loyalty? That’s because these two were once man and wife. Apparently, they only worked as a couple when fighting a war, but the affection never died.
Everyone pretty much knows Oliver-related secrets now, right?
Diggle’s old military contacts know exactly what he and Oliver do at night. Isabel Rochev is perfectly aware that Oliver is masking brains and drive for some inexplicable reason. Officer Lance knows that Felicity works with the vigilante and guesses Roy does too.
Will there be a secret at all by the end of Season 2?
Off to the Motherland
Since there is no way Oliver is ever going to let Diggle head off to Russia alone, he decides to go too. Then they bring along Felicity for any tech jobs and for witty quips. The group chooses to take the corporate jet, so of course Isabel Rochev tags along with the party.
It’s awkward, to say the least.
Once in Russia, Oliver and Diggle drink vodka with Anatoly, the Russian mafia-esque guy who Oliver somehow saved from that Evil Ship five years earlier. It’s safe to say that this might be the guy who got Oliver all of his Russian mob connections.
Whatever the case, Anatoly is useful here. He agrees to help Diggle break into the rotten prison where Lila is being held. The Russian even promises to help them break out again later!
Diggle cools down … With Deadshot
The prison turns out to be every awful thing that Anatoly promised. On the other hand, both the inmates and the guards demonstrate a surprisingly impressive knowledge of English. So it can’t be that bad.
Diggle doesn’t really have a chance to find out. At his first meal, the man gets into a brawl with roughly half of the prisoners and gets thrown into a cold-storage locker for his troubles. Russians take cooling down seriously, apparently.
Maybe the cold is a good thing though, as soon as Diggle notices his neighbor in the freezer: Deadshot.
But Diggle doesn’t get too long to verbally spar with his mortal enemy. Anatoly’s man on the inside rescues Diggle and starts to take him to Lila. Unfortunately for the guard, Deadshot is tired of hanging around in the cold.
The guard is dead, but Deadshot knows where Lila is. In a move that probably costs Diggle every bit of self-control he has ever had, the two men work together and rescue Diggle’s girl.
What happens in Russia, stays in Russia
Meanwhile, Oliver has to pass the time until Diggle’s breakout somehow. Thus, young Mr. Queen meets with some rather terrifying criminals that he sweet-talks with Russian phrases and extremely hot winks.
But the night is young, and Isabel wants to drink. A few drinks in, and both Queen Consolidated partners are making poor choices. One of these involves meaningless — but probably super-hot — sex.
Felicity is not pleased about any of this.
With a name like Deadshot, of course he doesn’t miss
With the help of an exploding coat, a bribe from Anatoly and Oliver’s rather impressive fighting skills, Diggle and company make it out of the gulag and onto their escape. Diggle isn’t about to lead Deadshot to safety though.
In a tough turn of events, Diggle’s honor won’t let him gun down Deadshot like the man so richly deserves. Perhaps it’s gratitude then that inspires Deadshot to share a secret: Diggle’s brother, Andy, wasn’t an accidental bystander when Deadshot gunned him down. Andy was the target. Some nefarious group called H.I.V.E. ordered the kill.
Love and angst
Back in Starling City, love-inspired angst is everywhere.
For Thea and Roy, this stems from Roy getting arrested and then deemed a bad influence on Moira’s upcoming trial. Thea tries to dump her boy toy as a result, but this move is thwarted by Moira’s jailhouse matchmaking skills.
Over at Queen Consolidated, Isabel is happy to keep things nice and meaningless with Oliver. But Felicity needs an explanation. It may not help that Oliver explains himself by saying he can’t get emotionally involved — there are heavy implications that should make Olicity ‘shippers happy here.
Finally, there’s the couple that is Diggle and Lila. Combat and heroic rescues are aphrodisiacs to these lovers, so a night of passion is pretty much required. Will they stick together? Or will Diggle’s need to track down H.I.V.E. get in the way?
In the bygone days of flashbacks
Back on the Evil Ship of Genetic Research, Sara seems to be Oliver’s ally against nasty Dr. Ivo. She’s not. All of Sara’s kindnesses are designed to prove to Ivo that Shado and Slade Wilson are still alive. Once Oliver has done that, Sara betrays him like crazy.
Ivo wants Oliver back on the island, working to destroy his own friends. No wonder things were strained between Oliver and Sara when she returned to Starling City!
Bits and pieces of awesomeness
- Does Lance know that Roy Harper is working with the Arrow? There is something going on there anyway.
- In how many episodes have we heard about the particle accelerator now? Way to set up the arrival of the Flash, “Arrow”!
- Dr. Ivo is apparently hunting down a Japanese miracle drug from World War II. According to him, the Japanese were doing stem-cell research to create super soldiers. But then the submarine with the only medicine sank off the island.
- There’s no way that Diggle’s giant stash of blue-tinted drugs wasn’t a reference to “Breaking Bad,” right?
- “Lila isn’t my friend. She’s my wife.” – Diggle
“Explain that sentence.” – Felicity
- When Shado hops into bed with the badly burned Slade, is that foreshadowing a relationship between the two? Oliver isn’t going to like that!
- “You still haven’t forgiven me for shooting your brother? Man, you sure hold a grudge.” – Deadshot to Diggle
- “Do I strike you as someone who needs to cuddle?” – Isabel
- “Honor. You sho
uld try it some time.” – Diggle to Deadshot
- “Are we going to discuss what happened last night?” – Oliver
“Why would we? See you in the office tomorrow.” – Isabel
- “I’ve gotten a lot of calls from prison, but never from my girlfriend’s mother.” – Roy
- “Because of the life that I lead, I just think that it’s better to not be with someone that I could really care about.” – Oliver, making Olicity ‘shippers’ hearts explode
- Also, there can never be too much of this: