Arrow S2E6: “Keep Your Enemies Closer” Recap


In this episode we see more of Oliver having a hard time balancing his “Arrow” life and his business life. It starts when Diggle gets grabbed by A.R.G.U.S. agents and Amanda Waller shows up to let him know that Lyla Michaels has been captured in Russia tracking down Deadshot. She was tracking Deadshot for Diggle. Waller also lets him know that she knows what Diggle and Ollie are up to at night and basically blackmails Digg into rescuing her. I don’t know how much blackmailing Diggle really needed. This sets Team Arrow on the go to Russia. And worlds start colliding when Isabel Rochev decides she needs to accompany them on this suspicious trip.

John and Ollie ditch Isabel with Smoak to go meet up with Olie’s former Amazo boat cellmate, Antoli Knyazev, who sets up a break into Gulag to rescue Lyla. John and Ollie argue who will go in for her. The decision is made that John will go in. The thought of Arrow going in the prison reminded me of a film by David Goyer that never was made, Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max. The premise is that Green Arrow gets framed for murder and he is stuck in a jail with a bunch of super villains he put there. He needs to escape. Anyway, they set up John to get arrested so he can get in the prison. In the prison, he is chained in a tortuously cold room with Flyod Lawton a.k.a. Deadshot. Digg and Flyod both break free separately and Flyod tells him he knows where Lyla is and he will tell Diggle if Diggle gets him out.

Meanwhile, Ollie and Isabel hook up. Felicity comes calling to help Diggle get free. She realizes that Isabel and Ollie slept together and is visibly upset. On the other hand we also see that Isabel is not phased one bit by their hook-up. We also find out that she, like her comic book counterpart, is Russian. The theme of everlasting life/rebirth and the presence of Russian characters are two things that are very prominent this season. I don’t think it’s too far of a jump to find that Isabel is mixed up with the League of Assassins. She was really giving me a Talia al Ghul vibe this episode. Maybe it was the one night stand.

Keep Your Enemies Closer

Nevertheless Ollie, Smoak, and Antoli rescue Diggle who has rescued both Floyd and Lyla. On the way out they release Floyd. Diggle lets him go because of Floyd helped him escape. In return Floyd tells Diggle that it was not a mistake that he killed his brother but the contract was for his brother by a group named H.I.V.E.

Flashback time. Ollie is meeting with Sara and Ivo on the Amazo. Ivo starts explaining the Japanese sub and how during World War II the Japanese created a serum called Mirakulu that enhanced strength, rapid cell regeneration to create an army of super-soldiers. And we wend with Sara tricking Ollie into giving up Slade and Shado.


Task Force X: This is a government task force also know as the Suicide Squad. This version of the squad first appeared in Legends #3 in 1987. The Squad is a team of incarcerated supervillains who act as deniable assets for the United States government, undertaking high-risk black ops missions in exchange for shortened prison sentences. The squad is lead by Amanda Waller and at times the Bronze Tiger. Both Deadshot and Count Vertigo are members of this team in the comic books. The current Suicide Squad book is s decent read but the book by John Ostrander in the late ’80s is what defined what the team is.

Amanda Waller: She first appeared in Legends #1 in 1986, and was created by John Ostrander, Len Wein and John Byrne. Nick named “The Wall,” she is a cunning strategist and is the Director of A.R.G.U.S. and the Suicide Squad.

Mockingbird: This is the code name for whoever is in charge of the Secret Six. Many people have been in charge of the Secret Six over many years, one of them being Amanda Waller. The team that she secretly ran consisted mainly of villains who undertook missions of dubious moral quality and often resulting in a high body count. This version of the Secret Six was thematically similar to John Ostrander’s run on the Suicide Squad. It’s definitely a good read by Gail Simone.

Deadshot: Floyd Lawton first appeared way back in Batman #59 in 1950 and was created by  by Bob Kane, David Vern Reed and Lew Schwartz. Deadshot is a hired assassin who is a member of both the Secret Six and the Suicide Squad. It was recently revealed in Suicide Squad that Waller has found a way to bring him back to life no matter how many times he dies. It makes his death wish pretty hard to accomplish. He had a great miniseries back in 2005 by Christos Gage and Steven Cummings that featured Green Arrow. Deadshot: Beginnings collects the miniseries John Ostrander wrote in the 1980s as well as some Batman stories.

Flashwatch: The TV showed a “No S.T.A.R. Labs” sign and the voice over said. “…any scientific gain that might come from it. The people need to understand how dangerous technology like this is and the very real possibility of a cataclysmic event.”

Mirakulu: The description and the sound of this drug sound very much like Miraclo. Miraclo is a drug that scientist Rex Tyler, created that gave him superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability for an hour before returning to human levels. He became the superhero known as

Hourman. The CW currently have a Hourman show in development. I wonder if there will be a link to Arrow. Some good Hourman reading I would point to Sandman Mystery Theatre: the Hourman and Starman #11.

H.I.V.E.: The original H.I.V.E. which stands for Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination was a mysterious organization that specialized in high-level contract assassinations and mercenary acts of terrorism. They first appeared in Superman Family #203 in 1980 and were created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez.

Slade Wilson: He is also known as Deathstroke the Terminator but is mostly called Deathstroke in order not to be confused with the Arnold Schwarzenegger killing machine. He first appeared in New Teen Titans vol. 1 #2 in 1980 as a bounty hunter. DC Comics recently gave him his own series. I’d suggest reading issues #1-8 by Kyle Higgins.

Shado: She first appeared in Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters in 1987. She is the daughter of a Yakuza agent sent to America with a large cache of gold, prior to World War II, in order to establish Yakuza operations in America. Shado tends to be both an antagonist of Green Arrow and a love interest.