Megan Miller ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
With so much emphasis on Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Sarah Lance’s (Caity Lotz ) backstory in the past few episodes of Arrow, the newest episode was a refreshing change of pace as the story switched to focus on John Diggle (David Ramsey). With the revelation of who Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) was, and the shift from Starling City to Moscow to save her, “Keep Your Enemies Closer” is a much different story than those that came before it this season.
Lyla Michaels, who’d gone to Russia looking for Deadshot (Michael Rowe), Diggle’s brother’s murderer, has gone missing and Oliver and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) insist on accompanying him to Moscow, especially when he finds out that Lyla and Diggle had formerly been married. They’d met in the army and hadn’t lasted long after they’d returned from duty. Diggle tells Felicity that they didn’t know how to stay married “without a war to fight.” They both returned to various forms of duty afterward, but when she is in trouble, on a mission for him, no less, he feels obligated to go to Russia in order to find her.
Lyla, Diggle discovers, is trapped in a Russian gulag, and when he infiltrates it to rescue her, he also finds out that Deadshot is the reason she was there in the first place. A prisoner as well, Diggle initially aims to kill Deadshot, but soon he becomes Diggle’s only way out of the prison, as well as the only person who will help him get Lyla. Diggle chooses not to kill the murderer out of honor, even after Deadshot tells him that his brother wasn’t just in the way of getting to Deadshot’s target—his brother was the target, and someone with the name H.I.V.E. ordered the hit.
In order to get to Russia in the first place, Oliver used the cover of visiting Queen Consolidated’s Moscow sector, prompting Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau), his recently-acquired business partner, to tag along. Though he is initially annoyed at her hovering presence, after a few drinks and some talking they manage to fall into one-night stand territory, with a possibility of more. Although after Felicity finds out, considering she arrives at Oliver’s door just as Isabel leaves, she gives him a hard time about it, and when they return she asks why Isabel, and he says that with his line of work, it’s best not to get involved with anyone he could actually care about. Felicity has nothing to say except that in her opinion, he deserves better than that.
On the other side of the world, Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) is still awaiting trial, and her lawyer thinks that it would be better for her defense if Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) stop seeing each other, considering the press has found out that Moira’s daughter was dating a known felon. Though Thea initially asks for some space without telling Roy why, Moira gets wind of what’s going on and invites Roy to come visit her, which he does, and explains the situation to him. She gives her full approval to them, and tells Thea that she is not allowed to not see him. So though Oliver is still having trouble maintaining any sort of stable love life, at least one member of the Queen family has a happy ending.