Virgil waits in an alleyway until his contact shows up and shows him what he's looking for. Oliver arrives and shoots the display phone out of the man's hand. He drops down and Spartan joins him, and Virgil refuses to tell them where Emiko is. He whistles for his men and runs off, and Oliver and Spartan knock out their opponents. They realize that someone at ARGUS is leaking information to the Ninth Circle, and it might help lead them to Emiko.
Back at the bunker, Felicity says that Alena is working to get Archer up. She discovers that the drive has a security failsafe that fried the files. However, the drive doesn't have ARGUS security protocols, and realize that the Defense Intelligence Agency set up the protocols. They suggests that Diggle talk to Lila, but Diggle figures that it's too risky but he'll talk to a general he knows at the DIA.
Later, Diggle and Oliver go to General Roy Stewart's office. As they wait, Diggle warns that Stewart General is a hardass and he should do the talking. Stewart comes in and congratulates Oliver on becoming a changed man since he left prison. They explain where they got the drive from and that it's connected to the Ninth Circle. Stewart says that he can't give them any intel and can't hand over classified intel to Diggle since he left ARGUS. He talks about how Diggle is on a dead-end career, and tells him that he's lost his way. Diggle insists that he left ARGUS to protect his family and says that Stewart wouldn't understand, and Oliver suggests that they go. As they go, Stewart says that he always has time for his family... and he's Diggle's stepfather.
Felicity is working on the helmet when Mia and Connor arrive. They say that the others are securing the base, and Felicity explains that the helmet has security measures and once she penetrates them, hopefully she'll be able to access Galaxy One's database. She needs a sample of the metal the power module is made of, and Mia says that she knows someone she can get it from and Connor goes with her to provide backup.
Felicity goes to SmoakTech and Alena tells her that there's someone interested in buying the company: Dr. Will Magnus. Magnus is the world's foremost authority on robotic technology, and Alena offers to set up a meeting. Felicity figures that with Magnus' backing they could turn Archer into much more than a genetic tracking program.
Virgil and his men come in, and Felicity and Alena quickly hide as the alarms go off. They find the tablet with Archer, and Felicity draws a gun on Virgil and says that she'll let him leave if he puts down the tablet. Virgil disarms her and Alena quickly surrenders. Armed soldiers break in and gun down Virgil and his men, but Felicity realizes that Virgil escaped with Archer.
At the bunker, Felicity tells the others what happened. Diggle and Stewart come in and Stewart apologizes for sending his men sooner. He explains that the DIA got wind of a Ninth Circle mole inside of ARGUS and they've been tracking the organization ever since. Diggle objects to Stewart lying to them earlier by omission, and Stewart says that the drive has a list of their classified operatives in their field. Now that Emiko has their DNA, she can track them using Archer. Stewart calls to order evacuations, and Diggle storms off. Oliver goes after him and asks why he never mentioned that he had a stepfather. Diggle says that Stewart has never been in his life since Diggle left home to join the military. Stewart was Diggle's CO on an op that went bad, and the father stayed behind to make sure his men escaped. Diggle figures that Stewart should have stayed behind because it was his op, and six months later he dated Diggle's mother. Stewart used "tough love" with Diggle and Andy, running them through Spartan training exercises.
Mia and Connor go to the market and Mia finds a man trading Galaxy merchandise. However, he's in Deathstroke territory. Connor says that he can handle it, but Mia tells him to back it up and goes to the gate and says that she needs to talk to his boss JJ. When the guards draw their guns, Connor says that he has the mark from his boss. They confirm that Connor has the mark on his neck, The head guard lets them in, and Connor says that JJ is his brother John Jr. Connor wanted to tell Mia the truth for a long time.
At the bunker, Rene tells Dinah that he isn't sure Emiko is evil. At the airfield she could have killed him but didn't. Rene wonders if Emiko can redeem herself. Stewart tells them team that all of their assets except one, Julian Sison, have been accounted for. Diggle says that he'll go with Stewart to keep an eye on him. Stewart tells the others that it's okay and that Diggle can come.
Oliver, Black Canary, and Wild Dog go to Julian's apartment and he says that he's in the middle of an op and they just blew it. Oliver tells Overwatch that there's no sign of Emiko and wonders who the target is.
Stewart and Spartan find the assets dead, and Spartan radios Overwatch. Dante darts the two men and as Stewart passes out, Dante says that they've been looking for him.
Back at the bunker, Oliver figures that the entire operation was a ploy to capture Stewart. Felicity offers to read Stewart's classified files and find out why the Ninth Circle want him.
Diggle and Stewart wake up ties to chairs, and Diggle tries to break his bonds. Stewart tells him that he should remember his training, and he wanted Diggle to be prepared. Diggle points out that they're captured, and Stewart notes that Diggle's helmet is nearby and they can use it to signal the others. Dante comes in with his men, picks up an electric prod, and tells Stewart that it's time to talk. he then starts torturing Stewart.
Felicity accesses Stewart's file and tells Oliver that Stewart is chairman of the Chief of Staff. Oliver tells Felicity that Diggle brings Stewart for his father's death, and Felicity says it's not true. The mission was so successful that Stewart was appointed the head of DARPA, and apparently lied to Diggle to protect him.
Dante demands the codes to Project Cygnus X-1, but Stewart refuses to give them. Diggle yells at Dante to leave him alone, but Dante keeps torturing him and Stewart refuses to give up the information. Dante then tortures Diggle and Stewart agrees to give Dante the codes. Satisfied, Dante leaves and Stewart says that they don't want the Ninth Circle to have Cygnus. He uses a shoelace to cut through the plastic ties, gets a pair of box cutters, and frees Diggle. They use the electric prod to power Diggle's helmet and send a signal.
Felicity gets the signal and gives the location to her teammates.
Spartan and Stewart leave the room and Stewart says that he gave up the information because he doesn't leave a man behind. They knock out a guard and two more charge at them. Oliver and his team blast through a wall, knocking out the guards, and say that it's time to leave.
Back at the bunker, Stewart says that the Ninth Circle wanted access to an experimental weapon, Cygnus X-1. The goal was to create a bioorganism that can eat nuclear material. Oliver figures that the Ninth C9rcle will use the assets to learn where Cygnus is. Felicity meets with Alena to piggyback off of Archer's signal and locate the assets. As they work, Felicity admits that she had second thoughts about creating Archer. Alena tells her that she's not a mad scientist and asks what's really bothering her, and Felicity says that she needs to do something separate from Team Arrow that can still do good. Archer was supposed to let her make her mark on the world, and Alena says that once they get Archer back Felicity needs to make sure Archer is used the way that she intended.
Oliver approaches Diggle, who says that people are in danger because Stewart couldn't be honest with him. His friend says that Stewart was trying to protect Oliver, deserves a little more of his trust, and gives Diggle the unredacted files on the mission. They reveal that Diggle's father died because he was negligent, and took two Marines with him. Stewart helped the others escape, and Diggle stares at the file in shock.
Connor shows Mia the power module and says that he hasn't seen JJ in over a year. He used to be Connor's best friend, but then he and Diggle started butting heads and Connor was caught in the middle. In the end Connor just reminded JJ of what their parents wanted him to be. Mia apologizes for getting mad at Connor for lying to her when his life sucked for him. Connor says that the life wasn't fair to either of them. The guard comes up, says that JJ has a message for Connor, and attacks him. Connor knocks him out and runs off with Mia as more guards arrive. They chase Mia and Connor through the market until they hide, and the two of them look at each other for a moment before Mia says that it's time to go.
Felicity piggybacks on the Archer signal to the address the Ninth Circle is using, and Diggle tells Stewart that they've got it so he shouldn't call his team. Stewart agrees and watches as the team leaves.
Emiko and her people enter the facility where Cygnus is stored, Archer reports that Team Arrow is there, and Emiko tells her men to stop them.
Team Arrow has signal booster so that Felicity can access Archer. As Oliver goes to find Emiko, the others plant the boosters. Oliver takes out the guards and Overwatch accesses Archer but discovers the Ninth Circle has locked her out. The team comes under fire, and Felicity directs them to an escape tunnel. Spartan takes him at his words and the trio fight their way out. Diggle thanks Stewart for his help, and Felicity locates Emiko heading for the parking garage. She passes the information onto Oliver, and then infects Archer with a self-destruct protocol.
Dante tells Emiko that Archer has gone down, and Emiko tells him to take the weapon while she deals with Oliver. Oliver arrives and tells Emiko to listen to him, and he takes out her guards. he destroys her next shot and then tells Emiko that Dante killed her mother. Emiko doesn't believe him and attacks him, and the two fight. Oliver finally manages to knock her down and says that Dante misled her and he does. Dante tosses a flash-bang grenade, knocking Oliver back, tells Emiko that he said he wouldn't leave her, and helps her escape.
Back at the bunker, Felicity tells the team that she destroyed Archer, but the Ninth Circle away got away of Cygnus. Oliver says that he told Emiko about Dante but it didn't make any difference. Stewart says that he'll take the theft to the DOI, and Rene tells Dinah that at least he now knows Emiko's true intentions.
Diggle walks Stewart out, and Stewart says that Diggle will always be a son to him. His stepson wonders why he told him a lie about his father, and Stewart says that every child deserves to believe his father is a hero. Stewart assures Diggle that his father would be proud of Diggle if he could see him, and Diggle tells him that if he's a hero it's because of him... and calls him "sir". Stewart offers his hand and Diggle embraces him.
The next day, Alana complains that Felicity destroyed Archer. She suggests that they rebuild Archer and make it more secure, and says that she copied Archer's root code. Felicity refuses, saying that Archer could always fall into the wrong hands. She then says that they should focus on their next project and Felicity says that they should have a project that doesn't lead to mass destruction. Alena reluctantly agrees and says that Felicity is destined to change the world, not Archer. Once Felicity leaves, Alena contemplates the flash drive.
Felicity uses the power module to access the helmet. She realizes that Galaxy One expanded Archer and if the system is loaded into the battle suits, Galaxy One could create an unstoppable army.
Dante tells Emiko that they need to deal with Oliver before he jeopardizes the last phase of the plan. Emiko agrees and then shoots Dante with arrow. She says that he lied to her and killed her mother. Dying, Dante says that she wouldn't understand. Emiko demands to know why, and Dante says that her mother was making her weak and he needed Emiko strong to lead the Ninth Circle. He insists that the Ninth Circle is her family and he did it for her, and Emiko drives an arrow into his chest and says that it's for her mother.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 23, 2019