Damien sends Curtis falling across the room, and then pulls Donna to him. He says that he's going to destroy the world anyway, and Felicity can choose between his killing Donna painfully, or her dying instantly in nuclear fire. Before Felicity can respond, Green Arrow and Spartan come in through the windows and open fire. Damien easily stops the first arrow and says that he's powered by the deaths of millions of soul. Ghosts come in and open fire, and the two heroes take cover and fire back.
As Damien heads for Felicity and Donna, Green Arrow leaps down and attacks Damien, who paralyzes him. Speedy arrives with Nora and says that she'll kill the girl if Damien doesn't release Green Arrow. He does, grabs Nora, and tosses a flashbang grenade. Damien escapes in the confusion and Felicity realizes that he took the laptop with the Rubicon code on it.
The team takes the injured and unconscious Curtis to the bunker and applies first aid. Felicity goes to her station to stop Rubicon, and Thea wonders if Curtis will be okay.
Five Years Ago
Reiter shoots Oliver in the kneecap and warns Taiana that she can't control the power without the runes like he has. The plane flies off and Oliver tells him that it's all over, but Reiter realizes that not all of the slaves are aboard. He destroys the plane with a magical gesture and sucks in the life force, and Taiana charges at him.
Oliver tells Felicity that Curtis is stable and they'll have to wait. She wonders why Damien's magic worked on Oliver, and Oliver explains has grown too powerful. Felicity's hope was enough to counter the magic before, but now her hope is gone. She tells Oliver that Damien hasn't launched the missiles because Cooper is still trying to hack her failsafes. However, with Rubicon offline there's nothing for her to hack. As she tries to access the laptop's GPS, Lyla comes in and tells Diggle that Sara is safe in Coast City. She wonders why Damien is going ahead with his plan, and Oliver explains that Anarky killed Ruve. Oliver figures that Damien doesn't care that Nora will die as long as he has nothing to look for. Felicity tracks the laptop to a downtown abandoned office building and the team heads out.
Green Arrow, speedy, and Spartan enter the building but there's no one there. They find the GPS tracker on a table, and the lights come up to reveal the command center and the missile launches. Fifteen thousand missiles are in the air and they'll hit in two hours or less.
The trio returns to the bunker and Felicity reports that she's locked out. There's an ICBM heading straight for Star City so they only have 45 minutes.
Five Years Ago
Reiter and Taiana fight, and Oliver tries to stab Reiter. The mercenary throws him away and tries to drain the life force from Taiana, but then stares in shock. Oliver tosses a knife into his back, and Taiana says that she's okay but wavers.
Quentin arrives at the bunker and Felicity gives him the location of the safest place to survive a nuclear missile within a hundred miles. She asks Quentin to take Donna there, and he agrees. Meanwhile, Diggle and Lyla call Sara and say their goodbyes. Once they hang up, Lyla says that ARGUS has a chopper ready to take them to Star City so that they can all die together. Diggle admits that he's fresh out of hope, and Lyla assures him that his killing Andy was self-defense. Oliver discovers that an ARGUS assault team is heading into City Hall to cut off Damien's power, and Oliver says that he's already done that. Damen will decimate the team, and Oliver says that Lyla should pull them back. He figures that Cooper is in a secure location and warns that her team will die, but Lyla says that it's her call.
In the nexus chamber beneath City Hall, Damien tells Nora that they'll only be there a little longer. When she says that she misses Ruve, Damien says that he does too but they'll see her soon. The ARGUS team comes in and Damien stands to face them.
At the bunker, the team listens as Damien slaughters the ARGUS agents. Felicity gets through Cooper's firewall, just as Ghosts break in and open fire. The team takes cover and fires back, and Olive gets to his arrow while Thea and Diggle fight the Ghosts hand-to-hand. When Diggle draws on one of the Ghosts, he imagines that it's Andy. The Ghost prepares to shoot him... and Lyla kills the man.
Malcolm arrives and takes out the last of Thea's opponents, while Felicity knocks the last Ghost out.
Five Years Ago
Taiana's eyes glow yellow and she tosses Oliver away and then starts choking her. She says that Oliver killed her brother and is darkness, and Oliver admits that he is. He tells Taiana that she doesn't have to be, and she falls back. Taiana says that she can find the darkness burning through her mind, and says that the only way to stop it is for Oliver to kill her.
As the news reports the citizens panicking, Felicity confirms that they have about 27 minutes. Felicity figures that there's nothing they can do, and points out that Oliver has as well. Oliver admits that he thought he'd be the one to unite the city and it was the same arrogance that made him thought he could become Green Arrow without descending into darkness. He points out that they decided to come back to Star City and he tried to do things differently, and now he's wondering if Laurel would still be alive if he hadn't. Curtis gets up and says that he and Paul were ready to live the city… until Green Arrow gave them hope. He wonders why Green Arrow can't do the same thing now.
As the people panic in the streets, Oliver fights his way to the top of a taxicab and calls on everyone to listen. He says that he understands that they're feeling hopeless, but he knows that they've pulled through before in tough times. Oliver says that somehow they will survive the attack as well.
The team watches a broadcast of Oliver's speech as he says that Star city is their home.
As Quentin drives Donna out of the city, they listen to Oliver on the radio.
Oliver says that they will cling to each other for strength and if they do that, no matter what happens, they will stand united. The missile arrives overhead, and Felicity and Curtis realize that they can disarm it if they have line of sight. They go to the roof and Curtis aims a camera at the missile while Felicity tries to hack the missile. The missile heads directly for them, and Felicity manages to send it flying away.
In the street, Oliver and the others watch as the missile streaks away out of site and then cheer.
Back at the bunker, Felicity warns that there are thousands more to go. Lyla sends out the line of sight hack to everyone she can, and they figure that they need to find Cooper and shut him down. Felicity and Curtis gained access to his computer when they disarmed the missile, and have learned that he's in a warehouse. Oliver arrives and tells Malcolm and Thea to back up Curtis and Felicity while they deal with Cooper. Meanwhile, he'll got to City Hall to deal with Damien. Diggle offers to go with him, and Oliver says that he needs to back up the city in case it goes bad.
Five Years Ago
Taiana begs Oliver to kill him, but he refuses at firs. She continues and reminds him of his promise to look after her parents, and Oliver says that he won't. He then hugs Taiana and breaks her neck. The remaining slaves arrive and accuse Oliver of killing Taiana.
Diggle prepares his guns and Lyla points out that he froze when the Ghosts attacked. She wants the truth if it's the end of the world, and Diggle admits that it's Andy. He tells his wife that he killed Andy in cold blood, and Lyla assures him that he did what he had to do. However, Diggle doesn't believe it.
Green Arrow enters the nexus chamber and Damien tells Nora that the hero came there to die. He blasts Green Arrow up to the street.
The rest of the team break into the warehouse and fight their way past the Ghosts. Speedy rescues Merlyn but even she isn't sure if she was aiming at him or his opponents.
Damien tells Green Arrow that the missiles will strike even if the hero could stop him, and he's going to spare everyone the pain of living after their loved ones die. A crowd gathers and tells Damien to get out. Damien laughs and points out that he had just seen them tearing the city apart. He roars, driving them back, and tells Green Arrow that humanity is feckless and he wanted to cleanse it of a millennia of rot. Green Arrow gets up and says that he won't, and Damien asks how he'll stop him. The hero says that it won't be just him, and the people move forward. Green Arrow finds an arrow and this time Damien is unable to stop it.
Damien tries to summon his magic but nothing happens. He says that doesn't need magic and attacks Green Arrow as the people cheer.
Felicity and the others find Cooper at his computer. He's been shot, and Cooper explains that Damien is moving the bullet closer and closer to his spine. To stop Damien, he agreed to blow up the world. Felicity sends the others out and then tells Cooper that he's powerful enough to pull himself away from the keyboard. Cooper says that Damien will know if he stops Rubicon and kill him, and Felicity says that he can still do the right thing and be the man that she loved. She reminds him that when they were hackers, they wanted to save the world, and now it's Cooper's chance. After a moment, he shoves the keyboard to Rubicon.
Damien senses what Cooper is doing and kills him.
Cooper screams in pain and dies, and Felicity goes to work.
Green Arrow renews his attack and Damien takes him down. Spartan and Lyla arrive, and Damien says that he also brought friends. His Ghosts charge out and they attack, and the crowd charges at them. The two forces meet in the street.
The others arrive and Damien says that Rubicon has safeguards. She says that she can't disarm the warheads, and Curtis tells her to send the missiles into space where they will explode harmlessly. He and Felicity invert the missiles' horizons.
Damien grabs Green Arrow's bow and picks up an arrow, and shoots the hero in the shoulder. Quentin arrives and helps Green Arrow up, and says that Donna is safe but he had to come back and stand with his city. Green Arrow tells them to take down the Ghosts and keep the people safe, while he goes after Damien. He heads through the crowd to Damien, who attacks him. They continue punching each other until Damien goes down. Green Arrow picks up an arrow and Damien says that they both know he can't do it. The hero says that he had a choice with Slade, but this time he doesn't. With that, he rams the arrow into Damien's chest.
The next morning at the bunker, Quentin says that he and Donna are going to leave town for a while. IAB lifted his suspension, but he didn't feel anything when they told him. He thanks Oliver for getting him some closure and leaves. Thea says that she needs to take some time off and decide if she's her father's daughter or not. She figures that Laurel would tell her to get out before she lost too much of herself, and Oliver assures her that it's okay.
Felicity points out that it's just the three original members now and walks away. Diggle tells Oliver that he gave Lyla the truth about Andy and she understood. However, he doesn't and never will. Diggle is going to take some time away from the team and the city to figure out where he went off track. Oliver points out that Diggle has always been the one who kept him in line, and Diggle says that recently it's been the other way around. The two men shake and Diggle leaves.
Five Years Ago
Oliver tells the slaves that Taiana begged him to kill her. He insists that the idol is darkness and Taiana was succumbing to it. After a moment, the slaves lower their guns and Oliver tells them that there's another way off of the island.. Oliver then radios Amanda and buries Taiana next to his father. Amanda arrives and is satisfied that he broke up Reiter's operation and saved the slaves. Oliver says that he's still filled with darkness, and Amanda says that the mission was intended to show him that sometimes killing is the only path to justice.
Amanda's people have the idol transported to the slab, and then she gives Oliver his trunk. She says that their business is concluded but notes that someone with his talents could be useful in hot spots across the world. Oliver says that he has a promise to keep.
Oliver goes to Laurel's grave and says that he knows his killing Damien isn't what she would have wanted. Felicity comes up and Oliver tells her that he's not okay. He wonders if Diggle and Thea were infected by his darkness, and Felicity points out that Oliver was able to save the city by defeating Damien. The same man who killed Damien in cold blood gave the city its hope back. She says that Oliver is feeling a schism because his two sides are at war with each other.
Thomas Kemp, the chair of the city council, calls Oliver and calls him in. He points out that Oliver got 44% of the vote as a write-in candidate for mayor, and points out that Oliver looks conflicted. Oliver says that he is, but he's ready for it. They then meet with the press and Kempt swears Oliver in as an interim mayor.
Quentin and Donna drive out of Star City.
In her apartment, Thea sits alone.
Diggle dons his military uniform and looks at a photo from his wedding. He then puts it into his duffle bag and says goodbye to Lyla and Sara.
Oliver goes to the bunker and looks at the suits of his team. Felicity comes in and she assures him that she's not going anywhere.
Written by Gadfly on May 26, 2016