Arrow Season 5 Episode 20 recap: Can Oliver & Felicity escape the Arrow cave?

Spoilers for Arrow Season 5, Episode 20.

Last time:

Felicity worked with Helix to free Caden James from ARGUS. Afterwards, Helix abandoned their base and cut Felicity out. She returned to the Arrow cave, upset that Oliver did not back her play. As they talk, there is an explosion.

Onto the recap:

Oliver wakes in the bunker:

Oliver searches the bunker, but he cannot find Chase. Felicity explains that the device was an EMP. The spinal implant that helps her walk isn’t working and neither are their electronics. The air vents are offline too. Felicity and Oliver are trapped with no way to contact the team.

Flashback, eleven months ago:

s05e20_Olicity Flashback

Felicity and Oliver discuss their next target, but they are struggling to cope with all the criminals vying for power after Damien Darhks demise. Felicity suggests that Oliver train a new team to help, but Oliver refuses. Curtis arrives and tells them that he has found their bad guy.

Quentin worries about Oliver:

At city hall, Quentin tries to deal with the fallout of Chase being Prometheus. He asks Rene where Oliver is. Rene tells Quentin that he can’t get through to Felicity, but he has sent Curtis to check the bunker and find Oliver.

Curtis arrives at the bunker:

He realises that the power is out, and he worries when he hears an explosion.

Oliver tries to escape via the door:

Oliver shoots explosive arrows at the door, but it doesn’t work. The door is made of an alloy that can repel nuclear blasts. Oliver realises that Chase trapped them here so that he can go after William. Felicity tells Oliver to get Cisco’s original blueprints so that they can find a way out.

Curtis assembles the team:

At home, John and Lyla argue about ARGUS: Lyla calls John a hypocrite, because Oliver has been passing judgement on criminals for years and John has no issue with it. Curtis, Rene, and Dinah arrive at the door, and they tell John that there is a problem at the bunker.

Oliver tries to escape via the elevator:

Oliver tells Felicity that he will climb up the elevator shaft. Felicity insists that Chase would expect that: There will be traps. She says that if she can get the power back, she can contact the team. Oliver refuses to consider her idea and goes to the elevator anyway.

Oliver gets hurt:

Oliver climbs the elevator shaft. As he reaches the top, there is an explosion. He falls to the floor onto a nail. Felicity insists that she told him so as she patches him up. She says that she always supports him because she trusts him, but he doesn’t trust her. Oliver says that he does trust her. He tells her to finish stitching him up and try her way of getting out.

The team make a plan:

Curtis explains that an EMP went off. Felicity and Oliver are trapped in the bunker, and have 5 or 6 hours of air left. Lyla agrees to give the team whatever they need. 

s05e20_Curtis assembles the team

Felicity reveals her plan:

Felicity tells Oliver to use his old bike to jump start the mainframe: It has a combustion engine and doesn’t rely on electricity.

Flashback: Curtis sets up Felicity and Oliver:

Curtis teases Felicity about her relationship with Oliver. Felicity tells Curtis that Oliver doesn’t trust her with important information, so it won’t work. Curtis tells her to figure it out tonight. Oliver arrives with Chinese food, and Curtis bails on them. He set them up!

Rene and Curtis try to break into the bunker:

Curtis and Rene abseil down the elevator: Curtis says that he can’t use his T-Spheres because they are in the bunker. Lyla arrives with what Curtis asked for. Curtis says that they need to cut through the seal and release the manual override.

Felicity’s plan backfires:

Oliver starts his bike and Felicity thanks him for trying her way. Oliver says that he didn’t back her play with Helix because he didn’t want her to be like him. The generator starts, but there is an explosion and a pipe bursts. Methane gas begins to leak into the base.

Oliver fails to seal the pipe:

Oliver tries to seal the pipe with duct tape, but the gas breaks through. They have 20 minutes before they suffocate. Oliver realises that there is a steam tunnel under the bunker, but a grate is in the way. Felicity suggests that Oliver shoot an explosive arrow to dislodge it.

Curtis gets hurt:

Rene lights a blowtorch to weld through the elevator. Curtis realises that something is wrong, and pushes Rene out of the way of an explosion. Curtis, injured, explains that high levels of methane caused the explosion. Dinah suggests that they try hydro-chloric acid instead.

s05e20_Curtis injured

Oliver shoots an arrow:

Felicity calculates the amount of powder for the explosive arrow and gives it to Oliver. She worries that she might have used the wrong amount of powder, but Oliver trusts her. Oliver shoots the arrow, and the grate comes free, but there is a two story drop on the other side.

Flashback. Felicity spends time with Oliver:

Oliver shows Felicity how to do the salmon ladder, but when she gets stuck he has to lift her down. They look into each others eyes. Felicity kisses Oliver, and they spend the night together.

Team Arrow try another way:

The acid is working, but it is taking more time than they have. Lyla arrives with something that will help: ARGUS has stolen Curtis’s T-Spheres and improved them.

Oliver climbs down:

With Felicity on his back, Oliver climbs down into the steam tunnel. At the bottom, he collapses. Oliver apologises to Felicity and says that he didn’t have her back because his crusade was a lie based on the fact that he enjoyed killing. He says that he will always trust her, but he doesn’t trust himself. Oliver passes out. 

Flashback. Felicity walks out again:

Oliver and Felicity joke that Curtis set them up. Felicity says that this doesn’t change anything: They still have problems. Oliver says that they never talked about their problems, or William. Felicity says that it doesn’t matter, because Oliver doesn’t trust her. She walks away.

Curtis figures it out:

Lyla gives John a list of all the black ops she’s signed off on since she became director of ARGUS. She asks why John supports Oliver, when he can’t support her. John doesn’t know, so Lyla asks for his trust. Curtis interrupts to say that he has figured it out.

Felicity reassures Oliver:

Oliver wakes up and admits that he doesn’t know if he can get them out. Felicity says that it will give them time to talk about him liking killing. She says that 5 years in hell turned him into a killer, but not a monster. Oliver says that he doesn’t know what kind of man he is.

T-Sphere to the rescue:

A T-Sphere flies through the wall. The team find Oliver and Felicity, but they can’t stop the generators coming back online: When they do the methane will explode. They have 12 minutes to get the air vents back online or the base will blow up. 

The team put the rescue into motion:

Curtis works to turn the air vents back on. Dinah, Rene and John head into one of the air vents.

Felicity and Oliver make a move:

Oliver carries Felicity along the air vents, but he passes out again. Curtis sends his T-Sphere over with an adrenaline shot for Felicity to inject into Oliver. She wastes no time in stabbing him in the chest. Oliver wakes up, reinvigorated, and carries on moving.

The team find Oliver:

s05e20_Oliver and Felicity find the team

John climbs down a ladder into the vent, but half of it falls off. Oliver tells them to send the cable down, and he will climb up to John. He struggles upwards and grabs John’s hand. Felicity slips, but Oliver refuses to let her go, and gets her back onto his back. Rene pulls them up.


Diggle thanks Lyla for letting them come to ARGUS. He apologises and promises that they will get through this. Curtis has fixed Felicity’s spinal implant so that she can walk. Lyla tells the team that Oliver is out of surgery and has asked to see Felicity.

Flashback. The next day:

Oliver says that he’s not mad because Felicity was right. Felicity says that Oliver was right too: They never talked because she walked out, but maybe one day they will.

Present day: Oliver and Felicity talk:

Felicity apologises. She says that after she lost Billy, she was willing to do whatever it took to get Chase. Felicity admits that she understands why Oliver lied about William now, and she apologises for judging him. She tells Oliver that if he doesn’t know what kind of person he is, he should figure it out. It sounds like a promise to talk about their issues when he does!

Chase approaches William:

Chase approaches William as he gets off the bus and calls his name. William says that his name is Matthew. Chase points out that his name used to be William. William asks if Chase knows his mum. Chase replies that he knows William’s father.

s05e20_Chase goes after Oliver's son


  • What does Chase want with William? Will he steal him away and train him to hate Oliver, or will it be a simple kidnap?

  • I’m glad that Felicity walking out on Oliver without talking about their problems has been addressed. Maybe now they can both move forward.

  • For me, this was the best episode so far. Story wise, Arrow is leagues ahead of the Flash!

Next time:

Oliver deals with the release of criminals prosecuted by Adrian Chase, and a box is sent to Oliver’s office containing a corpse encased in what looks like concrete.

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