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Rube Goldberg's Deus Ex Machina

Oliver keeps the gun raised, just the same. Suddenly, he frowns and sniffs. Victoria smiles and names what Oliver is obviously smelling: "Gasoline." She holds up a pocket lighter and explains she's going to burn the place down when they're done. A tear rolls down Lois's cheek. Victoria shoves Lois to the floor, saying, "Never bet against the house!" Lois passes out for some damn reason. Victoria runs away through some back room and Oliver races to Lois's side. As he crouches down beside her, an explosion rocks the casino. He looks up to find one wall in ruins, with flames licking at the broken edges. Oliver's focus remains on Lois until he hears Victoria's anguished cries for help. With a long look at Lois, he mutters, "Aw, hell!" He races toward the sound of Victoria's continuing screams and finds her in the decimated kitchen, trapped under a piece of wall. Fires roar all around them. Oliver crawls toward her, promising to get her out of there. Oliver tries to lift the wall, but can't even shift it. Victoria wonders why Oliver is trying to save her when he could have gotten away. "After everything I've put you through, no one would blame you," she says. "I would blame myself," he answers. He says he doesn't care who she is or what she did. He struggles some more with the wall. Victoria's frantic expression cools. With no difficulty at all, she eases herself out from under the wall. Oliver gapes at her. As he looks around, the roaring flames die back with little sucking sounds, revealing that they'd been coming not from a gasoline fire, but from strategically placed gas burners. "What the hell is this?" Oliver asks. The room grows dark. "You kept asking me who did this to you," Victoria says. She goes on to ask, "My question was always the answer: Who did you destroy?" The lights come back up. Oliver turns toward a mechanical sound; a walled mirror is turning into place, stopping to show him his own reflection. Victoria says she hears Oliver is a hero, but that he tried to bury that part of himself. Yes, because he murdered someone in cold blood and then pinned it on someone else. Oliver stares at himself in the mirror. Justin Hartley is a damn good-looking man. I just wish I felt like Oliver had earned this redemption even a little bit. Victoria says he's proven that the hero is still alive and now it's time to resurrect him. Triumphant orchestral music plays. I roll my eyes.

Metropolis coffee shop, morning. Chloe sips coffee and reads a newspaper at one of the outside tables. Oliver approaches and places a White Queen chess piece on the table in front of her. "Nicely played," he says. Chloe looks up at him, but says nothing. Oliver goes on: "I started asking myself who knows about Lex, about Toyman... the things I'd given up, what I tried to do. It all occurred to me: Dinah shattered the glass in the warehouse, Bart rescued me from the car, Victor faked the computers and Watchtower kept an eye on the whole thing. Right?" Chloe looks at him for a moment before saying he'd been living like he had a death wish. "You had to face your demons if you were going to make it out alive." She says she had to push him over the ledge in order to pull him back. Oliver doesn't seem at all annoyed. He teases that she didn't need to use a three-ton truck to push him. She teases back that a tricycle wouldn't have made the point. Oliver brings up that the game put Lois in danger. Chloe says that was an accident: "Victoria went off-script." Oliver worries that he could have killed Lois. Chloe says she made sure his gun was loaded with blanks. Guess it's a good thing he used one of his own guns and not one he got off some street thug. Monkey fist! Chloe: "I trust you, Oliver. Just... not that much." She sips her coffee. He looks at her like she's a hot, sizzling slice of deep dish pizza and he's been off carbs for a year. Hmm. After a while, he asks if Clark knew about any of this. I'm pretty sure Clark barely knows his own phone number. Chloe says Clark never would have risked what needed to be done. Oliver says Clark's led a different life than they have. He looks at Chloe and says, "I can't expect him to know me like you do." He thanks her. She smiles gently at him and says he was still a hero. He reaches across the table and takes her hand. He gazes intensely at her. "You saved my life, Chloe. Both the myth and the man." Soaring heroic music plays.

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