SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Prochnost," the latest episode of Arrow Season 8.
Team Arrow just suffered a major betrayal, but it wasn't at Laurel's hands. In "Prochnost," the latest episode of Arrow, Oliver Queen and John Diggle learned the truth about Lyla Michaels. Worse, she was forced to subdue them through violent means.
"You're working with the Monitor. Why?" Laurel demanded.
"It's complicated," Lyla shot back.
"Really? Because he destroyed my entire Earth. That seems pretty straightforward to me," Laurel spat.
"He didn't," Lyla insisted. "Mar Novu is trying to save worlds, not destroy them."
"All that stuff about grief," Laurel mused. "You pretending like you were trying to help me. I should have known better."
"I wasn't pretending," Lyla reasserted, to which Laurel replied, "It's a little hard to believe, Lyla, after all the lying."
"It doesn't matter what you believe. You're here just the same as I am. Now do you want to get your Earth back or not?" Lyla said. When Laurel begrudgingly agreed, Lyla told her to retrieve plans for the weapon Oliver hopes to build to defeat the Monitor.
"I thought Oliver was your friend," Laurel pointed out.
"He is, but this is bigger than him -- bigger than all of us," Lyla explained. "I am doing this for them, to protect them."
Laurel planned on doing as instructed, but her trip to Russia with Oliver and his children Mia and William changed her mind. Specifically, a chat with Mia revealed she was truly a hero in the future. "You're the Black Canary. All I've ever heard are stories about how great you are. In the future, you even save me once, like it was nothing," Mia told her. "Some people are cut out to be heroes. Others, not so much."
Between her talk with Mia and Anatoly Knyazev's admission that she had changed after all, Laurel had a change of heart. She decided not to steal the plans and give them to Lyla. What's more, she revealed the truth to Oliver and Diggle, Lyla's husband. Together, they hatched a plot to confront Lyla.
Laurel still went to meet Lyla, as agreed. When asked if she brought the plans, Laurel replied, "About that... I've decided not to join you and your cosmic fashion tragedy that you're in cahoots with."
"Then you won't get your Earth back," Lyla said.
"If saving it means going back to the person that I used to be, then what the hell is the point?" Laurel demanded.
"You really have changed," Lyla admitted.
"Look, I'm new to this whole 'doing the right thing' game, but you should really tell your family the truth," Laurel insisted.
Lyla shook her head. "Not yet."
"Then this is going to be a little awkward," she replied, stepping aside. Oliver and Diggle made their presence known, revealing they had heard the whole exchange.
"I didn't want to believe it," Diggle said breathlessly.
"I'm sorry," Lyla whispered, and suddenly shots ran out. All three heroes were struck in the neck with darts, which sent them to their knees.
"Lyla, what have you done?" Diggle asked, but he passed out, leaving Lyla with regret plastered across her face.
Lyla has an important role to play in "Crisis on Infinite Earths," this year's major crossover event. She will be Harbinger, who -- in Marv Wolfman and George Pérez's Crisis on Infinite Earths -- was saved by the Monitor as a child and imbued with immense powers. The comic book event saw her summoning the heroes he required to protect the cosmic tuning forks, though she was later possessed by a Shadow Demon. This allowed the Anti-Monitor to corrupt her into killing the Monitor.
On Arrow, Lyla didn't indicate how long she has been working with the Monitor, but little is known about her background. To date, the series has only ever revealed information about her time in the military. The buildup to "Crisis on Infinite Earths" will likely reveal how her partnership with the Monitor came to be.
As it were, The Monitor actor LaMonica Garrett promised CBR that answers are on the way. "Each episode, they're gonna unpeel layers and layers of that onion as it goes along and as 'Crisis' begins, and that was one of my favorite things," he teased. "Lyla -- the name, they've had her around since Season 1 or 2 -- they've been laying breadcrumbs for years in the whole Arrowverse, and having that moment culminate with -- you know Lyla Michaels, just the significance of who she is and who she turns into -- seeing them meet together, that was great for me. It was a great payoff. They're going to dig more and more into that as each episode goes along, and especially when 'Crisis' starts."
According to the synopsis for "Reset," next week's episode, the show will certainly deal with the fallout of her betrayal: "After being double-crossed by Lyla (guest star Audrey Marie Anderson), Oliver (Stephen Amell) finds himself facing a life or death situation that seems very familiar. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) has the opportunity to make amends with the past."
Airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, Arrow's final season stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog, Juliana Harkavy as Black Canary, Katie Cassidy as Black Siren, Katherine McNamara as Mia Smoak, Joseph David-Jones as Connor Hawke and Ben Lewis as William Clayton-Queen.