In Arrow season 4 episode 21, all of the world's nukes were activated- including Russia's. So at this point, it was obvious they were being hacked. So why didn't they simply shut them down, and why wasn't there more of a world collaboration (in fact I don't think there was any for that matter) for what was probably the highest possible state of emergency? Am I wrong in assuming that at the very least, there aren't any specialist government programmers like Felicity who could've made an effort in stopping Havenrock from being nuked?


2 Answers 2


Why couldn't the missile operators just stop the launch?

The missiles weren't being hacked, they were hacked; past tense. The operators had already lost control of their command systems. One of the Russian soldiers says this in the very first scene:

Soldier: At zero-three-sixteen, silos one through four rebooted and are now powering up to launch sequence.

Commander: What do you mean, "rebooted"?

Soldier: I've been locked out of the system...

Arrow Season 4 Episode 21: "Monument Point"

This is kind of the point of Rubicon, actually; if any country could circumvent it from their missile bases, it would rather undermine the intended purpose:

Lyla: [Rubicon is a] ballistic launch override protocol designed to prevent any country, even our own, from firing a nuclear missile.

Arrow Season 4 Episode 20: "Genesis"

Why wasn't there more international response?

Well, we don't really know what was going on outside of Star City; maybe there was some concerted international effort to stop the nukes. It seems unlikely it would have succeeded, though; Lyla herself says:

Lyla: Rubicon is a failsafe against nuclear Armageddon. ARGUS designed it to be 100% unhackable.

Arrow Season 4 Episode 21: "Monument Point"

Even Felicity and Noah, who are basically wizards, only manage to (almost) stop them by using hyper-advanced, experimental computer hardware.

  • True, but you can still manually remove the main source of power- .e.g. if someone takes control of my computer and the shutdown button doesn't work, I can still pull out the plug
    – Logan545
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 19:01
  • @Logan545 Again, if Rubicon were easy to subvert then it would be pointless. I don't know much about how missile command centers work, but I know that they're designed to be highly tamper resistant Commented May 12, 2016 at 19:10
  • @JasonBaker: I think I agree with everything you said, except for the first sentence of the above comment.  If Rubicon was designed to prevent countries from firing nuclear missiles, then [other] actions taken to disable missiles, or otherwise prevent their launch and/or detonation, do not constitute a subversion the goals of Rubicon. Commented May 12, 2016 at 20:36

Because that would not have made a good show... Sadly a lot of the time the reason why there are flaws in plots such as this is because the shows/movies are written to be action filled cliffhangers not for logic and what would happen in real life...

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