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Recap

Arrow Recap: Three Ghosts


Last night’s mid-season finale hit me like a bolt of lightning. Anyone else? 

“I usually only work on dead people,” says Barry, instilling hope in the Arrow team as he’s the only one who can save Oliver from the injections he received last week. He tells them Oliver’s blood is unnaturally clotting and that rat poison will thin it. Ok then, we’ll go with that. Oliver hallucinates seeing Shado then wakes up in a rage, choking Barry. He’s seriously pissed at Felicity for revealing his identity to someone he hasn’t done a full background check on but Barry stands up for her. He also says he might be able to recreate the thief’s fingerprint from where he grabbed Oliver’s neck. Ok, we’ll let you live. For now.

The Queen household is setting up for Christmas, which Oliver totally forgot about. Moira informs him Thea has locked herself in her room and won’t talk to her. Oliver gets her to let him in an finds Roy hiding out there with the arrow he shot him with still in his leg. Sin is there, helping with booze. Oliver pulls out the arrow, then calls Diggle for help with first aid. “Maybe the vigilante was trying to keep you safe?” he suggests. “By shooting Roy?!” Thea replies. That’s obviously idiotic reasoning. You can see Oliver’s “well it seemed like a good idea at the time face.” Our secondary hero team isn’t going to let this go. On the way out, Oliver sees Shado again. She tells him, “You can’t fight what’s coming” and “Stop fighting and live.”

At the Arrow lair, Barry is admiring Oliver’s gear. Diggle mentions “The Vigilante” likes to be called “The Arrow” now as Oliver enters asking about the side effects of rat poison. Those would be hallucinations and sweating, says Barry and for once, Oliver admits what’s going on with him immediately rather than keeping it a secret from the team until the last minute. It’s a miracle!!

Since Oliver mentions yet another woman from his island adventures, Felicity wonders if he was actually on Fantasy Island the whole time and Barry is all “Ah ha! You were in a jungle!” Since he’s feeling so at ease now, he tells Oliver grease paint is a poor identity concealer.  THANK YOU! “Ok, then find me a mask that conforms perfectly to my face and doesn’t affect my ability to aim while I’m on the run,” replies Oliver. Oh, we’ll just make one out of compressible microfabric. Ok then, we’ll go with that. Felicity finds the thief, Cyrus Gold (the human name of Solomon Grundy in the comics), and Diggle volunteers to take this one. At an apartment he finds a book opened to the Solomon Grundy poem which makes little sense in the context of the plot or scene but Cyrus is still in the apartment and gives Diggle a major beat down before he can run off.

At her office, Laurel receives a bunch of flowers with a note that reads: “Need an Alderman to go X-mas shopping with?” And she smiled as she read it.

I don’t recall her being interested in him at all but whatever. Thea and Sin bring Max’s case to her to see if she can help. She doesn’t find anything expect that all the blood donor’s to Sebastian’s blood drive were given psychological evaluations. Meanwhile, Quentin meets The Arrow and thinks it’s about Sara. Instead he gives him info on the robbery and Cyrus Gold’s identity. He tries to accurately warn him about the super strenght but gets distracted by a Slade hallucination. And then he makes a most unnecessary dramatic exit off the roof.

At the Arrow Lair, Barry is messing around with chemicals again and decides to delve into Felicity’s feelings for Oliver once more. She insists she doesn’t like him like that but Barry says, “If you did, I could see why. BRO CRUSH. Instead of continuing with this awkward conversation, the two turn on the news (not channel 52 for a change) to listen to another story about the particle accelerator. They name STAR Labs’ founder as one Harrison Wells, who I don’t believe is a comic character already in existence. Barry asks Felicity what her plans are for Christmas to which she replies, “Lighting my menorah?” And then Oliver makes them leave, sees Slade again and has a one-man fight. I really wished they had pulled a Fight Club on this one.

Quentin convinces his superior to send a small team after Cyrus, even though he’s annoyed he’s still taking intel from the Vigilante. Sebastian’s bad cop on the force volunteers to go along and warns him about them heading for Gold. But he’s actually happy about that news and when the police find Gold, the first guy gets a circular saw in his back. It’s pretty much a slaughter with Quentin’s superior getting killed by his own gun. Meanwhile, Laurel took Sebastian up on his shopping suggestion but just as she’s asking him about the blood drive, she gets a call about her father in the ICU. And hee looks pretty good for the ICU but now has tons more guilt heaped onto him over the deaths of the officers. Sebastian shows up at the hospital to see if Laurel’s dad was ok. And her. Seriously, ew, where did this develop from?

We find out from Barry that Oliver’s blood is clean. So…psychological problems, not rat poison problems. Although I’m sure that didn’t help. Diggle suggests Oliver find out what his ghosts are trying to tell him and he visits Quentin, who doesn’t blame him for the massacre, and gives him a key he took off Gold.

Meanwhile, Roy is breaking into the blood drive psychologist’s office and sees the word “mirakuru” is stamped on the back of the donor’s pictures. Someone is there to burn the evidence and he tries to run but is stopped from getting away by Gold. He’s tied up and “Brother Blood” is there to give him an injection of the super serum. Surely Arrow will show up in time to save him. Nope. Roy gets injected and Arrow shows up just after. Blood says the mirakuru was a gift. Then there’s a BIG FIGHT. Oliver believes Roy is dead and then…Aww, Tommy hallucination! He says, “You fought to save me, Ollie, that’s what you always do. You are a hero. Fight back.” With new resolution, Oliver starts CPR on Roy. Only, he’s using the “Hulk Revival Method” of screaming into his face instead of breathing into his mouth. But it works. Gold is left with acid eating away at half his face and Oliver delivers Roy back to the Queen residence so Thea and Sin can find him back in bed.

As Blood announces his mayoral run we get our reveal of the new big bad, the man pulling Sebastian’s strings. It’s Slade! In a swank office! With an eye patch and grey streaks in his hair!! Turns out they were using samples of his blood to make the serum. He also apparently told Sebastian not to confront the vigilante because he has bigger plans to make him suffer. Oh man, oh man!!

At the Arrow Lair, they discuss needing to keep an eye on Roy, who had his leg healed by the serum and presumably now has the same super strenght as Gold. Oliver learns Barry already left for Central City to try and make the particle accelerator event. Unfortunately he just missed the cutoff line at STAR Labs and instead heads back to his office at a wet-floored police station.

And there sure are a lot of chemicals sitting around. He inspects the hidden evidence board of his mom’s case when he hears on the news that a storm caused a malfunction in the reactor. And all the power goes off. And he sees a huge explosion and a shock wave.

Barry decides to hold onto some chains connected to what seems like a sunroof. And all the chemicals in the office begin to float out of their open containers.

BOOM! Lightning strike!!!!!!!!

CHILLS! CHILLS I TELL YOU! I could watch that scene 10 more times. This was very special. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Barry left a present for Oliver. A mask. “You look like a hero,” says Felicity.

Wow. Ok, so the flashbacks this week had Ivo making Oliver to choose between Sara and Shado, even though he apparently has some feelings for Sara. There’s no real reason to make Oliver do this but Ivo points his gun at Sara and Oliver jumps in front of it. Ivo is all, well I guess you made your choice, and kills Shado. Slade is revived miraculously and goes on a killing spree of the bad guys. Then he sees Shado. Smartly, Sara tries to cover up how it happened as Slade promises revenge, but I’m sure Oliver will feel bad and tell him.

Wow. Did I say wow? My only problem with this episode is how Shado’s death played out. Ivo could have just shot her since she was no longer of use but instead they use the damsel in danger trope to further Oliver’s story. It was unnecessary. But other than that, this episode was a joy to watch, mostly for the last 10 minutes or so. While I wasn’t keen on this alternate Green Arrow The CW decided to give us, I’ve grown to really like this version. But there is something to be said for staying truer to the comics and boy did my heart swell watching Barry turn into the Flash (huge credit to Grant Gustin and everyone involved in making Barry so likeable from the get-go). It was like seeing Superman fly for the first time. Even more so because I didn’t expect it to happen on Arrow and I wasn’t quite sure they’d go that route at all with his powers. It’s exciting to say the least, and we only have more to come both in the Flash spinoff and Arrow now that actual super powers have been established.

What did you think of the episode?

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  • TheChief

    Did anyone else notice that the asian Central City reporter at the end was named Linda Park?

  • http://www.mygeekygeekyways.com Starman

    In the original comics, the name of STAR Labs founder was Garrison Slate – not Harrison Wells. Maybe they thought “Slate” sounded too closed to Slade?

    Also, the cop Quentin was talking to was his ex-partner when he was a Detective – not his superior. His name is Lucas Hilton which is also the name of a cop character who helped out Ollie and Dinah during Andrew Kreisberg’s run on Green Arrow/Black Canary.

    I’ve got some other trivia up on my episode guide at http://www.mygeekygeekyways.com/2013/12/arrow-episode-guide-season-2-episode-9.html

  • Glitchy

    Loved love LOVED this episode!

    Is it just me, or can the Arrowettes (Sin, Roy, and Thea, that’s what I’m calling them :P ) be made into all three notable versions of the Green Arrow’s sidekick: Red Arrow, Arsenal, and Speedy?

  • http://www.mygeekygeekyways.com Starman

    Yes, actually. :)

  • http://www.mygeekygeekyways.com Starman

    Sin hasn’t shown any skill as a ranged weapon fighter and her inspiration in the comics was a martial-artist. It’s a good thought, though.

  • Anonymous

    that was fun a ep. I laughed when the one-eyed Slade showed up.

    I understand the trope, but I can’t blame it. Really, everyone on the island is there to further Ollie’s story. Mainly cause it’s his story. Her dad was bumped off with the same intent to further Ollie’s story, not Shado’s

    On the other hand, with Slade and Merlyn back, Ollie is clearly terrible at being able to tell if people are dead. Shado could be back, hopefully.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    But Quentin was demoted, so isn’t his partner now his superior?

  • Melissa Bramble

    They packed so much into this episode (in a good way!) that I was actually shocked when I realized I was only at the halfway mark.
    I’m a little surprised at how much I want to see Gold back as Solomon Grundy–like, I’m reeeealy excited about this. I’m also looking forward to post-serum Roy. Plus, I appreciate the ways they’ve been developing Thea this season. And, of course, I’m looking forward to The Flash.
    So yeah, basically, can’t wait until January!
    (I’ve been introducing my husband to season 1, so I’m watching those episodes for the first time since they aired. So far my overall reaction has been: WTF, people! He just spent FIVE YEARS shipwrecked! Get off the dude’s back about how emotionally distant he is!) (Seriously, I’ve been yelling a variation of this at the screen almost every episode, much to my husband’s amusement.)

  • Anonymous

    That was probably the best episode of Arrow so far. There are still a few things I didn’t like:

    - Oliver’s reaction to finding Barry in his “cave”. A bit much. It’s hard to like your main character when he acts like such a dick with the people who just saved his life. He is not supposed to be like Bruce Wayne.

    - Shado’s death. The show has yet to make me feel sad about any of the character it killed off so far, and this was a bit worse because a) the character is important in the Green Arrow and b) the character in the show had a lot of potential. As it is, she ends up just being the girl in a love triangle. I’m hoping for a Lazarus Pit scenario.

    - Felicity’s crush on Oliver. Despite a good number of female characters in its cast, Arrow has a lot of work to do in the gender equality department. Having a non-Queen female character that isn’t attracted to Oliver would be an important start.

    Still, a lot of great things in it as well:

    - Slade Wilson. The reveal of his villainy doesn’t save the boringness of most of the island scenes this year but it at least, it gives them a reason for being there.

    - The show made huge steps toward the source material. It finally looks likely again that Slade will turn into Deathstroke at some point. I was afraid he’d get killed off before. Cyrus Gold was straying way too far from his comic inspiration until he was hit by the chemicals and gave us a reason to hope for Solomon Grundy. The Flash scene should probably have been kept for his own show but it was very cool to see nevertheless. And yeah for the mask!

  • http://www.mygeekygeekyways.com Starman

    Technically speaking, yes. But he’s not his immediate superior/supervisor. That’s Lt. Frank Pike. Different character.

  • TheChief

    I was hoping that Felicity and Oliver would be going the really good platonic friends route. Seems to be lack of those kinds of relationships. Unfortunately, it looks like the friend-zone route….Sigh.

  • Anonymous

    I was not expecting Brother Blood (who really needs to wear a cape with that mask) to be working for Deathstroke! Tommy’s ghost was a nice surprise too.
    The scene where Barry gets his powers was really cool.
    Robert Knepper has been cast as Clock King. Even if he doesn’t wear the swank Bavarian costume, I hope he’s not as bland as the New 52 version.

  • Cy

    Don’t forget he thought Sara was dead too. He needs to learn to check for a pulse.

  • Cy

    Those last gifs totally sum up what I was doing during the final Barry Allen scene. The compressed microfiber is what makes up Flash’s red suit. That’s why he can store it in a ring. Making Arrow’s mask out of it was a nice touch. I’m looking forward to the Flash series. I hope John Shipp gets to make an appearance. He’d actually fit as Barry’s father.

    Solomon Grundy caught me off-guard. The name sounded so familiar but I never looked it up. When they read the poem it hit me. I hope we get a granite looking Grundy at some point.

  • Melissa Bramble

    What fun is that? ;->

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    Ah I guessed they confused me by having him ask Hilton for permission to do the raid on Gold’s place.

  • http://www.mygeekygeekyways.com Starman

    Well, given that the last time Quentin acted on information from The Arrow it got him demoted and what few times we’ve seen Lt. Pike this season were him getting on Quentin’s butt about forgetting he isn’t a Detective anymore, I figured Quentin went to one of the few cops on the force he could still trust who actually had the pull to get a team together to do something without being questioned on the source of the information.

  • http://www.mygeekygeekyways.com Starman

    Depending on where you take it? Lots *eg*

  • http://www.mygeekygeekyways.com Starman

    Except… he DID check for a pulse on Slade. And Sara, he didn’t really get a chance as she was pulled away by the undertow.

  • Mark Matson

    The first time. He thought she died a second time.

  • Anonymous

    More on the second times Sara and Slade die. We haven’t seen it yet. But Ollie seems pretty convinced they were both dead when he left the island.

  • Mina

    THE FLASH!!!!!

    Also, I am confused on how a tiny domino mask is really any better for identity concealment than domino-mask-like face paint. Especially if it straps on–that’s going to leave some funny headband lines in his hair.

    But anyway…..Flaaaaaash!!!! That really was an exciting moment.

  • Mina

    Well if I understood villain Slade’s hints correctly, Oliver shot him through the eye. I would think someone was dead too if I shot them through the eye.

  • Anonymous

    And he got Barrowman in the heart with an Arrow.

    Maybe he needs better arrows.

    But I’m going with that when he thinks someone is dead. To really really check. Maybe start cutting off some heads.

  • Elias Algorithm

    He looked way too much like the Scarecrow and a Silence had a weird night together.

  • http://www.thenerdybird.com/ Jill Pantozzi

    That is the perfect description.

  • Foxfire

    Ahhh your gifs are perfect for what my wife and I were doing when we cut to Barry and his particle explosion.

    I especially loved it since they teased it in the previous episode in Ollie’s hideout. After that tease I didn’t expect them to actually do that. It was so awesome!!!!

    And Bad Guy Slade, Solomon Grundy (I had no idea Cyrus Gold was his human name), I flipped when they quoted the poem lines to each other and Ollie finished it off at the end of the episode.

    I’m still not sure what to make of Roy, I’d like to see him get some more action, but I’m pretty excited to see some super powered guys rocking around. This show is getting pretty good!

  • J Ritchey

    This one was mixed for me. I liked all the Barry stuff, although the particle accelerator explosion gets a little odd. Loved the stuff with Roy, Thea and Sin (the look on Diggle’s face must have been priceless). I’ll be interested to see what happens with officer Lance after this.

    I did not like Slade’s “I’m the bad guy” speech or the reasoning behind it. Barrowman would be a tough act to follow regardless; but sticking Slade in a suit and making it all about a woman’s death makes him sound like a bad echo. It also feels like a horrible waste of both Slade and Shado, both of whom have earned a much richer portrayal. Part of me is hoping this is a fake out–the real Slade is in a cage somewhere (maybe Shado with him) and this is an automaton that Ivo put together to mess with Oliver (it explains the stiff mannerisms and why he has to arrange for more blood for Blood). I guess we’ll see how it plays out.

    I’m still iffy on the mask, although a number of points in this episode did scream for the need of one.

    I just wonder how long before one of Thea’s little crew notices that Ollie dropped some details he probably shouldn’t have. I didn’t hear anyone mention the vigilante warning Roy off of anything, and Ollie handled dealing with the arrow like he’d done that before.

  • Oliver Jonas Queen

    Great write-up. Sums up my feelings exactly….especially the chills. I have no idea how The Flash show is going to turn out,but that origin moment in last nights show…damn. That was one of the most perfect live-action comic book moments EVER! Add Slade to that,and Ollie getting his mask,and Roy becoming a metahuman….so,so awesome. Like you,I regretted the throwaway of Shado,but dead doesnt always mean dead and maybe she can pop up down the road more like her comic-book self. So far this season of ARROW has been a dream come true!

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    SO

    MANY

    CHILLS

  • Anonymous

    The more I think about it, the “hows” of Shado’s death irk me. “Choose one for me to kill” from Ivo so that Slade and Oliver can become enemies? Reminds me of a kitchen appliance. She deserved better.

    I’d also need to re-watch a few previous episodes, but Ivo making Oliver the target of his cruelty just doesn’t make much sense to me. Oh, sure, he’s the main character of the show, but Ivo doesn’t know that. It seems more likely Sara would be the biggest target of his wrath, the one who’d betrayed me. Oliver? Just some meddling interloper to be shot.

  • Anonymous

    Good point about Ivo. I don’t remember him hating Oliver either.

  • http://anna.balasi.com/ AnnaB

    For this episode, I hardly cared about the Arrow plot. I was just waiting for what was going to happen next to Barry… so I’m afraid everything else except the Barry scenes were kind lost on me. Will have to watch it again.

    I’m so excited for The Flash!!

  • Elizabeth Wells

    The “choose who will die” thing irked me too, but mostly because it doesn’t fit at all with what we’ve seen of Ivo so far. He has no reason to target Oliver for that kind of psychological torture. He DOES have a reason (and a precident) to target Sara with it. Making her choose then having her inadvertantly choose Oliver, leaving him helpless to save Shado would still work for the guilt complex he’s building up, and Slade will blame Ollie anyway for Shado’s death for bringing Sara with them to fuel Ivo’s wrath (or for Ollie taking Sara’s side in a later fight when Slade blames her for Shado’s death). Also would add to Sara’s guilt complex, which in the brief we’ve seen of her seems a lot deeper than Ollie’s

    I was a bit bugged by the hype around the particle accelerator becase while they are super cool and science-y they are not as big of a deal as the reports of protestors made that one sound. Also, they do not work that way. If a storm and a power outage could cause a particle accelerator to go kablooie, we’d be seeing a whole lot more super-hero origin stories around the world. They’re generally built with independent generators at least for back-up so the power drain doesn’t hurt the local residents. ALSO if the cooling system doesn’t work, then the superconductors become regular conductors, causing energy loss due to electrical resistance, causing a decrease in electric current through the electromagnets, causing a loss in magnetism, causing the particles being accelerated to slow down, causing them to behave more like particles not in a particle accelerator meaning they either decay naturally or dissipate harmlessly. Basically, a particle accelerator CAN go kablooie, a failure of the cooling system wouldn’t do it. You’d need the particles to acceleratre uncontrollably for that.

  • J Ritchey

    I can see a couple of ways the “choose” scene could still have been targeted at Sara indirectly. In one scenario, it’s a cop out. Ivo wants to kill her/teach her a lesson, feels he has to, but he does in some sick way care about her and framing it as Ollie’s choice absolves him of personal guilt. In another scenario, he’s being especially petty and trying to make her feel particularly insignificant. He’s telling her she’s no longer important enough to take revenge on directly and illustrating that the man she “chose” over him is utterly impotent.

    Either one is a huge stretch, but it would make more sense than Ivo targeting Ollie for his own sake.

    The particle accelerator going kablooey sat wrong with me too. I’m assuming (hoping) there’s more to it; extremists among the protesters they keep talking about setting a bomb or otherwise tampering with the facility to make the explosion possible, the accelerator just being a cover for something more volatile, etc.

  • Elizabeth Wells

    I don;t have enough faith in the show to think they’ll explore either of the options you suggested, but they are excellent and make a lot of sense. Thank you :)

  • J Ritchey

    Sometimes head canon is all that can keep us sane. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    I honestly wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the particle accelerator explosion was caused by or at least created a powered villain in thee process.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nuuni.nuunani Nuuni Nuunani

    Ruffling your hair is worlds easier than cleaning off face paint
    Plus with the addition of a hood, it is also functional