By Josh Axelrod
Wait, what?! No time for pleasantries with “Arrow’s” midseason finale. It’s best to just dive right in so we can get to the end as soon as possible.
We started off at the police station, where The Arrow delivered Detective Lance a bad guy as a Christmas present. Things got decidedly less festive after Oliver was shot at and captured by the League of Assassins. When he came to, Nyssa was standing over him. She gave Oliver 48 hours to deliver Sara’s killer to her, or Starling City will face the wrath of the League. Oh, and apparently Maseo joined the League at some point. Woah!
Laurel visited Sara at her grave, wishing her a merry Christmas and whatnot. Thea was out there too visiting Moira’s grave when she ran into Laurel. It hadn’t occurred to me that Thea didn’t know about Sara’s death, which made Laurel telling Thea about it all the more sad. She also made sure Thea didn’t tell anyone else, mainly her dad.
Elsewhere, Felicity and Ray were being weird around each other because of that kiss a few episodes ago. Their awkward courtship was interrupted by a 911 text from Oliver, who told her, Roy and Diggle about Nyssa’s ultimatum. Felicity said Caitlin Snow is still working on getting the DNA from the arrow that shot Sara in her Central City lab.
Our first flashback: Maseo comforted Oliver after his first experience with torture. He found out from the man he was torturing that China White and the triad were after a powerful bioweapon.
Back at The Arrow Cave (thanks Cisco), anyone paying close attention to Felicity’s computer screen saw a news story about the man in a yellow suit in Central City, which is a fun nod to the midseason finale of “The Flash.” More importantly, the DNA results from the arrow came back, and Sara’s killer was…Oliver?!
Another flashback. Oliver and Maseo broke into the lab holding that bioweapon. They took out the guards pretty easily, but Oliver told Maseo the weapon was already gone. Maseo found footage that showed a lab worker stole it, which meant China White had someone on the inside.
Laurel and Quentin were surprised by a visit from Laurel’s mother. Of course, the first thing she asked was where Sara was. Quentin told her she’s backpacking through the Andes, which is admittedly a believable alibi for Sara. Of course, Diane was suspicious about that story immediately.
Team Arrow figured that Malcolm Merlyn might have had a part in Sara’s death. Oliver had Felicity look for flights from Corto Maltese to Starling City, and she found one the night before Sara’s mother. After interrogating the pilot, Oliver got security footage that showed Malcolm exiting the plane with Thea behind him. It took Oliver long enough to make this connection.
This led Diggle to hypothesize that the DNA on the arrow was Thea’s, considering she’s the only living person whose DNA could have been mixed up with Oliver’s. Felicity said it would make sense too because the trajectory of the arrows in Sara’s body could have only come from someone of Thea’s height. Oliver wouldn’t even entertain the idea.
Felicity got a call from Ray, who was at Verdant (of course he pinged her phone). He apologized for the awkwardness following the kiss and told her his story. Ray used to have a fiance named Anna who was killed by one of Slade Wilson’s mirakuru soldiers during their attack on Starling City. He felt guilty about kissing Felicity because Anna was supposed to be the last person he kissed. Awwwwwwwwwwwww. Felicity touched his hand in sympathy.
Oliver visited Thea and asked her about her time with Malcolm in Corto Maltese. She lied to his face, saying they didn’t have all that much contact. He also asked her if she had been back to Starling City since leaving for Corto Maltese, and she said she had been there since May. Also a possible lie.
Diane confronted Laurel about what was wrong with Sara over coffee. She said something about how her mother’s intuition told her Sara was in danger or some BS like that. Laurel told her that Sara was dead, but also told her not to tell Quentin because of his heart condition. JUST TELL HIM ALREADY. It’s his daughter, he deserves to know!
Cut to a scene of Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) training at League headquarters. He mowed down a group of assassins with a sword while barely breaking a sweat. With the 48 hours almost up, he ordered Nyssa and Maseo to return to Starling to see what Oliver had for them.
Diggle and Felicity continued trying to convince Oliver that Thea is now the prime candidate for Sara’s killer. He went to interrogate her as The Arrow, breaking the window to her apartment. Thea fought back with the moves she learned from Malcolm and escaped. The look on Oliver’s face after learning his sister was a secret badass was priceless.
Oliver confronted Malcolm at Verdant about Thea. He pinned Merlyn to the bar and said he might break his vow not to kill. Malcolm then brought out video evidence of Thea killing Sara (!!!!!), though he said she was under the control of some sort of plant that I’m sure DC Comics fans recognize. He told Oliver that the only way to absolve Thea of this crime was to confess to killing Sara himself and demand a trial by combat with Ra’s al Ghul.
More flashbacks. The Chinese thief who took the bioweapon was under the control of the same plant Malcolm used on Thea. Yes Oliver, mind controlling plants are a thing now. China White then showed up at Maseo’s apartment and proceeded to have a pretty awesome fight with his wife while their son hid. Maseo came home to find his son, but China White had apparently taken his wife.
Oliver did exactly what Malcolm Merlyn told him to do. He went to Nyssa and Ra’as and told them he killed Sara because she would’ve rather died than live as a League member. Oliver challenged Ra’as to a duel, which is the first time that has happened in 67 years apparently. Ra’as doesn’t look that old, which basically means the Lazarus Pit is definitely a thing in the “Arrow” universe.
Laurel and her mom visited Sara’s grave. Laurel promised she would find Sara’s killer and make him or her pay. Mom added “make them suffer” to that list. Considering Laurel is set to debut as The Canary soon, she and Thea might be at odds very soon.
Maseo told Oliver that he has 12 hours to settle his affairs before he starts the long climb up the mountain where he will face Ra’as. He went to Thea first, telling her he would love her no matter what. He told Roy to take are of Thea and had a manly handshake with Diggle. Felicity made sure Oliver knew that he would have to kill Ra’as to end things once and for all. Oliver kissed Felicity and told her he loved her again. #TeamOlicity
But Felicity is still into Ray, which makes sense because Brandon Routh. She asked him why he really bought Queen Consolidated, and Ray told her his goal is to make technology smaller and showed her the prototype for the ATOM (Advanced Technology Operating Mechanism) suit. Felicity is just destined to be a superhero’s Gal Friday for the rest of her life.
Oliver scaled the mountain and prepared to fight Ra’as al Ghul shirtless with nothing but a sword to defend himself. He never stood a chance. Ra’as kicked his ass without mercy before stabbing him through the chest and kicking him off the mountain. Literally, the only way that Oliver could survive that is with the Lazarus Pit, but will he emerge from that as the same person? Or, and this seems crazy, but could this be the end of Oliver Queen on this show? Come back “Arrow,” I need to know what happens to Ollie!!