Accounts of the Emerald Archer: Arrow Mid-Season Finale Recap [Obvious Spoilery Things Happening Here]

Before I recap this week’s mid-season finale of Arrow, I just want to go on record saying that I am not convinced Matt Nable is good casting for Ra’s Al Ghul. Since I’m not caught up on Arrow, this episode will be tough to watch, but for you guys I’m doing it anyways. This is the episode, for me, where he has to convince me of this choice for his role as Ra’s Al Ghul.

And as always, in typical style, I write my recaps as I’m watching the show. Every thing I write is in the moment, and I won’t change things. You’ll get my initial reactions, and nothing else. At the end I might recap the recap, and point out what I was right or wrong about, but otherwise, this article is a play by play of the episode. The episode follows three different points in time: During Oliver’s five years on the island, the present, and 48 hours in the future, with Oliver making a climb to see Ra’s Al Ghul. I won’t always mention those short clips of the climb, so don’t be annoyed. It’s hard enough going back and forth with the flashbacks (which I won’t always mention either).

Matt Nable will play Ra's al Ghul in Arrow.

The episode begins with Oliver climbing a cliff face, obviously on his way to meet Ra’s Al Ghul. The show jumps back 48 hours to a Christmas Party at the Police Station, with Captain Lance heading outside to pick up a perp dropped off by the Arrow. Holiday Greetings are exchanged, and just as Captain Lance gets in the door, a group of ninjas attack Ollie. NINJAS. Like he’s Batman or Wolverine or something. Ollie, being outnumbered, is soundly defeated, tied up, and then punched in the face by, what looks like, Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. and brought to Nyssa Al Ghul.

Now, obviously this is a different style of Ra’s Al Ghul than we’ve ever seen. Nyssa tells Oliver that her father wants Sara’s killer brought to justice, and Oliver’s protecting the city is getting in the way. Sure, Ra’s would find his protection of the city a little distracting, pointless even, but he’d never focus so much on one murder. The world is filled with Chaos, and Ra’s only has one goal in life. To bring balance to the world. Why would he be so caught up in one murder? Perhaps I’m missing something by being so far behind, or perhaps the CW really doesn’t have a firm grasp on this character.

Regardless, Matt Nable is not the actor I would have chosen.

Arrow’s “League of Assassins” is aimed at murderous justice, instead of balance. They would rather kill 50 innocent people a day until justice was served for the murder (which is kind of hypocritical), rather than, you know, help solve it themselves. This is probably why I can’t get into Arrow, I’m too critical of things like this.

Laurel breaks the news of Sara’s death to Thea, who apparently didn’t know anything about it. Thea promises to keep her death a secret. Oliver “can never know,” for whatever reason (he saw the body, he knows).

Cue the awkward scene between Felicity and Ray Palmer, after their recent kiss. Palmer seems like a good guy, an interesting character, and since we know who he is (The Atom!) we know he’s not a bad guy. If anyone has Oliver’s company in good hands, it’s this guy.

Oliver tells the team about his conversation with Nyssa, and the necessity to find Sara’s killer before the League starts killing civilians. Obvious Arrow flashback. Something about a bio-weapon called Omega, which could wipe out an entire city. The next flashback reveals Ollie going after the vial of the weapon, but it’s already gone.

Reverse Flash cameo on the screen in the gang’s hideout, with a news article about the Yellow Blur attacking STAR Labs. Could we see a Reverse Flash cameo on Arrow in the future? Or any more of the Flash’s rogues (Captain Cold, Heatwave, Trickster, etc.)?

The DNA on the arrow that killed Sara was Oliver’s. 12/13 of the DNA markers were a match to Oliver. But if Oliver didn’t do it, who did? Obviously it was Thea. Sara recognized the killer, and Thea is Oliver’s half-sister. Regardless of differing fathers, having the same mother can lead to that much of a DNA match.

Laurel’s mother showed up last minute to see Laurel and Sara, but no one knows Sara’s dead. I have a feeling before the episode is up Laurel will reveal to her parents that Sara was murdered, much like Barry revealing his love for Iris on the Flash.

Roy and Oliver take to the streets to find the proof that Merlyn was in the city the night of Sara’s murder, and they interrogate the pilot that flew him. But I have a feeling it wasn’t “him” that the pilot flew around, but Thea. They get security footage on a thumb drive, and bring it back to Felicity to look at. Oliver sees not only Merlyn exiting the plane, but Thea as well.

Diggle and the team suggest that perhaps Thea was the murderer, and Oliver just isn’t having it. It would be hard to accept your sister as a murderer, so I can see this. There is enough evidence to support Thea as the killer, which either means she did it, or Merlyn planted evidence to prove she did it, to mess with Oliver.

Felicity and the stalker-ish Ray Palmer talk at Verdant, where he followed her (she was in the “arrowcave”) and confesses why he left after kissing her. It was guilt. Not that he was cheating on someone, but his fiancée was killed during the siege of the city last season. This is probably one of Brandon Routh’s best performances, and I’m actually cheering for this guy. He deserves the girl, and since Ollie can’t have her, maybe Ray can? I hope so. Also, he’s going to be a hero as well, so, Felicity is going to be beating herself up for always kissing/being with the super hero types (Oliver Queen, Ray Palmer, Barry Allen).

Thea lied to Ollie, and now he’s starting to see she might be guilty. I can imagine he’s hoping Merlyn’s behind everything, but there’s a small piece of him that’s worried that Thea might be working for him.

Laurel and her mother are talking, and her mother knows that something’s wrong, and that Sara’s dead. Laurel convinces her to keep the secret from her father, or at least as far as we can tell she does.

Ra’s kills a group of assassins like a boss, right before Nyssa returns. At least Matt Nable isn’t a bad Ra’s Al Ghul. He’s not the best choice possible, but he’s not ruining it for me, at least. Ra’s authorizes Nyssa to return to the city and to be merciless. He wants to prove that his threats aren’t empty.

Oliver shows his blind spot towards his family. Felicity thinks it best not to send Oliver to ask the questions, but the Arrow. When Oliver arrives as the Arrow, Thea attacks him, showing off some pretty darn good skills. Perhaps he can start seeing the truth? And coincidentally, Malcolm Merlyn shows up to Verdant to confront Oliver over the Arrow attacking Thea. Things get tense, and Oliver admits that he may have thought he could never kill again, but he was wrong. He really, really, really wants to kill Merlyn. And then Merlyn shows Oliver irrefutable proof that Thea killed Sara. He’s playing at something here. He then says, “I don’t think you want the League to see that. And if you kill me, they will.” He admits to brainwashing her. Merlyn has given Oliver “incentive” to confess to the murder of Sara Lance. Merlyn’s hoping Oliver will earn a trial by combat, and if Oliver wins, it wipes away the “blood debt,” and if he loses, the Arrow is out of the way, and Thea is allowed to live, under Merlyn’s control. Not a bad plan. Get rid of Ra’s, or get rid of Ollie. It’s win-win for Merlyn.

Back in the present, Oliver confronts Nyssa, hoping to find Ra’s. Ra’s pointed out that Oliver “failed his city,” and Oliver confesses to the murder. Oliver challenges Ra’s to a trial by combat. “You covet death that much?” Was Ra’s Al Ghul’s reply.

Oliver is given a location for the fight, after making a climb to the spot. Oliver obviously has been shown making this climb all episode, and he’s shown reaching the top.

Thea lies to Oliver about what happened to the window. He tries to convince Thea that Merlyn is incapable of love. She is obviously displeased, and Oliver says he’ll do everything he can to protect her, and this is the last thing he says before going after Ra’s.


Is OMAC coming to Arrow?

Felicity confronts Ray about his secrets. She knows he’s keeping a deeper secret than just his ex’s death. He tells her that he cannot tell her his secret, he has to show her. He shows her his A.T.O.M. Exosuit. O.M.A.C. is the “Queen Consolidated designation” for the suit (OMAC? YES!) but he’s more partial to “A.T.O.M.” Advanced Technology Operating Mechanism. Atom. He’s going to use it to protect the city, and he wants Felicity to help. “Why does this keep happening to me?” Was her response. The Arrow, The Flash, The Atom… There seems to be a pattern.

Oliver says his goodbyes, and tells Roy to take care of Thea. He has to try to convince Felicity that he’s coming back. She tells him to kill him, and knowing that’s not who he is anymore, she’s worried he won’t kill him. With everything that Ra’s has done, she wants him dead. He tells her he’ll do “whatever it takes to save my sister.” Even if that means killing Ra’s Al Ghul? One of the most dangerous men on the planet? He then confesses that he loves her, and leaves.

And now, the conclusion.

Ra’s fights Ollie unarmed, with Ollie having two blades. Ollie is getting his butt kicked, and Ra’s is a much better fighter. He took one of Ollie’s blades from him. Ra’s puts his blade through Ollie. Lazarus pit? Will Ollie utilize a Lazarus pit? What can we expect? What’s gonna happen? He just kicked Ollie off the cliff he climbed. And then… Credits. Oh. My. God.

What will happen next? I’m hoping for the Lazarus pit (His friend who works for Ra’s could give him a dip). We know Ollie isn’t dead, but what can this mean? Will Ollie take a dip in the pit and undergo some brainwashing that The Atom will have to save him from? Or Barry? There’s so many directions this can go in.

Wow. I didn’t see that ending coming.