Warning: the recap contains major spoilers from tonight’s midseason premiere of Arrow, “Blood Debts.” Proceed at your own risk! Seriously, you don’t want to read this next paragraph until you’ve seen the final scene of the episode. You have been warned …
Well, we now know one person who isn’t in the grave in those pesky, emotional flash forwards on Arrow. Despite predicting that Felicity’s injuries from Damien Dahrk’s attack at the end of the midseason finale would put her in that early grave, we actually found out that she’s alive in the flash forwards! The reveal makes the list of people who are officially safe Oliver, Barry and Felicity. But that’s it.
We can now logically assume the list of victims has narrowed down to either Quentin Lance or Donna Smoak. Who else would elicit such a strong response from Felicity? In the flash forwards, she can’t stop crying in the limo at the cemetery (which she couldn’t get out of thanks to her new spinal cord injury in the present day storyline). Whoever does end up dying thanks to Damien Dahrk, it’s enough of a push to make Felicity tell Oliver through tears, “You know what you have to do, right? You have to kill the son of a bitch!”
That’s a far cry from the Felicity laying in the hospital bed, telling Oliver that he can’t fall back into old habits of killing anyone who gets in his way. Only the death of her mother, or father figure (now that Donna and Quentin are officially together), would make her compromise her own morals, right? Or maybe it’s Diggle, that would certainly affect all three of the survivors. Or Laurel, or Thea …
The present-day storyline saw Oliver slipping back into his season one habits, bringing his own brand of justice to the streets of Star City in order to find Damien Dahrk and get revenge for putting his fiancée in the hospital. That was easier for Oliver than sitting by Felicity’s side as she went through surgery after surgery, trying to repair the damage done to her spinal cord in the attack. Unfortunately, as we learned in this episode, they couldn’t, and it’s permanent: Felicity is going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
No, this does not mean Felicity is Oracle. The showrunners have officially and definitively shot that theory down multiple times now. But she will have to come to terms with her new reality of being paralyzed, and even with Oliver by her side (now that he realized he was being a bonehead by avoiding her as she went through this tough time), that’s not going to be an easy feat. But if anyone can get through something like this with optimism and humor, our favorite spunky IT-girl-turned-CEO will. And for those wondering: yes, Olicity is still engaged, even though an annoying nurse took off Felicity’s engagement ring when she was first brought into the ER. As Oliver oh-so-eloquently put it: “How dare she?!”
And now that Felicity is back, she can help Oliver walk the straight and narrow and be the hero he promised Star City he would be. No more one-man-vendettas against Damien and his ghosts. It’s all Team Arrow, fighting the good fight, from here on out. And it’s a good thing Felicity is back — the IT department was clearly struggling without her.
Felicity’s diagnosis also had a dark effect on Diggle, who is usually the moral center of Team Arrow. Once he saw just how bad things were with his teammate, he was driven to have a conversation (using his fists) with his captive little brother Andy. When punching didn’t make the ghost talk, appealing to his former life did (everyone can thank Lyla for that sound advice). Andy gave him all the info Team Arrow needed to track Damien Dahrk to his home, and that’s where they discovered his wife and daughter (along with Anarky, who is still on the loose and fighting his own one-man vendetta against Dahrk. But curiously, not against Thea, even though she burnt his face off. He actually likes her for that. Creepy). They also learned from Andy that Dahrk wants a “reset” on this whole world in order to build a better one in its place, just like Malcolm wanted for Star City in season one. But we all saw how that turned out. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t good.
So let’s sum up where we’re at in the present. Anarky is once again loose in the city. Dahrk gave the Green Arrow a few weeks to spend with his loved ones in return for saving his family from Anarky (although his wife did not agree with showing the Green Arrow any mercy, as she is just as involved with “Genesis” as Dahrk is). Dahrk’s wife and daughter are in the wind so Team Arrow can’t use them as leverage. Diggle and Andy are slowly getting to a good place. Thea and Alex (the Queen campaign strategist) are still dating despite her continued blood lust issues.
And in the island storyline this week, Conklin thought that showing Baron Reiter the maps Oliver found on the shipwrecked freighter, as well as the fact that Taiana is still alive, would finally prove to his boss that Oliver is not trustworthy. He got his wish: Baron let him punish Oliver however he wanted, which included whipping him (shirtless, of course). But when Oliver’s tattoos from Constantine started glowing as a result of the pain, Baron realized he needed Oliver for … whatever he wants. Oliver agreed to help Baron on one condition: they guarantee Taiana’s safety. Clearly Oliver is still feeling guilty for killing her brother (although she still doesn’t know that). So now, they’re both in prison on the island, the same prison that becomes an ARGUS jail just a few years later.
Now that’s what we call a midseason premiere!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Images: The CW