After last week’s impressive penultimate episode of the half-season on Arrow, the denouement was going to have to deliver on a number of levels. Boy howdy, did “Three Ghosts” do exactly that. It nicely set up the arc of the next calendar year and provided a few terrific moments of closure. AND, and and and, we got to see a couple of new heroes and villains begin to take shape. The writers of Arrow really are weaving quite an awesome televisual version of the DC Universe. This is what happens when people who really know and love the source material are put in charge of making a TV show.
While usually I end with the stuff on the island, I think this week I’ll begin there, since it has a lot of bearing on the present-day stuff. Okay? Okay.
ON THE ISLAND
Oliver, Shado, and Sara had just watched Slade bleed from the eyes and die in the submarine after being injected with the Japanese Mirakaru super soldier drug. Ivo and the pirates break in and find the box of hypodermics. Sara pleads with Ivo to let them go, since he now has what he wants, but he’s all, “naw dawg.”
He takes them all out into the jungle and gives Oliver a rock-vs-hardplace, Sophie’s Choice kind of problem: Ivo will kill either Sara or Shado, and only Oliver can choose which. What a bastard, right? Ivo makes a motion like he’s going to shoot Sara and Oliver dives in the way, shouting for him not to, which Ivo takes to mean he’s made his choice. Without an ounce of emotion, Ivo shoots Shado in the back of the head.
However, back on the submarine, Slade wakes up and frantically calls for Shado. He gets up and begins sprinting through the jungle, eventually coming to where everybody is. Slade annihilates most of the pirates, though Ivo gets away, and then he picks up Shado’s lifeless body. Oliver attempts to tell his friend that it was more or less his fault she died, but Sara intervenes and says Ivo shot her for no reason. Slade vows revenge on the person responsible.
IN THE PRESENT
Oliver, in his fight with the super-powered Cyrus Gold, has been injected with some kind of drug that’s making his heart stop. Felicity brings Barry Allen to the Arrow Cave to help. Within 30 seconds, Barry is able to narrow down the problem until he figures out that Ollie’s got a powerful coagulant in his system and his blood is turning to syrup. Barry quickly concocts a blood thinner out of rat poison. In his crazed state, Oliver sees a vision of Shado.
When Oliver wakes up, he’s really quite angry at Felicity for bringing Barry to the cave and revealing his identity. Oliver says his identity wasn’t hers to share, no matter how much help they needed. Diggle stands up for her and Barry, but Oliver’s not having it. Luckily, his mom is calling him home, so they’re spared the wrath of Queen for a little bit.
Moira, while decorating the Christmas tree, is worried about Thea, who refuses to open her bedroom door. Oliver (who seems really surprised it’s Christmas time) knocks on Thea’s door and enters to find her and Sin hovering over Roy, who is lying on the bed, a big green arrow sticking out of his leg. They’re all pretty angry that the Vigilante would shoot him when he was just asking for help. Oliver yanks the arrow out and says maybe it was the Hood’s way of trying to keep Roy safe. Surely a konk on the noggin would work better than a crippling flesh wound.
In the hallway of the mansion, Oliver sees another vision of Shado, who tells him to give up his fight, as it will only end in heartache, tears, and the death of his friends. Really downer, Ghost Shado.
Back in the Arrow Cave, Barry is geeking out over being mostly right about the Arrow’s doings, how he has backup, why he wears green, the whole shebang. Oliver’s still not loving that Barry knows the truth, but we all know Barry’s not telling anyone. Barry suggests that Oliver wearing grease paint isn’t the best disguise and that a mask would do better. Oliver asks if he knows of any mask that won’t disrupt his field of vision for aiming purposes. I don’t know, I think Black Canary’s worked pretty well.
We transition to Laurel’s office, because she exists also, you guys. Sebastian Blood has sent her flowers; seems the Alderman is going in for the kill. Sin and Thea arrive and tell Laurel about what they were looking for with regards to Max, and ask if Laurel can find anything about Blood’s blood drive.
Based on the fingerprints left on Oliver’s neck, Barry and Felicity are able to determine that the super-powered burglar is Cyrus Gold. They get an address and Oliver wants to go, but he’s still weak and seeing visions (Barry’s running tests about that), so Diggle offers to go, with Oliver as backup. In Gold’s apartment, Diggle finds a notebook on which is written the poem “Solomon Grundy,” he being born on a Monday and the like. Just then, Gold appears and attacks Diggle, tossing him around like a rag doll. Diggle is able to climb out the fire escape, get in the car, and Oliver drives off.
Knowing he can’t do it himself in his compromised position, Arrow visits Officer Lance on the rooftop and gives him Gold’s information. Even while he’s talking, Oliver sees a vision of Slade looking over him. That doesn’t boost the ol’ confidence, does it?
Laurel has found some information about the Blood drive and tells Thea, Roy, and Sin that the drive seems to be on the up-and-up, but certain people were subjected to a psych evaluation before being allowed to give blood. Seems a bit fishy, if you ask me. Roy decides, gimp leg or not, that he’s going to go investigate.
In the cave, Barry and Felicity are running Oliver’s blood work. Barry tells Felicity that he’s pretty sure she likes Oliver. Though she denies it, he says he knows what it’s like to like somebody who doesn’t feel the same. Don’t we all, buddy? He then flicks on the TV to watch coverage of the Star Labs particle accelerator in Central City.
Officer Lance pleads with his former partner, Lucas Hilton, about going to look for Cyrus Gold. Hilton doesn’t want to, but eventually relents and they gather a small team. Officer Daily volunteers to go, too, but that’s just because he’s Brother Blood’s inside man. Oh, no.
Oliver comes back to the cave and asks Felicity and Barry for some privacy so he can practice shooting tennis balls with arrows. He is interrupted by the Slade vision, who tells him he’s to blame for all the bad things happening in the city, and that his moral quest is more about making himself feel better than doing any kind of good. They have a bit of a wrestle and Oliver is thrown through the glass case of costumes… by a hallucination.
The police go on their raid, only for Cyrus Gold to get the drop on them. Before being knocked out, Lance is able to get a key off of the hulking brute. Bad stuff befalls the rest of the team, including Detective Hilton, who gets shot in the head by his own gun. Oh, and Officer Daily just gets a dislocated shoulder. Huh.
Elsewhere, Laurel and Blood are walking romantically on a bridge. Laurel starts to ask why Blood’s drive would need psych evaluations, but she just then gets the call about her dad being in ICU. She goes to visit her dad, and Blood comes to make sure she’s all right. Jerk.
Arrow visits Lance in the hospital as well, and begins to take the blame for Hilton and the others dying. Lance tells him not every death in the city is his fault, and gives him the key he pulled off of Gold. Back at the Arrow Cave, it turns out Oliver’s bloodwork came back normal and that his visions aren’t pharmacological. Dig and Oliver talk about dealing with the ghosts of their past and moving on from there.
Roy breaks into the medical offices and finds the files on Max and some other guys from the Blood drive. A man enters and begins pouring gasoline on everything. Roy tries to escape, but Gold is there and knocks him out. Roy wakes up in Brother Blood’s lab, tied up and about to be subjected to the serum. The Arrow breaks in and begins fighting Gold again, and again getting beaten. Blood injects Roy with Mirakaru and it seems like he’s dead.
Oliver’s knocked half unconscious by Gold, but sees a vision of Tommy, who tells him that he has to get up; fighting for this city is a good thing, and his own death isn’t on Oliver’s head. He’s not a killer, but a hero. This galvanizes Oliver enough for him to get up and fight more. He fires an arrow at the centrifuge and it explodes, dousing Cyrus Gold with the bubbling, acidic concoction. Blood gets away, but Oliver demands that Roy not die. And he doesn’t. Had to work once.
Sebastian Blood announces a bid for mayor of Starling City, which plays directly into the hand of Blood’s employer, a guy in a suit in a big cushy chair. He doesn’t want Blood to kill Arrow, even though it would be easy, because he wants Oliver to suffer. The camera pans around to reveal that the guy in the suit is… Slade Wilson! He’s got an eyepatch now and his hair’s a bit grayer, but it’s still him. Actually, the reveal is a bit unnecessary, because there’s kind of no way to mask Manu Bennett’s distinctive gruff Kiwi accent. Slade vows to destroy Oliver’s whole life before finally putting an arrow through his eye.
Barry heads back to Central City and on the phone tells Felicity that he was too late to go to Star Labs for the particle accelerator demonstration. He returns to his crime lab, a leaky warehouse in a thunderstorm, full of chemicals and things. He tells Felicity that if she ever wants to go out with a guy who isn’t Oliver, he won’t be late for that.
Just then, he sees the particle accelerator from across town begin to give off a light. The power in the lab goes out and the accelerator emits some kind of weird pulse. It, coupled with the lightning, strikes Barry through the skylight, sending him back into the shelf of chemicals. Guess what’s gonna happen to him.
Roy wakes up in Thea’s bed, just as Thea and Sin burst in, scared that he’d been killed or something. He can’t seem to remember what happened, but he feels fine. In fact, his leg’s healed up very nicely. Oliver tells Diggle and Felicity that they need to watch Roy from now on. Uh oh.
And finally, Barry has left Oliver a present… a new mask. The last shot we see is Green Arrow’s new look.
So much going on! Deathstroke! Solomon Grundy! The Flash! Holy cats, people; I can’t wait for January 15th!