Oliver Queen and Team Arrow are back with another exciting season of taking down the bad guys and breaking all the hearts in Starling City. After winning the war with Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke and his army of mirakuru warriors, The Arrow (Stephen Amell) is a city hero and is no longer being hunted as a vigilante by the law. The team begins to evolve when Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) welcome in a new baby girl which convinces Diggle to retire from field duty as per Oliver’s request and Roy (Colton Haynes) begins to take on a larger role on the team as Oliver’s partner. Queen Consolidated is acquired by Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), a wealthy businessman with aspirations to better Starling City. Palmer convinces Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) to rejoin the company in an executive role and help him in to achieve his vision. The team begins new chapters in their lives until Sara (Caity Lotz) is killed under mysterious conditions which reunites the team to help him the killer.
Laurel (Katie Cassidy) demands to be a part of the search for Sara’s killer, but Oliver refuses to put her life in danger. Feeling the effects of Sara’s death, Oliver tries to reach out to Thea (Willa Holland) who continues to be estranged from her brother. Roy reveals to Oliver that Thea left town when she learned he was working with the Arrow. The team track her to Corto Maltese, a small island off the coast of South America, where she is in hiding with her father Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), who is training her to fight. Determined to bring his sister home, Oliver convinces Thea to return with him to Starling City, but is Thea still the same girl he once knew?
Unable to tell her parents of Sara’s death, Laurel continues her quest to hunt for her sister’s killer which leads her to enlist the help of a former vigilante Ted Grant (J.R. Ramirez), who begins to train Laurel to defend herself. Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) returns to Starling City looking for Sara. When Oliver informs her that Sara was killed, Nyssa demands that they find her killer and bring them to justice. Nyssa reveals to Oliver that Malcolm Merlyn is alive and Sara was sent by the League to confirm his existence. Nyssa warns Oliver that if he does not find the killer, the league would return inflict league justice.
Oliver struggles with how much time Felicity is spending with Ray as he has recently professed his feelings towards her, but his decision to be the Arrow prohibits him from furthering his relationship with the woman he loves. Ray Palmer continues to be a mystery as his “goodie two shoes” persona seems far fetched. Palmer has good intentions for the city which influence his business decisions, but when he reveals a holographic blueprint of what appears to be an exoskeleton, you wonder if his creation will put him on a collision course with the Arrow.
As the midseason finale begins, Nyssa returns to inform Oliver that he has 48 hours to find and turn over Sara’s killer or the league will begin murdering Starling City citizens. Felicity receives the DNA results from the arrow that killed Sara and the police database identifies Oliver as the killer. Believing Malcolm set him up, Oliver has Felicity investigate whether Malcolm could’ve been in Starling City the night of the murder. After discovering that Malcolm and Thea did arrive the night before Sara’s murder, Oliver decides to question Thea, not as Oliver, but as the Arrow. Diggle and Felicity warn Oliver that it may have been Thea who was the killer since they ultimately share some of the same DNA traits. Oliver refuses to believe this could be a possibility, but when he discovers that Thea has been training with Malcolm, his worst nightmare may be reality.
Malcolm informs Oliver that he drugged Thea and manipulated her into killing Sara. Oliver, incensed by this news tries to kill Malcolm, but he reveals that he filmed the event to use as leverage to force Oliver into a fight to the death with Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) in order to release Malcolm from any blood debt he owes to the League. Oliver, knowing that he is Thea’s only chance to survive, agrees to meet Ra and challenge him to a death match. Elsewhere, Felicity and Ray meet with Felicity demanding to know what Ray is up to. Ray entrusts Felicity with his plan to change Starling City by revealing his A.T.O.M suit and asks her to help him defend the city. Roy and Diggle say their goodbyes to Oliver as he must take this journey alone. Oliver arrives for his duel but quickly realizes that he is outmatched. Ra’s mortally stabs Oliver and kicks him over the side of a cliff. The Arrow is dead.
A season which started off strong and quickly began to spiral into subplot hell has reclaimed it’s past glory with the midseason finale. The appearance of Ra’s al Ghul and the emergence of the A.T.O.M suit were definitely highlights of the finale, but who can say they saw the death of Oliver Queen coming?! Not this guy. The shocking events of the final minutes of the episode truly set up for an interesting second half of the season as show must now contend without its star. But he can’t really be dead…can he?
Now of course the wound inflicted by Oliver certainly could kill, it would seem that there is a chance that he is merely life threatening. The fall from the mountain also could’ve definitely finished the job, but the emergence of a mystery person at the end of the episode leads to the idea that this person will somehow save Oliver, but how? Let’s delve in…
The Lazarus Pit
As comic fans will know, the Lazarus Pit is a mystical springs that can heal the wounded and even raise the dead if need be. Anyone who is placed into the springs is rejuvenated and given new life. Ra’s al Ghul was seen emerging from the spring in an earlier episode in the season which leads to the assumption that Ra is immortal. So it would seem apparent that the Lazarus Pit will come into play in order to save Oliver’s life.
The Mystery Person
The episode reveals that former A.R.G.U.S ally Maseo Yamashiro (Karl Yune) was now a member of the League leading some to believe he may be the mystery person seen approaching the body of Oliver, but there may be a dark horse that we have forgotten here. Tatsu Yamashiro (Rila Fukushima), Maseo’s wife, who we’ve seen in flashbacks during the season, has not been seen in quite sometime. Comic book lovers will know Tatsu by her other name, Katana, who could be a wild card here seeing as her husband has joined with Ra’s al Ghul.
It does not surprise me that Oliver’s death occurs just as Ray Palmer enlists the help of Felicity to begin his crime fighting night job. The move would make sense as to give some time to build up the character’s abilities and prove that he is worthy of becoming a crime fighter, but Ra’s al Ghul is almost certainly on his way back to Starling City to seek revenge upon the real murderer of Sara Lance, so can a rookie crime fighter like Ray Palmer take on such seasoned adversaries? If would seem a foregone conclusion that Roy steps up and takes the mantle from Oliver. Arsenal has been well trained by Oliver and he is ready to take on a much larger role in protecting the city. But can he do it alone? Could we be in for a Team Arrow / A.T.O.M team-up?!
One things for certain, it’s safe to assume Oliver will return, the question is how will the effects of his battle with Ra effect him? Can Team Arrow hold down the fort til their leader returns? How will Thea react to the fact that her brother is missing again? Will Ray Palmer prove to be the hero the city needs? and will Laurel find the justice she seeks as her path will lead her to becoming the Canary. Fans will have to wait to see these questions answered, but the second half is setting up to be more exciting than previous seasons of the show.
Arrow will return on Wednesday, January 21st at 8pm ET on the CW