Original air date: Dec. 11, 2013
Alright, so here it goes. As sophisticated a review as I can write while I am internally screaming about everything that happened this episode. I’m going to take a deep breath and hope that fangirl feels don’t come tumbling out. No promises. Winter hiatus is going to be a bitch. That I do know for sure.
After the cliff hanger from last week we find a dying Oliver and a very surprised and confused Barry. Being able to think quick on his feet (was that a pun?) Barry uses rat poison to return Oliver to normal. Well as normal as Oliver can be, he seems to be having a little bit of issues with some hallucinations.
This episode was very much about Oliver dealing with his inner demons, actually more like ghosts. Three ghosts to be exact.
Three ghosts at Christmas? That’s crazy talk for sure, but just like Ebenezer Scrooge, Oliver finds himself visited by three ghosts. Except instead of asking him to visit past, present and future Christmases they instead have very different messages for Oliver. Shado asks Oliver to give up his fight before he loses those he cares most about. Slade accuses Oliver of causing death and destruction in his wake. Then Tommy (and no I was NOT crying. I just had a best friend caught in my eye) tells Oliver to get up and fight because that is who he is, he is a hero.
Oliver not being quite up to the job at the moment took the information he had on the whereabouts of Cyrus Gold, Blood’s single super solider, to the police. Together they take a team to confront him, but were instead the victims of an ambush.
Laurel. Laurel. Laurel. Earlier this season she was tail-spinning and now she’s gone and got herself mixed up with Sebastian Blood. I just can’t watch this anymore. She’s already been through so much and now she’s semi-dating, hanging out kind of, with Blood. The man creating an army of super soldiers so he can go to war with Sterling City. Except he may not be the one in charge after all.
I’m beginning to think that past Island!Oliver didn't know how to tell when someone was really dead. Slade Wilson is back and his pissed. He wants to take revenge on Oliver and tear him down till there’s nothing left of him or the people he loves.
Being shot in the leg by an arrow hasn't really slowed down Roy. After Thea and Cin take the mysterious death and blood drive connection to Laurel and find no real information, Roy goes in search of the files on Cin’s friend. While he’s there he’s captured by Gold and is injected by the serum. Oliver is able to bring him back after he dies from the injection and only time will tell what is going to happen with this new super strength Roy.
Then there’s Oliver and Felicity. I may have mentioned it before that I’m a small (minuscule really) Oliver/Felicity shipper. Then there was this episode and I can’t get over any of it. The hug between the two of them at the end. He opened his arms and waited for her. He didn't put his bow down first, he didn't answer Diggle’s question first, and I may even go far enough to say he didn't let his breathe out till he had her in his arms. That moment was everything I ever wanted. No, really I'm fine. Don't look at me!
Favorite bits from the episode?
- I was a big fan of the Oliver x Felicity argument in the beginning. Especially the force with which Felicity said "DON'T WORRY. HE'S KIDDING!" in response to Oliver's suggestion that he might be putting an arrow through Barry.
- Barry just being excited about being right about all of his theories about the Arrow.
- I am dying to know Diggle’s half of the conversation when Oliver called him about Roy’s leg. It wasn't funny, Roy was in pain, but I can’t help but snicker at how that must have gone down. “Roy’s been shot in the leg...by an arrow...” Diggle: “OLIVER WHAT THE HELL DUDE? I THOUGHT YOU LIKED THAT KID!”
- All the Oliver feels! A small glimpse of the giant mess of regret that goes on in that boy’s head. He feels responsible for every death that happens around him whether it’s really his fault or not.
- Oliver: “I’ll come back.” Felicity: “Promise me.”
- Tommy’s ghost. I miss him so much and may still be in small denial that he's really dead. Supernatural has spoiled me in that regard. If I wish hard enough sometimes people come back from the dead.
- “Even the Arrow deserves a Christmas present.” Our hero finally gets his mask. The fact that Barry made it for him and Felicity placed in on him for the first time. My little heart just can’t handle it.
- The particle acceleration explosion. I am so pumped for The Flash y’all. I didn't think I would be, but Arrow has made me love this character already and I am so there.
In conclusion: Barry would have been on time for Felicity. There’s a “surprise bitch” joke in here somewhere about Slade’s reappearance. All that was missing was someone muttering “bah humbug” to Oliver at some point to have made this episode complete.