Staff WriterA lot went down in tonight's mid-season finale, including a birth of a new hero, a return of a fan favorite, losing a fan favorite, and the island coming back to haunt Oliver. Oh yeah, and it is Christmas time. But let's start at the very beginning. Barry comes through and saves Oliver. However, Oliver is pissed at Felicity for spilling his secret to him. But Barry proves to be a great ally as he manages to get a fingerprint off of Oliver to ID Cyrus Gold. Also, Barry goes all fanboy and loves being in the Arrow Cave and revels that he was right on the money with his theories on Arrow. He also suggests that Oliver wear a mask to better hide his identity. In Thea and Roy land, Moira called Oliver to come home to talk to Thea as she seems to be avoiding her. So when Oliver goes to Thea's room, we see that Roy is in there along with Sin. Roy has an arrow in the leg thanks to Arrow. Oliver manages to pull it out and the three tell him that they are investigating the death of Sin's friend. Oliver tries to get them to leave it alone but they don't. They instead turn to Laurel. She finds out that the blood drive, sponsored by Sebastian Blood that Max went to, was legit and has helped many people, but those that donated had to under go psych evaluations. These were conducted by the Langford Institute. Roy later breaks into their offices to steal Max's file and behind his picture is the word Miraku. But someone comes into the office to torch it. Roy makes a run for it but is captured by Cyrus. More on this later. One of the side effects of the cure that Barry gave is hallucinations. His first ghost he sees is Shado who tells Oliver to give up his life as a vigilante because those he loves will get killed. The second ghost he sees is in the Arrow Cave and that is Slade. He taunts Oliver saying that he isn't a hero and that his Arrow persona is to atone for his sins and that the island made him weak. This hallucination caused Oliver to make a mess of the Arrow Cave. While Oliver is seeing ghosts, he still is able to track down Cyrus Gold (thanks to Felicity) to a motel. Diggle goes in their and sees a poem on Solomon Grundy (a DC villain) but then Gold comes on the scene and beats up Diggle who manages to escape. Oliver then asks Felicity to call for backup. Arrow meets with Officer Lance and tells him all about Gold like how he is the one that robbed Queen Consolidated and the blood bank. He warns Lance that Gold is dangerous and freakishly strong so don't hesitate to kill him. When Lance asks why he doesn't go in, Arrow tells him that he has been compromised so that is why he can't. At the precinct, Lance manages to get Hilton's okay to take down Gold. The shady officer that is working for Blood tells his boss what is going down and manages to get on the police ambush. The ambush goes horribly wrong. Lance is seriously hurt by Gold, Hilton is killed and the shady officer gets his arm hurt to keep up the pretences. We learn a bit more about Blood this episode like he wants to create 100 more soldiers, like Gold, so that they can control this city. He also announced that he is going to run for mayor of Starling City and that it seems that he has taken a romantic shine to Laurel where their shopping date got interrupted with news on Lance. At the hospital, Arrow pays Lance a visit and feels guilty that Hilton got killed but Lance tells that not every death is on him. He then gives Arrow a key that Felicity managed to trace to a warehouse. Now let's get to Barry and Felicity. Barry is obviously smitten with Felicity but knows that those feelings are unrequited as he knows that Felicity is hung up on Oliver despite what she says. Speaking Olicity, when Oliver goes to the warehouse to take down Gold, they share a real nice moment where Oliver says that he will come back (I was hoping he would add to her) but when Felicity asks for him to promise that he will, he doesn't. Also, Oliver opened up more to Team Arrow about his time on the island by sharing that the ghosts that he is seeing is Shado and of Slade. When Felicity hears that he spent time on the island with another female, she wonders if he was actually on Fantasy Island. A little levity in a pretty action-packed episode. Anyways, at this warehouse, we see Roy strapped to a chair and Brother Blood there ready to inject him with Miraku, which he does. Arrow comes crashing in and we see Roy start to convulse and blood comes from his eyes. He then falls to the ground and Blood says they have another failed experiment. Arrow then wants to know who supplied Blood with Miraku, but he doesn't get a chance to answer as Gold comes busting in. A fight ensues and it looks like Oliver is going to give up but the ghost of Tommy appears to him and he tells Oliver that he is a hero, one that always fights and never gives up. This gives Arrow the resolve to defeat Gold and destroy Blood's Miraku facility and everything in it. Oliver then turns his attention to Roy, who is still alive after all. With Roy recovering at the Queen Mansion, he sees that his leg, the one that got the arrow shot through, has healed. Later in the Arrow Cave, Oliver tells Diggle that they need to keep an eye on Roy (and seeing the previews for the next episode, it looks like we have Super Roy). Blood goes to his boss and tells him that Arrow destroyed everything so they are back to zero. This boss tells him that they can draw more blood from him to create more Miraku. We see that this man is none other than Slade Wilson but he is a dapper suit and sporting an eyepatch. He tells Blood that he wants to destroy Oliver by taking away those he loves and turning those who look up to him against him. Meanwhile, Barry has returned to Central City and tells Felicity via phone that once she is over her crush on Oliver, he will be available to date her or something like that. We also see a bulletin board of newspaper articles on the death of Barry's mom that he tacks on one more article. But the real meat is that Barry has returned to his lab. A really bad lightning storm is outside, the S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator has opened but something happens and the core has become unstable. From a distance, we see it explode and the ripple effect is felt all the way to Barry's lab. Lightning strikes Barry who smashes into a whole bunch of chemicals. We see his unconscious body with lightening coursing through his body. The Flash is born and the CW needs to make this a series ASAP. Before Barry leaves, he gives Oliver an early Christmas present. It is a cool looking mask that Felicity help him don, calls him a hero and he then hoods up to fight another day.
Island FlashbackWe pick up immediately after Slade dies from getting Miraku. Ivo and his men grab the subs supply of Miraku and then take Sara, Oliver and Shado to the woods. Here Ivo gets Oliver to choose which one will live: Sara or Shado? Oliver doesn't want to make that choice but when he is forced to, he chooses Sara thus sealing Shado's fate as Ivo shoots her dead. Meanwhile, we learn how Slade is still alive and now appearing in Starling City. He didn't die after all and wakes up. He calls out for Shado and runs after her in the woods. He comes across Ivo and his men and he rips the heart out of one of them. Slade sees Shado dead and wants to know who is responsible. Oliver is about to say him but Sara says that Ivo shot her for no reason. Slade vows to punish those who killed her as he carries her body away. Something tells that Slade, in the present day, wants revenge because he finds out that Oliver chose not to save Shado. WOW, and so it ends the first half of Arrow season 2. I can't wait for January 15, 2014 to see what happens next. http://www.Twitter.com/PopWrapped https://pop-wrapped.tumblr.com http://www.SoundCloud.com/PopWrapped http://www.Facebook.com/PopWrapped http://www.Instagram.com/PopWrapped http://www.Pinterest.com/PopWrapped http://www.YouTube.com/PopWrapped https://pop-wrapped.wordpress.com http://www.PopWrapped.com