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‘Arrow’ Season 2 Episode 21 Recap: “City of Blood”

Last week, the internet was atwitter over a big death, when Slade pretty much impaled Moira in front of Thea and Oliver.

That means Sebastian Blood is Mayor by default, the best way to win things (and probably the only way anyone would ever become Mayor with the last name of Blood). WALTER ALERT: Colin Salmon’s Walter Steele arrives, ever the rock, and is there at Moira’s funeral. Oliver is conspicuously absent, as Sebastian gets sworn in as mayor. The beauty of montages.

Unnecessary Sidenote: If Arrow ever got crazy and had parallel universes, like Earth-1 and whatnot, that means we could have another Walternate on TV.

At the reception, Laurel hugs Thea, pronouncing that she’s there for her. The connotation being that Oliver is not. Even Sebastian makes it over, asking after Ollie. Apparently he’s been missing for a few days, and Thea’s obviously (and rightfully) pissed about it. Laurel and Sebastian talk just long enough for us to remember that they almost boinked. Ew. Because he’s a sleazy creeper, Laurel remembers she used to think he was evil.

Laurel goes to Quentin, to repeat her theory. Quentin isn’t hearing it, but Dad, I’m sober this time, is her argument. So you know it’s true. Her pitch was genius: “it strikes me” that Sebastian benefits from Moira’s death. YOU THINK?! Because Laurel throws out the “trust me” card and Detective Lance, or whatever he is now, is always willing to put his job on the line for a wacky theory. That’s why we love him.

Because I skipped ahead a bit, let’s rewind to the reception, where Felicity is crying, and doesn’t know why, because Moira was kind of a %#$@#. Totes. I love when Felicity breaks through the fourth wall, and she does that almost too many times this episode, like a beautiful blonde exposition device. Because Diggle is a wise soul:

Then they wonder where the hell he’s gone to this time. Please not the island.

The reverie is interrupted by…ISABEL ROCHEV, who we know got Mirakuru’d up, but Diggle and Felicity most certainly did not, believing her to be a guest star on Six Feet Under. I would’ve probably fainted, but I guess that’s why I don’t go traipsing around in skintight leather yelling about “saving this city.” Speaking of which, this is an EXCELLENT episode for that drinking game rule, as the Arrow mantra/curse is repeated early and often, just in time for the season finale.

Thea and Walter have a chat, because Walter is the only person who has never ruined her life, and that’s the truth. She blames Oliver for mum’s death, because he lied, and let a psychopath into their life. I see no flaw in her logic. I don’t think Thea’s life could get worse, and none of it is her fault. Huge credit to Willa Holland for making Thea such a fascinating character, in the face of all the pain and suffering. She lost her Dad and her big bro. Her big bro came back and has only lied to her ever since. She lost Tommy, her first crush. Then she found out her first crush was her half-brother, because her Mother cheated on her Dad, and she was the product of that affair.

So, you know, her whole life is a lie, and her Dad is a serial killer in tights. What’s better, is everyone lied about it. Then Roy “cheats” on her, breaks up with her, and skips town, Slade kidnaps her (and is the vehicle of truth) and she disowns her mother…and gets to watch as she’s murdered in front of her. Also, she’s poor now and has to ride coach, which is an unfortunate moment that happens in this episode. Lemony Snicket should write a series based on Thea’s life; a series of unfortunate events, fo sho.

If you’re happy and you know it…flash back to the island! Ollie, Sara, Anatoly and Survivor With Stellar Sweater And A Sweeter Conscience, board the sub. Because Anatoly is a sonic screwdriver that can weasel them out of any corner they find themselves into, Oliver asks if he can fix the sub. Anatoly doubts it, but of course, that means he’ll fix it by next scene. The plan is to fix the boat and sink Slade’s boat with a good ole torpedo.

Because they’re paying Manu Bennett anyways, they make him call Mayor Blood on his first day in office, posing as his “Father” on the line. There’s no reason to show this. Blood claims he’s busy with work, and Slade tells him to get to work. Some listening needs to happen between these two (oh, was that the point?).

Felicity and Diggle check on Roy, because Colton Haynes is also being paid to be passed out on a table. I want to be a recurring character on a network show. Whenever Felicity looks at Roy, she thinks of Barry Allen in a coma (Flash spinoff reference, drink!), S.T.A.R. Labs and her besties trying to work on a cure and how much they need it. Exposition, am I right? It’s a testament to Emily Bett Rickards and her unparalleled levels of charm that she still pulls it off. No one else could, and the Arrow writers take advantage of that. Anyways, Diggle and Felicity can’t find Oliver ANYWHERE…so they go to…

Amanda Waller.

Brief Sidetrack: How annoying is it that Oliver continually pouts and stalks off? He better be doing something useful right now. [He isn’t]

Diggle tells Waller about the Mirakuru army, and you’d think this fact would mean Waller, the Suicide Squad, A.R.G.U.S. and all the other acronyms would spring to help Starling City. Instead, she grudgingly helps them track Oliver down to…another lair. At first, Waller makes it sound badass and cool, and I’m hoping it’s the submarine from the island flashbacks. Instead, it’s just some basement, where Ollie’s sulking and contemplating suicide (because he needs alone time from his other lair). Slade promised him one more death and then it’s over, and Mr. Queen mistakenly thinks he’s referring to him. It’s the only way he can SAVE THIS CITY, and end Slade’s mission once and for all. It’s actually a compelling argument…except he’d be leaving the city in the hands of Sebastian Blood (though he doesn’t know he’s evil for another couple scenes), with the prospect of a Mirakuru army that Slade controls…with Thea, Diggle, Felicity and Roy (AND WALTER!) still out there to get killed. But, Ollie is stubborn/stupid:

Because Thea hasn’t had a bad enough year, Isabel Rochev pops by and tells her that she no longer owns Verdant or the land it’s on, so she has to vacate the premises. Harsh.

Laurel visits Blood in his office, and bugs his office, WITH A BLINKING RED DEVICE THAT YOU COULD SEE THE MOMENT YOU WALK INTO THE ROOM. Luckily, no one visits Mayor Blood for the next couple hours, as the IT guy at the precinct hacks Blood’s computer and finds documents announcing Moira’s death before she was murdered. Whoooowee! Laurel’s sneakiness gets this pronouncement from her father:

Ugh.

SUB TIME: Anatoly has fixed the sub, because of course he did, and now they can shoot the torpedo. Unfortunately, to shoot it…someone has to stay behind and die. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on in this subplot, and I could look it up…but I’d rather not.

Thea’s decided to leave Starling City, which seems like the only sensible thing anyone has done on this show for quite awhile. Walter tries to talk her out of it, because where would he visit every six episodes? Ollie arrives, and Walter hopes he can persuade her. Instead, Oliver thinks it’s a great idea, and they have a heartwarming convo that almost made me cry.

Awww.

FLASHBACK CENTRAL: Remember the guy that’s not Anatoly or Oliver that’s in their group? Well, apparently his name is Peter, and he informed everything Oliver ever learned about being a hero. He volunteers to shoot the torpedo and stay back, damning himself to death. Everyone’s stunned by his heroics, but he downplays it, because Ivo gave him radiation poisoning and he’s going to die anyway. That kind of does make you HAVE to sacrifice yourself, right? Everyone’s still impressed anyway, and then Peter (Parker) delivers Arrow’s very own “With great power” line that then gets repeated several more times in the episode. Ollie doesn’t think he’s a hero…and Peter says he isn’t one…yet. Dayum Peter. It would be…

He’s talking about PETER, guys. Let’s start the Peter fanclub, right here, right now. Also, something goes haywire with the torpedo toward the end of the episode that again, I didn’t understand, as it seemed like it misfired and hit their sub, but I have no idea. Either way, we’ll find out next week.

Oliver’s taking the lesson very literally, and is at the docks, ready to drown himself. Instead he gets tranq’d, and wakes up to find Laurel in the Arrow lair. Because she knows, and she’s here to tell Oliver…”this city needs the Arrow.”

Then they talk about Tommy, his death, his last words, etc. And then…prepare the booze:

But Laurel snaps him out of it with a nugget of information: Blood is working with Slade. He makes the leap that Blood is the “skull mask guy” which is the kind of logic normally missing from the show when it comes to figuring out identities. Then…it’s plan hatching time, and that involves Felicity and Diggle interrogating some henchman, Clinton Howle (Roark Critchlow, name o’ the week nominee). It provides the best moment of the entire episode, because FELICITY does the interrogating, not Diggle, by manipulating Howle’s financial portfolio to his extreme detriment:

 

Best Felicity moment ever? It’s certainly up there.

Meanwhile, Ollie invades Sebastian’s dinner, to reveal that he knows he’s working with Slade…and that he’s the Arrow. Wait, did Blood not know that?

It’s hilarious, because Sebastian says “it was right in front of me”…and Oliver is literally right in front of him.

Ollie wonders why the Mirakuru army and the carnage to come benefits Sebastian, and he says some BS about how the disaster will lead to progress, like Merlyn’s big bomb didn’t. Also…say Slade unleashes this army on Starling City, and he takes over. Wouldn’t the U.S. government or ANYONE have a say? Is Starling City a completely autonomous metropolitan area? It’s as if Starling City exists on some island (NO WAY), where awful things can happen without any ramifications from outside the borders. Maybe the U.S. has already given up on SC.

Thea certainly has, and is about to leave, as she ignores Walter’s call, and heads to the train station. She still has a pic of Roy on her phone, btw. Cute.

RANDOM THOUGHT: I just realized that Roy broke Oliver’s leg, like yesterday, but he seems to have healed rather nicely.

Oliver, Diggle and Felicity are about to unleash their plan. “You ready?” Oliver asks Diggle. Diggle’s response is classic: “I’m never not.”

Laurel wants to help, even just to be their eyes and ears back at base (Laurelcle?). Oliver’s refusal is badass:

Of course she won’t listen.

Blood puts on his Brother Blood mask and addresses the Mirakuru army, riling them up for the damage to come. Diggle has set explosives on the buildings on top of them, and the plan is to basically level them completely. Isn’t that murder? “They’re not men.” YESSSSS, murder Oliver.

Oliver’s gallivanting around in the sewers, and runs into a roided up dude (they’re all wearing Deathstroke masks), who kicks his ass, and is about to do worse, when Laurel shows up in the nick of time to save his life. Were you expecting anything less?

Diggle’s mission gets interrupted by…Lady Deathstroke. And by that I mean Rochev.

Kind of terrifying, and maybe not as hot as I wanted. But Summer Glau with super powers and swords? YES PLEASE. Diggle’s screwed, and not in the good way.

There are Mirakuru dudes everywhere, planted by every character on the show: at the train station with Thea, the police station with Quentin, ALL OF THE STATIONS. The Mirakuru army is marching, ready to take over Starling City.

BUT WHO WILL STAND IN THE WAY?

They’re doomed.

Season finale next week!

GRADE: B

All gifs are from the fabulous Queens Arrow tumblr, the best way to relive a past “Arrow” episode.