Alan Zenuk/The CW
Samantha Highfill
April 16, 2014 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the April 16 episode of Arrow, stop reading now!

Well, that was an action-packed welcome back to Starling City! We have a lot to talk about, but first, I have to say that the moment I’m still hung up on from this episode was that maneuver where Oliver successfully flipped Felicity over the stairwell and they somehow both landed on their feet like they were cats or something. Is that weird? I mean, I know a lot just happened and major stuff is going down, but was that not incredibly impressive? Am I the only one stuck on this? That’s cool. I’ll move on.

Arrow‘s big return kicked off with Felicity trying to line up the eyeholes in her ski mask. Yep, Team Arrow was dressed in black and on the move. They knew that Slade needed an industrial centrifuge to create his army, so they decided to sneak into the Robert Queen Applied Sciences Center and blow some stuff up. And by stuff, I mean the entire building.

And with that technology off the market, the team was finally fighting back against Slade. It was a great idea, but their success was short-lived when Deathstroke himself showed up in their cave. Cue stairwell flip! By the end of the fight, Slade had taken down Sara, Diggle, and Oliver, in that order. Although I will give Sara props for going after him first. Also, him catching her by her throat midair? Damn, that was cool. On another note, does Deathstroke just have really bad aim? How did he not hit anyone with those bullets?

Across town, Laurel was busy doing some detective work of her own, bulletin board-style. She was putting together the pieces of the “Oliver is The Arrow” puzzle. And when she wasn’t doing that, she was visiting Quentin, who was facing up to 18 months in jail for helping the vigilante. But Quentin promised he didn’t know the name of the vigilante. Now the woman in black? Yeah, that’s a bit more complicated.

Speaking of the woman in black, Laurel finally started to figure out that puzzle as well. After Slade’s attack, Sara had to go to the hospital for a hairline fracture in her wrist. And when Laurel went to check on her, the doctor informed Laurel that her sister’s entire body was covered in scar tissue. You know who else has scars like that? Oliver. Come on, Laurel! You’ve got this!

Aside from Deathstroke, the big threat this week had to do with money. Thanks to Isabel, the Queen family was virtually broke, and they needed to transfer their assets immediately before she could completely ruin them. The trick was that all three members of the Queen family had to sign off on said transfer, including a very pissed-off Thea. Oh, and a fun fact about Isabel: She was Robert Queen’s lover, a fact that made Ollie put his heads in his hands and think about the fact that he’d slept with his father’s lover. It doesn’t get much worse than that.

The good thing that came out of all of this was when we later learned that Isabel believed she was Robert’s soulmate. Okay, that’s not the good part, but this is: Just before the two of them were going to run away, Robert went home because Thea had fallen off her horse. He had chosen his family over Isabel, even though he’d known that Thea was not his biological daughter. Sadly though, Thea was in too much of a downward spiral for that information to lift her spirits. As she put it, “I tried to kiss my half-brother before my real father killed him. That’s how screwed up I am.” And it didn’t help that she was the daughter of two mass murderers.

Back at headquarters, Team Arrow discovered that Slade didn’t just attack them for fun. He’d stolen the skeleton key, which he used to get into the Star Labs warehouse where the most cutting-edge technology was being held. There, he stole a bio-transfuser, which he could use to take blood from one patient and give it to multiple others at once. Oliver figured this was their opportunity: Slade would be weak after giving his blood to create his army, and they could strike. Too bad Slade wasn’t using his own blood.

Poor Roy, who had cleared out his apartment and run away to a shelter just days ago, had been captured by Slade. They were using Roy’s blood to build an army when Ollie took out the machine. He was able to get Roy out of there, but Slade’s army had already been made. And did I mention that Diggle shot Isabel? I don’t think I’ve ever loved that man more than I did in that moment.

In prison, Quentin had an unpleasant experience when someone he’d put behind bars attacked him. However, Laurel was able to use that experience as leverage to get him released. And when she told him she knew who the vigilante was, he asked her not to tell him. In a Dark Knight-esque speech, Quentin said he didn’t want to know the identity of the vigilante because then the vigilante would be a person and “he couldn’t be what I needed him to be, what this city needs him to be. It’s the Arrow that matters. The man under the hood isn’t important.” Quentin couldn’t imagine what the man under the hood has to live with. He said the least he could do was do a little time for him. Or, I suppose a very little time will do — Laurel got him released the next day. And as for the man under the hood? Laurel stopped by Verdant and gave Ollie a hug.

After the showdown with Slade, Ollie revealed that he’d stolen some Mirakuru so that they could work on a cure. It was something Ivo had said was possible on the island before Ollie shot him. And how did Ollie know it would work? Because five years ago, Ollie had the chance to cure Slade, and instead, he chose to kill him. And that, my friends, is why all of this is happening. I guess that explains Slade’s missing eye.

And in the episode’s final moments, Felicity enlisted the help of her friends at Star Labs — where Barry had been moved when he started deteriorating — to find a cure for the Mirakuru. And then, we watched as Slade used the Mirakuru to save Isabel. Instead of dying, she’s now been made into a super soldier. So this should be fun.

What did you all think of the episode? Do Oliver and his team stand a chance? How sweet was it that Felicity still visits Barry? And did the bio-transfuser make anyone else think of The Machine from The Tomorrow People? Sound off in the comments below!


Felicity: As far as plans go, this is not a good one.

Oliver: Felicity, this was your plan.

Felicity: I didn’t think you’d actually say yes.

“I’m a bomber. I can’t believe I’m a bomber. I wonder if I can list that on my resume under special skills.” -Felicity

“For the record, I hated her before we found out she was a super villain.” -Felicity on Isabel

“I’m under 30 and I’m the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I’d say I’ve already done the right thing.” -Isabel to Oliver


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