Arrow Review: The Billionaire, The Friend, The Hero

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All of the information we've been clamoring for was revealed on Arrow Season 2 Episode 9.

Oliver was plagued by stress-related hallucinations that gave viewers a lot of insight into his character and prepared us for the big reveal at the end.

The installment was the perfect setup for the second half of Arrow Season 2, and it was also yet another non-Christmas Christmas episode in what has turned out to be the "thing" this holiday season. It does make it easier, I suppose, for those who binge watch in the middle of summer, for example.

The theme of "Three Ghosts" was, of course, a nod to Dickens' A Christmas Carol. What Oliver didn't know was that all of his ghosts weren't in the past at all, and one was manipulating his present. Aha - a Christmas present!

Visions of Ghosts

While it certainly makes sense to give The Flash his own show, having Barry Allen around was a lot of fun and I'll miss his presence. He was the catalyst for change to the team and when someone can have a positive effect on a tight-knit group, they're always welcome.

Although Oliver was dying, he still didn't like Felicity making the decision to reveal his identity to Barry. He was pouty and petulant about it, feeling betrayed. Without Allen, not only would he have died, he wouldn't have gotten his new mask. You have to love the lines the writers gave Barry.

Not to tell you how to do your vigilante-ing but the grease paint thing is a poor identity concealer.


Really? Who knew? Now if only Oliver would cover that gorgeous jaw line which anyone would recognize a light year away.

As Cyrus Gold terrified Starling City, Oliver was seeing ghosts. The first was Shado, and unfortunately we have confirmation of her death. There's no coming back from a bullet to the head. Ivo did that when Oliver "chose" to save Sara by kneeling in front of her instead of Shado.

Her island scenes are over, unless he flashes back even further than the timeline he's in now. Shado's ghost wanted him to live and stop placing himself in jeopardy.

His second ghost was Slade, who accused him of being Arrow to atone for his own sins, such as allowing Shado and him to die. He didn't buy the BS about his father, and told him he belonged with him, wherever that was. Oliver really gets into his hallucinations. He even threw himself into a display case and broke the sucker. That's commitment.

Oliver's third ghost was Tommy, and it was the most surprising. For some reason, I didn't expect him even though there was every reason he should be at the top of the list. Since the first two were from the island, I expected the final visit to be from Robert Queen. Seeing Tommy give the heartfelt speech to his friend wrenched my heart just a bit.

The Internet went wild when Diggle was scouting Cyrus Gold and said "Solomon Grundy born on a Monday," and Oliver said he knew the poem, which symbolized the seven stages of death. It's a moniker that Gold adopts in the comics after he dies and comes back as the first comic zombie after being murdered and dumped in Slaughter Swamp. 

Roy, Thea and Sin were still trying to find out about their friend, but it was all to get Sebastian Blood to give Roy Mirakuru. That's right. Little Roy just became a super soldier. He was out most of the time Arrow was saving his ass, so I'm not sure how much of that he'll remember, but if mayoral candidate Sebastian Blood get to him as I'm expecting (the red hoodie and all that), he's going to have a hell of a nemesis for the Arrow in his new soldier. 

Roy is still angry at Arrow for shooting him, but he's now healed. The wound was fixed right up after the serum took effect. Thea is behind her guy in his desire to go it alone, which is a far cry from her stance a month earlier. With his new physical presence, her support and Blood's support, things are going to get interesting.

Blood was also getting intimate with Laurel, in one more horrible decision on her part. With Lance in the hospital because of Blood and Gold, she was accepting hugs of concern outside his room without knowing that he was the cause of it all. Someday she will, and it will undoubtedly crush her just a bit more as she searches for rock bottom before she can return as a new version of herself.

There were two big reveals at the end. I'm not sure which was bigger. One has a large impact on the show and one spins off into The Flash; we'll talk about the latter first.

Barry and Felicity had a few moments and he kind of admitted he had feelings for her she didn't return, and he thought she had feelings for Oliver. Once they got all of that out, he was in a hurry to get back to Central City to see the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator turned on. He was late, as usual.

Barry was standing in his office, the floor covered in water during a horrible electrical storm with rain pouring down, when he went over to the sky light to pull on some enormous chains. The accelerator exploded, he was struck by lightening and his face was lit up, kind of like Dorian's in Almost Human. There are nanites or something in Barry Allen now. A new superhero was born. 

Both Barry and Roy were infused with powers tonight, but we won't get to see Barry until he either gets his own series or that falls through and he becomes a part of the Arrow-verse. I'm not sure which one I want more at this point.

The second revelation was the discovery of Blood's boss. As expected, a blood donor was at the bottom of the Mirakuru serum. Oliver's ghost was of the present, because Slade Wilson is alive and well, sans one eye, in Starling City. He woke just after receiving his injection on the island and immediately found Shado dead. Hell hath no fury like a super soldier scorned.

Slade told Blood Oliver is his friend, and I think he still considers him that, even though he believes he was betrayed. Time doesn't heal all wounds, it gives them time to fester and bring them to the boiling point. The pain between Slade and Oliver will be an ultimate fight. Will these men stray from the fates of their comic characters? Can they be redeemed?

With the recent mention of H.I.V.E. and the presence of Deathstroke, it will be interesting to see if they come together in the death of Diggle's brother. Slade may be beyond redemption. Given what they've all been through, are any of them beyond that point? I guess we'll find out.

I'm sure there are a hundred other things that happened or are worth discussion that I didn't touch upon. That's your job. Hit the comments and strike up a conversation. Let's get this ball rolling!


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (150 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

Smoak and arrow

This was such a great episode and I thought it ended the mid-season point on such a strong note. I love how they brought Slade into the present and laid out the revenge he plans on seeking against Oliver. I think knowing that - knowing he's behind the scene pulling strings to manipulate everyone - ups the tension for the viewer. I really want to know where Isabel fits into this. Is she Slade's "insider" at Queen Consolidated? Is that why she targeted the company? Is that why she seems to be poking into Oliver's relationship with Felicity? (Are you sleeping with her, is she just a friend, etc) It would make sense to me, in a weird way, if it's Oliver/Felicity/Diggle in Team Arrow against Slade/Isabel/Blood on Team Baddie. Weird symmetry there, actually, now that I think about it. I think almost all the characters are coming along nicely and I'm anxious to see what their fates will be the rest of the season -- Quentin, Felicity, Roy, Thea, Oliver, Diggle... all got me on the edge of my seat. And yep, I enjoyed the Oliver/Felicity stuff as well. I find it cool that Arrow is having Felicity working to deny how much she's come to care for Oliver. What's Oliver think? How does he feel? When will he realize it? Looking forward to the show addressing that, too. I laughed when someone in a previous comment mentioned that Arrow doesn't really do "slow" in these areas but really... it's been building since season 1 and right now it's still (largely) unspoken. I mean... the two only just hugged. I've got a show I'm watching with a similar pair and after spending only a few minutes together on screen have kissed and I think they slept together this week. So Arrow with Oliver/Felicity? Actually moving at a pretty slow pace. Sometimes I think they could pick that up with Oliver/Felicity just a smidge. ;) And yes. Yes, I did just use the word "smidge." LOL!

Fearless diva

So you guys remember the scene where Ivo makes Oliver choose between Shado and Sara and he inadvertently chooses Sara, thereby sealing Shado's fate. What if Slade will seek to recreate that in the season 2 finale? Like maybe he gets Laurel and Felicity side by side and does the exact same thing Ivo did to Ollie on the island. Forcing him to choose? Not saying I want Laurel to die per se but given the fact that she's playing more of a supporting role this season, that could be a viable option... Thoughts?

@ Fearless Diva

Laurel will be Black Canary in the future. So I doubt the creators will kill her off.

Ronald simkins
@ Fifty

As someone pointed out in one of the Arrow after shows for Laurel to become Canary something has to happen that she gets training. She can't just lose her sister and decide to be Canary. I agree. Perhaps canon won't be followed like Tommy.

@ isoron

It's something to keep in mind that, even though it doesn't come close to the training the other's have had, it's been noted many times Laurel has been training in the martial arts. She handily took down the fellows when she was kidnapped when David Anders guested. We've missed a lot of what she's been doing in the background.


Brother Blood has a boss! And the Boss is Slade!! Super Awesome!!! I guess Barry's pilot as Flash would be off the hook as well. Love to see Red Arrow being born. I agree the green and red won't see eye to eye at first but eventually they will partner up. Conveniently I won't say anything about Laurel except HOPE she would play that role better than the current one coz it sucks!!!


Finally I watched the episode and I really enjoy it. This series is getting better and better. Good storylines and action. Laurel was much better last season, this season she is like a supportive role only. I like Oliver and Slade as friends but I know Slade is pissed off with Oliver as he believes Ollie is reponsible for Shado's death which is not true, but Ollie feels that guild inside of him that it is starting to eating him. I dont like the idea of Slade become a very lethal enemy to Oliver and harm everyone he cares about cause I knoe he will but I hope Oliver will get thru his senses and make him realize it was not his fault and they can work together as a team btu I believe it will take a bit time before that happens. Slade has this much anger towards Ollie. Poor him. I hope Roy teams up with Oliver and do not go to the dark path and join Slade.


It's mostly boring.

Ronald simkins
@ fortyseven

And you are mostly a troll.


Great review!! So. Much. Happening!!! I really enjoyed this episode. Stephen Amell was on point - the scene where he and Diggle were talking about their ghosts was so well done! Also, for someone playing Green Arrow, he sure has a killer Batman stare-down... Roy Harper - even in the comics and the animated shows - has anger issues. This is an interesting way to explore them. I'm also REALLY looking forward to the return of Barry Allen. I have to disagree with anyone who says Shado's death was lame. Oliver was forced to make a "Sophie's Choice" - that kind of choice defines a person and lives with them forever. I'm betting that this will be a turning point for Oliver; the kind of guilt that comes from this death is more than would come with any heroic sacrifice. It's also a much bigger catalyst for revenge for Slade - Oliver can't really argue that it wasn't his fault, and he'll never believe it wasn't. On another note, I preferred when the Felicity/Oliver thing was a bit more subtle. A slow burn would have been nice. That being said, Arrow's doesn't really do slow, so part of me that is grateful for the pacing and not dragging stories out. Laurel...oh Laurel. What a crap story this poor character's been given. Katie Cassidy - I'm sorry, but I don't think she's very good at playing the broken woman. She was WAY better last season when Laurel was driven, decisive and strong. P.S. Among the five contributors, last week's Round Table predicted almost everything that happened in this episode! PPS. Solomon Grundy!!! I love how great these writers are with throwing names for us comic fans!

@ Robin Harry

@Robin, in all honesty after reading so much of script playing, reviews and comments on my No.1 TV show i.e. of course Arrow, I feel Laurel would be ending up becoming up the Black Canary at the end of the Season 2. Caty Loitz aka the present Black Canary would be tracked down eventually by Nesa Al Ghul the half sister of Talia Al Ghul girl of Ra's Al Ghul. Roy should go through the normal transition i.e he must turn himself into Arsenal and then eventually become Red Arrow. Batman, Nightwing, and maybe who else will make a cameo in Arrow, only the producers and the best writers know. What say @Carissa? over to you. Arrow is undoubtedly the best superhero TV show ever made and surely the best right now running out there IMHO.


Could this show get any better? How well written,I'm impressed.
I loved every Barry scene and I was jumping on my couch as I saw his accident coming.
And I'm sorry, I don't like Laurel. I hope she becomes a super soldier too, with no emotion. She cries too much. I hate that she keeps bringing Tommy's dead. They were no longer dating.




Roy isn't going to be Arrow's nemesis, he is going to be his sidekick, Red Arrow.

@ justme

I don't think that going to be his first stop. He has some growing up to do before he partners with anybody. He thinks he can do it himself, and will even more now that he's supercharged.


Man! Olicity's chemistry was way off the charts in this episode!

@ Helena

Agreed. It was the best part.

@ Helena

What chemistry i don't see it but Oliver and Shado hell yes what a crying shame she is killed off

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Arrow Season 2 Episode 9 Quotes

Never meet your heroes, right?


Oliver: You told him who I am.
Felicity: Yeah, I did.
Oliver: That's not your secret to tell, Felicity. I decide who finds out my identity.