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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.

Barry

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!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (149 Votes)

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

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Sarah silva

This was a great episode!
I loved seeing Tommy.
I was not expecting Shado to be dead!
I knew Slade would be in Starling City but I did not think he would be the one Brother Blood was working for and the one going after Oliver. I guess Slade blames Oliver for Shado's death. It is a little surprising as they were best friends and close on the island.
Oliver helping Roy when he was shot with the Arrow was a great scene.
I am super excited for the Flash pilot and hope it makes it to series, that will make a great combo in the fall if it works out.
I am proud of myself for predicting last week that the bald guy was the one in the mask that they were all after.
I loved Barry pointing out that the war paint was not a good disguise, but at the end I laughed because even though the eye mask Barry made is cool, it does not disguise him anymore than the green paint did.

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slade's new look is classic how much will the miracle changes peoples character and i am sure shado isn't completely dead because Sarah asks about her and yes don't forget shado's hallucinations are not as dark as slades so this it is oliver who didn't want to continue their realtion ship i am sure their would robert queen jr

Spindae 2o

Just when I thought the show couldn't get any better they digged pretty deep again.
The flashbacks were better than ever. Ivo was pretty devious and I agree I wanted Shado to die in a more heroic way, but again this isn't a show about Shado they put all the preassure on Oliver.
The present time Love triangle was amazing. Barry standing up for Felicity was great even though he was shitting his pants. His talk with Felicity was awesome and pushed things in the right direction
John in action was priceless, I love them not be so passive and being are real team.
I missed Laurel last week and loved her carring today, it's so season 1. But poor Katie she looks like she doesn't eat at all. I already feel sorry for her getting hurt and probably obducted by Blood. But I hope for real character development in the 2nd part of the season.
Oh dear Oliver who wouldn't love you. He is quite the perfect guy. Stephen is putting it all out there and I love how he is still developing. But bringing back Tommy in his greatest need was just a tremendous move. I get killing Tommy was development wise the right thing but I really miss him.
I'm excited for Roy, Colton is a good actor and besides having the perfect face he will show of a great development. I'm just worried how they will handle Roy probably be stronger than Oli.
I didn't expect Slade to appear before season end, just an other sign that the writers aren't writing to fit a season ending but see it fit the real development.
The ending Barry scene was quite impressing, I like the writers are slowly approaching the supernatural. So after these events I believe Barry will be in a coma in the begging of the pilot.

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All things considered, the options were very limited for who could be responsible for Brother Blood and the mirakuru arriving in Starling City. It was going to be Slade and/or Ivo based on how last week's episode played out. The fact that Slade is in present day Starling City certainly makes things much more interesting. Especially when you take into account that we'll be seeing Malcolm again.

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I love Flash and I'd love to see the character have it's own show but I am not a fan of the actor they chose. I hope they will consider other actors if they decide to turn it into a series. Everyone wanted Justin for Arrow and look how awesome Stephen is. That's just my hope which probably won't happen since people seem to be happy with Grant Gustin. I don't think he has leading man material but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Ronald simkins

I think that Grant Gustin has found his perfect character! Flash would be a great asset to the CW. Hope they follow thru with the show. Of course this was a major Arrow episode, Roy gets kicked up a notch as does Oliver thanks to Barry.

Marissa

Great episode. The second I saw Shado I knew she was dead but I didn't think she would of died by being executed I thought it would be more heroic and to save everyone else because she always seemed like that's the kind of person she would be. I can't wait to see what happens to Roy and what he does with his knew powers. At the end I knew it was Slade because I recognized his voice and let me just say he and Oliver have a very interesting friendship. I can't wait till the show starts up again I really want to know what's going to happen next and I also can't wait to see the flash episode because I wanna see more Barry.

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@ marissa

Yeah me too. The way she died was... lame. I thought she was going to die in battle or something.

Fearless diva

See? If they weren't going with Olicity during Slade's monologue then instead of passing Felicity they would have used Laurel when Slade is talking about the people Oliver loves. Furthermore, the whole conversation between Barry and Felicity was an even bigger give away! lol I'm not crazy! Anyways, seeing what happened to Barry makes me happy but at the same time kind of anxious. I kind of hope they do a special of sorts to test the waters with the pilot. But, I don't mind the wait cause I'm already hooked.

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@ Fearless Diva

Slade is using Blood to get close to Laurel to hurt Ollie

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This episode was fantastic in not only the way that it revealed that Shado was dead, Slade was alive, and the creation of the Flash. But for me personally as a fan of Olicity, there were so many fantastic scenes. For me personally the best scene had to be the hug at the end.

Arrow Season 2 Episode 9 Quotes

Never meet your heroes, right?

Felicity

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.