The holidays are often a time for reflections, realizations and, of course, resolutions.
Oliver set out to make things right with his family on "Year's End" by re-starting the annual Queen Christmas party that Moira and Thea stopped having five years earlier.
However, there was somebody out there who was not happy with The Hood and set out to make his holiday a little less merry.
However, let's face it, things were far from perfect before the guests even arrived for the party. The episode opened with one of Oliver's very first victim from the list, Adam Hunt. This time, Hunt faced a harsher fate than having $40 million taken from his bank account. The copycat archer killed Hunt with a couple of very fancy and intense arrows to the chest. Serrated teflon-coated titanium blades are more than just fancy, they're meant to make a statement.
It's interesting that Laurel and Quentin both automatically knew that the person going around killing people wasn't the real vigilante. Even though Quentin obviously has the advantage of seeing the weapons, the way the victims were taken down, and other details only the police would be privy to, it was obvious that they both just had a sixth sense about this. As much as Quentin hates The Hood, he isn't too proud to reject his help and work with him.
When Diggle and Oliver discussed the copycat, Diggle posed an interesting question.
Is this guy trying to frame you or call you out? | permalink
It was more like he was trying to lure Oliver out. Since we now know the copycat is the person who made the list, why would he be trying to kill people off of it? As Merlyn said to Moira, things were only getting worse and it was time to send in their "associate." Well... before I could ask who that associate was, Meryln was pulling off his mask.
For all the comic book fans, there was clear foreshadowing to this, but for the rest of us it was obviously slightly shocking. Just how much does Mr. Merlyn control? And how did he become some skilled with a bow and arrow?
The dinner party scene was a little creepy the first time around, just because you know half the people at that table were criminals and had dark secrets. But once the episode finished and the Dark Archer was revealed, it was even more chilling to go back and watch. What do you think of Mr. Merlyn's coining of the term "Green Arrow" as The Hood's new nickname? Does he know that it's Oliver?
In the end, Oliver felt more defeated than ever despite having saved the five hostages. He has a new nemesis who - unbeknownst to him - is his best friend's father. Only time will tell when Oliver connects the Dark Archer with the list. Also time will tell us exactly how Oliver, pre-Arrow, was able to help his friend on the island. After all, wasn't that what he was alluding to when he told Diggle he'd faced much harder things on the island than in Starling City?
What did you all think of the mid-season finale of Arrow? Did it live up to your expectations? Where is Walter? Will you be tuning in in 2013?