Arrow Recap: Did Laurel's Journey Just Begin?

Arrow Recap Sara Joins TeamThis week on The CW’s Arrow, Oliver Queen was in a very bad way in the wake of his mother Moira’s cold-blooded murder. In fact, he had gone AWOL, ultimately discovered in some “back-up” lair. (Thanks, A.R.G.U.S. and your nifty, Felicity-fetished computers!)

Yet even once found, Oliver was at a loss to process the tragedy laid at his feet as what he chalked up as the latest casualty of his not killing Slade years ago. Instead, he decided, the only course of action was to surrender himself to his tormentor. To give up his life.

But cooler heads intervened.

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Subdued with a doped-up dart before he could rendezvous with Slade, Oliver awoke in the Arrowcave — face to face with Laurel, who of course knew his secret but now reallllly knew it. What’s more, she came bearing vital intel — that Sebastian Blood is Slade’s puppet, freshly installed as mayor as result of Moira’s death. (Thanks, brightly flashing computer-snooping gizmo!)

Armed with this info, Oliver intercepts and taunts Sebastian some, but to little effect. Instead, Blood moves ahead with rallying the Mirakuru army, the first major step toward his restoring Starling City to the “jewel” it can be again. With Sara gone and Roy still incapacitated, Team Arrow 1.0 — Oliver, Diggle and Felicity — set out to stop Slade’s army in its tracks, literally, by dropping the street above onto them. In the course of infiltrating their sewee line-adjacent assembly room, Oliver loses the upper hand to a roaming grunt, but Laurel pops up uninvited and kinda sorta in a way saves his bacon, swinging a steel pipe. After Oliver properly fells the baddie, he and Laurel make a run for it, but not before Oliver sets off an explosion that implodes the tunnels.

And yet, the season-ending battle has just begun.

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This week’s episode, by and large, was set-up for the final two hours — next Wednesday’s 24-style, real-timey episode, which Oliver spends entirely in the Arrow suit, and then the finale. Yes, Slade’s subterranean army has been slowed, perhaps decimated. But there are super-strong minions all over the city — seizing the train station where Thea is about to bolt town, and the cop shop where Quentin’s being lobbed around like a sack of potato chips. Diggle, last we saw, has his hands full, ready to face off against the resurrected, Ravagered-out Isabel Rochev, who’s all too anxious (practically hissing/seething) to kill him as he “killed” her.

And Slade himself is somewhere out there, of course.

What did you think of “City of Blood” and the foundation it began laying for the finale? Were you glad to see the original trio manning the Arrowcave? And how are you feeling thus far about Laurel’s read-in?