Arrow Recap: Happy Father's Day...?

Arrow Recap Malcolm Merlyn ReturnsThe CW’s Arrow this Wednesday set the stage for its Season 2 finale, raising the question (as Twitter follower Michel aptly put it): “If this is the penultimate episode, what is the finale gonna be like?!”

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Picking up immediately after last week’s episode, at the close of which Oliver dropped a street on some of Slade’s army, Oliver found himself separated from Laurel by a heap of rubble. Cue the Laurel With a Bow photo that launched 1,000 comments, as Oliver guided her to launch an arrow bomb into the debris, creating an exit for her. (Special bonus: Oliver briefly explained how a compound bow is easy to pull back. Where is this guy in the Comments section when we need him?)

Once back on the streets, Oliver and Laurel met up with Dig and Felicity (the latter of which plowed her van into Ravager/Isabel, to save Dig’s bacon. Cool/fun, yes, and accompanied by a zinger, but woulda been nice to see Dig actually hold his own for a bit longer.) The good news? STAR Labs has created a Mirakuru cure. The bad news: The courier’s car crashed, the driver injured — and Slade listened in on the call. Slade’s goons thus intercept the package, but Sebastian Blood — after failing to keep a Mirakuru’d marauder from snapping the DA’s neck, and realizing Slade has zero plans for Starling City to live on — ultimately gets the cure into Team Arrow’s hands, even at the cost of his own life (as Isabel drove a sword through him).

But can the cure be trusted? Oliver hesitates to use Roy as a lab rat, but towards episode’s end, after he gets word that A.R.G.U.S. troops have cordoned off the city and plan to turn it onto a “crater” at dawn, he jabs the needle into Roy….

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Elsewhere in the thrilling, “big”-feeling hour:

* After leaving Oliver to do his Arrow thing, Laurel bumps into Canary (which we learn is the translation of the name given Sara by the League of Assassins) — and promptly hugs her sister and welcomes her back. Laurel then delivers one of her, “You are a hero” pep talks. Sara’s skeptical, but proves her mettle when she rushes into a burning building to save a small child. (And somehow her wig didn’t go up in flames ASAP. Must be quality stuff.) Oh, and Quentin got his badge back, once the boss guy realized he knows what the hell is going on and knows how to maybe fix it!

* When Oliver launches into one of his Monologues of Self-Doubt, listing all of those he has failed — the entire city of Starling included — Felicity steers the boy back onto the right track with an impassioned speech. A really terrific bit of work by Emily Bett Rickards.

* And last but far from least — hell, he’s the photo up above!  — Malcolm Merlyn resurfaces just in time to save Thea’s life at the train station (“I’m her father” — chills). Thea, though, is in no mood to deliver an early Father’s Day card. And even after Malcolm saves her, again, from a Mirakuru’d thug, Thea’s not feeling the warm fuzzies. And as the hour closes, she fires a gun at dear ol’ Dad….

What did you think of “Streets of Fire”? How do you think Team Arrow will administer the cure to four dozen grunts? I’m picturing the climax of Despicable Me 2.