Bettina Strauss / The CW

Arrow Goes Behind The Mask

Secret identities get blown away all over the place as Arrow goes into its midseason break.

I was wondering whether Arrow was going to explain Supergirl's whole deal. Because if you don't watch any of the other DC shows on the CW, she just showed up out of nowhere last week, demonstrated a bunch of cool powers, and then vanished. And she wasn't mentioned at all this week, which is a fun way to approach things. They briefly mentioned "Flashpoint" and the concept of alternate realities, but they didn't explore them in any detail. Because that stuff is for other shows. Arrow was designed for gritty vigilantes, occasional quips, and tragic love affairs.

After last week's crossover madness, this was a return to core Arrow values. All aliens were moved to the side so the Prometheus storyline could move forward. And now we know who Prometheus really is: someone we've never heard of before. It's nice to have that taken care of, right?

How Arrow-y was Arrow?

Arrow-ish Element Present?
Trick Arrow When Evelyn makes her move to join Prometheus's side against Oliver, she delivers a speech about how Oliver isn't really a hero. Then she points her arrow at the ground and it turns out to be a flash grenade or something. It blinds everybody for a fraction of a second, which is long enough for Evelyn and Prometheus to vanish. It's just like a ninja's smoke bomb, but in arrow form!
Oliver Queen: A Jerk A lot of the emotional heavy lifting in this episode came from Curtis and Felicity, and for once they weren't crying about something mean Oliver said to them.
Comic book reference Lamb Valley, home of the tuberculosis outbreak four years ago, was "detailed in the pages of the Green Arrow collected edition Straight Shooter," according to Wikipedia. So that's exciting news for fans of that particular collected edition.
Someone walks into the Arrowlair without warning. What the...that's Laurel Lance! She's supposed to be dead! Even her showing up in the flashbacks didn't tip me off that she might return. This is a little different from the usual intruder situation, since she's probably not here to attack anyone. But it still counts.
Flashback scenes mirror the present day. Oliver's adventures in Russia are on hold this week so we can have flashbacks of the Hood menacing Justin Claybourne in Star City during season one. It's all 100% relevant to the show in a way that messing around with Dolph Lundgren is not. Oliver even remembers a street address immediately after learning about it in a flashback. And then it gets to the point where modern-day Oliver is walking through the same halls as Flashback Oliver and stepping over the bodies of the people he killed four years earlier. They're very well preserved!
Things get gory. Lots of death, some blood, not really that much gore.
The Only Hospital Room In Town Finally! Don't get me wrong. I feel bad for Curtis for getting a throwing star in his shoulder, but I am delighted to see that he was taken to the best darn recuperation setting around. He even got an important emotional moment with his justifiably suspicious boyfriend Paul, which is one of the recognized uses for that set.
Someone gets kidnapped Billy Malone finally did something interesting! Unfortunately, what he did was get himself captured by Prometheus so he could be set up to be killed by Oliver. That's a bummer. It would be a bigger bummer if he had ever made an impression aside from being Felicity's offscreen boyfriend, but Felicity still seemed pretty sad about it. It's a rough day for rarely seen love interests, since Curtis had to deal with Paul leaving him.
Someone goes shirtless. i don't remember anyone going shirtless. A lot of the episode was set at various Christmas parties, and I think I'd remember if someone had stripped down at them. So instead of going back and checking, I'll just assume I'm right. No shirtlessness!
6 / 9
Final Score
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