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As Oliver‘s (Stephen Amell) wounds are tended to by Maseo (Karl Yune) and Tatsu (Rila Fukushima), things continue to worsen back home in Starling City where Brickwell (Vinnie Jones) makes a brazen attack on city hall abducting three hostages in an attempt to blackmail the Mayor into giving the would be kingpin complete control of the Glades.

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Arrow returns with the fate of its star in doubt for much of the mid-season premiere. Three days without a word from Oliver (Stephen Amell) following his showdown with Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) makes both Diggle (David Ramsey) and Roy (Colton Haynes) begin to question whether or not their friend survived his encounter with the head of the League of Assassins. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) both continue to hold out hope, although even Felicity has trouble believing in the chance of Oliver’s miraculous return after receiving Malcolm Merlyn‘s (John Barrowman) evidence to the contrary.

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Arrow‘s mid-season premiere means revelations and new danger for Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) who is ordered by Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) to produce Sara‘s killer in 48 hours or the League of Assassin will start killing 50 citizens in Starling City to properly motivate him. Turning his attention back to Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), Green Arrow will make a heart-breaking discovery about his sister Thea (Willa Holland) in an episode that reasserts Meryln’s behind-the-scenes machinations and delivers us Oliver’s first confrontation with this season’s other main baddie: Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable).

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The second-half of The Flash/Arrow crossover brings Barry (Grant Gustin), Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) all to Starling City to help in the search for a former agent of Argus returned to take revenge on the organization that left him for dead. I’ll freely admit Captain Boomerang (Nick E. Tarabay) has one of the more ridiculous concepts of any Flash villain. He’s a killer with a boomerang fetish, but is that any more ridiculous than a hero with a bow and arrow? Presented here as a merciless and skilled killer as well as a battlefield technician whose arsenal includes several surprise trick boomerangs, the episode makes good use of the character by presenting him as a large enough threat that both heroes, and both supporting teams, are all needed to stop him.

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More than any episode of Arrow in recent memory, “Guilty” struggles with a pair of stories that move forward character development but struggle to in terms of creating a compelling hour of television. Much of the problem can be laid at the feet of J.R. Ramirez as Ted “Wildcat” Grant who is simply too young to sell the premise of the city’s long-forgotten vigilante when he’s basically the same age of as every member of Team Arrow rather than a contemporary of Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) which would make a hell of a lot more sense. The storyline involving gang members murdered in a manner to point the police in Wildcat’s direction is awkward because never once are we given any reason to suspect that he could be the person responsible (and proof of his innocence).

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The past comes back to haunt Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) in an episode that reveals a bit about Miss Smoak’s past and introduces the group to Felicity’s estranged mother (Charlotte Ross). Putting the show’s own spin on Brother Eye, Arrow chooses to use the concept as the brand of an unknown hacker (Nolan Gerard Funk) who has appropriated Felicity’s super-virus (which she created during her hacktavist college days) to take control of the city… and rob armored cars (you know, like super-villains do).

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arrow-season-two-blu-rayPast mistakes loom large in Season Two of Arrow as old friends and enemies make their way to Starling City and Oliver Queen‘s (Stephen Amell) journey from killer to vigilante to hero continues. Split between flashbacks from the island and his time in Starling City following the Undertaking, the show’s Second Season forces the Queen family to deal with ghosts from their past and the arrival of another madman who has plans to burn the city to the ground.

Much of the season revolves around Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) and Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) who returns home, much like Oliver, changed by her experiences following the shipwreck. Flashbacks deal with Slade’s exposure to the super-serum that makes him a mentally-unstable but nearly unbeatable warrior and the end of his friendship with Oliver. Slade’s arrival in Starling is slow to unfold, choosing to work through subordinates such as Brother Blood (Kevin Alejandro) to build an army of warriors and destroy the city Oliver swore to protect.

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In an episode used to continue to develop Arrow‘s supporting characters and move them a bit further on their journey to likely one-day becoming full members of Team Arrow, Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Roy (Colton Haynes) head down to Corto Maltese to convince Thea (Willa Holland) to return with them to Starling City unaware that she’s been living and training with her not-so-dead father Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) for the past several months. Doing a favor for Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson), Diggle (David Ramsey) accompanies the group to find a member of A.R.G.U.S. that turns out to be more complicated than he was led to believe and plants a seed of doubt about A.R.G.U.S. which may come to bloom later this season (especially if he learns of Ollie’s own experiences with the group).

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The death of Sara rocks the team as Oliver (Stephen Amell) hunts down assassin Simon Lacroix (Matt Ward) who has been hunting down and killing those involved in a lucrative oil deal with a bow and arrow and whose brand of weapon makes him the obvious suspect in Sara’s murder. The loss of Sara also heightens Oliver’s fears about not hearing from Thea (Willa Holland) who has been secretly training with her not-so-dead birth-father Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) over the past few months.

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Season Three starts with Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) finally at peace. Despite the death of his mother and the disappearance of his sister, Oliver’s life is back on track with Roy (Colton Haynes) taking on his new role of Arsenal helping gel the team into a cohesive unit. Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) not only has his old job back but a fancy new promotion which allows him to force the Starling City police force to officially recognize their hooded hero. Properly title “Calm,” the good times don’t last as the storm clouds on the horizon start rolling in leaving one member of Oliver’s extended family dead, another in the hospital, and any hope of Oliver getting control of his company or beginning a relationship with Felicity in ashes.

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