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Recent revelations and uncovered secrets prove to have consequences which will begin with Thea (Willa Holland) turning Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) over to Nyssa (Katrina Law) and the League of Assassins and lead Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey) to Nanda Parbat and face-to-face with Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) who, rather than torture the archer (as he’s done with Merlyn), makes Ollie an offer he may not be able to refuse.

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In an episode that flips the format of the show’s First Season Oliver (Stephen Amell) returns to the island in the present along with Thea (Willa Holland) while we see lengthy flashbacks to Ollie working in Starling City for Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) during his missing years. The island storyline allows for the return of Deathstroke (Manu Bennett), who was freed from the A.R.G.U.S. cell by Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) to teach Ollie and Thea a lesson, and another secret falling by the wayside as Thea learns just what a bastard her biological father truly is.

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No more secrets. Finding a way to work through major plot points naturally over the course of a single episode “Canaries” continues a shift in the show as Oliver (Stephen Amell) must face the fact that the war on crime in Starling City isn’t only his any more. It takes a fight with Laurel (Katie Cassidy), an argument with Roy (Colton Haynes), and some sound advice by Diggle (David Ramsey) to force the green-hooded hero to realize the city and team he’s returned to isn’t the same one he left.

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As Oliver (Stephen Amell) makes his journey home Arsenal (Colton Haynes), Canary (Katie Cassidy), Diggle (David Ramsey), and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) try to keep Starling City from falling into chaos. With the police removed from the Glades Brickwell (Vinnie Jones) continues to tighten his grip on the city. However, the would-be kingpin’s past will come to bite him in the ass when Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) discovers the identity of Brick’s first victim. While the episode doesn’t deliver the teased team-up of Merlyn and Team Arrow in the end it offers the beginning of something even more intriguing in a partnership of sorts between Thea‘s (Willa Holland) brother and father.

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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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