Arrow Midseason Finale recap and
Oliver’s plan to clean up the Star City bay continues with a literal organized clean up. It’s cut short as a drone from Damien Darhk opens fire on the volunteers, luckily without killing anyone. At the Arrow Cave, Oliver is asked for a statement for the media but is too busy in Green Arrow mode to deliver on. He knows that Darhk has some kind of plan with the bay and enlists Diggle to ask Andy what it is. Diggle goes to see his caged brother again and yells at him for destroying his family and asks him to redeem himself, but Andy just stonewalls him. On the island, Oliver and Taiana hike through the woods and Ollie convinces her to go after Reiter and Conklin by taking what they want instead of outright killing them.
Felicity goes to the loft where her mother is putting together decorations for Oliver’s Holiday Party and stumbles upon an unexpected decoration, an engagement ring. The cat’s out of the bag. Back at the bay, Oliver holds a press conference where Team Arrow shows support for what he’s about to do, and his big plan is this: reveal Damien Darhk to the world. Afterward at the Arrow Cave, Oliver tries to cancel the holiday party but is convinced to keep it going to show he’s not afraid of Darhk. Back on the island, Oliver and Taiana make it to the water where they find the wreckage of the Amazo from season two.
Thea gets ready for the holiday party when Merlyn enters her apartment and expresses his concern with Damien Darhk, though Thea remains convinced her encounter with him “cured her.” At the party, Felicity is even more fidgety than usual where everything reminds her that Oliver is planning on proposing; namely Curtis and his husband plus her mother and Captain Lance. She confronts Oliver about this and he starts to talk about how they’ve changed, just as gunfire rings out and Damien Darhk enters. He tells Oliver he’s going to punish him by punishing the ones he cares about before sending him flying through an office window. When Ollie wakes up, he realizes that Darhk has taken not only Felicity but Thea and Diggle too.
Ollie tasks Lance with finding out everything he can and then goes on a beat ’em up spree, with no results. Laurel reveals later that their Damien Darhk tip line had no results, but she won’t give up and she won’t let Oliver feel sorry for himself. She gets a text about the tip line and heads to SCPD where her father is barking orders all around. The pair go in a private room and she confronts him about working with Darhk. He admits to it but also reveals Oliver already knew and that he ‘s kept it up to help Ollie. Both of them go to the Arrow Cave after being summoned by Oliver, who is still at a loss. Merlyn enters, surprising Lance, and reveals he has one of the HIVE phones which can be used to contact Darhk. Oliver takes the phone proclaiming he’ll end this. Darhk meets with his cabal of cohorts when his phone rings and goes to meet Oliver in a dimly-lit park, vowing he hasn’t yet made his point to Ollie. Back on the island, Oliver dives down to the Amazo wreckage.
Darhk brings Oliver to HIVE HQ and waxes poetic about the existence of Nazis in the mid 20th century and also gas chambers. He goes on to demonstrate a gas he’s created by killing a volunteer in front of Oliver, saying it’s part of the plan Oliver will help them enact when they set him up as mayor. Laurel suits up in the Arrow Cave and has a talk with her father that she can make her own decisions and doesn’t always need his protection. Damien takes Oliver through the bowels of their HQ and reunites him with Felicity where they go from crying about almost dying to crying because they love each other. Such is the life of a superhero. Oliver opens up a little chest inside the Amazo and swims back to shore, only to have a shark give chase. Just a regular shark, not King Shark. Not yet at least.
Oliver and Felicity are brought back into the main room where Darhk throws her into a gas chamber with Thea and Diggle. Ollie tries to talk Darhk out of doing it, but he says that with all of them alive that gives Oliver something to fight for, which he can’t allow. The gas begins to enter the small glass room, Laurel appears and lets out her Canary cry. She jumps down to engage the Ghosts along with Malcolm Merlyn in the Green Arrow outfit. Laurel uses the cry again to crack the glass and Oliver helps his friends out. Merlyn confronts Darhk, who really does think he’s Green Arrow, and they come to blows, but Darhk begins to force choke him. Oliver dives in for the rescue though. Team Arrow runs for the exits, but an alarm blares and sets all of Darhk’s “volunteers” free, and a brawl begins, as one should expect. Lance and some cops show up to provide support too, and they manage to take them down. As Darhk begins to beat the snot out of Oliver, Merlyn hits him with two arrows and plants an explosive arrow next to him, which erupts in the biggest explosion any of those particular arrows have ever had.
Though they managed to get away, Oliver and Thea aren’t so sure that Darhk didn’t somehow get away. Thea then asks if they’re still going to the “thing,” prompting Felicity to tell Oliver he’s not the only one that can keep a secret. Our final island flashback sees Oliver get out of the water, revealing the off-screen shark attack gave him one of his many scars, only to be confronted by Conklin and other guards. Darhk and his buddies enter a room in the facility which is filled with acres of plants and breathable air, buried under the city. What’s it for? Who knows. The real surprise is that Alex arranged for Oliver to give a speech to the city and light the Christmas tree. He gives a speech and lights it up before taking his cue and finally proposing to Felicity, who accepts. The pair drive away in a limo. Darhk meanwhile enters a home where a little girl and woman we’ve never seen decorate a tree, and we realize they’re his family. As a dour rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” plays, Felicity and Oliver’s limo is blocked by some vans and shot up by the Ghosts. Oliver sneaks into the front and manages to drive away, but when he exits and opens the back door he finds a bloody and unconscious Felicity.
You can watch a promo for the return of Arrow on Wednesday, January 20th using the player below!