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Five Things We Learned in Arrow “Blood Debts” 

Arrow is back and Felicity’s fate has been revealed! But that wasn’t the only thing that we learned in “Blood Ties.” For an episode that served to set up the rest of the season, it did a great job of picking up where we left off while also giving us tidbits to launch us in to 2016.

Photo Credit: Katie Yu/ The CW
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/ The CW

Here are the top five things we learned in this episode:

Felicity is Alive – Not a huge surprise, but still great news! That being said, there is a chance she may never walk again, but this show being what it is, I’m not entirely convinced of that quite yet. However, regardless of her new physical limitations, I loved seeing that Felicity is still Felicity and as quirky as ever.

Felicity: I have never been more ready to have a bunch of guys poking around inside me…doctors, doing doctor things.

With so many characters on this show allowing hardship to transform them, I was grateful that she didn’t go in to pity-mode and fall in to a dark hole (at least not yet, more on that later on). However it wasn’t just her quirky slip-ups that were back. Even in a hospital bed, she was still the moral-compass and rock that Oliver needed when he starts to veer off course.

Felicity: Tell me you haven’t gone off the rails?

Oliver: Well, it’s just I can’t help but think that the reason that Darhk is winning is because I haven’t been willing to go far enough and if I was, if I had, maybe you wouldn’t be in here right now. I don’t know the point of what I’m doing as the Green Arrow is if I can’t protect the people who are closest to me.

Felicity: What is the point of doing it if you lose yourself in the process?

She’s in a hospital bed, will likely never walk again and yet her concern is for Oliver’s emotional well-being. Amazing. If there is one thing that was repeated (and appropriately so) in this episode, it was that Felicity is strong. Stronger than everyone else. And I can’t argue. However, I do have to say that while I think she is strong of her own volition, another part of it may be because she has to be. Oliver choosing not to be by her side at the hospital (which I have to say she was RIDICULOUSLY understanding about) is clearly a sign he’s not handling her predicament nearly as well. To be fair, Oliver doubting and punishing himself is nothing new. He does it all the time. In fact, I’m more surprised when he’s not doing it. But in this case, I can’t entirely blame him. When your loved one gets severely injured because of something you’ve done, guilt and doubt is bound to set in. But as Felicity pointed out before the break, she knows what she’s getting in to and it’s her choice. Not to mention that unless you have a time machine, wallowing in the past isn’t going to do you any good. No matter what he does, he can’t changed what happened and as Felicity said, if he loses himself in the process, what’s the point?

Photo Credit: Katie Yu/ The CW
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/ The CW

That being said, Felicity wasn’t the only one to call him out on this. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’m thrilled that Oliver and Diggle are back together and seem to have each other’s backs again. But another part of this friendship that I always loved is Diggle’s no-bullshit policy. He calls out Oliver when needed and in this case, reminding him of where he’s come from and what he could go back to was much needed.

Diggle: Oliver, I know you’re hurting, man. But you should know, whatever your play is, I got your back.

Oliver: But?

Diggle: But you’ve come so far, Oliver. You recovered a humanity that you lost when I first met you. I know you want payback for what Darhk did to Felicity. And you should. But don’t lose what made her fall in love with you in the first place.

A totally valid point. Felicity fell for him because is he good and cares about people and does the right thing. So if he loses himself, he may lose Felicity and then what will this all of have been for? Or at least for now…as the cemetery flash forward showed us, things appear to be very different 4 months down the line, which is a perfect segue to my next reveal.

There’s A Game-Changer On The Way – As the first episode of this season showed us, four months down the road we will be in a graveyard where Oliver is on a mission to kill.

Oliver: “Now I know it’s not my fault. It’s my responsibility…to end it. I’m gonna kill him.”

Early on there was suspicion that Felicity was in that grave, but now we know that’s not the case. However, even though she is still alive, she’s not the same. She’s crossed over to Team Take-Him-Out (a big change from the current timeline) and clearly has no qualms about it.

Felicity: “You know what you have to do, right? You have to kill this son of a bitch.”

I don’t know who’s in the grave (it BETTER NOT be Diggle!) or who the “son of a bitch” may be (Darhk seems too obvious), but if it’s significant enough to bring Felicity to the dark side, it’s clearly not another one of Oliver’s mood swings or personal vendettas. It’s serious.

Andy Is Not Totally Lost, But He’s Also Not Totally Good – First off, I love that Lyla convinced Diggle to approach Andy as his brother and not as a ghost. Diggle has clearly been seeing Andy as an enemy (and one that he is personally responsible for) all along, which has not only gotten him nowhere, but has also clearly weighed on him, so it was nice to see Lyla finally call that to his attention. However, when he approached Andy as a brother and Andy was suddenly game to help, I definitely has a total “bullshit!” moment. It just didn’t seem real. Andy has been such a stronghold all this time, he wouldn’t suddenly cave, right?! And then, with his final line, it all made sense.

Andy: Back for more? Does beating up your little brother give you a little thrill?

Diggle: I’m not proud of what I did, Andy. In fact, I’m ashamed of it.

Andy: You, John? Mr High and Mighty? Do you remember the last time you beat on me until your knuckles bled?

Diggle: Yea, I do. Ten years ago when I found out you were dealing.

Andy: Yea. You convinced me to enlist. To go straight and narrow like my big brother. And I tried. Honestly, I tried, man. Enough to fool you. It’s just not who I was. But this has always been about you, John. Cause I’m such an embarrassment. My bad deeds look bad on you.

Diggle: Andy, no, that’s not true. I did what I did because I love you, man. No, I do Andy. Then. Now. Andy, you’re still my little brother, who I stayed up late playing cards with. If you’re going through this, that’s on me. But do you really think Damien Darhk gives a damn about you?

Andy: He believes the world needs a reset and honestly, John, after what we witnessed in Afghanistan, can you tell me otherwise?

Diggle: Okay, so you and Darhk are burning the village in order to save it, I get that. Malcolm Merlyn was talking the same tune. But Andy, Darhk hurt a friend of mine, a close friend. A woman better than you and me put together. It doesn’t matter if Darhk wants to save the world, he crossed a line!! So I’m asking you, Andy, begging you, man, brother to brother, where can I find Darhk?

Andy: He, um, use to talk about Stonehaven. About how the leaves look there in autumn.

Diggle: Thanks, Andy.
Andy: Don’t thank me, you’re ashamed. Now we’re even.

So I don’t know if it’s better or worse that he disclosed the information in an attempt to stick it to Diggle, but the fact that the intel was actually legit makes me think that Andy does have some humanity in him, regardless of his motives. Obviously I don’t expect him to come around instantly, but I like this new dynamic developing between him and Diggle. Not to mention that he thought he was fighting for a good cause. Granted, most of us would agree that killing people in order to save people isn’t logical, but the idea of “saving” is in there and does, in some twisted way, make it a little less sinister. And if a few hands of cards can help Diggle to understand where Andy is coming from and who he is really is, maybe it can do the same for Andy.

Oliver’s Tattoo Glows – I don’t know what this means or what that fancy red orb thing was that Reiter was holding, but I’ll admit, I’m interested to find out. This season’s island flashbacks haven’t really played in to the current timeline or shown a lot of relevance yet as they have in past seasons, so I’m ready to see how this all comes back around.

Damien Darhk’s Wife Is Suspicious – VERY suspicious. As soon as we saw her in that limo, it became obvious that she’s more than just a Christmas-tree-trimming house wife. She was just saved by the vigilantes and she was pissed about it. Even Darhk had enough decency to let the Green Arrow spend another few weeks with his family in return for saving his wife and daughter. But this lady, not so. She knows something. And has some power. I don’t know what all that means for Team Green Arrow, but she doesn’t seem like someone you want to mess with.

Be sure to catch Arrow Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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