Any good journalist never buries the lead so you would think I would begin this recap of Arrow’s season 3 mid-season finale with the three most important things that happened but any good recapper will save the best for last.
Note that throughout this episode, we see Oliver climbing up a side of a snowy and cold mountain with no proper shoes, gloves or equipment. Oliver’s climb takes place 48 hours after the majority of the events of the episode.
Laurel and the Lance Family
Laurel is at Sara’s grave talking to her and wishing her a Merry Christmas. Thea is also at the cemetery visiting her mom and wonder what Laurel is doing there. Laurel confesses she likes to come her to talk to Sara. Thea thinks it is strange to do that when Sara is alive. With keeping the fact that Sara is dead from so many people, Laurel tells Thea that Sara is dead and was murdered. Thea is shocked to hear to this and offers her condolences.
When Laurel goes to see her father about some police matters, she is surprised to see her mom there. Lance has surprised Laurel with her mother to help cheer her up. Dinah is happy to spending Christmas with her family but wonders where Sara is as she isn’t returning her calls. Lance and Laurel tell Dinah that she is travelling, backpacking in the Andes.
Later over coffee, Dinah knows that Laurel is keeping a huge secret from her. Dinah tells Laurel it is her mother’s intuition that led her to be right that Sara is alive and that she will see her again but she is also now getting the feeling that she won’t be seeing Sara again. Laurel then tells her mother that Sara was murdered by some really dangerous men.
Laurel takes Dinah to Sara’s grave and she shares a childhood story of how Laurel and Sara would dress up and pretend to be grown up versions of themselves where Laurel was a cop and Sara a doctor as she wanted to save people. Laurel promises her mom that she will find out who killed Sara.
Hong Kong Flashback
Oliver has returned to Maseo and Tatsu’s after torturing the man from the last episode. Oliver learns that China White is after a bio weapon. So Maseo and Oliver go to the lab to find it but it is already gone. Looking at surveillance footage, they see that the doctor took it for China White.
Maseo captures the doctor and Oliver tortures him with the bow and arrow but the doctor says nothing, claiming he has done nothing. Maseo believes that the doctor was given a drug made from a plant that controls people and causes memory loss of their actions later (how convenient). This plant becomes vitally important later.
Then Maseo worries about China White finding the, which she sort of does. China White goes to the apartment where Tatsu and Akio are. Tatsu gets Akio to run and she and China White engage in a katana sword fight. When Maseo comes home, he sees the aftermath. Akio comes running out and says that China White took his mother.
Felicity and Ray
Felicity is leaving her office when Ray comes in wanting to talk to her about some work stuff. Felicity is avoiding Ray and he knows that it is about the kiss. Felicity doesn’t really want to talk about it as she believes that Ray regrets it and doesn’t want it mentioned again. Before any further discussion can be had, Felicity gets a 911 from Oliver (more on that later).
When Ray pings Felicity’s phone at Verdant, the two do have the talk. Ray says he doesn’t regret the kiss but felt guilty. The reason being was that he had a fiancee, Anna. The two were caught up with Slade Wilson’s Mirakuru soliders. Ray tried to fight them off but wasn’t strong enough One broke his leg while another snapped Anna’s neck. Ray thought that Anna would be last person that she kissed but then he kissed Felicity.
Later, Felicity knows there is more to Ray’s story so she visits him at his office and asks him why he bought Queen’s Consolidated. Ray says because it was for sale but Felicity wants answers and is about to walk away when Ray decides to show her why. Ray talks about the first super computer and how it was as big as Texas but eventually is shrunk in size. Ray further talks about more shrinking technology and shows her the ATOM suit and tells Felicity that he wants to use it to save people and wants Felicity’s help, where she hilariously says under her breath why does this always happen to her.
Finally we get to…
Oliver and Ra’s Al Ghul
The Arrow has a Christmas gift for Lance, another criminal. Lance is happy for the gift. When the Arrow goes to leave, he thinks that Malcolm Merlyn is ready to pick a fight with him but alas it is the League of Assassins and Nyssa. Nyssa has come to give Oliver a warning: he has 48 hours to find Sara’s killer or the League will start killing 50 people in Starling City. And the League member that is going to do the killing, a man called Sarab. When he reveals his face, it is Maseo. Maseo later tells Oliver that after the incident in Hong Kong, he traveled to Nanda Parpat and arrived the same time as Sara.
The 911 for Felicity was getting her to the Arrow Cave to figure out who killed Sara. After a quick call to Caitlin in STAR Labs (where we see a newspaper story on the computer screen about the Reverse Flash attack), we get the DNA results. Sara’s killer is Oliver Queen.
Oliver thinks that it is Malcolm Merlyn that is the one behind the killing and even planted arrows with his DNA on it to point the finger at him.
But Diggle says that Merlyn was in Corto Maltese when Sara was killed so he couldn’t have done it. However, Felicity finds out that Malcolm did indeed leave Corto for Starling City, arriving the day before Sara was killed. So Arrow and Arsenal confront the private jet pilot that took Malcolm. who gives them security footage. The footage shows that Malcolm wasn’t alone but Thea also joined him.
Diggle believes that Thea could have killed Sara since they are siblings, they share some DNA as that could explain why Oliver’s DNA came up as a match. Felicity believes it could be true based on her autopsy of Sara. Oliver doesn’t believe so goes home to ask Thea, who is trimming the Christmas tree, about being in Starling City and being with Malcolm. Thea lies and says that she was never in Starling City in October but was in Corto Maltese and also lies about connecting with Malcolm.
At the Arrow Cave, Oliver tells his team how Thea lied to him but still believes that Malcolm is the one pulling the strings. Felicity suggests to confront Thea not as Oliver but as the Arrow, so he does just that. The Arrow crashes through the balcony windows and wants to know about Malcolm Merlyn. Thea at first is cowering but then throw the broken glass in the Arrow’s face and fights him. They fight for a bit and Thea tells the Arrow to leave her dad alone and she leaves through the busted window and leaps over the balcony.
In the morning at Verdant, Malcolm has come because Thea told him about her encounter with the Arrow. Oliver is pissed at him for what he has turned Thea into and is willing to rescind his no kill policy. But Malcolm shows Oliver a video that clearly shows Thea killing Sara. Malcolm says that he used the mind control drug on Thea. Malcolm tells Oliver that if Ra’s Al Ghul finds out that Thea killed Sara, he will kills her. So Malcolm wants Oliver to confess to Ra’s that he killed Sara because then he can challenge Ra’s to a duel.
On Nanda Parbat, we see Ra’s going through some training exercise that involve him killing all participants. Nyssa visits her father, where he gives his daughter the ultimatum to give to Oliver.
With Ra’s now in Starling City, Nyssa arranges a meeting for Oliver and he to meet. In this meeting, Oliver confesses that he killed Sara and challenges him to a duel. Ra’s says he hasn’t been challenged for 67 years and gives Oliver 12 hours to settle his affairs and to meet him atop a mountain, if he survives the climb.
So Oliver goes to Thea and tells her that Malcolm doesn’t love her. Thea says that Malcolm is the only family she has left outside of him. Their conversation ends with Oliver telling his sister that he loves her and the two hug.
Back at the Arrow Cave, Oliver is packing for his journey. Diggle wishes he could go with him while Oliver tells Roy to keep an eye on Thea.
Felicity comes back from Palmer Technologies and when the two are left alone, Felicity tells Oliver that he needs to kill Ra’s. Oliver says that he can beat him. Felicity isn’t worried about that but that Ra’s will use his humanity against him. Oliver doesn’t know if he is a killer anymore but knows two things. 1) He will do anything to protect his sister and 2) he loves her. OLICITY!!!!! (But I kind of like Felicity with Ray too!)
So Oliver does survive the climb and according to Matseo, it is tradition that the fight without shirts (works for me). Oliver chooses two swords to fight with and waits for Ra’s. While Ra’s gets ready, he talks about his first kill at 11-years old. When Ra’s is ready, he has no weapon and tells Oliver that he will just take one of his. The two start their fight and as promised Ra’s does take one of Oliver’s swords. The two engage in an epic sword fight where Oliver gets sliced in one arm. Oliver can’t seem get a beat on Ra’s and soon enough, Ra’s has him near the mountain’s ledge. Ra’s slices him on his side and punches Oliver in the throat, knocking him on his knees. Ra’s then stabs Oliver in the chest and pushes him off the mountain to his death.
So ends episode 9. Of course Oliver isn’t dead but who rescues him? We will find out on January 21, 2015.