The Arrow returned after it’s midseason break after leaving us on a pretty big cliffhanger. Prepare yourselves for that “lighthearted and fun” season the writers told us we were getting, because when it does come it’ll be a pretty big surprise. Spoilers ahoy!

We return to the graveside we saw in the season premiere. Ollie is standing over it, brooding as he does. Barry joins him.

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Ollie: I know it’s now my fault. It’s my responsibility.

Barry: Responsibility to do what?

Ollie: To end it.

“I’ve got all the support I need right here.”

Then were at the hospital, where Felicity is in critical condition. Her entrance to the hospital is broken up with flashes of Ollie beating the hell out of Darhk’s goons looking for him. Darhk’s gone to ground though.

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Laurel suggests that the team go and see Felicity, who is about to go into surgery again. Ollie insists that Felicity would rather him go and find Darhk, and he wants to use Andy to do it, despite Digg’s objections.

The team does visit Felicity, who does seem to be okay with Ollie out on his mission and not there, but she also doesn’t seem to be too worried about her condition.

Ollie goes to Lance, and wants to turn over his finial card. Lance give Ollie the address of where to find Darhk. Lance now cannot return home, because now Darhk will know that Lance turned on him. Ollie says he won’t have to hide for long. When Ollie get to the location though, someone else has already taken out Darhk’s men and left a calling card.

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Machin is also after Darhk, and he’s one step ahead of Team Arrow.

Laurel and Thea are at the hospital talking about the case, and Thea says how she’s worried about Machin. She also confides in Laurel what happened when she ran into Darhk, and how her bloodlust subsided.

“You’re the one who saved me from myself.”

Lance gives Team Arrow their next solid lead. The blood Machin used to create his graffiti at the crime scene wasn’t from the ghosts. It was from his former foster parents, who went missing three days ago. They guess that since his foster parents are gone that the house is empty and it would make a good hideout for him.

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They head to the house, and it’s filled with trash, flies, and some bad graffiti. They find a person as well, sitting and watching TV. The wall behind said TV opens and proceeds to fire automatic weapons at the team based on a motion sensor.

Then Speedy finds herself face to face with Machin, who says he doesn’t want to kill Speedy, saying that she’s the one who saved him. She readies an arrow, but before she can loose, Black Canary lets out a Canary Cry and Green Arrow knocks him unconscious.

We get to hear Felicity give the line of the night: (She’s almost as good as Cisco now.)

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“Aren’t we ricking some crazy Bond villain stupidity here?”

The team ties up Machin at a warehouse so Green Arrow can interrogate him, despite the other team members dissent. He begins to ‘interrogate’, but Speedy pulls him aside and says Felicity is out of surgery, and something is wrong. Ollie dashes away.

Baptism by fire is what Machin says is what Speedy gave him. He tries to goad her into killing him, taunting her saying that she isn’t really in control. He’s definitely got some creepy stalker type vibes towards Speedy at this point. She almost looks like she’s going to give in when the police arrive.

“Consider it an order, soldier.”

The first time that Diggs tries to get information from his brother, it comes to blows and doesn’t go well. When Lyla sees his bloodied fists, she says she’d hate to see the other guy.

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Lyla tells him that he needs to stop pretending that the guy in the cage isn’t his brother. He’s not the enemy. He’s not just a ghost. He needs to treat him like his brother if he wants to get through to him. It works. Andy tells Diggs that Darhk likes to talk about the leaves in Stonehaven.

At the hospital Donna fills Ollie in on Felicity’s new diagnosis. There is permanent damage to her spinal chord that they cannot fix. Ollie sees that Machin has been taken into custody, and goes after him to finish his conversation. Machin tells him nothing, but Ollie releases him anyways.

“This might be a vendetta, but it’s not personal.”

Laurel confronts Ollie about his action, about setting a murdering psychotic on Darhk’s trail, it doesn’t go well. Ollie says that with the tracker he planted on Machin they can track him, and then take down both of them. Laurel, reasonably, thinks that is a stupid plan.

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Diggs comes in and gives Ollie the news about Andy’s lead. More importantly, he tells Ollie what he needs to hear. Ollie has come so far to regain the humanity that he’d lost, and Diggs will have his back and makes sure he keeps it. He tells Ollie to make sure he doesn’t lose what Felicity saw in him that made her fall in love in the first place.

Thea arrives at the Quiver, and only has a minute to say how stupid the plan is before it all falls apart. Machin must have found the tracker because they lose the signal. The team panics, and Ollie looks dumbfounded, because that was the whole plan.

“She’s stronger than all of us.”

Ollie, after everyone tells him to, goes to see Felicity. They both blame themselves, and they’ve both wrong. Ollie slips her engagement ring that the nurse took off her in the ER back on her finger, and says “for better, for worse”.

When Felicity falls asleep, Laurel comes to tell Ollie that the lead that Diggs said was a dead end, might not be a dead end after all. They cross referenced it with where Machin’s tracker went dark and found an address.

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Machin has taken Darhk’s wife and daughter hostage, wrecks his house, and then lies in wait. Team Arrow is on his trial though (literally since he marked the trail with his sign). Green and Red Arrow tag-team Machin while Felicity and Diggs get Darhk’s family to safety.

Eventually the two of them spit up, and while Speedy chases after Machin, Ollie stumbles upon Darhk on the back patio. When Darhk demands to know where his family is, Green Arrow tells him that they’re the ones who saved them. Darhk says that for his generosity, he will give him a few weeks with his family in repayment.

Meanwhile, Machin gets away from Thea, despite his being tied pretty tight to a tree. Thea, is of course, kicking herself, but at least she didn’t give into her bloodlust. We see afterwards, that this has reassured Thea in her confidence.

4 Months Later, AGAIN

Ollie leaves the cemetery in a limo, where Felicity is in the backseat waiting for him. If you look closely, you might notice that her left hand is again without a certain piece of jewelry, and I doubt a nurse is to blame this time.

Assorted Musings

DOES THIS MEAN FELICITY IS THE DCTV’S ORACLE?!

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IT MEANS FELICITY ISN’T THE ONE WHO DIED!

Do now Machin, with no meta-powers or special training is skilled enough to take on members of Team Arrow? Yeah, makes sense.

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Releasing Machin to go after Darhk was stupid, even for Ollie. He’s going to be back, and he’s going after Thea, I guarantee it.

What’s with Darhk just chilling on the back deck while his family is in danger?

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Also, what’s with his wife wanting to kill the guy that just saved her and her daughter?

Not sure what the team is going to do with Andy now, and him and Diggs playing cards all of a sudden like brothers was kinda awkward.

I’m so used to trying to spot Easter Eggs I went a little crazy trying to find out who Brie Thorpe was, so if anyone knows let me know, because I found nothing.

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No sign or word of Ray Palmer, which strikes me as a little odd, given that Felicity is in the hospital.