We still don’t know who’s in the damn grave, but we can cross one name off the list.
Yes, after a month or so of teases insinuating Felicity’s fate and whether it’s tied to the graveyard scene first glimpsed in the season 4 premiere, Arrow finally answered definitively if Oliver’s bride-to-be was no longer meant for this world.
But before addressing that concern, “Blood Debts” picks up in the immediate aftermath from the midseason finale’s limo shooting. Felicity is rushed to the hospital while Oliver goes on a rampage through the Ghosts in town in search of Damien Darhk.
Oliver is perhaps at his most enraged in the wake of the shooting, so driven by his quest for vengeance that he forgoes seeing Felicity at the hospital to keep on the hunt for Darhk. It’s what she would want him to do, he tells the rest of the team — though he also seems to say so to reassure himself of his choices.
Luckily, as the others go to visit Felicity, she is revealed to be alive, though not well. “I have never been more ready to have a bunch of guys poking around inside me,” she accidentally jokes from her hospital bed, but surgeries and recovery still await her.
Otherwise, it’s all hands on deck during the search for Darhk. Diggle interrogates his brother, but it’s Capt. Lance who comes through with the location of Darhk’s office, even if it means blowing his cover in the process.
Arriving ready to strike, Oliver finds quite the surprise at Darhk’s office — dead Ghosts, and the Anarky mark of Lonnie Machin drawn in blood.
Team Arrow isn’t the only party interested in Darhk’s demise, and with Anarky one step ahead of them but one behind Damien, they hope they can use the enemy of their enemy as, if not a friend, then an aid. The blood in Darhk’s office actually belonged to Lonnie’s adoptive parents, so the team descends on their home to find Lonnie, now donning a mask to cover his disfigured (courtesy of Thea) face.
Sitting comfortably on the couch watching TV, Lonnie expected Darhk and the Ghosts to show up, but Team Arrow will have to do for now. He unleashes some hidden firepower on the group as Speedy chases after him.
When she corners him, she prepares to strike, but Lonnie shows no desire to harm her. In fact, he thanks her for a baptism by fire and even tries to tempt out the bloodlust he first saw in Speedy during their initial encounter. (Thea is, of course, trying to fight against that darker nature, having thought that when Darhk attacked her previously and inadvertently sapped her of the desire to kill that maybe she was on a better path.)
Before she can attack, though, Laurel comes by with a quick Canary Cry, and the rest of the team is able to subdue and capture Lonnie.
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Holding him hostage, Oliver uses some excessive force to beat information about Darhk out of him, but Anarky has so little left to lose that he doesn’t give up anything. Reaching peak furious Ollie, the rest of the team talks him into finally paying Felicity a visit. She needs him, and frankly, he needs her.
So Oliver heads to the hospital, where he encounters an understandably distraught and angered Donna. She imparts the news that the doctors have come to her with — Felicity will likely never walk again.
Maybe in part because of the shock of this news (which Oliver appears reticent to accept), he decides to leave the hospital without seeing Felicity when a report that Anarky has been apprehended by the police appears on TV. It seems Laurel clued them in on his location, but Oliver isn’t done with this anarchic menace.
He stops the police transport carrying Lonnie, frees him from his shackles, and sets him loose on Star City to hunt down Darhk. Oliver placed a tracker on him to gauge his progress, but no one back at base is happy with his methods. Diggle, who has finally broken through enough to his brother to gather some information from him, tries to talk some sense into Oliver. He doesn’t want his friend to lose the humanity that he regained nor what made Felicity fall in love with Ollie in the first place. He’s walking down that path, and his best friend, his brother in arms, is concerned for him.
And once Lonnie’s tracker disappears, Oliver is left helpless, uncertain of what to do next.
NEXT: Mercy and Anarky rule the night
So Oliver does what he could not do before and finally visits Felicity. She’s woozy from surgery by happy to see Oliver alive and understanding of why he hasn’t been to see her yet. Almost immediately, she slips into self-conscious Felicity, acknowledging that she completely understands if the whole “no walking” thing has put a damper on their engagement plans. It’s not what he signed up for, but Oliver could not care less as long as Felicity is still Felicity, and he proves that by giving her back her engagement ring taken off before surgery.
Laurel comes by to tell him that the lead from Diggle’s brother, while initially a dead end, has come in handy thanks to the data they did gain from tracking Lonnie. They’re led to a mansion, where Anarky has Darhk’s family bound and gagged, a flamethrower waiting in his hands to ignite an unexpected evening of mayhem.
Diggle and Laurel handle Darhk’s family as Thea and Oliver chase after Lonnie, but their paths diverge when Oliver comes across Damien. The evil megalomaniac was probably expecting a nice dinner waiting for him at home and not his arch-nemesis, but he eases through his shock quickly enough to start magically taking Oliver’s arrows from his quiver and shooting them into Ollie himself. Darhk is feeling merciful, though, when he learns Oliver saved his family from Lonnie. He gives Oliver a few weeks to spend (alive) with his family before finally ending this recurring pest in his life.
Thea also makes it away safely with her life, but after refusing to give into Lonnie’s demands for her to exhibit more violent tendencies, he knocks her down and flees, leaving anarchy to reign for another day in Star.
Team Arrow regroups in what could be their final stretch together alive and well. Thea, after initially telling campaign manager Alex that they’re going to have to call things off for now, invites him over for some wine and…hand holding, presumably. Diggle returns to his brother and attempts to reconnect with the man he cared so deeply for before finding out what he’s been up to overseas. (An important pep talk with Lyla can go a long way for Diggle.) The two play a hand of cards, even though Andy is still behind bars. And Oliver returns to Felicity, who he asks to go to Bali with him, a callback to their earlier discussion. But she’ll only go assuming Damien Darhk is in Bali because she knows that so long as he is alive, he has to be stopped.
But Darhk has plans of his own, as he reveals to his family. She is clearly in on his plans, speaking to him about their Genesis plan, but he reassures her the new beginning he promised her will come. Right after he brings this world to an end.
“Blood Debts” ends back at the cemetery, as Oliver steps into a limo, where he takes a seat next to a (thankfully) still-alive Felicity. (After so many shows last fall pulled the “Is this character dead?” card, it would have been nice to see the Arrow marketing not also plug away at that question for over a month. Every time Felicity’s condition was paired with footage of the grave, it seemed to scream that she was still alive while still playing it off as a mystery to toy with viewers. Hopefully the rest of the season doesn’t resort to those types of methods.)
Of course, that still raises the question of who is in the grave and who it could be that Felicity continues to want Oliver to kill Damien Darhk. But for now, we can definitively cross at least one name off the list.
On the island
Conklin returns Oliver, Taiana, and their recovered maps to Baron Reiter, hoping to prove Oliver’s dubious nature for good and kill the man who has aggravated him for so long. But Reiter has other punishments in mind first, submitting Oliver to public lashings. The injuries cause the tattoos given to him by Constantine to act up, however, and Reiter notices Oliver may be of more use to him. Oliver uses the momentary distraction to steal Conklin’s gun and point it at himself, threatening to end his own life unless they keep Taiana alive.
Conklin warns Reiter that he’ll be double crossed, but he ignores the garish soldier and agrees to Oliver’s conditions.
The two are sentenced to a cell in the island’s prisons, where Taiana tends to Oliver’s wounds as they await whatever plans Reiter has in store for them.