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Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
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Welcome back to Starling City, where 2014 means more bombings — like we needed that — a vigilante who now wears a mask, and more Olicity tension than this recapper can handle! Let’s get to it.

For the past five weeks, Oliver had been trying to find out information about the man in the skull mask, which is precisely where we found him. He was on the chase, where he strung up a perp and screamed “Who is he?” like he was Christian Bale or something. Not surprisingly, the man in the skull mask hadn’t been seen around. Arrow had nothing.

Back at headquarters, we learned that Felicity was spending her time in Central City, where poor Barry was currently in a coma following the lightning strike. Left alone with Oliver, Diggle couldn’t figure out what about this mirakuru had him so spooked. Well, perhaps this island flashback will tell us why! On the island, Slade gave Oliver Shado’s green hood before letting his now-superpowered anger get the best of him. When Oliver and Sara fell asleep, Slade took the mirakuru and seemingly went after Ivo? Let’s hope so, because Ivo certainly wasn’t backing down, threatening to perform scientific experiments on them if they didn’t return the serum. To sum things up, this has to be the least peaceful island ever.

In present day, Laurel was still self-medicating. Not even Hot Paul could keep her mind off of things. She had a new project: Solve the mystery that is Sebastian Blood. She had found out about Blood’s connection to Cyrus Gold, so her next step was obvious — go on a date with the guy. She headed over to Verdant, where Oliver was hosting a fundraiser for Blood, the literal son of Starling City. At this point, Laurel hasn’t quite won me back, but at least she has a mission now. However, she could come up with a stealthier way of going about things. Showing up at Blood’s office and calling him out on the Cyrus connection wasn’t her best move. Blood, of course, threw her some line about how Cyrus was his preacher during his orphan days — okay, Blood, sure. Then, he gave her the whole sob story: When he was little, he’d witnessed his father beat his mother until his mother panicked, shot his father, and then ran away, leaving the poor orphan behind. Laurel seemed distracted by his tear-filled eyes, but not distracted enough to overlook the bill on his desk. Why was he paying the bills of someone named Maya Resik? That, my friends, was the million-dollar question.

With Arrow and his team distracted by the man in the skull mask, it was the perfect opportunity for a new bad guy to strike. Meet Shrapnel, an anti-government activist who decided it was time he blew up a few buildings in Starling City. The only good thing about the bombings? They brought Felicity back from Central City, where Barry was “sleeping.” “I prefer sleeping to coma because coma sounds, you know, not fun,” she said. Welcome back, Girl Wednesday.

My favorite blonde quickly set up a meeting between Quentin and Arrow so that they could make an exchange. Quentin handed over explosion fragments from the bombing in the hopes that Felicity would look up cell records for the cops that work with him. He believed there was a mole. [Spoiler: He’s right.] But just as the men were finishing their roof gathering, another bomb went off. Arrow tried to chase down the detonator, but Felicity lost the signal, a fact that really pissed Oliver off. He accused Felicity of having her head in Central City, and she accused him of having his head up his own ass. Luckily, Dig was there to speak a little truth: Oliver was jealous.

Before Ollie could get into any more fights, Blood announced he was holding a rally, a.k.a. creating a giant bullseye for Shrapnel to attack. Ollie wasn’t happy about it, but when he went to Shrapnel’s toy store to try and stop things, he found himself in a bit of a pickle. One wrong move, and he was going up in flames. Don’t worry. With the help of Felicity, he was just fine. Diggle, on the other hand, was shot in the big showdown with Shrapnel, before Oliver took him down. Again, no need to panic. It was a through shot to the shoulder. Dig is fine.

Speaking of being fine, the new Roy survived a lot this episode. After dealing with mirakuru-induced rage issues, Roy used his new strength to save Moira from being crushed by a light tower at the rally. Sadly for him, he didn’t get to enjoy being the hero for very long before Thea had questions. How had he done that? And what happened to the cut in his arm? You know, the one he’d gotten while trying to have sex with Thea in the storage room and getting a piece of glass jammed into his arm? As if that wasn’t a bad enough memory, now Thea wanted to know how he had healed. Suddenly, I was watching The Vampire Diaries again as Roy came up with every excuse to get away from Thea … for now.

Elsewhere, Laurel asked her father for help finding out information about Blood, but all Quentin offered her was horrible fatherly advice. After telling her that Maya was Blood’s aunt who was in a mental hospital, he told her to stop looking into it and just accept him as a good guy. But it turned out that self-medicated Laurel was still as stubborn as ever. She went to the mental hospital to visit Maya when she found out that Maya wasn’t Sebastian’s aunt. She was his mother! Sebastian had killed his own father and then had his mother locked up. Man, Maya wasn’t kidding when she said he was the devil.

The other bit of bad news: Arrow was in the middle of making a deal with said devil. They agreed they could save the city if they worked together, and the two of them shook hands. Suddenly, I’m really looking forward to hearing Arrow say, “Sebastian Blood, you failed this city.”

Oh, but don’t let me forget the Olicity moment of the night. Oliver apologized for snapping at his sidekick and confided that he needs her here. He relies on her and Diggle. She’s not his employee; she’s his partner. And just as the misty-eyed love birds gazed into each other’s eyes, Oliver had to ruin the moment by bringing up Barry. He told Felicity that Barry was probably dreaming about her, a statement that started her blabbing about medical research on whether coma patients dream. Thankfully, Oliver stopped her tangent by putting his gentle hand on her shoulder. Question: How much longer am I going to have to settle for shoulder grabs? A woman has needs!! I’m talking about Felicity, of course.

What did you all think of the episode? I’m loving this darker vibe that mirakuru is bringing to things. It feels very ominous, very epic. But what are you most excited about coming up? Slade? Olicity? Roy rage? Sound off in the comments below!

Episode Recaps

Billionaire Oliver Queen — under the vigilante persona of Arrow — tries to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society.
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