Arrow takes on a dangerous new nemesis; Moira tries to halt Walter's investigation

By Nuzhat Naoreen
Updated December 13, 2012 at 05:06 AM EST


S1 E9
  • TV Show
  • The CW

David Ramsey, who plays Diggle, recently told EW that the mid-season finale of Arrow was going to be “so big” that viewers would be left thinking, “Oh no they didn’t!” So, did the episode live up to the hype? Let’s dig in below:

The episode opens with an old target: Adam Hunt. Hunt is on the phone trying to get a business deal going when suddenly a man in a hood, who he thinks is Arrow, shows up to his motel room and takes him out.

Cut to Oliver and Diggle sparring. Dig mentions that he needs to head to the store to buy a Christmas present for his nephew, and Oliver admits he didn’t even realize the holidays were coming up. “Probably because you’ve been logging in so many hood hours ever since that thing with Helena,” Dig slyly says. A slightly annoyed Oliver explains that his forgetfulness has more to do with his time on the island, where he didn’t exactly have a chance to celebrate holidays. “Every day was, ‘How do I stay alive,” Oliver says. After Oliver reminisces about his dad’s annual holiday party, Dig suggests he take a break from the list and spend Christmas with his family.

Cue a flashback to the island: The hooded man on the island visits Oliver. He’s impressed that Oliver isn’t dead yet. A few seconds later, the man drags in Edward, a.k.a. the same guy who recently tortured Oliver. Oliver immediately punches Edward, but before he can really hurt him, his hooded friend informs him that Edward can help him get off the island.

Back in Starling City, Oliver takes Dig’s advice and heads home. His mother and stepdad are hosting a dinner party and Oliver decides to join. The hot topic of discussion at dinner? The vigilante, of course. Both Walter and Tommy Merlyn’s dad seem willing to acknowledge that the vigilante has helped manage the city’s crime problem, but the police commissioner, who is also a guest, refuses to give him any credit.

Walter steps out to take a call from Felicity. It turns out she’s been working overtime on the list. Felicity informs Walter that seven of the men on the list have been targeted by the vigilante. Walter chalks it up to a coincidence. Felicity warns him that Doug Miller, the head of applied sciences at Queen consolidated, is also on the list. Miller, she says, could very well end up with an arrow in his stocking.

Back at the dinner table, the police commissioner gets word that the vigilante has struck again. When Oliver asks if everything is okay, the commissioner informs him that the vigilante just put an arrow into Adam Hunt.

At the crime scene, Det. Lance tells the commissioner that he doesn’t think the vigilante killed Hunt. He says the vigilante doesn’t use black arrows. Arrow stealthily listens in on the conversation.

Later at their lair, Oliver and Dig discuss Hunt’s death, and consider the possibility that Arrow is being set up. “Whoever it was, he’s good,” says Oliver. “The guy’s a legitimate archer.” Diggle wants to know what Oliver is going to do, and he surprises him by saying he’s going to call the cops for help.

NEXT: The copycat archer strikes again…

At the precinct, Det. Lance gets a phone delivered to him. A few seconds later, he recieves a blocked call. It’s from Arrow. Arrow says he needs one of the arrows from Hunt’s murder to track down the real killer.

Meanwhile, Walter meets with Doug Miller. He tells Miller he’s worried the vigilante might go after him, but Miller stays mum.

While Walter is trying to figure out what reason the vigilante would have to go after Miller, Oliver and Thea grab a bite together. Oliver wants to know why the Queens aren’t hosting an annual Christmas party, and Thea tells him the family stopped celebrating after Oliver and his father disappeared. Later at home, Oliver tells his family he’s decided to throw this year’s holiday party. Walter tells Oliver he’s a good man, which cues another flashback to the island.

On the island, Edward calls Oliver a good man. Then he tells him that the island is a prison — literally. Apparently, the Chinese military used a the island as penitentiary for extremely dangerous criminals. The jail was eventually shutdown, though two of the most dangerous criminals managed to escape. Edward was sent to the island to bring them back. He tells Oliver that one of the criminals was the masked man who tortured him, a.k.a. Deathstroke, while the other was none other than Oliver’s mentor.

Back in Starling City, Moira meets with Merlyn Sr., who tells her that Doug Miller came to visit him after being interrogated by Walter. Merlyn Sr. tells Moira that something must be done about Walter, and she promises to handle the situation. Merlyn Sr. isn’t convinced, and says it might be time to bring their “associate” in to take care of matters.

Meanwhile, Arrow 2.0 takes down another target. The police commissioner wants to pin the murder on the real Arrow because he doesn’t want the public to know there are two vigilantes on the loose. Det. Lance refuses to go along with the idea, and the commissioner tells him he’s off the case. Lance decides to help Arrow catch the killer by pointing him to the evidence.

NEXT: Oliver asks Felicity for help…

Oliver inspects the black arrow and realizes it’s a custom job. Dig wonders whether the copycat is trying to frame Arrow or get in touch with him. Oliver says that either way, he needs to find the guy. So he goes to Felicity for help. He tells her he wants to get the arrow for his buddy’s birthday but he has no idea where to purchase it. Felicity tells him the arrow is registered to a company called Sagittarius, which is Latin for The Archer. Oliver wants to know where and when the arrow was purchased. She tells him the arrow was part of a bundle shipment and provides him with an address. Oliver is undoubtedly pleased. “You are remarkable,” he tells her. “Thank you for remarking it.” These two are a rom-com in the making.

At Laurel’s place, Det. Lance listens to news reports about the recent murders. The media is pinning it on Arrow but Laurel doesn’t believe he’s responsible. Tommy drops in to see Laurel, but she’s not excited to have him there. The holidays have been tough for her since her sister died, and she wants to spend the time with her dad. Tommy tells her he thinks something else is holding her back. Before he leaves, he hands her a present and invites her to be his plus one to the Queen holiday party. While Laurel’s dad tells her the Queens and the Merlyns are bad people, she opens Tommy’s present. It’s a framed picture of her with her sister and her dad.

Meanwhile, Arrow traces his copycat to an abandoned warehouse. Once he gets there, he realizes — almost too late — that it’s rigged with an explosive. Luckily, he manages to escape without getting injured. Good thing too because there’s a Christmas party to attend!

After snapping a picture with his family at the party, Oliver greets Tommy and Laurel, who arrived arm in arm. The three acknowledge the awkwardness of their situation but manage to get past it rather quickly. In fact, when Laurel takes Oliver aside to tell him she wants to move forward with Tommy, he gives her his blessing.

Outside of the party, Moira accuses Walter of lying to her. “You said you were through investigating Robert’s death,” she says. To which Walter responds: “Do you take me for a man who wouldn’t avenge his bestfriend’s murder?” Then he turns the tables on Moira. He wats to know why she lied to him, embezzled money from the company and salvaged the Queen ship. Moira reveals that she did it all for leverage. Walter asks Moira who she’s fighting against, and she promises to tell him everything…but after the party.

Oliver goes to check on Thea and finds her in bed with her boyfriend. He’s upset because he threw this party for her, but she says she’s not interested. She claims she’s been trying to forget the way things used to be, and the party just brings up unwanted memories. Who is this year’s most annoying teen? Thea or Dana on Homeland? (Okay fine, it’s definitely Dana, but Thea is a firm second).

Dig pulls Oliver aside to show him the news. Turns out, the copycat has taken hostages and is threatening to kill one every hour unless Arrow turns himself in. Dig says the police will handle it, but Oliver feels responsible.

Cue flashback to the island: The green-hooded man still believes Edward can get Oliver off the island, but Edward has other plans. Suddenly, the group is ambushed by a group of men. Edward says he planned his capture so he could trap Oliver’s mentor. The mentor tells Oliver to run. Later, Oliver watches as Edward’s men kill his mentor.

In Starling City, Arrow arrives at the warehouse before the first hour is up. He manages to get the hostages to safety, before confronting the copycat. The copycat tells him he wants to find out who the better archer is. The two go head-to-head, and eventually, the copycat gets the upperhand. He shoots Arrow in the back and kicks him down repeatedly. The copycat tells Arrow that the man who authored the list wants him dead. Just as the copycat is about to remove Arrow’s hood, Arrow stabs him and makes an escape. He stumbles outside the warehouse and calls Dig for help.

Later, Oliver wakes up in a hospital, where his family comes to visit him (Dig told them Oliver got into a motorcycle accident).

Meanwhile, the copycat archer finally reveals his identity: It’s none other than Merlyn Sr. (Since we always knew he was a bad guy, I wasn’t completely surprised by this revelation).

Back at his office, Walter is on the phone with Felicity, who apparently called to ask if Oliver was doing okay. He hangs up and gets in the elevator, where a man injects him in the neck with some sort of chemical.

Moira has another secret meeting with Merlyn Sr. He assures her that Walter will not be harmed. (Yes, that’s right. It turns out Moira was behind Walter’s drugging). Merlyn Sr. says he gave her a chance to get Walter under control and she couldn’t do it. “That’s what you said to justify Robert’s murder,” she says. He points out that she’s being quite judgmental for a woman who had her son kidnapped and tortured (there’s a revelation for you). She says she only did that to prove that Oliver didn’t know anything about the organization’s plans. Merlyn Sr. tells her that in six months the organization’s vision of what Starling City should be will be complete. Moira says that in order to achieve that vision thousands of innocent people will have to die, but Merlyn Sr. doesn’t seem to care. He tells Moira that she’ll have Walter back once the mission is complete.

At the hospital, Oliver tells Dig that when he confronts someone on the list, he tells him they failed the city, but tonight, he was the one who failed. Dig tells Oliver that he’ll eventually get the upper-hand on the copycat, but Oliver says they have a bigger problem. He says he always assumed his father compiled the list, but after the confrontation with the “other archer,” he has realized that someone else may have authored the list…someone who is more of a danger than the archer. Oliver promises to take him down.

So there you have it: Walter is gone (temporarily at least), Merlyn Sr. is the “other archer,” the organization plans to kill thousands of people, and Oliver has a new mission. Quite a setup for the second half of the season.

All that considered, I have to say I enjoyed the pacing of this episode, though I didn’t quite experience an “Oh no they didn’t moment.” Did you?

Notable bites:

Oliver: “I think the vigilante needs a better code name than the hood or the hood guy.”

Meryln: “I agree. How about Green Arrow?”

Oliver: “Lame.”

Felicity: “Don’t you knock?”

Oliver: “Felicity, this is the IT department. Not the ladies room.”

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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  • 8
  • TV-14
  • Marc Guggenheim
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  • Greg Berlanti
  • The CW
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