'Arrow' recap: All is fair in love and war

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Image Credit: Cate Cameron/The CW

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched the May 7 episode of Arrow, stop reading now!

Honestly, the fact that I’m still alive to write this recap is a miracle, because I’m pretty sure I did not take a breath through that entire episode. Sitting in my apartment watching by myself, I didn’t say a word, I didn’t go on Twitter during commercials, I didn’t do anything but stare at my television, listen to my heart pounding in my chest, and occasionally think, “How is this not the finale?!” This show just keeps getting better, and I cannot wait for next week. Here’s what went down:

First things first, Ollie and Laurel had to get out of the tunnel. Laurel was trapped, but luckily, she had Ollie’s bow and quiver with her. A quick lesson in explosive archery, and boom, she was out of there. Easy as 1, 2, 3! Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the trap Diggle found himself in, facing off with the vendetta-driven Isabel. Diggle didn’t have an explosive arrow to free him, but he had something better: A fast-talking blonde with a foot made of lead. Felicity swooped in and hit Isabel with the van. It was only enough to knock her down, but it got them out of there.

Felicity and Diggle went straight to meet up with Laurel and Ollie before Laurel decided to split off on her own. Team Arrow needed to go retrieve the cure, which was finished, from the poor messenger who’d been attacked before he could properly deliver it. Laurel told Ollie to save the city as she headed out on her own. It was a stupid move, but thankfully, Sara returned to keep her sister company.

Meanwhile, across town, Quentin was being reinstated as a detective, which I like to wholly attribute to this amazing line: “We got masks tearing our city to pieces, and we’re gonna need a mask to stop them.” Just like that, Quentin was back in charge and teaming up with the vigilante the Arrow. (I love how “vigilante” is now dirty word in this town.) And speaking of dads, Thea got an unwelcome visit from hers when Malcolm showed up and blew up the super soldier who was going attacking her. When super soldier x asked, “Who are you?” Malcolm had the biggest Darth Vader moment ever on The CW: “I’m her father.” Nice one, Merlyn. Welcome back.

At the mayor’s office, Sebastian Blood realized something was off when a Mirakuru maniac — I might start calling them that now — walked in and snapped the district attorney’s neck even after Blood told him not too. Looked like the Mirakuru maniacs weren’t taking Blood’s orders. And that was bad news for Team Arrow, who’d gotten in a car wreck on their way to the cure. Really, Diggle? Why didn’t you hit that car straight on instead of flipping the van? I expected more from you, John. However, I will say that I loved how, walking away from the accident, Diggle carried the bow and Ollie carried Felicity, as if Diggle couldn’t lift her or something?

At Slade’s headquarters, Blood told him to call off his dogs. Instead, Slade decided to keep his promise to Oliver. He was going to take everything Ollie loved, and “he loves this city.” Just then, another Mirakuru maniac showed up with the briefcase full of the cure. They’d gotten to the messenger before Team Arrow could. How? By hacking their phone lines. Come on, Team Arrow. Of all things to bring you down, tapping your phones? Nixon could’ve done that!

Out on the streets, Sara removed her wig — how does that stay on when she fights? — to talk to her sister. She told Laurel that she wasn’t a hero, that she was “irredeemable.” But when Laurel found out that the League had named Sara “The Canary,” she gave her this bit of wisdom: “If you’re so far gone and so irredeemable, then why would they know you by such a beautiful name?” Laurel was on it tonight, guys. And thanks to a house fire a few blocks away, Laurel’s point was quickly proven. Sara ran into the burning building to save a child, after which, everything changed. Sara realized that she was a hero, and Laurel realized that maybe masks aren’t so bad. Did you see that grin on Laurel’s face when she told the woman “That’s The Canary”? Oh yeah, she wants a mask of her own.

At the clock tower, Ollie sent Diggle to get Roy before he broke down in front of Felicity. Without the cure, he was defeated. “I have failed this city,” he told her. But she refused to let him give up. “You are not done fighting,” she yelled at him through tears. She knew two things: “You are not alone, and I believe in you.” Then they hugged. I absolutely loved this scene. Felicity made me cry, not to mention that every time those two touch, there’s so much tension and emotion behind it. They are so great together!

Right after the hug, Ollie’s phone rang. It was Blood. He’d stolen the cure from Slade and wanted Ollie and Diggle to come get it. When they arrived, Blood finally explained the skull mask. It had been how he envisioned his father’s face in his nightmares as a child. It was his way on conquering his fears and his reminder as to why he fights. Blood wanted to save the city, but he wouldn’t get the chance. Quickly after Diggle and Ollie left, Isabel showed up and put two blades through his chest. Moments later, Sebastian Bled out. Get it? OK, I’ll stop.

But before we could get excited that Ollie had the cure, A.R.G.U.S. got involved. Amanda Waller sent in troops to block off all the exits to the city. She was sealing Slade’s men in so that she could send in a drone and end them all. Yes, she’d have to sacrifice 576,000 innocent lives, but she would save the world. Just like that, Ollie injected Roy with the cure to see if it worked. He only had until dawn before the drown was going to turn Starling into a crater, and he wasn’t about to waste any more time.

And in the final moments, we were back with Thea and Malcolm, who’d just fought off a Mirakuru maniac to save his daughter. He gave her a speech about how they were all each other had left, but he was wrong: Thea also had a gun. Things got super creepy when he called her eyes “my eyes,” and then it went downhill from there. He told her she still had a father, but he was wrong. Well, he’d be proven wrong after Thea fired two bullets into what I assume was his chest. SO THAT JUST HAPPENED … TWICE.

On the island this week, we saw Ollie save Sara from the Amazo before they went looking for the cure to try and save Slade. Spoiler: Sexy island Slade already had the cure, and he was waiting for them. Let’s just hope Antoli doesn’t fire that torpedo before they can get off the freighter (which he obviously doesn’t, right?).

So what did you all think of the episode? Is Malcolm Merlyn dead? And who is it that Slade believes Oliver loves most? Sound off below!

QUOTABLES: 

“I really thought the airbags were going to go off.” -Felicity after she hit Isabel with the van

Ollie: If we’re not back in an hour, you sink the freighter and get yourself home.
Antoli: I think maybe I prefer the Bahamas.

“Why does every secret formula have to be a color? Whatever happened to good old-fashioned clear?” -Felicity

“Just saying, if you guys don’t come back alive, I’m going to be really pissed.” -Felicity to Ollie and Diggle

“If you’re gonna use that, you’ll want to click the safety off.” -Malcolm to Thea

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