- Moira is dead.
- Oliver is suicidal (with heroic dreams of grandeur).
- Thea is leaving town, now that Isabel is foreclosing on Verdant too.
- Oh yeah, Isabel is back.
- Sebastian Blood is the mayor.
- Laurel doesn’t listen to anyone.
- Japanese torpedoes have a kamikaze aspect to them.
- Amanda doesn’t like Felicity touching her computers.
Safe to say this is a bit of a downer of an episode — hopefully leading to greater heroism in the final two episodes of the season!
Oliver is in his sad place
Throughout much of the first quarter of “City of Blood,” Oliver Queen is nowhere to be found. He misses his mother’s funeral, he’s not hanging out in the Arrow Lair, and not even Felicity can track the guy with all her technology.
It takes Amanda Waller and all of the super computers at ARGUS to actually track down the hero — he’s hiding out in his backup lair, an underground Fortress of Solitude that Oliver has been hiding for when he needs some alone time.
The alone time doesn’t help though, and Oliver is thoroughly resolved to turn himself over to Slade Wilson in order to “save” the city. Felicity and Diggle are totally not down with this plan, but it’s kind of hard to argue with Oliver. He can shoot you and beat you up and stuff, after all. Also, he mopes really well.
Thea probably thought it couldn’t get any worse
In the past few episodes, Thea Queen has been dumped by her boyfriend, found out Malcolm Merlyn was her father, nearly got killed by her ex-boyfriend, and watched her mother get executed by a one-eyed lunatic.
And it just gets worse in this episode.
Not only does Oliver miss the funeral, thereby leaving Thea alone yet again, but Isabel shows up at Verdant to evict Thea from the premises. This is definitely adding insult to injury.
Thea has, justifiably, had enough and decides to leave her shut-down mansion and stolen nightclub and lying brother in her dust. Not even Walter can talk Thea out of leaving, while Oliver encourages the departure. This makes sense, since he’s about to go commit suicide via Slade as the city burns in a mirakuru-fueled fire.
Unfortunately, Thea can only afford coach these days. That’s why she doesn’t make it out of town before everything gets even worse. Because it can always get worse on “Arrow.”
Laurel versus Mayor Blood
It’s too bad Laurel was all drugged and drunk in the fall when she was going after Sebastian — clear-headed Laurel takes about 5 minutes to find damning evidence on the new mayor of Starling City. Laurel isn’t going the legal route this time though. She knows who the Arrow is, after all.
Thus, Laurel joins the greatly diminished Team Arrow just in time to refuse to allow Oliver to turn himself in. She needs him to take down Blood instead.
In which Felicity gets to be a bit of a bada**
While Oliver pretty much immediately benches Laurel — no newbies allowed! — Felicity really gets to step up to the plate in “City of Blood.” Young Miss Smoak is involved in everything from pleading with Oliver (not so effective, although great for imparting backstory) to ogling ARGUS computers to kidnapping and “torturing” a guy with her computer skills to running command while Oliver and Diggle work to take down the mirakuru army.
She’s pretty good at it too.
Naturally, Diggle is a bit of a bada** too, but that’s normal for him. His only misstep in the episode comes when Isabel — now all Ravager-y with her mirakuru self — decides to pay him back for killing her a couple of episodes ago. Diggle doesn’t exactly end things in a good place.
Can Blood control his own army?
Partway through the episode, Oliver sits down to dinner with Sebastian and pretty much just casually mentions that he’s the Arrow and knows all about the Slade partnership. Mayor Blood isn’t particularly bothered by any of this, given that he’s in charge of the city and is about to lead a mirakuru army into some sort of glorious revolution.
Poor Sebastian probably should have listened, but it will be another episode at least before the man gets his comeuppance.
For now, Blood comes out on top, donning his mask and leading the mirakuru-ed men out into the streets, despite Oliver’s best efforts to bury them all alive. All Oliver manages to do is nearly get choked, only to be saved by a non-compliant Laurel.
In the end, an army marches through the streets while single soldiers wreak havoc at the police and train stations.
There’s no happy ending, just memories of suicidal torpedoes and the beginnings of Sara’s end on the island. Better luck next time, Oliver!