'Arrow' fall finale recap: Slade Wilson, Shado and Tommy are 'Three Ghosts'

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"Arrow" ended its fall episodes with "Three Ghosts," a rather incredible finale in which we learned the fates of Slade Wilson and Shado, saw Barry Allen become the Flash, watched a few deaths and even got a return visit from Tommy. This recap explains it all.

Superhero ER

With Oliver flat-lining on the table, only Barry can save our "Arrow" hero from certain destruction. And he does -- with rat poison. Hands up if you knew that was possible ... Anyone?

That's why Barry is going to be a superhero. He's knows this crazy stuff.

Anyway, with Barry's help, Oliver survives his coagulating-blood issue with no more side effects than a hallucination of Shado and some serious irritation that Barry knows the secret. It turns out that nearly dying makes Oliver Queen a wee bit testy with his associates. Poor Felicity even has to take the brunt of the verbal beating.

It's only with the advice of Barry that Felicity can forgive Oliver and realize that she really does like that crazy superhero. This is good, because Olicity shippers would riot over the holidays without being thrown this bone.

More superhero ER

Oliver is soon called home where a) he realizes it's Christmas and b) he gets to intervene in the whole "Roy got shot by the Hood" thing. Having pointed out that going to a hospital with an arrow wound is rather suspicious these days, Roy is just gritting his teeth through the ordeal.

A quick arrow removal and awkward phone call to Diggle later, Oliver leaves Sin and Thea to deal with the patient. He also advises them to stay out of the Hood's business. They ignore him.

But Oliver is too busy hallucinating his island girlfriend to notice. Shado tells Oliver that he needs to stop fighting if he wants to survive. Then she disappears.

Never put off Christmas shopping

Thanks again to Barry's help, Oliver and Diggle trace the super bad guy to a seedy motel. It turns out the guy's name is Cyrus Gold and he likes to read nursery rhymes (yes, I know Solomon Grundy is a comics reference -- but it's also in Mother Goose).

He also happens to be strong enough to send someone like John Diggle running for safety.

Still hallucinating (and moving on from Shado to Slade Wilson), Oliver calls in the infantry. That would be Officer Lance, who is pretty much the Hood's buddy after the big Sara reveal. Convinced that a SWAT team can bring down the bad guy, Lance gets his old partner and some other cops to go after Gold.

It's just too bad that one of the cops in the group is Sebastian Blood's mole in the department. Cyrus is waiting when the cops arrive and proceeds to make everyone very dead. Sure, Lance makes it (barely), but that's it. So now there are a few more deaths about which Oliver can feel guilty!

Blasts from Oliver's past

And oh, Oliver is feeling guilty! That guilt next manifests itself in an even more vivid Slade vision. This one turns rather violent -- "Fight Club"-style -- as the two men (who are both actually just Oliver) battle all across the lair. Ghost Slade seems to think that Oliver needs to atone for some mysterious sins.

Maybe Oliver really should hang up the hood for now?

Unfortunately, Roy's superhero ineptitude doesn't allow for retirement just yet. Searching for clues about what happened to Sin's friend, Roy breaks into a psychological practice associated with the blood drives. He does find relevant files, but the boy gets interrupted before he can get further.

Blood and his minions strap Roy in their medical-testing chair and inject the kid with the first drops of their newly synthesized mirakuru. Muscle spasms, bloody eyes and death follow. Oliver doesn't arrive until it's too late to stop this.

At this point, Oliver really is ready to give up. He's on the floor, reeling from Cyrus' most recent attack when the third ghost of this episode makes his appearance: Tommy.

TOMMY!!!!!!!!!

Unlike Shado and Slade, Tommy isn't there to tell Oliver to give up and feel guilty. Tommy instead tells Oliver that he needs to keep fighting, because that's what Oliver does.

So that's what Oliver does. In short order, Cyrus is killed, Sebastian makes a run for it, and Oliver manages to revive Roy.

Too bad that this means Roy is now one of those super-soldier types who might turn on everyone. At least the serum made his leg better!

Island insanity

What lies underneath Oliver's guilt? The answers are found on the island.

Dr. Ivo captures the good guys right after they say goodbye to Slade -- dead and bloody -- on the sub. The bad Doctor thus has his mirakuru. Were he not the vindictive type, it all might have ended here. As it is, things just get worse. Ivo drops the two ladies, Sara and Shado, to their knees and asks Oliver which one will get to live.

This choice is always so much fun ... Eventually, Oliver does have to make a choice. And Oliver chooses ... Sara. Ivo shoots Shado in the back of the head, while Oliver gets to remain behind with Sara and the guilt.

It's arguable that he made the wrong decision here. Poor Shado!

Of course, none of this is finished. That's because Slade Wilson isn't really dead. Raging against the machine and the bad guys, Slade roars toward his old friends. He probably would have killed Oliver right there if Sara hadn't lied for her savior.

You thought Sebastian Blood was the Season 2 villain?

Oh no. It couldn't be as simple as that. Blood is just the middle man and the (semi-) public face of what's going on. Even with the possibility of 100 super-soldiers at his command and even with some Laurel flirting and even with a mayoral candidacy, Blood still has to answer to someone else.

That someone is angry. And wears an eye-patch. He's someone with an Australian accent. Yes, it's Slade Wilson. He's not dead, which is a very, very bad thing.

"Once he has lost everything and everyone he loves, I will drive an arrow through his eye."

No resentment there or anything. Oliver is so screwed.

Everything changes in a flash

While Oliver tries on his Christmas mask, Barry goes home to his rather cluttered and dark lab. He seems happy to be there, but not all is well -- the StarLabs particle accelerator has run into trouble. Right at the moment when Barry turns to close a skylight against the pounding rain, there's an explosion.

Plasma rises into the air ... And then lightning strikes. In a moment worthy of Dr. Frankenstein himself, Barry Allen gets hit. He flies through the air and through his chemicals, landing unconscious in a pile of debris.

Strange bits of static or magic or whatever crackle in Barry's face. Ladies and gentlemen, we have the Flash!

Photo/Video credit: The CW
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