Arrow midseason premiere recap and preview for next week
Oliver once again stands in the graveyard and we don’t see who is buried under his feet. Now it’s four months from now instead of the original six months in the first episode of the season. We transition back to the present day, cutting between Felicity in the hospital and Oliver beating up goons to find Damien Darhk. He returns to the Arrow Cave and decides to continue hunting Darhk in lieu of going to see Felicity in the hospital. No sooner are we in the present do we return to the island where Conklin has taken Oliver and Taiana prisoner. Ollie falls to the ground and tells Taiana to make a run for it.
Donna, Thea, Diggle, and Laurel stand around Felicity as she prepares to enter another surgery, cementing that she will be fine, meaning that she will in fact not be fine. John goes to see his brother Andy to find out about Darhk once again, but this time he climbs in his cell with him and starts beating him for the info. Meanwhile, Oliver heads to SCPD and asks Lance where he’s been meeting Darhk, information that will give him away clearly. Lance tells him the spot, but when Oliver arrives, he sees only dead Ghosts on the ground and a bloody Anarchy symbol. Lonnie Machin is back, and he’s looking for payback.
Back on the island, Conklin takes Oliver to Reiter and explains that he’s been playing him. Reiter gives him permission to kill him, but being a sadist he decides to whip Oliver instead. John goes home between hosptial visits and has a talk with Lyla about Andy who tells him to try and reach him as his brother, not a soldier. Thea worries to Laurel about Machin being after her, and tells her of her encounter with Darhk that quelled her blood lust. She blames herself for what happened to Machin and creating a blood-lusting him. The pair walk into Felicity’s room in the hospital to find Quentin and Donna embracing. Felicity’s mother and Thea leave as the father and daughter Lance have a “I’m more worried about YOU” argument. Quentin tells her the CSI team got a match on the bloody anarchy symbol, Lonnie Machin’s foster parents.
Diggle finds the location of Michael and Crystal Olguin’s home and Team Arrow enters, finding Anarky has redecorated it a bit. They confront the masked maniac, who has motion sensor-activated machine guns set up. Thea chases after him, but instead of fighting her he thanks her, for saving him from himself. Oliver knocks him out as he stands around. It’s silly. Later they have Anarky tied up in a warehouse and prepare to interrogate him. Just as Oliver is getting good and warmed up, and after learning Darhk “went home,” Thea tells him Felicity is out of surgery and there’s been a complication. He should go and she’ll take over.
In the Arrow Cave, Diggle goes to talk brother-to-brother to Andy, the guy he used to talk to, have fun and play cards with, and he seems to finally get through to him. Andy doesn’t know much, but he reveals Darhk talked a lot about Stonehaven. Anarky toys with Thea as she stands around and tries to get her to kill him. She puts an arrow to his neck, right after saying she can control herself, and ducks out when she hears the police sirens. Oliver finally arrives at the hospital where Donna tells him the news, the doctors can’t fix Felicity. Her spinal cord damage is permanent and she’ll never walk again. As they embrace, he hears on the news from a nearby TV that Anarky was apprehended.
Once again on the island, Oliver is whipped but then Reiter notices something, the tattoo on his abdomen is glowing. He forces Conklin to stop, putting him in a position for Oliver to steal his sidearm, which he does, and places under his own chin. Back in Star City, the police van transporting Anarky is stopped by an explosive arrow. Machin climbs out of the van and Oliver cuts his binds, telling him to find Darhk and make sure he’s dead. Oliver and Laurel argue over his actions when he arrives at the cave, but Oliver reveals he put a tracker on him so they can find out where Darhk actually has gone. Diggle reveals that Andy gave him a lead, but that looks like a deadend. John also reminds Oliver not to lose his humanity, he’s already spent three-and-a-half seasons getting it back.
Oliver’s campaign manager Alex, remember he’s still running for mayor, works at the office as Thea enters. She breaks off their little fling, citing her “anger management issues,” but he tells her he’ll be waiting when she gets over it. Back in the Arrow Cave, they’re busy tracking Anarky and the signal goes out. Oliver takes this time to go see Felicity and he apologizes to her for not being there, but she understands. He does wonder if Darhk is winning because he’s more willing to sink lower than Ollie, continuing that is it worth it if you can’t protect the people closest to you? Felicity, like Diggle before her, reminds Oliver about keeping his humanity. She also, given her condition, wonders if Oliver still loves her, and like the smooth talker he is, takes out the engagement ring he gave her and slips it back on her finger.
On the island, Oliver negotiates to help Reiter with his quest in exchange for Taiana’s safety. Reiter has them both locked up and reminds Conklin that he doesn’t fit into his plans, anywhere. Laurel goes to Oliver and says they’ve found something, they traced Anarky to an address in Stonehaven. At the Darhk family home, Anarky has Mama Dahrk and Baby Darhk tied up and prepares to set them ablaze. Team Arrow busts in just in time. Oliver and Thea fight Anarky and his gigantic nunchucks while Laurel and John help the Darhks get out safely. Anarky escapes and Ollie and Thea split up to find him. As Thea goes after Anarky in the woods, Oliver runs into Damien Darhk and the pair start fighting. Darhk asks where his family is and when Oliver says he saved them, Darhk lets him go, giving him a few weeks to spend with his own family. Meanwhile in the woods, Thea strings up Anarky and nearly kills him, but when she misses he sets himself free and flees into the woods.
Later that night, Oliver asks about the Darhk family, who apparently claimed to not have been the Darhk family at all. Magic! In our final trip to the island, Conklin locks Oliver and Taiana in a prison cell where she cleans Oliver’s wounds and admits her brother would have liked Ollie. Diggle goes to see Andy once again as a brother as he pulls out a deck of cards for them to play a game. Alex goes to Thea’s place where they kiss and make-up, literally, and Oliver goes to see Felicity. He tries to make her smile with promises of a vacation in Bali, but she says they can’t give up while Darhk is still out there. Speaking of the man, he rented out an entire hotel for his wife and daughter while they look for a new home. His wife, Ruve, tells him he should have killed the Green Arrow, they’re too close to Genesis to let him get in the way.
We flash forward once again as Oliver leaves the cemetery and enters a limo. Seated inside next to him is Felicity, curiously not wearing her engagement ring anymore. She tells him that he knows what he has to do – kill him.
You can watch a preview for the next episode, titled “A.W.O.L.,” using the player below.