“Three Ghosts” – Arrow Midseason Finale Recap
Spoilers for ‘Three Ghosts’, the midseason finale of CW’s Arrow included below
In what might be the best part of the midseason finale, Barry Allen was introduced and in true Barry fashion he was awkward, funny and charming. His “geek” relationship with Felicity was adorable, and the running joke of Barry always being late just made me love him that much more. Barry was a major player in the episode as he saved Oliver’s life and helped Oliver understand that a mask is way better than paint. The episode wouldn’t be complete without us seeing Barry return to Central City on the first night they turn on the particle accelerator that we have been hearing about. That same night there is a terrible lightning storm that ultimately leads to the birth of THE FLASH.
The crazy part about this is Barry was a minor part of the episode. The episode appropriately titled ‘Three Ghosts’ was festive and haunting. In what Oliver thinks is hallucinations, turns out to be the realization of PTSD and it is quite brutal. Each ghost brings out different truths. Shado, who was tragically sacrificed when Oliver had to make a tough decision, tries to convince Oliver to retire his bow and just go on living his life. Slade haunts Oliver as a means to reaffirm why Oliver has actually become Arrow. Originally for his father, does Oliver actually have a cause worth fighting for or is it more selfish then he knows? The last ghost arrives as Oliver is fighting for his life. In a cameo for the ages, Tommy returns and reassures Oliver that his death was not Oliver’s fault, urging him to not let his death be for nothing. Tommy convinces him to fight back and help save Starling City.
But we are not done there. After destroying the plans of Brother Blood to poison the city, we learn who is financing the whole diabolical plot and it turns out to be Slade. A man we thought dead on the island is revealed in a flash back to have survived and is now out to destroy the Vigilante and Starling city itself.
In what I might say is the best episode of the series (for now) I am extremely excited to see what comes next. How will Slade confront Oliver? Will we see Barry Allen again (as the Flash maybe)? What’s next for Oliver as he renews his faith in his purpose?
Tim covered the plot pretty well, so I will touch on the comic book roots that the show flashed (pun intended) continually throughout the episode. There was a lot to like about this episode. I had the thought, “Oh this is a good place to stop!” about four times. A lot of great easter eggs are buried throughout, and the series seemed to stick with or turn to a lot of the great ideas and story-lines from the comics.
- Deathstroke is back! AND HE HAS AN EYEPATCH! I loved this iteration of the classic DC villain so far. I thought The CW was making some of the mythology their own, and made him a younger ally of Oliver. But before the show, he was a ruthless cunning mercenary/assassin. Under his mask he wore an eyepatch. A result of a gunshot wound from his wife. They had a rocky relationship. He was also known for his silver locks, not the close cropped black hair Slade rocks in the show. But with last night’s reveal, The CW made me extremely happy. It set up what can only be a stellar plot line for the second half, one that has me sad there won’t be a new episode for a bit.
- Barry Allen got his origin! My money was on the powers stemming from the particle accelerator in Central City. But the show stuck with Barry’s story from the silver age comics. He was playing around with some chemicals when lighting strikes. The lab accident is what triggered his powers. Watching that scene gave me nerdy goosebumps, I wanted to applaud. Not to mention that this happens right after he hints at asking Felicity out. Setting up a date and getting superpowers in the same day? Some guys get all the luck. Quick note: the lightning strike that hits Barry and gives him his powers is…Barry…from the future. Confusing? It is. Expect a post on The Flash’s crazy origin in a bit.
- Solomon Grundy! There is no way that this episode is that last we see of Brother Blood’s Cyrus Gold. The explosion that scarred his face and seemingly killed him, only makes him look more like the super strong zombie from the comics. I bet we see him again in this season, and he’s only going to be tougher to kill (or not kill if Ollie tries to keep up his “pacifist” ways)
- A beefier Red Arrow: [DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE A SKYRIM "ARROW TO THE KNEE" JOKE] Roy Harper was a street level punk with an affinity for red Abercrombie hoodies going in to this episode. But he came out juiced up from the Mirakuru. I wonder if that was a slight nod to Red Arrow’s previous run in with needles… Plus, now he is going to be crazy strong and powerful. Since he is such a loose cannon, Oliver and co. will have to keep him under close inspection. I think the easiest way to do this is to team up. Kind of a friends close situation. This is complete speculation mind you, but wouldn’t you love to see a mini team get started? Felicity and Diggle are more than great. but imagine both Arrows AND The Flash getting together to lay the smack down. They HAVE to…right? CW?
- Oliver puts down the paint: A lot of people were griping about Oliver’s continued use of grease paint to hide his eyes. Who is he really fooling with that? I’d recognize him every time, I’m sure if you showed somebody a picture of The Arrow and Stephen Amell their first thought would be, “oh that’s definitely the same person.” Thanks to our favorite scarlet speedster, Barry, Oliver donned a mask for the first time. It was a statement to fans. Arrow is a super hero, there are people in this world with superpowers, and it marked a definite direction for the show. An awesome direction.
Episodes like this are why I love the show so much. There were jaw-droppable moments every five minutes it seemed. It started with Oliver dying. STARTED WITH THAT. And it paid great homage to the comics, which makes sense considering Geoff Johns, comic book writer (including a run on The Flash) wrote both this and last week’s episode. With everything this show has to promise and offer, January can’t come soon enough.
- TV Club: Arrow: “Three Ghosts” (avclub.com)
- “Arrow” Creative Team Deconstruct the Flash-Filled Midseason Finale (comicbookresources.com)
- TV Review: Arrow, “Three Ghosts” (S2/EP9) – Now That’s How You Do a Mid-Season Finale (weminoredinfilm.com)
- ARROW Recap: Three Ghosts (nerdist.com)