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Even though last week's Arrow was only the fourth last episode of the season, "Seeing Red" contained a few moments fit for a finale. The installment not only said goodbye to a significant character but it included an allusion to a possibly huge addition as well. And all this a month before the "Unthinkable" happens. The aforementioned and unexpected goodbye also paved the way for Starling to become a “City of Blood,” since there was no longer any need for a mayoral election. The twenty-first episode's title should have been saved for the finale, if only for symmetrical purposes since the season opened with "City of Heroes." Or the writers have it set up so the final two feel like an exciting encore. Or it's just titles and a certain reviewer has OCD. But enough about that, on to the DCU references in this week’s cliffhanger…
4. Submarine Stall TacticsThe events on Lian Yu this week were pretty far from spectacular. I'm not sure what is stalling more, the submarine or the storyline. Our group of survivors, Oliver, Sara and Anatoli Knyazev (aka KGBeast), are aboard the Japanese sub that originally carried the mirakuru and they hope to be able to get it working so they can escape from the island without having to confront Captain Slade and the crew of the Amazo. We haven't actually seen Slade or the freighter in some time but I'm guessing he's out there still fuming over the loss of/talking to the ghost of Shado. The good Dr. Ivo also gets a post-humous name drop from the 4th guy aboard the submarine - you know, the one who's pretty much just a redshirt from Star Trek - right before he sacrifices himself for the survival of the rest. I would assume he was just a throwaway character but perhaps this Peter is Scavneger? He could always resurface as a pirate, right? That would be a connection to Aquaman.
3. Outside AlliesSure, there was some talk from Oliver about getting back to the 'original three' but that notion was quickly quashed when Laurel decided to tag along anyways. It's hard to distinguish just who's officially on the team and who merely provides assistance. It's clear that they would prefer to keep Amanda Waller and A.R.G.U.S. out of their affairs if it can be helped. This week, it could not. Team Arrow is also still waiting on a possible mirakuru cure coming from their friends at S.T.A.R. Labs in Central City. In case you forgot, Felicity is quick to remind us that's where Barry lives as well. Still in that coma, waiting for that spin-off. While last week mentioned Caitlin Snow, this week it was Cisco Ramon's turn, another key character in the Flash pilot. Oh, and it was nice to see Walter return, another (just on the) outside ally in times of need.
2. Expanding The FoundryAfter last week, it may take some time before Roy is back in the inner sanctum, while Thea (or Speedy) surely has to find out soon. Not that the little sister's discovery means an automatic invitation to team meetings but I could certainly see her going the Mia Dearden route. That would be rad. Let's not forget, she's also half Merlyn so perhaps her path involves breaking bad? Enough speculation, back to those who are definitely part of the group and know Oliver is the Arrow. Okay, so Lance doesn't know but he still in the core crew of Ollie, Diggle, Felicity and now Laurel. It's also the second week in a row that someone mentioned “The Undertaking,” probably to get us prepared for what could be an even bigger threat to Starling City. I also wonder if Isabel's business trip to Verdant means that Team Arrow will have to relocate to a new lair. They did introduce Ollie's backup location. I mean, when so many nemeses know where you recuperate, it's probably time for a change.
1. Blood In The StreetsSpeaking of Isabel Rochev, Robert Queen's scorned lover, we knew she wasn't dead but we didn't know that she'd also kind of be filing the role of Slade's daughter Rose Wilson, also known as Ravager. At least I think so. Look at the picture above. Or maybe she just looks like any other one of Deathstroke's super-soldiers and I'm desperate for DCU references. It's interesting that the episode keeps referring to them as 'Blood's Army' when they are clearly modelled after and take orders from Slade not Brother Sebastian. Sorry, Mayor Blood. And, true to the comics, his assault on the city is coordinated by Bethany Snow at Channel 52, with all the Iron Heights escapees attacking at once. And Ollie thought it would end with just him and his one-eyed nemesis. Looks like Laurel's sleuthing proved useful, not to mention Felicity's fantastic interrogation of Clinton Hogue. Our hero is no longer in a sacrificing kind of mood, which is good since Slade not only wants to make good on “The Promise” but also, uh, set the streets on fire.
Arrow returns with Episode 22, "Streets of Fire," next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Created by Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti, the DC Comics inspired series stars Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Colton Haynes, Manu Bennett, Paul Blackthorne and Susanna Thompson.