The last three episodes of Arrow have basically served as one giant cliffhanger for the "Unthinkable" second season finale. "Seeing Red" saw a major character meet their demise (while another was born) before “City of Blood” released Deathstroke's super-soldiers to wreak havoc in Starling City and create this week's titular "Streets Of Fire." Can our heroes put out the flames? Not yet. Remember, cliffhanger. On to the penultimate installment's many nods to the DCU.
5. The FoesNotice how I said Deathstroke's super-soldiers in the intro because "Streets of Fire" made it very clear that the masked mirakuru'd men they broke out of Iron Heights Penitentiary are no longer (if they ever were) 'Blood's Army.' Sorry, Brother Sebastian, it looks like you shouldn't have made a deal with the one-eyed devil. Especially one that's hopped up on super-serum and whole mission is about revenge. I mean, the dude keeps talking about (and sometimes to) a dead person. Speaking of Shado, it seemed like this episode was the first time that Isabel heard about of Slade's obsession. I wonder how that will sit with the character fashioned after Ravager? And since we're talking about the bad guys, this seems like as good a time as any to mention the Count, the Clock King and the triad, all foes Felicity referenced during her big pep talk.
4. The HeroesFelicity was her usual heroic self, saving the day left and right. Sometimes it takes a pep talk, sometimes it takes a big van. Dig was certainly happy for the assistance. With the Foundry still out of commission, this week Team Arrow was forced to use the mobile command center. And then the Clock Tower, after the Van got destroyed. Lot of mindless destruction in Starling City this week but one of the first explosions came from one of our hero's trick arrows. Laurel's baby-steps transformation continues! Things get really dire for the heroes after the courier from Central City carrying S.T.A.R. Labs' mirakuru cure is caught up in the chaos and they aren't able to get to him before Slade. Can't they just send more? Nope. A quick call to Cisco(a recurring character on the upcoming Flash spin-off) confirms that it took everything they had to make that one case. Not that Team Van / Clock Tower has the time (or bridges and tunnels) to get another batch of the cure anyway.
3. The GovernmentWhy don't the heroes have enough time for another batch even if it were possible? Because A.R.G.U.S. has sealed off all entrances and exits to make sure that Deathstroke's army doesn't get outside Starling's borders. Why Amanda Waller thinks it's a national threat is beyond me (couldn't they just use Roy's blood to make another cure?) but Mockingbird doesn't take her job lightly. Half a million dead at dawn unless Oliver can get his hands on the cure and save the city. Good thing former Mayor Blood never wanted things to go this far and he manages to steal the cure back from Slade before meeting the business end of Isabel's blades. Of course, this is after D.A. Kate Spencer had her neck snapped. That sucks but it does open the job up for the newly reinstated A.D.A. Laurel Lance, a good spot for her to help Oliver from since she's not ready to take over for Sara. Before getting to that wildcard, there's another even more recent reinstatement in the Lance family to mention with Quentin getting his detective badge back. Not to mention the chance to lead the SCPD against the threat.
2. The WildcardsI'm not going to lie, I wasn't sure if we would see Sara again this season which I now realize was silly. Obviously, she would be coming back for the big finale. And the episode before "The Unthinkable." Still, Sara's Canary is always a wildcard even if this week really wanted to hammer home that she is indeed a hero. I would try and write out her League of Shadows' name but there's no way I'd get it right. (Taisa al Safair? See.) Malcolm Merlyn, the other major returning character (and wildcard) in "Streets of Fire," also has League affiliations and returned to Starling just in time to save his estranged daughter. He was willing to let the Glades go under last season but that doesn't mean he's going to let Thea get hurt. And after Moira's death, it only makes sense for the biological (and diabolical) father to reenter the scene. Oh, and I guess Roy is a wildcard too since he has to get off that slab soon. Right? He might not have superpowers anymore but he could still part of the hero's Arsenal.
1. The End of the BeginningAnd now the most exciting part of the episode, the flashback. Yes, I am kidding. I don't hate the action on Lian Yu but some weeks are certainly stronger than others and the sequences there in the second half of the season have been more inconsistent than ever. However, it was nice to hear Yao Fei get a shout-out during "Streets Of Fire" because it's been some time since our hero's original mentor was mentioned. As for this week's mission, Oliver sneaks aboard the Amazo to try and rescue Sara from Slade as well as Slade from himself. The first part goes swimmingly but, given the present circumstances, I don't the second is going to work out. Will the finale feature someone losing an eyeball? If I had to guess. And what about Anatoli Knyazev? Was that the last we'll see of the KGBeast this year? Or could he come in Han Solo style to save the day? Hm. I don't think so. Ollie and Sara are on their own.
Arrow returns with the Season 3 finale, "Unthinkable," 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.