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ARROW Recap: “What We Leave Behind” Brings Back a Fan-Favorite Character in a Shocking Cliffhanger

ARROW Recap: “What We Leave Behind” Brings Back a Fan-Favorite Character in a Shocking Cliffhanger

Warning: the following recap contains major spoilers from Arrow‘s midseason finale, “What We Leave Behind.” This is a recap, after all! Don’t say we didn’t warn you …

You can’t deny that Arrow knows how to end a midseason finale in the most shocking way possible. Every single year, The CW’s hit superhero series leaves viewers and critics alike screaming at their TV screens, and season five was absolutely no exception. You thought that Ra’s al Ghul killing Oliver on the top of a snow-covered mountain was crazy? How about Felicity getting shot right after Oliver proposed to her? You ain’t seen nothing yet, guys. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. So much happened in this year’s midseason finale, and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Let’s get to recapping “What We Leave Behind!”

Evelyn Shaw, you sneaky little backstabber. Turns out Artemis decided to turn on Team Arrow after Oliver revealed his serial killer past to the new recruits and she became a mole for Prometheus. She gave Prometheus information about every Team Arrow member in exchange for being there to watch Prometheus kill Oliver. But as Prometheus reminded her, he didn’t want to kill Oliver; he wanted to make him wish he was dead. That sounds ominous considering the fact that Prometheus now knows everyone’s secret identity on Team Arrow. He can’t be planning anything good.

Arrow -- "What We Leave Behind" -- Image AR509b_0195b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Green Arrow and David Ramsey as John Diggle/Spartan -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

At the Mayor’s annual Christmas party, Felicity finally introduced Detective Boyfriend (sorry, he’ll never be anything else to me) to Oliver, Curtis, and his husband, but their meeting accidentally tipped Paul off that Curtis had been lying about all his late nights working on a “startup” with Felicity. Oops. He ended up having to leave the party early to deal with his relationship issues. Unfortunately, Prometheus chose that superbly inconvenient moment to interrupt their argument and attack Curtis, stabbing him in the chest with a knife after Curtis tried defending himself and his husband.

Curtis woke up later in the hospital with Paul by his side, and Paul wanted some answers about where Curtis learned to fight and why the “throwing-star killer” had targeted him. But Oliver and Felicity showed up with Detective Boyfriend to distract Paul while Oliver and Curtis realized that because Prometheus had attacked Curtis as Curtis and not as Mister Terrific, he now knew all the Team Arrow secret identities. Detective Boyfriend also realized that meant Felicity was in danger too. But Oliver was even more shocked when he heard that Curtis was poisoned by Prometheus’ throwing star by something Oliver came across years ago.

And that actually brings us to our flashback storyline of the week. Four years ago, back when Team Arrow was just Oliver as the Hood and Diggle, they uncovered a corrupt businessman on The List, Justin Claybourne, had orchestrated a virus outbreak in the city just to jack up prices on the cure. What a despicable human being. Oliver certainly thought so, and since he was still in his killing phase, he was ready to bring the pain.

Arrow -- "What We Leave Behind" -- Image AR509a_0443b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and David Ramsey as John Diggle -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

In the present, Team Arrow infiltrated Claybourne’s old warehouse just in time for Prometheus to use a throwing star to literally split an arrow in half in midair. Whoa. But just when Wild Dog seemed to save Oliver from Prometheus, Artemis turned on the team and revealed her betrayal to help Prometheus get away. Back at the Arrow Cave, Ragman and Wild Dog were stuck with running a DNA test on the human ashes they found at the warehouse while Felicity was pulled away by Detective Boyfriend. They got into an argument because she didn’t reveal important information to him about Claybourne. But the DNA test Ragman and Wild Dog ran turned out to be Claybourne’s ashes, meaning he was still dead (thanks to Oliver four years ago) and the identity of Prometheus was still a mystery. Thankfully Detective Boyfriend found a clue at Claybourne’s warehouse: a picture of a baby. Before he could figure out who the baby was, Prometheus attacked him.

Back at the hospital, Paul finally made Curtis come clean about his work with Team Arrow after one too many slip ups in Curtis’ lies. He didn’t believe Curtis at first, but then he got angry and told Curtis that he needed to quit being a vigilante or else their marriage would be over. He said he couldn’t handle watching his husband get hurt ever again or die. But Curtis couldn’t quit the team — he had to be true to who he was. And as Felicity pointed out, he also didn’t react well to ultimatums.

Arrow -- "What We Leave Behind" -- Image AR509b_0060b.jpg -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Green Arrow -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

In the flashbacks, the Hood attacked Claybourne’s warehouse and gave him an ultimatum: Claybourne had until 11 p.m. the next day to stop holding the city’s health hostage or else he’d die. When Oliver learned that Claybourne was the one who unleashed the teburculosis epidemic on the city, he decided to kill Claybourne before his deadline. Then we got another flashback … but this one was to season one Oliver and Felicity! Oh my god! Their early chemistry was there in all its “Olicity” glory and I could not keep the grin off my face during this entire scene. Oliver gave her one of his trademark terrible lies about why he needed information about the location of a “girl he wanted to send a singing telegram to,” a.k.a. Claybourne. She found it immediately after a little bit of flirting, and back in the present, Oliver remembered that same address and decided to go there alone to fix the problem he created.

You see, before Detective Boyfriend was attacked, he managed to send the baby photo he found to Felicity. She figured out who it was via facial recognition—Claybourne’s secret son who would be about 30 years old today, meaning that he was getting revenge on the “Hood” for killing his father four years ago. Meanwhile, D.A. Adrian Chase convinced Oliver to make a shoot-to-kill order on Prometheus to help calm the city down, while Oliver realized that, via a move Prometheus put on him, they might have the same Russian mentor when it came to fighting. Oliver created Prometheus when he killed his father, and the son had four years to train and plan his revenge on the Hood, hence why he wanted to fight Prometheus without his team.

Arrow -- "What We Leave Behind" -- Image AR509b_0318b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Green Arrow and Prometheus -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Oliver found a trail of bodies at the address he had attacked four years prior as the Hood, and the bodies were laid out in the exact same way he had killed Claybourne’s men four years ago. The symmetry of it was beautiful in a disturbing, horrible, nightmare-inducing kind of way. Prometheus really did his homework here. When Oliver finally found Prometheus in the same spot where he had killed his father, Prometheus told him this was about more than revenge. That became clear when Oliver shot Prometheus with three arrows to the chest, killing him… only to discover that Prometheus had dressed up Detective Boyfriend in a Prometheus costume as bait, knowing that Oliver would kill his target without second thought as he did to his father four years ago.

That’s right, Oliver just killed Felicity’s boyfriend. Let that sink in for a moment. Oliver. Killed. Felicity’s. Boyfriend. The same boyfriend who, might I add, I’m pretty sure she loved (at the holiday party, she almost let the “L” word slip to Detective Boyfriend in a totally adorable way). How will “Olicity” come back from this? How can they come back from this? Detective Boyfriend was sweet, smart, understanding, forgiving and he cared about Felicity. He was perfect for her. I will not get over this death anytime soon, y’all.

And after Evelyn’s betrayal, how can Team Arrow survive all these hits? Thankfully Felicity didn’t blame Oliver for Detective Boyfriend’s death like he was trying to do. She blamed Prometheus (phew!). But Oliver told Team Arrow they all needed to get as far away from him as they possibly can, since as Prometheus told him, everything he touches dies. He tried to push them all away, but instead, they all went in for a group hug. Team Arrow is still whole, and my heart burst with happy tears! At least one good thing came out of all this sadness.

Arrow -- "What We Leave Behind" -- Image AR509b_0512b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): David Ramsey as John Diggle/Spartan, Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Green Arrow and Rick Gonzalez as Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

But the midseason finale isn’t over just yet, and that’s going to cost Curtis in his personal life, as Paul packed up Curtis’ things and told him to leave their home. He could tell that Curtis was the happiest he’s ever been being a vigilante, but he couldn’t handle watching Curtis kill himself in his dangerous new life. As for Dig, he got a call from Lyla asking him to come to the safehouse immediately since there was something wrong with John Jr. but it was all a set up to get him caught by the authorities (remember he’s still a fugitive from the law). Felicity was left crying on her couch mourning her dead boyfriend who had been killed by her ex-fiance. Artemis was still MIA. Unaware of all of the tragedy falling on Team Arrow, Oliver sought out his new girlfriend Susan Williams for comfort. When he came back to the Arrow Cave later that night he found … Laurel Lance standing in the middle of the room? Wait, what?!

Okay, what did we just see. Laurel Lance is very much dead. Right?! Is this Black Siren from Earth-2? Or did someone resurrect Earth-1 Laurel from the dead? Is she a friend or foe? What is happening?! Tweet me your thoughts at @SydneyBucksbaum!

Arrow returns with all-new episodes Wednesday, January 25 at 8 p.m. on The CW. 

Images: The CW

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