Brian West

Arrow “Three Ghosts” Mid-Season Finale Review

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Oliver Queen, you will be visited by three spirits…….

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SPOILERS AHEAD…….you’ve been warned…

Deck the halls with bad guys full of arrows, fa la la la, la la la la. Tis the holiday season on Arrow, and the CW decided to celebrate this festive time of year with a DC version of Charles Dickens Christmas classic. Alright, so maybe “Three Ghosts” really didn’t have that much to do with Christmas, but to be fair there was a decorated tree in there somewhere and the show did manage to put three spirits visiting Oliver into the episode. I guess this is probably as close to a holiday classic as we get in the DC Universe. Lack of holiday theme aside, this second part of the mid-season finale was fantastic(read part one here). Building on last weeks great introduction to Barry Allen, “Three Ghosts” brings us part two of Arrow’s mid-season finale that manages to tie together most of the stories from the first half of season, unwrap the mystery of which villain is going to be at the top of the naughty list this season, and even give Oliver the Christmas gift of a new mask.

All Christmas joking aside, I’m still not sure what was up with those three ghosts this week. It was cool to see Shado, Tommy, and Slade show up in the present (Tommy especially has been missed this season, I really hope they find a way to bring him back), but why they were appearing to Oliver never really made any sense after it was proved that the Hallucinations had nothing to do with him being poisoned. Why Oliver was seeing ghosts that were there to comfort, and in Slade’s case judge, Oliver over issues that were never really talked about prior to this week, never really got answered. Plus the fact that at least one of the Ghost’s proved later to not even be dead, just made the whole thing seem like a reach by the writers to include a Holiday theme into the show. Thankfully the ghosts were only a small part of this weeks action that didn’t manage to derail the rest of a great episode.
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With all the different storylines that Arrow’s writers have been setting up this year, I was starting to wonder when the season’s main villain was going to finally reveal himself. Even with hints of Ra’s al Ghul and Talia coming to Arrow and Malcolm Merlyn showing back up, it was starting to look like Brother Blood might end up being the big bad this year. With all the names of bigger bad guys getting thrown around, Brother Blood would’ve been a disappointment. Lucky for us, Arrow is all about big reveals and throwing curve-balls. Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstoke, is actually the man behind Brother Blood and the one supplying the Mirakuru serum. With the island flashbacks starting to intertwine with the present storylines more than ever, I figured it was only a matter of time before Slade made his way to Starling City, but I didn’t see the twist of him being the mastermind behind most of season two’s evil plots coming. I only hope that with as much time as the writers have spent building up his character, they use him for more than just a season, Deathstroke is just such a great villain it’d be a waste to get rid of him too soon. With as much as Slade wants Oliver to suffer, I’m also excited to see the reason why. I know the obvious reason would be Shado’s death, but I don’t think she is actually dead, and this show has a way taking what you think you know and turning it on its head. Considering Wilson is every bit a match for Oliver, this season has gotten much more interesting.

I was starting to worry that with the third Flash episode being pulled from this season, we weren’t going to actually see Barry Allen’s super transformation this week, now I almost wished we hadn’t. Not to say that it wasn’t awesome to see Barry struck by lightning, cause it was, it just felt very out of place for this episode. It would have been much more fitting to have it happen at the end of last weeks “Scientist”, an episode that really focused much more on Barry Allen than this weeks did. Now just because the Flash origin felted rushed, didn’t mean it wasn’t great.3 I was surprised how close to the comic book origin writer Geoff John stuck too, with all the Particle Accelerator foreshadowing this season I figured that alone would be the source of Flash’s speed. I liked that they found a way to combine the comic origin with a more fitting origin for the Arrow universe. I also really like that Barry was the one who made Oliver his new mask, it will be a subtle reminder of the connection that the Flash and Arrow universes share. But now with the Flash tie-in episode gone, I just hope that the Flash TV show does get an actual season order, or else this is going to be a heck of a loose plot left hanging. Barry Allen deserves his own show, fingers crossed that the CW brass feels the same way.

The last couple things that bare keeping a future eye on are Roy’s new found powers, and Cyrus Gold. With Roy getting the Mirakuru serum and having super powers, I officially have no idea where the show is going with Red Arrow/Speedy/Arsenal, all names of Roy Harper as Green Arrow’s sidekick in the comics. Roy has never had powers (that I’m aware of), and I think it’d be hard to have a sidekick that has more power than the hero he helps. Plus, I find it interesting that the writers keep having Oliver call Thea by her nickname, Speedy. Three Ghosts In a lot of ways it seems like the Red Arrow character from the comics has been split into Thea and Roy, both have embodied aspects of the character on the show. I’m very interested to see if and when Arrow gets a sidekick who it will be. The other big thing that was slipped in this episode was that Brother Blood’s super powered henchman was none other than Cyrus Gold. For those who didn’t get the hints dropped in the episode, Cyrus Gold is the identity of criminal who becomes Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday. Solomon Grundy is a fairly supernatural bad guy who wont stay dead. He’s always been know as a Batman villain, but he has played a fairly big role in the DC universe in the past. Grundy does seem an old choice to bring to Arrow because despite the recent superpowers showing up, this show tries to stay grounded in a more realistic approach. If Solomon Grundy is on the table though, its a good sign that Arrow’s writers have been given a lot of freedom as to where they can take the show. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how Arrow will portray Grundy, and what other bad guys can now be brought onto the show.

Arrow has been so very good this year that it was only fitting we got a great two part episode to send us off for the Holiday break. With the Flash, Grundy, Slade, and all the other good stuff packed into “Three Ghosts”, this could have easily been the season two finale. I am glad it wasn’t though, that would have meant waiting a whole year to see Slade Wilson’s master plan unfold. That’d be enough to ruin anyone’s Christmas cheer.

I give “Three Ghosts” a 9/10 reasons that Flash….I mean Arrow, has left us a super powered present under the tree.

What’d you think of the mid-season finale? Sound off in the comments below!!

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