The CW's “Arrow” just got more super — and all it took was a bolt of lightning and a domino mask.
“Arrow” — taking a page from Christopher Nolan's “Dark Knight” trilogy — has gone to great lengths to be a “realistic” comic-book adaptation. And the realism was kicked up a notch with some major happenings in Wednesday night’s episode, titled "Three Ghosts.”
Here are Five Vital Moments from the "Arrow" midseason finale. (And if you've yet to watch it, consider this a blanket spoiler alert.)
1. The third ghost. It was clear from the previews that Oliver Queen would be seeing through visions some people who are no longer in his life. These visions turned out to be hallucinations that are the side effects of a near-death experience. The first two ghosts were obvious: Shado — Oliver's romantic interest from his days on "the island” — who we learn suffers a brutal death on the island; and Slade Wilson, another island ally who torments Oliver by telling him he's not the hero he thinks he is. But who was the third ghost? Turns out it was Tommy Merlyn, Oliver's best friend who died in the season finale last season. Oliver has been haunted by Tommy's death throughout the second season of "Arrow," vowing never to kill again because Tommy saw him as a murderer. But Tommy let's Oliver know that his death wasn't Oliver's fault, and that Oliver is indeed a hero, giving Oliver the strength to overcome his hallucinations.
2. A super sidekick in the future? Roy Harper (who comic-book fans already know is Oliver's future sidekick) had been assisting Oliver (unbeknownst to Roy, because he still doesn't know Oliver is the Arrow). But when Roy tries to get too close while investigating the new evil that has set up shop in Starling City, Oliver takes him down to protect him by putting an arrow in his leg. That doesn't stop Roy from snooping around, and he ends up being captured by Brother Blood, who then injects Roy with a formula that either kills the subject or makes the lucky recipient super-trong. Roy is injected, appears to die, but Oliver revives him. In a preview for the next episode Roy is seen punching bricks.Could he be a super sidekick for the Arrow?
3. Barry Allen has his moment. Grant Gustin made his debut as Barry Allen on "Arrow” — to positive reviews from fanboys. He was part of one of the funniest moments of the season, when he introduced himself as a scientist and Oliver asks: “Do your parents know you're here?" But don't let the boyish charm fool you — you are looking at the CW's next hero: The Flash. Allen makes an immediate impact by saving Oliver's life and learning his secret identity at the same time (which makes them Justice League buddies, right?) After assuring Oliver that his secret is safe, Allen heads back to Central City and has his moment. After he’s truck by a bolt of lightning/energy — possibly connected to an accident at STAR labs — fans glimpse of Allen lying on the ground, bathed in chemicals, with a red, lightning-like energy crackling under his skin. The Flash series can't get here fast enough.
4. The villain pulling the strings is revealed. Brother Blood and his creepy skull mask have been the face of the evil lurking in the shadows of Season 2 — but it turns out, he's just a pawn. And if you were paying close enough attention to the clues, it should have been clear who the real boss was all along. When Brother Blood returns to get new orders, we see him talking to a man whose face is hidden. But the voice is there. As soon as that voice was heard, fanboys knew: It's Slade Wilson. With an eye patch on and a streak of gray in his hair, he looks exactly like the man destined to become Deathstroke. But is he already Deathstroke? Slade makes it clear that he's in town to take down Oliver, slowly but surely. But when will Slade reach for his mask? And speaking of masks.....
5. More than just a mask. It was revealed weeks ago that Oliver would finally put on a real mask for the first time. When “Arrow” debuted last year, it was a clear hit. But if there was a No. 1 complaint from fans, it was that Oliver didn't have a real mask — just some green goo slopped on his eyes for an attempt at stealth. With fans already knowing the mask would finally make its debut, the only mystery was why? Turns out...it was a gift from Barry Allen. While helping Oliver recover, Barry asks the obvious question: Why doesn’t Oliver wear a mask if he's concerned with concealing his identity — and Barry says that the green paint isn't a good substitute. Oliver says that if Barry can design a mask that won't interfere with his aim, then he would consider it. Barry leaves the mask as a gift, leading to the moment fans have been waiting for. Oliver puts on the mask and the two-year transformation from vigilante to hero is complete.