After one of the fastest-paced, most character-driven and frankly best episodes of Arrow in recent memory, we took to our notepads to see how much had been dug out of the comics and hidden away for the die-hard fans to find.
We've talked about this before: Arrow showrunners aren't quite as Easter egg-happy as the other shows on The CW are, and executive producer Marc Guggenheim has said before that it's on him to make the show as appealing as possible to non-comic book readers, who make up most of Arrow's audience.
And, as happens from time to time on any show...there was just a lot to do and not a ton of time to stop, smell the roses, and make knowing winks in the direction of the viewer.
So...what did we see? What did we miss?
Read on, and comment below.
Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
APARO & PUCKETT
Tobias Church's stolen cell phone turned up in a warehouse on Aparo and Puckett -- two streets named after veteran DC Comics creators Jim Aparo and Kelley Puckett.
Puckett is a writer best known for his work on the Batman family of titles. Among his most notable works are the co-creations of the Cassandra Cain Batgirl and Connor Hawke, the son of Oliver Queen (now the son of John Diggle, thanks to "Flashpoint."
Aparo, one of the most recognizable Batman artists of his era, also worked on books like The Brave and the Bold, Adventure Comics, Aquaman and -- his last ongoing series assignment before he passed away -- Green Arrow #81-100 in the '90s, during which time he and Puckett introduced Connor Hawke.
SO IT BEGINS
As Felicity notes in the episode, the title (and also that little message in fire left for Oliver a la the Daredevil movie) is a line from Babylon 5.
Specifically, it was spoken by Kosh in the episode "Chrysalis," and became an oft-repeated/referenced quote from the series.
David Meunier, known to TV fans for his role on FX's Justified, joined the cast of Arrow tonight as Ishmael Gregor.
Gregor in the comics is a character who's been known to make a physical transformation into a demon, complete with magical powers, but considering remarks by the showrunners about a more grounded Season Five, it seems likely that his primary role will be as a human running the Russian mob.
Upon his casting, The CW described him as "the slick and intimidating Pakhan (“Godfather”) of the Bratva, whom Anatoly (David Nykl) reports and takes a special interest in Oliver Queen."
Anatoly, of course, being Anatoly Knyazev, who appeared in Arrow's first two seasons. He is one of only a handful of supporting characters to have major roles in both the flashback and the current-day stories.
"Anatoly’s back. David Nykl – we’re so lucky to have him," showrunner Wendy Mericle told Green Arrow TV recently. "He was such a find. He brings so much humor and light to that role, and that relationship between Anatoly and Oliver is something very special. We’re very excited about how he brings Oliver into the Bratva and what happens to Oliver when he’s there."
WORTH A MENTION...
These are things we've already called out pretty recently, but what the heck? It's a slow week, and we have time.
Konstantin Kovar has been mentioned before but, as seen above, he appeared onscreen for the first time in this week's episode, played by Hollywood action legend Dolph Lundgren (Rocky IV, Universal Soldier).
Channel 52 makes yet another appearance -- actually, more than one: first as Susan Williams's report airs and then again later when a breaking news update is provided by the reliable veteran Bethany Snow.
Callbacks to early seasons include Oliver's tennis ball-training session, the appearance of The List, and all those names on it. There were likely more we failed to jot down.