Okay, look: there's literally no way we're going to catch everything on the Arrow hundredth episode within minutes of the end of the episode. So we're just getting that out of the way right now.
We absolutely know that we're going to miss stuff -- or that certain things just won't get counted. We won't point out every cameo appearance that was made, although it was amazing to see Susanna Thompson (Moira Queen), Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance), and so many more.
We won't attempt to parse out each bit of flashback that takes place, from the pilot to Legends of Tomorrow (hey, look! Rip Hunter is missing in action, but here he is hanging out in Sara's flashback!) to last night's episode of The Flash.
What will we do? We'll do all of that in two weeks after the show is on hiatus and we have time to breathe. In the meantime, here's what we saw on our first go-'round (and one that director James Bamford revealed online).
So...what did we see? What did we miss?
Read on, and comment below...!
We had a heads-up on this one, not that we would have missed it.
Stephen Amell told us, "The hundredth episode of Arrow begins in a very appropriate way: it begins with Oliver running. We've had him running into the premiere almost every year, we didn't have him running in this year, but we have him running in the hundredth episode."
DINAH LAUREL LANCE
Full-naming your fiancee while doing cutesy talk isn't entirely unheard-of, but here it's a nice little reminder that, yes, Laurel is actually Dinah Lance from the comics, the longtime Justice League and Birds of Prey member known as the Black Canary.
The whole "Will you marry me?" with the response that "I think I already answered that" is actually something that Oliver and Felicity went through last season.
Bringing it back in the opening moments of the episode, but attaching it to the Laurel relationship, raises all kinds of fun questions that will no doubt have the show's fractured base yelling at each other for seasons to come.
We love it.
OLIVER AND COMPANY
If you've not noticed before, we tend to refer to Team Arrow as "Oliver and Company" sometimes, just to vary up our language so we aren't saying the same thing all the time, especially in recaps.
Seriously: there are currently five pages of entries with the phrase "Oliver and Company" on ComicBook.com.
The reference, in case you missed it the first hundred times we used it or when Cisco explained it this week, is to a Disney animated film from the '80s. It was a musical comedy about a group of streetwise dogs who take in a small, orange cat, in which the soundtrack was primarily driven by Billy Joel, whose biggest fan is probably Arrow EP Marc Guggenheim.
Per Guggenheim, he made the Oliver and Company joke in the script, but it was actor Carlos Valdes who added the Billy Joel nod.
The mansion seen in the pilot, and used again here, is actually the same building that served as the Luthor mansion in Smallville.
Hatley Castle at Royal Roads University is a frequent destination for both tourists and film productions.
Subsequent shots at the Queen family home were on a set, and it's not entirely clear whether it was the set or the Castle where these scenes were shot.
In the pilot, Oliver gave Thea a Hōzen (宝箭) -- an arrowhead-shaped stone he found around the neck of a dead Japanese soldier on Lian Yu.
In the pilot, he told her -- as she tells him this week -- that in Japanese Buddhism, the hōzen symbolizes reconnecting.
RAISA THE MAID
Raisa, the Queens' maid, appeared in the pilot and was never seen again (although she was mentioned once in season 2 and once in season 3).
Tonight, we saw a clumsy maid work her way into frame during the It's a Wonderful Life version of things, and it's hard to wonder whether that might be (a presumably recast) Raisa, who was apparently a fixture of the Queen household from when Oliver was a very small child until shortly after he returned from Lian Yu.
It's a family business, and it should stay in the family -- that's the reason Robert Queen gave for not wanting to hand his job over to Walter Steele...
...who, ironically enough, would be family-by-marriage after the death of Robert, when he and Moira got hitched.
PALMER'S BUYOUT OFFER
The Palmer Technologies buyout of Queen Consolidated came in season 3 of the TV show, but apparently here, Palmer was hovering around Queen as soon as he heard Robert Queen was thinking of stepping down.
DIGGLE AS THE HOOD
During the first season, when Oliver was suspected by just about everybody of being "The Hood," he convinced Diggle to don the costume and go make a spectacle of himself during Oliver's pretrial hearing so that there was no doubt in anyone's mind that Oliver was not the vigilante.
Here, we get to see him come back.
This one hardly counts, since it was referenced in-story, but...yeah, obviously that's a nod to Star Wars.
VAN HORN INDUSTRIES
Van Horn Industries is the name of a company owned by the family of Andrew Van Horn, a superhero known as Gunfire.
Gunfire was created during the Bloodlines attack, a '90s attempt to create a bunch of new superheroes by giving them a common starting point: an alien invasion where some of the victims of parasitic, cannibalistic aliens survived and gained powers. Bloodlines was itself kind of a poor man's Invasion!, since The Blasters were created (and some other characters outed as metahumans) after the Dominator attack, but what's arguably more interesting is that Gunfire has ties (and by ties we mean "very poor relationships") to both Deathstroke and Prometheus.
Could we see Andrew Van Horn, or is this just another Amertek-style misdirect where the company will never really play a key role in the story but it's a nice Easter egg? Only time will tell.
THE HOOD SKETCH
Along with Diggle under the hood, we get a look at the original Hood sketch and newspaper clippings that made up part of the Starling City Police Department's Rip Hunter-style chalkboard looking for the Arrow in season 1.
MY NAME IS OLIVER QUEEN
When Oliver starts to introduce himself, he goes with "My name is Oliver Queen," just like he does in the voice over at the start of nearly every episode.
Felicity hilariously cuts him off with "everyone knows who you are." Which serves the story -- he's a famous, wealthy socialite -- and the meta-text of the episode ("Yes, we've heard that monologue over 90 times now!").
"NO ONE CAN KNOW MY SECRET"
Earlier in the season, Oliver killed a dirty cop who had seen him fighting, saying "No one can know my secret."
His identity is particularly sensitive these days now that he's the mayor of Star City -- a title his father Robert has in the dream world.
Felicity Smoak may not have had a Smoak Technologies building anytime in the past or present, but in the future, both Ray and Sara encountered such a building in the alternate timeline that revealed John Diggle, Jr. was the next Green Arrow.
Could it be that somehow elements of that timeline have been creeping back into reality from some source -- either Flashpoint or something else?
DEATHSTROKE & FRIENDS
We didn't get to see season 3 big bad Ra's al Ghul (or, more sadly, his daughter Nyssa) in the big melee toward the end of the episode, but Team Arrow DID fight off every other major antagonist in the show at the same time, while each of them -- Thea versus Merlyn, Oliver versus Deathstroke, and Sara versus Darhk -- got a kind of karmic win that should tide them over for a while.
That roundabout thing about how Tommy is a doctor in Chicago now, and he just couldn't break away from his long shifts to come visit for the wedding?
That's a whole lot of meta, talking about ator Colin Donnell, who played Tommy in season 1 and has periodically come back in flashbacks and other such stories.
Donnell couldn't come for the hundredth episode because he's now a regular on Chicago Med, which is in production and couldn't spare him.
Is it just us, or does the moment where Nate Heywood and the Waverider swoop in to save the day -- flying sideways thruogh the frame against a field of smaller, deadly spacecraft -- pretty much the moment where Han Solo reappears in the Millennium Falcon at the end of Star Wars?
THE PATH NOT TAKEN
This story seem familiar? Like last year's Supergirl episode "For the Girl Who Has Everything," or the "Flashpoint" episode of The Flash? What about "Perchance to Dream" from Batman: The Animated Series?
"There's a reason why these stories are kind of iconic or familiar tropes, even in comic books," EP Marc Guggenheim said. "It's because when you show the protagonist the path not taken and you basically put them in a situation where they can choose to stay on that path or go back to their life with all of its ugly aspects and challenges and they choose the selfless choice of returning to that ugly past, it makes your character stronger. It forced Oliver to basically double down on his mission and commit to this life with all of its losses and failures and challenges."