Tonight is the midseason finale of Arrow, and that means a chance to pick up some threads from the seventh episode of the season that feel like they've been hanging for a while now.
Last week, of course, Team Arrow fended off an alien horde while Oliver got a look at what life could have been like if he'd never left on the Queen's Gambit nearly ten years ago now. Before that, the show had a week off for American Thanksgiving.
With all of that in the interim, it can be difficult to remember that the last we saw Artemis, she was having a clandestine meeting on a rooftop with Prometheus.
"I will say, you will get a payoff to 5.07's cliffhanger with respect to Evelyn big time in 5.09," Arrow executive producer Andrew Kreisberg promised reporters last week.
While that's happening, Oliver Queen is finding focus like he hasn't had in a while, thanks at least in part to the events of last week's crossover.
"The events of ["Invasion!"] essentially forced him to emotionally double down on his mission," executive producer Marc Guggenheim explained. "He goes into 5.09 with a new sense of purpose and I would say also a reaffirmation with his bond with Thea. They basically chose each other in 5.08. That carries through the mid-season finale and obviously sets up things beyond it."
All of that sounds pretty promising. Arrow's fifth season has been down a bit on ratings (except for last week's bonanza), but audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes have been the best it's seen in years. Still, a solid start and a good launching point for the midseason finale doesn't mean they couldn't use a little nudge going into the break. So what are some of the things we'd like to see in tonight's episode?
Read on, and let us know below if there's anything we missed.
ORIGINAL TEAM ARROW
Much of the first half of the season has been spent introducing and establishing new members of the cast. A new Team Arrow has emerged, with a new District Attorney taking up a lot of the screen time in a couple of episodes since Oliver is now the mayor.
With a betrayal coming down the pipeline, it will be time for the team to close ranks -- and between the return of Diggle, Thea's return to the Speedy outfit and the fact that Team Arrow is going to have to be more cohesive a unit than ever to survive the coming onslaught from Prometheus.
And that means more of Diggle and Felicity. The new team has proven its value in the field, but nobody can keep Oliver's head in the game like Spartan and Overwatch, and Felicity in particular has been working quietly in the background all season long, seemingly just coasting on the fact that she's so well-developed from past seasons that there isn't as much to do for her right now as there was for the new members, or for Dig, who was dealing with a major trauma.
Time to bring these two beloved characters into the game in a big way, though.
Speaking of which: Thea.
Thea suited back up last episode, and we're hoping that won't get ignored going forward and will be dealt with. even if she's not back on Team Arrow full time, the fact that she broke her "boycott" seems significant. She also had a great, heartbreaking emotional sequence in the episode, and it's clear that as much as Oliver's experience on board the Dominator ship impacted him, she's likely to feel the impact even more in the longer term.
So far this season, Willa Holland has been impeccable, and Thea has been a highlight of the show. More of that, please, and if it comes with a side of her kicking ass in red leather, even better.
If the midseason finale is going to be a turning point -- and it kind of feels like it is -- let's have just a little closure on some of the things that have been going on so far.
There isn't a whole lot dangling: honestly, the episodes have been pretty one-and-done in a lot of cases. But it would be nice to get confirmation of who's behind the Vigilante costume, at least, and to have Team Arrow find out definitively that Artemis isn't on their side.
Of course, Oliver got a lot of closure last episode...so it's entirely possible they'll instead choose to use this to open up new questions to be answered in the second half of the season. That would be less satisfying, but more exciting (see last night's episode of The Flash).
A PROMETHEUS CLUE!
We aren't looking to get the whole mystery solved or anything, but given the fact that Prometheus looks like he's going to be a major player in the episode, and the fact that we now have a basic setup -- he's angry at Oliver and is taking it out on Team Arrow and the city -- can we get at least one more little clue as to the identity of this year's master villain?
If for no other reason than to keep us busy guessing from now until January...!
Lyla Michaels is one of the most underappreciated members of the extended Arrow family, and Audrey Marie Anderson is a fine actress.
So let's see what she has to say about the fact that her son John Jr. used to be a daughter named Sara before the events of the Flashpoint paradox.
Everyone had been so focused on how the change might affect John Diggle that they totally forgot about the child's mother, and John's wife, Lyla. Given that she, too, has a relationship with Barry