Thursday, December 13, 2012

'Arrow' Recap: Oliver Brings the Family Together at 'Year's End'

Arrow Year's End Season 1 Episode 9 Merlyn Moira screencaps photos recaps

In the "Arrow" episode "Year's End," Oliver tries to celebrate Christmas with his family and rescue hostages at the same time -- just another day in the life of our hero. This week, the island flashbacks gave viewers more information but led us astray when it came to the big reveal at the end.

It doesn't take long for Oliver to realize that the Queen family, who used to have a "Christmas tree in every room," isn't celebrating the holiday. Thea confesses that once half the family was lost at sea, no one felt like celebrating anymore. Despite her reluctance to revive the old traditions, Oliver charges on ahead with throwing a lavish party for the season.

Meanwhile, Arrow and Diggle are enjoying the way that the criminals on the list are starting to surrender the moment they get a visit from the hooded vigilante. Their success is short-lived, however, when another archer starts killing the guys they've already put out of business. "The Hood" gets blamed, but thankfully Detective Lance still has a brain and realizes the black arrows and pointless murder don't fit his nemesis' M.O.

Oliver gets an untraceable phone to communicate with Lance, asking for one of the crime-scene arrows so he can investigate. At first the detective refuses, but once he gets thwarted by his superiors and thrown off the case, he gives in. Oliver gets help from Felicity to track down the purchaser of the arrows, but he's lead to a booby-trapped warehouse, where he narrowly escapes being blown to bits.

As usual, the Queen family party doesn't go as planned. A recently threatened and tense Moira tries to warn Walter off of his continuing investigations, and he insists she tell him the truth about everything. Thea acts out by skipping the party to fool around with her new dopey boyfriend and tells off Oliver when he throws the kid out of the house.

Weirdly, Tommy decides the best way for Laurel to get over her holiday blues is to join another awkward event at the Queen house. She takes Oliver aside to tell him that she's been holding back committing to Tommy because of him. Oliver tries to ease her mind by giving her his blessing to move on, but we can see it hurts him to do so.

Diggle interrupts the party to inform his partner-in-justice that the mysterious archer has just taken five hostages, demanding Arrow's presence for ransom. Oliver slips out, suits up, and zip-lines his way into the booby-trapped building the police have been unable to breach. He frees the hostages and sends them up to be rescued from the roof.

This week's flashback revealed that the island was once a prison colony for China, until the military group that captured Oliver came in to eradicate everyone. Only the stranded playboy's friend and his torturer survived, and they're now using one to catch the other. The two get lured into a trap, and the original Arrow gets captured while Oliver escapes.

Back in real time, Oliver gets his butt handed to him by his newest adversary. He gets nailed by several arrows and knocked around badly, but plays possum long enough for a sneak attack that buys him time to escape. He phones Digg for help just before passing out. Back in the warehouse, his bigger, stronger foe unmasks himself to surprisingly reveal Malcolm, Tommy's dad and big honcho in the secret organization that controls Moira.

Oliver wakes up in the hospital. Moira, Walter, and Thea are there, buying Digg's story that Oliver was in a motorcycle accident. It's not exactly how he pictured it, but he's drawn the family together finally. Unfortunately, it's not long before Malcolm's men are whisking a drugged Walter away to some secret holding area, keeping him on ice for Moira to retrieve once their master plan is complete. A master plan that Moira ominously reveals will kill "thousands of people."

Catch up on all the recaps here!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

'Arrow' Recap: Oliver Can't Stop Helena's 'Vendetta'

Arrow Vendetta Season 1 Episode 8 Helena

Last week's episode of "Arrow" once again had Oliver's sister, Thea, imploring him to open up to someone. In Episode 8, "Vendetta," our hooded hero unfortunately opens up too much. While it used to take superheroes years to reveal their secret identities, Arrow feels comfortable making it a second date sort of thing.

After his first-date bonding with Helena, Oliver decides he can put her on a better path to justice. At first, she's not interested. She doesn't want any romantic entanglements, or anyone getting in her way; Oliver did just that when she tried to execute the main Triads and get the gang to go to war against her father. It takes some schmoozing, but Arrow finally convinces her to give both archery and killing less a try.

Things seem to be going swimmingly, especially when Oliver is able to cross a bad guy off his list and hers with a death toll of zero. Of course he tells her about the list, and introduces Digg -- who is none too happy that Oliver is pouring so much trust into an unstable girl who could turn on them at any time.

Helena Ollie naked Arrow Vendetta photos pics screencaps

Helena and Oliver's bliss gets tested when they run into Laurel and Tommy at a restaurant and the girls suggest dining together. Things get awkward when Laurel tries to force Tommy to take her earlier suggestion and ask Oliver for a job at his new nightclub. It gets more awkward when Helena realizes that Laurel is her new boyfriend's former love. She thinks he still has feelings for his ex, and she angrily ends the relationship after dinner.

Tommy and Laurel have their own fight, but he shows up at her apartment to apologize. He explains that he's embarrassed and freaked out about losing his trust fund, but more worried about losing her. Laurel apologizes for forcing the issue but assures him he won't ruin his "street cred" by asking his friend Oliver for help. The two look to be back on track to serious coupledom.

Meanwhile, Walter seems to be reconciling with Moira. That is, until his employee Felicity ignites his suspicions about his wife's secret money transfer that was shadowed by an "NSA-good" organization. Felicity shows him a symbol she uncovered in association with that group, and Walter searches his own house. He finds a little hidden diary with the symbol and seemingly blank pages, just like Oliver's dad's book. With help from Felicity in revealing the invisible ink, Walter now has his own list of names to ponder.

Shirtless Oliver Arrow pecs biceps muscles Vendetta Season One Episode Six photos pictures pics screencaps

Helena enjoys every minute of her father's discomfort as she continues on her revenge trip, taking out four Triad heavies. Oliver's too late to stop her, but he's at her home when China White shows up with several assassins to retaliate against Helena's dad. Thanks to Arrow's help, the murdering mob boss nearly escapes with his laptop -- until Helena catches up to him. Oliver intervenes but nearly gets Helena killed by her father instead of the other way around.

Arrow carries a wounded Helena to safety, and the cops arrive in time to pick up her dad and his computer full of incriminating information. He's going to jail, and Helena doesn't have a family death on her conscience, but she's not grateful. She warns Oliver that his feelings are meaningless to her and that if he ever gets in her way again, she'll reveal his secret.

A dejected Oliver allows Digg his "I told you so" moment and apologizes for letting his loneliness cloud his judgment. He gets some good karma back when he and Tommy have a bro-hug moment after Tommy fesses up about his pauper state, and Oliver happily offers him the general manager job at his new club. All seems well, but Arrow knows he'll see Helena again, and we're guessing he'll run into China White again after he wounded but didn't kill her.

Catch up on all the recaps here!


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