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    Thought to be dead after a catastrophe at sea, Oliver Queen returns to Starling City a changed man, determined to fight injustice as a hooded vigilante who comes to be known as The Arrow. Based on DC Comics' Green Arrow franchise.

    Why Arrow's Big Cliffhanger Has Tons of Potential

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    k4tzm4n

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    Edited By k4tzm4n  Moderator

    *Yes, this contains spoilers. Don't read the article until after you've watched the latest episode!*

    Arrow'smidseason finale had quite a *ahem* cliffhanger. Ra's al Ghul obliterated Oliver Queen. The villain delivered a lethal stab and then kicked the hero over the edge of a cliff. The emerald archer is dead (or at death's door) and it's no surprise the Lazarus Pit -- or something with similar properties -- will be used to eventually bring the vigilante back to life. After all, Ra's looks like he's in his 40s and he said the last time someone challenged him was 67 years ago. Throw in the fact his first appearance was sitting in a tub and it's safe to say there's something keeping this dude alive and healthy. But how Oliver eventually returns isn't what makes this development so exciting. Instead, let's take some time to think about what the death of Arrow means for everyone else back in Starling City.

    In this moment, Oliver realizes he should have called Flash for backup.
    In this moment, Oliver realizes he should have called Flash for backup.

    Before we move on, let's address the above caption -- something that's obviously a joke but deserves a bit of discussion. Could Ollie have called Barry Allen to get some extra assistance? Yes, he certainly had time to do so (and enough time to buy some gloves for mountain climbing, but whatever). However, let's not forget Arrow still views Flash as a bit of a novice. The scarlet speedster is powerful, but the kid still has a lot to learn. Making even one mistake against what is possibly the planet's most dangerous organization, the League of Assassins, would be fatal. So yes, we can assume Ollie could get Flash's assistance, but it was made clear Oliver thinks he could beat Ra's on his own (something we all laughed at, but the dude does have a solid track record in his own world) and he may think this is well above what Flash is ready for right now. It's also a kill or be killed situation, something Flash wouldn't support. It also connects back to the theme that one man's agony isn't worth the lives of an entire city. Having Arrow call Flash for some help seems logical, but it lessens the drama by a significant amount and goes against Oliver's mentality.

    Now, let's talk about just how much Oliver's absence will impact Starling City. First and foremost, there's three people who know Thea killed Sara: Roy, Felicity and Diggle. Only this trio knows Malcolm Merlyn manipulated Oliver's sister with a mind altering plant and had her fire three arrows into Sara's stomach. Out of the people in this group, this discovery should impact Roy the most. Even though they're no longer together, the guy obviously still has strong feelings for Thea and the bond between them will remain significant. Even if they choose not to be together, they both care about one another and knowing what Thea's been through should be huge for him. Not only will he want to help her, but he can relate to not being in control and taking a life. In one week, Roy will have lost his mentor and realized the person he loves (or loved?) is in the middle of some serious trouble. Roy wasn't playing much of a role in the beginning of Season 3, but given these developments, that really should change as the show progresses. If that DJ character is brought back, let's all hope he's someone hired by Malcolm to keep an eye on his daughter and not just some random guy who's here because... you know, romance drama and a plot device to make Roy jealous.

    "My name is Ray Palmer. After several years in an office, I have come to Starling City with only one goal: to save it."

    We've now seen Ray Palmer's costume (well, a hologram of it) and Felicity is finally aware of what he's really up to. With the Arrow no longer present in Starling City, I'm guessing crime is going to be an issue; there's nothing for the criminals to be afraid of anymore. Seeing as the very awesome Brick is set to appear in the upcoming episodes, it seems like someone will need to rise up and take on this hopefully dangerous crime lord. Roy, Felicity and Diggle can be effective on their own, but now that Felicity knows Ray has bigger aspirations ("Why does this keep happening to me?"), who else is thinking Felicity will introduce him to the rest of the team? If so, it's looking like team Arrow could temporarily be called team Atom.

    Here's the biggest question: Will team Arrow tell Laurel who killed her sister? And, when she does eventually find out, how will she react? Since Laurel is now on the path to becoming Black Canary (and the chat with her mom set her on the fast track), it seems safe to assume she won't know right away. This is a very complex situation, so they can't just come out and tell Laurel, "Hey, Oliver's sister killed your sister. But don't worry, she wasn't in control and it was Malcolm Merlyn -- the crazy dangerous villain we can't even handle -- who made her do it." They know Laurel wants justice, so they have to be aware she'd want to take action upon learning the truth. If not against Thea -- who she may be able to eventually forgive, but it won't be easy -- it'll be against Merlyn, a man who is far too dangerous for her to handle, even if Wildcat is by her side. There's a lot of ways this could play out. One is they just tell her the truth (which doesn't seem likely since this show enjoys holding off big reveals) and they work with her to get Malcolm. Another is she simply does her own thing with Wildcat and they eventually find the truth (or it finds them). That seems like the most probable option since it would build major conflicts between characters. No matter how it all plays out, this is probably going to be an emotional and rough road for Laurel as she becomes Black Canary and quite literally attempts to take matters into her own hands. Seeing as Thea's now a solid fighter, who else is thinking we may see new Black Canary vs. Thea 2.0 at some point?

    "I did WHAT? Yeah, okay. Real funny, Roy."

    Thea's obviously going to be key here. Finally, she thinks she's found her father and believes he just wants to take care of her. Except it turns out he essentially used her. Deep down, could he really love her? It's possible, but the need to protect himself has forced him to do some dark and twisted things. But who will break the news to Thea and how hard will Malcolm work to stop team Arrow from telling Thea the truth? There's a ton of potential here, not only for action but also for more compelling conversations and altering character dynamics. Just like her brother, we know she can be stubborn and, unless she's given some hard evidence (like, you know, that video), she's going to deny and deny and stay by her father's side, even after someone (hopefully Roy) expresses concern about her dad. In the end, we're guessing she'll eventually realize her dad is primarily looking after himself and she'll have an uneasy relationship with Laurel once the conflict is resolved. More importantly, it's looking like the second half of this season will finally bring Thea in on the secret that so many people already know: Oliver Queen is the Arrow. Maybe -- just maybe -- when he returns, they can start calling him the Green Arrow? Pretty please?

    Felicity's been placed in an interesting spot. And by "interesting" we mean all kinds of complicated, just like her relationship with Ollie. Just as she gets closer to Ray, Oliver goes ahead and says, "I love you" and then dies. To top it off, kissing her was the last thing he saw in his head before he was kicked off the cliff. Imagine how torn she must be on the inside? A relationship with Ray has so much promise, but you just can't help who you love. Unfortunately for her, she fell in love with Oliver -- a guy who won't let the relationship happen and is now dead. After the club scene between Felicity and Ray, it was looking like this new relationship would actually happen, but couples just can't be happy and drama-free in a CW show, can they? As much as many of us want to see Felicity be happy with Ray, to begin a relationship with him right now -- immediately after Oliver's death -- wouldn't be right. Hopefully, this is something the writers are well aware of and realize she needs time to deal with the loss before moving on. Oh, and who else is guessing Felicity and Ray will become a happy couple just in time for Oliver's eventual return? As of right now, Diggle's the only one in a good relationship. Let's hope they don't ruin that, because it's pretty much the one bit of happiness the show currently has.

    No Caption Provided

    So, who approached Oliver's body? It's probably going to be Maseo Yamashiro or a character we can't suspect just yet (e.g. Katana). Maseo says he's changed, but as the show moves forward, it'll more than likely expand upon the bond these two developed in the past. Maseo claims he's different and he may have threatened Ollie with a blade, but he also bluntly said, "I have no desire to watch you die." He also gave Oliver a small bit of advice before the fight. If anyone's going to have a change of heart and bring Oliver's body to a Lazarus Pit (or whatever they'll call it), all signs seem to be pointing to him. Now, it could be Katana (who, based on the conversation between Maseo and Oliver, will allegedly be killed in the past), but if it is her, we don't have enough material to work with just yet. Perhaps her death was faked and she's been following Maseo, hoping to turn him back into the man he once was? As for Nyssa, there's a slight chance it could be her. There's no solid evidence to support her being aware of the fact Oliver knows who killed Sara, though. From her perspective, it could seem Oliver challenged the demon's head just to save innocent lives in Starling City. That said, she shouldn't be sold short and she may have a hunch about what Ollie knows and why he challenged Ra's. That could be enough to bring Ollie back just so she can get some answers.

    The death of Oliver Queen has a huge amount of potential. Not only will his eventual resurrection show us a whole different side of the CW-verse as it explores the League of Assassins, but his absence is going to have a huge impact on the cast back in Starling City as well. Throw in the fact that Roy, Felicity and Diggle know about what Thea and Malcolm did and this is sure to be a very, very interesting second half of the season. Assuming it's handled well, this means filler episodes can mostly be avoided as the show focuses on giving each of these characters critical and game changing arcs. Oliver's had more than enough time in the spotlight, so this is their opportunity to give the other characters plenty of attention. Now we just have to wait and see if they capitalize on all of this character-driven potential!

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    the_stegman

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    #1 the_stegman  Moderator

    Is it just me, or does Thea's actress look like Elizabeth Olsen?

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    dan12456

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    Good article, I really hope Roy gets some great material to start the back half of the season. Also am I the only one who doesn't like Ray Palmer? (Probably some residual hatred from watching Routh in Chuck, but he just grates on me every time he's on the screen.)

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    RavenVice01

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    I can't understand why they brought sarah Lance back from the dead only to kill her off again. The black canary title could hav simply been passed from mother to daughter and that would hav been the end of it.

    Personally I never liked Thea queen. She is a whiny brat who is always trying to find herself. Same thing goes for the merlin family. If the writers figured that fans would love how devious Malcolm merlin is then why not rename Arthur Kingsley merlin.

    If u still wanna say Moira queen and merlin had a love child in order to add to the drama then fine but plez no more confused punks trying to find themselves especially if they aren't likeable. Tommy merlin was just pathetic. I'm glad he got killed off.

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    dan12456

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    #4  Edited By dan12456

    Also I think there it is very obvious reason why Oliver wouldn't bring in Flash (besides the reasons you mentioned). The entire reason Oliver accepted the duel was to save the lives of his sister and the citizens of Starling which Ra's would kill if Oliver didn't find a killer. By bringing in the Flash Oliver would have broken the very formal rules of the duel. Therefore even if they managed to kill Ra's I can only imagine this bringing the entire League down on Starling and the Keystone Cities for revenge.

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    redbird3rdboywonder

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    They should have killed Laurel, god she's so annoying and this is just a nitpick but Katie Cassidy is so skinny, to skinny to be BC anyway, they should have cast Jacqueline McInnes Wood as Laurel instead of initially having her as Sarah. Also I know i'm not the only one who noticed this but what was up with Oliver and that bag? You don't just climb up a mountain carrying extra weight for nothing and before I forget, couldn't they have chosen someone else to play Ra's, you know like someone better, out of all of Arrow's casting choices both Laurel's and Ra's are the only two I hate

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    Guardiandevil83

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    I'm gonna guess that the healing formula used by Yao Fei is the stuff Ra's baths in.

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    deactivated-611928878d365

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    Final Showdown. Oliver, Roy, Thea and Merlyn all fire arrows at Ra's at once. He blocks the majority with his sword. He knocks them all around, because he's awesome! Oliver stabs him in the leg with an arrow, causing Ra's to laugh. He monologues(uh oh) something along the lines of, "you think you're above us, boy?" You had your chance to kill me, Merlyn would've taken it. Oliver smiles. Ra'as turns around, Merlyn, Roy and Thea are gone. The arrow embedded in Ra's' leg starts beeping. Oliver stands up on the edge of the mountain. He stares at Ra's one last time before shouting, "Ra's Al Ghul: you have failed this city!" Oliver shoots a grapling hook-arrow to another cliff as the whole area explodes, engulfing the Demon in flames. Thea makes her choice of who to stay with.

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    Jonny_Anonymous

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    I hear Roy will be taken centre stage with Olly away

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    dernman

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    I don't like Roy.

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    rollingshadow7

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    #10  Edited By rollingshadow7

    This reminds me of the "Battle for the Cowl" arc in Batman where other heroes and sidekicks stepped up to protect their city in Batman's absence. I'm excited to see this phase in Arrow. Gives other characters (especially Roy for me) some major growing room potentially.

    On a side note -- let's get Diggle a mask at least. The dude's in the action sometimes and now he has a family to think of. He's not as covert as ARGUS so lets give him what's owed!

    Edit: grammar

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    MadeinBangladesh

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    ARROW is doing great things!!!

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    amazing_webhead

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    Personally I think Malcolm was lying and Thea really is just that evil

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    rogueshadow

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    #13  Edited By rogueshadow  Moderator

    I'm gonna guess that the healing formula used by Yao Fei is the stuff Ra's baths in.

    I think it's tied to the Mirakuru.

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    SupBatz

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    I laud the decision to take Ollie out of commission for a while. It's a great opportunity to give the spotlight to the fantastic supporting cast that the show has. Plus, it'll be great to see the ramifications of Oliver's return from the dead. There's endless storytelling potential in that department.

    Personally I think Malcolm was lying and Thea really is just that evil

    This would be incredibly interesting, but unfortunately I doubt it.

    The whole "Thea was brainwashed" thing didn't really jive well with me. And I personally would have found it more interesting if Thea had killed Sara of her own will. But I don't think that the brainwashing was meant to mislead the audience.

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    AwesomePerson

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    I am really excited about the sixtieth episode "The Return" to be honest...

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    TommyRichardGrayson

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    Wouldn't Wildcat also help protect starling when Oliver is gone?

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    The_Kidd

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    #17  Edited By The_Kidd

    I quite like this move not many shows will take the risk to remove their many character if only for just one arc. They finally have the time to will give new characters and the stagnant ones(I'm looking at you Diggle) some much needed growth. I hope they show how city have have been relying on Ollie over the years and how others must try to fill the void.

    No Caption Provided

    @rogueshadow said:

    @guardiandevil83 said:

    I'm gonna guess that the healing formula used by Yao Fei is the stuff Ra's baths in.

    I think it's tied to the Mirakuru.

    Agreed, I always thought Mirakuru was derived from the Lazarus Pitts because of Slade whole coming back from death with insanity thing.

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    MuyJingo

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    #18  Edited By MuyJingo

    As of right now, Diggle's the only one in a good relationship. Let's hope they don't ruin that, because it's pretty much the one bit of happiness the show currently has

    Oh, it's getting ruined. CW shows thrive on that kind of thing. I'm just glad the action/plot mostly balances out the relationship cruft.

    I've missed most of this season (limited time for TV watching and gave Sons of Anarchy priority) but plan to catchup, however I saw the Flash crossover and the finale.

    I am looking forward to see where the show goes, but by golly Ra's with an Australian accent is distracting!

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    doug_rogers

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    "But I'm not dead yet!"

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    ComicKing7

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    It's obvious that Laurel is going to replace Sara as Black Canary, but if Oliver is getting resurrected by the Lazarus Pit, there's no reason for Sara to stay dead

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    The_Kidd

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    @comicking7: Because it could only bring back people who just died.

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    ComicKing7

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    @the_kidd: Oooohhhhh That makes sense, thanks

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    Sachmoo

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    Im still waiting for my cyber cookie for being the first to suspect Thea, and stick with my suspicions.

    That said, its obviously clear we are headed towards a Laurel v Thea fight (which i stated is coming in episode 2). I think when Merlyn finds out Ollie lost, with his back against the wall, he will end up showing the LoA the video. When Ollie gets back, this will once again put him in an 'Ollie vs. the world' scenario, with him protecting his sister from The LoA, Laural (possibly accompanied with huntress and wild cat) while dealing with his own villains.

    Also, i think we will be seeing another resurrection down the line. After googling around, i found the season finales episode title is, "Canaries" . That could just mean that its the episode where Laurel Actually takes up the monicker, orrr... it could mean that Sara comes back . That could also lead to interesting stuff with Nyssa.

    One thing i don't think this touched on, i wonder if the DJ will play a role in protecting Thea during Ollies absence.

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    Manhunter_Prime

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    I don't think Oliver thought that he could beat Ra's. His goodbye to Felicity was pretty final, and he has known about the League for a while and would presumably know Ra's and his capabilities. I'm pretty sure he went there expecting to die, because he knew that he couldn't beat Ra's by the League's rules and he couldn't risk innocent lives being caught in the crossfire of war. He couldn't tell anyone, including Barry, because no one would let him do it.

    It is also possible that Oliver planned his resurrection or faked his death as part of a grand plan to take down the League or at least get them off his back, and if that's the case then I will be very pleased.

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    Guardiandevil83

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    @rogueshadow: I wouldn't mind Oliver getting a strength boost. Nothing crazy mind you. Maybe about as strong as cinematic Wolverine.

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    PotatoLord

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    #26  Edited By PotatoLord

    It's obvious that Laurel is going to replace Sara as Black Canary, but if Oliver is getting resurrected by the Lazarus Pit, there's no reason for Sara to stay dead

    keep in mind that only a select few of the league can even use the lazarus pit

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    The_Titan_Lord

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    Nice.

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    jorgeareizaga

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    MALE NAKED PECS ARE HOOOOT!!!

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    Radx_Konkin75

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    I give it 3 episodes before Ollie is back.

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    ariesleguin

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    Batman saving Ollie could make sense.

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    owie

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    #31  Edited By owie  Moderator

    The more I think about it the more it bothers me that we got so little of a reaction from the members of Team Arrow that Thea and Merlyn were behind Sara's death. I mean, Olliver's sister?!?! C'mon, we all saw it coming but not them. And to find it was Merlyn, who Olliver (beyond all logic even in the first place) said he was going to protect?

    But I do think this was cool cliffhanger. Good to switch things up. I just wish they gave the reveal another minute or two of conversation before the fight.

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    rogueshadow

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    #32 rogueshadow  Moderator

    @rogueshadow: I wouldn't mind Oliver getting a strength boost. Nothing crazy mind you. Maybe about as strong as cinematic Wolverine.

    I don't think that'll happen, I was thinking more that Mirakuru is a derivative of Lazarus chemical, that has regenerative properties, but not necessarily the same effects. I wouldn't like Ollie to become superhuman to be honest.

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    feedonatreefrog

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    Why do people always ask "where's Barry?", "Where was Stark in Cap 2", etc.

    You'd think comic readers would be used to this.

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    black_wreath

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    Maybe Sara could be resurrected and driven insane by the lazarus pit and become White Canary?

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    JohnnyConstantine

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    I would love to see a multiple episode arc, maybe about 3 or 4, where Barry, the Star labs team, Team Arrow, Ray Palmer, and especially Roy try to fill the hole left by Ollies death. Nothing would make me happier than seeing a scene of Felicity trying to coordinate Roy and Diggle, while calling up Barry to take care of a seperate issue in Star City. It would show that Roy being less experienced slows the team down and give him something to work towards. Plus I am a huge fan of crossovers. I wonder if Ollie will at least get a mention on the Flash. Maybe have Felicity show up to talk or call Barry.

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    Guardiandevil83

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    @feedonatreefrog: Right. I do remember reading Spider-Man, and when he would battle the Sinister Six, being like, "Dude! Isn't Four Freedoms Plaza down the Street?"

    Yeah, that was in 1995. Lol

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    Scarbearer

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    I think that Thea was under 'mind control' when she killed Sara is going to turn out to be Merlin manipulating Ollie, and he already convinced her to do it on her own without the benefit of mind control. Clearly Merlin's game can't be what he said it was. There is no way he would've believed even a properly motivated Ollie could've been Ra's. So his 'plan' wasn't going to get him out of his blood debt to the League, so clearly he has to be thinking of something else as his 'long game'

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    Guardiandevil83

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    #38  Edited By Guardiandevil83

    @scarbearer: I think Malcom just wanted Ollie dead. And he didn't mind using Thea to do it. Malcolm clearly was worried about how loyal she was to Oliver still.

    The way he watched them together convinced me at least.

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    HydeParkSwag

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    I give it 3 episodes before Ollie is back.

    I'd lean toward 5 since the 6th episode is titled "The Return".

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    HopeOnFire

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    #41  Edited By HopeOnFire

    WRONG!!!

    No Caption Provided

    "My name is Ray Palmer. After several years in an office, I have come to Starling City with only one goal: to gain a heavenly set of smoking hot abs."

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    KNIGHT SAVIOR

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    #42  Edited By KNIGHT SAVIOR

    Here a crazy theory, maybe the person who is walking towards Oliver laying on the cliff's edge is Bruce Wayne in unnamed appearance, as long his name not mention and they give subtle Easter Eggs to who he really is, I know it probably not but who knows that would be great for him to be on the show without BEING on the show

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    mcomics

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    It was Merlyn on the bottom of the cliff.

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    AwesomePerson

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    @hydeparkswag: Guggenheim said on twitter the episode "The Return" does not reference to Oliver or Slade

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    The Impersonator

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    #45  Edited By The Impersonator
    No Caption Provided

    In a flashy moment, Oliver realizes he needed the Flash.

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    emerald_knight_of_oa_123

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    Ollie way have fared better if he wasn't exhausted and lacking in oxygen but it wouldn't of matter ras TOYED with Ollie which I hated

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    bobthened

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    I find Thea's short shirts really irritating

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    THEOCITYLEGEND

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    #48  Edited By THEOCITYLEGEND

    @the_stegman said:

    Is it just me, or does Thea's actress look like Elizabeth Olsen?

    I honestly thought they were the same person for a while.

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    CrystalMaster

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    @feedonatreefrog: he was out of suits and the other two Avengers don't have cell phones for an easy call up, not to mention hydra would be watching for communications, so its actually not a problem in Cap 2, IM3 on the other hand.

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