Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Arrow and The Flash Mid-season Finale Recaps

When we last left our favorite CW heroes, they were bringing together a piece of the Legends of Tomorrow team. But now, our Emerald Archer and Scarlet Speedster have other things to worry about. Here's what happened in the mid-season finales of Arrow and The Flash!

The Flash Episode 9: "Running to Stand Still"
Air date: 12.8.15, The CW

Mark Mardon, aka the Weather Wizard, decides to ruin Barry's holiday season by breaking two notorious villains out of jail: Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold, and James Jesse, aka the Trickster. (Can we just talk about Mark Hamill for a moment? He's freaking Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, filming for The Force Awakens, yet he's still willing to return to The Flash as the Trickster. I'm just in awe. I love this man. He makes everything delightful. Best part of the episode.)

The Weather Wizard offers them a job in return for helping them escape: he wants to kill the Flash. For real this time. James Jesse is in (his cell is covered in drawings of the Flash), but Snart isn't so sure. Instead of joining the baddies for some fun, he warns Barry about their plans (by breaking in Barry's house, stealing some hot cocoa, and complaining about the lack of mini-marshmallows; I love him too).

Meanwhile, Iris finally--with the help of Barry--tells Joe about his son, Wally West. Joe is stunned by the news, fighting back tears. He reveals that Wallace was the name they'd planned if Iris had been a boy. (Well, of course it is.) In addition, Joe tells Barry that Mardon is the one who killed Patty's father, which is why Patty has slowly become unraveled with the news of Mardon's return.

In order to help Patty not do something stupid, Barry enlists Cisco to help make a weather wand, which is something Cisco did previously... only in a different time stream. Cisco wins the awards for voicing my opinion throughout the episode on Caitlin and Jay, who hang around to help or just give each other doe eyes. "Just kiss already." Please, I've been saying this from day one of Jay's arrival.

The Trickster goes public with an announcement. This gives a clue to Barry about where he might be hiding out; however, when Barry gets there, it's a trap. (Well, of course it is.) Even worse, the clue led Patty there too. As the Flash, Barry manages to save himself and Patty just in time before being blown to bits by deadly, spinning dreidels. (Happy Hanukkah, Central City.) This only makes Patty angrier. She lashes out to the Flash, confessing she blames herself for her father's death. (She was the reason her father went to the bank when Weather Wizard attacked.) Barry--in disguise still--tries to calm her down. But she won't give up yet.

Meanwhile, the Trickster has been disguised as Santa and has been giving away presents filled with explosives to children from all across Central City. (Merry Christmas, Central City.) Barry tracks the Weather Wizard, who can fly apparently. Mardon must publicly kill the Flash or James will detonate the bombs. So Barry agrees, hoping his comrades back in STAR Labs will figure out Plan B. They do.

Wells and Cisco locate one of the bombs and use a drone to send the package through a portal to Earth-2. This, somehow, magnetically pulls every other bomb present into the portal, where they explode above Central City. Barry subdues James and Mardon, seemingly saving the day. Until Patty shows up. She locks the Flash in place and points her gun at Mardon. He tries to talk her out of it. It works. (Well, of course it does.) She opts to arrest Mardon instead. The day is saved.

Everybody returns to Joe's house for a holiday celebration. Joe gives Barry his watch, which is from his father and he'd promised to give to his son. Barry decides to forgive Harrison Wells for everything he's done. Jay and Caitlin finally kiss after a few rounds of Jay teasing her about Christmas traditions, pretending they don't celebrate it in Earth-2.

Then, the doorbell rings. Joe goes to answer it, and he greets a young man on the porch step. The young man claims to be Wally West, his son.

During all of this, Wells has been sneaking and scheming. Zoom appears to him more than once, threatening the safety of Harry's daughter. He tells Harry he wants him to make Barry's speed faster, then he can steal Barry's speed force. If Harry helps him, Zoom will return his daughter. Harry agrees. (Duh-duh-DUN!)

Arrow Episode 9: "Dark Waters"
Air date: 12.9.15, The CW

Oliver's mayoral campaign initiates a volunteer program to clean up the bay. Team Arrow (out of costume), children, and adults gather to pick up trash and learn science lessons from Felicity Smoak. However, Darhk is not happy about this gathering (for whatever unknown reason). So he sends a drone to shoot the volunteers. Luckily, Felicity is able to hack the drone and stop it. Nobody was killed, but some were injured. And now, Darhk has forced Oliver's hand.

Together, Team Arrow decides to go public with the information they have about Damien Darhk. They know this will put them in dangerous waters (or should I say dark waters?) with Darhk, but they won't relent. So Oliver goes public, revealing Damien Darhk is at the center of the "Ghosts" and HIVE organization. He calls the people of Star City to band together in order to bring Darhk to justice.

Meanwhile, Felicity's mother is getting things ready for Oliver's campaign holiday party. While searching through the decoration boxes, she discovers the engagement ring Oliver stowed away. (Really, Ollie? That's where you decided to hide it? Why not your underwear drawer or something?) She screams, freaks out, and shows Felicity. Then, they freak out together. This, of course, makes Felicity flustered during the entire holiday party. She starts thinking about the ring, and she figures out when Oliver was originally going to propose--the night Thea and Laurel showed up, demanding Oliver's help. She confronts Oliver about it. He tells her that was the original plan but things have changed since they've returned to Star City.

Just then, Darhk arrives at the party with gunfire. He confronts Oliver and threatens those he loves most. He thrusts Oliver across the room with the Force...err, his mystical powers and takes Diggle, Felicity, and Thea hostage. (Luckily, he didn't take Laurel, eh?)

When Oliver awakes, he gets to work. As the Green Arrow, he pulls a Daredevil and rampages through the city, looking for information on Darhk's location. He punches first and asks questions later. Malcolm Merlyn arrives to help aid what's left of Team Arrow. They form a plan.

Oliver offers to turn himself in to Darhk in exchange for his friends' freedom. However, once there, Darhk doesn't give up his leverage so easily. He shows Oliver what he plans to do: restart the world with a poisonous gas, which is made from algae grown in the bay. (Ah ha! An actual reason for not wanting the bay to be cleaned up.) For now, the gas is limited to a gas chamber, in which Darhk ushers in Felicity, Thea, and Diggle. (Duh-duh-DUN!) Darhk allows Oliver to say goodbye. Ollie goes to Felicity, who tries to reassure him it's not his fault. She also admits if he had proposed, she would have said yes. (I'm not crying, you're crying. My ship is crying.)

Just then, Laurel appears with... the Green Arrow! (Whaaaatt??) Okay, so it's Merlyn dressed in the Green Arrow suit. (Well, of course it is). Laurel canary cries, and the glass of the chamber shatters. Team Arrow hightails it out of there. Merlyn fights off Darhk. Captain Lance arrives to help battle Darhk's brainwashed prisoners, who don't want to be released. Oliver helps Merlyn pin down Darhk, and they set off bombs next to Darhk's body before rushing out of the building.

In the flashbacks, Oliver and Taiana (the woman he didn't kill) trek to find a map. She gives him diving lessons, then he dives down to the wrecked ship. He retrieves the map, but when he comes out of the water, he and Taiana are surrounded by Conklin and Co. (Conklin is the angry soldier Oliver whipped in a previous episode. Who knew these people had real names?)

Darhk doesn't die. (Well, of course he doesn't.) He's alive and whole. (Who is this guy?) He shows HIVE executives the product of their hard work: a warehouse full of the algae. However, even Darhk isn't completely heartless for the holidays. He returns home (??) to a wife and daughter (????). And the team appears to be having their own happy holiday.

Oliver conducts a public Christmas tree lighting to symbolize the city's unity together. During this event, he pulls Felicity on stage with him to give a speech, where he finally proposes to her. She says yes.

They leave the event in a fancy limo, as blissful and happy as they would be on their honeymoon. Until the limo is stopped by Ghosts, who gun down the driver and shoot a barrage of bullets into the car. Oliver manages to get to the front seat and drive away without a scratch on him. Yet when they're in the clear, he stops the car and returns to the back seat to find Felicity covered in blood and unconscious. (Duh-duh-DUN!)

Now, we have to wait one whole month to find out the answers to these questions:

-How will Joe, Iris, and Barry react to Wally?
-Will Wally have speed force too?
-What Harry is going to do?
-How is Darhk still alive?
-Do the writers of these shows still have hearts?

What did you think of the mid-season finales of Arrow and The Flash?


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