“Seeing Red” is the perfect title for this week’s installment of Arrow. The world is even more hopped up with craziness than it was last week, if you can believe that. 

When we last saw the Star City gang, Thea Queen had learned of her paternity by Malcolm, Roy was rescued from the Mirakuru transfusion machine, and Isobel Rachev had executed a hostile takeover of Queen Consolidated. What’s more, Isobel was revealed as batting for Team Slade. Dang.

This week’s episode, “Seeing Red,” didn’t slow the pace one iota, and as Roy went on an Incredible Hulk rampage all over town, we see flashbacks of Oliver’s unwanted pregnancy by a girl whom Moira paid off, and Moira herself gets cut through the heart with the blade of Slade’s sword. And we still have several more Arrow episodes left this season. Holy Hoodies, Batman, how much more intense is it gonna get?

No News Is Good News

We begin in the Team Arrow lair where Felicity searches the Internet for word about Isobel’s disappearance. Remember last week Slade had her bleeding from the eyes laying lifeless on the slab with his army of goons … meaning he was using the Mirakuru on her.

Roy, whom they rescued from the machine that was draining his blood to make Slade’s army into Super Slades, is laid out on the slab behind Felicity and it’s kinda freaking her out. 

Roy awakens twitchy and pissed as hell, frightening the poo out of Felicity and shocking Diggle as he makes a mess of the place and storms off. Diggle follows, draws his piece, but loses him outside Verdant.

Ollie and Sara Share Some Afternoon Delight

Cut to Oliver and Sara in a precious post-coital cuddle at a swanky hotel … finally able to get a moment to themselves. It’s a pretty romantic interlude with neck kissing and pillow talk and the two are looking pretty cozy and cute together. I suppose Oliver’s had a lot of practice, being the ex-Playboy that he is. But, ladies, we must pull ourselves out of this swoon because a lot is about to happen in the next 50 minutes. I’ll just say one last thing: Oliver looks like a really good kisser, God bless him. Not to dampen the mood, but Oliver pulls out the “let’s move in together” card, and Sara is surprised, to say the least. 

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A Cold Day In Hell

Moira, decked out in Armani (or something equally elegant by some other high end designer) is chatting with her campaign manager, practicing for the next night’s campaign rally. She moons about her parenting skills which she says make her a better candidate then Sebastian Blood.

In walks Thea who snarks at Mom and announces Moira is no longer welcome to hold her rally at Verdant because, well, that’s the only thing good left in her life unspoiled by a Queen. And who can blame her? Thea’s surrounded by people who’ve lied to her about everything. Remember last week she found out Malcom is her real father and that her own father, Robert Queen, knew about it all along? This girl deserves a break, I tell you. 

Moira accesses her knowledge of contract law and resorts to demanding the fulfillment of her agreement with Verdant, leaving Thea stuck and disappointed once more. The campaign manager says, what gives, lady? You better work this crap out and fast. 

Laurel, Oliver and the Wig of Youth Sitting in a Tree

Laurel and Ollie wearing the flashback wig (Ugh … but it is kinda funny) sit cooing on a couch. He’s moping, but Laurel doesn’t mind. “Moping is your default attitude and part of your smoldering charm,” she says, and we have to agree.   

And Then There Were Almost Three

Another flashback and we learn the mope was inspired by an unintentional pregnancy. What? Yes – Ollie got some girl pregnant… a girl who is NOT Laurel. Oh, no. What is the whole purpose of this flashback? Does Ollie have a baby Arrow runing around somewhere that we don’t know about? Time will tell, folks, but not in this hour of fun.

Roy is spotted when a couple of guys get the crap beat out of them across town. Cut to Roy, steaming as he walks past his good friend Sin who calls after him. Roy says nothing, but forcefully shoves her away. A couple guys come to her rescue and he crumples them like paper cups and walks off. 

Time for Mama Queen to Man Up

Moira visits Blood’s office and announces she’s dropping out of the race because she’s been a crappy mom and her daughter needs her. Blood is slap happy but he keeps it under control.

Once again we cut to a flashback of Moira and Oliver and the the pregnancy disaster. Ollie thinks his life is over but we’re all dying to know who’s knocked up. Is it Sara? Man, that would chap Laurel’s hide something fierce. We’re still wondering where this whole subplot is heading … 

Moira meets with the young mother-to-be in question and shows her a dossier that she’s had collected on her. Moira gives the young girl two million cash reasons to lie to Oliver, saying she’d miscarried, and then to disappear from his life forever.

“When it comes to your children there is no action that is inconceivable no decision that is impossible. You do what you must to provide for them.”

There it is, boys and girls. This is about the behind-the-scenes activities Moira has manipulated to make sure her kids have the kind of life she wants them to have. 

The Arrow Gets His Ass Kicked

Sin calls, Roy’s at the abandoned watch tower. Sara and Ollie arrive and he’s nowhere to be seen. Roy swoops in from above like a baby Incredible Hulk in a red hoodie and lays waste to the spear-wielding Sara, and then catches the arrow Oliver shoots at him. Whiz-bang!

Arrow launches into a one man intervention calling upon whatever soul might be left inside his friend. Fight it, fight, Oliver screams at him. Roy tosses Oliver like a rag doll and breaks his leg before leaving and killing two police officers in cold blood.

Sara takes Ollie to a doctor, both of them still wearing their masks. All you need is a splint and some pain killers, son, he says. It ends up this doctor owes a debt of gratitude to the Arrow for intercepting some bad guys who’d been stealing his drug supply a while ago. How lucky, right?

All Is Lost

Back at the lair, Sara tells Oliver the boy inside Roy is gone for good and they must put him down … as in, kill him with a bullet to his head. 

Olie’s tender heart just can’t bear it. Sara loads up a hand gun and heads off while Ollie tells Felicity how hopeless he felt when he first came back … which is how Sara must feel now.

Oh how true this is, we soon see, when Roy starts having hallucinations about Thea the same way Slade has hallucinations about Shado, but this hallucination is of Thea and it’s begging Roy to kill her. Oh snap!

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Help Thea by Helping Star City

Oliver tells Moira she shouldn’t quit the race. Quitting won’t help Thea … winning and doing good for Star City will help Thea. Then Moira drops a big fat bomb: she says she’s known his secret ever since last year and couldn’t be prouder of him. They exchange several lengthy glances and we wait to see if she’ll actually say that she knows he’s the Arrow. Remember last week we thought Thea knew his secret but it turned out she was talking about her paternity … Slade had spilled the beans, that turd. Well, we are left to assume, without it being actually said, that Moira is talking about Oliver’s secret identity. That’s fine … because by the end of the episode we know she won’t tell anyone. Perfect timing, I say. 

Moira addresses her constituents at the rally and we don’t know if she’s going to throw the race or not. She starts to do just that when Thea walks in and the three share private furtive glances.

Mid-sentence, Moira does a 180 degree turn and promises to bring Jesus to the Star City. Thea then takes the televised podium and sends a secret message letting Roy know she’s at Verdant. Roy comes running like a cat to catnip and gets a little radical on the joint. Thea tries to talk some sense into him but he’s mighty twitchy and he may have even growled a bit. He picks her off the ground by her throat and dangles her there until a red-faced and pissed off Sara pulls a gun on him. Sin tries to intercept Sara, but Sara mercifully shoots Roy’s leg. Roy drops to the ground and begs to be killed and our hearts break for this poor tortured kid. This boy just never gets a break, man. 

Ollie shoots Roy with three  tranquilizer arrows and knocks him out cold. Once again the poor kid is laid out on the slab being injected with pit viper venom. 

Oliver’s Romance Mojo is Down for the Count

Sara talks about the six years she spent with the devil to whom she gave her soul and breaks up with Oliver. She says he deserve someone who still has light inside them, which she never will. Oh, this must be because he asked her to live with him. Man, Oliver, you’ve got some really bad karma where women are concerned.

Sara says goodbye to Sin and takes off on her bike

The cops show up at Verdant after Roy has been spirited out of there by Team Arrow, and Moira covers for Oliver with Thea who rolls her eyes and snarks off stage right. In the car, Thea confronts Oliver about knowing why Roy was so hulked out and full of rage.

“It’s the secrets that are hurting me,” she tells Oliver and Moira. 

Moira agrees and starts to tell her children something earth-shattering and ominous about Malcom when their car is side-swiped and glass flies everywhere. Their fate hangs in the balance as we cut to commercial. Gaaaaaaaah!

Check and Mate, Slade Takes Oliver’s Queen

When we return, Oliver is on the ground, Moira and Thea are bawling and everyone is bound at the wrists. Slade hallucinates about Shadow again and pulls a gun telling Oliver to choose who will die: his mother or his sister. Moira puts two and two together and realizes Slade was on the island with Oliver. Oliver screams bloody murder and is about to go out of his mind with rage when Moira stands up and volunteers to be shot instead of Thea. Deep breath in, cleansing breath out, people. 

Slade compliments Moira on her courage, holsters his gun, turns away, and comes back with a sword, piercing Moira straight through the heart. She falls to the ground, Slade says something ominious about someone else needing to die for the hell to be over, but then he cuts Thea loose and walks off. Is he going to kill himself? Holy Samurai, Batman, this is intense. Is he going to kill Ollie? Not in this episode, he’s not. 

Flashback to Oliver in the wig learning about the faux miscarriage on the phone. Moira acts surprised. Oliver is shocked, and tries to laugh it off, but eventually his eyes fill with tears. I’m the luckiest boy in the world, he says, perhaps realizing that the luck he’s received has been orchestrated by his mother all his life. Her final gift being her death in exchange for his life. Remember she said, no choice becomes impossible? She walks the walk she talks, boys and girls. 

Cut back to the forest where Moira lays dead with Thea kneeling over her and Oliver is passed out from the stress. 

Dang, that was a wild ride and we have a couple more episodes left this season. The preview seems to suggest that Oliver goes missing and Moira must be truly dead (hey, this is TV –people can live through just about anything!) because we see what what appears to be her funeral in the preview at the end of “Seeing Red.”

Arrow airs 8pm Wednesdays on the CW

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(Images courtesy of The CW)

Catherine Cabanela

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV