'Arrow' Season 2, episode 22: Malcolm Merlyn returns, lots of people die in 'Streets of Fire'

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After all that happened in the previous "Arrow" episode, just surviving "Streets of Fire" might be a major accomplishment for the show's heroes. And they don't all survive -- before the episode ends, at least two, and maybe three, important characters are dead.

Is Malcolm Merlyn one of them? Has Thea Queen just joined both of her family's "businesses"? Review "Streets of Fire" in the recap and decide for yourself.

Hit her again, Felicity!!!

At the end of the previous episode, all of the heroes' lives were in jeopardy. In the first minutes of "Streets of Fire," they all get out of jeopardy again -- before getting back into jeopardy, of course.

Laurel and Oliver were partially buried in that explosion, with Laurel ending up under some rocks with Oliver's weapons. Fortunately, one of those weapons is an exploding arrow. With a little coaching from Oliver, Laurel makes the rocks go boom and escapes without even dirtying her pretty red coat.

Diggle, meanwhile, is dealing with a mirakuru-ed Isabel. They swordfight for awhile before Isabel makes the fatal mistake of threatening Felicity. YOU DO NOT THREATEN FELICITY, ISABEL! Why? Because that makes Felicity run you over with a van.

Too bad Ravager Isabel doesn't die. But it's a good effort.

In other mirakuru-army attacks, Lance gets out of the precinct by detonating some handy-dandy grenades (and gets his detective shield back), and Thea avoids certain doom when dear daddy Malcolm Merlyn shows up -- ninja-style -- to kill some men for her.

Enter Canary

No one has really been calling Sara Lance the Canary all season, mostly because they hadn't gotten around to it. That all changes after Sara saves Laurel from yet another mirakuru maniac and the sisters reveal that they totally know all about each other.

Sara, however, is all depressed and stuff because she broke up with Oliver and is an assassin and wears a bad wig while in costume. Then she saves a little kid from a fire and gets called a hero. Yay, Canary!

The race to the cure

When Oliver reunites with Felicity and Diggle, he learns that Star Labs came up with the cure but unfortunately picked a terrible night for delivery. The courier van has been tipped, and the messenger is pretty much bleeding out.

Oh, and Slade Wilson knows about the cure and where the courier is too.

Despite the heroes racing over without delay, the mirakuru army gets there first, thanks in great part by their ability to tip over Felicity's van too. All hope is lost! Not even a hug from Felicity can convince Oliver that he hasn't failed the city.

It was never going to end well for Sebastian, was it?

While the city burns, Mayor Sebastian Blood is pretty much enjoying the view for awhile. That all changes when a bunch of mirakuru minions kill his office staff (in an incredible, backlit shot) and then District Attorney Kate Spencer, despite Sebastian's orders for them to stop.
Shockingly, a bunch of chemically enhanced rage monsters don't want to listen to reason.

Slade Wilson isn't particularly interested in reason either. He just wants to level Starling City because it's something that Oliver likes. And Slade's mission at this point is to destroy all of the things Oliver likes.

This is where we get the surprise revelation that Blood has an itty bitty conscience! The Mayor grabs the briefcase of mirakuru cure and runs to the only man who can help -- the Arrow. Although Oliver isn't exactly moved by this change of heart, he does take the cure so that Roy and all of the infected criminals can be stopped.

Blood leaves, figuring he'll get his city and title back as soon as everything calms down. That doesn't work so well -- Isabel shows up and stabs the poor guy until he is dead.

Apparently, Sebastian should have worked on making the right allies instead of just wearing a mask that reminded him of his scary papa.

Slade won five years ago too

In a limited number of island flashbacks, Oliver and Anatoliy pilot the sub so it's right next to the freighter. This is to allow Oliver to go rescue Sara and maybe even Slade. If this fails, however, Anatoliy is to torpedo the whole thing.

Oliver does find Sara, but he insists on getting the cure from Ivo's office as well. It's just too bad that Slade is insane-but-not-stupid and is ready to ambush the pair.

Based on later events we know about, it's likely that Anatoliy does torpedo the freighter -- and only Oliver appears to survive.

Family reunions and other uses of deadly force

No one's efforts to save the city are working, so Amanda Waller has called in the troops. Forces mass on the edge of town, armed with enough missiles to level the whole place. Oliver isn't so happy about this, but Amanda is only giving the Arrow until morning before ARGUS attacks.

Thea meanwhile doesn't wait that long to take action. As Malcolm tries to approach his sweet little girl, she warns him off with accusations, anger and eventually a gun.

Then she pulls the trigger. It's probably not the reunion Merlyn had been expecting.
Photo/Video credit: The CW