ARROW Preview: A War Is Brewing in ‘City of Blood’ (2014)

It was inevitable that someone close to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) would eventually die. All heroes paint a bulls-eye on their loved ones the second they take on the responsibility of being a champion. In Oliver’s case, his fate was predetermined by the events on that blasted island. Meeting Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) was both the making of Oliver and perhaps the undoing of Oliver – and all because of a girl. Shado (Celina Jade) was blessed to have been loved by two very good men; but her death caused shockwaves that are still being felt today. Oliver may never fully escape his decision to choose Sara over Shado when Ivo (Dylan Neal) held a gun to their heads and told Oliver to choose. Slade is certainly never going to forgive Oliver, and under the influence of the Mirakuru serum, Slade’s mind is warped beyond the limits of humanity. Slade is now just a monster seething with rage and vengeance. Unfortunately, it is not totally unlike how Oliver was when he first return to Starling City – that all consuming desire for revenge at any price.

But the price of Slade’s unrelenting pursuit to destroy Oliver took a deadly toll in last week’s episode “Seeing Red.” It claimed the life of Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson). When placed in the same position of being forced to choose between two people he cared about Oliver, simply could not choose this time. He was bereft with anger, agony and helplessness. That left it up to Moira – being a mother who never ever hesitated to do whatever it took to protect her children, she willingly stepped forward and declared herself to be the one willing to die so that her children may be spared. As Slade swung his sword and sliced right through Moira, we watched in utter horror. Slade may have declared it an honorable death, but there was nothing honorable in watching a woman being cut in half before her children’s eyes just because a madman wanted to play a game.

We understood perfectly how Oliver felt in that moment, horror-struck and unable to move. Even as lost in his mind as Slade is, surely he must know and feel in his bones the wrongness of killing Moira. If he does not, then he is no longer human and only the monster remains.

Unfortunately, Slade as Deathstroke, does have the capacity of intellectual thought and he preplanned his quest for vengeance down to the last brilliant stroke. He has not come to Starling City to fight Oliver alone; he has made some friends and has made himself a Mirakuru army of escaped convicts – all just as rage-filled and monstrous as himself. Not to mention he has Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro), now Mayor Blood, and Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) at his beck and call, and they too are under the effects of the Mirakuru. An army of super-powered villains, that is what Oliver is up against.

When confronted with just Slade, Oliver did not stand a chance – and now to have to face an entire army, the odds are not good that Oliver and/or his friends and family will survive. Not to mention the countless innocents that may be slaughtered along the way.

So Sara’s (Caity Lotz) act of leaving Starling City may not be as selfish as first suspected. When she told Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus) that she was going to see an old friend, what she failed to include was she was looking to rally up some support for Oliver in fighting Slade and his army. Sara may fear the League of Assassins, but she loves Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) – a love that is returned and it may be the one thing Sara can use to recruit an army of her own to help Oliver in facing Slade and his Mirakuru army.

As executive producer Andrew Kreisberg revealed that when Sara left town in last week’s episode, “She went to get help — because when you’re fighting an army, you need an army.” He added, “She comes back with the League [of Assassins].” So the Season 2 finale will be the ultimate showdown between the Arrow, Black Canary, Roy [Colton Haynes], Nyssa and the League of Assassins versus Slade (Deathstroke) and his Mirakuru Army.

But will Nyssa, Sara and the Legal of Assassins arrive in time? Will the streets of Starling City run red with blood before help can arrive? How many more people will be slain before the killing can be stopped?

In this week’s episode “City of Blood,” look for things to get a lot worse for Oliver, Diggle (David Ramsey), Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Roy before help arrives. To see who is caught next in Slade’s bulls-eye, be sure to tune in for an all new episode of ARROW on Wednesday, April 30th at 8:00 p.m. on the CW.

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