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Home TV ‘Arrow’ 1.09 Episode Recap And Review: Year’s End
‘Arrow’ 1.09 Episode Recap And Review: Year’s End

‘Arrow’ 1.09 Episode Recap And Review: Year’s End


Copycats and Christmas Carols on this week’s episode of Arrow!

So if you weren’t there last night, here’s what you missed:

It’s the holiday season in Starling City, and while the city sidewalks are dressed in holiday style, the Queen mansion is remarkably Christmas-free. It turns out that Moira and Thea have been skipping out on the holiday cheer since Oliver and Dad disappeared. Ollie takes it on himself to resurrect the Queen Family Christmas Party, to mixed results, at best. A painfully awkward family photo precedes an equally awkward conversation with Tommy and Laurel, which is followed by an even more awkward walking in on Thea with her current boy-toy. This party never had a chance.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the city, a copycat archer is taking out targets who have already had a visit from The Hood. Papa Lance is on the case. He knows the Hood didn’t do it, but is under pressure from the Commissioner to bring him in, so he passes Ollie evidence and gives him a Christmas deadline. Ollie’s investigations lead him to The Archer, someone on the payroll of the organization behind the List. The Archer is every bit the archer and fighter that Ollie is, and more. Oliver barely escapes and ends up spending Christmas in the hospital after his “motorcycle accident.” The hospital time does facilitate the Christmas miracle of bringing the Queen family back together, at least for most of the rest of the episode.

It can’t last long, though, as Walter’s investigations have put him back on Malcolm Merlyn’s radar. He arranges for Walter to be taken out of the picture until the big plan goes down in six months. He’s also the one who arranged Oliver’s hospital time, as he’s revealed to the audience as the Archer! Walter’s gone, Oliver’s in the hospital, and thousands will die in six months’ time. Cliffhanger!!

And that’s what you missed, on Arrow!

Ah, the obligatory Christmas episode. I applaud Arrow for writing in some major plot points and staying away from the Christmas Episode trope of taking a holiday from continuity. I guess it helps that this year’s Christmas episode was also the mid-season finale. Walter’s been put on a bus for six months, we have a deadline for The Project, and Malcolm Merlyn is not only more of a badass than anticipated, but he might not be the one in charge. Mid-season finale, in very deed!

The family side of the episode was definitely all Holiday Special, though. Oliver’s grandiose plans for resuscitating the Queen family Christmas traditions bomb in the most awkward way possible. Everyone’s forgotten the meaning of Christmas and Family until Oliver winds up in the hospital. Then we’re a family again, at least for the rest of the episode. God bless us, everyone.

I have to admit, I’m not as invested in the island flashbacks as I once was. The conspiracies in Starling City are captivating enough that the flashbacks seem like an unnecessary interruption. Honestly, now we know why Oliver is doing what he’s doing. Do we really need to see the kickoff of his training montage? (Speaking of which, a workout scene with the shirt on? Way to steal Christmas, CW.) It’s possible that there are going to be some more ties between the island and what’s happening in Starling City, but it seems unlikely to me. Let’s skip ahead to the point where Ollie snatches the pebble from Yao-Fei’s hand and leave the island behind.

Best Quote:
Tommy: Merry Christmas, sir. How are you?
Papa Lance: Proficient with firearms

Things to Ponder:

  • The Archer mentioned that the man who compiled the list was after The Hood. Think that was Malcolm Merlyn hiding his own identity, or is there someone else pulling his strings?
  • Granted, everything I know about medicine came from Scrubs and CSI, but wouldn’t arrow wounds on Ollie’s back seem an odd injury to get from a motorcycle accident? Just a thought.
  • I asked the guys in our IT department about their abilities to identify arrows and find invisible Revenge lists based solely on their IT skills. Their amusement was expressed loudly and for many long minutes.

Written by: Jennifer Steele

rennlark Jenn is a contributing writer for Having been raised Geek Orthodox, Jenn has a love of most things sci-fi. Thanks to Georgia Tech, she also has an honest appreciation for the “sci” as well as the “fi”. Her current favorite shows include, but are not limited to: Doctor Who, Being Human, Sleepy Hollow, and various Joss Whedon offerings.


  1. I love that you asked your IT peeps if they could do all of what Felicity has been doing! I’m dying to know if she’s some kind of character from the real comics, but none of my coworkers at DISH seem to know. I feel like she has to be considering that both Oliver and Walter have been consistently going to her for answers. I liked that this episode had the perfect amount of Christmas flair, and at the same time revealed a new bad guy. I’m definitely hanging on a thread in anticipation for next season, so until then I’ll be watching the first half of the season that I have saved on my DISH Hopper. It gives me full DVR functionality in all the rooms it connects to, so believe me it’s going to be me, Arrow, the laundry, the dishes, and chilling in the living room until it comes back!


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