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Arrowverse Wiki
For other uses of "sacrifice", see Sacrifice (disambiguation).
"You can't beat me, Oliver. Yes, you're younger and you're faster, yet you always seem to come up short against me. Wanna know why? Because you don't know in your heart what you're fighting for, what you're willing to sacrifice, and I do."
Malcolm explaining why Oliver can't beat him

"Sacrifice" is the twenty-third and final episode of the first season of Arrow, and the twenty-third episode overall. It aired on May 15, 2013.



Malcolm imprisons Oliver, but he manages to escape and return home with Diggle's help, due to a tracker in his boot. Which John also remarks to take back his jokes about sticking tracker in the boot.

In a flashback, Edward fires a missile at an approaching airliner, but Oliver and Shado manage to override the coordinates and destroy the missile.

Felicity got caught up by Quentin and brought back to the station for interrogation.

Afterward, in a flashback it shows that Oliver killed Edward.

In the present, Oliver confronts his mother about the Undertaking, which prompts her to hold a press conference and reveal to the city her involvement with Malcolm and the plan to destroy the Glades. When Tommy confronts Oliver about his night with Laurel, Oliver tries to explain what's going on with his father and the Glades. Tommy doesn't believe him and tells his father, who reveals it's all true. Tommy sees the press conference, and Malcolm reveals that he is The Dark Archer, to the dismay of his son.

Meanwhile, Felicity has been brought in for questioning because of the all of the tasks Oliver asked her to do before he revealed he was the vigilante.  She hadn't covered her tracks because she didn't realize (at the time) what she was doing was aiding and abetting. Detective Lance starts to question her, but Oliver calls as the vigilante to explain about the Undertaking and how it's going to happen tonight. Felicity hears the call and asks the Detective, if he really wants her there since it sounds like he's got something a lot bigger on his plate. Lance releases Felicity with a warning not to leave town. Before she leaves (even though it will almost certainly confirm to Lance that she's helping the Hood), Felicity tells Lance that she initially thought the vigilante was a criminal too, but then she realized all he was sacrificing to help the people of the city. Felicity poses the question, "It kind of makes him a hero, doesn't it?"

Lance tries to go to his boss to tell him what's going on, but it's revealed that he's had almost constant contact with the vigilante, so he's suspended. It isn't until Moira's press conference that the police get involved. 

Oliver decides to go after Malcolm again, even though he knows it means he'll probably die, because he hasn't beaten him once. Diggle offers to go with him and Felicity says that leaves the bomb dismantling to her. Oliver refuses and she points out, he doesn't have any other option. He then calls Detective Lance again as a compromise. Felicity will work from the Foundry, staying in the Glades but in better shelter, Lance will deactivate the device with her help and Oliver and Diggle will go after Malcolm. 

Detective Lance, with help from Felicity, is able to dismantle the earthquake device. John and Oliver (Oliver sticks an arrow through his shoulder to hit Malcolm's heart) disable Malcolm, who gloats that there is a second device shortly before he loses consciousness. The device activates and begins to level the east side of the Glades.  

Thea goes into the Glades to save Roy, who works to help others who are trying to escape the earthquake. He refuses to leave the Glades when he sees a busload of people stuck because of a car accident and sends Thea away because he can't help those people if he's worried about her being caught in the Undertaking. 

Laurel, who went to CNRI despite warnings from both Oliver and her father, is trapped in her office when the quake starts and gets stuck under a slab of concrete but Tommy arrives to rescue her. Laurel escapes, but Tommy is caught by falling debris. Oliver arrives too late to help him, Tommy is fatally wounded and dies after apologizing and making amends to Oliver for fighting and being angry and jealous. Tommy asks if Oliver killed his father and Oliver lies to him, spending Tommy's last moments holding his hand, insisting it should have been him who died instead of Tommy.


Main cast[]

Guest starring[]



Preparation ran from March 28 until April 8, 2013. Shooting ran from April 9 until April 18, 2013.[1]


  • This is the highest rated episode of Season 1 with a rating of 9.4 on IMDb.
  • The episode was originally titled "52 Wells Street".[2]
  • This is the last episode of Arrow to feature Colin Donnell (Tommy Merlyn) as a series regular.
  • Unidac Industries is a reference to Unidac, a company in the TV series Wiseguy.
  • Papp Street, under which one of the Markov Devices is located, is a reference to George Papp, one of the co-creators of Green Arrow.
  • The abandoned subway which Quentin Lance enters, Puckett Station, is a reference to Kelley Puckett, one of the co-creators of Connor Hawke, who in the comics is Oliver's son and the second Green Arrow.
  • As Roy is running through The Glades, a Kord Industries sign is seen. In the DC comics, Kord Industries is led by Ted Kord, the alter-ego of the superhero Blue Beetle.
  • The airliner in the flashbacks is owned by Ferris Air, a company which in the comics employs Hal Jordan, the alter-ego of Green Lantern.
  • In the rooftop fight scene between Oliver and the Dark Archer, the distinctive clock tower atop the Vancouver Block Building is visible in the background. In Smallville, that building served as the secret lair of Green Arrow.
  • When Thea saves Roy by throwing a bottle at a thug's head, she quips, "I guess I have wicked aim." This is foreshadowing her eventual transformation into Speedy, Oliver's sidekick.
  • When Oliver shoots Fyers through the throat, this is another reference to the Odyssey. Antinous, son of Eupeithes, one of the suitors for the hand of Penelope, was killed this way by Odysseus in the poem.
  • This episode marks the restart of Oliver and Tommy's friendship which ended in "Unfinished Business", although Tommy dies shortly after they make amends.
  • When Felicity makes the case to Lance that the vigilante is a hero, The Flash theme plays slowly in the background.