- "I know I called you a murderer, but you are not. You are a hero. You beat the island. You beat my father. So fight, Oliver. Get up and fight back."
- —Oliver's hallucination of Tommy Merlyn inspiring him to fight back
"Three Ghosts" is the ninth and midseason finale episode of the second season of , and the thirty-second episode overall. It aired on December 11, 2013.
|After a fight with Cyrus Gold AKA the Acolyte, Oliver is drugged and left for dead. Determined to cure him, Felicity makes a risky decision. The cure causes Oliver to hallucinate, and what he sees forces him to confront his past. Meanwhile, Barry continues to help Felicity, and their connection grows stronger. The Arrow asks Lance to look into Gold, but when the stakeout on Gold goes bad, someone is killed. Roy is captured and tortured by Brother Blood.|
- Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Arrow
- Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance
- David Ramsey as John Diggle
- Willa Holland as Thea Queen
- Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
- Colton Haynes as Roy Harper
- Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson
- Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
- Paul Blackthorne as Officer Quentin Lance
- Grant Gustin as Barry Allen
- Kevin Alejandro as Sebastian Blood/Brother Blood
- Celina Jade as Shado
- Caity Lotz as Sara Lance
- Roger Cross as Detective Lucas Hilton
- Bex Taylor-Klaus as Cindy "Sin" Simone
- Jesse Hutch as Officer Daily
- Dylan Neal as Dr. Anthony Ivo
- Graham Shiels as Cyrus Gold/Acolyte
Special guest star
- Olivia Cheng as Linda Parks
- Jennifer Cheon as Officer Jones
- Danny Dworkis as The Technician
- Ronald Selmour as The Butcher
After being rendered unconscious by a tranquilizer dart to the neck, Barry awakens in the Arrow's lair. Disoriented and confused, he is taken a back to see the Arrow sprawled out on a table. Felicity steps forward and begs him to save Oliver. Realizing that Ollie's blood is rapidly coagulating, Barry improvises a blood thinner from rat poison. Oliver awakens and immediately becomes angry that Felicity has revealed his secret. He storms off leaving Felicity, Diggle and Barry a little hurt.
Back at Queen's house, Thea reveals that Roy did not go to the hospital and needs aid. Oliver removes the arrow, that he had thrown, and calls for John to come over with a First Aid kit.
Oliver starts to hallucinate, as well as a flash back with Slade dying, Oliver, Shado, Sara being held at gunpoint and led outside the sub. Ivo makes Oliver choose either Shado or Sara to choose to die in 30 seconds.
Oliver went back to the Arrow's hideout, and asked about side effects from Barry, who agrees to run some tests. Barry and Felicity are able to identify and locate Oliver's attacker, Cyrus Gold.
With it unknown about the side affects, Diggle goes into the hideout with Oliver as backup. He is caught and injured in the apartment. Oliver then picks him up so they could speed away. They call Quentin who meets with the detective. He hallucinates Slade and says he's been compromised. Quentin gets a squad together but one of the men involved is one of Blood's followers. Oliver remembers dashing in front of Sara. Laurel is out with Sebastian Blood when she learns of her father's injuries. She rushes to see her father. Oliver then visits Quentin and gave Oliver a gold key that he got off the guy.
While continuing to discover the truth behind the death of Sin's friend Max, Roy breaks into an office to steal some files. On the back of the picture of Max is the word Miraku. A man starts pouring gasoline around the building and Roy makes a break for it, but is caught off guard by Cyrus Gold.
Upon running into Gold's arm, Roy is knocked out. He awakens, bound to a chair before Sebastian who injects him with the Mirakuru serum. Oliver arrives and begins to battle Cyrus. Roy writhes in agony from the effects of the serum and eventually passes out, with blood running from his eyes. Momentarily defeated by Cyrus, Oliver has another hallucination, this time involving Tommy who encourages him to keep on fighting and stop Cyrus. Oliver snaps out of it and then destroys the remaining serum and wounds Cyrus. He then tends to Roy who has stopped breathing. He begs him to fight and eventually Roy is revived.
Oliver goes to the lair and relays his worries to Felicity that the serum may affect him negatively.
Roy wakes up in Thea's room with Thea and Sin worried about where he went. When the girls leave, Roy moves the sheets and realizes his wounded knee has healed.
It is revealed that the mastermind of this is Slade (alive and all), he states that new Mirakuru can be made with his blood and he will corrupt or kill "The hood's" followers or the ones he loved before killing him by driving an arrow through his eye. He orders Blood to leave the vigilante alone for his plans.
In flashbacks, Ivo flees when Slade turns up with super-human strength and kills his men. Slade finds the dead Shado and holds her, upset. He then vowed revenge.
Back at the lair, Oliver fills them in on what happened before realizing that Barry is gone and regrets the way he treated him before. He is warmed to see that Barry left a green domino mask for Oliver, to better hide his identity. Barry calls Felicity to say goodbye and arrives home in Central City.
During a lightning storm, the new particle accelerator being unveiled at STAR Labs malfunctions. While trying to seal up his lab, Barry notices the liquids surrounding him levitating and witnesses the power outage from the accelerator. Suddenly, a bolt of lightening strikes Barry through the skylight, sending him crashing backwards into several shelves of chemicals. As Barry lies unconscious, a small surge of red lighting runs over his temple.
Felicity helps Oliver put on his new mask. Oliver asks how he looks, to which Felicity replies, "like a hero".
- The three "ghosts" who appear to Oliver are a reference to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. In following this, Shado is that of the past, with Slade representing Oliver's current self doubts, and Tommy finally offering redemption and a future for Oliver.
- Slade in the present day appears for the first time with an eye patch and greying hair, both elements which are typical of his character in the comics and most adaptations.
- The scene at the end where Barry gets struck by lightning will later be used in the "" episode of the spinoff series .
- Reporter "Linda Park" is a reference to the third Flash Wally West's wife. Linda would later be recast and appear in person on .
- This is the first episode in the Arrowverse that includes both Colin Donnell (Tommy Merlyn) and Grant Gustin (Barry Allen). The second will be "". However, in the latter instance, Donnell would instead portray Tommy's Earth-X counterpart.
- In one of the relatively few direct references to her Judaism, when Barry asks what Felicity will be doing for Christmas, she replies, "Lighting my menorah".
- This episode talks about the English nursery rhyme, "Solomon Grundy", stating that it's about the seven stages of life.
- Near the end of the episode, Diggle asks Oliver about Cyrus Gold's whereabouts, to which Oliver responds, "Died on Saturday, buried on Sunday." This alludes to the "Tale of Solomon Grundy," whose real name was Cyrus Gold before he died.
- At the Queen Mansion, Oliver leaves Thea to tend to an injured Roy in her bedroom prior to his hallucination of Shado in the middle of the hallway. However, when Thea talks to Oliver, she's standing at the end of the hallway. Though it could be explained that Oliver was hallucinating where he couldn't see Thea leave her bedroom.
Preparation ran from October 1 until October 9, 2013. Shooting ran from October 10 until October 22, 2013.
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