“Arrow” returns tonight, but it’s important to remember where the show left off. The Season 4 finale left Team Arrow changed forever, and they’ll still be feeling the effects in the Season 5 premiere of the CW drama. Here’s a quick refresher to remember what happened when Oliver faced off with Damien Darhk for the final time.
The magical villain is now powered by thousands of deaths, so Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) face off with Darhk (Neal McDonough) isn’t going well until Thea (Willa Holland) arrives. She threatens the life of Darhk’s daughter (Tuesday Hofmann), and he cannot risk his little girl’s life. He takes his kid and leaves, but Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) quickly realizes that he also stole the computer with the anti-Rubicon software on it.
Felicity tracks her laptop to an abandoned HIVE office, but Darhk and his hacker Cooper (Nolan Gerard Funk) have already launched about 15,000 missiles. One is headed straight for Star City.
It seems like there isn’t much they can do. Felicity sends Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) and her mother Donna (Charlotte Ross) out of town. Diggle (David Ramsey) and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) call their daughter to say goodbye.
Lyla also makes an attempt to attack Darhk via Argus, but that doesn’t do much. They hear some agents exchange gunfire with Darhk before the coms go completely silent. Then, Ghosts attack the Arrow lair, and Malcolm (John Barrowman) helps them fight off the minions.
News stations report that missiles are headed to Earth and rioting starts. Oliver feels like hope is lost until Curtis (Echo Kellum) tells him that the Green Arrow is the only reason he and his husband stayed in town. He inspires people.
Oliver goes into the riots and stands on top of a taxi to give a hopeful speech. “I know that this city has been through tough times before and we have pulled through,” he tells them. “We survived the undertaking, we survived the siege, we survived the outbreak. And somehow, someway, we will survive this.”
Once the missile is close enough, Felicity and Curtis can mess with its computer and make it think that it already detonated. They save Star City, but they still have thousands of others to disarm too.
With the computer geniuses on the nukes, Oliver is going after Darhk. He tells Diggle to keep the people safe. Before going out, Diggle reveals to Lyla that he wasn’t being honest about what happened to Andy (Eugene Byrd). He didn’t kill his brother out of self defense. He still isn’t okay with it, even though his wife stands by his decision.
Meanwhile, Oliver goes to Darhk’s lair to fight. They quickly move the brawl to the streets, where the people tell the villain to get out of town. He laughs off their demands, not realizing the effect they can have. Oliver’s hope, combined with the inspiration of all of Star City, cuts through Darhk’s magic.
Without special powers, Oliver and Darhk get into a physical fight. It quickly turns into a massive battle with the ghosts fighting Star City residents. Lyla and Diggle ignore orders to help Ollie, and Quentin comes back too (but he left Donna in a safe zone).
Elsewhere, Felicity finds Cooper controlling Rubicon. Darhk has put a bullet in him that will move into his spine if he tries to stop typing. Felicity gets him to stop, but Darhk can sense it and kills him from afar. Felicity says sorry to his dead body before she steps into his seat and tries to stop the thousands of missiles that Rubicon controls. She and Curtis figure out how to divert the weapons to explode in space.
Back in the street, Darhk claims that Oliver can’t kill him, but the Green Arrow says he doesn’t have a choice. He shoves an arrow into the villain’s chest, ending the fight once and for all.
After the dust settles, Quentin says that he and Donna are going to spend some time out of town after losing his badge. Thea realizes that threatening to kill a little girl means she needs to get out too. Diggle still hasn’t come to terms with killing his brother, and he decides that he must leave to figure out his life. He reenlists in the army.
Oliver takes on a new job as well. He is appointed interim mayor of Star City, but he isn’t done with crime fighting yet. He finds Felicity in the destroyed Arrow lair, and she tells him there’s “not a chance” of her leaving.
In the island flashbacks, Taiana (Elysia Rotaru) has Oliver kill her. She and Ollie made a pact that if one of them died, the other would find their family. He finally uses his resources to call Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) and get himself off the island. He is headed to Russia to find Taiana’s family.
In Season 5, Felicity will convince Oliver that a new Team Arrow needs to be formed. She wants him to help train new vigilantes. However, Oliver might be reverting back to his old ways. After killing Darhk, he’ll want to continue to murder his enemies. Much like the early days, he’ll have trouble juggling his job too. Expect the mayor to be out of the office often, but Thea, his chief of staff, is going to really excel at her job.
Meanwhile, flashbacks will take Oliver to Russia. Tracking down Taiana’s family isn’t the only thing he’ll do. Oliver joins the Bratva and gets into some serious trouble while he’s over there. It’s the last year that audiences will see Oliver’s past, though. At the end of Season 5, he should be caught up to where viewers met him in Season 1.
“Arrow” Season 5 premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. EDT on The CW.