When Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) accepted Ra's al Ghul's offer to become his mini-me -- and the heir to the League of Assassins -- you knew we were in for some big, bloody, game-changing weeks of "Arrow." Tonight's (May 6) episode, "This is Your Sword," proves that you were right: by the end of the episode, decisions have been made that will affect Team Arrow forever, and more than one life hangs delicately in the balance.
MTV News had the chance to screen the episode in advance, and here are some secrets we can tell you without Ra's coming after us with a deadly serum:
The whole squad shows up looking fresh.Cate Cameron/The CW
Without a doubt, "This is Your Sword" has one of the best -- and undoubtedly the best lit -- fight sequences in "Arrow" history. That's largely due to the fact that it includes pretty much everybody in the show's relatively sprawling cast, "Avengers"-style. (Sorry, sorry -- wrong comic empire.)
Watching the gang show off their unique fighting style in unison is thrilling, and bonus points for the gorgeous location that proves that The CW is more than willing to spend good money on this show.
... But someone doesn't make it out alive.Cate Cameron/The CW
Yep, you heard me -- there's a lengthy, emotional one-on-one sequence that ends in one character meeting their maker a little bit earlier than they were probably expecting. Bring tissues, perhaps.
Oliver's motivations are murky.Cate Cameron/The CW
If you thought you'd know what our hero's endgame was with Ra's, Nyssa and the League by the end of the episode, you thought wrong. "Al Sah-Him" is somehow even less forthcoming than Oliver Queen -- though some hints of the man we fell in love with shine through. Even if Felicity doesn't necessarily notice them.
Secret alliances are revealed.Cate Cameron/The CW
Did you really think we'd make it through Nanda Parbat without a major betrayal or five? Expect some very surprising alliances to pop up then explode then pop up somewhere else all over again -- which is great, given that there's now a deadly virus at stake that's poised to eliminate every human being in Starling City. (Get your sh-t together, Team Arrow.)
There's enough love drama to fuel a season of "Couple's Therapy."Cate Cameron/The CW
Between Thea going to see Roy, Oliver's hasty betrothal to Nyssa, everything going on with Olicity, and Tatsu and Maseo's longstanding beef (which is finally revealed in flashbacks, by the way), there's enough relationship tension on tonight's "Arrow" to fuel a season of "Couple's Therapy," or at least a few episodes of "The Hills."
Oh, and by the end of the night, one of these couples has some pretty steamy sex.
DC Comics fans get some major action.Cate Cameron/The CW
Let's just say if you were hoping to see some new costumes, this is the episode for you. There's also an Easter Egg concerning a major character's comic destiny that you won't want to miss. (And you definitely won't.)
It ends on a game-changing cliffhanger.Cate Cameron/The CW
When all is said and done, "This is Your Sword" sets things up for a spectacular finale. The lives of important characters -- and all of Starling City, pretty much -- are officially in the balance, as is Oliver's status as a hero we can actually root for. Will Starling City make it through another finale without major loss of life? Will we lose another beloved character? Will Al Sah-Him and Nyssa live a life of matrimonial bliss?
None of these things are certain, but if "This is Your Sword" is an indicator of things to come, then "My Name is Oliver Queen" should be the show's best finale yet.