"Someone once told me that the essence of heroism is to die so that others can live."
—Oliver telling Felicity the true meaning of sacrifice, as once told to him by Peter, who sacrificed himself to save Oliver and Sara from the submarine on the island. Even though he's lost all hopes of defeating Slade, he is still determined to save those closest to him and the city he vowed to protect, even if it means giving his life.

"City of Blood" is the twenty-first episode of the second season of Arrow, and the forty-fourth episode overall. It aired on April 30, 2014.


After Slade threatens to take everything Oliver loves away, Oliver decides the fastest way to stop further bloodshed is to surrender to his enemy. Knowing that surrender will surely lead to Oliver’s death, Diggle and Felicity go to extreme measures to keep Oliver from confronting Slade. Meanwhile, Thea considers leaving town, and Laurel resumes her crusade against Sebastian Blood. Finally, Slade unleashes his assault on Starling City.


The episode opens with Moira's funeral. Walter is there along with Thea, Laurel, and her father but Oliver is absent. At the same time, Sebastian is sworn in as the city's new mayor.

At the reception Sebastian offers his condolences to Thea. He sates that he wishes to see Oliver, but Laurel tells him nobody's seen him for several days. Across the way, John comforts Felicity who was crying, she states she had no idea why she was crying even though Moira was not even nice to her and she does not even like her. John says she is crying for Oliver. Isabel approaches Diggle and Felicity at the reception, surprising them, and states that they soon will perish.

When Walter asks, Thea tells Walter she's not doing well. She tells him about Slade, and that she knows he was also on the island with Oliver and that they're still somehow connected, which she is furious at Oliver over for not warning them. Walter attempts to comfort her.

Back on the island, Oliver, Sara, and the other escapees go inside the abandoned submarine. Oliver asks Anatoly, who was in the Russian navy, to fix the Japanese sub so they can destroy the Amazo. Anatoly says he'll try.

In the present, Quentin is leading the effort to track down Slade. He tells Laurel that he doesn't know the location of Sara. Laurel tells her father she's worried about Sebastian and a possible connection to Slade Wilson.

Slade calls Sebastian while he's signing a piece of legislation. He tells Sebastian "you are the mayor now. Get to work".

Diggle and Felicity continue to work on Roy. Diggle believes Isabel has also been given the Mirakuru. They can't find Oliver or Sara.

Diggle and Felicity meet with Amanda Waller at A.R.G.U.S.. Diggle tells her about the impending danger with Slade's army. She helps them track down Oliver.

Isabel approaches Thea at Verdant, and says she has a few days to close down the club. The building belongs to Queen Consolidated, which she owns.

Laurel meets with Sebastian and shows him a case she's working on. He says he'll help and tells her he's looking forward to them working together. It is shown that while she was there, she planted a bug under Sebastian's desk.

Laurel and Quentin have CSU technician Kelton, hack Sebastian's system. They find a press release about Moira's death that was written the day before she died.

Amanda's team finds that Oliver is at his lair. When Diggle and Felicity say they were just there, Amanda says his "other lair".

Back in the past, Anatoly struggles to free the sub. Oliver suggests using a torpedo to blast themselves out and the verdict is that somebody will have to sacrifice themselves for the plan to work.

Back in the present, Diggle and Felicity find Oliver at an "secondary facility in case the foundry was compromised", he's been using for quite some time as a place where he can just be alone. With his two partners before him, he directly accepts responsibility for the entire vendetta carried out by Slade, knowing Slade blames him for Shado's death, that he injected Slade with the Mirakuru, and that he failed to cure Slade of its effects. He then reveals to the two of them he intends to end the vendetta that night by surrendering to Slade. When Diggle asks Oliver if he believes giving himself up will end Slade's bloodshed, Oliver reveals to him and Felicity that after murdering Moira, Slade told him that before this was over, one more person had to die, bringing him to the resolution that the only thing that will end the vendetta is his death.

Felicity immediately objects to his plan, telling him he doesn't have to accept this fate, pointing out that if she'd accepted things as they had been for her growing up she would have ended up a cocktail waitress in Vegas like her mother, and would never have taken the career path she'd chosen, and would never in turn have meet the vigilante who helped her believe she could be more than an IT girl. As she begs him not to give up, Oliver tells her something someone else once told him (Later revealed to have been Peter, back on the island), that being the essence of heroism is to die so others can live, indicating that he'd sooner face his fate at the hands of Slade before letting anyone else he cares about or the city he swore to protect suffer at the hands of Slade any longer. When Riddle tries to convince him that its a bit more complicated than that, Oliver reminds him the whole purpose of the vendetta against him was to destroy everything he has and cares about, which Slade had done. Seeing no other alternative, Oliver admits defeat, accepting there is nothing else for him to do but die, quietly leaving them in the secret hideout to confront Slade.

Oliver stops by to see Thea, who is leaving the city and starting fresh elsewhere. He tells her he thinks her getting away from Starling City is a good idea and says she's the best of their family. After the conversation, Oliver calls Isabel and tells her he's going to be at the pier, alone.

In the past, Peter offers to sacrifice himself, saying the radiation poisoning he got from Ivo will kill him regardless.

While reflecting on his life at the pier, Queen is hit with a tranquilizer dart. He wakes up surrounded by Diggle and Felicity, back at their original hideout, where much to his surprise, he is confronted by Laurel. She tells Oliver that she knows now that he is the Arrow, Slade having told her after confronting her a few days earlier. Oliver tells her he's wanted to tell her for quite some time, after which she guesses correctly that Tommy knew his secret, and that he was with Tommy when he died following the earthquake. He tells her Tommy's last words were about her, that he wanted to know if she was safe. Oliver then tells her this is why he feels he has to confront Slade, that even though he couldn't save Tommy or his mother, he could still save her, Thea and the city if he ends Slade's vendetta himself by surrendering. Laurel adamantly begs him not to, telling him the Oliver she knew would never do that to her, or Sara, or his team, or most of all, Thea, believing that losing him right after losing their mother would destroy her, although Oliver is convinced she would survive his death. In desperation, she admits she barely knows anything about what Oliver has done as the Arrow since returning to Starling City, but she is sure of one thing, that she knows him well, and that the Oliver she knows doesn't give up, and that he has to stop Slade without surrendering. When Oliver admits he doesn't know of another way to stop him, Laurel finally dissuades him from surrendering by giving him the smoking gun he'd been looking for all along by telling him of her discovery that Sebastian Blood had been working with Slade all along, informing him of the proof she unearthed confirming they conspired to kill Moira, thus securing Sebastian's position as mayor. Realizing that Laurel's suspicions about Sebastian had been right all along, and understanding that with Sebastian's involvement, Slade's vendetta against him had escalated much farther than he'd realized, he finds renewed hope that he can still fight to save the city and defeat Slade. This is affirmed when Laurel reminds him that Starling City still needs him, more specifically, they need the Arrow.

Back in the past, Oliver asks Sara not to be on the sub in case the torpedo damages the ship and kills them. She agrees. When she's clear, Anatoly launches a torpedo, which Peter directs back around and hits them below them. Oliver is knocked to the ground.

In the present, Sebastian is surprised when Oliver asks him if he could join him for dinner. Prior to entering the restaurant, Sebastian gets rid of his security detail, leaving Dig to go after the man. Diggle and Felicity interrogate Sebastian's guard by draining his money.

During dinner, Oliver says he knows Sebastian is working with Slade and confesses to being the Arrow. Sebastian thinks Slade's army will help get the city "ready" for his vision of Starling City. Oliver assures Sebastian that he's a pawn and Slade won't deliver on any promises, but Sebastian says he will. Sebastian tells him there's nothing Oliver can do to stop them. Sebastian notices that Oliver reaches for a knife and tells him that he can't do much of anything in such a public place.

As Thea gets ready to leave the Queen home, she ignores a call from Walter. She then sees an old photo on her phone of her and Roy. She turns off the lights and heads out of the home.

Oliver and Diggle prepare to go out. Felicity tells them Slade's army is using the sewer system. Laurel wants to join them as their "eyes and ears". Oliver objects, wanting her to stay out of harm's way. He then mentions how it started with the three of them and it was time to get back to it.

Sebastian puts on the mask before he goes to meet the army, all who are wearing balacava's. We see him give them a pep-talk before they "take back this city". Felicity gives Diggle a place to plant an explosion that should bury them all. Dig places the bomb.

Meanwhile, Thea is waiting at the train station. She was waiting to board her train.

As Oliver heads to take on the army, one of the escapees is brought into the police station.

Oliver attempts to fight a member of Slade's army. Just before he's killed by the man Laurel knocks the assailant over the head, allowing Oliver to escape and kill the man. He grasps Laurel's hand and runs off.

Before Diggle can detonate the explosives he's attacked by Isabel, who is in a costume of her own, similar to Slade's.

One of Slade's henchmen is planted at the police station, and begins taking out cops after asking for the time. (It was nine o'clock.) A Slade henchman at the train station begins opening fire there.

As Felicity works on everything, she receives a call from Cisco, but tells him its not a good time.

Oliver and Laurel find themselves cornered by many of Slade's henchmen. Oliver fires an arrow into the ceiling and it covers them.

Back on the island, Oliver's plan worked. The submarine is free. He attempts to contact Sara but she sounds panicked.

The episode ends with Slade's army walking through the street, marching on their path of destruction.


Preparation ran from March 6 until March 14, 2014. Shooting ran from March 17 until March 26, 2014.[1]




  1. Marc Guggenheim (@mguggenheim) - Twitter