'Arrow': Ra's al Ghul Shocker Opens Door for New Mystery

Arrow Midseason Finale - H 2014
Cate Cameron/The CW

[WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Wednesdays midseason finale of Arrow, "The Climb."]

OK Arrow fanatics, that midseason finale covered a lot of ground — and it ended with a literal cliffhanger.

Let's try to deal with our collective adrenaline rush (and impending Arrow withdrawal) by unpacking the episode's major events.

The Sara death secret is out of the bag

Mrs. Lance (Alex Kingston) and Thea (Willa Holland) know that Sara (Caity Lotz) is dead, thanks to a breakdown from Laurel (Katie Cassidy), who has understandably been having trouble with her sister's murder and the fact that she can't tell her dad because ... he'll have a heart attack if he finds out. So now they know. But that small comfort doesn't last long, because Sara's death is bringing the vengeance of The League of Assassins, who promise 50 Starling City residents will die until the killer is brought to justice. 

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Thea killed Sara!?

It turns out dear old dad Merlyn (John Barrowman) drugged Thea in order to get her to commit the murder — and he's going to tell Ra's unless Oliver takes the blame himself. "You've given her a death sentence," Oliver says.

"No, I've given you an incentive," counters Merlyn. He wants Oliver to kill R'as during a trial by combat.

The League of Assassins has been hunting Merlyn, so presumably he hopes to wipe the slate clean.

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Felicity has another superhero love interest.

Yep, Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) revealed to Felicity that he's got a plan to help the city. "Not again," she says of being involved with a crime fighter. Felicity, this is your destiny. Embrace it! 

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Oliver is dead!?

Well, obviously not for good. But the man did look pretty dead after a badass duel with R'as. We're guessing that Oliver really did die, and he'll be resurrected using methods that you might call supernatural. R'as said a prayer before delivering the final blow, which just smacks of resurrection.

"Forgive and have mercy on him. Excuse him and pardon him," he says. "Protect him from the punishment of the grave.  And the torment of fire." 

We know Merlyn once conquered death, so why not Oliver?

To add further to the speculation, check out this tweet from executive producer Marc Guggenheim:

Arrow returns Jan. 21 on The CW. Until then, let's theorize. Is Oliver dead? What's Merlyn's plan? Is Thea a hero or a villain? And how many times can one man die and still return on Arrow? Sound off in the comments!

And here's a look at what we'll get next:

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch