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'Arrow' 2x21 preview: The city needs the Arrow, but where's Oliver?

Anyone else still in shock over this week's episode? Well, you still have a few days to recover, but as the new preview the CW released Wednesday, April 23, of next week's "Arrow," episode 221, "City of Blood," shows, it's just the beginning.

Promotional photos for 'Arrow' 2x21 "City of Blood"
Alan Zenuk/The CW, used with permission
Arrow -- "City of Blood" -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as The Arrow fighting Mirakuru Soldier
Alan Zenuk/The CW, used with permission

In "Seeing Red," the focus was on finding Roy (Colton Haynes) and stopping him – and keeping him alive. Team Arrow eventually succeeded, but the real shockers of the episode all came from Moira (Susanna Thompson). First, in the pre-island days, she took care of things when Oliver (Stephen Amell) got a girl pregnant. Then, she revealed, "I know," to Oliver and told him she was proud of him (and later covered for him), a sweet mother-son moment that was nice to see given this season.

But the biggest shocker came in the final moments, as Moira decided to come clean to Oliver and Thea (Willa Holland) about Malcolm (John Barrowman), only for a little car accident and Slade (Manu Bennett) to put an end to that. Moira sacrificed herself to keep Oliver from having to make a choice again, and now all we can do is watch the aftermath.

Slade's not done yet. After he threatens to take everything Oliver loves away, Oliver decides the fastest way to stop further bloodshed is to surrender in this next "Arrow" episode. However, surrendering means his death, as Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) know, so they go to extreme measures to keep him from confronting Slade.

Meanwhile, Thea considers leaving town, which might not be such a bad idea considering what's happening in Starling City. Elsewhere, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) resumes her crusade against Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro), which seems to be what leads her to the same place as the Arrow, as seen in the promotional photos in the slideshow.

Finally, Slade unleashes his assault on Starling City, as you can see in the "City of Blood" promo. The preview begins with Moira's funeral. "All these lies. All we ever needed was the truth," Thea says. It was certainly heading in that direction until Slade intervened, but will Oliver tell her about being the Arrow, or will he continue to keep that a secret from her?

Meanwhile, Diggle and Felicity enlist some help in finding Oliver, and based on that A.R.G.U.S. file we see on him, it's easy to at least make a guess as to who's helping them. Plus, Summer Glau's Isabel Rochev is back – and in the Ravager's costume. But the biggest question may be regarding Oliver's "I'm the Arrow" to end the promo. Who's next to find out his secret? Or could it be he's talking to someone who already knows?

"Arrow" season 2 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What do you think of the episode 21 "City of Blood" photos and promo?

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