[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Arrow ahead.]
A major cast member returned in Arrow season 5 episode 7, "Thanksgiving", just in time for The CW's "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover event. It was, as you will know if you watched the episode, Thea Queen. The daughter of Malcolm Merlyn and half-sister of Oliver Queen awoke from her coma at long last, with actress Willa Holland reprising her recurring role.
Thea went into a coma because of the Lian Yu explosion in the Arrow season 5 finale. Thea appeared, in an unconscious state, in the Arrow season 6 premiere, to establish this new status quo where Thea is comatose in a hospital bed. Thea wasn’t seen in the five episodes that followed, with various other storylines taking precedence.
In “Thanksgiving”, Stephen Amell’s Oliver was visiting David Ramsey’s John Diggle in the hospital when he heard that there was news about Thea. He ran to her room, and found Thea awake and in a wheelchair. Oliver, amazed, asked how Thea had woken up out of her coma.
Several explanations followed, with Thea joking about Lazarus Pit waters, Diggle citing a Thanksgiving miracle, and Emily Bett Rickards’ Felicity Smoak offering the true answer: a brand new medicine that isn’t “on the market yet” was used to “literally wake her brain up.”
“I have a lot to catch you up on,” Ollie told Thea. Indeed, while Thea was out of action, her half-brother was pretty busy. Oliver gave up being the Green Arrow when an FBI investigation got too close to the truth. This allowed him to spend a lot of time with his son, as well as going on an adventure abroad with Deathstroke. In the “Thanksgiving” episode, the FBI arrested Oliver, claiming to have “definitive proof” of his vigilante shenanigans. It’s only thanks to Felicity and Curtis’ start-up funding money that he managed to get out on bail.
However, there won’t be much time for chitchat and catching Thea up, because the huge “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover event will consume next week’s episodes of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. Team Arrow will head to the wedding of Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen and Candice Patton’s Iris West, which will be interrupted by Nazi invaders from an alternate Earth. Thea has woken up just in time to see some highly weird stuff go down.
Crisis on Earth-X begins with Supergirl and Arrow on Monday, November 27 @8pm, and concludes with The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow on Tuesday, November 28 @8pm on The CW.