Arrow Unthinkable Recap S2Ep. 23

This second season of “Arrow” has been so entertaining I almost feel kinda guilty that this is on free network TV show because I’d happily pay for it. Typically I wait for TV seasons on Blu-Ray to have a major price drop before I buy them, but this will be a first day purchase for me. To everyone associated with this season I have to say

standing ovation

But first, there’s the matter of that little season finale to get to and it was chock-full of fan geek out moments. Now that I’ve had a bit to reflect on it I can without exaggeration say that this may have been one of the most satisfying live-action comic book properties I’ve ever seen. I almost wonder if some creative video editor type couldn’t splice this season and come up with one heck of a two and a half hour movie. Enough hype though. Time for the recap!

Cate Cameron/The CW Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul
Cate Cameron/The CW
Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul

So Thea actually did fire off a few rounds at dear ol dad, Malcolm Merlyn, but like any smart assassin, he’s wearing a bulletproof vest. Instead of being ticked off though, he’s pleased that she had the strength that brother Tommy lacked and was willing to kill him. Thea, I think you’ve failed the Dark Side test…

Oliver, Felicity and Diggle are waiting for Roy to respond to the  Mirakuru cure, but Slade’s men invade their clock tower hideout just as Roy awakens.

Fortunately, Lyla arrives and bombs the attackers. Team Arrow heads to Verdant and Oliver officially sidekicks Roy by giving him his own red mask. Mini-geek out moment!

As some of you guessed Sara called Nyssa and she offers her League of Assassins’ assistance in stopping Slade. Oliver isn’t thrilled but realizes he needs all the manpower he can get especially after one of Slade’s goons attacks the police station, knocks out Det. Lance and kidnaps Laurel.

Cate Cameron/The CW Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Waller, Michael Rowe as Floyd Lawton ("Deadshot"), David Ramsey as John Diggle, and Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla.
Cate Cameron/The CW
Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Amanda Waller, Michael Rowe as Floyd Lawton (“Deadshot”), David Ramsey as John Diggle, and Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla.

Diggle and Lyla head out to try and get Amanda Waller to stop the drone attack and continuing the theme of unlikely allies, they free Deadshot so he can help them take out Waller’s command center. Waller isn’t impressed and asks Lyla if giving Arrow more time worth her unborn son or daughter? Congrats Diggle. You’re a daddy! BTW, I’m oh so glad it’s not with his sister-in-law …

Cate Cameron/The CW Summer Glau as Ravager takes on Caity Lotz as Canary.
Cate Cameron/The CW
Summer Glau as Ravager takes on Caity Lotz as Canary.

Arrow and his crew head to Queen Incorporated and wipe out Slade’s army. Nyssa kills Isabel saying Oliver’s weakness is what’s led to Starling City’s downfall. Isabel kinda had that one coming. Slade manages to escape though and Oliver is worried that he will always be a step behind. Det. Lance says Oliver is gonna have to go back on his no-killing policy to take him out, but Felicity encourages him to stay on the straight and narrow.

Thea meets Roy at his place and he nearly comes clean about everything, but doesn’t want to betray Oliver and denies any knowledge of the Arrow. He wants to get away where no one can find them. May I suggest a CBS sitcom, Roy?

Oliver texts saying they need him and Roy proves a loyal sidekick and goes telling Thea he wouldn’t feel right if he left before trying to help. Attaboy Roy. You’re gonna completely lose Thea, but it was the right thing to do.

Oliver takes Felicity to Queen Mansion and tells her he can’t stand for her to be caught because he’s in love with her. I can hear the swooning female audience squealing for Olicity actually becoming a thing. Oliver tracks Slade’s men to the underground tunnels and we get an epic throwdown. I was cheesing hard when Roy started using his bow and arrows. Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow has arrived!

Cate Cameron/The CW Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
Cate Cameron/The CW
Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson and Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak

Slade isn’t with them though and he calls Oliver saying he has the woman he loves and reveals that he has Felicity! This guy is such an amazingly competent bad guy  that Oliver’s actually gonna have to work to beat him. Oliver meets Slade and as promised, he has one more person to kill and is going to make Oliver witness him killing the woman he loves — Felicity or Laurel. This was a serious talking to the TV scene for me, but Oliver is finally ahead of Slade. He knew Slade had the mansion under surveillance and put on that scene with Felicity so he would kidnap her and bring her close enough that she could inject him with the Mirakuru cure. That was pretty great, but Slade wasn’t a pushover before the Mirakuru so it’s time for our grand finale fight between Oliver and his arch-rival.

Cate Cameron/The CW Stephen Amell as The Arrow
Cate Cameron/The CW
Stephen Amell as The Arrow

Now we shift to the island adventures and Oliver and Slade are in the AMAZO, which is now being bombed per Oliver’s plan. The bombing leads to a remarkably clever scene as Slade tosses Sara and she gets pulled underwater in an almost identical fashion as when she was sucked away from the Queen’s Gambit. Which begs the question of were those early flashbacks Oliver had of Sara getting washed away from the yacht or the far more traumatic events on the AMAZO?

In a great sequence, we cut back and forth with the past and present Oliver and Slade battle. And in both cases, Slade is taunting Oliver to kill him. In the past, Oliver gives in to the temptation while present Oliver ties Slade up and tells Slade it’s over.

Whew! Time to catch my breath. Oh wait. Here’s the Flash teaser??? I know we’ve seen Arrow interact with a number of superheroes from DC Comics already, but how cool was that promo? I want it to be this fall yesterday so I can gorge on two hours of CW superhero goodness.

The last segment is all about setting the table for Season 3. Laurel and Det. Lance say goodbye to Sara and in the first hint of Laurel assuming the Black Canary identity, Sara gives Laurel her leather jacket. Det. Lance tells her not to get any ideas.

Cate Cameron/The CW Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance, Caity Lotz as Canary and Stephen Amell.
Cate Cameron/The CW
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance, Caity Lotz as Canary and Stephen Amell.

We’re lingering on them a bit too long so I’m anticipating either Sara and Nyssa’s ship blowing up or someone shooting Det. Lance. I was kinda right. He starts coughing up blood as a result of his fight with one of Slade’s soldiers and having trouble breathing as we move on to the next subplot.

Roy returns home and finds Thea’s gone with only a note by his quiver. She says she can’t trust him or anyone else anymore and that Thea Queen was weak and trusting, which she will never be again. During this voice over, Thea’s entering into Malcolm’s  limo. Roy is distraught and while tears stream down his face, he pulls out his red mask — allowing us to draw our own conclusions if he regrets helping Oliver or realizes that’s all he has left. Poor Roy. After spending half the season drugged up and the other knocked out, I hope the guy can find some fun storyline next season.

Slade wakes up in a cell and is greeted by Oliver, who promises him he’ll never escape this prison. Oliver isn’t here to gloat though. He thanks Slade for helping to train him to become the killer he needed to be to survive the island and to return home to his family and begin saving Starling City. And he thanks Slade again for bringing out the strength Oliver needs to be a hero by not killing him. This was a fitting conclusion to their storyline and I have to stress how grateful I am that the showrunners didn’t kill off Slade. The threat of him returning should give Oliver some sleepless nights and when he inevitably breaks out, we’ve got another excellent story arc waiting.

Cate Cameron/The CW Stephen Amell as The Arrow and Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson
Cate Cameron/The CW
Stephen Amell as The Arrow and Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson

Oliver leaves the cell and climbs a ladder to reveal he’s back on the island and Slade is in an underground bunker. And now we’re back full circle from the start of this season as Oliver rejoins Felicity and Diggle. I could practically hear the anguished sighs from all the fangirls out there longing for Oliver and Felicity to just get together, but it works better to keep delaying that inevitable payoff. The tension is clearly there and normally the tension and subtle hints is always better than watching a couple actually being together. Besides, both of them are kinda on the rebound and those never work out well.

As Oliver starts to pilot their helicopter, Felicity asks him how he learned how to fly and we learn Oliver is still keeping secrets even from his closest allies. We shift to another flashback and Oliver awakens in a room where two armed men escort him to a car. And who emerges? Amanda Waller, who says she has a lot to discuss with him.

Yup. Definitely gonna need the fall to hurry back. What a tremendous finale for an excellent season.


  • Great finale! I appreciated that it came down to whether Oliver would kill Slade because a large part of this season is his journey in becoming a hero, so it came together well.

    I loved how not only did Slade get played but as an audience we did too when Oliver “confessed” his real love was Felicity.

    The Flash promo is pretty awesome, I like that superior attitude of Flash it’s going to be fun to watch.

  • keith

    I cant wait to see. Your recap has me hype to watch it on the app/website today. Talk about building a hero from the ground up. I would love a mashup of the action with only the critical information given. The same treatment they gave to dragon ball z to snuff out the filler. The good thing even the filler has been good on this show. So if you were a betting man as all of us comic loving folk do, who do you bet will have a better season next year arrow or shield. I know they are apples to oranges as disney is not ever going to allow this type of violence or special friends that the canary um.. have lol

  • Exactly. It was like the last step Oliver had to take to fully becoming a hero, one who wouldn’t go back to his old ways when the road got too rough.

    I did too! That was clever and I love when we as the audience can get outsmarted by the hero too.

    I can’t wait for the Flash and that trailer was pretty much exactly what I wanted to see. Bright backdrop, colorful suit and a hero who looks like he’s loving his new abilities.

  • I’m not nearly doing it enough justice.Looking forward to your thoughts after you see it.

    I don’t think it’s a fair comparison. My excitement for Arrow is higher for the next season though if that’s any indication. And you may be selling Disney short. After all, May did go nuts with that nail gun, Skye was shot and Mike got badly burned.

  • keith

    SLADE LIVES lol…. couldnt help my self. well im two for two if you check my comments from weeks ago. I called it that deathlok “kills” paxon and that slade lives ( even though I said escape but you know). Hopefully DC has learned that the tv to movie synergy is needed. After the “golden age” of cable tv has happen dubbed by you blogger types, you would think studios would learn how to capitalize on that. Or they could just start going animation for hard to do heroes. I mean at this point give me the black panther animated in a wide release and im going nuts.

  • keith

    okay I saw it last night. Mind blown…. Now thats how you break up and wrap up a season. Stakes felt big and serious. Slade is a great character all the way through. For a tv character i mean he is up there with bane..almost if trying to compare to this to a movie. The show never really dissappoints it just gets better. I kind of dont want detective lance to go, but we all know heroes need that push. I wonder if he will get his company back after all the smoke clears. That should happen so he can kind of have a cover back and well isnt arrow always rich in the books? A lot of directions that can go in. The league I see doesnt play around. Nyssa gave isabel the trash treatment, but I didnt see where she was cured?? but hell i will assume so as well as that neck snap was brutal. I am glad to see diggles character get more meaning and yeah im kind of glad they drop the thing with the sister in law as that just doesnt feel right, but i hate to see good looking women dissappear off any show lol. I just know ollie 5 years on that hellish island is beyond nuts!! I will be willing to buy the dvd if they do just an island cut in the future. If someone can slice this things up, yet the fighting and flash back at the same time was important to the tone of it all. Arrow really makes myself as the question, could you not kill in these situations. Who tommy merlin would set the tone for a fine show. This show has been part typical cw tween show, LOST, shield, and then some for a faction of the cost. I say up there budget and let this guys work. If arrow never gets a movie, I would love for shows like this to get an hour long special that ties with their season or sometype of bridge OVA between seasons like anime does it. I think archer did this once .

    And now that season is over lets talk about the important things. Now one not good looking woman on the show… well done lol. I think waller would be better as Nell Carter type as she is shown on the animated show but Not too many complaints. I would like to see her in action though.

  • Glad you liked it too!
    In the comics he’s had and lost his fortune, which in the comic made him more of an outspoken character, so I think there could be some neat storylines to come from broke Oliver.

    Yeah, Isabel did get hit with a cure arrow.

    Think that will be a nice crossroads for Diggle. Stay and help his friends or become a responsible parent. Diggle just got introduced in the comic so I’m hoping he doesn’t get written off anytime soon.

    Well in one of his Facebook videos, Stephen Amell was already talking about seasons 4 and 5 so maybe that could happen down the road.
    I don’t know man. I’m not feeling like they have a limited budget on their show as opposed to some of what SHIELD tries to do.

    The comics gave Waller the supermodel treatment, but I definitely preferred the as you say Nell Carter, brick wall (in keeping with her name) version of Waller.

  • keith

    um big waller look like she can put on those electric batman gloves and kick ass. I think I have seen the “halle berry” version of waller not bad… but I like my shady Gman/woman types to look rough, hate life and been through some stuff. Not that the young lady is off, she is pretty stern in her own right. So I guess I have been missing out not reading arrow huh. I may been turned to start reading some trades or something. I know you gave me some suggestions before, feel free to give more or again. I will need to put it on my umm.. “Summer reading list” ( its may 16th man) I just went over my local paper movie list. I think I have at least 6 movies to see. Including 22 jump st and think like a man too. I think with that and x men and maybe train your dragon, i have 3 and possible movies that the wife wont oppose. Its like a game of spades dude. Throw belle in and maybe i go 4 or board i think the term is lol

  • keith

    or at least post one of your fellow writers summer list lol… ( dont ban me jeff lol had to troll you after the gambit situation)

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