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.

 

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