Arrow Season 2 Episode 23 – TV Review
At least Nyssa is back to lend a hand.
She’s surprisingly forgiving for a scorned mega assassin.
TL;DR Our ragtag team of heroes depower and take down Slade and his goons (Nyssa kills Isabel, though. No complaints here); Thea throws a tantrum at Roy and chooses to be taken under Malcolm’s wing; Amanda does not destroy Starling City; flashback Oliver stabs Slade in the eye after a tussle on a sinking ship.
What a set piece.
So the city is still under siege, and it turns out a dear commenter from last week was right: Slade’s plan was to have Amanda move in and nuke Starling City with ARGUS. Oliver, having successfully tested the Mirakuru cure on Roy, assembles a team to raid Slade at Queen Consolidated and defeat him in time. He takes Sarah, Roy, and Nyssa (called in by Sarah), while Lyla and Diggle sneak into ARGUS headquarters to stall Amanda (by way of releasing Deadshot and the Suicide Squad). Nyssa goes against Oliver’s no-kill policy and guts Isabel, but Slade gets away, and he also has Laurel hostage. Oliver stashes Felicity at his house and reveals to her that it’s her, not Laurel, who he loves. So Slade just kidnaps, Felicity, too. But it was all a ruse: Oliver knew he would be heard, so he wanted Felicity kidnapped so she could jab Slade with the cure. Oliver then defeats Slade and has him locked up in an ARGUS prison on the very island they spent so much time on. Meanwhile, the gang also use the cure to neutralise all the goons. Meanwhile, Thea bitches at Malcolm for a bit. Then she bitches at Roy for a bit. Then she rides off with Malcolm. Because that’s how Thea Queen do. Meanwhile, Sarah has to leave to rejoin the League of Assassins as payment for calling in Nyssa for help. And in flashback, Oliver and Slade do battle as the freighter sinks from the ordered torpedo strike. Sarah gets sucked into the floodwaters, and Oliver chooses to stab Slade’s face rather than stab him with the Mirakuru cure.
Just for shits and gigs? I would have done it, too.
Well, if there’s one thing Arrow has proven now, it’s that its season finales are bloody epic. It makes TVD’s finale look like the no-stakes piece of garbage it is.
The carnage isn’t quite as impressive as last season, though. Where’s a rogue earthquake machine when you need one?
Why I hate this episode:
The only character death is Isabel. And who gives a shit about that?
Thea’s subplot is, again, the worst aspect of the episode. Malcolm was wearing a vest, so he didn’t die from her shooting him. In fact, he’s proud of her killer instinct. Disgusted by this, she ditches him, then heads to Roy’s place to wait things out until the city isn’t on fire anymore. Roy pledges that he’s done with vigilantism after tonight, and they’ll leave town together. While “packing.” she snoops around his shit and finds a mini arsenal of weapons. This is apparently a heinous betrayal, and she decides she’ll chance it with her terrorist, mass-murdering daddy and go become strong or something. Like, he told you he was done with vigilantism after tonight, bitch. He didn’t have time to clean out his fucking room yet. He’s off saving the city, don’cha know.
And if Thea turns into a turbo-charged, ass-beating machine before Laurel does, I will finally have the proof I need to be sure that there is no God in this world.
Speaking of Laurel, she doesn’t get to do fucking anything this episode. Nyssa tranquilises her near the start of the episode. When she wakes up, the police station gets raided by goons and she gets taken hostage by Slade. So she just dangles her Damsel In Distress ID badge for the remainder of the episode until Oliver shows up and rescues her. Laurel deserves better than this.
Diggle, Lyla, and the Suicide Squad don’t actually achieve anything. They break into the ARGUS control room about 5 seconds before Oliver calls in to confirm Slade is subdued and all’s cool, brah. It was blatantly just an excuse to give Lyla and Deadshot their requisite finale cameos.
Lyla is also pregnant with Diggle’s baby. So?
Even Quentin advises Oliver to use lethal force on Slade’s goon army. It’s probably not a great idea to disobey your future father-in-law.
Felicity’s unrequited love for Oliver vastly increases this episode. Mainly because the love confession was a surprise to her until she caught on. Couldn’t he have discussed that with her in the car beforehand or something?
Oh, and the final flashback, which closes out the episode, shows Oliver waking up in Hong Kong, having been saved from the freighter sinking by Amanda. I’m getting fatigued with this overcomplication of the flashbacks. What part of “he was on an island for 5 years. Isn’t that harrowing enough” is so hard to grasp?
But it’s not all bad:
At least we might be finally done with that goddamn island?
Oliver’s decision to shank Slade’s eye socket instead of healing him isn’t admirable, but it is delicious. And now that the Slade flashbacks are all done and present day Slade has been cured of his Mirakuru psychosis, we shouldn’t have to endure the grating bitchiness of Apparition Shadow anymore. Good riddance.
Oliver defies all advice by choosing to let Slade live instead of killing him. When Oliver is seeing him at his cell, Slade tries to gloat by saying he turned Oliver into a killer, which is what he truly is. Then Oliver is like “No, gurl. You made me a hero.” The ultimate insult.
Nyssa may be a lovesick fool, but she does know how to bring the heat when it’s needed. Her casual murdering of Isabel is satisfying. And she isn’t a huge bitch about following Oliver’s orders in defending Starling City. That probably has something to do with getting her love honey back into the fold.
Best line of the episode goes to Quentin, as he’s farewelling Sarah at the end of the episode. He has a fatherly warning for Nyssa:
Nyssa: “I would die if I let anything happen to your daughter.”
Quentin: “Here’s hoping.”
I like it both for the threat, and the implication that he hopes something happens to Sarah. Good parenting is spiteful-against-your-child’s-lovers parenting.
The highlight of the episode is the melee in the tunnel. Even Quentin tags in and saves Nyssa’s life briefly. I imagine just so he’d have the opportunity to make that threat later.
Lyla enters the episode when she uses a helicopter missile to explode the clocktower, which was full of goons who were trying to kill the Super Friends. Commendable.
Quentin collapses from massive internal bleeding, and that’s how he and Laurel finish their part of the episode. Cliffhanger.
Felicity lies to Roy, telling him that he was unconscious for the whole time he can’t remember, omitting his little “you almost killed your girlfriend” rampage. I lol’d.
Roy gets his own little, red eye mask from Oliver. Aww.
What if Oliver was actually telling the truth when he said he loved Felicity?
Oh, and Laurel is the real winner in all of this. Because she’s just that slick.