The CW’s Arrow wrapped its sophomore run on Wednesday with the action-packed episode “Unthinkable,” in which Team Arrow got an assist from Nyssa and the League of Assassins in their bid to stop the Mirakuru Minions storming Starling City and, ideally, take down Slade Wilson as well.
Oliver of course bristles some at Nyssa’s offering of one “army” to defeat another — being a fighter, not a killer, and all. And Nyssa in part agrees, though Oliver is reminded, “To fight the unthinkable, you have to be willing to do the unthinkable.” Oliver’s ranks are upped by one more when he gifts the awakened and cured Roy with his own mask. And away they all go, armed with cure-laced arrows….
Almost from the get-go, when attacking Slade at the Queen Consolidated offices, Arrow and Nyssa butt heads, as they get the drop on Isabel. “The League does not take prisoners,” Nyssa declares; “It does tonight,” Ollie counters. But Izzy’s sassy mouth gets the best of her, prompting Nyssa to do her in. “Your reticence to do what’s necessary is why your city burns,” Nyssa warns Oliver.
Even Quentin joins in on that chorus, when after Laurel is abducted by Slade’s men he tells the Arrow, “You’ve killed before. Tonight I suggest you get back in the habit.”
When Felicity suggests that Oliver’s best option is to make Slade “outthink” him, it sets up what turns out to be a misdirect that some will label as cruel, but let’s accept it for what it was: savvy. Oliver takes Felicity to the Queen mansion and tell her to stay there, to keep safe. When she insists in staying in the fight, he explains that Slade vowed to kill the woman he loves, and hat’s why he grabbed Laurel. “He took the wrong woman,” Oliver tells his No. 1 gal. “I love you.”
More on that in a bit.
While Diggle and (pregnant!) Lyla spring Deadshot to help force trigger-happy Waller to hold off her drone attack, Oliver, Sara, Roy, Nyssa, the League and Quentin take on Slade’s army in a tunnel, thwipping ‘em en masse with the cure. Oliver then gets the call he’s been waiting for, from a smug Slade. “I have the one you love,” the Aussie growls. “I thought you had a thing for stronger women, but I see the appeal” — of the lovely Felicity, whom he has abducted.
Meeting up with Slade, Oliver at first employs some psychological warfare, attesting that Shado would be downright “horrified” by his actions. Oliver then scoffs at his adversary’s inability to see the danger right in front of him — meaning, Felicity with a syringe full of the cure, which she jabs into her captor. (In flashback, we see that Oliver’s ILY was a bit of theater for an eavesdropping Slade, as he slipped the syringe to [poor, flustered] Felicity. Twitter Follower Mike called it!)
We then get a gorgeous piece of cinematography, as the show juxtaposed today’s epic, rooftop clash between the Arrow and “cured” Slade with their years-ago fight aboard the flooded Amazo. In flashback, the boat had begun to sink after being torpedoed by Anatoli as directed; this is where we see Sara get pulled into the drink, to “die” again. A piece of heavy debris falls on and pins down Slade, and rather than inject his “brother” with the cure, Oliver drives an arrow through his right eye, leaving him to die.
Meanwhile in the current fight, Oliver eventually gets the upper hand, and lassos Slade to a beam. But rather than go for the kill (“I have the strength to let you live,” Oliver later explains to his captive), Oliver has Slade imprisoned in “purgatory” aka A.R.G.U.S.’ new “super max” facility — a subterranean chamber on Lian Yu, where he plans to collect future Big Bads, which, he tells Diggle and Felicity, there surely will be.
Before the trio leave the island, Dig gives Oliver and Felicity “a second,” during which Felicity commends Oliver on his “I love you” performance: “You really sold it.” “We both did,” he warmly responds. Felicity then asks how Oliver learned to fly a plane, anyway, while trapped on the island… and that tees up the final scene. In flashback, we see Oliver awaken after his throwdown with Slade — in Hong Kong. Disoriented, he is led outside by two armed men, where he is introduced to… Amanda Waller.
Elsewhere in the finale:
* Roy reunited with Thea and they plotted to leave town after the crisis. But as she packed up their things, Thea found Roy’s arrows and such. Roy returns to find a note from Thea, explaining how she is done with people she cannot trust. “Don’t try to find me,” she writes. “I am never coming back.” And we see her leave town with her dad Malcolm.
* After the dust settled, Sara bid adieu to her father and sister, to return to the League with Nyssa. The sisters share a sweet goodbye (some of Katie Cassidy’s best work), and then Sara gives Laurel her leather jacket, observing: “It fits.” Quentin though is quick to warn Laurel, “Don’t get any ideas…” Moments later, Dad doubles over, blood spurting from his mouth, as his earlier beatdowns apparently catch up to him.