Manu Bennett and Emily Bett Rickards in Arrow
The battle has arrived. Slade Wilson versus Oliver Queen. It is the moment we have all been waiting for. This season has done an outstanding job of building up this villain and hyping this final encounter. But, did it pull a Smallville Season 8, where the entire season built up the Clark Kent vs Doomsday fight, only to have it last ten seconds? A quick answer to that would be…no. If this show has proved something time and time again, it is this simple fact: Arrow is NOT Smallville. This show is grounded in a little bit more realism, it acknowledges its’ own comic book nature, and it doesn’t shy away from big moments.
Following from last week, Slade’s army is still tearing apart the city. Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) is still planning on sending a drone to blast the entire city, and Malcolm Merlyn didn’t get shot…oh wait, he actually did! Kudos to them for giving Thea some stones. But pretty much the tone is still the same. Oliver and company need to survive and stop the unstoppable Slade Wilson. And they receive help in the form of Sara, Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law), and Nyssa’s friends from the League of Assassins. Oh yeah, Roy wakes up. Yay?
This episode was badass and it going to split some fans. Fans are going to love it or hate it. Many may have thought the ending was anticlimactic or too happy perhaps. But last season ended on death and destruction and with almost zero hope. So I liked that this season didn’t attempt to replicate that. This season ended on a much different note. One that shows that next season is probably going to feel A LOT different.
But how badass were those two fights? The Ollie and Slade battle on the Amazo intermixed with the present fight between the two was amazing. I found myself just smiling a big ass smile watching the fights. The fights were excellently choreographed and the level of intensity was at an all-time high. The fights definitely mirrored each other and I loved the way they did it. Both fights looked amazing and how it ended really pleased me. Knowing that Oliver has been spending the entire season honoring Tommy by trying to not kill was definitely in play here. I honestly thought that maybe history would repeat itself. After all, the beginning tag with the “My name is Oliver Queen…” was not included this week. You know, the one where he tells us he is honoring Tommy’s memory by not killing? I figured it being missing wasn’t unintentional. But, then he chose to spare Slade and not kill him. YES! Not only do we leave the possibility open for Manu Bennett to return, but WE LEAVE THE POSSIBILITY OPEN FOR MANU BENNETT TO RETURN! That is what is most important. Manu Bennett definitely brought it this season and he will be missed next season (if he’s gone completely). But what really mattered is that this entire season, Oliver’s entire story had a fitting end. It meant something because he chose to spare Slade this time. The arrow in the eye in the flashback did look pretty cool.
All of the fight scenes were awesome in this episode and it was action-packed all the way through. Isabel being dispatched so easily was disappointing, but the scene was pleasing. Isabel, I hate you and I’m glad you’re dead.
Show of hands, how many “Ollicity” shippers out there are completely PISSED? I can see why you are. The only scene where Oliver confesses any feelings for the awesome Felicity was completely staged to trick Slade, which it did. Oliver almost “Bobby the Brain Heenan” by telling Slade he’s an idiot before Felicity even injected him with the cure. But, I loved the scene. Because it actually focused on out-smarting Slade as opposed to just out-numbering him with allies. I see why fans are probably crying but hey, there’s always next year…right?
Roy’s story didn’t suck for once this week. His reunion with Thea was short-lived (THANK GOD) and he gets to finally put on that mask and just be a hero. Who is he? Red Arrow? Speedy? Arsenal? I don’t know and I don’t care but at least he’s on the right track now! Thea’s story had a positive and a negative to it. The negative is that Malcolm Merlyn had NOTHING to do with the actual story of the episode. I thought he would want to avenge Moira’s death, but nope. He just wants some quality time with his annoying and ungrateful daughter. You don’t bring the always amazing John Barrowman back in a finale…for THAT. But, I guess the positive outlook on this whole situation is that he is with Thea now and they can go off being evil little shits together. If this means more Malcolm from here on out, count me in. I will gladly accept more episodes with John Barrowman. Thea leaving the city to go with her real father was well done and hopefully goes somewhere awesome next season, but getting there was kind of blah.
Also…if Detective Lance dies, I will riot. He is such a cool character and everyone loves him. So, yeah, don’t do that. He won’t die because we didn’t see his death on-screen. Come on guys, I’ve seen Lost. Everyone knows that until you see a dead body, they are not dead. Kind of a random thing to shoehorn into the end of a finale, but as long as he’s alive, all is forgiven. Laurel is becoming a cool character finally. Seeing her putting on Sara’s jacket wasn’t overly corny or anything. I was shocked. She will become the Canary at some point, probably next season, and I’m excited for it. Because that means that we will be getting “cool” Laurel, and not “drunk, annoying, and unbearable” Laurel. So, I’m counting that as a victory.
But what was the point of anything with A.R.G.U.S.? You bring back the awesome character of Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot, just to be in a random standoff in a room with Waller? Was the point just to reveal Daddy Diggle? If so, that wasn’t really needed. It came off as kind of thrown in, as well. It didn’t really work for me.
But having Slade locked up in an A.R.G.U.S. prison on the island is just so many levels of awesome. Serves him right. He is right where he belongs. I was shocked and happy to see that they built a prison on the island. I was kind of hoping he would have been locked up in Arkham instead. But that’s the Batman fan in me hoping for things that probably won’t ever happen. So, I’ll settle for the island prison. Oh, and next year’s flashbacks won’t be on the island. They will be in Hong Kong, as Amanda Waller rescued him from the sinking Amazo. It is a refreshing change of pace and I am definitely curious to see where it goes.
Arrow finished off its great second season with a really good finale. It may not have had any notable deaths or sad moments, and Slade may not have died; but this episode was still really well done and sets the stage for what could be a very different Season Three. Great finale for a great season. Can Arrow just be back with new episodes already? No? Damn it. This waiting game is going to suck.
WHAT I LIKED:
+: Team Oliver + League of Assassins = AWESOME
+: Oliver vs Slade (x2) is the best part of this episode. The two mirrored fight scenes being intermixed with each other was extremely well done. The choreography, the music, and the intensity all made the scene very good.
+: Of course, Stephen Amell and Manu Bennett continued to kill it in their roles.
+: The “love” scene with Oliver and Felicity. Sorry to the fans who pine for Oliver and Felicity to hook up, but this little twist to trick Slade was well done, smart, and I loved it. Brains over brawn.
+: Roy’s story didn’t suck. Awesome.
+: Laurel’s scene with the jacket was surprisingly good, as it wasn’t corny at all.
+: Thea’s final shot and the possibilities of where her story can go.
+: Changes are in order for Season Three, and I’m excited for them.
+: Breaking out Deadshot and the Suicide Squad was awesome….
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
-:…but it led to nothing relevant at all.
-: The standoff with the Suicide Squad and Waller was pointless. We all knew the city wouldn’t be blown to bits.
-: Malcolm Merlyn was poorly used. But hopefully it results in much more of him next season.
-: Detective Lance isn’t going anywhere. I hope. But that still didn’t need to be in there.
-: Isabel deserved a better death than that. I hated the bitch more than anyone, but she caused a lot of damage this year. She deserved a more dramatic sendoff than that.