As a whole, Arrowhas grown by leaps and bounds since its first season. The series has come to rely less on annoying “villain of the week” devices in favor of a stronger season-long arc and has surrounded its hero with a diverse and interesting cast of friends and foes. Last night’s season finale, “Unthinkable“, needed to send Season 2 out on a bang. Which it did, thanks to a solid season’s worth of build up.
For the most part, “Unthinkable” was all action, action, ACTION. From its opening moments in the Clocktower to its massive brawl in the tunnel to the climactic showdown between Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Slade (Manu Bennet)–“Unthinkable” didn’t let up!
With the threat of A.R.G.U.S.’ incoming drone literally looming overhead, Team Arrow must stop Slade’s army and convince Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to hold off on blowing Starling City to bits. No easy task and one that requires Ollie to enlist just about every character we’ve met this season. Seriously.
Diggle (David Ramsey) and his ex-wife/current girlfriend Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) go to A.R.G.U.S. to buy Ollie and friends time to find and defeat Slade. Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) and a crew of assassins arrive in town to help thwart Slade, but not by any means Oliver approves of and only in exchange for Sara (Caity Lotz) coming back with them.
Oh, and uh, Roy’s (Colton Haynes) okay, too. The cure eventually worked, leaving him no longer enraged and super-powered but apparently also made him competent with a bow and arrow? Okay. Either that or there was great training montage we all missed out on. Oliver even gifts Roy his own widdle mask, how cute, which means I guess he’s Speedy now?
With Team Arrow assembled (Please not that Oliver is able to form his own Justice League, of sorts, before WB.) it’s time to take the fight to Slade, who’s been holding up at Queen Consolidated. But there’s a clash between Oliver and Nyssa when it comes to how Slade and his goons will be dealt with. Oliver is keen to take him alive and use the newly acquired Mirakuru cure to take out his men non-lethally. Nyssa has other things in mind, something she makes abundantly clear when she snaps a Mirakuru-cured Isabel Rochev’s (Summer Glau) neck.
DAMN. Really didn’t see that coming, and honestly, I’m disappointed. Rochev was an underutilized character from day one, but once she had been dosed with Mirakuru I expected her to play a bigger role in Slade’s plans. She was basically little more than a hired gun… err, sword. She didn’t even get much of a final fight, sparring with Canary for mere moments before Nyssa dealt the final blow. Sigh.
Back at A.R.G.U.S., Diggle releases the Suicide Squad – really, it’s only Deadshot (Michael Rowe) we see him interact with at all – to help infiltrate and convince Waller to stop the drone attack. Out of all the characters crawling out of the woodwork this episode, Deadshot’s appearance is easily the most forced. But hey! At least we get to witness Waller announce Diggle and Lyla are expecting! Amanda Waller, dropping baby news at the most inconvenient times since 2014.
If you’ll recall, we left Thea (Willa Holland) after she shot her recently returned father, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), in the chest. Twice. But don’t worry guys, Arrow goes for the ‘he’s wearing kevlar’ trick and all is well. Kind of. Thea wants nothing to do with Malcolm confronts her about that, insisting he’s one of the few she can trust because it’s everyone else who’s lying to her. Which is absolutely true. He also compliments her for shooting him, saying that Tommy never had the nerve. (Yes… The Force is strong with this one.)
So, in a completely unsurprising turn of events, when Thea reunites with Roy before he heads off to war he lies to her – again – denying any knowledge of The Arrow. While packing for their planned departure from Starling City, she discovers a bow and arrows under his bed – clearly form that bow training montage we never saw – and is furious. Only hours after Malcolm told her that all those she trusts keep lying to her, Roy proves it.
With that, she’s over it. Thea and Malcolm leave Starling City in a big fancy limo for who knows what and who knows where. All I can hope for is for one rad evil father/daughter team-up when they return. I want Thea to come back to Starling City with a vengeance!
But what of Slade? Earlier in the episode Laurel (Katie Cassidy) was kidnapped, as has unfortunately become the norm for her this season. Presumably, she would be the woman Oliver loves that Slade intends to murder in front him, fulfilling his promise. But wait! Continuing with what has been a a string of genuine surprises during this back half of Season 2, the woman Ollie truly loves is… Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards)!?
Since her introduction, and most definitely since she joined Team Arrow, the writers have toyed with idea of Ollie and Felicity having a thing. There’s a devoted fanbase for the ship – dubbed Olicity – and no doubt they lost their minds when Oliver confessed his love. I, on the other hand, openly scoffed at the scene. Does Oliver need to fall for every women in his life? Can he find no value in a platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex?
I’ve come to really enjoy the Oliver/Felicity friendship. In many ways, Ollie is a better big bother to her than Thea. More than once during these final episodes, Felicity proved to be a much needed moral compass for Oliver. And with someone notorious for his many flings, Oliver’s strong friendship with Felicity was further proof of his personal growth just as much as his commitment to no longer kill.
Thankfully, those in Arrow‘s writer’s room are plenty smart and already came to this conclusion about Oliver and Felicity. That confession of love in the Queen mansion? A hoax! At least in the sense that Felicity isn’t the woman he loves most (technically, the jury is still out on just who that is), but it was also presented in such a way to ensure Slade would be spying through all the cameras he planted. While staring lovingly in to one another’s eyes, Oliver slips Felicity a syringe of the Mirakuru cure.
The whole reveal was handled exceedingly well. Not until the moment Felicity, whom Slade had also kidnapped, stabbed him in the neck with the syringe had I even realized what really happened. De-powered, Oliver and Slade lay in to one another with an epic final fight. It’s wonderfully inter-spliced with footage of their final confrontation on the island where Olive chose to stick an arrow in Slade’s eye rather than curing him then, making for a truly exciting final showdown.
Of course, Ollie is victorious. Slade is detained, the drone is called of, and Starling City begins picking up the pieces. There’s a couple stingers we’re left with before the credits. Namely, it’s revealed Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) was injured in an earlier fight and appears to be hemorrhaging internally–yikes! And back in the past it’s revealed Oliver left the island only to be recruited by… Waller!
All in all, “Unthinkable” ties up quite of few threads and is a satisfying conclusion for an epic season. Everything falls together so smoothly, and the final victory feels earned because it’s not achieved by only one man, but a team.
Arrow will return to the CW in the fall, where it will be joined by its new, companion series–The Flash!