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Arrow S02E15: "The Promise"


Last season's big Lian Yu episode, "The Odyssey," had me reveling in the pleasures of Diggle and Felicity meeting and talking over a wounded Oliver in the Arrow Cave while simultaneously thinking, "Boy, those explosions sure were nifty!" and complimenting the performances of Manu Bennett and Stephen Amell. I liked "The Odyssey" just fine (even though it was arguably for the "wrong" reasons), and I'd probably recommend it (alongside a few others) to anyone who needed some convincing to watch the show. Knowing/expecting that there'd be a similar episode in Season 2, I was enthusiastic but also cautious, as I was worried I might feel the same about "The Promise" as I did about "The Odyssey."

And so it's with some sense of relief, then, that I can say that "The Promise" was a much better episode than "The Odyssey," on both a character level and on an action level. I mean, there were explosions on a boat, and when are explosions on a boat not cooler than explosions in a big empty field? But on a more serious note, the better action sequences weren't what elevated "The Promise" beyond its island-centric predecessor for me. What really made the episode successful was that the characters and the action intersected, and in a way that served a purpose beyond facilitating explosions on a boat.

Our lack of exposure to Slade's feelings for Shado should have been a barrier to accepting Slade's arc, but Bennett's been able to sell Slade's pain well enough that even the pre-Shado death stuff—stolen glances and Bennett somehow managing to look like an awkward and lovesick teenager were all we really had—that I can get behind his feelings of loss and betrayal and subsequent thirst for revenge. Arrow getting Slade to this point by using Ivo's "Pick one to die!" contrivance, like I said back in my review of "Three Ghosts," was a sloppy way of getting the desired result of Slade losing it, but I credit Bennett with making sure the dramatic truth of that situation wasn't twisted as a consequence.

The explosions and the arrows and the bullets were all neat and looked great—I loved the slow, long (for this show) take of all hell breaking loose on the deck of the freighter—but what mattered was Slade finding out about Oliver's decision to save Sara instead of Shado. That was the real explosion, and the episode really benefited from the change in the flashback narrative's status quo, with Sarah back on the island with a bunch of escaped prisoners, Oliver locked up in a cell, and Slade running the ship.

This is all very exciting, and I'm looking forward to what this hollowed-out Slade will do. He wants Oliver alive so he can suffer, but how much pain can you inflict when you're on a boat? Slade can torture him, sure, but that's not going to force Oliver down into the pits of despair that Slade has been living in for weeks (months?) now. What's more, while we know how this story ends—as we have since the pilot—we don't exactly the know the steps involved in getting there, and I'm eager to see how things play out, and the lengths to which both Island Oliver and Island Slade will go.


You know what else was exciting? Thea leading a guided tour of the Queens' collection of 19th century American landscape paintings. I know, right? Had the entire episode been nothing but Oliver and Slade trading small talk that doubled as threats, I would've been just over the moon about the episode. I admit to a degree of bias as I do love these sorts of situations where completely innocent characters—in this case, Moira and Thea—have no idea that they'e wandered into a Harold Pinter play being staged around them by other characters. The obliviousness just ratchets up the tension and menace, because you worry that it could break at any moment and that those innocent characters might get hurt. So when Sara and Roy arrived, and Oliver asked, "So. What would you like to do now, Mr. Wilson?" I sort of flipped out from all the fun.

I'm also flipping out because I'm just so glad that Oliver finally knows Slade is alive. Last season, Oliver's encounter with the Dark Archer gave Oliver a target, but a target he couldn't actually do anything about because he didn't know the Dark Archer's identity or plan. Slade's appearance did the same thing, except Oliver knows Slade, and he knows exactly what Slade is capable of, what Slade's goal is. Slade is going to loom over everything else for the rest of the season, and for Oliver, "everything else" will just be a distraction from preventing Slade from burning down his entire life.



FROM THE QUIVER

– So Ivo was looking for a cure for his wife. Yawn? I mean, the writers just played that card with the Clock King last week, albeit with a sister instead. Either way, not all that interesting. Ivo as an evil bastard is just more engaging.

– I appreciated director Glen Winter upping the lighting differences between the present day and the flashbacks. Flashbacks were their standard gray desolation, while the scenes in Queen Manor and even the Arrow Cave were brighter than the show usually goes for, down that to golden light in the early mansion scenes.

– "Tell me, does your family spend much time on the water?"

– "I told you I'd come back." "Fantastic. We're saved."

– "What's the biggest gun you got down here?" [Diggle plunks down a massive rifle case on the table] "That might work." I liked the cool and collected atmosphere in the Arrow Cave what with training happening and Diggle and Felicity bringing back lunch.

– "That's a particularly firm handshake you have there, son."

– Arrow is off next week, so we'll meet back here on March 19 to discuss "Suicide Squad." While we wait, may I suggest you watch this trailer for the upcoming episodes over and over again? Small-ish spoilers, obviously, but also nothing that hasn't already been announced in articles and interviews. Plus it's just really well put together.



What did you think of "The Promise"?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/25/2016

Season 4 : Episode 23

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Drama nerd loving the Pinter reference, btw. Cheers.
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In the sake of the show can we just except that Slade is kind of bad person to begin with, he was already on the verge of insanity, the mirakuru just gave him the push he need it to become Deathstroke. You can not question the mad's man reasons to kill you, he will do it on the principle, it wasn't Shado's death, but Oliver's betrayal, Ivo killed her, end of the story, but Oliver let it happen. Ollie was his friend and friends protect each-other, for Slade Oliver failed to protect the only good part of him-Shado. So he has to pay the same price-everything he holds dear. Basically- I DON'T CARE, I LOVE IT!!
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I just don't get it...... not at all...... Help!

Am I the only person who thinks the 'Oliver blaming himself for Shadow's death' and 'Slade wanting to kill him for it' is just utterly ridiculous?????

Even that whole shooting Shadow scene was shot to show us how little choice Oliver had.

I really think this show needed to create a better reason for Slade wanting to kill Oliver's family. It's such anon-reason that's it ruined the return of Slade for me.
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As Noel said during his review of "Three Ghosts" (and I agree) the whole choice scene did feel contrived. Slade not being rational about it at the time was not wholly out-of-place, as he had yet to contain the rage that the mirakuru brought on. Based on Sara's comments before the raid on the freighter, I think we're supposed to view it from the angle of Ivo having some sort of Brother Blood-esque influence over others, but I found that a little bit in the contrived zone too.

In addition to the rage, mirakuru seems to have almost a One Ring (Lord of the Rings) effect, to where the user will do anything to preserve it, and also it gives the user an overly-inflated sense of entitlement. Hence Roy ruffling his feathers whenever anyone implies that he is not ready/stable enough yet (and even his aggression toward Sin and Thea). Clear thinking (like he showed in "Sacrifice") would let Roy see that he should listen to those more experienced, in order to protect Thea, Sin, etc. Similarly, clear thinking would have allowed Slade to realize that Oliver's history with and guilt over the Lances drove him to protect Sara in the moment, and that he had no real choice--but you have Ivo playing Gollum/Sméagol putting that whisper of doubt in Slade's head, which the mirakuru ramps up. Neither Slade nor Roy is truly willing (able?) to accept that any view or desires contrary to their own are valid. So, Slade has "rebuilt" himself, but is still stuck back in that moment when he found Shado's body.

And with that, the writers really need to hire me as freelance PR, because yes, it still otherwise comes across as contrived. :)


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Well explained point. Yes, they should hire you for that attempt ;)

Probably I would not have cared so much, But almost every episode had us invested in Slade as a good guy, or a good guy with anger issues. Then suddenly boom. (Really really) evil Slade.
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Good episode switching between past and present, i wonder what the writers are going to do once the island story comes to an end, im guessing that will happen at the end of this season.
Looking at the trailer for the coming episodes i'm pretty excited for what's to come (will Diggle lead the suicide squad?)
The only thing i found strange was Roy practicing with a bow and arrow, why can't he have his own specialty weapon?
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As far as I read the story on the island will be played in 5 years or 5 seasons, we haven't even began seeing the actual story behind Oliver's lonely living. He was alone when found back in season one, there was no Slade, Sarah or ship an so on. So I am quite positive that the writers can't wrap up those 5 years just in season and half.
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I agree that they could always extend the backstory, but if the flashbacks will last for 5 seasons, that means Slade will be the main antagonist for another 3,5 seasons, something i'm not looking forward to.
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I don't think that we will have only Slade as part of the flashbacks, at some point he is going to "die", cause Oliver thought he killed him. Maybe by the end of the season Slade death will be shown, he will be like Merlin coming and going. The show left so many bad guys alive to make further appearances, so Slade won't bе the only one to keep coming back on Ollie and the gang.
But for me is weird, if you can't kill him as Arrow, with bow and stuff, then what, we go Duncan Mcloud on him and sing don't lose your head in the background. How do you kill that kind of a guy?!
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They took a risk indeed, making a man with these powers the main villain, and i'm guessing it will be a combined effort of the entire team arrow (quiver?) to take him down, maybe not even kill him but lock him up in a special cell (like the hulks in the avengers). Offcourse i didn't expect that there would be no other enemies for the team, and the majority of the bad guys that got away are going to be in the suicide squad by the looks of the trailer.
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I made a comment about my disappointment in Slade being the bad guy and got several replies pointing out that he was a bad guy in the original comic. I should have taken that into consideration, and people are right about that. I apologize!
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I enjoyed the ep, and in general I've liked where Arrow has gone over the last season or so. Thanks for that 'Extended Full Circle Trailer' it was badass! I'm very excited to see the Suicide Squad in action. I just hope they have Rick Flag & Nightshade on the team!
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Slade had a wife and a son if I remember correctly, did Oliver kill them too?
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Yes, I think I remember that from the first season as well... In the comics Slade really #$%#s them over. I wonder if they bring that into the series. I always liked Joey Wilson (well before he turned evil or whatever).
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Am I the only one who sees Miracuru becoming Miraclo later on to introduce other heroes into the world (like Hourman). I see someone making a more stable version but its only temporary.
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i just thought it was amazing that ivo's boat was called amazo
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I found interesting that Slade said he didn't have children.
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Wow and I thought last week was brilliant. Thank you show for continuing with an episode that was as excellent. Even Roy was interesting. Bigger reveal to Oliver that Slade is here in Starling City or for Slade that Sarah is here, still alive, and still with Oliver? Sarah is so not making it out of this season. Loving Slade flirting with all the ladies who are so clearly smitten with him, and playing him for his contributions to Moira's campaign. and Oliver just taking it all in. The danger he's facing is just strolling around his house, like Malcom Merlyn did but these guys have a history we've been watching play out for 2 seasons to get us here. That nightmare Oliver had of 'Shado' - even that old trick was perfect. Slade is back and Oliver is just riddled with guilt. He's felt that way for a long time and - his flip out on Laurel had a lot more behind it. Amell and Bennett were just superb in all of their scenes in this episode. They are bringing out the best from one another and it just elevates this relationship between Oliver and Slade. The actresses were great at showing they had no idea the beef between the boys. Poor mom is already at odds with Oliver and now he's being a dick to a dude who's helping fund her run for mayor. So much going on - so good.
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its going to come to Slade holding power of life/death over Laurel and Sarah and Oliver being forced to decide who lives isn't it?
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I agree on the choosing moment, but if you put Oliver in that position it won't be his choice to make, cause let face it, Sarah won't let anything happen to Laurel. She would rather die, than let her sister get hurt. By the look that Slade gave to Sarah last episode it was so clear that he will be very happy to kill her himself. But maybe the choice would go down to either Sarah and Felicity or Laurel and Felicity. And have been thinking about it, whatever choice is made in situation like this will give Slade the upper hand, cause he will be able to use something like this in his advantage. If you choose to save the one over the other and put it out there so they would know, now that would be intense. Slade could totally use some of those feelings to make sure his promise to Oliver comes true. So if the writers do something like this it would be very interesting to watch, bit either way the show is great at everything.
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It'll be that choice all over again. The thing is this time, whereas Tommy's death made Oliver better, what will Slade killing Sarah do to him?
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In my list of favorite episodes for this week, Arrow is now on number two ! It is the highest that any Arrow episodes had ever achieved. The Americans is number one ! It beats this week episodes of shows like Scandal, Elementary, Justified, The Walking Dead, True Detectives and even the excellent premiere of Bates Motel.

As we are getting to the end of Season two, the tension and excitement just keep building up. I really liked how Sara led team arrow to save Oliver. I do wonder what happened to Diggle though.

Unlike some comments here, I totally understand Slade's anger with Oliver. He was in love with Shado but Shado prefer Oliver so he sort of hide his feelings and let the two of them be together. Yet when Sara turns up, he chose her over Shado.

We have not seen the full extent of the island story but I suspect he blame his lost of his eye on Oliver too.

With all the history and the side effects of Mirakuru , why is it unbelievable that Slade wants revenge on Oliver? He wants to kill the whole team arrow and his family so Oliver will experience the loss of people he loved.

This type of revenge had been done so many times before but somehow ARROW the show manage to still make it interesting to watch.

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Yeah, that doesn't make too much sense... I guess we just have to accept it as a fact that Slade has a major villain-boner for Oliver and look forward to his next evilisms - for the whole Shado/Sarah thing to be the cause for that does not quite work. Remember what Heisenwalt had to do to Hank to get him that mad?
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Best episode of the series so far. I am a huge, albeit new fan of Arrow. After hearing friends rave about it, I found season1 on Netflix then caught up on season 2 on Amazon Instant Video. Now I am addicted to a show I really wasn't expecting to like. I'm not a comic book reader; I'm a mid-thirties mother of 4, but I am completely absorbed in these characters and a storyline that feels epic. The fight scenes are spectacular, the stunts are jaw-dropping, and the acting is fantastic. It feels like I'm watching a movie instead of a t.v. show.
My husband, on the other hand, is a HUGE fan of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, the Arkham Origins video game, and Batman in general. After convincing him to watch a few episodes, he loved the show as much as me, especially once he realized 'Deathstroke' would be Oliver's arch-nemesis. He had extremely high expectations for Slade Wilson, a super-villain in the DC universe and Manu Bennett does not disappoint.
That's what makes Arrow so great - It appeals to both of us equally and that's rare. You don't have to be a comic book fan to enjoy it, but for someone who knows and already loves these characters, it's a dream come true.
Here are the 2 criticisms I seem to be coming across regarding 'The Promise':
1. People unable to rationalize Slade's vendetta against Oliver.
2. Disappointment that there wasn't an all-out brawl in the mansion between Slade and Team Arrow.

Regarding Slade's rage, some people seem to be forgetting (even though it's been explained multiple times) that a side-effect of Mirakuru is an irrational psychotic rage, that apparently intensifies with time. We've already seen it manifesting in Roy and Oliver is desperately trying to help him control it.

The 2nd 'criticism' is ironically one of the things I love most about the writing on this show... the slow build. The anticipation of knowing what's inevitably coming is what keeps me chewing on my knuckles every episode Slade walks on-screen. This is a man who has been planning revenge for years... He's not going to kick the door down and start throwing punches. He's going to take Oliver's team down systematically. As Slade so calmly put it when Oliver pulled a knife on him, "Not yet kid."

I have a feeling we are in for a MIND-BLOWING finale.



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Love the show but.. one thing that I just don't get is how Slade can blame Oliver for Shaos (not Shadow ppl) death.. HE DIDN'T KILL HER.. What was he supposed to do.. choose for his own gain or some other schmo like Slade?.. It's just too stupid.. And the scene where Slade found out.. Oliver was holding an arrow to Ivos head and he didn't shoot so Ivo could tell his story as if he knew about Slades feelings for Shado, and what'd you know Slade stood behind them hearing the whole story the whole time.. What kinda lazy cliched writing is this anyway.. The first season in my mind was better constructed With a clear goal. This second season is all over the place. It seems like they're reaching too far by expecting us to accept stupidity and introducing way too many super heroes for few episode plot devices we're supposed to just forget about when they're gone.
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Don't forget that the MiruKuru has altered Slade's state of mind, this will explain his extreme reaction to something that he should ahve moved on from a long time ago.
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Shado's death, not Shaos death. If you're going to correct other people's grammar, you should make sure, you don't make an ass out of yourself doing so.
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lol
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The present day Moria/Oliver/Slade/Thea was done really well and there were a couple of other little fun moments (like when Roy met Slade). But on the whole the story was in parts yawn and left me with the type of questions that don't get answered. I also feel that they are trying to force feed certain relationships with highly contrived motives and for me I've had enough.

For a bunch of issues I have with not being engaged in story arcs and perceived character violations especially in the last three episodes- Arrow has moved off my must watch and I'll catch up with it later.....if ever. Which is disappointing because I really wanted to continue to like where they were taking me.
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Bravo to arrow for showing us what's behind Slade's eye patch!!
But..
Sara's acting killed the suspense for me man!! She was the key to letting everyone in the Arrow Cave know that Slade is in town and when the camera zoomed in on her face.. ugh! But that's minor though. The story is progressing nicely.

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too much island. I am getting Lost!!
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The slow burn tension in the mansion contrasted with the craziness on the island was really well done.
Although am I the only one who wishes that Maura and Thea aren't so clueless? It makes them seem like idiots and by proxy makes me like them less.
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Maybe they just assume it's Oliver being an ass because he's upset with his mother.
Since neither know what happened on the Island, we should let them off this time. ;)
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Interesting review. I watched the episode and it was fine, I wasn't that into the flashback scenes, they seemed convoluted and noisy without thought, but they weren't the worst thing ever. Good point about Ivo trying to save his wife, what a misfire that idea was.

I'm starting to get disappointed in Slade Wilson having nothing more to focus on than revenge, it makes him a one-note villain, where his comic character was a badass mercenary with lots of reasons to act. Hopefully this can be rectified soon, as I like Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson overall.

Oh, that reminds me, holy crap do the FX guys not have an understanding of human anatomy when it comes to Slade's missing eye, apparently it took out half the bone around the socket as well including brow ridge that is clearly showing.
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Am I the only one really not that interested with the flashback scenes. I know they are important, but I have skipped through them and still can tell what's going on& maybe because shadows gone and I don't like sara that flashback scenes just kinda suck for me :/ but i do love slide :)
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The flashbacks ebb and flow in quality, but they inform upon other scenes, and they can take a dragging episode and punch it up.
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Slade*
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Am I the only one who wonders why Oliver needed to light the beach bonfire with a flaming arrow, from so far away he needed to take 2 shots to do it, if he was going to go down and stand by the fire anyway? A match or lighter would have been easier.



And my other big beef with all of the island flashbacks is the cheesy quality of the CGI island they show in the long shots. The exaggerated rocky peaks make it look dark and dangerous all right, but they don't look real, or match the actual terrain seen in other shots. For an image they use this often, you'd think they'd have spent a bit more time making it look right. And why not use a picture of a real island instead? There are plenty of them to choose from, including a few dark and dangerous ones. Here's a picture of the actual island Alexander Selkirk, aka Robinson Crusoe, was stranded on. It's a much better match for what we see on the ground, and no CGI required.



Otherwise the episode was... acceptable.

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dramatic effect... you know superheroes =P
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Criticizing the distant view of the island seems a little nit-picky to me, but your comment about the lighting the bonfire with a flaming arrow from so far away, just to stand next to it made me LOL. :)
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Yah, I know it's picky, but I've got some experience in this field, and seeing work like this on a show of this caliber bugs me. My main beef was that the fake island used in the long shots doesn't even remotely resemble the terrain seen up close. If they'd built actual sets showing the kind of forbidding terrain seen in the model, instead of just using local parkland around Vancouver, I'd be OK with it. Also, they use the same shot, regardless of time of day or weather conditions. This is just lazy. They could have at least done a few other lighting variations.
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It seemed rather silly to me that neither Moira nor Thea stepped in to stop the tension. "Oliver, can I talk with you for a moment?" or, "There seems to be a lot of tension between you. Have you met? What's going on?"

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I suspect Moira thought the tension was because of her situation with Ollie rather than anything to do with Mr. Wilson.
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I can see that relating to how Ollie was acting, but there were quite a few times when it was clear Slade was showing real tension, too.
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I agree, and I really want Ollie to tell Moira the truth. Slade is DANGEROUS, capital letters, and she must know it.. I actually found present day scenes annoying (except by the Roy meet Slade moment) and really silly.
,
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Especially at the end of the "tour". It got extremely awkward and not a peep from either of the outspoken Queen's.
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And, I don't know why Oliver couldn't have just told his mom, "I'm sorry about that, but I actually met Slade on the island. He turned on me and he's VERY dangerous. I thought he was dead, but he's here for revenge."

I mean, good grief. Not EVERYTHING has to be a secret, right?

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Some of the secrets that are kept in the show are so ridiculous and easily understood.
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Yeah I think if Slade had showed up earlier in the season Ollie could/would have done that. However with the animosity between them now he probably has to decide whether she would use that information against him, naively, out of spite.
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She still loves Ollie. Telling her about Slade on the island wouldn't tell her he's Arrow. How could she use the info against him?
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I don't doubt she loves Ollie and Thea. My take was more if he told her, at least partially the truth about knowing him from the island, not necessarily the Mirakuru stuff. she might persist with her acceptance of his support to "prove" that his judge of character is wrong. "If your overreacting about Slade, your overreacting about me...." After all he's wealthy, charming, and sophisticated. That doesn't really sound like the island Slade picture Ollie would "truthfully" paint. Irrational as that may be emotions and love cause people to do stupid things. Neither Ollie nor Moira are in a good place there.
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Once Ollie tells his mom, it'll lead to either her or Slade taking immediate action which will hurry things up too soon to plan for, I guess.
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I realize Slade is a bit crazy because of the Miracu, BUT, it seems to me that both Oliver and Sara have really missed the boat on this. They should have at least tried this:

"I REFUSED to choose so he pointed his gun at Sara and I jumped in front of the gun. So, he instead shot Shadow. It was a reaction and I would have done the same thing had he pointed the gun at Shadow, first. I never had a chance to stop him from shooting Shadow."
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Slade went plain nuts, particularly he was so unstable that he almost killed Oliver twice in different episodes earlier, that was before he even knew Oliver a role in Shado's death. If Slade almost killed Oliver twice while he thought Oliver had no role in Shado's death whatsoever, in other words, while it was illogical to do so... what makes you think he would've reacted logically now that he has somewhat of a reason?

At one point, before cutting Dr. Ivo's hand, Oliver offered reasonable arguments but Slade said each time that he didn't care. What only mattered was what his messed up mind told him, and that was that. The right move wasn't better words, the right move, if any, would've been for Oliver to have killed Dr. Ivo without hesitation.
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Totally agree with you that nothing Oliver could have said would have made a difference. And, that's what bugs me about the writing.

They should have had Oliver state a good case rather than look all guilty and as if he was making excuses. Slade could just ignore it and it would show just how crazy he was.

Instead, Slade looks a little - a LITTLE - justified in his anger.
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Yeah, that bugs me. He even could have said he didn't think Ivo would keep his word and just kill them all until Slade showed up to save them. The staging of the scene itself (in the woods) seemed to show Ollie jumping in front of the gun, just he happened to fall closer to Sarah instead.

Still, the Miracuru has showed Slade is a bit nuts now, so maybe nothing would have prevented the outcome anyway.
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Exactly, but they certainly didn't help their cause by looking so dang GUILTY rather than INDIGNANT. "How DARE you accuse me of letting Shadow die!? I LOVED her! Where were YOU in all this? Why weren't YOU there rescuing her? "

"I was DEAD!"

"Oh, isn't THAT convenient!? While you were lying around pretending to be dead, I was left alone trying to protect Shadow by myself!

Slade: (confused) "Right. Sorry about that."

:)
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This has been the weakest story for me, so much is riding on this and I'm not totally buying it. I 100% agree with your comment!
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Me too.
I could understand Mirakuru drives Slade crazy, but I don't understand why Sara and Ollie cannot at least present a decent case for what happened.
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What a great episode this was, Arrow has certainly become on of the best shows out there!!
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Really good episode and the reveal that the "tour" wasn't just to screw with Oliver was an interesting touch
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I'm confused by this episode. At the end of last week it seemed like Oliver left the Foundry right after they stitched up Felicity and went home to deal with his mother. Slade was already there but that would mean at most this was the day after Felicity was shot. Yet Felicity walks into the Arrow Cave with Diggle and it seems that the gunshot never happened or if it did it was at least a week or two ago.
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It didn't happen that way at all. Felicity got shot and stitched at night. After that scene, we see Oliver find Sara at his sister's bar working during the daytime. Laurel is also seen visit the AA meeting with daylight still present. It seems unlikely that Laurel would've gotten her head straight, apologize to Sara and go to AA meetings the very next day after the family dinner fight (which happened same night Felicity got shot). It appears to me out of character for her to have done such a quick recovery, and it suggest that more than one day went bye.

So how many days went by from the Foundry scene to the bar scene? We don't know, but at the very least it's clearly not the same day... We also learned from the bar scene that Sara got hired by Thea, which suggest that at least another day or more went bye after that night that Felicity got stitched (unless you believe that Thea would hire Sara and leave her alone by herself on Sara's very first day at work). It is after that, and while Sara is working, that Oliver receives the call from Thea to go home.

I hope that helps!
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I don't know why you don't have any upvotes. That was a fantastically thought out and well presented explanation.
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Thanks!
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Arrow is awful with time continuity. I've just decided to accept this.
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I liked it a lot, but it irritated the hell out of me that Oliver never said the obvious: "All I did was to hesitate for a second because I didn't know what the **** I should do". "Neither of us have any idea if it would have made any difference if I had yelled at him to kill Sarah from the first second after he gave me the choice. For all we know, he was going to kill Shado no matter what I did".

I was also thinking how silly it was that Ollie's mom and Thea didn't seem to notice how tense the situation was, so I was relieved when his mom made a comment about it. It was hilarious how she thought it was all about her.

Is Crixus going to bang Ollie's mom? I ship it.
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Oh yeah, the training montage at the beginning was pretty funny too. It was like "Ollie still sucks, train, train, train,... 2 years later..., Ollie's awesome and Shado would be proud". And then they let us know that they're about to hit the freighter. So how much time had really passed? 2 hours? Did it even make sense to practice (especially running like a mad man) instead of just getting some rest?
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I personally loved this episode. It was well written and looked fantastic. I really enjoyed the tension in the room with Oliver and Slade.

I can't find anyone else who noticed this, but did anyone see the name of Dr Ivo's boat? AMAZO.
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Yes, the name of the boat has appeared in a previous episode, so it was not a surprise, but it is a nice touch, I think Ivo is the creator of Amazo or something.
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I liked this episode, but it didn't blow me away or anything. I loved the scenes between present day Ollie and Slade and all the scenes in the Queen Mansion - clueless Moira and Thea in the middle just made this all the more interesting.

The Island parts were kind of meh. Hate the motivation for Slade and I'm apparently not the only one. I mean I get it - he loved her (supposedly) but we didn't really get to see much of that, she was with Ollie, so maybe that's also a factor - jealousy? Because Slade didn't get to be with the woman he loved, instead it was Ollie and he did't even save her when it mattered... It's probably a combination of this and the Mirakuru making him crazy...

I'm not a big fan of the Island flashbacks in general, I wouldn't mind if they would limit the amounts of flashback and only bring this out when it's REALLY neccesary. I think they'll run out of interesting things to show when it comes to the island, the escape attempts and the reasons for why they didn't work will get more ridiculous and I sincerely hope they won't do what they promised, that is - stretch this out until the series ends. This would only really work if the series lasts exactly 5 seasons.
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I agree that the motivation is rather week. She chose Oliver, after all. BUT, we must remember his mind went rather crazy after the Miracu, so rational thought isn't really expected, here.
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I actually like the island flashbacks. Some of my favorite scenes.
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For me, this show is going down from the Laurel-centric episode and Lance family drama. And ratings prove it. It needs Greg Berlanti who is working on Flash, back, ASAP.
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Agreed. A little less soap opera, please.
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Sara: "Once you let the darkness inside it's never comes out!"
Yoda: "But beware of the dark side. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will"

Great episode and the preview... I'm looking forward to watch next episode.
I just fund it weird that we had no news about Diggle after he's been knocked out... At least with the preview we know that he was propably takking a nap in the bushes :D!!
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It sounds like the Huntess talking not Sara
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I'm really curious who the henchman who clubbed him is. It couldn't be Blood since he would likely put 2 and 2 together and get Ollie = Arrow. It was mysterious. Since it sounded like the previews said that "Deathstroke" was the Suicide Squads target, I don't think it was Waller or ARGUS, as I've seen others speculate.

My wild speculation is that it is Wintergreen Sr. As "Wintergreen" in the comics is more like Slade's bulter/mentor, ala Billy's father or older brother. Or possibly even Rose Wilson (Slade's daughter, aka Ravager). I'm excited to find out who this individual is...
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Have you considered Cyrus Gold?
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I hadn't thought about that one. But to me he seems like Blood's go to trusted adviser, not Slade's. Besides I don't think Slade would team with another Mirakuru juiced guy. His ego would need to have him "above" anyone that works for him. When they do bring Gold back he should be Solomon Grundy, they made pretty clear references to the poem throughout that episode. I don't think Grundy would be that stealthy or exacting. At least in the comics Grundy is more Frankenstein-zombie then stealthy henchman.
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Depending on the day.
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Manu Bennet put on a truly diabolical performance as Slade/Deathstroke in this episode!
And damn that trailer looks awesome! It's something I'd expect to see in theaters for a major motion picture, I can't wait for the Suicide Squad to make their debut!
Arrow's directors and writers are truly amazing.
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Harley Quinn is coming? What about the Joker?
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I don't think Harley's gonna be joining the suicide squad...
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OK, this isn't really one of the worst episodes, IMO, but I just don't get why people who like this episode REALLY like previous episode...
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So NOBODY noticed Harley Quinn in the preview for next week????

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If you mean the black nail polish at about 2 minute in then it could equally be Chesire who's got more of a connection to Green Arrow than Harley
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I honestly thought it was the Huntress, but after reading your comment and going through the video again I see that she wears gloves.
So who knows, it'll make for a nice surprise in addition to the already amazing villain cast.
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I imagine the Harley discussion/theorizing/OMGZ is referring to this, complete with vague comments from Marc Guggenheim on the matter.
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OK with hair like that it's unlikely to be Chesire, but it wouldn't be hard to come up with a list of DC villians that aren't Harley.
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Sure, but not Harley but with connections to Suicide Squad limits the scope a bit. I'm personally thinking (well...hoping) it's just a visual easter egg and nothing more....fingers crossed.
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Or 2 weeks, I should say
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The revenge thing would have worked better if Oliver had chosen Sara over Slade himself, with Slade getting shot in the eye and left for dead. That would have made more sense than what they came up with. "I considered you my brother and you betrayed me!" works a lot better than "You let Shado die so that Sara wouldn't".......
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Thank god for DVR again as I missed this episode....., but man what an episode, only 3 left until the season finale and you know when it says Deathstroke (it will be one hell of an season finale), I enjoyed so much. I do agree that The Promise was a much better episode than The Odyssey. My highlights for the episode were:
1. Oliver trying to kill with a Slade Wilson with a screwdriver (silly boy)
2. Moira and Thea completely don't realize Slade is a evil mofo
3. Slade Wilson has turned into Deathstroke (on the island)
4. Roy Harper can't shoot an arrow with a shit
5. All of Team Arrow in the cave expect Oliver
6. Can't wait for the next episode which is March 19 2014 (sad face
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Roy may not have hit within the circles, but it looked like he hit the blocks the targets were drawn on. Also, realize he's dealing with tremors, too.
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It was an ice pick.
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"Deathstroke" isn't the season finale, it's the 18th episode and there will be 23 episodes in this season......
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There are 8 episodes left.
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This was one tense episode and I particularly liked Oliver and Slade's scenes.
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Yeah, they were great.
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I personally didn't need the whole flashback from this week. We already knew the result from prior episodes, and there was very little additional information. Will Ivo's wife be some character later on? It was strange to have such a short mention of her and in that particular moment.
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Actually, the flashbacks gave us quite a bit more info.

* We know the Miracu was not destroyed. And why. (silly that Oliver didn't think to look inside the box, though.)

* We see more about how Oliver becomes a member of the Russian mob.

* We got to see the actual transformation of Slade from brother to enemy.

* We got to see Oliver's burgeoning talent.

All in all, I was pretty happy the flashbacks.
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- obviously was not destroyed since Roy has been injected
- we already knew that Slade will go from brother to enemy and why from prior episodes. One more hour of that was unnecessary to me.
- not interested at all in the russian mob connection myself
- like we didn't know that he had been practicing in the island

Well, I'm glad you enjoyed, but for me, as I said, all was known and not interesting.
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I thought that the Miracu that Roy was injected with was extracted from Slade's blood.
As for the russian mob, best that you don't watch the next episode because they feature in it. And if I'm right you might want to skip all of next season because I think next years flashbacks will all be in Russia.
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haha, I think you are very upset about me not liking this episode's flashback, that's very funny. Look, I understand that people might want to see more of the islands action, and they are happy with this because of that. Well, I haven't attacked anyone on that purpose, people are freely expressing their opinions in their posts. I am fine with island action and this is one of my top 3 shows at the moment. BUT it did not give ME any new information and ME, PERSONALLY, I found it boring, and I truly hope this is an exception. Just as a reminder for you, I did not attack you. You are answering in a post I started. So cool down, bro. I will watch this show to the extend that I decide and I will express my opinion about it, every time. And I'm sure you are not trying to say that I cannot!
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"please, do not make entire episodes just to justify things that can be told in 2 minutes"

Oliver v Slade : the show is called Arrow so Oliver is ultimately going to be the victor.
Now that took less than 2 minutes to type, so are you saying that they should scrap all the remaining episodes that are part of Slade story arc? Actually Oliver is always going to win against everyone so they should scrap the entire show and be done with it.

And who is it that is forcing you to watch anything? Because I wouldn't stand for it.
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I hope you are not trying to say that I needed this episode to be able to connect myself to the rest of the season and the series, because of the Russian thing? LOL - If we erased the flash back of the episode, I can immediately watch the next one and don't realize that I'm missing anything. If I stop watching or not doesn't depend on russian mob, but more on how many empty episodes I am forced to watch and on that Laurel character getting fixed. So Arrow please, do not make entire episodes just to justify things that can be told in 2 minutes or that we have seen before. It is not just me that is going to leave.
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We knew the outcomes but not how we got there, and I enjoy seeing that. And, I'm very curious about the Russian mob part of Oliver's life.
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I was on edge of my seat the entire episode thinking what Slade will do to Thea and Moira in a flash!!
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How Awesome is Slade Wilson. I freaking LOVE his character (Manu Bennett is GREAT - have loved him since he was Crixus on Spartacus) and he keeps getting better with each episode. The tension between Oliver and Slade throughout the episode, both in the past (on the island) and in the present (Oliver's home) was fantastic because I really had no idea what Slade might do. He was capable of doing so much (I'm pretty sure he would have had no problem taking out Oliver and his Team Arrow crew) - yet in the end he walked away and left Oliver with a threat that you know he will follow through with if given the chance. Loved his reaction when he heard Sara's voice and saw her come down the stairs (true surprise). The island is now in total disarray and I am even more intrigued to see what the hell is going to happen there next since so many from the freighter are now on the island with Sara and Oliver is stuck on the boat with a truly insane Slade. I know a lot of people don't like Slade's reasoning for revenge against Oliver, but I think it makes sense because Slade did care about Shado (love may seem like a stretch, but she took care of him after he was burned and looked out for him along with Oliver, its not hard to see why he had feelings for her - and the actress who plays Shado is BEAUTIFUL, like seriously, she barely has on makeup if any at all she is gorgeous). I can't wait to see what Slade will do next, he is diabolical and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. Please do not kill him off, or turn him into a good guy and keep him around because he freaking Rocks! Cannot wait to see the Suicide Squad in two weeks.
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I agree they should turn him in some kind of antihero.
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I agree about the reason for Slades vengeance. I can almost forgive it because we just don't know the extent of what the miracuru has done to his brain. But still, it is kind of silly.

Same as Moira sending Oliver away so that he can't find the camera. Also how didn't he spot that when Slade was planning them.

Oh and also, you could still see Sarah's knife. Bad conceal job guys.


I really wanted Slade to kill Roy. But Roy did't annoy as much as usual. He still can't act though.

But Oliver vs Slade was fantastic.
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I agree that Oliver should have noticed Slade planting the bugs. Also, there's a problem of POWERING all those tiny cameras. A small battery might last, what, 1 or 2 hours?
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I'm AWFULLY torn on this whole Slade thing.

"Arrow getting Slade to this point by using Ivo's "Pick one to die!" contrivance, was a sloppy way of getting the desired result of Slade losing it."

Slade as a villain is fantastic. His motivations however are garbage. I didn't like them when they were revealed in Three Ghosts, and I like them even less now.
"This psychopath said he was going to shoot one of the girls and told me to pick. I said I wouldn't. So, he pointed the gun at Sara so I jumped in front. Had he pointed the gun at Shado, I'd have done the same thing...how the f*ck is this all my fault?!? If you want to be mad because I didn't tell you about it...fine, but is that really cause to embrace your inner Ernst Stavro Blofeld?". I know there was a lot of stuff going on, during the battle, but surely Oli could had a few minutes to get this out after the fact, no?

So, can I love the situation while hating the circumstances that created it...? I dunno. It would be one thing if it was just the "pick one to die" final straw that I didn't like, but I have never bought into this "Shado was my one true love" business from Slade. Manu Bennett is doing his best with what he's been given, but Crixus & Naevia puts into context him Manu playing the tortured soul who who move heaven and earth for his one true love...and I'm just not feelin' it. So, that hinges this entire arc on "Mirako has side effects that mess with your brain"...UGH!

There are a lot of things I like about Slade and all the steps he's taken to extract his revenge. But the genesis being what it is...I'm having trouble getting as excited as I should.
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Good luck arguing logically with someone who can't.
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Putting aside that I still don't buy that Shado was the love of his life and her death (plus the mirako) drove him to madness...even if Slade isn't thinking logically, Oliver still has some sense and making that kind of statement in the face of what's sure to be a very painful time aboard the ship just seems like common sense.

Which bring up the notion of Oliver not saying anything because he blames himself, which again...ridiculous. I know Island Oli isn't Sterling City Oli, but still.

I dunno, I just don't like the entire premise for this arc.
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Hah, I commented the same thing about choosing Sarah, before I read yours. Great minds! :)
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Last night's episode was one of the worst this season imo. The island flashbacks are so boring.
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This episode was awesome. One thing I really liked about this episode (even though it was a small part) was Roy practicing archery in the "Arrow Cave". For me this was awesome because I was really hoping the writers weren't going to turn Red Arrow into some super-human sidekick. It would make Roy a lot more interesting because the whole superhuman strength aspect of him is getting a little boring. Now if only the Mirikuru could wear off or be counteracted with an antidote…...
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Okay the reaction to ollies call was pathetic.

Close up to Sara's face, dramatic music and Sara's determined proclamation that didn't make much sense.
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thought the same as well, dunno why some people are pumped up by this episode
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I'm being to wonder if Arrow is going to go all Suits on us.
What they've done on Suits is make the second half of one season and the first half of the next a season in thier own right, so that one season just rolls into the next.
I get the feeling that they won't wrap up both the Sebastian Blood and Isabel Rochev stories by the end of episode 23, but they could continue for at least the first half of season 3. Sebastian wins the election, Isabel buys the shares Ollie sold to draw out the Clock King and takes over Queen Consolidated with Slade backing the pair of them, all leading to a huge mid-season finale.
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One of the producers (can't remember if it was Guggenheim or Kreisberg) said that some of the stuff from S2, and stuff they had planned for S2, will be rolling over into S3, though understandably they failed to specify what that stuff was going to be.
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I can just see the interview now :
"Well we'd planned to have Rose Wilson and Conner Hawke turn up as a surprise in episode 21, but we've moved that to episode 6 of next season right after the Hawkman epis... Hang on I have to take this call. OK it appears I've been fired from the show."
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Love this episode. It was very high tension. The only one itsy bitsy thing i have against it, was that moment when sara hears slade's voice and she goes "If we don't save oliver his entire family is gonna die" (or something on those lines) .....that scene was so overblown and so over acted it made my skin crawl. Heck it was as bad as horacio's cliche lines from CSI miami!!!

Phew....got that out my chest!!! Other than that, loved the entire approach on the episode. Slade visiting oliver's house was so bada$$ i can't begin to describe it. When the villain strolls thru the house of the hero, without a care in the world, that just tells you how powerful and evil minded this guy is. Nothing says you have nothing on me like you can't touch me in your own house.
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My only real problem with this episode was Ivo screaming "HE'S the one who killed Shado" with such conviction over and over again because it makes no sense. Oliver may have chosen Sara but Ivo's the one who made him choose and facilitated this whole "one has to die" Sophie's choice anyway. The logic behind that is so flimsy it's ridiculous and I guess I just wish that would be somewhat addressed. I understand Slade being pissed at Oliver but I feel like he should be more mad at Ivo.
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Of course it makes no sense. That's why his messed up in the head. But we wouldn't have a bad guy if he was sane.
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