Arrow: The Promise

Rev. Thomas: "God will protect you."
Anatoli: "There is no god. If there was, he's not on this ship."

Welcome to the Slade Wilson show... ahem.

This episode answered a bunch of questions, but wow, talk about dense. We got two parallel stories informing and progressing each other in a very organic blend of tension and action. I'm honestly not sure which was the more important one, though, since both had game-changing moments.

In the Queen Mansion we picked up immediately from last week's cliffy, and from there the uneasy dance began. Every second I honestly wasn't sure if things were going to devolve into violence and mayhem. With Moira being so shifty lately, and Thea hitting a plateau character arc wise, I didn't know if Slade was going to do something aggressive. For that matter I wasn't sure if Oliver was going to be able to contain himself, either. He didn't handle the situation very well.

Thankfully, team Arrow came to the rescue. Sara lead the charge, roping in Diggle and Roy (which answers the question of whether Roy was in the loop about Sara). They quickly situated themselves into the house and supported Oliver without letting the family in on the dilemma. Seriously, how are Moira and Thea safer at this point not knowing Oliver's secret?

Anyway, I loved the standoff between Roy and Slade. With just a simple gesture, Slade realized his edge was gone. I have to give Sara credit too for setting up the sniper shot with Diggle. That's a pretty smart move, even though Slade managed to get away. I'm worried about everyone now, because on this show I have no idea if anyone except Oliver is safe. I'll say it now, I really hope the producers don't kill off Sara.

In flashback, we got a lot of set up and even more execution, starting with Oliver's training montage, and that horrible nightmare with Shado. I think my favorite moment was when Oliver and Slade grabbed their costumes for the assault. Then Oliver apparently screwed up and got caught. My first thought was that it was planned, but I wasn't sure until the truth serum scene. It felt too simple.

Of course the culmination was that scene on the bridge when Ivo tricked Oliver into confessing about Shado. I guess I was right, Shado was the reason for the wedge in Slade and Oliver's relationship, although I think the Mirakuru has more to do with Slade's hatred than his feelings for Shado. Whoever Slade was before the injection, he's not the same man. I wonder if there is a way for Slade to forgive Oliver, but since he's the big bad this season I don't really see that being an option.

I am curious if Manu Bennett is going to continue past this season. I'm pretty sure the fans would go nuts if they killed off Deathstroke, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did bite the dust by season's end. Of course that doesn't mean he'll stay dead. Maybe he'll come back ala Malcolm. In the end, though, we found out what Slade has in store for Oliver, at least in a general way. Complete despair sounds pretty miserable, intimating that he's going to kill off everyone Oliver cares about. Harsh.

Bits:

Continuity shout out for bringing back Anatoli and actually showing us how and why he feels indebted to Oliver.

I wonder who knocked out Diggle? Probably one of Brother Blood's henchmen.

The action was pretty good, with the stand out being the stunt where Slade flipped Oliver over his head and back onto the boat. But I have to say, seeing Slade in action with the mask on, so kick ass.

Caity Lotz sounded different in the flashbacks. It was a slight change, but she sounded almost girly and innocent.

Gold acting star goes to Manu Bennett this time. His entire performance in this episode was stellar, from the smug taunting in the mansion, to the broken shell of a man threatening his former friend. He really delivered what was needed in this episode. Slade is most definitely a threat now, not that he wasn't before.

So Oliver called Felicity. Not Sara, not Diggle, not even even Roy. He called Felicity. Maybe she makes the most sense since she's the hub, but still that shows a lot of trust in her on his part.

Ivo did all this horrible stuff for some kind of cure for his wife Jessica. I guess love makes you do the wacky... evil wacky?

Totally fun moment with Sara asking Diggle to use the biggest gun he had.

Another really good episode, focused perhaps the best villain we've had on this show to date.

4 out of 4 Hate Filled Promises
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J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related. He reviews Arrow, The Originals and Farscape and cool new movies that strike his fancy.

4 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Sure wish I hadn't slept through this one. It wasn't boring -- I was just exhausted. I'll definitely have to catch it later!

Freeman said...

That was a tense episode. I didn't know what was gonna go down at any given moment. Ollie looked like he was gonna snap. Stephen Amell pulled off the powder keg look perfectly here. It was sad to see the last remnant of their friendship in the beginning of the flashback sequence. Slade was laying it on extra thick with the way he was all touching Moira's arms and stuff.

My only complaint about the episode was that when everything was about to go down and Sara started briefing everyone, Caity Lotz came off as very awkward. It really undercut the tension I was feeling thoughout the episode till then.

I can't wait for the next episode. That promo seemed to hint at the appearance of a certain twin-tailed harlequin. If that ends up being the case, I'm gonna be beside myself.

J.D. Balthazar said...

Blogger J.D. Balthazar said...
Freeman, I thought the exact same thing when I saw that promo. I don't there's ever been a live action Harley, and if Arrow is the first to pull that off I'd be thrilled. I didn't think Caity did a bad job, I think she lacked a bit of authority, but that didn't bother me so much because is wasn't 'her' team she was directing. so that is kind of understandable.

ChrisB said...

I'm not usually a fan of the island sequences, but this one was tense and exciting. The way the two stories dovetailed this week was extraordinarily well done. Not an easy feat to pull off, I am sure.

Oliver really doesn't have a poker face, does he?