By Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)
And now we can all let out a collective breath. You know, that one you’ve been holding for weeks because Arrow’s put you through the ringer. The two previous episodes were building to this, a climactic showdown with Deathstroke. Would The Arrow be able to save his city from his former island “brother”?
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The volume of questions answered in the finale was so large it could have easily served as the series finale. But of course there was a cliffhanger ending; however, it was not one in the traditional sense. I was expecting a huge twist, but it never happened. This doesn’t mean it wasn’t a strong ending, just a lot quieter than I was expecting. The show went with the flashier and more shocking endings earlier in the season with Thea shooting Malcolm and the death of Moira.
In the present day, everything was wrapped up in a neat little bow with only Detective Lance’s health scare. Back in the flashbacks, Oliver was transported to Hong Kong with help of Amanda Waller. Introducing Amanda Waller into the flashbacks makes it look like the third season is going to fully integrate A.R.G.U.S. into both the present day and flashbacks. The series likes to mirror what’s going on in the flashbacks with present day dilemmas, so having A.R.G.U.S. front and center seems very likely.
The single most impressive thing in the episode was the climactic fight between the former friends. It was the show’s best choreographed scene that flowed seamlessly between flashbacks and present day. Instead of it being about the two fighting, it was really about the transformation that Oliver has gone through. Before, he couldn’t help but stick that arrow right into his adversary’s eye, but in the present day, he kept him alive. Really, it was more a work of art than a fight scene.
Oliver using a trick bolo arrow to subdue the weak Deathstroke was genius. He could have killed Slade. The further season two progressed, the more trick arrows were implemented. Comic Green Arrow does like his trick arrows. This is a subtle way of showing that the Arrow is evolving into the future Green Arrow. One of the more significant signs of this being the case was Oliver calling himself a hero. He has avoided calling himself that because he never believed he was a hero, just a person trying to take down the people who wronged his father and, in the second season, the city.
It was fitting that Slade survived to see a prison cell. Killing off Oliver’s greatest foe would have been a storytelling misstep both with Oliver’s character development and with the show’s future. Because let’s be real, Slade is going to get out of that cell and we will want to see him take out those swords and duel Oliver again.
Olicity. Olicity. Olicity. Writers, that was so cruel. I’m sorry, but in my head there’s no way they don’t become romantically involved whether it be season three or somewhere in season four or five. She gave him an out while they were standing on Lian Yu’s beach, but he didn’t take it. Instead he stayed silent while she babbled.
Also in my head, the “unthinkable” thing that Oliver did in this episode was willingly put Felicity’s life on the line. She has grown into a strong female character and it shows when she was willing to go along with Oliver’s plan. A season before, she probably would have balked at the idea, but she is confident in herself and Ollie that she will survive her encounter with Slade.
I couldn’t believe that Sara actually survived the finale. She was the one character I was most afraid for. Her leaving with Nyssa was a fitting way to end this particular arc, especially with her “death” on the island. Having her swept away, just like she was swept away on the Queen’s Gambit was a nice little callback.
What did you think of Arrow’s season two finale? How good did Roy look in his mask? Will you miss Sara? What about Digg becoming a dad?
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars