Will Oliver save this city in the finale? Will we hear about it enough that we no longer care? Probably both of those things will happen, as we discuss the second season finale of Arrow.
We begin at the clock tower, right after Oliver injected Roy with the supposed cure for the Mirakuru. Nothing’s happened yet; is it not working, or does the cure have a flair for the dramatic? Slade’s goons are climbing up to get them…and Roy wakes up, confused by his whereabouts. He tries to take out a Mirakuru’d soldier, who kicks his ass. Roy appears to be powerless, and completely fine. Then, Oliver, Felicity, Diggle and Roy zip line the hell out of there, right before Lyla Michaels (Audrey Marie Anderson) shows up to blow the clock tower to smithereens. Diggle gets hard. Can you blame him?
They get back to the Arrow cave, which has been destroyed. It has indeed been compromised, for about the 16th time. Lyla’s there to help, even with Waller’s incoming drone, because they love each other. Aw. Then, it’s my favorite game of “look for injection arrows,” which will surely come in handy, and Oliver, of course, has a billion of them laying around, knowing some day he’d need to administer a city wide disease by arrow. Don’t get me wrong: I love me some trick arrows, but I’m not sure they earned that one.
Thea shot Merlyn twice last week, and she walks away, a little wary and confused and terrified by everything, as she should be. Merlyn gets up though; “It’s called Kevlar.” Malcolm is glad she shot him; he could not be more proud of his daughter, who is made of iron. Tommy never would’ve been able to shoot him. Thea leaves him again anyways.
Back at the precinct (AKA the only one in Starling City), Quentin gives an inspiring speech: “be the heroes I know you all to be.” Lance has been bumped up to become the highest ranking officer now, which is nice. Laurel’s told to stay there, so she immediately starts snooping, happening upon Sara talking with someone, begging her not to hurt Laurel. Ms. Lance gets shot with a dart immediately, and passes out.
Who was she talking to? Obviously, Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law), who shows up with Sara and a band of League of Assassins/Shadows/what have you to Oliver’s base. Nyssa and Felicity meeting is the best:
To enlist the help of Nyssa and her assassins, she had to agree to return to the League. Obviously, Ollie isn’t happy about it, but Sara made her choice. She also warns him he’s going to have to kill. “To fight the unthinkable, you must do the unthinkable.”
Before they leave to save the day, Oliver approaches Roy. “Remember your training?” WHAT TRAINING? We saw him shoot one arrow to disastrous effect, and the rest of the time he was hopped up on Mirakuru murdering cops. Plus, he actually doesn’t remember what happened when he was on the drug, which is when he would’ve done any of the training. We’ve seen Laurel shoot as many arrows as Roy on this show, and Laurel’s actually hit her target. But alas, whatever, we’re excited this means Roy gets to fight…because…
Or Arsenal or whatever they’ll call him.
The group take it to Slade and Isabel Rochev, scaling his building and armed with SO MANY injection arrows. Slade quickly bails, leaving Isabel Rochev to die. Oliver isn’t going to do it, but Nyssa doesn’t hold herself to the same code, so she snaps her neck. Bye bye Summer Glau. Nyssa points out that his city is about to burn because he doesn’t do the hard thing. I’ll be honest, she’s sorta right.
Back to the Island: Slade is crazy (duh), his vision of Shado telling him that they’d be together if not for Ollie, which is true…but not for the reason he thinks (because Shado was macking on that). Also, Sara “dies”:
At the precinct, Quentin finds Laurel, and on cue, she wakes up, to be kidnapped by one of Slade’s men. I honestly missed that even happening, since I’m so used to it at this point.
Slade’s men are now going for the tunnel to escape Starling and Waller’s drone. Quentin, knowing that Slade has his daughter, implores the Arrow to kill again. “They’re monsters.” After they all leave, Felicity continues to be wonderful: “He’s wrong.” Oliver: “He’s right…I’ve been fighting Slade with one hand tied behind my back.” Then Felicity says: “Make him out-think you.” Oliver has an epiphany, because that’s what happens when beautiful quirky blondes feed you cryptic dialogue.
Roy meets up with Thea. He apologizes, they hug, kiss, he promises to get out of Starling City for good, just the two of them, to start over. But what about the Arrow? “I’m done with all of that.” Then Roy gets a text: “We need you.” So he immediately leaves Thea, lies about what he has to do (“do you trust me?”), so he’s clearly not done with “all of that” at all.
Oliver brings Felicity to his mansion, for the most beautiful moment in the history of civilization:
I almost cried, my heart almost gave out, and I just wanted a good ole snog…but alas, they’re going to drag this out as long as possible, giving the audience eternal blue balls. Plus, this moment isn’t exactly what it seems.
Diggle and Lyla go to Waller, to stop her from unleashing the drone on Starling City. They free Deadshot and company, because we needed more over-acting in this episode.
Back in Starling, its badass action time, as it breaks out into all-out war. Because the tide of the battle has turned, the Mirakuru guys just don’t seem that all-powerful and strong anymore, which is nice.
Deadshot, Diggle and Lyla try to make Waller stop the drone, but instead Waller brings up the fact that Lyla is pregnant. Aww, little Diggle babies. BUT: aside from a distraction, why does that change anything? Still stop the drone, bitch.
Slade calls Oliver, promising to kill the woman he loves. Oliver’s done playing games, go ahead (read: kill Laurel; do us all a favor). But no, Slade also has Felicity. It’s exactly what we expect to happen. She’s also the one character on this show that can’t die (fans would boycott the show), so that kind of cuts some of the tension. I’d argue we’d all be more cool with Oliver dying than Felicity. I would.
Oliver comes to Slade, who has Felicity and Laurel (which, if he plans to re-enact the “choice,” there isn’t much of one; go with the MIT grad). Oliver’s calm, collected: You see her, don’t you? He realizes that Slade is haunted by Shado, and tells him how horrified Shado would be to see what he’s done in her name. Then this happens:
Oliver had planned this all along: he gave Felicity the cure, knowing Slade was watching their love speech and that he’d capture her, and she was ready, stabbing the cure into his jugular. Awesome.
And it’s followed by even more awesome, an inter-cut battle royale between Slade and Oliver, as we see the drag out brawl on the boat in the flashbacks, and another on the rooftops in Starling City happening now.
It’s one of the best action sequences on the show. As one would expect, Slade kicks the shit out of him on the boat, but he’s saved by the boat falling apart:
He could have cured him, but instead…
Hell yeah. That’s worth Moira and everyone else dying.
He also has the upper hand in present day, and ties him up with some more trick arrows. He calls Amanda to call off the drone, who does so in the nick of time.
“What now, kid?” I wanted Oliver to growl: “Season 3” or: “You’re going to star in your own TV show!” You know Suicide Squad is happening, at some point.
Sara’s leaving with Nyssa, happy to decide her own fate for the first time. Her Dad’s cool with it, not that he has a choice. “We’ll always be here, waiting.” Then Laurel and Sara share a moment of love, and Sara gives her jacket to her:
She’s never been happier:
Because, you know, that means she’s the new Canary now, clearly one of the big Season 3 plot points. The power is in the leather jacket. “Don’t get any ideas,” Quentin grunts. After they say goodbye, Quentin collapses, suffering from internal bleeding from the fight earlier in the episode. Dayum. I doubt the boat has left yet, but since Sara and company have said goodbye, that means they’re gone, leaving Laurel to care for her dying Dad on the docks, alone. Crap.
Roy returns to the apartment, to find a note from Thea, his love gone. Forever?
Suuure. But still, great stuff: Thea promises to be strong, not weak anymore, and doesn’t want Roy to find her. She’s getting her Malcolm Merlyn training on in season 3, yo! Speedy goin’ to be evil.
Elsewhere, Slade wakes up in a prison cell, where Oliver has finally finished his “to kill or not to kill” through line from the past two seasons. Not killing isn’t his weakness.
Slade “created you,” knowing he’s killed plenty. True, but that’s what he needed at the time.
Oliver thanks Slade. Without him, he wouldn’t have made it home, or seen his family.
Slade’s not very enthused by the praise:
As Oliver walks away, and we learn that he’s stuffed Slade in a super max prison on the ISLAND (“there will be others”), Slade does some more crazy yelling, because he keeps his promises and all that. Hopefully we can let him rest for a season.
On the shore, Ollie, Diggle and Felicity talk the future: we need the company back, Oliver needs a job, har har har. Diggle, being astute, gives the would-be lovers a moment, which results in NO SMOOCH, damn you. They were clearly both acting back at the mansion, for Slade’s benefit. Bull$#*!.
Oliver’s going to fly them off the island. Wait, how do you know how to fly, if you spent five years on the island?
Why, he didn’t spend all 5 years on that island. Next year’s flashbacks are taking place in Hong Kong, where Amanda Waller picks up Oliver, with a lot to discuss. I think we’re all a little excited to get rid of island hair and ready to move on to something else. I think we’re all a little excited for Arrow to continue its run next year, with John Barrowman returning as a series regular, a new Big Bad (or is Merlyn the big bad again? My money is on Ra’s), Roy and Laurel training, and a Diggle baby.
All gif’s come from the awesome Queen’s Arrow tumblr.