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Arrow #223 - Unthinkable Review

4

Team Arrow gears up and they're ready to take on Deathstroke's army.

"Unthinkable" is all about two things: action and emotion. If you've been watching the show (if not, get out of here and go play catch-up), then you know Slade Wilson has an army roaming around the city and they're acting like total jerks. And, if you saw the last teaser, then you know this episode is going to deliver an epic showdown. Thankfully, it does indeed live up to the hype and there's some hugely entertaining action segments. The fight in the tunnel is extensive and the "boss fight" is creative (will elaborate on that later). When people aren't getting punched in the face or stabbed in the shoulder, the episode also produces some pretty compelling drama. I won't talk about it too much because we like to keep things mostly spoiler-free here, but every character is granted at least one key scene. None of the performances fall flat, either. In fact, one exchange had me leaning forward and fully immersed in what's happening.

This episode also does a fine job teasing the next season. There's nothing here that'll blow you away, but enough is done to effectively set-up a new dynamic for the show's return. One character embarks on a major change, another is left with an uncertain fate, and they managed to work in a whole new premise for the flashbacks. Honestly, the big moment with the character that has an uncertain outcome felt a little predictable. It was one of those "everything is going too well, so something bad is so going to happen" moments. That said, I'm a sucker for the character and it still left me anxious to see what'll happen. Here's hoping for the best, right? We knew that other character (man, staying mostly spoiler-free is tough) would eventually walk a certain path, but they did an appropriate job pushing him or her in that direction. Also, we've yet to see what the new flashbacks will revolve around, but the tease is ample enough and the change of scenery is definitely appreciated.

Felicity, you continue to be one of the best parts of Arrow. Her remark to Ra's al Ghul's daughter was amazingly witty and she without question has one of his best personalities on the show. When that scene happened with her, I exclaimed "YES!" Seriously, I have no shame in admitting that. So when that other scene happened, I couldn't help but feel disappointed. The moment was real and this is obviously acknowledged, but it seems as though it's swept under the rug so they can return to the status quo and keep pulling the "will they or won't they" card.

Arrow, thank you for the fan service with Roy. The developments with him aren't necessarily game changing, but they're enough to set him in a new and very exciting direction. There's one quick shot of him in there that's sure to make any Arrow fan smile like a goofball. Sara and Laurel (and their dad, of course), feel secondary in this one but thankfully not neglected, either. Their roles are rather limited but it's just enough to keep them in the picture without awkwardly fiinding a way to work them in. Besides, they've both had a more than fair amount of focus in the prior episodes. And, one moment in the end definitely feels like a nice dose of foreshadowing.

After weeks and weeks of teasing Slade Wilson, Oliver Queen finally has his big showdown with Deathstroke. The choreography is solid -- as is the directing -- but what makes this fight truly special is the editing. It's clipped together with the brawl in the past and there's more than a couple of clever transitions. It's definitely not what I expected and it was done very well. I just wish Slade didn't kind of steal a line from General Zod (no, he doesn't tell Ollie to kneel). That on top of the The Dark Knight Rises parallels felt like the show borrows a little too much from DC's movies. But you know what? It did it damn well so credit is still due. One gripe about the flashback, though. We all knew Oliver would wind up stabbing Slade in the eye -- we've known that for quite some time now. So it's a little odd they chose to present that scene with so much tension. We all knew the choice he'd make, so I'd rather see it occur during an especially intense part of the fight instead of making Ollie weigh his options. That would feel a little more effective instead of waiting for the outcome we already know.

Minor gripe: as much as I enjoyed the action, it does bother me a bit the Mirakuru soldiers have become fodder just because there's more of them -- hits that would previously not faze them at all give now have a slight impact. I'd much rather see everyone forced to fight smarter rather than being cool with taking these superhuman dudes on in close combat. Yes, they have the cure on them, but one good connect from these villains can do some major damage -- that's something we've seen before, after all. There was also a minor inconsistency with how they reacted to the cure. The first one spazzed out, then the rest just fall immediately upon being hit with the cure. Then Slade's still kicking just fine after a dose to the neck? Obviously, having Slade collapse right away would have been anti-climatic, but I couldn't help but have that thought cross my mind. Last but most certainly not least, I love Manu Bennett's performance, but his script was way too heavy-handed with the whole "you're a killer, Oliver" preaching. Some lines here and there to emphasize this conflict are fine, but it was one remark after the other and they were all essentially expressing the same thing. It definitely felt like overkill (intentional pun is intentional). Oh, and holy abrupt ending with Isabel Rochev?!

"Unthinkable" is a great finale. It's full of thrilling action, engaging performances, gripping bits of emotion, and more than enough fan service. Honestly, I'm sure many of you out there will want to give this one a perfect 5/5 and that would be totally understandable. However, while reflecting on this one, little issues began to pile up and, for me, they added up just enough to give this one a 4/5. Regardless, it's an episode that's sure to satisfy fans and, while it doesn't leave us on a very strong cliffhanger, it's still good enough to keep us speculating. Thanks for the memories, Season 2.

62 Comments
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Posted by Saint_Wildcard

In my heart I knew you'd give it a 4 :P

Posted by Wolverine08

I was honestly expecting a little more set up for what's going to be going down next season(The main villain, etc.), but this was still a sweet finale.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

Was there a trailer for the new Flash show at the end of the episode? because I heard that after tonight's episode they would release a trailer. I was going to watch, but I forgot.

Posted by dagmar_merrill

This isn't a 2/5..

Posted by frozenedge

@captainmarvel4ever: it was shown during the commercial break before the final scene i think. it was released on their Facebook page before it was aired on tv though

Posted by webling
Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@frozenedge: Thanks a lot I just saw it and it looks......GOOD!?

seriously though, thanks :)

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever
Posted by knightofthechronicle

I'm geared for next season's flashbacks. Oh the possibilities.

Posted by Master_Thief

Thea... Shame on you

Roy.... You know what you need to do

Slade.... That's suicide

Felicity..... Oliver wasn't pretending

Laurel..... That jacket looks good on u

Posted by ShadowSwordmaster

I'm glad I'm not the only who the thought that Slade's men were cannon fodder .

Posted by frozenedge
Posted by AllStarSuperman

Really good episode imho.

I'm glad I'm not the only who the thought that Slade's men were cannon fodder .

This, I also hate how Quentin Lance is too stupid to aim for the head.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

Also I was happy when the Oliver loves Felicity was faked, I didn't like that reveal at all.

Edited by JTHood

Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, and Constantine. This Fall is going to be awesome!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Awesome finale I enjoyed it a lot, but I was excepting something bigger for the ending.

Posted by CantDance93

Is Thea supposed to be Emiko from the GA comics? That's who she reminds me of, being Ollie's half brother, being lied to her whole life etc., that's the vibe i'm getting.

Edited by godzilla44
Edited by godzilla44

Easily my top 3 episodes first being the season finale of season 1, then The Promise episode and then this :)

Posted by The Stegman

Eh, it was alright, I was hoping Slade wouldn't lose his faux super soldier serum though and was expecting a more epic battle between him and Ollie.

In an unrelated note, I'm gonna get flack for this since I'm vocally against AOS, but...I kinda want a Suicide Squad: Agents of A.R.G.U.S show now, featuring Deadshot and Harley.

Posted by AlKusanagi

As excited as I am for the Flash, the running effects look TERRIBLE.

Posted by obsidian_raindrop1

did anyone else feel like the flash trailer was kind of a let down?

Edited by MrMazz
Posted by Wolverine08

Eh, it was alright, I was hoping Slade wouldn't lose his faux super soldier serum though and was expecting a more epic battle between him and Ollie.

In an unrelated note, I'm gonna get flack for this since I'm vocally against AOS, but...I kinda want a Suicide Squad: Agents of A.R.G.U.S show now, featuring Deadshot and Harley.

We need more of Floyd's badass drawl.

Posted by HushoftheWind

I hope Roy goes to Bludhaven and buddy up with a certain former circus performer

Posted by The Stegman

@the_stegman said:

Eh, it was alright, I was hoping Slade wouldn't lose his faux super soldier serum though and was expecting a more epic battle between him and Ollie.

In an unrelated note, I'm gonna get flack for this since I'm vocally against AOS, but...I kinda want a Suicide Squad: Agents of A.R.G.U.S show now, featuring Deadshot and Harley.

We need more of Floyd's badass drawl.

And his eyepatch, which apparently, are back in style now.

Posted by Wolverine08

@wolverine08 said:

@the_stegman said:

Eh, it was alright, I was hoping Slade wouldn't lose his faux super soldier serum though and was expecting a more epic battle between him and Ollie.

In an unrelated note, I'm gonna get flack for this since I'm vocally against AOS, but...I kinda want a Suicide Squad: Agents of A.R.G.U.S show now, featuring Deadshot and Harley.

We need more of Floyd's badass drawl.

And his eyepatch, which apparently, are back in style now.

Eyepatch's have been back in style since Nick Fury suited up with one back in Iron Man. Get caught up with the trends son!

Posted by MatthewParker

Great episode, thigh I do think the Aos finale was better. Definitely excited for season three of arrow!

Posted by Lurkero

I had a problem with the morality plays going on this season. A lot of the characters talking about being killers and not being killers. It's clear that Oliver did not kill Shado and Slade is crazy, but they kept honing on that issue as if Oliver did not have the common sense to know that he wasn't a killer. He even said it himself a few times but the writers really wanted that to be an issue. And no I do not want a Felicity relationship

I was expecting more from Malcolm Merlyn. Very disappointed that he didn't make much of a difference in the main conflict.

Minor gripe: as much as I enjoyed the action, it does bother me a bit the Mirakuru soldiers have become fodder just because there's more of them -- hits that would previously not faze them at all give now have a slight impact.

I figured that would happen. As soon as I saw Lance shoot the mirakuru soldier dozens of times I realized that such resilience would not last in each conflict like that. They should have avoided it in the first place by making the soldiers more susceptible to damage.

Edited by RulerOfThisUniverse

I'm on an iPad, so I can't put spoiler blocks. Sorry.

This episode was great, wrapped up the season really well. But I do wish there were more teasers to who the villain of season 3 is going to be. Also, was it just me or was what happened to Isabel Rochev sort of sudden and unnecessary? I mean, I had no problem with them killing her off, but it was way too early in the episode and had no real repercussions as the "League of Assassins always kill" thing was never really brought up again. But what happened with Thea and Merlyn was great, and I can't wait to see where it goes in Season 3.

And I really hope Ra's Al Ghul will finally show up...

Posted by Fallschirmjager

Would have been nice to see Deathstroke really let loose with powers but whatever.

OTherwise really great episode. Ties up a lot from this season and leaves plenty for next.

Loved the Flash trailer too, his powers look really good. Can't wait for a real trailer.

Posted by CantDance93

@rulerofthisuniverse: I think Season 3 will focus on Ra's, just a speculation, but that's what I believe.

Posted by patrat18

@jthood said:

Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, and Constantine. This Fall is going to be awesome!

Posted by Pokeysteve

Awesome finale!

About the soldiers being fodder - They kind of are. We've seen them plow through police but the police don't have anywhere near the skill that the Arrow team and the LoA members have. The soldiers themselves have no actual skill either and as soon as they're hit with the cure, they're done. You had over a half dozen people spamming cure arrows and the rest knocking out the ones that didn't pass out.

With Slade reacting differently to the cure, I told myself it was because he took a direct injection and the others acquired the serum through a more careful process =D

Posted by CitizenJP

This episode was so epic!

Posted by Fallschirmjager

@patrat18 said:

@jthood said:

Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, and Constantine. This Fall is going to be awesome!

Don't forget Preacher. AMC is developing it. Not sure when it releases but its a possibility to come out this fall too

Posted by Eagle_Vision11454

Is Thea supposed to be Emiko from the GA comics? That's who she reminds me of, being Ollie's half brother, being lied to her whole life etc., that's the vibe i'm getting.

Well it's likely she too will be trained to wield a bow by an experienced master/father as Emiko. But I'm sure Thea predates Limire run in the GA comics which introduced. Well, Isabell was pretty much their version of Pre- New 52 Rose Wilson so it's par for the course.

Posted by SupBatz

Thea and Merlyn scenes were awesome. Thea's final monologue gave me chills.

I wish that they'd drop the "No kill" mentality in favor of "Avoid killing whenever possible, but if it comes down to kill or watch other people die, choose kill." The former just feels really forced. Historically, Green Arrow hasn't been so adamantly against killing. I think the writers are confusing him with Batman.

Edited by thewalkingdeadpool18

Great episode. I was rolling my eyes over the Olicity fan pleaseing bull letting fanfic get in the way of what's right for the show but like the geniuses they are they had it as a plan to give a wink to the Olicity fans without actually being stupid and making Olicity. The final fight was amazing with the back and fourth from past to present. Roy was the best he's been but the fact that he suddenly has arrow skills and could actually help in the fight was stupid.Thea may become more intresting. Diggle has a baby Diggle! Were getting a baby Diggle! Great episode overlal and they didn't kill Slade which would've been stupid he's too great of a villian to kill him in season 2. Not sure how i feel about Oliver not being on the island the whole time and actually went to Hong Kong it takes away from his being lost on an island.

Posted by GodOfMischief

I'm glad the whole Ollie/Felicity thing was just a clever ruse. I'm also kind of hoping we never see Thea again, but something tells me we will. Hope to see Merlyn in the near future.

Edited by The_Comebacks

4/5 for me as well. This was a strong episode, the weakness lies in what they set up for next season. Laurel better not be Canary. Sarah leaving to be possibly be an assassin again was disappointing. Det Lance passing out felt forced. My main complaints was the ending for the Lance family. Deathstroke was really cool, but i do wish this episode was a little longer.

The flash teaser was fun, the running effects look overall pretty cool-there are some pros and cons, but I like the lightning! After the teaser, there better be some crossover.

Edited by Master_Thief

4/5 for me as well. This was a strong episode, the weakness lies in what they set up for next season. Laurel better not be Canary. Sarah leaving to be possibly be an assassin again was disappointing. Det Lance passing out felt forced. My main complaints was the ending for the Lance family. Deathstroke was really cool, but i do wish this episode was a little longer.

The flash teaser was fun, the running effects look different-there are some pros and cons. After the teaser, there better be some crossover.

Well seeing as canary's name in the comics is dina laurel lance, i believe she will be canary.

Edited by The_Comebacks

@master_thief:

Yeah thats what has got me worried, I just don't see that she will training or athletic ability to be that character. Sarah was trained for several years but the league of assassins, and the actress herself is quite athletic. Unless Laurel gets similar training I don't think she could be an effective canary.

Edited by ComicsrulebutDBZdoes2

@the_comebacks: Sara looked pathetic for someone's who been trained for years tbh plus in other thread ppl agree she is not athletic look at her body closely and you'll see no definition

Posted by Xwraith

It wasn't perfect, but it was a great ending to a great season.

I just hope I'm not the only one who's going to miss Sara.

Posted by AlKusanagi

That last part with Det. Lance, when he spit up blood and went down I was like "Whoa! Did Sara actually have to poison him to prove she's now 100% loyal to the League of Assassins? Hardcore! What a great twist!" Then they showed the flashback and the bruise and I was all "Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaame..."

Edited by Farkam

Good ending. Boring episode though.

Posted by The Impersonator
Posted by The Impersonator

It was a good finale. However, there are two things needed to be addressed.

Oliver was in Hong Kong? I thought he stayed in the island for 5 years.

The way that the Ravager got killed by Nyssa Al Ghul. Her neck was twisted. Wouldn't she later come back to life? She was shot by John Diggle a few times and Slade brought her back to life by the Mirakuru. Oliver and Sarah knows Isabel can come back to life even after her neck got twisted. So Oliver would've shot her with the cure.

Possible Spoilers of who knocked out John Diggle while he was about to snipe Slade near Oliver's mansion. It may not be a surprise for anyone. If anyone is wondering who hit him, it's Isabel Rochev.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

Great finale, althoigh I was personally disappointed with a few things. I'm chalking it up to having the mirakuru cured, but Slade should have dominated the hand to hand scenes with Ollie, and Ollie should have won through trick arrows amd ranged combat. Trying to stay away from Slade.

I also didn't like how last episode mirakuru soldiers were dodging arrows and unshakable by punches and now they could get hurt even before being cured. They just seemed to get downplayed, which removed some of the epicness of the finale for me.

Overall though I agree with 4/5, it was really solid and had a couple of great oh my god moments.

oh, I wanted a lot more Suicide Squad damn it.

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