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Arrow #215 - The Promise Review

5

Slade Wilson makes his presence known and makes it more than clear that Oliver is about to face some very tough times.

*Contains minor spoilers*

Arrow has been majorly teasing Deathstroke fans for quite some time now. Sure, he gets plenty of love in the flashbacks, but the modern timeline often reserves him until the cliffhanger and then he vanishes like a ninja... until the next cliffhanger, that is. Thankfully, The Promise changes that formula with Slade Wilson and dedicates the whole episode to his story.

In the modern timeline, Slade's appearance is just overflowing with suspense. Will he make his big move smack-dab in the Queens' house and right in front of Oliver? Is he just toying with him? These scenes will keep a tight grip on your attention as Manu Bennett delivers a charming yet deceiving and vengeful take on the villain. If you've been emotionally invested in the show (if not, why spend so much time watching it?), this is sure to be a gripping set of scenes that'll keep you anxious. The way it all wraps up is certain to make you pumped for what's to come, too.

While the modern era material offers some major tension, the flashbacks hit us with steady amounts of emotion and action. The action scenes are a real joy in this one. Everything from watching Oliver train in the woods and then utilize those moves on the freighter to Slade plowing through anything in his way is totally exciting. Shado's "cameo" was also a quick and effective moment. However, it doesn't get truly thrilling until Slade's struck by a major reveal. Bennett plays it smoothly in the modern era, but the past scenes allow him to let his emotions loose and help us understand the sheer amount of pain he's going through. His performance is definitely the highlight of the episode.

Yes, the vast majority of this episode revolves around the conflict between Oliver and Slade, but the writers still manage to throw some additional fan service in there. Fans of the comic will be pleased to see Roy taking up a new hobby, plus it's just flat-out cool to see Slade sporting the "first" Deathstroke's mask. Even if you aren't the biggest fan of the original look, it'll be tough not to enjoy seeing him takedown everything in his path and then give a stern stare as the lights flicker around him. Also, that final shot of him? Excellent stuff right there.

My gripes with this one are mostly minor things. For example, why would Felicity put Oliver's call on speaker if she thought it was a butt dial? I guess we can chalk it up to being snoopy, but it's odd she didn't express that at all and randomly made it so everyone could listen to the seemingly mundane conversation instead of just hanging up. And I know what happens next with Sara was meant to serve as buildup for the upcoming scenes, but that came off a tad over the top and cheesy. Lastly, am I the only one who thinks Slade's cameras aren't that well-hidden and actually somewhat large for "hidden" cameras?

The Promise is all about finally delivering on the multiple Deathstroke teases and does a thoroughly awesome job setting the stage for what's to come. While last week's episode thrived because of some superb drama and progress with Laurel (about time, right?), this week's chapter rules because of some major developments with Slade Wilson, big action pieces and a killer amount of suspense. Now it's time to see how the show will handle another huge development it has been teasing for awhile: the Suicide Squad!

81 Comments
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Edited by longbowhunter

Looks like everything on the island is wrapping up. I'm going to miss the flashbacks. Next episode looks really good. Deathstroke all suited up, plus the Suicide Squad.

Posted by The Stegman

Ollie:"Why didn't you kill me??"

Slade: "Once you've suffered, once you've known complete despair, then you will have my permission to die."

Online
Posted by Falconer

Looks like everything on the island is wrapping up. I'm going to miss the flashbacks.

Lolwut? How you got that from the end is baffling. Not to mention one season = one year, both in the city and on the island. We're not even halfway through the five years Ollie was on the island.

Posted by Gotham331

I saw this episode an hour ago and I still can't get over how awesome it was!

Suicide squad! Harley Quinn?! Damn two weeks can't come fast enough!

Posted by CF12793

Looks like everything on the island is wrapping up. I'm going to miss the flashbacks. Next episode looks really good. Deathstroke all suited up, plus the Suicide Squad.

According to the Producers of the show, the Island flashbacks will be a key part of the show in every season.

Posted by infernopig

@longbowhunter: Its not wrapping up at all... he was on the island for 5 years hes only been on there for 18 months

Edited by MrMazz

This makes me want the rumors of a suicide squad/death stroke film to be real on the cheap solid b action film like dredd would be great

Cheap Plug to User Review

Posted by viin

Great episode..definately a key episode in the season.

Posted by darkbeam

Another amazing episode.

Online
Posted by longbowhunter
Posted by NightFang

So I guess the Suicide Squad well be targeting Deathstroke sense Amanda Waller mentions him.

Posted by patrat18

That eye socket though.

Posted by CuddlyPlane

I'm going through Smallville now and this show gets too good reviews to pass up, definitely gonna catch up on this next

Edited by DaseanComerWCR

Ollie:"Why didn't you kill me??"

Slade: "Once you've suffered, once you've known complete despair, then you will have my permission to die."

mixed it up with tdkr (idk if it was on purpose or not) but he said then i promise i'll kill you

Posted by Fallen_Crippled

Definitely one of my favorite episodes. The only problem I had was the whole voicemail thing with Sara. I cant remember what she said, but it was supposed to be intense. It came off way too cheesy and bland. Other than that, it was a great episode!

Posted by mak13131313

Awesome awesome awesome!!!

Edited by CF12793

@longbowhunter said:

@cf12793: @infernopig: @falconer: Whoa...don't all chime in at once or nothing.

lol my bad, I didn't realize that someone had already responded. I wouldn't have responded if I had read the comment before mine

Posted by DaseanComerWCR

@longbowhunter: Its not wrapping up at all... he was on the island for 5 years hes only been on there for 18 months

so its safe to assume that the show will be five seasons long? im down with that!

Posted by DaseanComerWCR

@patrat18 said:

That eye socket though.

ikr lol

Edited by The Stegman

@the_stegman said:

Ollie:"Why didn't you kill me??"

Slade: "Once you've suffered, once you've known complete despair, then you will have my permission to die."

mixed it up with tdkr (idk if it was on purpose or not) but he said then i promise i'll kill you

I did it on purpose, it reminded me of Bane threatening Batman, lol.

Online
Posted by Farkam

@patrat18 said:

That eye socket though.

Yikes.

I'm going through Smallville now and this show gets too good reviews to pass up, definitely gonna catch up on this next

I'm actually going through Smallville too. Not to shabby.

@infernopig said:

@longbowhunter: Its not wrapping up at all... he was on the island for 5 years hes only been on there for 18 months

so its safe to assume that the show will be five seasons long? im down with that!

Assuming that it doesn't start having failing ratings, like many other superhero programs have. 5 Seasons would be sweet.

Posted by SUPER-MAN 23

BEST EPISODE

Edited by JakeN7

Shado in the dream sequence was terrifying and Slade's half-healed eye socket was gross and awesome.

Also, I may be crazy, but I could swear I saw some ginger tints almost like highlights in Roy's hair (esoeciakky at the tip of the spiked bangs) when he was at the Queen's. I'll be a happy camper if that becomes more apparent.

Posted by Lurkero

Considering how badly Arrow was beaten up by Malcolm Merlin, I am anticipating the episode where Slade constantly embarrasses Arrow in combat.

Posted by DaseanComerWCR

@daseancomerwcr said:

@the_stegman said:

Ollie:"Why didn't you kill me??"

Slade: "Once you've suffered, once you've known complete despair, then you will have my permission to die."

mixed it up with tdkr (idk if it was on purpose or not) but he said then i promise i'll kill you

I did it on purpose, it reminded me of Bane threatening Batman, lol.

well then this is akward...

Posted by MrMazz

@longbowhunter: Well Ollie has said he wasn't "always" on the island and there is still the possobility of them exploring just how it is Oliver F'ing Queen joined the Russian Mafia.

Posted by DaseanComerWCR

BEST EPISODE

for me it was "the scientist" with this in very close second

Posted by AllStarSuperman

I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT ARROW!!!!! GONNA GO WATCH!!!!!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Man, there is no stopping ARROW!!! It gets more epic and epic!

Posted by batsymyplaything

That height differential between Oliver and Slade was SO apparently, when Sara and Slade made it on to the freighter, that it really took all that was menacing about Slade out of the window, lol. But then he reminds himself, when he cuts of Ivo's hand.

Posted by blueninjapanther

Just saw it couple hours ago and its just absolutely amazing. Harley Quinn may be part of the suicide squad in the comics but from the pictures I've seen I don't think she will part of the squad just yet. She will probably just make a cameo for future references, maybe until Diggle is out of the squad. I just wish I don't have to wait 2 weeks for the next episode. Oliver, who has been looking at Slade ever since he was getting a tour of the painting, doesn't even seen Slade putting "bugs" in house. Must be distracted trying to recall the flashbacks.

Posted by Sovereign91001

Very good episode.

Posted by JetiiMitra

Just watched and damn. Just damn. For the island-driven parts (or like 80% of the episode) it did really, really well. Watching Slade and Ollie interact in the present had me on the edge of my seat. Seeing very nearly everyone get to do something for once (looking at Thea, Roy and especially Diggle) was awesome. I felt that dialogue and acting was exceptional this episode, and even though there were those couple of plot holes everything else more than made up for them. Cannot wait for more.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

Fricken awesome episode, just fricken amazing, 5 stars ftw. I loved it. Does flashbacks, and dat ending, uh so so good. I am torn who I like more Malcolm or Slade, probably Malcolm by a tad. I can't wait for next week, Suicide Squad vs Deathstroke, just fantastic, this show turns me into such a spaz.

Posted by SUPER-MAN 23

@super_man_23 said:

BEST EPISODE

for me it was "the scientist" with this in very close second

That is totally true my friend. Scientist was a great episode.

Posted by Sawcesome

It was awesome seeing Slade go all Terminator on those poor mooks.

Pun totally intended.

Posted by Nightwing4

Don't get me wrong, Slade is an incredible villain in this show, but, the Spartacus fanboy in me wants to see him team back up with Ollie at some point.

For teh epic br0man3.

Also- sweet eye socket.

Posted by JetiiMitra
Posted by Project_Worm

@farkam said:
@daseancomerwcr said:

@infernopig said:

@longbowhunter: Its not wrapping up at all... he was on the island for 5 years hes only been on there for 18 months

so its safe to assume that the show will be five seasons long? im down with that!

Assuming that it doesn't start having failing ratings, like many other superhero programs have. 5 Seasons would be sweet.

Six seasons and a movie!!

Posted by Saren

Moderator
Edited by Wardishy

Man who knew the lack of a showdown would create so much tension. So good.

Edited by RaFonaRaFona

The scenes between Ollie and Slade in the flashbacks were tragic. The death of their relationship was very heartbreaking.

Posted by Fallschirmjager

I seriously cant' fathom why people don't like this. So good.

@lurkero said:

Considering how badly Arrow was beaten up by Malcolm Merlin, I am anticipating the episode where Slade constantly embarrasses Arrow in combat.

To be fair, Malcolm himself freely admitted Oliver was faster and stronger than him because of his youth. Malcolm embarrassed him because "you lack the conviction that I have" or something like that.

But yeah. Slade all ready grabbed him with 1 hand and threw him 20 feet lol

Edited by tximinoman

Finally a good episode. After Three Ghosts the series has become SO boring. Let's hope the rest of the season can keep up.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Such a great episode! Manu Bennett makes such a good Deathstroke I kinda wish they would make Slade a New Zealander also I hope Lemire as plans for Deathstroke after the Outsider War.

@k4tzm4n Felicity putting the phone on loudspeaker didn't bother me because I always do that when a friend pocket dials me. Oh and did you notice the name of the freighter?

Posted by Black_Arrow

Slade is gonna own everyone

Posted by Haloprogram

I was screaming "RIGHT?!" while reading this! Sara's line where she was like "If we don't stop him, he'll kill Oliver and his entire family" was super cheesy, the zoom in didn't really help.

Did not think those cameras looked hidden at all apart from the one under the painting since the one by the model ship was out in the open in a room where Moira and Thea seem to spend a lot of time.

The wire-parkour for Sara outside the house was kind of lame and lazy since Caity Lotz is capable of doing some parkour all by herself!

Apart from these minor nuisances I really really enjoyed this episode and can't wait to see if we get Harley Quinn in the Suicide Squad (as has been rumored)!

Posted by entropy_aegis

Anyone else feel that this Slade is Nolans Ra's meets Bane. Great episode.

Posted by PymsEgo

One of the best episodes so far, and perhaps the most tense and suspenseful in the season and a half that we have seen to this point. I actually had the same two nits to pick that Greg did. When felicity put the "butt-dial" call on speaker it made little to no sense. She audibly declares it a butt-dial, what rational person does anything but hang up at that point? As for the camera on the boat, Slade might as well have attached a big sign that said "SPY CAM HERE" for all the effort he put into concealing it.

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