Arrow: “Unthinkable” Review
Note: Full spoilers for the Arrow season finale follow.
CW’s Arrow is such a consistently satisfying show. Not a single episode thus far has disappointed me, and the build-up to the Season 2 finale, “Unthinkable”, has been great. The stakes were high for Team Arrow with Slade Wilson’s army of maniacal Mirakuru-injected freaks rampaging through Oliver’s beloved city, on a mission to destroy everything he holds dear.
“Unthinkable” focused heavily on action, which didn’t allow for as much emotional drama as some recent episodes like “Seeing Red”. But previous episodes did a great job building up the tension between Slade and Oliver, and after Slade brutally murdered Ollie’s mother Moira both characters are equally out for blood. Would Oliver give in to the bloodlust and exact his vengeance? Or would he find a way to contain his rage and save the city while minimizing the body count?
The climactic battle between Slade and Oliver was awesome, brutal, and extremely well-choreographed. We got to witness not one great fight but two- the current-timeline fisticuffs were juxtaposed against their clash while on-board the Amazo ship. The writers did a commendable job faking out the audience and playing with “Olicity” fans. Deathstroke captures Felicity believing that she is Oliver’s lover, but it’s all part of the plan as Felicity needed to get close enough to Slade to inject him with the Mirakuru cure. Once that was done, they were able to fight each other on equal footing. Before “Unthinkable” was over, we got a few more hints about the possibility of Oliver and Felicity getting together for real in the future.
The writers once again effectively utilized the island’s timeline to add to the current timeline’s story. We got to see Oliver taking out Slade’s eye after their battle on board the Amazo, when he had the opportunity to use the Mirakuru cure instead. Now that that decision had come back to haunt him, would he relive the same mistake again? Or would he hold true to his promise to honor Tommy’s memory by not killing his foes? In the end, he held true to that promise and he took down and captured Slade with the help of Felicity – even though I’m sure he really, really wanted to kill him.
Roy Harper got a good amount of screen time in “Unthinkable”, and his character was well-utilized to create dramatic tension between himself, Thea and Malcolm Merlyn. Roy talked about running away with Thea as the city became overrun with Mirakuru-addled monsters, but it was obvious that his heroic side wouldn’t let him turn his back on Ollie and company – especially now that he was finally thinking straight after getting injected with the cure. In the end, Thea left to do something with her father, leaving Roy a note that he would never see her again. I was surprised that Malcolm Merlyn really didn’t have much at all to do in this episode except get shot by Thea.
I’m sure I wasn’t alone in hoping for a Dark Archer/ Arrow team-up to contrast last year’s finale, but at least Ollie had Nyssa al Ghul and the League of Shadows at his back alongside Team Arrow. I wonder how long these two factions will remain friendly… oh yeah, DeadShot was also broken out of prison by Diggle, but he really didn’t get much to do. Similarly, Isabel, who had been built up for the last few episodes as a formidable opponent and Deathstroke’s right hand girl, was easily dispatched by Nyssa early in the episode… perhaps they just didn’t have time for more epic showdowns.
Overall, “Unthinkable” was an action-packed, emotional ride with a ton of great twists and turns. The formula is in for a shake-up with Season 3 of Arrow, as Thea has gone off somewhere with her father Malcolm Merlyn, Sara has left with Nyssa to go back with the League of Shadows, Diggle finds out he has a child on the way, and Slade’s powers have been taken from him while he rots in a Super Max prison, fittingly constructed on the hellish island that both he and Ollie spent five years on. With Sara out of the picture, things will likely heat up between Oliver and Felicity next season, and maybe we’ll still get that Dark Arrow team-up. Not to mention that Roy finally got to don his own mask in this episode, meaning we’ll get to see a full-blown Red Arrow soon enough. And Quentin Lance doesn’t seem to be doing too well either… talk about a cliffhanger.