Arrow S2x23 “Unthinkable”
Warning! Major Spoilers!
So this is it, my final Arrow review until Season 3 comes back and what a way to end a season. Despite the fact that there were fears by some that if Starling City was targeted for destruction too many times it would start to feel repetitive, but the end result allowed for something incredibly gripping that will leave you wondering, short of an Arrow-Flash teamup, how are they going to improve the stakes for next year?
Despite the fact that Unthinkable may have lacked the emotional factor that episodes like Seeing Red had, it still turned out to be a fantastic watch. We got a very action packed episode, moreso than normal, which of course did allow for some cool fight sequences – the scene in the tunnel where Team Arrow fought alongside the League of Assassins against Slade’s army worked incredibly well, as did the final fight between Oliver and Slade. It was handled particularly well in conjunction with the flashbacks, cutting between the fights in the past and in the present. It also allowed Ollie to fight his enemy on equal footing, with Slade now depowered.
Speaking of Slade’s depowering, this was a big episode for Felicity. They turned out to deliver a strong fake-out in terms of ‘will they, won’t they’ allowing Felicity to get a great moment in the scene that for a second there really had a high element of tension. Who would die? Felicity or Laurel? The actual twist seemed to be that nobody died (although Quentin Lance’s fate is still technically up in the open, if it isn’t looking good) in the end.
Diggle, Deadshot and Lyla got some awesome moments in this episode as well. We knew that the finale would feature Deadshot and his appearance didn’t disappoint, with Diggle and Lyla busting the Suicide Squad out of prison to confront Amanda Waller in what proved to be one of my favourite storyline of the episode that started with Lyla blowing up a bunch of Deathstroke’s men with a bazooka. It was good to see Waller react the way she did as well – and I’m hoping that she gets more involved with some field missions next season even if she has traditionally been an overseer.
The flashback scenes were handled incredibly well, really playing a big role in setting up a new direction for season 3, effectively ending the Island arcs. I was wondering where they’d take them following the closure of this storyline – but as it turned out, it was handled well, giving a whole new potential for the flashbacks as they enter uncharted territory. It’ll be interesting to see how the Ollie and Waller dynamic is developed as well, because it was evident from early on that these two had a shared history.
Something that was also interesting to see and another fake-out moment was Thea’s shooting of Merlyn. We all believed that she wasn’t actually going to shoot him, but when she actually did, it also allowed for a really strong subplot that could have only been made better by having Merlyn team up with Ollie to fight Deathstroke. But I guess the involvement of the League of Assassins is far from a poor substitute. It also sets up Thea’s direction for Season 3 as she makes a bad decision by going with Malcolm – but potentially could transform her into a role that could see her replace Isabel Rochev as the main female villain on this show. But time will tell.
Unthinkable – then, has acted not just as a finale for Season 2, but an extended finale for season 1 as well, wrapping up the whole “Is Oliver a killer?” story arc that followed Tommy’s death. Sure, he may have had some Count Vertigo-shaped problems along the line but it was great to see the arc pulled off very well, especially as I started to get the feeling that it was beginning to drag out overtime.