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Arrow “The Promise” Review (2×15)

5 Mar

19296f999f954967c9ea8a0f082c343cThis is Arrow at the top of its game.

It’s thrilling, moving, and intense, and “The Promise” is one of the best episodes this show has ever produced. Featuring brilliant performances and fantastic action, this is a can’t-miss for any Arrow fan.

First off, a big round of applause to Manu Bennett. I normally wouldn’t be sold on this whole Shado-Slade relationship–we just didn’t see enough of it for it to have a huge impact–especially the way the death was handled leading up to Slade exploding, but Bennett really sells the despair and the betrayal and the desire for revenge. We can see how he’s become the man he is in the present, and both he and Amell are especially adept at illustrating the differences between who they were and who they are now.

For example, we can tell that Slade’s actions against Oliver and confidence exhibited on the freighter were the result of a sudden outpouring of rage resulting from the betrayal he just experienced, but during the mansion scenes, his confidence results from the pleasure he takes in toying with the family, a desire for revenge that’s been building up for years and years, and now can finally be served. He’s still largely empty inside and has the same goal he had back on the island, but there’s a renewed sense of vigor that’s propelling him toward the Queen family. He doesn’t seem as directionless now as when he locked Oliver up and vowed to make him suffer.

Also, let me reiterate how much I love those mansion scenes. The tour of the painting gallery is a perfect backdrop for all the veiled threats and the jabs–“Does your family spend much time on the water?”–and I’m a sucker for these kinds of situations, wherein a bunch of other people wander into the scene and prevent the actual showdown from taking place. It’s a very intense sequence of interactions, but there’s also a lot of comedy gold in there. Exhibit A: Oliver’s facial expressions, whether it be him seething off to the side or exasperated each time he’s pushed away from Slade.

All in all, this is a thrilling episode in its own right, setting up various intriguing character dynamics for the rest of the season: Island Slade vs. Island Oliver, and Now Slade vs. Now Oliver. I’m happy Oliver knows his foe is alive, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the show handles these relationships and brings the supporting cast into the fold. If tonight’s episode is any indication, it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Deathstroke mask!

-The action sequences are particularly fantastic tonight. I guess the explosions help.

-Wow, Bennett even took out his own eyeball for that final scene. Realism, man.

-I loved the moment where Oliver tried to stab Slade, and was met with a reply of “Not so fast, kid. I wanna meet the rest of your family first.”

-Okay, no he didn’t. Still, that final scene is definitely unsettling.

-Felicity even gets in a nice moment here, watching as a bunch of hot people head off to take down Slade Wilson.

-Shirtless Colton Haynes, which I’m sure is much appreciated by the female fan base.

-The reveal of Ivo’s true motivations is much appreciated, even given the motivations themselves are incredibly cliched.

“What’s the biggest gun you got down here?” *Massive gun* “That MIGHT work.”

-Next up: Suicide Squad

Photo credit: Arrow, The CW

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One Response to “Arrow “The Promise” Review (2×15)”

  1. ironhawk22 March 6, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    It was without a doubt for me the best episode of “Arrow”. I’m very on and off with “Arrow”, some episodes are a lot of fun, others are just kind of boring. This one was absolutely amazing, super suspenseful.

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