Arrow: “The Promise” Season 2 Episode 15 Review

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Well, this was comic book television at its finest.

In the show’s second island centric episode, we found out what brings on Slade’s hatred for Oliver.

Earlier this season, Shado’s death was a difficult moment for both Oliver and Sara, but we knew Slade had to find out the circumstances at some point. He, Oliver, and Sara are planning one final assault on Ivo’s ship. This desperate act led to an action-packed episode for the island.

However, picking up right where last week’s episode ended, The Promise was laced with scenes in the present of Slade meeting Oliver’s family, making us wonder just what he has up his sleeve.

But while Thea showed Slade the Queen mansion’s art collection, the island flashbacks took center stage.

Scope-wise, this was probably the biggest episode since the season one finale (you know, where Malcolm Merlyn successfully leveled a pretty big portion of Starling City). Once the island team freed all the prisoners, there was essentially a small battle on the boat. Oliver donned a green hood for the first time (chronologically) and proved his skill with a bow. This led to a confrontation with Ivo, where the professor too loudly spoke of Shado’s death. Slade enters the room and the cat is out of the bag. They have a short skirmish and get separated. Oliver helps Sara and the prisoners escape while Slade essentially takes over the boat. Epic? Indeed.

But of course, as Oliver leaps over the hull, Slade pulls him back up and throws him in a cell. The second confrontation between Oliver, Slade, and Ivo was quieter, but way more terrifying. After forcing Ivo to point a gun at Oliver, the same way he pointed it at Shado, Slade slices his arm off. It was a dark moment perfectly sold by Manu Bennett. Looks like Sara and the former inmates will have to rescue the future superhero from the already supervillain.

Meanwhile, in the present, Oliver needs to figure out a way to save his family. Calling Felicity ought to do it. Sara and Roy infiltrate the house while Diggle has a sniper rifle outside. Team Arrow knows how to do home security. We got a phenomenal moment where Sara shakes Slade’s hand with a smirk. Slade is clearly outnumbered, choosing to call it quits.

But not until he takes Diggle. I assume this is what brings him into the Suicide Squad (next episode!).

The Promise succeeded because it was loaded with drama and action, which is exactly what a superhero series should be. It likely won’t be long until the conflict between Arrow and Slade, a.k.a. Deathstroke, gets physical in the present. When that happens, I have no doubt that Arrow will show us even more that it is the best live-action superhero series ever. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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