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Arrow Review: Suffer Then Die, Brother

by at .  Updated at . Comments

When watching Arrow Season 2 Episode 15, it became pretty clear that there wasn't much new material here, but instead the hour was a gift to viewers.

Everything we've guessed and postulated for well into Arrow Season 2 was playing out before us. In a television landscape where writers seem to enjoy pulling cheap, fast thrills on their viewers, it was nice that we treated honorably.

Not everything has to be a bait and switch to keep people interested and recognizing that their viewing audience is intelligent says a lot about the people behind Arrow. I'll say it for all of us -- thank you!

Oliver Looking Gloomy on the Island
A hooded Oliver on the island looks pensive on the upcoming episode of Arrow titled "The Promise."

This review might not be my most linear, as the installment seems suited to reaction, a bit like Oliver when he finally picked his jaw up off the carpet in the Queen living room. There haven't been many times when the former playboy has been speechless, but seeing Slade standing before him required of Stephen Amell one of his most difficult performances because it was all said without words.

The island scenes tied in very well with Slade's declarations of friendship and brotherhood and the reminder years later that he hadn't forgotten the devastating day he learned he had been betrayed. 

Yet as all of that emotion was bubbling something else came to mind -- Oliver sure gets himself into a lot of inappropriate love triangles. Slade's anger over Shado's death, while heartfelt, seems as inappropriate as what has happened between Oliver, Sara and Laurel. Oliver and Shado were clearly in a "thing" before Sara came back and muddied the waters. 

Slade loved Shado, but she loved him as a friend. Could they have been more if she had lived? Perhaps, but they never had the opportunity to find out. To be so devastated over a love that never was -- is that the Mirakuru or was Slade always so volatile? 

Regardless, he did make the promise to Oliver for him to suffer as he did. We here at TV Fanatic on various Arrow round tables have tried to imagine who Slade will choose to stand in for Sara and Shado in this new act. That's the biggest question in the game Slade's playing right now.

You cannot die until you have suffered the same way that I have suffered, until you have known complete despair -- and you will. I promise.

Slade

Since Slade rigged the house with what had to be the most conspicuous cameras ever to be placed in a highly guarded mansion to keep an eye on Oliver's loved ones, does that mean he's going to make him choose between Moira and Thea? That's not the same kind of choice, so it makes the least sense.

Familial love and romantic love produces different types of suffering and if Slade intends to make Oliver suffer then he has a different group of people to choose from.

Slade and Roy had their first Mirakuru-induced handshake, putting Roy on Slade's radar if he wasn't already. At the very least Slade knows that Oliver has one super soldier on his side. Slade did know Sara was alive thanks to the news coverage, but it was still a good face-to-face reunion.

Did anyone else catch Roy dodging Sara's question about trust? She asked if she could trust him and he said he'd be fine. Hey Roy -- answer the question! That made my spidey senses tingle just a bit.

On the freighter I was listening to Ivo ask about the woman who was going downhill quickly and then his phone call to his wife, Jessica. Of course, this made me wonder who in the heck he's married to and why he chose to name the freighter Amazo. Maybe the N fell off? I realize this is a stretch, but I like to theorize!

What condition does his wife suffer? Wonder Woman came from a group of Amazonian women but outside a rare reference here and there, there are no good Jessica candidates I can find to fit into the Arrow world. It still seemed important. Anybody come to mind? I doubt it's dementia or crazy leading her to be Felicity's mom. Right? 

There weren't a lot of new revelations or surprises, but the movie that played out before us was still well worth the hour spent watching it. If you want to see it again or any other installments before Arrow returns on March 19, watch Arrow online to satisfy your desires!

Did "The Promise" live up to your expectations?

 

Here is your first look at Arrow Season 2 Episode 16:

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (76 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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My least favorite scene was when Oliver called Sara and she put her phone on speaker for the ohters to listen to @ Arrow HW - her reaction seemed so fake / forced, didn't seem as natural or real as some of the other acting in the show.

Fearless-diva
@ Jason

Oliver didnt call Sara, he called Felicity.

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its seem kind of sad had a whole revenge plan to avenge someone who dindt love you back :/ even moore against your friend who was FORCED to make a impossible choice between 2 persons who he care about
i know that could be the mirakuru in his brain but still is kind of weird
anyways i like this episode and this whole season is evolving really great :)

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Not really sure why he blames Oliver. Ivo is the one who shot her, whether he gave Oliver a choice is irrelevant.

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@ Tyler

and thats why you're an idiot

Modwild
@ -----

Do you know what it means when you resort to calling names? It means you have no valid argument. That's a fact.

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He's obviously going to make Oliver choose between Sara and Laurel. I'm guessing that's where Sara dies and the supposed process of Laurel becoming black canary comes in

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@ Mia

I am not sure if putting Oliver in the same situation again will make him suffer like Slade did. I was thinking maybe he will put someone who Oliver trusts, like Slade trusted Oliver in that same position and make him/her choose between two people; one whom Oliver loves and the other who the person being asked to choose cares about. I think his revenge will include Sara as well because somewhere he blames her for taking Shado's place. He may make Sara choose between Laurel and Felicity and she may choose Laurel. Its just a theory but I think if Oliver is put in the same Ivo situation again, Slade's promise won't make sense

Fearless-diva
@ Maroosh Qazi

If they are to learn from their mistakes, I don't think history will repeat itself. The pairing will have to be Felicity and Laurel. From which Oliver has to make a choice. Felicity will feel sad but accept that Oliver will pick Laurel. But, my guess is that he will choose Felicity and Sara(Diggle and Roy too) will surprise Slade and save Laurel. Thereby thwarting Slade's plan for the time being and it saves both ladies. This is all pure speculation on what one of the arrow writers said about the season 2 finale. He mentioned that not only would the finale be mind blowing and awesome, it would also be big for Olicity. So given how he's not the man she deserves, my gut is telling me that at the very least something like what I theorize will happen.

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@ Fearless Diva

I thought the same thing ! IT would be Felicity ! Not Sara.

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This episode was overall great. I do love me some Slade Wilson even if he's a wee bit demented and out to fulfill the promise he made to Oliver back on the island. He loved Shado she may or may not have returned the kind of love he had for her yet still losing her hurt him irregardless and left him heart broken. I am still wanting him to find redemption. Oliver was indeed shocked to find Slade in his house and chummy with Moira. He called Felicity....he didn't call Sara or Diggle...or Roy. I think he did so because yeah she's likely on his speed dial however I think it's Felicity he trusts the most. Felicity isn't conditioned for combat she's the brains of the team. I would think he would have called Sara who is conditoned ...I thought it strange that he didn't. I am wondering about Sara's allegiance....I wonder if her allegiance is to whomever is in power or more powerful. This episode has me suspicious of her when she was letting out the prisoners on the freighter. She was with Ivo before and she had gained his trust. Yet when she was freeing the prisoners she said she was with Oliver now. I am looking forward to the Arrow's return on the 19th. The Suicide Squad.

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@ Honey

You stole the words right out of my mouth. I badly want some kind of redemption for Slade and if he dies I want him to die as a hero and as a brother to Oliver. Maybe they could do something like what happened at the end of Spiderman where the scientist drowns himself in the ocean with the 'sun' to prevent further destruction of the city. i know maybe not something as dramatic as that but i am just talking about using the concept of redemption for slade before he dies by letting oliver finally get through to slide despite the mirakuru like spiderman did with the scientist. And yeah Sara has always been shown at such a mystery. You still don't know what she is capable of.

Fearless-diva
@ Maroosh Qazi

I really hope so as well. It tore me up that Slade went to the dark side. We all knew it was coming, but seeing him at odds with Oliver just seems so wrong after they were like brothers. I really do hope that in the end, he gets redemption and like Oliver with Tommy, he sees the "ghost" of Shado welcoming him or something.

Enrique-rea

I thought it was great episode. They spent the majority of the time on the island while Ollie stewed in the most awkward and tension-filled house tour ever in the present. Producers probably decided it was time to drop the Goldfinger act of Slade behind the desk pulling the strings and lay out what happened that has him so thirsty for revenge. While I don't see Slade's motivation as big as portrayed it was necessary to complete his immersion into the dark side. I applaud the director Glen Winter for framing the episode to give it feature film look on a tv budget. Some the camera angles and sweeping views gave the island action more weight and power. The episode set things up nicely to help bond Ollie and Co as a team against the new resident kingpin vowing to destroy them. Exciting things to come for sure. Please let that be Harley Quinn in the preview.

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I have a question and please tell me that is not true. How come Diggle will belong to the Suicidal Squad where all the members are the bad guys? Did Diggle leave Oliver and became part of the enemy team?

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Yeah, Shado had Slade planted firmly in the friend zone... but this matters why, exactly? If you're in love with someone, and they're killed like that, it's gonna destroy you. The fact that Slade's love was unrequited doesn't even enter into it. And then there's the mirakuru factor, and, well... (Also... March 19th?! T_T)

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I hope you were joking about the Amazon thing. WTF? That's obviously a reference to Amazo, the android that Ivo creates...

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Slades love for Shado seems over played. As you noted, she was in love with Oliver, just seems over the top. As to Oliver chosing Shado to die, I call bull and all he had to say was, I don't know what he's talking about. Why would Slade believe Ivo? So far all Slade has done to Ivo is cut his hand off, so I guess back to the island we go boo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Back to the house, all Oliver had to do was tell his mother who Slade was and keep it moving "hey Mom, this guy is one of the people on the island that has sworn to torment and torture my family, so I think you should ask him to leave. fini

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@ Nisan

I have to disagree with not liking the island scenes but all you other points are spot on. If the writers are going to keep playing the "I lost my Shado" card they really need to add a new scene between Slade and her showing SOME chemistry.
The episode was fantastic btw lol

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@ Scarlet+speedster

That was me btw