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Arrow Review: Suffer Then Die, Brother

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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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Samcroking

I do not like Slade's motivation seems weak. Shado probably had him friend zoned

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He only said he was fine because she wondered if she could trust him to keep his emotions in check.

Sarah-silva

While this was a great episode, I was not on the edge of my seat like I read that we would be.
I was not expecting Slade to bring backup to Moira's. I wonder how long Diggle will be gone for.
I did love the look on Slade's face when he saw Sara and when he shook Roy's hand. It was payback for him surprising Oliver.
Did Slade see Sara on TV? I cannot remember? He sure did look shocked to see her alive.
I totally did not catch on to the reason Slade wanted a tour of the house and the real reason he went to the mansion in the first place was to set up the cameras.
It will come down to Sara/Black Canary and Laurel and this time Sara will sacrifice herself and Laurel will live thus carrying on being the Black Canary when she realizes it is Sara.

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@ Mrs alex o'loughlin

The other alternative is that Laurel will die and that will end Oliver and Sara as a romantic couple, paving the way for Felicity. They wouldn't be able to hold it together if they let Laurel die.

Sarah-silva
@ Carissa Pavlica

Yes very true. However I heard the reason that Katie Cassidy is way to thin is that she was training for becoming the Black Canary.
We will see how the rest of the season plays out.

Hanko9

While I definitely loved watching everything play out and the episode was huge, production-wise etc... I totally get where you're coming from, there wasn't anything new and it was actually a bit predictable. I think our expectations were probably too high because of the way Stephen Amell has been talking about the episode. I get why they compare it to last season's island-centric episode "The Odyssey," but for me, that was a better episode. We were treated to a ton of reveals that moved the story forward. Not hating on "The Promise" or anything, just a tad underwhelmed.

Modwild
@ Henry A. Otero

A big production doesn't mean a fantastic episode. Sometimes an entire hour can take place in the living room and be grand. Some of what we saw was conjecture on our parts. We just happened to be right. They could have pulled a Pretty Little Liars and changed everything and that would have been a cheap move, so I'm glad it played out obviously.

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I sense some Sara hate in your reviews am i wrong?

Modwild
@ Ackerlover

Sara hate? No. Disillusionment maybe. But I'm feeling that for a lot of characters this season. Oliver, Moira, Sara... Basically anyone who lies all the time and then expects everyone else to be completely honest with them. I get that the super heroes need to lie to protect their super special identities, but it's insulting to then imagine your secrets somehow top everyone else's. Their sense of entitlement has grown and I'd rather they were a little more humble. It just came to my mind as you pointed it out so I'm not sure how to explain it.

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@ Carissa Pavlica

When exactly has Sara ever really lied and I'm not even joking

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@ Carissa Pavlica

Carissa, I don't like these characters anymore. Oliver appears to have reverted back to douchebag pre-island Ollie and Sara, who professes to love her family, bangs Oliver again, the very same guy who came between her and Laurel and started this whole drama in the first place. I wanted to smack her with a dinner plate when she says something like "everybody deserves to be happy" during that awful Lance dinner scene. I can't deal with the angst. I can't root for them. Moira also has that sense of entitlement (I mean, c'mon, running for mayor of the city she almost help obliterate? Chutzpah!) but at least she's devilishly fun and entertaining to watch.

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@ Jen

Do you cut and paste that comment on every forum

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I like how they trapped Oliver on the Amazo but let many of the others escape to shake up the dynamic of future flashbacks beyond Slade and Oliver now being enemies. As to next episode... OMFG did they just tease Harley Quinn with the Blonde with double pig tails (and in the 'movie' trailer they showed a female hand with crazy nail polish... care I dare hope its Harey Quinn and she just won't be an Easter Egg but an actual character who's been kept secret who will join Suicide Squad? Please Arrow, let it be... I won't even beg for Shark King if you do)... March 19th... Blasted Breaks! At least, if Harley is in it, I think the weight will be worth it.... please make her use her trademark lines 'Puddin' and/or 'Mr. J'

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eagle eyed comic book fans rejoice !! In the teaser for Suicide Squad there was a girl who's back was towards the camera who resembles Harley Quinn !!! :) #Hellyeah

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@ Ilk_vomit

Yeah dude I am so pumped for Harley Quinn. Sucks that we have to wait 2 weeks.

Marissa

I liked the episode and loved all the island scenes they were so amazing and I can't wait to see what else happens between Oliver and Slade both on and off the island. I was hoping for more action I know we got a lot of that on Island but I was hoping for some in the present day so the episode wasn't as exciting as I thought it might be but it was still good and emotional. Can't wait till the next episode it looks really good I'm excited about the suicide squad.

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Ivo's ship is actually named Amazo, after his robot creation in the comics.

Modwild
@ Shadow

I was hoping the N fell off. ;-) Updated my review to note that thought!

Arrow Season 2 Episode 15 Quotes

Moira: What should we drink to?
Slade: To friendship.

Slade: You and I have something in common.
Moira: What's that?
Slade: I know how difficult it is to pick yourself up when other people have written you off.

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