While Modern Oliver and Slade catch up on old times in Starling City, Island Oliver dons the Arrow persona for the first time as the trio attempts to escape the island. Are things about to go really pear-shaped among friends?
Slade Wilson is revealed to be a major supporter of Moira’s election campaign, leaving Oliver pretty much dumbstruck. As Slade makes nice with the Family Queen, Oliver summons Team Arrow to help figure out what to do about Slade.
On the island – where most of this episode takes place – Slade, Oliver and Sara hatch a plan to get on board the freighter and escape Everything Sucks Island. While executing the plan, Oliver is captured by Ivo’s men and taken to Ivo.
But, wait! It’s all a trap to distract Ivo while Slade and Sara parachute onto the ship. They free the prisoners below and fight the armed thugs, reducing the freighter to chaos. However, when Slade discovers Oliver’s role in Shado’s death, he goes off the deep end.
Sara and a few others escape overboard, leaving the gunfights and explosions behind. But Slade catches Oliver before he can escape. He takes over the ship and vows to make Oliver suffer.
Team Arrow descends upon Stately Queen Manor to battle Slade, but he takes his leave without incident. Before driving off, he reminds Oliver of that very vow on the freighter. He’s here to fulfill it.
What Hit the Target
Slade taunting Oliver in the Queen family living room was absolutely priceless! Both men did a great acting job in these scenes, which were neither over- or under-played. Good job to all!
This episode makes up for several recent episodes wherein the island storyline hasn’t advanced very much. A lot happens in a short period of time in this story, and I’m glad they didn’t try to squeeze in any more developments in the modern-day plot as well.
I was surprised by how things shook out at the end of the doomed raid on the freighter. There are certain inevitable plot points that must happen – Sara must be thought dead and Slade must be separated from Oliver. I was sure that at least one of these things would occur as a result of the freighter battle, but they didn’t happen as I expected. I love to be surprised, and Arrow almost never fails in that regard!
I knew that the throwaway eye-plucking scene at the beginning of the episode would become somehow important… and lo and behold, it is. That last shot of Slade’s missing eyeball can’t be a coincidence. I wonder how this all fits in?
Yay for Team Arrow! Now that our little cadre of heroes is growing, can we please have more group outings? I think the team dynamic is often lacking in action scenes, with an emphasis on Arrow as Lone Wolf, and would love to see them incorporate the whole family more often.
What Missed the Mark
Oh, c’mon, we all knew that Oliver wasn’t going to kill Ivo. It would have been nice if the writers had managed to give us an actual surprise about how that went down. It’s an important plot point, not only to the episode but to the entire Slade/Oliver arc. It deserved a bit better of a reveal.
That final shot of Slade sans eyepatch just failed to work for me. I know it was supposed to be shocking and grisly, but it just came off slightly silly-looking.
Slade’s transformation into villain was kind of quick. There’s been some buildup for a while, but the actual shift from one of the good guys to Head Bad Guy could have used some additional time and justification.
The Final Tally
This island-focused episode advanced that plot line by several orders of magnitude, once again moving all the players on the chess board. Some parts were inevitable (Slade overhearing what happened to Shado) but others were a big surprise (Slade’s one-handed grab of Oliver over the railing!). The interplay between Oliver and Slade in the current timeline was beautifully played and provided a great bookend for the flashback scenes. New characters were introduced, which should give more opportunities for interesting island storylines.
And of course, the Quote of the Week:
“There…was… a breeze.”