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Recap / Arrow S 2 E 15 The Promise

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Tropes Applying to This Episode

  • An Arm and a Leg: Slade hacks off the hand Ivo used to shoot Shado.
  • Ankle Drag: Realising their plan to seize the ship has failed, everyone goes to jump off the side and swim to the island, but Slade grabs Oliver's ankle as he's diving overboard and hauls him back with his Super Strength.
  • The Anticipator: Diggle is waiting to snipe Slade when he leaves the mansion, but is knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant.
    Slade: I have my allies, just as you have yours. John Diggle, for example. I suppose you're wondering why he hasn't taken his headshot.
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  • Arc Words: Prochnost' /прочность ("strength") is mentioned again by Anatoli on the freighter.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Slade takes control of the Amazo by killing its Captain.
    Slade: This is my ship now. Any objections? (mooks all drop guns)
  • Batman Gambit: Sara is counting on Ivo to use his truth serum on Oliver, so she creates a picrotoxin to counteract its effects so Oliver can feed him false information.
  • Call-Back: The fake plan to infiltrate the ship via a raft was one they had rejected in the previous episode because they didn't have time to find the right wood to build one.
  • Call-Forward: Sara asks Oliver to tell her family that she drowned on the Queen's Gambit if she doesn't make it.
  • Cliffhanger: On the island, Oliver is a prisoner of the now-insane Slade, while in the present, we don't know who knocked out Diggle or where he is.
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  • Cruel Mercy: Slade doesn't kill Ivo; just cutting off his hand which makes him useless as a doctor. He also doesn't kill Oliver because he wants him to know 'true despair' before he dies.
  • Crushing Handshake: When Slade and Roy meet, they attempt this on each other. From the looks of it, Slade was winning before he got distracted by Sara.
  • Don't Ask: Sara's answer when asked if she's ready to parachute onto the freighter.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Hendrik is introduced accusing Anatoli of cheating and spitting on Reverend Flynn when he points out that Hendrik was doing the same, just to establish him as an asshole.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Turns out Ivo wants the Mirakuru to cure his wife of Alzheimer's disease. He tries to place a last phone call to her when the attack happens, but she doesn't recognise him.
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  • Evil Counterpart: Just as Oliver now has Team Arrow, Slade notes that he too has allies.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Anatoli almost gets his eye taken out for Ivo's "research".
    • The last shot of the episode is a lingering shot of Present!Slade's face... sans eyepatch, meaning we get a shot of his empty eye socket.
  • Face–Heel Turn: At the end, Slade takes over the ship and becomes the Island's new Big Bad.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Oliver misses his first attempt at lighting the bonfire with Arrows on Fire. Then he trips when trying to lure the man sent after him into the jungle—however the latter turns out to be Contrived Clumsiness for a Play-Along Prisoner gambit.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The threat from Slade towards his family is serious enough to make Oliver immediately throw his No Killing rule out the window. He tries to stab Slade right in the middle of the Queen mansion while Diggle sets up a sniping position outside.
  • Good Shepherd: Reverend Thomas Flynn was lured onto the Amazo under the pretext of giving last rites to a dying man, and is now imprisoned as one of Ivo's experimental subjects. He notes with irony this is one place where his qualifications are in constant demand.
  • Hollywood Skydiving: Sara and Slade do a tandem jump off a cliff using a steerable parachute taken from the crashed plane.
    Sara: You've done this before, right?
    Slade: NO-ONE'S done this before!
  • If I Do Not Return: Slade rejects this trope as defeatist, but Oliver asks Sara to tell his family he was no longer the Jerkass they knew, while Sara asks him to say she died on the Queen's Gambit as the person they knew, not the person she is now. They also burn the box of Mirakuru in case they all get killed, so Ivo can never claim it (or so Oliver and Sara think).
  • Immediate Sequel: This episode picks up where the previous one left off.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Island!Slade finds out what really happened to Shado. And it is not pretty.
    • Present!Slade learns that Sara is alive (though his comment on "The girl who came back from the dead" implies he's been following the media on the subject). It's been hinted that Sara vanishes/"dies" on the island before Ollie thinks he's killed Slade.
    • Oliver realises that Slade is behind Cyrus Gold and the Man in the Skull Mask.
  • I Shall Return: Oliver is dumped in his old cell next to Anatoli.
    Anatoli: Fantastic. We're saved.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Island Ollie allows himself to get captured by Ivo's men to provide a distraction for Slade and Sara.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Oliver says that Sara was a prisoner like the others, Hendrik points out that he never heard her screaming from Ivo's experiments.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: What happens to Slade when he finds out about what really happened to Shado.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: In contrast to the rough and tough ASIS soldier that Oliver knew on the island, Slade Wilson is a Badass in a Nice Suit who is entirely at ease discussing politics and fine art with Moira.
  • Match Cut: As Oliver leaves his mother, it cuts to a shot of him doing the same on a video screen, one of many from the cameras that Slade planted around the Queen mansion.
  • Meaningful Background Event: When Slade and Sara are talking, you can see Roy visibly restraining himself.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Oliver demands to know what Slade's agenda is, he replies that he's here to fulfil his promise from five years ago, referring to his promise to let Oliver know despair before he dies.
  • Mook Horror Show: Those poor bastards on the Amazo get to experience first hand what the Mirakuru has done for Slade. The last two of a group who witness him plowing through them with his machete even try to flee. Key word "try".
  • Money Is Not Power: As a Bratva boss, Anatoli tries to bribe Ivo for his release, but he's more interested in carving out his eye for his experiments.
  • More Dakka
    • Sara asks for the biggest gun Team Arrow has to take down Slade, and Diggle unpacks a Barrett .50 anti-material rifle.
    • The Amazo guards have Kalashnikovs with GP-25 under-barrel grenade launchers.
  • Multitasked Conversation: Slade and Oliver snipe at each other and make veiled threats in front of Ollie's oblivious family.
  • The Mutiny: Oliver and Sara release the Amazo's prisoners in order to start a riot on the ship. It fails with the prisoners either gunned down, recaptured or jumping over the side and swimming to Lian-Yu. Then when the captain tries to throw Slade in a cell as well, Slade kills him and takes command of the Amazo himself.
  • Mythology Gag: Curtis Swan and Joseph Cooper are mentioned as being 19th century artists. In real life, Curt Swan and Joe Cooper worked on comics for DC.
  • Never My Fault: Ivo tries to put all the blame of Shado's death on Oliver for 'choosing' her. Never mind that Ivo forced the Sadistic Choice on him in the first place.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The fight between Slade and Oliver on the bridge of the Amazo causes the freighter to run aground.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: The prisoners on the Amazo are represented by three characters—Reverend Flynn who cares for his pet rat and tries to minister to the (unresponsive) prisoners, Hendrik who acts like a jerk towards everyone, and Anatoli who is a Bratva boss but always pleasant.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Island!Ollie dreams of Shado blaming him for her death and madly stabbing him in revenge. Cue Catapult Nightmare wakeup.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Oliver when an oblivious Thea walks in on his meeting with Slade, moments after a failed attempt by Oliver to kill him.
    • The expression of horror on Sara's face when she hears Slade's voice in the present.
    • The look on two Amazo mooks' faces when they see a mask-wearing Slade cut through the others like a lawnmower and then set his eyes on them, before turning tail in a vain effort to flee.
    • Oliver realises Slade is right behind him and heard Ivo talking of the Sadistic Choice.
  • Only I Can Kill Him: Island!Slade reserves the right of killing Ivo himself, with obvious problems if Oliver is going to kill him first.
  • Playing Drunk: When Sara explains that in order to sell Ivo on the effect of the truth serum working, Ollie's going to need to act like he's stoned, Ollie simply smirks and says he has a lot of practice at doing that.
  • Pull the Thread: Slade's appearance makes a lot of things clear, with Oliver realising he must be connected to The Man in the Skull Mask and his experiments with Mirakuru.
  • Revenge Before Reason:
    • Hendrik would rather kill Sara than take advantage of the fact that she just freed him.
    • Slade prefers to take revenge on Ivo despite his years of expertise on the Mirakuru that's affecting Slade.
    • Five years later, Slade is still bent on fulfilling his promise of vengeance rather than put Shado's death behind him.
  • Right Behind Me:
    • Ivo accuses Oliver of letting Shado die just as Slade shows up.
    • Earlier Sara and Oliver discuss destroying the Mirakuru but worry that Slade might object. Slade then appears and agrees they should burn it. Turns out he'd already removed the serum.
  • Shell Game: The Mirakuru was never destroyed; Slade kept the serum and burnt the box.
  • Sinister Surveillance: It turns out Slade only wanted a tour of the Queen Mansion so that he could plant spy cameras throughout the whole building.
  • So Happy Together: Before the attack, Slade acknowledges that Oliver has become his brother. By the end of the episode, he's decided to break Oliver in body and spirit.
  • Take Up My Sword: Island!Oliver finally dons the green hood that belonged to Yao Fei and Shado for the assault on the Amazo.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Although Island!Oliver has killed, he's never done so in cold blood and rejects the idea that he should kill Ivo before he can tell Slade what happened with Shado. However in the present day Oliver is fully prepared to kill Slade right inside his family home.
  • Title Drop: During his tour of the Queen's art collection, Slade says he found a painting titled "The Promise" to be particularly compelling.
  • Training Montage: The opening has one of Island!Oliver preparing for the freighter takeover.
  • Truth Serums: Ivo uses sodium pentothal on Oliver. However Sara has worked up a picrotoxin to counteract the effects of the barbiturates in the sodium pentothal and given it to him beforehand. He intentionally gets captured and proceeds to feed Ivo false information.
  • We Need a Distraction: Under truth serum, Oliver reveals that the bonfire was a distraction so the others could slip on board from a raft and sabotage the engine room. Turns out that is the distraction; Sara and Slade parachute on board when the guards on deck rush below to find them.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: This is for Season Two what "The Odyssey" was for Season One.
  • Villain Over for Dinner: Continued from last episode. Made worse when Thea comes over.
  • You Know Too Much: The night before their attack on the Amazo, Sara urges Oliver to kill Ivo before he can tell Slade about Shado's death. He doesn't and faces the consequences.
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