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Recap / Arrow S 2 E 23 Unthinkable

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Tropes that apply to this Episode

  • Actually Pretty Funny: After Nyssa tells Det. Lance that she would rather die than see Sara get hurt, Lance replies with "Yeah, well, here's hoping". Nyssa gives what seems to be a genuinely amused smirk as she turns away.
  • The Alcatraz: Lian Yu was already one before, and it's revealed in this episode that A.R.G.U.S. uses it as such. Slade is dropped there after his capture.
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  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Slade's Mirakuru soldiers destroy the Foundry, and the episode opens with them storming the makeshift backup lair in the clock tower.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Nyssa is the one to take care of Isabel.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Oliver slams Slade up against a wall and takes aim... with a rope arrow.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Turns out that Slade was counting on Waller bombing the city in order to finish the job he started, and was planning on evacuating his troops first.
    • Oliver makes Slade believe Felicity is the woman he loves, allowing her to get close to Slade and inject him with the Mirakuru cure.
  • Blatant Lies: When Roy asks Felicity what happened to him, she says he was out cold the entire time since returning from Bludhaven, to make sure he doesn't kick himself over what he did under the influence of Mirakuru.
  • Blood from the Mouth:
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    • Slade, during both the past and present showdowns with Oliver.
    • Quentin, when he starts to succumb to his internal injuries.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: After giving Malcolm an attempted murder by gunshot, Thea begins to cry. Subverted in that she didn't kill him.
  • Bluff the Eavesdropper: Oliver confesses his love to Felicity so that Slade will overhear and kidnap her.
  • Book-Ends: Just as the first season ended with a lingering shot on the legs of Fyers' benefactor, so this season ends with a lingering shot on Amanda Waller's legs as she welcomes Oliver to Hong Kong. Doubles as a hint, confirmed a few episodes into the third season, that she's Fyers' mysterious benefactor.
  • Break Them by Talking: Slade tells Oliver that his true nature is that of a killer. Oliver ultimately rejects this by not only declaring that he's become a hero, but also thanking Slade for helping him do so.
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  • Brought Down to Badass: Even after being cured of the Mirakuru, Roy proves he can handle a bow and injection arrows after he gets the cure, and Slade is still able to give Oliver a run for his money in a one-on-one battle.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Everyone injected with Mirakuru, finally.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Malcolm wears one even as the Dark Archer. Also, Slade's bulletproof vest is proven to be arrowproof.
  • Call-Back:
    • Slade invokes this when he reminds Oliver of the first words he ever said to him.
      Slade: Twitch, and I will open your throat.
    • Nyssa introduces herself to Felicity the same way she did to Oliver back in her first appearance.
    • Sara's "death" aboard the sinking Amazo plays out the same way as her "death" aboard the sinking Queen's Gambit in the Pilot.
  • Continuity Nod: After he ties Slade to a column, Oliver is hopping on one leg, his other still being injured from his fight with Roy in the clocktower.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Slade brings up this trope, saying none of this would've happened if he had just killed Oliver when he first met him.
  • Damsel out of Distress: As soon as Laurel's captor is depowered, she kicks his ass.
  • Deal with the Devil: Sara gets Nyssa to bring help, in exchange for her returning to the League of Assassins.
  • Deliberately Distressed Damsel: Felicity, as part of the Batman Gambit.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Unlike season 1, Team Arrow gets to be on the winning end: Slade and his minions are depowered and defeated, with the former thrown into an A.R.G.U.S. prison on the island, Sara safely rejoins the League of Assassins, Lyla and Diggle are going to be parents, and the potential of Oliver/Felicity is as strong as ever, especially post-fake love confession. There's still the matter of Lance's internal hemorrhaging, Thea leaving Starling City in the care of Malcolm Merlyn, and all the tragedy and hardships leading up to this point, but this as good as it could probably be under the circumstances for Ollie and company.
  • Enemy Mine: Both Team Arrow's alliance with the League of Assassins, and Diggle and Lyla freeing the Suicide Squad to stop Waller's drone attack.
  • Evil Is Petty: There's no discernible reason for Waller to reveal that Lyla is pregnant when she does, especially since she seems to know that Diggle doesn't know yet and clearly enjoys ruining that moment, apparently as payback for Lyla's treason.
  • Eye Scream: We finally get to see Oliver stab out Slade's eye.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Thea accepts Malcolm's offer.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • "Hey, about that jacket, don't get any ideas."
    • Oliver leading the League of Assassins.
  • Get It Over With: Thea says this trope word for word, thinking Malcolm will kill her for shooting him.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The situation in Starling City is so bad that the League of Assassins is required for help.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Slade's eye is stabbed.
  • Internal Reveal: Thea discovers that Roy works with the Arrow, which is the final straw for her and leads her to go with Malcolm.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Isabel, in the middle of some Evil Gloating.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Roy doesn't remember anything between his leaving for Bludhaven and waking up cured of Mirakuru.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The "Previously On Arrow" recap at the start of the episode is purely Oliver & Slade's relationship, and is framed as Oliver thinking back on how the two of them got to this point.
    • Taken further in a deleted scene, where the recap features Oliver breaking free of his bonds, shooting Slade, and saving his mother's life. Then the scene cuts to a wistful Oliver clearly wishing that was what had happened.
  • Love Confession: Oliver takes Felicity to his home out of concern for her safety after Laurel is kidnapped, and tells her that Slade grabbed the wrong love of his life. It was actually a ploy to get Felicity close enough to depower Slade (who promptly abducts her) but Felicity notes at the end that Oliver sold it very well and Ollie doesn't really walk back on it.
  • Mortal Wound Reveal: Det. Lance's hemorrhaging, complete with flashback to the moment he was wounded.
  • Mythology Gag: Sara gives Laurel her leather jacket before leaving, in a nod to how Laurel is Black Canary in the comics. Though Quentin promptly tells her not to get any ideas.
  • Neck Snap: Nyssa pulls this on Isabel.
  • No-Sell: Oliver punches Slade in the face. Slade isn't fazed.
  • Not Brainwashed: Slade doesn't end his vendetta against Oliver even after being cured, insisting that "The Mirakuru isn't what made me hate you!"
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: In the dénoument of the episode, with his blade at Felicity's throat. Oliver complies.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • As badass as Quentin is, being thrown into a desk that hard is going to give you some nasty internal injuries.
    • Petty thugs aren't the best soldiers unless they're superpowered, and are taken down very fast once cured.
    • After all the times Oliver's mentioned killing Slade, you'd expect some underdog story where Oliver overpowers Slade. The killing in question came after Oliver got the shit beaten out of him by Slade and only because a lucky explosion pinned Slade under metal bars.
  • The Reveal: Lyla is pregnant with Diggle's child.
  • Rousing Speech: Quentin gives one to the officers under his command.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Why Lyla helps Team Arrow even after Waller decides to bomb the city, and why she and Diggle stop that from happening.
  • Secret Test of Character: Malcolm actually wanted Thea to try and shoot him dead, just to confirm that she'd inherited his killer instincts.
  • Ship Tease: For Oliver/Felicity, as Oliver's gambit with the Mirakuru cure isn't shown until after it pays off. So the first time we see Oliver "confess" his love to Felicity, it seems like it could be true, and even afterward when they're on the island together, he just smiles at her and fails to take it back.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Oliver, in answer to Slade's breaking him by talking, tells him that he allowed him to become a hero, and thanks his former friend.
  • So Proud of You: A rather dark one, as Malcolm says he couldn't be more proud of Thea for having the willpower to try to kill him, unlike Tommy.
  • Storming the Castle: Team Arrow and the League of Assassins assault the Queen Consolidated offices that Slade and Isabel are using as a headquarters.
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: In their Final Battle, Slade says that the only way Oliver can win is to kill him, finally proving Slade correct—that Oliver, is indeed, a murderer. However, in the end, Oliver manages to subdue Slade without killing him.
  • Take Up My Sword: A variant. Since Sara is leaving with the League of Assassins, she gives Laurel the mantle of the Canary, at least for the time being, in Starling City.
  • Time-Delayed Death: Maybe Quentin, after an internal hemorrhage due to a hit from a Mirakuru soldier hours earlier.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Roy becoming Arsenal, the cure working, the League of Assassins coming to help, Slade holding Laurel and Felicity hostage, Ravager being beat by Sara and Nyssa, and pretty much every big exciting moment of the episode was already shown previously. Both Sara and Slade's apparent deaths were shown in the previews, albeit in a blink-and-miss way; granted, those we knew about already.
  • Trash the Set: The Foundry is completely trashed by the Mirakuru soldiers, while in the flashbacks, the Amazo — which has been a major setting all season — is destroyed by a torpedo.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Played straight — when Oliver starts his Batman Gambit to depower Slade, he doesn't tell Felicity his plan until after "confessing" his love for her, and even then he doesn't actually tell her but rather hands her a syringe with the cure and simply asks if she understands. Justified Trope because he already knew that Slade had the place bugged and was playing Bluff the Eavesdropper.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Deathstroke pulls this when Team Arrow and the League of Assassins get to Queen Consolidated.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Slade's Mask of Sanity completely collapses after Felicity injects him with the cure, leading to him ranting and raving at Oliver during their entire final battle; afterward, when Oliver has imprisoned Slade on Lian Yu and thanks him for helping him to become a hero, Slade flies into more raving, which is the last thing we see him doing.
  • Wham Episode: Isabel is killed, while the other Mirakuru soldiers are defeated and Slade is imprisoned. Sara returns to the League of Assassins. Quentin collapses from internal injuries. Diggle learns Lyla is pregnant. Thea joins Malcolm. Finally, the flashbacks reveal that after sinking the Amazo, Oliver ended up in Hong Kong in Amanda Waller's custody.
  • Wham Line: From Amanda Waller to Oliver: "Welcome to Hong Kong."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Mirakuru soldier holding Laurel captive disappears after he and Slade are both injected.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame:
    • Thea's reaction when Malcolm tells her he's proud of her for shooting him.
    • In a villainous variant, Oliver sincerely thanking Slade for helping him become a hero.
  • You're Insane!: Upon being told that Malcolm is proud of her for shooting him, Thea says he's "sick". He admits she's probably right.
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