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Recap / Arrow S 5 E 23 Lian Yu

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Oliver faces off against Prometheus in their final battle, right where Oliver's journey to become the Green Arrow began — Lian Yu.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: Harkness makes a pass at Nyssa, who threatens to feed him his own eyes if he leers at her again.
  • Adult Fear: Samantha and Oliver, big time, with their son being held by Adrian in an unknown location. This reaches its peak in the episodes climax when Adrian threatens to break William's neck if Oliver doesn't kill him.
  • Agony of the Feet: Oliver fires an arrow into Chase's foot to disable him non-lethally at the end of the episode.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: The previous four finales had Team Arrow racing against the clock to stop the Big Bad from destroying Star City (or the whole world in Darhk's case). Prometheus's Evil Plan doesn't involve that at all — he wants to destroy Oliver on a very personal level.
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  • The Atoner: Slade seems more than a little regretful for the horrible things he did and honestly wants to help Oliver, he even insists that nobody leaves the island without him.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Even after crashing down in a helicopter, Kovar still gives Oliver more of a fight than all his men together.
  • Back for the Dead: Boomerang betrays Oliver and joins Prometheus and is quickly killed by a landmine courtesy of Malcolm Merlyn. There's something meta about a character played by John Barrowman killing someone named Harkness, isn't there?
  • Back for the Finale: Samantha (William's mother) and Talia (well, Lexa Doig). Also Moira Queen via flashbacks.
  • Bad Boss: Prometheus has absolutely zero qualms about blowing Lian Yu sky high even though many of his own allies are still trapped/knocked out on the island.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work:
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    • Digger Harkness is killed by Merlyn, who is most certainly not a good guy.
    • Adrian dies by killing himself, which in turn causes explosions on the island and almost certainly kills every member of his villainous squad (except Black Siren), who were all last seen non-lethally incapacitated by the heroes. Ironically, it's only the heroes who still have a fighting chance at being alive.
  • Badass Beard: Slade sports his bushiest one yet on the series which makes sense considering that it's unlikely that ARGUS would provide a dangerous prisoner, especially an ex-mercenary, with anything sharp. Doubles as a Beard of Sorrow, as Slade has undergone a Heel Realization since his last appearance and is now consumed by remorse for his actions.
  • Badass Crew: Both The Hero and Big Bad assemble one for their Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Faced with a Sadistic Choice, Ollie seemingly gives in to Chase's Break Them by Talking and lowers his bow. Except he's actually lowering his aim.
  • Batman Gambit: Oliver and Slade conspire to have Slade be a Fake Defector so that Slade can smuggle in a collar to allow Dinah to use her powers and pass it to Oliver after he's "captured" while allowing Slade the freedom to do some scouting to look for William.
  • Beam-O-War: Dinah's and Black Siren's canary cries collide during their fight, propelling both of them backwards.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Felicity gives Oliver one after he rescues her noting that she doesn't want to regret not kissing him in case the worst happens.
  • Big "NO!": Oliver, when Chase puts a gun to his own head.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Oliver sees right through Chase's manipulation when he tells him his son is dead.
    • Chase's previous claim to Black Siren that Quentin would be unharmed; Chase's endgame was to blow up Lian Yu with Quentin (and Black Siren) on it.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: The present day ends with Lian Yu blowing up from Chase's Dead Man Switch, with the fate of most of the main cast (except Oliver and William, who watch the blast in horror) uncertain.
  • Book-Ends: Oliver's long journey and the beginning of his 5 years on hell began when Robert Queen killed himself in order to allow his son to survive. Oliver's 10 year journey that concludes with him rejecting the murderous vigilante he once was ends when Chase kills himself in the same manner as his father thus destroying Lian Yu permanently.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Adrian delivers this to himself—echoing what Robert Queen once did—in order to trigger his Dead Man Switch and blow up everyone on the island.
  • Boxed Crook: Ironically, Captain Boomerang is this again in Oliver's new team.
  • Cain and Abel: Talia and Nyssa have a showdown. Nyssa hates Talia for abandoning her and leaving her alone with her father's cruelty. Talia is appalled that Nyssa is siding with the man who killed their father. However, Nyssa refrains from killing her after besting her in combat.
  • Call-Back:
    • Chase kills himself on a boat with a revolver, just like Robert Queen did, but he wants to harm Oliver, not to protect him. Robert did it to give Ollie a chance, while Chase does it to take away hope. He even notes that they're on the same waters, and the revolver looks very similar.
    • Those pesky land mines are still around.
    • Internal: Ollie's team passes a downed helicopter, with a body in roughly the same position that we find out later Ollie had killed Kovar.
      • In the pilot, it was said that Oliver had burns on his back and arms. In this episode, we see that Kovar had inflicted them literally right before Oliver sprinted out to the boat.
    • Minus an elbow strike, the move Ollie uses to disarm Evelyn is one of the first techniques Slade taught him, way back in "The Odyssey". Slade even uses something he said then as a Covert Distress Code.
    • Oliver stops an arrow by Talia the exact same way Chase stopped one of his in the mid-season finale: By cutting it in half with a throwing star.
  • Clark Kenting: Turns out that when Oliver was rescued from the island, he was using a disguise provided by The Bratva to fake his having been on the island for the entire five year period. Fake hair, fake beard.
  • Cliffhanger: A doozy. The episode ends with Oliver and William on a boat watching as Prometheus' explosives destroy the island and seemingly killing everyone on it.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Oliver brings an entire arsenal to the island, including a RPG, since in his own words he has "no intention of making this a fair fight".
    • Flashback Ollie tries to shoot Kovar in cold blood. Unfortunately, he was out of bullets.
    • Quentin knocks Black Siren out with Dinah's dropped Bo staff when she tries to finish Dinah off with a Canary Cry.
  • Commonality Connection: Aside from his overall Heel Realization, the realization that Oliver is a father like him seems to be what cements Slade's Heel–Face Turn and shows that He’s Back.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The largely unarmed Team Arrow wipes the floor with the Faceless Goons Assassins, unless they're named characters. The only one that doesn't is Quentin, who isn't exactly in fighting form. Talia's students aren't exactly "real" Assassins, and maybe they weren't trained to the same level as the originals troops.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As Chase puts it, Oliver is still ten step behind. He prepared for anything, even the case of Oliver being unwilling to kill him, forcing him into the Sadistic Choice below. When even that fails, he simply kills himself to blow up the island anyway.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Captain Boomerang's first line in this episode is to make a pass at Nyssa. Her response?
    Nyssa: "Look at me like that again and I'll feed you your eyes."
  • Dead Man's Switch: Chase rigged Lian Yu with enough explosives to completely destroy the island, and linked them to one of these, ensuring they go off it he dies.
  • Designated Girl Fight: A double example, with Nyssa facing her sister Talia and Dinah facing Black Siren. The latter also has two metas with an identical power trying to kill one another. Both are thrown clear when attempting to scream at each other.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Oliver still refuses to kill him, Chase finally puts matters into his own hands and blows his brains out, in order to trigger the explosives on Lian Yu.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Malcolm dies in a pretty unspectacular way by just blowing himself up on a landmine, and off-screen too. He takes Digger Harkness with him. In the end, this seemingly applies to everyone on the island, heroes and villains alike, as Chase blows it all up.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • Merlyn seemingly dies saving Thea and killing Digger Harkness and a bunch of other mooks in one go.
    • Prometheus dies while seemingly taking most of the other characters aside from Oliver and his son with him by blowing up Lian Yu, putting him in the likes of Malcolm and Slade as previous Big Bads who Oliver couldn't kill.
  • Dynamic Entry: Slade makes a hell of an impressive one, bursting in through a window and mowing through Talia's followers when they try to attack Nyssa.
  • Easily Forgiven:
    • Averted in regards to Merlyn after his Heroic Sacrifice. Even though Thea feels conflicted now, she still makes it clear that he was a horrible person and an even worse father.
    • This is zigzagged with regards to Slade, Oliver is willing to work with him and, when questioned by Harkness, tells him that he trusts Slade more then him. However the rest of Oliver's team strongly disagree and call Oliver out for working with him.
  • Fake Defector: Slade, multiple times.
  • Five-Man Band: Oliver and his makeshift team.
  • Foreshadowing: Two moments from the previous episode are given greater significance here:
    • When Black Siren claimed that she allied with Prometheus in part because he made promises about Quentin's well-being, Quentin scoffed at her belief that Prometheus' word was worth anything. In this episode, he's proven right: Prometheus left both Quentin and Black Siren herself to die when he destroyed Lian Yu, and had been planning to the entire time.
    • As Chase left after Oliver was forced to break him out of ARGUS custody, he said "see you on the boat". The end of this episode establishes that this wasn't just a taunt; William (the reason Oliver broke Chase free) was being kept on a boat, and Oliver and Chase have their final confrontation on the same boat.
  • Genre Blindness: When Ollie finds Kovar in the flashback, the older man is crouching, has one hand behind his back and one hand visible. Ollie assumes Kovar is wounded and walks into knife range, whereupon Kovar pulls out a knife and slashes him across the chest. This contrasts his present day savviness.
  • Good All Along: The episode plays with the viewer's expectations that Slade hasn't really reformed, and prepares several fake-outs of him supposedly going back to his old ways, which in each case turn out to be ways to manipulate Chase and his gang. In the end, he really does appear to have reformed.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Rene and John take down several sword-wielding Assassins without any gear and just using straight-up punching techniques and throwsnote .
  • Grand Finale: The episode is this to Oliver's flashback Story Arc.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Black Siren really hates Dinah for "replacing her"; a not unreasonable assumption since Oliver seemed genuinely interested in reforming her during the mid-series premiere.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Slade evidently made a real one on top of his Heel Realization. Aside from multiple Fake Defector moments, he seems to have true camaraderie with Oliver over the fact that they are both fathers, and seems to be genuinely remorseful about actions such as killing his mother.
  • Heel Realization: Slade claims that the psychological effects of the Mirakuru wore off at some point between his last appearance and now leading him to a more subdued personality and describing his experiences as like a "bad dream." Its yet to see if its genuine or just his attempt at manipulation; he seems to be sincere throughout the episode, even seeming on the verge of tears when mentioning that he was the man who murdered Moira Queen.
  • He’s Back: After years of detox from Mirakuru, Slade Wilson is finally back to how he used to be prior to Shado's death.
  • History Repeats: Oliver's story began when he, his father, and a crew member were on a life raft alone as the only survivors of the Queen's Gambit. Season 5 ends with Oliver and his son on a boat watching as they are seemingly made the only survivors of the events on Lian Yu.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Talia, Black Siren, and Evelyn gave all their loyalty to a deranged lunatic who is quite prepared to blow them all up. Black Siren stands out; she actually took Chase at his word that he wouldn't hurt Quentin; the very first thing he asked her to do was pose as her dead counterpart to emotionally torture said counterpart's loved ones.
  • Hypocrite: Black Siren mocks Dinah for thinking she could "replace" her, despite having nothing but disdain for her heroic Earth-1 counterpart, and shrugging off Oliver's attempts to reform her.
  • I Lied: To the surprise of all, Chase was lying when he told Black Siren that Quentin wouldn't be harmed.
  • In-Universe Catharsis: Quentin gets vengeance on Black Siren for pretending to be his Laurel last episode by knocking her out in a surprise attack.
  • Insult Backfire: Invoked with Nyssa, rgarding Talia's tirade.
    Talia: You ally yourself with our father's murderer? He'd be ashamed of you.
    Nyssa: Father was always ashamed of me.
  • Internal Reveal: Oliver rescues William wearing his Green Arrow costume minus the hood and mask, so presumably his son now knows his identity.
  • Kick the Dog: Adrian forces Oliver to choose between saving his friends or watching his son get his neck snapped right before his very eyes. When Oliver takes a third option, Adrian commits one final horrendous act of cruelty:
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Chase leaving his allies for dead on Lian Yu would normally just be a Kick the Dog moment, but given that said allies were Evelyn (a smug, self-righteous traitor), Talia (an assassin who abandoned her sister to their abusive father), and Black Siren (a villainous metahuman who has twice impersonated her dead Alternate Self to help Prometheus), it falls into this category instead.
  • Kill ’Em All: Chase's intention anyway, when he kills himself to blow up the island with all of Oliver's friends and allies still on it; ignoring the fact his own allies like Evelyn, Talia, and Black Siren are still on the island. Whether he succeeded or not is an open question until Season Six.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • Both Malcolm and Harkness meet their apparent deaths offscreen; only the landmine's explosion is heard and witnessed from afar.
    • The apparent fate of everyone on Lian Yu when Chase detonates the explosives that raze the island.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Slade asks what the deal with Prometheus is Oliver has this to say:
    Oliver: My past is coming back to haunt me.
    Slade: Seems to be a recurring thing with you, kid.
  • Landmine Goes Click: When Thea steps on a landmine.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Black Siren mocks Tina's Replacement Scrappy status.
  • Left Hanging: There are several subplots from this season that are left unresolved:
    • Vigilante's true identity. Word of God is we will find out next season.
    • We don't find out how Prometheus' obsession with Oliver led to him finding about everything in the Arrowverse such as Black Siren being locked up in STAR Labs' Pipeline, to how Sara is traveling in time with the Legends, or how he found about Shado (which nobody except Oliver, Sara, or Slade should know about).
    • We don't know if Rory ever found a way to restore his rags' magic.
    • Whatever Helix is up to since they left Star City after Felicity helped freed their leader from ARGUS custody.
    • There are still pissed off Bratva members in Star City who are eager to get their revenge on Oliver for betraying the Brotherhood.
  • Leave Him to Me: Talia orders her minions to back off during her duel with Nyssa.
  • Like Cannot Cut Like: Both Black Siren and Black Canary's Canary Cries cancel each other out.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The Hero and the Big Bad each have their Badass Crew plus the captured members of the former's real team.
  • Made of Iron: Kovar. Even after crashing down in a helicopter, he still gives Oliver more of a fight than all of his mooks combined.
  • Mama Bear: She doesn't get much of a chance to act on it, but Samantha insists that she will not leave Lian Yu without her son.
  • Manly Tears: Flashback Oliver, even after being hardened by his five years in hell and his desire to become the Hood, can't help but shed a few tears when he calls his mother and tells her he is coming home.
  • Mistaken for Prank Call: The first thing Oliver does when he's rescued from the island is call his mother. He starts the call by saying "Mom, it's me, Oliver." However, Oliver has been missing and presumed dead for five years. Moira tells him that her son is dead, that it is cruel for him to claim to be her son, and that he should never call again. Oliver has to convince her that it is actually him and beg her not to hang up on him.
  • Mook Horror Show: In the flashbacks Oliver massacres Kovar's various flunkies thanks to his knowledge of the island. Kovar's forces never stood a chance.
  • Moral Myopia: Talia admonishes Nyssa for siding with the man who murdered their father - the same cruel, misogynistic father she walked out on, knowingly leaving Nyssa to suffer his abuse alone.
  • Mythology Gag: In the comics universe, Adrian Chase (Vigilante) similarly dies by shooting himself in the head, though not for evil reasons, but rather because he's consumed with guilt for what he's done.
  • Neck Snap: How Oliver finishes off Kovar in the flashbacks. Nicely juxtaposed with his refusal to do the same to Chase in the present.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Olvier pulls no punches on Adrian, especially when interrogating him about the whereabouts of his son.
  • Not So Different: Slade points out how similar he and Oliver are in that they are haunted by their past actions. He gives him the advice that he needs to forgive himself first of all things to put them behind.
  • Oh, Crap!: Talia's stoic demeanor cracks two times, both when she encounters her sister.
  • The Oner: There are a couple during the big showdown.
  • The One Guy: Prometheus is the only male major villain in this episode...at least until Digger Harkness joins him (and off course if you discount Kovar and his Mooks in the flashbacks).
  • One-Man Army: Flashback!Oliver shows how far he has come by disposing of three of Kovar's men with only a knife while they are holding AK's. The rest of them don't fare much better.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Kovar insists that none of his men kill Oliver, as this is something he alone wants to do. It's not like any of them are able to do it anyway...
  • Papa Wolf: Oliver dishes out an absolutely savage beating to Chase while demanding to know where William is.
  • Passing the Torch: Dinah fully cements herself as Laurel's successor when Quentin tells her that she is no longer just the Canary, she's the Black Canary.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: Played with. Moira thinks that someone is pranking her by pretending to be Oliver, since he "died five years ago." Turns out that he was calling her from the rescue ship after pretending to have been stuck on Lian Yu for the past five years.
  • Plot Hole: Black Siren mocking Dinah as "wanting to replace her" wouldn't be so jarring if Black Siren is actually Earth-1 Laurel or at least wants to live in her shoes. That statement contradicts her earlier unpleasant statements towards her Dead Alternate Counterpart.
  • The Place: Lian Yu is the island where the Final Battle is held.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: Following the grand brawl at the temple, Adrian escapes to his speedboat, where Oliver encounters him there for a final confrontation. Turns out that's where he's holding William hostage, and he's still got a few last tricks up his sleeve...
  • Power Nullifier: Fitting his Crazy-Prepared nature, Prometheus keeps Dinah captive in a room equipped with a sonic damper. Fortunately for Team Arrow, he wasn't counting on Slade Wilson...
  • Precision F-Strike: Oliver, who's not prone to swearing, calls Chase a "son of a bitch" when Chase reveals that he has William.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Malcolm sports one, just before he steps off the land-mine and takes out Boomerang and some goons. Doubles as Go Out with a Smile.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Prometheus goes out of his way to see that Oliver beating him is one of these. At the end of the episode, Oliver has his son back and proved once and for all that he's not the killer Prometheus considers him to be. Prometheus, however, has one last trick up his sleeve: committing suicide to set off the Dead Man Switch and trigger explosives that ravage Lian Yu, seemingly killing all of Oliver's friends.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Unlike the rest of Oliver's new teammates who join up out of past friendship/alliance and/or having a personal stake in their mission (Malcolm's desire to save Thea, Nyssa's resentment towards Talia), Digger Harkness is just a Boxed Crook who has no such history with Oliver. Naturally, Oliver trusts him the least out of all his new allies and is proven correct when Harkness turns on them at the first possible opportunity.
    • Thea has hated Malcolm for years. Him sacrificing himself to save her, while it does provoke some mixed feelings, doesn't change that. One act of selflessness doesn't undo years of cruelty.
    • Oliver doesn't believe Chase's claim that he killed William, because Chase is a known liar who'd say anything to manipulate Oliver. As you'd expect, Oliver considers the word of a man who has lied to him from literally the moment they met to be worth absolutely nothing.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Afters years of going between good and evil, Merlyn ultimately dies performing a Heroic Sacrifice for his daughter.
  • Rescue Arc: The main goal this episode is to rescue the captive Team Arrow members and William.
  • The Resenter: Black Siren clearly takes issue with Dinah taking over for Earth-1 Laurel as Black Canary.
  • Reverse Mole: Slade seemingly betrays Oliver, and offers him up for Prometheus, but it was all a ruse; Slade taking Oliver captive was a way for the latter to give Dinah an "upgrade" to her powers Curtis planned to give her earlier, and Slade never betrayed the heroes at all.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Pretty much everyone in this episode who has genuinely betrayed Oliver in this season is (most likely) dead by the end of the episode. Harkness is killed by Merlyn's final act, and both Talia and Evelyn are left behind by Prometheus to die in the destruction of Lian Yu.
  • Rogues Gallery Showcase: A who's who of Arrow villains: Talia and Prometheus gathering some of Oliver's past foes, and Oliver himself teaming up with his own past nemeses to even the odds.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Season Five has a central theme of "letting go of the past". This is taken to its logical conclusion when Lian Yu explodes. Right when we run out of flashbacks, too.
  • Running Gag: Once again, on Lian Yu someone accidentally steps on a land mine.
  • Sadistic Choice: Adrian gives Oliver an exceptionally cruel one: If Oliver shoots Adrian, the island will blow up due to his Dead Man Switch; if not, Adrian will snap his son's neck. Oliver takes a third option by shooting Adrian in the knee.
  • Season Finale: Number five.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Chase takes his own life when Oliver refuses to.
  • Series Fauxnale: Considering the fact that the episode takes place on Lian Yu, Where It All Began for the Arrowverse, the episode is a showcase of damn near every villain introduced in Arrow, this is the last year to have flashbacks, and this episode will feature the Final Battle between Oliver and Prometheus, a villain created because of Oliver's actions as The Hood, it wouldn't be out of place to assume that this episode would serve as the Grand Finale of Arrow. However, Word of God has confirmed that a sixth season will be produced.
  • Sexy Walk: Black Siren when she's walking towards the knocked back Dinah.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Adrian tries one last time to get Oliver to demonstrate he's a killer by claiming to have murdered William. Oliver's response?
    Oliver: I don't believe you. Because you're a liar. You're lying to me to manipulate me into doing what you want. But Adrian, here's the thing. If you are telling the truth...if you killed my son, I am never going to be the person you want me to be. Not ever.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Except when he's in combat, whenever Slade's motives seem questionable, he's playing Fake Defector, or the others express their distrust of him as a former adversary, his mask is on. Every time he's being genuine in talking to Oliver or relating to him, his mask is off.
  • Smug Snake: Evelyn. Even after being overpowered and locked in a cage, she mocks Oliver, telling him that he stands no chance against Adrian.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: While most of Oliver's group of villains hate each other, they have one thing in common: Their sharp tongues.
  • Sore Loser: Adrian lost in every way that mattered. Oliver didn't kill him, and he still managed to save his son, leaving his enemy to watch him be a better father to his own son than his own father was for him. So, as one final "screw you" to Ollie, he commits suicide and sets off the deadman switch, blowing up the island and seemingly everyone else on it, including his own allies.
  • Stock Footage: The penultimate scene in the flashback is the opening shot of the entire series (and franchise).
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: Chase tries this time and again, but Oliver doesn't do it.
  • Survivor Guilt: After all this time, someone (namely Slade) calls Oliver out on the fact that he's been living with this ever since his father killed himself.
  • Take a Third Option: The episode climaxes with a choice between saving William's life (by killing Chase), and saving the lives of everyone on the island (by letting Chase live). Ollie starts to lower his bow...and shoots him in the foot.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • Merlyn not only sacrifices himself to save Thea's life, but by fortunate coincidence he's able to take out Captain Boomerang and several goons with him.
    • Kovar, after crashing down with his helicopter, doesn't count on surviving, but tries to stretch out his fight with Oliver so he won't be picked up by his boat home and has to stay marooned on the island.
    • Finally, Chase plans on blowing up the entire island in case Oliver kills him.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In addition to continuing to trades jabs with Malcolm, Nyssa doesn't bother to hide her disdain for Slade and Digger Harkness when they join up. Harkness attempting to hit on Nyssa doesn't exactly help matters.
  • Thanatos Gambit:
    • In the flashbacks Kovar's ultimate plan for Oliver once he realises that he cannot kill him is instead to keep him preoccupied long enough for Oliver to miss his boat and be stuck on Lian Yu for the rest of his life. Obviously this doesn't work.
    • In the present Prometheus' explosives are on a deadman's switch. Whether Oliver kills him or he commits suicide, the explosives all over the island will get him his revenge either way. He decides on the latter.
  • That Man Is Dead: Oliver says this of the killer he was.
  • Trash the Set: Lian Yu has been an integral set for the show since the pilot. In this episode's final moments, Chase blows it all to hell.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: What this episode centers on — between Oliver and Prometheus.
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • Whether anyone was actually killed in the explosion that ended the episode is unclear; the survivals of Team Arrow and Black Siren are Spoiled by the Format, and if they survived, it isn't entirely beyond the realm of possibility that Nyssa, Samantha, and Slade (who were with Team Arrow) and Talia and/or Evelyn (whose odds of survival were about the same as Black Siren's) did as well.
    • While his fate is less ambiguous, Malcolm has escaped seemingly certain death before. That his death isn't seen onscreen only adds to the ambiguity. Same for Captain Boomerang.
  • Undying Loyalty: Black Siren is loyal to Chase because he saved her from prison. Her one condition: Quentin must not be harmed. Chase, for his part, neither returns the sentiment nor intends to keep his promise about sparing Quentin.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Captain Boomerang. Many assumed that since all the other Suicide Squad related characters like Waller and Deadshot were killed off because of the film that he'd never be back again. And it turns out he is only Back for the Dead, so the assumption wasn't that off.
    • Moira Queen making a reappearance, albeit in flashback form.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Chase, as shown in the final scene: Talia trained him to take his revenge, Evelyn served as his mole and loyal sidekick, and Black Siren supported him in gratitude for her freedom. He left all of them to die on Lian Yu without a second thought.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: Malcolm takes Thea's place on a landmine and uses it to take out Boomerang and some goons.
  • Warrior Therapist: Slade shook off the Mirakuru-induced insanity, becomes level-headed and introspective, and now he plays this role to Oliver.
  • Wham Shot:
    • When Curtis finds C4 near Chase's plane, Felicity decides to sweep Lian Yu for any other explosives. There are: all over the island, in fact.
    • Lian Yu blowing up, as Oliver watches in horror.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Nobody even thinks of going back for the A.R.G.U.S. agent who dutifully refused to abandon his post and got knocked out by Oliver. note 
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Thea is not happy Oliver enlisted Malcolm Merlyn and Slade Wilson, the two men who orphaned them. The rest of Team Arrow is quieter on the topic, but it's obvious that none of them are particularly happy to see Merlyn or Slade either.
  • Where It All Began: Lian Yu is literally the very first place shown in the Arrowverse and the flashbacks extend all the way to the literal opening shots of the pilot episode.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Prometheus set explosives all over the island to be triggered by a deadman's switch. If Oliver kills him they go off and all of his friends and family on the island die. If Oliver refuses to kill him Chase will snap William's neck. Even when Oliver Takes a Third Option and incapacitates Prometheus the villain still gets the last laugh by killing himself thus activating the Deadman Switch.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Slade of all people gives Oliver this, telling him to forgive himself for his past actions to finally move on to being a better person.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • The obvious reason why Thea is angry at Oliver for allying with Malcolm and Slade, since they are responsible for the deaths of Robert and Moira. She doesn't even consider Malcolm her father.
    • Nyssa openly defies this when Talia calls her out for working with Oliver. She just shoots back to her sister that Ra's was not worthy of their loyalty for his disrespect and misogyny.
  • You're Not My Father: Thea makes it abundantly clear she doesn't consider Malcolm anywhere close to her father, as he killed Robert Queen, her true father. This only changes slightly after Malcolm dies.
  • You're Not My Type: In a variation on this trope, it's Malcolm who says this almost word for word to Captain Boomerang when the latter tries to hit on Nyssa. Her own response was a bit...colder.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Oliver practically lived on the island physically and mentally. Now that it's been blown up he can never go back.
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